The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The 1st Harry Potter book came out when I was 12 years old, almost the exact age that Harry found out he was a wizard.  While I whole-heartedly believe this is a story for all ages, there was something special about literally growing up with Harry.

I knew I had to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opened in 2010 and I did.  I was not disappointed in the least.

The time at which we went was unfortunate-it had only been open for a few months and it was mid-July.  It was hot, it was humid, and there were 15 gazillion people all wanting their very own wand and their own glass of Butterbeer.

No joke, I stood in line for three hours at Ollivanders.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d do it again.  I just highly suggest not going when it’s that hot and that busy.

It’s been over three years since the Wizarding World opened and I’m not sure if the crowds have died down at all, but now is the time to go because next fall they are opening the expansion which is going to double the existing in size (Cue my uncontrollable excitement).

And, if you’re not near Orlando, you can now visit Universal Studios Hollywood, Singapore, and Japan to see Harry Potter!

As we came to the entrance to Hogsmeade, my brother (an equally obsessive fan) and I could hardly contain ourselves:

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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As soon as we entered Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Express Conductor was there to greet us.  Not too sure if he was as fond of Evan as Evan was of him.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Evan with the Hogwarts Express Conductor

Next, we headed on over to Ollivanders.  The lines were long, but we waited the three hours in the direct sunlight and 90+ degrees weather so that we too could experience Ollivander picking a witch or wizard from the tourists.  They put on quite a nice little 5 minute show that mirrors Harry’s visit to Ollivanders.  It would have been nice to be picked, but it’s cool.  And, yes I did buy a wand at Dervish and Banges-Ginny Weasley’s to be exact.  Does that mean I get Harry Potter too?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

What better way to follow up waiting three hours in line for a five minute presentation and purchasing my magical wand?  The answer: Honeydukes!  Chocolate Frogs, Every Flavour Beans, Acid Pops, Edible Dark Marks and much more are to be found in here…I didn’t think candy could get more magical.


At the present time, there are three rides in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Dragon Challenge is a dueling roller coaster. The Flight of the Hippogriff is a smaller rollercoaster which is fun, but more enjoyable for the less adventurous. The one that takes the cake though is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey that you won’t even mind waiting in line for. You’ll get to go through Dumbledore’s office, classrooms and common rooms. You’ll get to see the Sorting Hat, talking paintings and house points.  And, that’s all before the actual ride.  This ride is ah-mazing!  I’ve been on faster rides, rides with bigger drops, and so on, but I’ve never been on another ride that compares to this one.

I regret not being able to eat at Three Broomsticks or even step foot in there because of the crowds. I will be doing that next time! I also didn’t get to spend much time in the shops of Hogsmeade and look forward to exploring them more next time as well as riding The Forbidden Journey several times as opposed to just the one.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed pretending to be a witch for a day. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you will not be disappointed at all and I would imagine it would still be fun even for those that aren’t huge fans. I’m planning on a return trip in February to Disney World and Universal Studios and look forward to taking more photos, being able to explore more freely and getting a look at what’s to come with the expansion.

Have you been to The Wizarding World?  What was your favorite part?

Ashley Hubbard

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Samantha

    I love Harry Potter world! I went in Sept 2011 so it was pretty empty and luckily there were barely any lines. I got sick on the dragon roller coaster ride and it seemed they were still working out kinks on the main harry potter ride because it kept getting stuck! I was hanging upside down with a dementor in my face for 10 minutes haha! But Loved it all the same, have a GREAT time there, drink a butterbeer for me!!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      I got stuck upside down on the Forbidden Journey ride for like 15 minutes too haha. I didn’t get stuck this time. I didn’t ride the dragon roller coaster this time because I got sick during the day and didn’t want to push it. It also poured ALL day so I didn’t get many pictures unfortunately. Still loved it!

  2. Adelina @ PackMeTo

    I would LOVE to go. I adore Harry Potter too and probably would turn into a massive fan girl.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      It really is amazing. They are doing an expansion right now that should be open this fall. It’s supposed to double it in size. Exciting!

