Help me plan our 1 day at WWHP- food and shopping

I’m loving Touring Plans so far, but I’m wanting a little feedback. We are spending two days at Universal in June (CL is high, but days are non-negotiable). We are spending one full day with HP stuff and one full day with everything else. A couple questions…

  1. We want to do Three Broomsticks and Leaky Cauldron. Which would be the better breakfast and which would be the better lunch or dinner.

  2. How much time should we plan on spending in Diagon Alley assuming our oldest daughter will want to take in all the details (she’ll be in awe and want to take in every.thing.). Olivander’s is also important to her…which park should we plan on attending the ceremony and best time of day to do so (morning?)?

  3. We are staying at Royal Pacific Resort so have the express passes. There is also Early Morning at USF…thoughts on best way to utilize this?

I have not been to WWoHP yet but got some helpful advise and feedback when I asked a somewhat similar question. Sharing the link in case it’s helpful. Adding WWoHP to WDW trip

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That is a helpful link, thanks!! Our first Universal trip is in July so I’m thrilled I saw this.

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  1. I’ve never done breakfast at either so no idea. We just had lunch at leaky cauldron and it was very delicious.

  2. I would use the early entry to go to olivanders in USF and then take in details as most will be in line. Then use your Express passes to ride gringotts then do the Hogwarts express to head over to IOA.

  3. See answer 2

Have fun!!!

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  1. Honestly, you can’t choose wrong on this one. I’ve had lunch at both and they are both fabulous. I happen to love the Cornish Pasties… you can get those for lunch at Three Broomsticks and as a snack in Diagon Alley! I often do both! haha

  2. I’m a HP NUT so I appreciate that you are dedicating a full day to HP stuff. I’ve done this and I just split the day in half (for the most part). I start in Diagon Alley (on my HP focused days) and go shop to shop exploring every bit of it. I don’t really set a time limit on it… but I’m generally done with that after a couple of hours (up to probably 3 or 4 hours max and that includes riding Gringotts).My first ever time to Diagon Alley I probably did 4 hours easily just because i went SLOWLY . The daily shows they do in Diagon Alley are worth watching… specifically the Tale of the Three Brothers. It’s great! I would check the showtimes on that. Then i hop the Hogwarts Express and spend however long i want in Hogsmeade. I generally ride Forbidden Journey at least twice. The castle is just so amazing. It doesn’t even annoy me to wait in line because there is so much to look at! As for Ollivanders, whatever park you start in is fine… but i prob lean USF.

  3. Having an express pass is a game changer and you honestly don’t even need a true TP. You will accomplish everything you want with no problem. Most people would suggest Diagon Alley for early morning USF… but i imagine most people head there so the rest of the park will be quite nice! Despicable Me can develop long lines throughout the day, so if that is a priority i would maybe ride that one early. But again, you have a express pass! Universal is your oyster :smile:

  4. Enjoy! Universal is great. Lots of thrilling, fun rides and tons of magic.

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard…they have different shows, but do you know if they do one show in the morning and another in the afternoon? Or every other showing?

I think you’ll get mixed responses. We enjoyed eating at Three Broomsticks as an experience, but the food was, well, meh. I had the pasties. Blandest things I ever did eat. Would never get them again.

Olivander’s is bigger at Diagon Alley, so can accommodate more people. But I honest can’t say which is actually a shorter line. The wand choosing ceremony is done constantly throughout the day. At Diagon Alley, I believe there are like 4 rooms where they take in large groups at a time. (That’s the location we watched.) It was mildly entertaining. They ended up choosing an adult, despite there being several kids in the group. Then, the wand shop you come out into was so incredibly crowded. It would save you time to just do the show, and leave the wand shop and head around the corner (again, Diagon Alley) to Gregoravich’s Wands. Same wands, much shorter line.

