Have you ever wondered what Butterbeer tastes like? Or how fast a Hippogriff can fly? Fancy a bit of magic? Now, you West Coasters can experience the dream when you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood!
On April 7th, 2016, Universal Studios added its newest addition to the theme park: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Cue the fan girl scream.
While I’m not as big of a fan as my co-witch and best friend (pictured below), I was still SUPER AMPED to visit Harry Potter’s world in real life. BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T WANT TO GET SICK ON BERTIE BOTS WHILE WAVING A WAND AT EVERYONE?!
Below are 10 reasons to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood, although you can find that there are plenty more reasons to experience the magic once you arrive!
Does the idea of guzzling Butterbeer sound absolutely divine? Always wondered what it possible tastes like? Now’s your chance to drink like your fellow wizards and witches! Imagine a kind of cream soda taste with a hint of butterscotch. And don’t forget the fizz made of magic that never stops frothing! In addition to the classic Butterbeer (served traditionally cold, hot or as a slushy), they have this Pumpkin Juice that we were unable to try. (One sugary, syrup-y drink was good enough for us!)
The Owl Post
If you dreamed of having your own pet owl to send letters to your friends (ahem – you’re not alone), now you can at Hogsmeade’s local Owl Post! Not only does this gift shop contain trinkets and particular Hogwarts house swag, but you can actually send personalized letters and stationary through this post office! Simply come ready with the address of a huge fan.
The first step to becoming a witch or a wizard is your wand and what better place to start than Ollivanders Wandshop? Here, you will find stacks of wands 10 feet high through the entire store. They cost a whopping penny at $40 per wand (or more), but they have great opportunities for you to cast spells around Hogsmeade! Several window displays have magical cues so that you may bring objects to life and fly, bubble and twirl. Simply look down at your feet to see the magical spell you must cast and the correct flick of the wand!
Whether you’ve caught the Triwizard Spirit Rally, the Frog Choir or both, you are in for a spectacular performance! These performers use talent, a Harry Potter-themed wardrobe, and yes, magic, to add a bit more to the stage located just between Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Just watch the children’s faces to see what I mean!
Do you remember the first time you saw Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the movies? The first time you felt the magic? As the students rode by boat to the famous school, the audience caught their first glimpse of what would forever be the most magical place of all time. Home to goblins, witches, wizards and other creatures, Hogwarts is the pinnacle of the franchise as well as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hogsmeade: the true, magical epicenter when you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood. It is here that you will find all of the shops, restaurants, butter beer and owls. But along the sparkling snow-covered rooftops and perfectly crafted cottages and cobblestone, lies the even more intoxicating feeling. The vibe is buzzing with excited wizards and witches exploring the heart of their favorite fantasty land, each corner a secret waiting to be discovered.
The Three Broomsticks
The Three Broomsticks is the local dining fare within Hogsmeade serving classic English-style dishes. Perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or the end to your glorious day in Hogwarts, you can enjoy fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, turkey legs and some of the best dessert you can possibly consume! Make sure to visit during off hours (like before lunch or a few hours before dinner time) because you could be waiting for an hour and a half!
This ain’t your average-Joe, mom and pop candy shop. Honeydukes has the famously fun and bizarre candy from the movies! You can try the legendary Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Fudge Flies, Peppermint Toads, exploding bonbons and much, much more!
Flight of the Hippogriff
While I wasn’t quite a fan of the first ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (they still have a few kinks to work out), I absolutely loved the Flight of the Hippogriff! Sure it may have been a 20-second kiddy-ride, but it was wonderful. Providing a stellar view of the park and surrounding areas, the ride featured beautiful wicker basket seating and its very own Hippogriff! It was pure awesome.
It isn’t just the staff dressed in traditional robes, it isn’t just the children’s faces filled with awe and happiness and it isn’t just the sugar high. It’s the feeling of magic and nostalgia all around. Since many of us millennial grew up with Harry Potter, there is a feeling so deep in our hearts that it is undeniable – whether you’re an avid fan or a passing observer. When you visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood, you step into this fantasy land and are transported to a place of pure joy and wonder.