By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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How to Spend Your Time at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

By Dave Shute


  • If checking in to the Royal Pacific or another Universal Orlando resort be at its front desk by 7.15a to check in and get your hotel keys, which are also your early entry passes
  • (If you are wondering why this hotel, or what these passes are, the details of Universal’s front of the line approach can be found in Where to Stay at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.)
  • If you are not a hotel guest, be at the entrance to Universal by 60-120 minutes before opening. Arrive earlier in this range during the peak season, later during the off season

A Morning at Hogsmeade

  • At park opening, grab a park map and schedule, enter Islands of Adventure, head to Hogsmeade, and get in line for and see Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Then see the wand choosing the Wizard at Ollivanders
  • Then explore the shops in Hogsmeade
  • Then, if you are a fan of serious roller coasters, ride Dragon Challenge
  • Next, if it appeals to your family, ride Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Next, using your park map, relax and see the rest of Hogsmeade. See this for more on what you can see and do
  • If you have a park-park ticket, take the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley

A morning at Diagon Alley


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1 Ahmed Dawod { 12.20.15 at 9:05 pm }

I’m planning to visit orlando and I will have only one and a half day.
I’m mainly there because of a concert and I would like to get the chance to visit Disney World and Harry Potter Universal World for the first time.
I read your article and thank you so much for the information.
But when you say “A morning at …” what hour ranges do you mean?
especially for the 2nd morning because I have to be at Orlando airport by 2:00 pm that day.

2 Dave { 12.21.15 at 8:33 am }

Hi Ahmed–just answered you on Facebook!

3 Diana { 05.04.16 at 8:18 am }

Hi Dave

I only have 1 day to visit Harry Potter Universal Studio. Huge Harry Potter fan, but I can’t ride as I have heart condition. Which part of the harry potter section (Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley) should I spent may day on to get most from the experience?

Thank you so much


4 Dave { 05.04.16 at 9:02 am }

Diana, if you can’t ride the rides, then the issue is everything else. That’s a real judgement call, and depends which you like visually better. I think there’s more to do in Diagon Alley…

5 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 05.04.16 at 8:56 am }

Diana – I just returned from a travel agent training trip at Universal Orlando. Unable to ride many of the rides do to severe motion sickness, I still had and amazing time (Note that you can walk through the queues to take in the experience, but skip the actual ride.

My first suggestion would be to at the park-to-park feature to your ticket. This will allow you to visit both areas and also to ride Hogwart\’s Express (you can only ride if you have the PtP ticket). But if you are unable to do this I would definitely visit Diagon Alley. It was amazing. Everything from Butterbeer ice cream to Olivander\’s wand shop. I would suggest adding a stop to Shutterbutton\’s for some photo fun. The DIF agent\’s had a blast.

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