Overall time can vary, depending on when you are there. I suggest being there as early as possible. Crowds pick up considerably by noon. I suggest getting through the rides first (start at Diagon Alley, do Gringott’s, take the train over, and do Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogryph, before taking the train back…yes, you want to be sure to take the train both ways). Once you get through the rides, you can then not worry about the crowds so much and just focus on the sights, casting spells, eating, etc.

Express Passes will give you the ability to do the rides multiple times. Once on standby when you get there early, and then use you Express passes as necessary as it gets busier. Since the Early Morning is at USF, that’s good…because I think it is best to start at Diagon Alley, which is on the USF side.

Great questions, as this is our plan exactly in July - one day for all HP and another day for everything else and then a half day (maybe) to go back and do favorites. We are also planning to stay at Royal Pacific so will have the Express Pass as well.

HUGE HP fanatic here, so here is what I like to do:

  1. I like to experience things the same way Harry did, so I always start in Diagon Alley. I would go there first, do Gringotts first thing and of course, do Ollivander’s there, as Ollivander’s is in Diagon Alley, not Hogsmeade, in the books. I would wander around and then, when you are hungry, do a breakfast at Leaky Cauldron since you are already there. Do some spells, spend lots of time in Borgin and Burkes (my favorite shop, though really, really tight!) and just enjoy everything. The Beedle the Bard shows alternate, not one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I would then take the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade and spend time doing rides, shows and shopping there. When you get hungry again, eat lunch at Three Broomsticks. Take it all in and whatever you do, do not rush!

  2. One trip, my sister and I literally spent five hours in Diagon Alley, between rides, shows, spells and shopping. I love it so friggin’ much I just need to take it all in! I am not sure the best time of day to go to Ollivander’s but, as mentioned above, I feel it is only right to do the one in Diagon Alley. Plus, it’s bigger.

  3. If you have Early Entry at USF, definitely use it! First thing in the morning is my absolute favorite time to do spells, so if you can get a wand right away, you can do spells with very little wait and truly enjoy yourself.

A couple notes. At some point, you must do the entire line of Forbidden Journey. The EP line bypasses most of the castle and you don’t want to miss it. My favorite time to do this right before close. June should have later hours, so about 10-15 minutes before close, head to the castle. Take your time. Stop at each section and really take it all in. Watch each “show” in it’s entirety. Spend some time watching the portraits talk to each other. I did this on my last trip and had no one else in the line. I was entirely by myself and loved every single minute. I was on the last ride of the day when it was all said and done. Every time I have used EP on Gringotts, I have not missed anything of importance, so you don’t have to do standby for that one. If the camera station is closed in the EP line at Gringotts, let a worker know you want a picture and they will sneak you into a picture room and then let you back in the EP line.

If you have enough time, be sure to visit Diagon Alley at night as well. It is a totally different place. Perhaps plan on being in DA when the sun sets, spend some time and then hop on the HE over to Hogsmeade so you can see the nighttime castle show and do Forbidden Journey before park close.


I could not have said this better myself!

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This is awesome advice! Thank you all so much! We will start at Diagon Alley. I’m so excited we have UE passes…I wasn’t going to stay at the premier hotels, but decided to splurge since this will likely be our only trip there with our girls for a long time. It looks like we’ll have plenty of time to wander around both during the day and night.

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I find when one has an obsession, it is best to just own it and do what you can with it to help others! :rofl:


So true!!! Everyone has a gift to share and I appreciate your WWOHP wisdom!

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I thought it might be helpful if I mentioned what you see on the train ride between the two locations is different depending on the direction. With early morning in USF I think you could probably fit in an early lunch at the Leaky Cauldron before riding the Hogwarts Express from platform 9 3/4 over. Then you could have dinner at the Three Broomsticks. I am not certain but I’m sure there are others more knowledgeable than I who could say if you could ride the Hogwarts Express back to USF after the light show at the castle or would need to ride back and forth between dinner and the light show. Hopefully with fast pass you could just ride it after the light show.