tips to explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at the Universal Orlando Resort

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Buy Park to Park tickets

The Harry Potter attractions are divided between the two parks in the complex (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure). The most fun way to explore them is to catch the Hogwarts Express. The train window is a screen that shows scenes from the movie with special effects. You’ll only be able to make this journey if you have a Park Hopper ticket.

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Plan for the queues

The app Universal Orlando Wait Times lists the complex’s attractions and informs the estimated wait time in each queue. As such, you’re able to determine the best time to go to the rides.

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Start at Diagon Alley

Follow the path of the books: first, Diagon Alley, a street filled with shops hidden behind a brick wall. You can buy sweets at the Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop, magical toys at the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Quidditch apparel at the Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment.

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At the end of Diagon Alley stands Gringotts

Bank, which is home to the roller coaster Escape from Gringotts. A huge dragon on top of the façade spits fire every 15 minutes. Those close to the locale can register the moment on camera.

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Go to the wand shop...

The most coveted item by Harry Potter fans can be found in several stores – there are different models –, but at Ollivanders you’ll have a complete experience. A person in the group is selected to test the wands and wins their own wand in the end.

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...and play with your own!

With a wand in hand, you can test it in several locales. There are strategic places where you can just point, make hand movements and say specific words to make things move.

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Talk to the elf

Go to Money Exchange, a store where it’s possible to buy galleons and other currencies of the magical universe. There, an elf answers any question. Try something he doesn’t know and see his reaction.

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Attention to details

There are various Easter eggs in Hogsmeade, at the Islands of Adventure. Moaning Myrtle – the depressive ghost from the books – can be heard wailing from the individual restrooms, for instance. At Dominic Maestro’s Music Shop, the top window shows a violoncello playing itself.

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Before the attraction

The queue for Forbidden Journey, which takes visitors on a tour through Hogwarts Castle, has some fun details. When you pass by the door of the Potions classroom, pay attention to hear a professor teaching.

Texto Camila Lafratta
Fotos Marcus Steinmeyer