Universal’s Harry Potter Experience: Best Rides

Break out your wands, put on your robes, and escape from the mundane muggle world with a group trip to either of the two really fantastic Wizarding World of Harry Pottertheme parks.

Universal Orlando Resort: Florida


Credit: DB AST

Diagon Alley - When you walk through the cobblestone and brick paved streets of London in Diagon Alley you will have several opportunities to dine, ride, and shop just as a Hogwarts Student would!

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: Get ready for one seriously exciting ride as you take a multi-dimensional trek through the goblin-run bank known as Gringotts. This exciting adventure will put you right in the midst of all the bank action with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Bellatrix, and He Who Must Not Be Named. We hope your not afraid of flying...or dragons!
  • The Hogwarts Express: Head to Platform 9 ¾ for a slower paced excursion that will allow you to experience what it’s like to ride on the Hogwarts Express and, at the same time, actually transport you to the other side of the park (Park to Park pass needed). You will see London countryside scenery out the window and hear the students from the door, really putting you in the experience.
  • Ollivanders and Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes: Need a wand? No problem!

    Credit: DB AST

    Head to Ollivanders and pick the perfect one for your skills (trust us, you’ll definitely know when you’ve chosen the right one!). After you get your want head to the Weasley Twins shop for some real shopping fun! For a more sinister thrill head to Knockturn Alley and experience the creepy Borgin and Burkes shop in all it’s gothic wizardry glory.

  • Leaky Cauldron and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour: When you’ve worked up an appetite head over to the Leaky Cauldron for some authentic British fares or to Florean’s Parlour for some authentic and really delicious frozen butterbeer.

Hogsmeade - After boarding the Hogwarts Express in Diagon Alley you will end up here, in the very streets of Hogsmeade! There are even more opportunities for Harry Potter fun on this side of the park (note: you must have a Park to Park Pass for this)

  • Dragon Challenge: Fly high, literally, with the dragons as you choose to ride either a Fireball or a Hungarian Horntail through a high-speed track full of coaster fun.
  • Flight of the Hippogriff: On a slower paced note, this Hippogriff favorite is fun for the whole family, geared more toward the younger crowd. Ride past Hagrid’s Hut and through the pumpkin patch before making your way back.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: This one is always a fun favorite of many, the ride taking you through and above the castle, allowing you to be face-to-face with magical creatures and monsters along the way.
  • Triwizard Spirit Rally: Students from Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang come together to get you really excited about the Triwizard Tournament at this entertaining stop.
  • Frog Choir: Yeah, they have that here too! See students from each house in 5031333099_9fd97abb9f_bHogwarts belt it, and croak it out with some seriously big toads.
  • HoneyDukes: Cauldron Cakes, anybody? This is the premier spot to find sweet treats straight from the books!
  • Three Broomsticks and Hogs Head: At the Three Broomsticks you can try authentic fish and chips, then head next door to Hogs Head and try a tall glass of pumpkin juice!

Universal Studios Hollywood: California

Hogwarts - Here in Hollywood Hogwarts is really coming to life, with thrill rides, 3D adventures, and plenty of fun and authentic student experiences. 

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: We won’t spend too much time going into the details of the rides here, because they are so similar to the descriptions above. Just know that here, in L.A’s Wizarding World, this ride is in 3D for the first time, making your trip through the classrooms, corridors, and beyond an immensely exciting adventure unlike any other.
  • Flight of the Hippogriff: The only difference with this coaster in Cali is that it is considered to be this park’s very first outdoor family friendly coaster. Enjoy!

Hogsmeade - Shopping, eating, and fitting in with the locals; it’s nice to not be around muggles for a day, isn’t it?

  • Triwizard Spirit Rally: They’ve got spirit, yes they do, they’ve got spirit, now so do you! Join in with the Beauxbaton and Durmstrang singers and chant your heart away!
  • Frog Choir: As mentioned above, this is your chance to see the students and head-toads belt it all out!
  • Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods and Zonko's: The stores here in Hollywood are actually a bit different, for instance here you can head to Zonko's instead of the Twins’ joke shop and see a different selection of goodies. You can also visit Filch’s Emporium, a really interesting and entertaining spot to shop for wizarding goods.
  • Three Broomsticks and Hogs Head: Just as they are in Florida, these are both really great spots to fill your stomach and sense of Harry Potter authenticity, both providing really great fish and chips and pumpkin juice!