Your BEST Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary (How to Do it in a Day)

Are you looking for the best Wizarding World of Harry Potter itinerary for your upcoming trip?

Witches and wizards, if you’re heading to Universal Orlando Resort to brush up on your magic and be immersed in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then look no further. From Diagon Alley and the darker Knockturn Alley to Hogsmeade we’re covering everything you need to do if you only have one day at the two Universal theme parks.

To start, you’re going to want to ensure that you have a ticket that allows you to go to both theme parks in one day because the train from Platform 9 3/4 will leave without you if you don’t have a ticket.

Diagon Alley at Christmas in The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

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Morning: Start at Hogsmeade (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

The first thing you should do after getting to Universal Orlando Resort is head straight for Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This is where you’ll find The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade.

Hogwarts Castle: The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.

Here there are three attractions, and the Hogwarts Express that will take you between the two Harry Potter-themed lands at Universal Orlando Resort.

Ride Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure

To start, hop on the newest Harry Potter attraction, Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure. The thrilling rollercoaster takes you on a tour of the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid as your guide.

Sirius Motorbike Hagrid Roller Coaster

Throughout the ride you’ll spot plenty of magical creatures like Hippogriffs, unicorns, and centaurs. The line for this attraction does get long very quickly, so getting here right when the park opens is the best bet for the shortest wait time.

Visit Hogwarts Castle then Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

After whizzing through the forest, take a tour of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry before getting on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Hogsmeade at Universal Hogwarts Castle Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Hogsmeade at Universal Hogwarts Castle Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

This high-flying attraction takes you through the school to iconic moments from the movies like a quidditch match, through the Forbidden Forest, and coming face-to-face with the villains from the movies.

One thing to note about this attraction: if you have any sort of motion sickness you definitely should not ride. You can still go through the queue if you’re traveling with friends or family to see the moving photos and the precise detail of the castle, then exit just before boarding.

Ride Flight of the Hippogriff

By now it should be close to 11:00 a.m. If you’re traveling with smaller kids then hop on Flight of the Hippogriff, which is a family-friendly roller coaster just in view of Hogwarts Castle. The coaster is short but has a few fun drops that kids will like.

Flight of the Hippogriff Hogsmeade Universal Orlando
Flight of the Hippogriff Hogsmeade Universal Orlando

Relax and Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade

If you’re traveling solo, make your way through the shops, listen to the Hogwarts Frog Choir, and explore the storefronts to see what types of goodies are available to pick up later.

Hogshead with Long Island Ice Tea in Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hogs Head Pub in the Three Broomsticks

For a no obligation, FREE Universal Vacation Quote, you can fill out the form with The Park Prodigy by Clicking HERE!

Afternoon: Take the Hogwarts Express Train to Diagon Alley (Universal Studios Florida)

Hop onboard the Hogwarts Express to Universal Studios Florida and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Here, you’ll find one attraction, plenty of shops, our favorite ice cream shop, and a decent spot for lunch.

Hogwarts Express Train on Hogsmeade at Universal Studios

Have Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron

Once you’ve gotten off the train make your way to the Leaky Cauldron. This is themed after the pub and inn of the same name from the Harry Potter series. The casual eatery is serving up British staples like fish and chips, Shepard’s pie, and more.

Grill Chicken Sandwich in Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley at Harry Potter World Universal

After ordering, you’ll be taken to a table and just a few minutes later your food will show up. Take time to really enjoy your lunch because you’re only halfway through the day.

Diagon Alley: Leaky Cauldron with cafeteria style seating at lunch.
Early Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron: Diagon Alley

Shop at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

After lunch, take a gander around some of the shops in Diagon Alley. One of our favorites is Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, which looks exactly like it did in the movie, complete with moving toys and an adorable entryway.

Diagon Alley Grand Opening Day Wheezes Wheezing Wizards Joke Shop

Take a Stroll Down Knockturn Alley

Be sure to make your way to the dimly lit Knockturn Alley, where you may come face-to-face with a Death Eater, or you can buy a curious dark relic from Borgin and Burkes.

Harry Potter Green Spell Diagon Alley Avada Cadaver in Knockturn Alley
Harry Potter “Green Spell” Diagon Alley

Ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

When you’re done browning around, get in line for the premier attraction in this area, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Diagon Alley with Dragon on Top of Gringotts. The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.

