Huge Harry Potter Fan - How Many Days?


#1

My husband and I are going at the end of February/beginning of March 2019. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so I’m wondering how big the WWoHP actually is and if I will need an entire day just for it? I don’t want to skimp on anything.

If I will need an entire day just for the WWoHP, does that mean I will need a day in the Universal Park and a day in Islands of Adventure too, so 3 days altogether?

Last but not least, I couldn’t find a definitive answer on the internet, but is the WWoHP in the Universal or Islands of Adventure park? And if it spans both, as the internet has led me to believe, which park is the main entrance in?

Thank you in advance :grinning:


#2

You don’t need an entire day. Probably a half day, particularly in the time you’re going. However, if you really wanted to “soak it all in”, you could fill a day, I suppose. There are only 3 rides, plus the train, total. It is more about seeing things, exploring the shops, eating, etc.

The WWoHP actually spans BOTH parks. Hogsmeade is wholly located in Islands of Adventure. Diagon Alley is wholly located in Universal Studios. But if you get the park-to-park tickets (which I highly recommend), you can take the Hogwarts Express train between the two directly (which is a ride experience in itself…unique in both directions).

There is no “main entrance”. You have to either enter IOA or UOR as usual, and then basically walk to the back of either park to get to the HP stuff. Once you are there, however, you can stay the remainder of your time immersed in HP if you get the Park to park.

I would recommend planning 3 days. 1 day for HP, and then 1 day in each park for everyhthing else. But you probably will kind of go between it all after you finish the HP stuff.


#3

I would say that you can easily spend a whole day exploring the HP theming. ‘Attack’ them as they appear in the books but you will need park to park tickets. If you then allow two other days for the rest of the parks, you will have time to revisit your favourite parts of Hogsmead and DA.


#4

BTW, I should add that while it doesn’t matter which side you start in, I would RECOMMEND starting on the Universal side at Diagon Alley so that you can experience it first coming from London, Diagon Alley, then taking the train to Hogsmeade and then back again. But that’s just a recommendation.


#5

Are you talking to yourself again? :wink:


#6

Although unrelated to this topic directly…my 8-year-old son is reading through the books. He finished Goblet of Fire about a month ago and so got to watch the movie with us. He is currently at chapter 14 in Order of the Phoenix. But I love how personal he takes it. He told me yesterday, RIGHT as soon as I came in the door from work, “Dad! Professor Umbridge is so evil! Do you know what she did to Harry?”

:slight_smile:


#7

The complication with attacking the parks in the order they appear in the books is that the rides are in the wrong order. But that could help you plan.

Start at Diagon Alley (in UOR). It’s huge and immersive and incredible and you could spend hours there. Have lunch at the Leaky Cauldron. The food isn’t great, but the experience is. Don’t have a dessert. (There’s a reason for this!)

Don’t ride Escape from Gringott’s because that’s Book 7. Take the train to Hogsmeade. (You are now at IOA.) There’s less to do here, but you have the castle to explore as you queue for Forbidden Journey.

Depending when you visit, the new Harry Potter ride (which is next to the castle) may be up and running. Ride that next. And Flight of the Hippogriff, where you’ll see Hagrid’s hut.

Then take the train back to London. As @ryan1 has said, it’s a slightly different experience. Dive back into Diagon Alley and it’s time for Escape from Gringott’s. Once you’re done with that, it’s time for dessert! Check out Florean Fortescue’s ice cream parlour.

As a bonus, if you’re feeling wealthy, visit Ollivander’s and buy yourself an interactive wand. You can do this at either location and both have spots for casting spells.

If the weather and crowds permit all this, that’ll be an incredible day. And if you don’t do it, I will certainly be doing it next year. Doing things in this order never occurred to me before.

Oh! But I’m not finished — and nor are you! You should do all this during daylight. And then go back and revisit both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade at night for a whole new experience. End at the castle just in time for the Nighttime Lights show. Don’t forget to have dinner at the Three Broomsticks (Hogsmeade side).


#8

If you want to buy the interactive wand, it is probably a good idea to do Ollivander’s at Diagon Alley right away. Then you have it for the rest of the HP world. The DOWNSIDE to this, of course, is that you’ll have to stash the wand in lockers for the rides…but if you have stuff with you that you’ll need to stash anyhow, it is no biggie.


#9

Don’t forget also that both sides have shows to watch — I’ve never managed to see the Tri-Wizard Spirit Rally, but really want to. There’s also the Frog Choir, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, and the Tales of Beedle the Bard.

I reckon if you really committed you could spend a day doing my plan. I really want to do it myself now!


#10

HUGE HP fan here. You can absolutely spend an entire day doing only HP stuff. Yes, there are only three rides and the train (with another ride on the way!), but there are also two restaurants, five shows, several stores, spell casting locations, and so much detail that you need time to take it all in. Could you rush through it in half a day? Sure. Would a true fan do that? Never, if they had the option of taking their time.

I fall in the camp that says you start in Diagon Alley and “take Harry’s journey”. Explore, eat, enjoy. Here is a link to another thread where a similar question was posted. You may find it helpful:


#11

If you have a AAA (or CAA for Canadians) discount card, you may want to consider buying your wand outside of WWOHP. You can’t get the discount in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, but you can buy the exact same wand at the Universal Store and get a discount! Not quite the same experience, but it does save money.


#12

That’s good advice…and if you DON’T want the interactive wand, you can go a step further. My DS8 just bought “Harry’s” wand from Amazon. It is the EXACT SAME WAND that they sell in the parks, but in different packaging. (My DS16 and DD14 bought their non-interactive wands in the park.) On Amazon, however, it was only about $30


#13

Thank you so much, everyone! There’s so much good advice here and I particularly love your plan @ profmatt :grinning:

I have been to Disneyworld and Universal a few times before, but when I was a lot younger, and I unfortunately missed the WWoHP opening by a month the last time we were there.

Being as obsessed and in love with HP as I am (it helped me immensely during a particularly hard time in my life), I don’t want to rush through the WWoHP so I think it best I plan to spend a day just in that area.

Thanks everyone :slightly_smiling_face:


#14

Apologies, I meant to add in response to the park to park ticket mentions, I got my Universal tickets as an add-on to my booking with Virgin Holidays. They are Universal Explorer 3 ParkTickets - are they park to park?


#15

UK tickets? They will be yes.


#16

Yes, UK tickets. Thank you :slightly_smiling_face: