The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter spans across two parks; Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure.
You can do both Wizarding World of Harry Potter worlds into one day but it would leave little time for other attractions within Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. However, if you get a 2-day park to park ticket use one day with Harry & friends and the other seeing the rest of the attractions.
As you have access to both parks for your second day you can always just nip back into the magic before leaving the park for the night for one last magic trick!
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Is One Day At Harry Potter World Enough?
You can definitely fit in everything within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter into one day at Universal Studios, though if you wanted to be thorough and really spend your time going to all the shops, attractions and rides you might not have time to visit anything else within Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.
That said if you are using a 2-day park ticket which also has a park to park access you can spend one of your days doing everything Harry Potter and the wizarding world and the second day roaming the rest of both Universal Studios and Island of Adventure.
It also depends on what you wish to do, if you plan to go to Ollivander’s and pick a wand along with visit all the places you can perform magic and even hit all the rides you want to start early and plan a route and keep an eye on the ride wait times.
Our One Day Itinerary For The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
After spending so many trips wandering around the amazing worlds of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure we know a thing or two about getting the most for your time. Harry Potter and the Wizarding World is the main reason I go to Universal Studios, that and Lard Lad Donuts of course!
While so many look to explore the magic within the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley it can be easily to get lost and loose track of time. Which is great but also not if you also want to fit in everything you can possibly want.
Start your day by grabbing breakfast at your hotel and make sure you eat plenty as you want to be able to get into the park and zoom straight to the rides. You want to start your one day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands Of Adventure to head straight to Hogsmeade.
There you want to get in the queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride. This ride has the longest wait time within the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter so you want to get there first. It is also the newest to be added to the Harry Potter ride collection in replacement of Dragon Challenge.
Alternatively, if you have an express pass for the day you can head there at a more leisurely pace and use your express pass to get you closer to the front of the queue. If you are using the extra hour for early entry you should have plenty of time to get into the park and to the ride to be one of the first to ride it.
Once you have ridden Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride head to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride located in the Hogwarts Castle. Even if you don’t want to take part on the ride, you can join the queue to explore the magic and wonder of the interior of the castle and exit before getting to the ride itself.
The castle is worth exploring even if you don’t want to go on the ride as there are some super cool easter eggs in there that any Harry Potter fan would love to see.
After leaving the awesome Hogwarts Castle head into Hogsmeade to Ollivanders to pick your wand. Here you can find every wand from each of the characters of the books/films and pick your own. We have a handy guide for everything you need to know about the Universal Harry Potter Wands if you are undecided about whether or not to get one.
Once you have picked your wand or the wand has picked you, head out into the streets of Hogsmeade and look out for the Universal Team Members dressed up in wizarding clothing to help you perform your first magic tricks. There are more located in Diagon Alley so you have plenty more to practice.
Once you have visited some shops, done some magic tricks and maybe even bought some robes to go with your wand, head to Flight of the Hippogriff. This is a shorter ride compared to the other two and not as busy but can still have a large wait time so make sure you have a drink to hand when waiting in the hot sun.
After enjoying a ride on Flight Of The Hippogriff, head back down from the castle into the cobbled streets of Hogsmeade and catch one the shows there. There are a couple of different shows which you can catch on your way to and from the rides and shops.
Shows include the Frog Choir which is super fun and enjoyable or the Triwizard Spirit Rally which features some of the girls from Beauxbatons and the tough wizards from Durmstrang. The shows are nice to watch as they are a welcome break from the rushing around and waiting for rides.
After performing all that magic you will need to refuel before heading off for more magical adventures. The best place to have lunch in Hogsmeade is at The Three Broomsticks. Here you can find a number of dishes from a Shepherd’s Pie with Garden Salad, cod battered & fried with chips and tartar sauce and a traditional dinner of Beef Sunday Roast.
You can find a number of other dishes and drinks such as Butterbeer, Frozen Butterbeer, Gillywater, Pumpkin juice and soft drinks such as lemonade and fruit juices.
Once you have filled yourself with beautiful British food and plenty of butterbeer head on over to Hogsmeade Station to catch the Hogwarts Express to Universal Studios. The queue can often be very long for this attraction so make sure you have used the restrooms and had a drink on hand.
Along the left of Kings’ Cross, there is a row of houses which may seem familiar, it is the street that is home to the Order Of The Phoenix at 12 Grimmauld Place. One of the really cool things to do is look into the windows to see the different oddities you can see there.
Once you reach London’s King Cross you can leave and enter the wonderful world of Diagon Alley. You will walk out of London’s King Cross and see the Night Bus opposite, the conductor is always super friendly and you can have your picture taken there.
Head back toward Kings Cross and along to Diagon Alley, walk through the magical wall into the wonderful world that is Diagon Alley. Here you will find Gringotts Bank, Borgin and Burkes,Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions and many more.
Once you are in Diagon Alley you want to head straight to Gringotts Bank to put your stuff into a locker and head onto the ride. This is the only ride within this side of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter so don’t be surprised if it is busy.
After escaping from Gringotts bank head to get your stuff from your locker and head back out into the bustling streets. If like me you love having a sweet taste of the wizarding world head to Sugarplum’s Sweetshop or Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour for a sweet treat.
Remember that Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour is where Harry Spent much of his time in the book Prisoner of Azkaban. You can find super fun flavours such as Chocolate Chili, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Earl Grey & Lavender or Strawberry and Peanut Butter not to mention the ever so popular Butterbeer soft-serve ice cream.
Spend some time exploring the surrounding shops and don’t forget to explore the cheeky but fun Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes for fun tricks, toys and cute pygmy puffs. You can also find yourself a beautiful creature to take home from the Magical Menagerie.
While you are in Diagon Alley look for the Universal Team members that are dressed in wizarding robes and hats to help you perform tricks and spells with your new interactive wand. If you couldn’t get in at Olivanders in Hogsmeade you can also find Ollivanders or Wands by Gregorovitch in Diagon Alley.
After a full afternoon of casting spells, drinking butterbeer and buying supplies for potions you will need somewhere to sit down and have a well-earned meal. We suggest heading to The Leaky Cauldron, here you can find more British delights such as fish And chips, toad in the hole, ploughmans sandwich and cottage pie.
There are of course children’s portions along with a choice of sides and vegan and vegetarian options. You will find the typical magical drink choices of Butterbeer, pumpkin juice, lemon squash, peach fizzing tea and soft fountains drinks.
Alternatively, you can head out to one of the other restaurants and quick-service counters within Universal Studios and eat there for a change of food.
If you haven’t tired yourself out after dinner and all the magic tricks, head back into Diagon Alley and explore more of the shops, attractions and head on your favourite ride again. There is often small shoes going on and choirs or acts that come out that you can watch in Diagon Alley or in Hogsmeade.
On some select evenings in Hogsmeade, you can watch The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. You would need to enquire about this event with staff or on the Universal Studios website before you go or on the day of your visit.
To do this hop on the Hogwarts Express again back to Islands of Adventure to Hogsmeade to catch the light show. The train ride is actually different each way you go so going back to Hogsmeade you will experience something new making it a whole new ride again.