Visiting the wizarding world of Harry Potter Hollywood is a dream come true for fellow harry potter fans! However, it can be mind-boggling to plan the perfect itinerary that allows you to nail all the best things to do in the Harry Potter World of Hollywood. You’ll also be surprised to learn that if you have visited the universal studios Orlando version, the two Harry Potter Worlds are very different.
This is why creating the perfect day is of utmost importance! We made sure to list out all the best things to do that any Harry Potter fan will love and cherish! From picking out your favorite wand, practicing spells, rides, trying Butterbeer for the first time, or picking out perfect souvenirs, we got you covered!
This post is all about the absolute best things to do in Harry Potter World Hollywood!
Commonly asked questions for Universal Studios Harry Potter World Hollywood
Is Harry Potter World Hollywood worth it?
Harry potter world Hollywood is definitely worth the trip because you still get to experience the wizarding world of Harry Potter, without having to fly out to Orlando, Japan, or London. The California Harry Potter World features rides with your favorite harry potter characters, magical wands, delicious food, and dessert, and let’s not forget about Butterbeer!
Is Harry Potter still at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Harry Potter world is situated at universal studios Hollywood, you can find the wizardly world of harry potter nestled on the right side of the park from the entrance.
How much are tickets to Harry Potter World Hollywood?
Tickets for visiting the wizardly world of harry potter are included when you buy a ticket for universal studios Hollywood. Tickets for universal change depending on the season, day, and if there is an event going on.
Typically prices range in US dollars from $80-$150 if you want any of the additional add-ons. Disneyland and Disney world follow a similar concept of faster ride times for additional add ons and if you’re wondering if paying for them is worth it then read our genie plus guide!
Do they have Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in California?
The California Harry Potter world features Hogsmeade and two rides: the flight of the hippogriff and Harry Potter and the forbidden journey. While the Orlando version has both Diagon alley and Hogsmeade and more rides.
Where can you get ButterBeer in Harry Potter World Hollywood?
Butterbeer is available in the wizardly world of Harry Potter Hollywood in Hogsmeade, you can grab it from the outdoor carts, Hogs Head, or from Three Broomsticks.
What’s better Disneyland or Universal Studios?
Each park offers various perks and beats each other in different areas; however, if we compare both at on overall value. Then Disneyland would win as it offers more rides, attractions, food, desserts, drinks, and is more organized.
While Universal Studios also has awesome rides and attractions it’s just so much smaller and not much cheaper for the decrease in value. If you are planning on visiting either Disneyland or Disney World make sure to read our guide for Disneyland vs Disney World.
The Best Things To Do At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Universal Studios Hollywood.
Visit Ollivander’s wand shop and pick out your own wand
Whether you’re one in it for the experience or you simply want a wand you can definitely head to Ollivander wand shop, the same place Harry Potter got his wand so long ago. You can either head on in and browse for your favorite character’s wand, an interactive wand, or a wand like ash, vine, oak, etc. that a lot of the characters wield.
If you’d like to experience the wand choosing interactive experience at Ollivanders then you just simply wait in line like any other attraction and wait your turn. If you’re wondering what house you would be sorted in then try this harry potter house quiz from Brain Fall!
Once inside you will go through a conversation with the wand keeper and you’ll hear familiar harry potter music and cast a few spells and voila your wand will choose you. When purchasing an interactive wand you will get a nice box for your wand, your wand will be inside along with a map of the hidden interactive spell casting locations throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter within the park.
If you’re wondering what to bring to universal studios Hollywood, then follow this theme park packing guide we made for Disneyland. It’s the same protocol for packing for Universal and you’ll be happy you came prepared!
Take photos at famous photo spots
It’s not every day that we get to visit Hogwarts castle so take advantage! Pose in front of the famous beautiful castle in your house robe with your wand or butterbeer in hand. Other famous photo locations include behind the Three Broomsticks, Ollivanders, Honeydukes, Hagrid’s Hut, Hogsmeade, Hogs Head Pub, The Owl Post, and in front of the Hogwarts Express.
Other cool spots for photos are in the queues for the attractions because the attractions are often times the cutest most well-decorated parts of the park with cute hidden details. For example, in the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction, you go inside Hogwarts castle and get to be inside Hogwarts, walk through the dining hall, and more which provides you with so many photo-taking opportunities!
Be sure to go all out when taking photos and be proud! Take the best photos because these memories and keepsakes will be the ones you’ll keep forever! With that said don’t forget to be respectful of others and of the lovely park property while taking your photos.
Dine at three broomsticks
This adorable tavern where Harry Potter had his first taste of Butterbeer in the Harry Potter movies, features British food and Butterbeer on tap. This is the perfect spot if you’re a fan of shepherd’s pie, fish & chips, or turkey legs.
The tavern is intricately detailed with chandeliers and if you listen closely you’ll hear noises every so often which could very well be a house elf rummaging about in the ceiling above. Plus, if you look up into the ceiling you’ll also see shadows moving about.
Visit Hogsmeade for some butter beer, pumpkin juice, or gilly water
While Butterbeer is available at carts and at the Three Broomsticks, you’ll definitely want to get Butterbeer at least once from Hog’s Head Pub. Hogs Head is a cute little pub in the back of the Three Broomsticks that offers Butterbeer cold, frozen or hot as well as pumpkin juice.
You can also get specialty drinks, wines, spirits, mixed drinks, and brews. The pub features a growling hog’s head just above the bar but doesn’t worry he’s friendly for the most part, just loud and mean-looking.
Explore the Wizarding World along with your wand and find spots to perform spells at
If you’ve splurged and gotten yourself an interactive wand from Ollivanders you can hit the town and cast some spells. When you purchased your wand it should’ve come with a map that features all of the interactive spell-casting locations available within the Wizarding World.
