Hey friends! So one of my dreams kind of came true.. I went to Hogsmeade, drank butterbeer, and cast spells! That’s right! This Muggle right here went to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter! We flew out to Los Angeles for my 22nd birthday and we decided to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! So, I decided to write a Muggle’s Guide. I wish I could title this: The Witch’s Guide to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but I still haven’t received my letter in the post yet. Oh well. I hope you enjoy!
Keep in mind, this is a guide to the one at Universal Studio’s Hollywood and not the one in Orlando (I’ve never been but I hope to someday!) because I’m pretty sure there are some differences between the two and I don’t want to lead you wrong.
The Muggle’s Guide To Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Where (And What) To Eat at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- The Three Broomsticks – I ordered the ‘Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Platter’ and it was waaaay better than what I expected. It was so fresh and juicy, like it came straight from a 5 star restaurant. So delicious. I highly recommend that if you don’t feel like being adventurous with your food choices. For a drink, I ordered a frozen Butterbeer (which I am craving so hard right now) that I really really really want to try to recreate at home.
The environment itself was straight out of the books. I truly felt like I was sitting in Hogsmeade and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy.
- The Hogs Head – this is actually attached to The Three Broomsticks so I believe they have the same menu.
- Honeydukes™ – This is not technically a place to eat but, as you know, they serve an abundance of magical treats. I helped myself to a Chocolate Frog and some Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans. I also picked up a Gillywater (which alas, was just expensive flat water..)
- The Butterbeer Cart – yet another place to pick up the most addicting drink known to the wizarding world. You definitely need to try some during your visit.
Where To Shop at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Filch’s Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods – An interesting shop where you can pick up items such as the Marauders Map (I wish I would’ve bought one of these!) and other souvenirs.
- Dervish and Banges™ – A shop with magical items such as Spectrespecs and The Monster Book of Monsters (locked safely away in a cage, don’t worry). They also Quidditch supplies such as broomsticks, Quaffles, and Golden Snitches.
- Zonko’s™ Joke Shop – A shop that carries magical items as Extendable Ears, Screaming Yo-yos, Pygmy Puffs and more. As well as sweets that you can’t pick up at Honeydukes (Fainting Fancies, Fever Fudge, Nosebleed Nougat and U-No-Poo).
- Gladrags Wizardwear – They carry fashionable wizard wear such as authentic wizards’ robes and accessories, as well as other apparel and jewelry fashion items inspired by the four school houses. And in the front window, you can even get an up-close look at Hermione’s beautiful Yule Ball gown.
- Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment – At Wiseacre’s, you can find house robes, Platform 9 ¾™ train station items, Hogwarts™ Express items, and a variety of wizarding wares and supplies, including crystal balls, telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses, and hourglasses.
- Ollivanders™ – ‘;Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC’. Make sure you buy an interactive wand even though it’s a bit more expensive (about $50 if I remember correctly) because it’s such an amazing experience to walk around Hogsmeade performing spells. I picked up the interactive version of Hermione Granger’s wand since she’s my favorite character. Also, make sure you do the wand selection with Ollivander himself, you may be the lucky guest who gets chosen by a wand.
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What To Do At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Buy a sweatshirt that represents your Hogwarts House. I picked up a super comfy Ravenclaw one that I wear almost daily.
- Buy other memorabilia to bring home. I picked up a notebook with an engraved Ravenclaw symbol, a blue quill (that sadly ran out of ink already), and a picture frame that looks like a Hogwarts trunk.
- With your interactive wand, follow the map that comes with the wand and complete all the spells! Seriously the coolest thing I’ve ever done.
- Ride both of the rides. The Forbidden Journey was my personal favorite, as was most people’s. I do wish there were more options for rides here so hopefully, it’s something they improve on in the future.
- Walk the entire length around Hogsmeade and admire all of the intricate displays. SO AWESOME.
So there you have. The best guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter you can find. I will definitely be returning soon as it was a dream come true to see the magical world of Harry Potter brought to life.