  3. Erin

    Oh my kids will be soooo jealous of you! Looks like fun πŸ™‚ Glad you shared.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      You need to take them after the expansion this fall πŸ™‚

  4. Greg

    What great fun…I agree, the conductor is not having as much fun as your brother. It sounds as if they did a great job creating the Harry Potter atmosphere.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      They really did do a great job with it Greg. Even non-HP fans would have fun, I think.

  5. Raphael Alexander Zoren

    Seems like you two had a very good time there! πŸ˜€

    Ps. Do the chocolate frogs jump in real life?

  6. Gabor Kovacs

    I am not a huge Harry Potter fan, but I watched the movies and this place seems to be fun to spend a day there!!

  7. frankaboutcroatia

    I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan (sorry to zillions of you out there; this is maybe a generational thing). But I do love roller coaster rides, and magical candies.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      haha who rollercoasters and magical candies are always good!

  8. Globalmouse

    I would love to visit this and my kids would be so happy!! We just got back from Oxford and went to the sites they filmed HP there, including the Great Hall which was amazing!! This looks brilliant, got to make it there soon!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Ahh that sounds awesome too! Must do that when I’m back in England.

  9. Jess

    I want to go so much! Not-so-secret fact about myself – I considered it a major disappointment when the last movie came out, mostly because without future midnight openings I have no excuse to wear my house costume. What’s the use of owning perfectly good Hufflepuff robes if you can’t do anything with them?

    . . . on the other hand, maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t made it to Universal yet. I would probably bankrupt myself trying to buy out the gift shops.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Haha who said you couldn’t still wear your robes? I dressed up as Hermione for Halloween a couple years ago :/

      I know what you mean, I wanted to buy everything…

  10. Milene

    Oh I love Harry Potter, watched the movies numerous times and read the books several times. Wish there really was a world out there where I could magically disappear and reappear somewhere else – would make travel a lot cheaper and faster πŸ˜‰ Where exactly is this Wizarding World? In the US? That’s a pity, it should be in England. Hopefully they hired only British people or Americans with a British accent =)

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      It’s in Orlando, Florida, but they are currently making one in Hollywood and Japan as well. They have the studio tour in England :p

  11. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    That sounds like so much fun! I read most of the Harry Potter books and seen the movies so this experience would be something that I would truly enjoy!!

    Its unfortunate that you faced long lines and huge crowds but it does gives you an excuse to go back!!

  12. Sam | Travelling King

    this is definitely something i would love to visit one day!
    Never really read the books but the movies were very enjoyable

  13. Syd

    I GREW UP WITH HARRY TOO! Except I must be a bit younger than you as I remember being a little disappointed when I didn’t get my letter at 11. I think other generations don’t get our deep connection with Harry Potter…I’ve read all the books at least 15 times (in spanish and english, haha) and I practically have them memorized. I almost don’t want to go to Harry Potter World because it couldn’t possibly live up to my imagination….but butterbeer…..tempting….

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      You need to go! I’m telling you they did a really good job with it. I’ve read them more times than I know (all in English though). You really should go…

  14. Roma

    I haven’t been yet but really want to go. I can sympathise with the crowds comment. I did Disneyland in July and it was utterly horrendous!

  15. Chris Boothman

    Ok, so you would think that being from England I would be a huge fan of Rowling and Harry Potter. Well, I have to admit that I am not and normally would probably not be interested in seeing such an attraction.

    However, I am delighted to say Ashley that you sold me! This really does look like a cool experience and I agree with you that your descriptions and experiences show that this place is setup even for folks that are not interested in magic or other Potter concepts!

    Really great post!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Shame on you Chris for not being a fan of Harry or Rowling, BUT I’m glad I sold you! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

  16. We went in January 2011, it was relatively new! my only regret is not buying a wand. I thought it was too expensive, who would’ve known that they where going to increase in price! buying one next time for sure!!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      I was actually surprised how cheap they were – I figured they would jack up the prices knowing good and well that people would buy them. Definitely get one next time πŸ™‚

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