Yesterday I wrote about the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. This post is all about the other part of the Wizarding World – Hogsmeade. I went to Universal Orlando in October and visited both Islands Of Adventure and Universal Studios. Islands Of Adventure contains Hogsmeade which was the first part of the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter to open in 2010.
Since 2010, Universal have opened Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, along with bringing The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter to their parks in Hollywood and Japan. When this bit of the park opened in 2010, the lines were horrendous. The waiting time in the line was around 9 hours and it went all the way back to the entrance of City Walk. Fortunately the crowds are a lot better now, although don’t expect your visit to be free of crowds. It’s just not as mad as it was on opening day. If you are staying onsite at Universal you can use the early admission into the Wizarding World to beat the crowds.
Along with the village of Hogsmeade you will also find Hogwarts Castle. The castle is home to the ride – Harry Potter And The Forbbiden Journey. Waits for this one were still quite long, at least over 30 minutes and it’s not on Universal Express either, so no skipping the regular line. There is a single rider line for those who don’t mind riding on their own. The ride line takes you all through Hogwarts castle. The ride is excellent, although the only down side is, it is the only ride at Universal that makes me feel ill. I can ride roller coasters like Hulk and Dragon Challenge time and time again but for some reason this ride just makes me feel sick. It also takes your photo too which you can get in the shop at the end of the ride.
Hogsmeade is also home to two other rides – Flight Of The Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. For those familiar with this park, Dragon Challenge used to be called Duelling Dragons. It’s still the same ride but now themed to the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. This is one of my favorite rides at Universal Orlando and once in the line you get to pick between two different tracks – Chinese Fireball and Hungarian Horntail. Chinese Fireball had to be my favorite as it went faster than the Hungarian Horntail.
Flight Of The Hippogriff is a much gentler ride and is more family friendly than Dragon Challenge. It doesn’t go upside down or anything, so small kids and those who are not fans of coasters will like this one. The ride goes past Hagrid’s Hut and I do remember seeing Buckbeak the Hippogriff there too.
Like Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Hogwarts make you feel like you are in the movie. The Three Broomsticks and Hogs Head Pub are there too. Hogs Head sells only drinks but in the Three Broomsticks you can grab something to eat.
I really liked looking around the shops too. In Hogsmeade were Honeydukes. Perfect for anyone who loves candy. This place sells Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs and more. Other stores included Dervish And Banges, Owl Post and Filch’s Emporium.
I also got my picture taken in front of the Hogwarts Express with the conductor. Or he might have been the driver.
Also be sure to check out the Frog Choir and Triwizard Spirit Rally. They both appear at different times of the day. Both are fantastic and my favorite had to be the frog choir.
A visit to Hogsmeade is a must for any Potter fan. If you are at Universal Orlando be sure to check it out. And remember when visiting, please respect the spell limits.