We’re planning a day at Universal for our trip in the fall, and we will have a 1-day park-to-park ticket. The only thing at Universal that really interests us is WWOHP (we are definitely not roller coaster fans, nor are we generally big movie tv/buffs). If we hit USF at rope drop (8am), and then head over to IOA on the Hogwarts Express, what time should we expect to be done for the day? Calendar has it as a CL5 day. I did personalized touring plans, which show that we should be done by about 3pm, but I’m wondering if that’s over-optimistic. Anyone done both halves of WWOHP in one day? How long did it take you?
To see everything in depth CAN take a full day plus. I can spend hours finding all easter eggs in wwohp. Download the free ebook guide from the tp website it has loads of hints and tips.I have spent 4 hrs in Hogsmead just looking at shop windows etc. The interactive wand spells can take hours also. Seeing the dragon breath fire at night is awesome also.
I agree…HP is so well themed that you can spend quite some time just wandering around looking at everything Loved Knockturn Alley…spent ages here!
We are doing this in a few weeks. I’d be happy to report back how it goes. It’s really our only option if we want to do it and we do! We are all huge HP fans. We did Hogsmead a few years ago and had an amazing wand experience with DD being chosen to select a want so that is one thing we will skip this year if we don’t have the time. I am feeling confident (read as hopeful and determined) that we’ll be able to do what we want to do! I know we’ll be tired, and hot, etc. but it’s worth it in my mind!
@lovethemagic – thanks, I would love a report! – even just on how much total time you ended up spending at WWOHP. My touring plan is suggesting that we’ll be done with both “halves” by 3pm, and we’re such big Potter fans that I have trouble believing that that is really true. I’m trying to make dinner reservations, and I don’t want to make them for 6pm if we’re realistically going to still be in Hogsmeade at 5pm.
I would suggest park open to park close eating in LC for dinner followed by Gringotts then ice cream while dragon watching. The shop windows are luminescent at night and then you will catch cinematic on your way out. If you are hp fans you will need a full day.
I would do the WHOLE day. I think you may be surprised by Universal as a whole. I was a big WDW only and looked at Universal as the country bumpkin cousin. That is NOT the case.
Going on the premise that you are going to spend the majority of your time in WWOH - I would Hit the 3 major attractions
- Forbidden Journey
Personally I liked Forbidden journey more than Escape - but both are crazy awesome. You will also want to do them a few times to be perfectly honest. Also taking hogwarts in both directions is nice - not fully needed but the show is different each direction.
I would do Olivander’s in Diagon Alley.
If you are going over and spending the money for the day - take full advantage of it. We didn’t care for the menu on either side (I did - but kids and wife didn’t). However MYTHOS (which is right near Hogsmead on IOA side) was a very pleasant place to sit down and eat and was MINIMALLY more expensive than counter service. But the great thing about WWOHP is the ambiance and the detail. It really puts WDW to shame. Also - if you have robes - wear them - our son did and it just made it that much more special.
Don’t boil WWOHP down to its rides - it is truly MUCH MORE and a solid day to do that and perhaps a few other rides is well worth your consideration.
Our DS was chosen for a wand on his birthday…he was over the moon, huge HP fan, he said it was one of the best things…ever! And his name is Harry lol
That’s so amazing. I actually cried with DD was selected. She was so cute and so excited. It was perfect!
My plan has us finishing early too but I don’t see it happening. We are planning for the full day. Thinking we’ll start in DA (Uni) and try to be in Hogsmead by early afternoon (maybe 2ish). We’ll eat a later lunch to get out of the heat of the day (we liked the 3 Broomsticks last time). The hope is to get back to Universal before close to see DA in the dark before leaving at closing. If we have time we may do Jurassic Park but not planning on anything else outside of HP! I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks, everyone! I will plan on a full day then – I don’t think the kids will make it all the way til closing (which will be 8pm the day we’re there) because we get in fairly late the night before. A full 12 hours is almost certainly going to be too much for them, even with breaks. But I will definitely plan on staying past mid-afternoon. And I’d love to hear how it goes @lovethemagic!
If possible, try to spend some time in Diagon Alley at night. It is incredible in the dark. And as a huge HP fan myself, I concur that at least one full day is needed. And I found breakfast at 3 Broomsticks and lunch at Leaky Cauldron to be quite yummy!
take a PONCHO for Jurassic park!!
Get the butterbeer or butterbeer ice cream - both were awesome
YES it is a long day and we didn’t make it ourselves. Based on where you are staying and how the kiddies are doing - stay until you need to. Just don’t cut the day short on the thoughts that you will be done early. We MESSED for hours in the stores. Didn’t buy much - but just enjoyed being immersed in the world of HP. We loved getting ice cream and then hung out on the stairs watching muggles. Also got some great shots of the dragon breathing fire.
