We are planning a trip to Disney/Universal for February. We will be spending 5 days in Disney and had planned on spending 1 day seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the two big Harry Potter fans in our group. Is it realistic to hit both Hogsmede and Diagon Alley in one day? If not, which would you choose and why? Looking to stay for a night at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. I’ve never been to Universal, so any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
@HappyEeyore is there now, or perhaps she has just returned home? Regardless, maybe she can fill you in with her recent experiences. My impression was that 2 days is better for UOR. However, @Skubersky has written some great touring plans and blog entries on the subject. I’ll look up the links this evening when I get home.
We’re planning to spend 1 day doing Harry Potter stuff on our January trip, so I’ll enjoy seeing what people have to say! We’re planning to do both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, even if that means we miss things. Plus it’s only going to be DH and I on this trip, so we’re hoping for some single rider lines…
I think two days would be preferable, because once you’re there, you realize that there is a lot to do beyond the HP stuff. BUT if I only had one day, I would focus on HP, too. Take advantage of your early entry to go to Diagon Alley which is newer and therefore more crowded and popular now. Then head over to Hogsmeade, perhaps via the Hogwarts Express. Try to go on a day with later hours - Universal tends to close earlier than WDW parks.
Here’s Seth’s plan for a one-day, two-park, all Harry Potter touring plan.
Thank you everyone!!
I think both parks are doable, if you really have your heart set on it and understand there will be crowds and there will be some items that you don’t see. I would follow the touring plan that @SallyEppcot posted. Also, you MUST arrive for the early entry to park guests.
I think a lot of your day will be based on the crowd levels for the day you decide to go. All I can offer is my experience from this weekend. We were in line by 6:40 on a day with a projected crowd level of 3. We were the 3rd family from the turnstiles, with me, DH, DD7, & DS10. We got in the park, walked “with purpose” straight to Gringott’s, stuffed our backpack in a locker, and basically walked right on to Gringott’s. Technically there was a 20 minute wait posted, but we were continually walking in line, so any wait was just trying to navigate the line. We were back out into Diagon Alley, backpack in hand again, by 7:25. We then explored Diagon Alley for another hour before leaving to see the rest of the park. We walked past a couple hours later and I stuck my head in to see what it was like, and honestly, I would not have gone back into Diagon Alley for anything. And that was on a crowd level 3 day.
If I had to choose what to do and wanted to hit up both parks, I would take early entry to USF, hit up Gringott’s first, Watch the dragon breath fire, grab a butter beer and some ice cream. If someone in your party is insistent on a wand, have them go get it while you’re in line for butter beer. Walk through Borgin & Burkes for sure, and Weasley’s if you have time. Grab some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans because it’s just plain funny. Cast a couple of spells at the interactive windows if it’s not too busy. Ride the Hogwart’s Express from King’s Cross to IOA once it’s open. We much preferred the ride from USF to IOA. Once in IOA, stand in line for Forbidden Journey. Only do Flight of the Hippograff if you have smaller kids with you (mine loved that one. Like, LOVED it.) or the Dragon Challenge (we didn’t do that, it looked scary.) Get those big things out of the way, and then explore the smaller if there’s still time. We also ate at 3 Broomsticks and enjoyed lunch. We were there at 11 and walked in without much problem, but as we were leaving, there was quite a line.
There’s a ton more to see than just those items, and everyone will have differing opinions on if those are the attractions they would see. This is just my opinion of what I would do if I wanted to see both parks in 1 day. There are truly so many little details around, you could easily spend a couple of days! Enjoy your trip!!