It’s been one week since the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction was unveiled at Universal Orlando. Yesterday, I spent the day devouring every detail from the wizard chess players bantering in store windows to the authentic fat lady portrait that guarded the entrance to Gryffindor common room inside the incredible Hogwarts Castle. The experience is nothing short of extraordinary. Here are the highlights you won’t want to miss:
Drink in the Scene - As soon as you step inside the Wizarding World, stop for a moment to take in Hogsmeade, the snow-capped village that’s home to a dozen shops that leap directly from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s magical books. You’ll love perusing every delicious jar of treats inside Honeydukes. Don’t forget to pick up a Chocolate Frog or a package of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.
Be prepared to stand in line - There is a fairly long line-up for everything inside Harry’s world. Stay hydrated and patient… or plan to visit in a few months when the hype has died down slightly.
Drink the Butterbeer - In the middle of the cobblestone street, a giant keg is pouring gallons of delicious Butterbeer, a scrumptious frothy brew that tastes like a mix of cream soda mixed and toffee. This line can be pretty long. It’s best to get in the line for Three Broomsticks, the on-site restaurant, which serves a fabulous selection of English fare along with Buterbeer. That way you can kill two birds with one stone.
Don’t Miss Forbidden Journey – Everyone is totally blown away by the authenticity of Hogwarts and the total exhilaration of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. A free-flight adventure through Harry’s world including a thrilling chase after the golden snitch and a near crash with a fire-breathing dragon, this ride uses ground-breaking technology to ensure it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
Appreciate the details – so much work has gone into to the millions of little details that pay homage to Harry’s books and movies (about five years of creation and an estimated $200 million price tag). As you walk through Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, and all the little shops, take the time to notice all the intricacies (some even authentic movie set props) in store windows, on the walls, and down nooks and crannies. Real Potter fans will relish in the amount of effort that’s gone in to truly immersing guests in the Harry Potter world.