Just follow this map and visit any of these listed locations to cast spells and watch what happens after you cast your spells. If you lost your map or you forgot your map at home you can always google the locations or go on a scavenger hunt to find the locations as well!
All of the interactive casting locations are marked on the floor with gold medallions featuring symbols. It is pretty tricky to get the hang of casting these spells so don’t get discouraged thinking you’re just a muggle and trust, it’s all in the flick of the wrist, and just know that everyone has trouble at first. If you still can’t figure it out, let other people cast the spell so you can watch and learn!
Or you can talk to any of the helpful Wizards and Witches (Universal Studios workers) that walk around to help with spell casting, they’ll usually be posted up near the spell casting locations so just keep a lookout for them. If you really can’t get the hang of it you might have gotten a defective wand so make sure to have your receipt to either exchange, return or have your wand looked at.
Find chocolate frogs and other tasty harry potter themed treats at Honeydukes
Find yourself a chocolate frog, fudge flies, Bertie Botts Every-Flavour beans, Fizzing Whizzbees, and more! Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan looking for some of the famous sweet treats from the films, or you’re a fan of fun candies or chocolates then you’ll definitely find something worthwhile at Honeydukes!
They also have souvenir chocolate frog ceramic containers that are super cute, but sadly don’t come with chocolate frogs inside so you have to get the frogs separately. Besides that, they offer a few other cool candy/chocolate-related souvenir items that are great keepsakes!
If you’re a wizard and fancy flying, buy yourself the Nimbus 2001 and find a Golden Snitch at Dervish and Banges
All of us were fans of Quidditch and wished we could catch a Golden Snitch. Though it won’t be the same you can visit Dervish and Banges to buy either a Nimbus 2001, Firebolt, or a few other broomsticks that they sell.
You can get Quidditch-related t-shirts and buy a Golden Snitch. You can even buy one of the Quaffle balls used to score points in the game. A cool thing to see here is the Monster book of Monsters which is on display in a cage here at Dervish and Banges. Don’t worry he’s locked up but he’s pretty rowdy so be cautious!
Things to do in Harry Potter World Hollywood
Ride the Attractions, Flight of the hippogriff, and Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey
Of the two rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is for sure the more exciting ride with its 3D effects that have you flying above Hogwarts Castle one minute, soaring over the water the next minute, and then almost getting smashed by creatures the next minute. The ride is fast-paced and super thrilling using some pretty advanced technology.
With that said the Flight of the Hippogriff on the other hand is outside and you have the wind blowing in your face. But the ride is a little slower-paced and is like your average small roller coaster ride.
Either way, the 3D effects of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey are a must-experience for thrill seekers and the Flight of the Hippogriff is more family-friendly.
No matter what ride you choose to ride first, just keep in mind that the wizarding world of harry potter is packed with eager fans year round. Thus, it might be beneficial to invest in a express pass to skip the long lines.
Otherwise you’ll have to make due with the long wait times, and blistering heat! but hey, one thing we loved about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the attention to detail and immersive experience you get to enjoy while you wait in ride queues.
Enjoy the Triwizard Spirit Rally and the Frog Choir
The Triwizard Spirit Rally features small groups of Wizarding Students from the three Wizarding schools. These Wizards are here to put on a show, the guys from Durmstrang twirl around their walking sticks.
The girls from Beauxbatons twirl around blue ribbons and their wands. The show is pretty cool and makes you feel like you’re right in the movies with Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade so close by. This show makes for the perfect stopping point to watch show and sip on a Butterbeer.
Find your own house robe at Gladrags Wizardwear or Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment
Gladrags Wizardwear and Wiseacres Wizarding equipment are there to set you up with all the attire and equipment you need to be a full-on wizard. You can get anything from clothing, jewelry, and house robes to equipment such as hourglasses, crystal balls, and more!
Once you get done with these places you’ll look and feel like classes at Hogwarts start tomorrow at 8am sharp!
Pick Up Supplies For Hogwarts and Souvenirs For Your Muggle Friends
Visit Filch’s emporium:
If you’re looking for souvenirs to gift to people back home, keychains, or just little keepsakes for yourself you’ll want to visit these shops. You can even find the Marauder’s map, pins, books, glassware, and plushes at Filch’s Emporium.
Zonkos Joke shop:
Meanwhile, at Zonkos you’ll find some cool toys and some interesting fun-themed sweets to enjoy.
Hogsmeade station on the other hand has all the platform 9 and 3/4 train station items and travel accessories you might desire such as blankets, passport cases, mugs, wallets, and more! This shop is super cute because of the stacks of old-fashioned lost luggage suitcases along with owl cages and ticket booths where you might buy a train ticket to Hogwarts!
The Owl Post
Meanwhile, at the Owl Post, you’ll find writing-themed souvenirs such as stamps and owl-themed toys and souvenirs. The Owl Post is also such a cool spot to visit because you can spot owls hidden high up in the ceilings and you get to watch and listen as the Grand Owlery clock tour strikes or “hoots” on the hour.
You’ll also see a screamer letter in the outer window Plus, if you have any letters or postcards you can drop them here at the Owl Post’s post box and they’ll be sent to their destination via owl (not really but we’d all like to imagine a world where ruffly feathered owls deliver our mail just like in Harry Potter) along with a special Hogsmeade postmark.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood Wrap Up!
That wraps up your perfect day in Harry Potter world Hollywood! We hope you enjoyed this post and if you plan on visiting Disneyland, Disney World, or other destinations make sure to read our other travel guides ☺️.