Islands of Adventure Attractions
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter Photos
- First look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Wizarding World Map
- A detailed discussion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Harry Potter quickly became an international sensation after author J.K. Rowling released the first book in 1997. With each successive book release, more and more fans were drawn into the rich, fantastic world created by Rowling. It seemed only natural that we would begin to see films adapted from the books, and with the success enjoyed by those films, people began to wonder how much bigger the Harry Potter franchise could grow.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure is the ultimate realization of Rowling's dream. Upon entry, guests are instantly transported to Hogsmeade Village, complete with snow-covered rooftops and the ominous spires of Hogwarts castle in the distance. The atmosphere and sense of depth created by Universal's team of designers is nothing short of astounding, and fans of the Harry Potter universe will find a lot to love here.
Long-time fans of Universal's Islands of Adventure will immediately recognize Dragon Challenge as it's simply Dueling Dragons with a fresh coat of paint. Dragon Challenge is an inverted (meaning that the track is ABOVE you, rather than below you) roller coaster with two trains. This and the Hulk are your best bets when it comes to thrill ride roller coasters at Islands of Adventure.
**As of 10/19/11, Dragon Challenge no longer launches both coasters at the same time. There have been incidents with items falling out of pockets and injuring other riders. Previously, the two coasters were timed so that at certain points in the ride they would pass within 18 inches of each other.
There are restrictions for guests that may be overweight. Each set of cars contains one spot with a double seat belt. In order to ride, you must fit comfortably within the harness.
Flight of the Hippogriff is a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle. You will learn how to approach a Hippogriff and you will bow before one. You will fly past Hagrid's hut as you swoop and spiral down and around the grounds of Hogwarts castle. The ride time is about a minute. Younger kids tend to enjoy this ride since they generally aren't tall enough to ride the big boys (Dragon Challenge and the Incredible Hulk Coaster).
Height requirement: 48 inches
This state-of-the-art attraction uses new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced. You will see the latest in holographic and animatronic technology.
A "spell" is put on the benches, which is what allows you to fly. There are 4 seats in each bench but each one moves separately. The bleachers lift you up and it appears you fly out of a chimney. On your journey, you will be attacked by a fire breathing dragon, as well as experience a room full of very realistic looking spiders. Dementors chase you with realistic animatronics and video displays and you fly high above the ground with Harry Potter at a Quiddich match.
The ride is intense. Please check the list of warnings before you enter the ride. If you are sensitive to motion, you may not want to ride. There are height and weight restrictions. There is a test seat outside but be aware there is another seat inside that they can test you on before you ride.
If you wear loose fitting shoes you may be asked to remove them or use a rubber band on them. The ride is constantly loading, so you need to be ready when it's your turn. If you don't want to ride Forbidden Journey, we still recommend walking through the queue just to see the details. You will see Hogwarts school, the greenhouse, Dumbledor's office, Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement, and others. You can also hear students talking behind closed doors. There are several special effects also to be on the lookout for. Be sure to watch the oil paintings.
They do take your picture on the ride and they are available at the gift shop at the end of the ride.
From the front archway of Hogsmeade to the immensity of Hogwarts castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features the locations listed below:
- At the entrance of Hogsmeade, billowing steam and an iconic whistle signal the arrival of the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade station
- Across the way is Zonko's, a joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes
- Honeydukes is next door and full of treats like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans
- The Three Broomsticks and adjacent Hog's Head pub features traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice
- Across from the Three Broomsticks is The Owlery, where owls roost and await their next delivery
- The Owl Post sends letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark and sells official stamps from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Ollivanders wand shop allows guests to experience "the wand choosing them" just like Harry's wand chose him in the film. Guests are immersed in the experience from the moment they step in the doors - the store is filled with wand boxes from floor to ceiling and decorated with colors and details from the books and films. A Wandkeeper asks them a series of questions which allows the guest to be chosen by a wand. If they pick up the wrong wand, a magical mishap will occur!
- Completing Hogsmeade is Dervish and Banges, the magical instruments and equipment shop featuring Quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, Spectrespecs and Remembralls
- The first attraction, Dragon Challenge, features a twin high-speed roller coaster with many iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament
- Next is Flight of the Hippogriff, a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle
- Located in Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a thrilling new state-of-the-art attraction that uses entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced
- Before exiting back into Hogsmeade, Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods is full of Ministry of Magic and magical creatures merchandise, Omnioculars, and even remote control Golden Snitches
- Event packages for A Celebration of Harry Potter now on sale - Fans of the boy wizard will love this three-day event celebrating everything Harry Potter. There will be Q&A sessions with select cast members and filmmakers, a Harry Potter Expo, and of course, the chance to visit Diagon Alley, ride the Hogwarts Express and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
- Universal annual passholders will get early access to Diagon Alley in September - Annual Passholders will get early access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley on weekday mornings in September. Access will be granted one hour before the scheduled opening time, which is either 8:00 or 9:00am. This is part of Passholder Appreciation Month.
- Bret Michaels to perform at September Velvet Sessions - September's Velvet Sessions celebrates Pinktober, Hard Rock's annual breast cancer awareness campaign.
- Universal Orlando plans for Celebration of Harry Potter - This three-day event will celebrate everything Harry Potter.
- Win a 2 Night / 3 Day stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin! - Answer 3 questions about the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin on our contest page for a chance to WIN!
- Dracula Haunted House planned for Halloween Horror Nights - The haunted house "will be an origin story with gothic scenes showing Vlad the Impaler's transition into Dracula."
- Halloween Horror Nights plans Aliens vs. Predators haunted house - This year is the 10th anniversary of the Aliens vs. Predator film and the 35th anniversary of the Alien film.
- Eve 6 to perform at August Velvet Sessions - The concert will be held Thursday, August 28 in the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel.
- Hard Rock Hotel to host wine riffs event - A five-course dinner from the hotel's chefs is paired with wines and music.
- "The Purge: Anarchy" to be Halloween Horror Nights Street Experience - Set in the future, the government allows 12 hours every year where all crime is legal, in an effort to keep crime rates below one percent the rest of the year. Citizens must try to survive the night.