Harry Potter World Hogsmeade

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade

If you have been following my blog, chances are you already know that I am a huge Potterhead. I grew up reading the books and watching the movies, which is why when I found out that they were opening a Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando, I knew I NEEDED to go.

 

I have been fortunate to have visited the park twice now – once in 2014, and then again last year after the new Diagon Alley section opened, and let me tell you… it is AMAZING. I had hyped this place up pretty heavily in my head, so I had VERY high expectations going into it… and it lived up to every single one. Of course, it is a theme park, so it was pretty crowded, but aside from that (and the hot, sunny weather) it all felt very real and immersive. The attention to detail (especially in Diagon Alley – post on that park coming soon!) is insane, and I would literally go back right now if I could. Right now.

This will sound very dramatic, but I’m going to say it anyway: I still remember the first moment I entered the park in 2014.

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

We had driven over 20 hours from Wisconsin to get there, so I should have been pretty tired, but I was too excited to notice. The entrance archway came into view, and I could see the Hogsmeade rooftops peeking out above it. I could hear the Harry Potter theme song playing and at first I thought it was in my head, but thankfully I’m not  that insane and they were actually playing the soundtrack. Walking into Hogsmeade, hearing the music… it really did feel magical. I may have even cried… just a little. (Judge me).

Our first stop was to say hello to the cheerful conductor of the Hogwarts Express.

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Afterwards, we made a beeline for the Hogs Head Pub so we could try some Butterbeer. You guys… it was delicious. You can get it hot, cold, or frozen. We were there in the summer, so hot was pretty much out of the question, but I did try the cold and the frozen and both were amazing!

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary
Butterbeers in hand, we explored Hogsmeade and did a little shopping.. . Of course, I had to pick up a Chocolate Frog from Honeydukes (and if you’re wondering, I got none other than Albus Dumbledore as my card).

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary
Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Our next stop was the wonderful Hogwarts. I have to say… they did an awesome job with it.

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary
Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

It looks just like the actual Hogwarts, towering over the rest of Hogsmeade. Inside the castle is a ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Probably the best part about this ride (for me at least) was the line. I know… weird, right? But they themed this line really well. You walk through Dumbledore’s office and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom where there are some pretty impressive talking holograms of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. You see the sorting hat, the pensieve, the talking portraits, and even the greenhouse.

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

The ride itself is pretty cool, but it does whip you around quite a bit, so if you get motion sickness easily, don’t eat beforehand! Also… I don’t want to spoil anything, but… if you’re terrified of spiders (like me), then just be prepared to scream like a baby… 😉

There are two other rides in Hogsmeade, both of which are roller coasters. The only one we rode was the Dragon Challenge (because the other one is smaller and meant for younger kids) and it was a blast. I had been on this one before, back when it was called Dueling Dragons and the Harry Potter parks hadn’t been announced yet. The ride itself hasn’t changed, but now you get to walk past Hagrid’s Hut, the Weasley’s flying car, and the Triwizard Cup on your way to the ride.

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

Everyday Explorer Hogsmeade Travel Diary

I could not have asked for a more magical first visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Keep an eye out for my next post about the Diagon Alley portion of the park!

Have you guys been to the Harry Potter parks?! What was your favorite part?

 

13 comments

  1. I haven’t been yet, but I am so excited to go. Soon I hope! A well-designed waiting in line experience is incredible. I think I will love that line too! Exploring inside the castle? Yes, please.

    Reply

    1. YES. Exploring Hogwarts is every HP lover’s dream, am I right?! The line for the Gringotts ride in the Diagon Alley portion is awesome, too.. Ill be posting on that soon! 🙂 Hopefully youll get to visit the parks in the near future!!

      Reply

  2. Hello there Hope!
    You site is very lovely! I like to read your articles. But the thing I wanna say, is that I’m a huge Potterhead too. I read all the books, watch all the films, but I never be at the theme park.
    Who knows maybe I go there somehow, I won’t give up my wish. It’s on my bucket list, so I have to go there. Thanks for your article I know how it looks like and give me some help to imagine the whole place 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hi Salera! Thanks for stopping by, always great to meet a fellow Potter fan 🙂 Im so glad you enjoyed this post… I hope you can make it there yourself one day!

      Reply

  3. Oh my gosh, this is so great! I want to go so bad! I would probably lose my mind. I’ve been reading HP since I was like 10. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolia

    Reply

  4. Love this. We’re heading to Harry Potter World for the first time in just a few weeks! How long would you say you spent at that park?

    Reply

    1. OH MY GOSH I am so excited for you!! I would say that I got everything I wanted to do done in just one day between both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, but we were there on a weekday and it was raining so lines weren’t too long! One tip is to use the single rider lines if you don’t mind possibly being split from your group… you hardly have to wait for most rides if you do this, and sometimes you still end up in the same car, just in different rows 🙂

      Reply

  5. HP World is SO fun! You must not have been to the new stuff/Diagon Alley at Universal then? I live less than 2 hours away so I’m a pass holder and go over quite a bit. I love it!

    Reply

    1. I actually have been to the Diagon Alley part! This post is just about the first time I went back in 2014 before the new section opened 🙂 But I went back last year to see the new section and will be writing a post on that soon!

      Reply

  6. Oh my gosh, I am SO jealous!! Total Potterhead here too. I’m actually in the process of re-reading all the books again, and even as an adult I long for the Wizarding world to be a real thing 🙂 Haha. Thanks for this awesome recap of the theme park — I must get out there someday!

    Reply

    1. I just finished reading all the books for probably the millionth time, haha! Now that I have finished them I am kind of itching to go back to the parks so I can pretend its real for a day… the Diagon Alley part of the park is awesome, too!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *