I get asked a lot about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and today, we’re going to answer one of the most popular questions there is: “Can I do Harry Potter World in one day?” The short and to the point answer is: YES. If you do not wish to do anything else at Universal Studios, and only wish to see Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and ride the Hogwarts Express, it is, indeed, possible to do it all in one day.
First, you will need the right ticket. In order to see ALL of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will need a 1-Day, 2-Park Park-to-Park ticket. This will allow you to enter both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida in the same day, and give you access to the Hogwarts Express. Diagon Alley, including Gringotts Bank, Carkitt Market, Knockturn Alley, and more, is located inside of Universal Studios Florida. Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, though, are located inside Islands of Adventure.
My suggestion for making the most of ONE day: start in Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, take the train to Diagon Alley mid-day, then take the train back to Hogsmeade and finish your night in Islands of Adventure. By starting in Hogsmeade early, you’ll have shorter wait times for Hagrid’s, doubly important now that it is no longer included in early admission. Take in Hogwarts! Walk inside the castle and see the magic come to life, just like in the books and your imagination (the books are always better, come on!). Now you’re in the castle, take on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey! Next, head to the Flight of the Hippogriff, and don’t forget to look out for Buckbeak.
Take in some lunch at Three Broomsticks. Three Broomsticks serves traditional English food and, of course, Butterbeer. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once you’re as full as Ron Weasley, and you’re ready to set off on more journeys, you’ll be all set to take the Hogwarts Express to King’s Cross Station.
Pass through Platform 9 3/4 to Diagon Alley! You do actually get to pass through a “solid” brick wall! Now you’re in Diagon Alley (not to be confused with diagonally), and you will see everything you need for school at Hogwarts!
Once you stop by Gringotts, ask the Goblins some questions. You can even exchange muggle currency here for Galleons! Then it’s time for Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts! Once you’ve escaped, head to Ollivander’s and have a wand choose you (PRO TIP: make sure the interactive wands choose you, and you can interact with magical items all over Diagon Alley!), before heading to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. You’ll want to look your best for class, after all!
Hungry again? How about heading to the Leaky Cauldron for some dinner? This quick service dining restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and serves traditional English fare, like bangers and mash and fish and chips.
Now it’s time to relax in Carkitt Market, where you can take in Celestina Warbeck, Molly Weasley’s favorite singer, of course, and the Banshees! Grab some treats in SugarPlum’s Sweet Shop, too!
But wait, there’s MORE! Stop by Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, or explore the Dark Arts in Knockturn Alley. Shop at Borgin and Burke’s for those Dark Arts Artifacts you know you secretly love. Talk to the Knight Bus Conductor! There’s so much to see and do!
Now, run on back through that brick wall on Platform 9 3/4 and head back to Hogsmeade to wrap up your night! Stop by the Hog’s Head Pub for Butterbeer, pumpkin juice, and gillywater; Honeydukes for chocolate frogs, every-flavor beans, and exploding bonbons; then get ready to take in the nighttime lights at Hogwarts Castle.
And that, friends, is how to do the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in just one day! Ready to book your trip? Contact me today!!