7 Things You Have To Do at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California

Hey Everyone, it’s Kimberly with Get Away Today and I’m excited to share everything you need to know about California’s newest attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’m so excited to FINALLY have this on the west coast at Universal Studios Hollywood! I got to visit this magical place and I can say it is even better than I imagined. Although smaller than the Wizarding World in Florida, it is so full of detail. And in my opinion better, because, well, like I said, it’s on the west coast! There is so much to absorb if you’re a fan of the series, so I put together my list of 7 things you have to do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California. Here they are:


1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the main attraction and it is amazing. The actual ride itself is intense with HD, 3D virtual reality. To me, the best part of the attraction was the queue where you wander all the way through Hogwarts. The line has all sort of fun surprises including actual props from the films. It is incredible.

Harry Potter Hogwarts

2. Flight of the Hippogriff is a small outdoor roller coaster that although short is surprisingly fun! The queue here is also immersive. You’ll pass by Hagrid’s Hut where you’ll see and hear signs of the friendly giant.

3. Butterbeer is a must have when visiting Hogsmeade. You can get cold Butterbeer, frozen Butterbeer, and coming soon, warm Butterbeer. You can also find a rich Butterbeer pot de creme and an awesome Butterbeer fudge. You can’t go to the Wizarding World and not try at least one version of its #1 treat.

Harry Potter Butterbeer

4. Send a letter from the Owl Post. This was so much fun! There’s a little owl shop where you can purchase everything you need to send something via the post; owls, stationary, writing quills, and even Muggle stamps. You can get your envelopes stamped with an official Hogsmeade stamp then drop it in the Owl Post. I recommend sending yourself a letter via the Owl Post so you can extend the magic when you get home. Also, you may want to consider bringing your own Muggle stamps as they’re about triple the cost in the Wizarding World.

Harry Potter Owl Post

5. Watch a wand ceremony at Ollivanders. If you’re a true Harry Potter fan, you’ll want to be sure to catch a show. The entire show only holds about 20 people at a time and lasts about five minutes. It’s intimate and feels so authentic. One person from each show is chosen by a wand which can then be purchased. After all, Harry didn’t get his wand for free. Don’t worry, if you didn’t get chosen, you can still purchase your own wand in the Ollivanders shop. You can purchase a replica wand from the main characters from the series, or you can purchase a special interactive wand that can be used at 11 magical spots spread throughout Hogsmeade.

Harry Potter Wand Marker

6. Watch the stage shows. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed these shows. The Frog Choir performs in the morning and the TriWizard Spirit Rally performs in the afternoon. The stars of the shows are available for photos and to visit with guests after each performance.

Harry Potter Frog Choir

7. Shop till you drop. There are so many unique shopping opportunities at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My favorite shop was Honeydukes full of all kinds of whimsical sweets and treats. I really could’ve spent hours (and hundreds of dollars) there.

Harry Potter Chocolate Cauldrons

I don’t want to give away all of the surprises, but know that if you are a Harry Potter fan, you HAVE to go. Universal Studios Hollywood has something for everyone with their Studio Tour, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Jurassic Park – The Ride and so much more.

If you decide to make Universal Studios Hollywood part of your Southern California vacation you can either stay right near the action in Universal City. I recommend the Sheraton Universal which is within walking distance, but also has a free shuttle. Or, make Anaheim your home base for your vacation so you can take advantage of Get Away Today’s free night hotel specials and exclusive offers. You can even get a Disneyland Resort/Universal Studios combo ticket to save a little more. If you want more information about Universal Studios Hollywood, check out www.getawaytoday.com or call our agents at 855-GET-AWAY. They can walk you through the entire process and will help you find the very best deal. Use promo code: CraftingChicks at check out and save an extra $10 on any 2-night or longer vacation package.



7 Things You Have to do at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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  1. We just got back from Japan, where we spent a day at Universal Studios mostly to see Harry Potter World. Your pictures are great; but wow, USJ has a totally different Harry Potter World! Theres’ a lake in front of Hogwarts and the Ford Anglia is crashed into a tree just outside the entry to HPW, and your Owl Post and Honeydukes look different too (USJ doesn’t have chocolate cauldrons – at least, I didn’t see them there.) The lines at USJ were really long – we got to the park an hour before opening hoping to be first through the gates, and unfortunately half of Japan had the same idea. At USJ you have to get a timed tickets on busy days to visit Harry Potter World; we were there on a slow day but by the time we got to Forbidden Journey – and we made a bee-line right for it – the line was 90 minute long. By the time we finished the ride, the line was 3 hours long. Much to our delight, when we went back at 5:30, the lines were only 20 minutes long so we got to do both rides again! I’m not sure if it’d work the same in SoCal, but it’s definitely worth trying. I’d also suggest walking through the castle after the Forbidden Journey ride because there are things you miss when you’re just trying to get on the ride itself. Finally, if you could tell me what Harry was saying during the Forbidden Journey ride, I’d appreciate it, because USJ is awesome and Japan is amazing but since I don’t speak a word of Japanese (other than the absolute basics – hello, thank you) I’ve got no idea what I was doing up there on that broomstick!

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