The new Harry Potter theme park opened in June 2010. This new development within the existing Universal Island of Adventure theme park in Orlando is called the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books, movies (or maybe both!) you’ll certainly recognize many of the famous landmarks, buildings and characters that have been faithfully re-created in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
On this page you’ll find photos and pictures of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This is the street scene of Hogsmeade complete with little shops and restaurants. This faithful re-creation of Hogsmeade Village contains many souvenir shops where you can buy Wizarding gifts and merchandise.
Harry Potter theme park shops in Hogsmeade include:-
Dervish & Banges sells pins, wizard robes, goblets, cauldrons, Gryffindor books/journals/pillows, Quaffle balls, Sneakoscopes, glass steins and more.
Zonkos Joke Shop sells all kinds of quirky things, from extendable ears, to pink pygmy puffs to Zonkos souvenir t-shirts.
Owl Post sells Wizard wands including Harry Potter’s, Voldermort’s, Dumbledore’s and special birthday wands for each month of the year. Why not send friends and family a special Owl Postcard? Here you can send a customized postcard or letter from the Wizarding World.
Filches Emporium sells themed mugs and steins, stuffed owls, Harry Potter t-shirts, scarfs, banners and character figures.
Honey Dukes sells candy and sweets of all kinds. Honeydukes specialty are the chocolate frogs which are displayed in the window. There is also a large jelly ben dispenser with as it’s name states “every flavor jelly beans”.
The shops in the Harry Potter theme park are small, which although is true to the films, is in reality quite cramped at busy times. So make sure to get there early in the day or later in the day to avoid the throngs.
Restaurants in the Wizarding World
Hog’s Head Pub
The Hog’s head pub’s specialty is Butterbeer. Butterbeer is a non-alcoholic drink with flavors of shortbread, cream soda and butterscotch. It comes in frozen or regular form. For $8.50 you can get it in a souvenir mug as shown.
Which ever type you choose, it is certainly refreshing on a hot Florida day!
Over 21s can enjoy a refreshing beer. Choices include Bud Light, Budweiser, Stella, Newcastle, Guiness, Boddingtons and a specially made Hog’s Head brew.
Insider tips! Listen carefully near the stairs to the left of the bar you might hear some voices from upstairs.
Go to the back of the pub and you can take your Butterbeer outside. There is a large outdoor covered seating area where you can take a load off and people watch for a bit.
The Three Broomsticks is next door to the Hog’s Head. It’s a much bigger establishment. Here you’ll find a variety of British food including fish & chips, sheperd’s pie, BBQ ribs, Cornish pasties (puff pastry with meat and vegetable filling) and turkey legs. Deserts include apple pie and chocolate trifle. There is also a children’s menu.
Insider tip – to get a higher quality glass souvenir mug instead of a plastic one, order a Hogs Head brew. The Hogs Head brew comes with a glass engraved souvenir mug.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
A ride is built inside Hogwart’s Castle called ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’. It’s a kind of ‘robocoaster’ ride through darkness with amazing special 3D effects!
The Forbidden Journey is the must-see ride inside the Harry Potter theme park. When you arrive at Universal Islands of Adventure, make you way over here first to avoid the crowds.
This is a two-part experience. First is the journey through Hogwarts Castle. When you arrive there will be two lines. One for single riders and the other regular line. The single rider line moves faster, but first time round you may want to join the regular line so you don’t miss out on the Castle tour. Second is the ride itself.
The journey through the Castle is an experience in itself. It’s like a museum with lots of different rooms to explore. Harry Potter fans will appreciate the attention to detail with relics from the books and films dotted everywhere – with a few special effects thrown in the mix too.
The actual ride portion of the Forbidden Journey isn’t so much a roller coaster, but more of a motion 3D ride. You start by sitting in an upright position and this quickly changes to sideways, face first and all different angles. This ride is in constant motion. You’ll be dropped, flipped and shaken, so if you suffer from motion sickness you may want to think twice.
You’ll soar high above the Castle grounds in a game of Quidditch. On the ride you’ll encounter Dementors, acromantulas, Horntail Dragon and a Whomping Willow.
Minimum height to ride 48″ (4 feet).
Flight of the Hippogriff
This is a gentle roller coaster suitable for young children. It is what was formerly the Flying Unicorn which has now been incorporated into the Harry Potter theme park.
The Flying Hippogriff swoops through the pumpkin patch and over to Hagrid’s hut.
Height to ride: 36″
Dragon Challenge is a roller coaster where two separate trains race each other to the finish. Choose to ride either the Hungarian Horntail or the Chinese Fireball. Each train takes a different course, but at two points they nearly collide in mid-air!
You must be 54″ or taller to ride.
There are free lockers for loose articles available at the ride entrance.
The most intense experience is when you are sitting at the front of the train.
How did the new Harry Potter Theme Park fit inside Islands of Adventure?
Universal Island of Adventure has 5 distinct ‘lands’ around a central lake. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was built partly over some of the Lost Continent island, partly over the employee parking lot and some unused ground at the very back of the theme park.
The Harry Potter theme park land covers 20 acres, which is bigger than all the existing individual lands.
What stayed and what disappeared?
The Lost Continent is the only part of Universal Island of Adventure to have changed as a result of the new Harry Potter theme park.
The Enchanted Oak restaurant has gone to make way for the new Three Broomsticks restaurant in Hogsmeade.
Dueling Dragons – The iconic two Dueling Dragons have gone from the entrance to the Dueling Dragons ride. However, the good news is that the ride itself has remained. It is now called the Dragon Challenge and it has been re-themed to suit the new Harry Potter land.
The Flying Unicorn – a kids roller coaster – has remained. It has been re-styled and renamed to become the ‘The Flying Hippogriff’.
The Poseidon Adventure, Eighth Voyage of Sinbad and the bazaar of the Lost Continent remain unchanged.
Beyond Harry Potter Theme Park
More information about the rides and attractions on the different Islands at Universal Islands of Adventure:-