As promised in my previous post, here is Part 2 of my trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. Previously I talked about exploring Diagon Alley, walked through what I did there. This post is all about riding the Hogwarts Express and exploring Hogsmeade! This whole experience was so amazing; I honestly wish I had spent more than one day exploring these amazing parks. There is so much detail to take in, it’s pretty overwhelming.
After spending a few hours in Diagon Alley, Mom and I headed to the Hogwarts Express! We walked into King’s Cross Station and had to present our tickets to prove that we had park-to-park tickets; That’s the only way you’re allowed to board the train. On our way to get in line, we passed by a familiar sign!
After we got onto Platform 9 3/4, it wasn’t long before we were able to board the train! While on the platform, there are plenty of things to check out. There are quite a few trunks ready to be boarded, and Hedwig too! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but while riding the train, be sure to watch out the window and the door. There are lots of surprises along the journey!
After exiting Hogsmeade Station, we were soon entering Hogsmeade Village! I’m still in awe with how much attention to detail they put into this place. Everything looks exactly as it did in the movies. Admittedly, the streets are wider than they appeared in the movies, and for good reason. There are so many people wandering about, fully embracing all of the magic!
Hogwarts Express Photo Op
One of the first things you’ll come across after entering the village is the Hogwarts Express photo op! The conductor is also available for any questions and to pose along with you.
Walking through Hogsmeade
Just walking along the main street is Hogsmeade is a ton of fun! They have several little shop fronts that have neat displays. Unfortunately not all of these are real shops, but checking them out is still pretty cool!
As you near the end of the main street, you’ll see a familiar site, the Hogwarts Castle. At the end of the road, if you head to the left towards Jurassic Park, there’s a bridge where you can take the perfect picture of the castle. I’m still in awe with how much detail they put into this place. I mean, the castle looks exactly as it does in the movies!
Flight of the Hippogriff
Located in front of Hogwarts Castle is the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster! I’ll admit, as an adult, this wasn’t the most exciting ride, but it would be great for little ones. My favorite part of the ride was actually getting to see Hagrid’s Hut and Buckbeak while standing in line.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
We headed straight for the castle after getting off of the Flight of the Hippogriff. The line for this ride is brilliant, because you get to walk through the castle! I really enjoyed walking through the classrooms and Dumbledore’s office. This is another 4-D ride and it never stops, meaning you have to get on it while it is still moving!
Filch’s Confiscated Goods
After you get off of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you’ll walk right into Filch’s Confiscated Goods. This shop has so many amazing souvenirs, such as clothing, games, toys, and movie replicas! I walked around the store several times, mentally creating a wish list of items that I’d like to have. In the end, I picked up a replica of the 3 hallows necklace with a display case.
Lunch at the Three Broomsticks
After walking around for a bit, we were feeling quite peckish. We stopped at the Three Broomsticks for lunch. They have it setup so that you walk in, order, your food, and pick it up from a separate counter, then you choose where ever you would like to sit.
I have a major sweet tooth, so Honeydukes was high on my list of must do while at Harry Potter World! They have all of the items that you see in the movies, plus a wall of bulk candy, and a counter where you can order fudge, along with other amazing treats. I could have gone crazy in here, but I stuck with only buying a chocolate frog!
While walking around throughout the day, the line for Ollivander’s was always really long. Later in the day, as Mom and I were walking by, there was no line! The wait for the next show was about 5 minutes, not too bad. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but the show is a lot of fun to watch. Afterwards your ushered into the wand shop to purchase your very own. I opted to purchase the collectible version of Hermione’s wand!
Monster Book of Monsters
In one of the shops in Hogsmeade, there is a caged Monster Book of Monsters! Keep an eye on it, you never what it will do.
Hogwarts Express – Return to Diagon Alley
If you have a park-to-park pass so that you can ride the Hogwarts Express, I highly recommend that you ride it both ways. They change things up for the ride back to Diagon Alley!
Final Bit in Diagon Alley
After we got off the Hogwarts Express, we headed back to Diagon Alley for a few more stops. Our first stop was for ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. They have so many awesome flavor’s such as Salted Caramel Blondie, Early Grey and Lavender, Chocolate Chili, and Butterbeer. I, of course, went for the Butterbeer flavor. It was very creamy and so worth the indulgence!
While enjoying our ice cream, we popped into Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. I was very tempted to buy a pair of Gryffindor robes, but wasn’t quite ready for the cost. Instead I found an awesome pair of Hogwarts sweatpants that are super cute and comfy! They also have many other clothing items to purchase along with some accessories, such as scarves and headbands. Located in the shop is a mirror that will give its opinion on how you look. Be careful though, because it can be brutally honest!
Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? How did you like it?
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