The main reason why people go to the Orlando area is to enjoy the theme parks. If you also happen to be a Harry Potter fan, there is something that you certainly would not want to miss.
You can find the Harry Potter theme park rides and attractions inside Universal Studios And Universal’s Islands Of Adventure Parks.
If you are only going to one of the parks, go to Islands of Adventure. You will find four different Harry Potter-themed rides in that area.
Of course, any true Harry Potter fan is not going to travel the whole way to Orlando and miss one of the rides that are themed in that direction.
That being said, there is a lot of confusion that surrounds this, including where to find the different rides and how to make the most of them.
First of all, there are five different Harry Potter-themed rides at Universal Studios.
Four of those rides are located at Universal’s Island of Adventure. The Other Is Located in Universal Studios Florida, but there is also the Hogwarts Express, which is shared by both of the parks.
In other words, you can get to four of the rides by only getting a ticket to Universal’s Island of Adventure. If you want to ride on the Hogwarts Express, you will need a park hopper pass.
The following are the different Harry Potter rides, where you can find them, and what you can expect while on them.
Hogwarts Express: I mentioned this particular ride first because it is the one that ties the two Harry Potter theme worlds together at Universal Studios. If you’ve ever dreamed about taking a trip on this unique train, you will have to grab your park-to-park ticket and head to Kings Cross Station.
Don’t simply hop on the train and head to your next destination. Take some time to look around and enjoy all that Kings Cross Station has to offer. As you are waiting in the queue, you will be able to walk in this amazing replica from the movie. You might even enjoy the queue as much as you enjoy the ride.
As far as the ride experience is concerned, it’s not much to write home about. It’s enjoyable and it does get you from one park to the other but it isn’t exactly going to turn your hair white with twists and turns.
Flight of the Hippogriff: You will find this ride at Islands of Adventure. Although it isn’t necessarily a favorite among the Harry Potter rides, it is certainly one that any true fan wouldn’t want to miss. You will hop on board a ride shaped like a Hippogriff and start the adventure.
You may not find this to be the most thrilling ride but it certainly is one that is enjoyable for the true Harry Potter fan. Kids are going to love it and the design makes the experience one that should be savored. In addition, be prepared to soak in the view of Hogwarts Castle, as it makes the ride worthwhile.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: This is the Harry Potter ride located at Universal Studios Florida. You will find it in Diagon Alley. The ride is a unique roller coaster that takes you into the vaults of Gringotts Bank. You will be able to take a close look at them along with Bill Weasley, as you enjoy the twists and turns that the ride has to offer.
One of the things that Universal is good at doing is making the wait enjoyable. Although the queue may be long in some cases, it is still worth it because you get to take a look around at a great replica of Gringott’s Bank. It’s well worth the time spent and then the ride is the icing on the cake.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: This is another ride located in Islands of Adventure at Hogsmeade Village. If you came for the true Harry Potter experience, then this has it in full measure. Not only is the ride itself a real treat to be on, but you also get to be around spiders and dragons.
One of the interesting things about this ride is the fact that it takes you in the castle, and it is the only ride to do so. As a result, you get to experience what it must have felt like to be in the castle as you are waiting in the queue.
One word of warning is that there are a lot of dips and drops so little Harry Potter fans with motion sickness may have a bit of a struggle.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure: Yet another ride that is located at Hogsmeade Village in Islands of Adventure. It is a wonderful roller coaster ride that takes you through the Forbidden Forest and gets you up close and personal with some of the creatures found at Hogwarts.
This is not a ride for the faint of heart. The speeds, dips, and drops will have you holding on for dear life. It’s a great way to either start or end your day. Make sure you take the time to look around at some of the different details included along the queue, as they are fascinating.
Take a look at this YouTube video that shows onboard footage of Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure.
Which Disney Parks Have Harry Potter?
Now that you have enjoyed the Harry Potter rides at Universal Studios and Islands of adventure, where can you find similar rides at the Walt Disney Parks?
All of the Harry Potter-themed attractions and rides are located at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
If you’re looking for any of those parks at Walt Disney World or any of the Walt Disney World resorts, you will be disappointed because they don’t exist.
I’m not saying that you should avoid Disney, you can still enjoy it for everything it has to offer. The thing is, if you want to also enjoy a Harry Potter experience, you have to set aside a day to also visit the Universal Studio parks.
Once you’re inside those parks, you will find out that they have a lot to offer. You might even find that you are going back for a second day to see what you missed. It’s an experience that can really enhance a great Disney vacation.