The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Travel Destination




As the penultimate installment of the now legendary film series is about to be released, fans of the Harry Potter books and movies can step into the awe-inspiring world that JK Rowling has created for us. Up until now, Hogwarts Castle and the famous fictional town of Hogsmeade have only existed behind a movie screen and in the mind of its famous writer. But all that has changed with the launch of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, within Universal Studios, Orlando. HAYLEY NOLAN investigates.

As a major fan of the books and the movies, I was the perfect Muggle to test if this wizarding attraction lived up to the exceptionally high expectations we all inevitably have! So I won’t keep you in suspense any longer by  confirming it is as magnificent as you’d hope it would be! From the moment you see Hogwarts Castle jutting out from above the trees – deceptively full scale, so it seems – it really is like you’ve taken some floo powder and landed right in the heart of Harry’s world.



From the snowy rooftops to the weathered and crooked chimneys, there has been such attention to detail here that JK Rowling herself has approved and no potter fan could pick fault with! The cobbled streets are lined with the famous shops fans have imagined themselves in for years, from Olivander’s Wand Shop (where special visitors are selected to try out wands in a magical display that will enchant the little ones) to mouthwatering Honeydukes sweet shop where, yes, you can buy your very own Chocolate Frogs and BertieBotts Every Flavour Beans! It really is a case of “stepping into the TV”! It’s all there and it’s all real!

My own personal favourite in Hogsmeade has to be The Three Broomsticks pub, which I didn’t realise until I arrived that you can have lunch inside! Thinking it was just going to be another tourist attraction, imagine my delight when I discovered not only can you eat some classic British pub lunches there but you can also wash it down with a tankard of Butterbeer!

Yes, I finally achieved my long standing dream of tasting a Butterbeer! Ever since I read my first Potter novel I thought it sounded absolutely delicious – and the drink created for the real life Three Broomsticks did not disappoint. Looking like a coffee coloured cola with a white frothy head, the best way to describe the taste  is somewhat  like a cream soda with a thick, sweet cream on top. Gor-geous!

Opposite the Three Broomsticks stands one of the stars of the novels which everyone will want to get a photo with - I am, of course, talking about the Hogwarts Express! The full scale, gleaming train magically appears out of a tunnel into Hogsmeade village. You can’t board the train but if it’s action you’re looking for, you’d better head on over to Hogwarts Castle as there are several thrilling rides that allow you to interact with this mystical world even further! Significado de los nombres

Walking through Hogwarts Castle there is so much to see. The talking portrait of The Fat Lady guards the entrance to the Gryffindor Green Room and speaks to you grumily as you pass. As you make your way through the dimly lit hall, walking and talking holograms of Harry, Ron and Hermione appear up on the balcony from under an invisibility cloak! They look so clear in the darkness – as does Professor Dumbledore, who talks of “Dark Times” as you amble past his office. Once you’ve made your way through all the twists and turns of the Castle, you don’t realise that you’ve actually been queuing for the Harry Potter ride! (Now this is how ALL theme park rides should have you queue, you don’t even notice you’re doing it!!)

There are two Harry Potter rides for thrill seekers to experience. The first you are led to through Hogwarts is a 3D extravaganza aboard a broomstick. I don’t know how they do it but it’s incredibly realistic as you are flown over the castle, with Harry at your side, through a Quidditch match and chased by dragons! Breathtaking! The second Potter ride is outdoors – rightly so for the sheer scale of it – and, like the first, you are strapped in from above with your legs dangling free! Only Dueling Dragons, as it’s called, is a much more high speed roller coaster, with two centipede-like trains taking off at the same time and racing along the track together – even looking as though they might collide at one point! It’s not for the faint hearted and is perfectly befitting our daredevil hero Harry – and a wonderful end to a very special visit to Hogsmead. Now if only I could get my hands on another Butterbeer….

Orlando Tourism Bureau – For more information about an Orlando holiday, go to and order a free Orlando Holiday Guide that includes the Orlando Magicard™, a free discount card offering deals on a variety of attractions, restaurants and shopping.
British Airways 0844 493 0787 flies from London Gatwick to Orlando, return fares cost from £499 including taxes for travel December to March.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Travel Destination

As the penultimate installment of the now legendary film series is about to be released, fans of the Harry Potter books and movies can step into the awe-inspi





The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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