Things to Remember When Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  1. Harry Potter may be British, but the portion sizes are totally American
    Seriously. The meals were huge! If you get something to eat in Hogsmeade, share it with someone and save the money. The same goes with ice cream at Florean Fortescue's, which is AMAZING!
  2. The dragon atop Gringotts breathes fire every ten minutes
    You can hear it start to groan about 30 seconds before the fire comes. It's super cool.
  3. The Flight of the Hippogriff is a really boring ride
    Sorry, Hagrid. I love you and Buckbeak, but this roller coaster sucked. Super quick and clearly designed for the wee ones.
  4. Frozen butterbeer is freaking delicious
    Also, there is a beer and ales shop in Diagon Alley that sells special brews exclusive to the park. Totally worth checking out. The tap handles in Hog's Head made my day though.
  5. The Single Rider line is the single greatest invention to come to amusement parks ever
    All of the rides involve 3D glasses or the dark anyway, so you don't need to sit next to your partner-in-fun. You two will more than likely end up on the same ride, just not in seats next to each other. This cuts down on wait time tremendously and is totally worth it.
  6. Pay attention to your surroundings
    The level of detail is astounding and so fun for a HP fan. Heck, it's fun for everyone. Just about everything in the park is entertaining and/or a delightful book reference.
  7. Go to Ollivanders later in the day and you may just get a private wand choosing ceremony
    My husband and I totally did that with the plan to watch some small child enjoy the magic and instead it was a two-on-one consultation with the Wand Maker who was INCREDIBLE and helped each of us find wands. It was magical and adorable and my favorite part of the trip.
  8. Get there right away in the morning and check out the rides immediately
    You have all day to wander around and appreciate the awesome shops and food, but the lines for the rides get longer as the day goes on. Pick a park (Hogsmeade and Hogwarts in Island of Adventures or Diagon Alley in Universal Studios), ride those rides, and then hop on the Hogwarts Express to get to the other park and ride those rides right away.
  9. Make sure your phone is fully charged
    You're going to take a billion pictures and videos, so make sure it's ready to go.