Its a great place to just enjoy
Dont miss nocturn alley (very easy to skip) but it is very cool.
If you bought your tickets using an American Express card - there is a lounge just for your (FANCY FANCY)
Should also mention all the staff who work in the shops are in character. The best interaction was in the joke shop. The wizard spent ages discussing best trick sweets for my son to take home so his friends could be excuses from class. The staff in the shop in knockturn alley were a bit creepy ( as per the books) they made a muggle male ( 23 ish) parade around the shop saying I’m a pretty princess for about 3 minutes as he had WAND but wasn’t a wizard. listen for the bird tweeting as in the last films also
https://touringplans.com/ebooks this is the link to the free e-book for subscribers
Thanks for the tip about the shops @mumcalsop! Our kids love that kind of stuff. And I think that’s exactly what I’ll do @davidtyost – we’ll stay until the kids start to reach their limit (or, hopefully, right before they reach their limit ), rather than aiming for a specific time to be done.
Don’t stay away from it in the rain. It rained the day we planned for Diagon Alley. We wore ponchos and had a small fold-up stroller. What we didn’t realize before we went that much of Diagon Alley is covered by a roof way overhead. There were plenty of places to park the stroller out of the rain so we could just walk around in our ponchos. We thought the clouds and rain made it feel more like London (DH and I have visited there, sorry London, I still love you!) and really added to the overall atmosphere of walking around the shops, AND it had the effect of dispersing the crowds. The next time we’re there and it rains I’m making a beeline for Diagon Alley!
We just did WWoHP on June 3rd. My girls, age 11 & 14, and I are huge HP fans. You can easily spend the entire day, but you can cut it short if your kiddos hit their limit. You mentioned that you plan to make dining plans. We are at the leaky caldron and at three broomsticks and loved both. Where else can you eat the same things Harry ate in the books? We were there on a CL 4 day, and followed the touring plan, had minimal lines at the rides. We did Escape from Gringotts first, and basically walked on. Do your research ahead and set priorities for what you want to do. My do not misses would be Escape, Hogwarts Express, Forbidden Journey, and butterbeer. Hogsmeade Village is fun to explore, but Diagon Ally is much better, and we spent the majority of our time there. Also, Diagon Alley is much more shaded, and therefore felt much cooler. The interactive wands are pricey but we found it was worth it. The majority of your time will be spent exploring the stores etc, so you can easily adjust how much time you want to spend. Try the Butterbeer ice cream, it’s awesome!
Hi @dunegirl. I wanted to get back to you about our Harry Potter day last week. We went to Universal on Thursday 7/7. It was sooo hot. The heat index was 109 and frankly, I don’t think that Universal is set up well for that type of heat but that’s just my opinion. I imagine if it was cooler we would have stayed longer but we did feel that we did everything we wanted to do. I am not thinking about the cost. Please don’t remind me.
We got there at 8 am which is when the park opened (we were staying at the Beach Club so no early access). Their security was very quick because they use scanners like the airport. Very fast. We went straight to Diagon Alley and after taking a minute to say “wow” we went into Gingotts and rode that ride with a 10 minute wait (less actually). After we explored the sites. My kids are huge HP fans but they are also 19 and 15. We did wands the last trip to Hogsmead (b4 DA opened) so we skipped that completely. There were so many kids with interactive wands and it looked fun but mine weren’t interested being teenagers and I decided to skip the expense. We felt ready to hop to Hogsmead at 10:30 knowing we’d be back to Diagon Alley later. The train ride was awesome. We only waited a few minutes to catch the train. DS19 did the dueling dragons alone. It was a 10 minute wait initially but they offered to let him ride the other side without waiting though he declined. We then went to the castle and waited about 30 minutes but most of that was in the castle itself. We then went to lunch at the 3 broomsticks (before the rush) and then explored the shops. After lunch we left the area and went to JP where DS and I rode the water ride and DD and DH chickened out and went to the discovery center. When we returned to Hogsmead, we rode the Hippogriff, watched a few shows (sweating our tails off) and finished up the shops. We took the train back to DA (that wait was about 20-30 minutes) and finished up our browsing. We did a final stop at the bakery for caldron cakes to go and we left. We were in the Uber by 3:42. I’m almost embarrassed to say that. The heat did DD and DH in. They never left the room again that day. DS and I went to Disney Springs that night for a little shopping and dinner. I do think the heat played a major role for us. Also if they were younger and had the wands maybe we would have lingered more. Finally some of the wow factor was diminished because we had done Hosgmead before. If we were staying there we may have returned at night but since we had to go all the way back to WDW we chose to stay put. I will say, for anyone wondering, Uber was awesome. About $15 RT for 4 and they were super prompt and nice. The air conditioning on the ride home made us so very, very happy! Enjoy the trip.