We are arriving to the Hard Rock hotel midday on a Wednesday in July. We hope to head over to the parks around 3 or 4 and do some Harry Potter things and have dinner at the Leaky Cauldron or Three Broomsticks. I am making a personalized touring plan but am trying to figure which park to begin at. We probably will only stay until 8 or 9 so we can get up the next morning for the early hours and continue touring. We also have one other additional day for the parks. Any suggestions?
I really liked doing diagon alley first just because it makes sense with the Harry Potter story. Go to London, then to diagonal alley, then take the train to hogwarts. Yes, I'm nerding out there, but that was important to me
As for food, I much preferred leaky cauldron to the three broomsticks. Ate at both and found leaky cauldron to have better quality food, but I think it might have a smaller menu.
I would go to Hogwarts/Hogsmead first, then to Diagon/London just because I found the setting far more intricate and beautiful in Diagon than Hogsmeade. So I would go to minor jaw dropping wow then major jaw dropping wow. Either way you can't go wrong. Both are incredible!!
I have to agree with @cjandres. As a huge HP nerd myself, I have to start every trip in Diagon Alley at USF and follow Harry's path. This works well for me because while, like @quicha said, Diagon Alley is more impressive, I find Forbidden Journey in IOA to be the most incredible ride anywhere and something I build up to.
Also if you start in US and do all the HP stuff in the morning then train it to IOA you've got lots more of the best rides to do in IOA after you've done Harry Potter there. Get an express pass for the second day if you can. They save so much time and stress and allow you to do loads more
Ignore that. You are at hard rock so you've got it made!
We went there one night for a meal. Palm restaurant is great albeit not cheap.