The 3-D roller coaster attraction takes you through the depths of the wizard bank before trying to break free due to the presence of Voldemort and his motley band of Death Eaters.

Gringotts Bank interior with Globin at Diagon Alley. The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.

In the process, you’ll also attempt to free the dragon that’s been held in the bank’s basement for years.

Tour London

Make your way through the winding streets of Diagon Alley and out to London. This is where the immersiveness of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter somewhat ends because you can see other parts of Universal Studios Florida, but you’ll want to step out to see the Knight Bus and say hello to Kreecher the house elf.

Diagon Alley Number 12 Grimauld Place with Kreature Globin in the Window Sirius House with Kreature
Diagon Alley: Grimauld Place

You can find the Knight Bus just outside the station for the Hogwarts Express, and Kreecher peers through the window of Number 12 Grimmauld Place every few minutes.

Enjoy a Harry Potter Sweet Treat

After seeing London, make your way back to Diagon Alley for an ice cream cone at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

Butterbeer Ice cream in Diagon Alley in Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Butterbeer Ice Cream in Diagon Alley

Here you can get just about any flavor you can think of as either hard-pack ice cream or soft-serve ice cream. Our favorites are butterbeer, sticky toffee pudding, and earl grey and lavender.

Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley

This is your time to enjoy the wonderful shops, visit Ollivander to possibly be chosen for a wand, watch the Tales of Beedle the Bard, and listen to Celestina Warbeck!

Celestina Warbeck and Banshees Singing on Stage in Diagon Alley. The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.

Evening: Hop on the Train and Go Back to Hogwarts (Islands of Adventure)

As the sun sets, get back on the Hogwarts Express and make your way back to Hogsmeade.

Hogwarts Express Red train ready to go at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. King's Cross Station #harrypotter #universalstudios #diagonalley #themepark
King’s Cross Station

Depending on the line, the train can take a long time in the evening, but it’s worth it because the theme of the ride is different going both directions, and you’ll want to experience both.

Eat at the Three Broomsticks

Once in Hogsmeade, grab a snack at the Three Broomsticks or a drink at the Hog’s Head Pub.

Hogshead Bar at Harry Potter World

If you want the real Harry Potter experience, you’ll dine at the Three Broomsticks then get a butterbeer from one of the many carts around the area.

Front Entrance to the Three Broomsticks and Long Island Tea at Harry Potter World Universal

Watch the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle

When darkness falls, be sure to get close to Hogwarts Castle so you can watch The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. The projection show is filled with favorite Harry Potter characters, exciting music, and school house pride.

New Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle Show. The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.

This really is the best way to end your day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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3 Pro Tips for Your Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary

Now that you have your own personalize Wizard World of Harry Potter Itinerary, let’s go through a few tips for your trip.

London Facade with Kings Cross Station at Harry Potter World Diagon Alley. The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.
  1. If you really want a wizard wand, consider getting it from one of the merchandise carts versus going to Ollivanders. Adults are rarely chosen to take part in the show, and the line to get in here can be very long.
  2. Butterbeer comes in a variety of items, from frozen and hot beverages, fudge and ice cream. Be sure to try them all before leaving the park.
  3. Wearing those wizarding robes always look fun, especially since you can show off your house colors, but they are incredibly hot. A better way to show off your house pride is to dress in those colors in a more theme-park-friendly way, like a t-shirt and comfortable shorts.

For a no obligation, FREE Universal Vacation Quote, you can fill out the form with The Park Prodigy by Clicking HERE!

Final Thoughts on Your Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary

And there you have it!

I hope you enjoyed this full touring plan for your next Wizarding World of Harry Potter adventure.

How to do harry potter world in one day! The Best Wizarding World of Harry Potter Itinerary.
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Do you think this Wizarding World of Harry Potter itinerary is doable in only one day? Did I leave something out? Leave your comment below!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

About the Author

Megan DuBois Theme Park Writer

Megan is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She covers all things Disney and Universal and runs marathons for fun.

She thinks you can tell a lot about someone by the name of their signature lipstick, and hers is NARS Dragon Girl.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

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