My husband and I purchased a one day park to park ticket for Universal with the sole purpose of visiting the two Harry Potter lands (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley). When I was planning I found it difficult to find recent information so I thought posting our experience might be helpful for someone.
We visited on Saturday July 16th, crowds were predicted to be a 9/10 and actually a 7/10 per the touring plans crowd calendar. We took an Uber from Disney’s Pop Century Resort and paid $15. The park opened at 8am so we called an Uber at 6:45am, car was at the hotel in about 5 mins and we were to Universal about 7:30am.
We started at Universal Studios and there was hardly anyone waiting at the WWoHP rope drop when we got there. They opened the parks a few minutes early and we went straight to Gringotts. The posted time was 15 mins but it was really just the amount of time to walk through the queue, which is spectacular. We made note to ride it again when the line was longer just to enjoy the queue. This was our favorite ride by far. We really loved it!
After we got off Gringotts we went to the Hogwarts Express. Wait time was posted at 5 mins and we quickly got on our way to Hogsmeade. I tried to take pictures of the Hogwarts Express train from where we boarded, but there is a much better photo op when you get off the train and head into Hogsmeade. The conductor is standing with the engine.
We then went straight to the Forbidden Journey where the wait was posted at 10 minutes and was accurate. My husband is a big guy, so there was an employee that asked him to try a test seat. It was pretty quick and inconspicuous and he wasn’t embarrassed by how they did it. They instructed him to pick a seat on one of the ends of the vehicle. This ride made us both feel quite sick, and we enjoyed it far less than Gringotts. It was pretty fun, but if you get motion sickness definitely avoid this one. I don’t usually and this ride made me queasy.
After FJ we went on Flight of the Hippogriff with a 5 min posted wait. We were loaded immediately. This was a cute ride, and I enjoyed the views of the park. All of this was done in about an hour and half of park opening. We did not ride the Dragon Challenge as it did not appeal to us and didn’t really seem heavily HP themed. Though, the wait around 10am was pretty low if you wanted to go on it.
We grabbed a couple frozen butterbeers (delicious) and wandered shops for awhile. We caught the frog choir show and the Triwizard show later (I’m not sure what it was actually called). At about 10am we waited in line for about 10 mins for Ollivander’s wand choosing ceremony, which was a great show. I have heard that the wait times for the Hogsmeade version tend to be longer than the one in Diagon Alley, but that was not the case for us. The little girl chosen was so excited when a wand “chose” her. Exploring the shops and the land was really fun, but we preferred the shops/areas in Diagon Alley.
I don’t remember what time we headed back to Diagon Alley, but it was before lunch time and there was very little wait for the Hogwarts Express still. Each way on the HE is different, but if for some reason you only have the chance to ride it one direction I wouldn’t say you are missing too much.
We spent more time wandering and exploring Diagon Alley for a few hours. We also explored Knockturn Alley which was awesome. I rode Gringotts again in the single rider line (though the wait was only up to 20 mins), my husband was still feeling queasy from FJ so he wandered more while I rode it. The single rider line went very quickly, less than 10 mins. We ate lunch at the Leaky Cauldron and thought the food was pretty good. We also enjoyed the pumpkin juice, though I preferred butterbeer.
We got in line at about 1pm for Gringotts again, this time in the regular queue. The posted time was 20 mins, but it was more like 30. When we were done the sign had been changed to 30 mins. But once you get into the building the time goes quickly because of everything there is to look at. We also asked to skip the “ID” photo since we had already done it once, so that helped us cut the wait time down a couple minutes.
Afterwards was more exploring Diagon Alley, ice cream at Florean Fortesque’s, and we caught a Three Brothers performance which was really cool.
At about 3pm we were quite tired, and as much as we wanted to see everything at night we needed a break. We decided we had seen everything we wanted to see and to head back to hotel for the day. My phone broke (sadly) when it fell on the bathroom floor on the way out of the park, which meant we couldn’t call an Uber on it. Since my husband doesn’t have a smart phone we decided to take a cab. We paid $40 (including tip) for our return trip, which is more than double what we paid for an Uber! I couldn’t believe the price difference.
To wrap up, I believe that one day was enough to see both HP lands. We rode almost all of the rides (not Dragon Challenge) and Gringotts multiple times. We saw all of the shops and the nooks and crannies within the lands, plus a couple shows. We ate at one of the restaurants, and grabbed a few popular treats. And this was during peak season (July). We had a fantastic time. If we were to go back we probably would spend 2 days at Universal. Not because it was necessary but more because we enjoyed our time at the WWoHP so much.