The latest Harry Potter blockbuster sets a new standard for amusement park attractions, drawing record numbers to Universal Studios Florida. Visitors to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will discover all the magical places they’ve come to know and love in the book and movie series, but they’ll also find packed crowds and wait times of up to two hours for the most popular rides. Don’t let the muggle mobs deter you from this extraordinary adventure!
On a recent sweltering Florida weekday, with temperatures nearly into the triple digits, we ventured in to see if the Harry Potter attraction was worth all the hype. It was hot, crowded, and loud. And yes, it was worth it. My jaded teen, a veteran of the scariest roller coasters, deemed the Forbidden Journey “THE BEST RIDE EVER!” Her tween brother vowed to read all the books as soon as he returns home. Both begged for another Harry Potter movie marathon.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your visit. security bollards
Admission – It’s not cheap to visit Universal Studios. You can realize some savings if you purchase multi-day combined park tickets, especially if you take advantage of the discounts and incentives for buying online. Instead, I bought the bare bones one day, one park option for Universal’s Islands of Adventure at $79/adults (ages 10 & up) at the gate entrance.
I was tempted to get the Express Pass which allows you to bypass the lines for the rides, but couldn’t justify the expense of an additional $60/person. (Note that the pass is significantly less expensive at other times of the year.)
Age Level – Although the Wizarding World is compelling for those familiar with the book or movie series, you don’t have to be a Harry Potter buff to enjoy the attraction. Children (and adults) of all ages will get a kick out of exploring the magical settings, and there are rides for both the under and over 48″ crowd. While the Dragon Challenge roller coaster is only for the above 48″ crowd, the milder Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster can be enjoyed by all.
The most sought after attraction in the Wizarding World is the Forbidden Journey, which takes you on a tour through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry before depositing you at the ride. This exhilarating, total immersion ride through the monster-ridden school halls is not for the faint of heart, or those under 48″; however, you can always skip the ride at the end of the tour.