Wanna know a secret? I”ve never read any of the Harry Potter books and I’ve never seen any of the movies. (Please tell me that I’m not alone.)
Hogsmeade was stunningly beautiful and the “snow” throughout the area almost made me forgot that it was close to 90degrees outside. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Universal Orlando tour guide – he was extremely knowledgeable and didn’t mind a Harry Potter rookie like myself asking a lot of questions.
Even if you don’t know Harry Potter, you’ve gotta try Butterbeer! Known as the popular drink that Harry Potter and friends drink, there are drink locations throughout Hogsmeade – you can even enjoy this popular drink in a commemorative mug. The tough part is choosing between a regular or frozen Butterbeer. Since it was hot, I went with frozen and thought it tasted like a butterscotch cream soda.
According to our guide Adam… there are over 2,000 pieces of merchandise available for purchase in Hogsmeade. Most of the items aren’t even available online, but can be found in the park! Be sure and bring your wallet – the shopping here is phenomenal! From clothing to artwork, candy and magic wands – they’ve thought of everything when it comes to memorabilia!
Early Park Admission – Stay on Property
Stay at one of the three on-site Universal Orlando Resort hotels and get into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens. This is a HUGE perk – I couldn’t believe how many people were there when we visited the area. It was packed wall to wall people. A one-hour head start is a huge advantage!
I was fascinated to learn that there are no name brand items for sale in Hogsmeade. While the entire park features Zephyrhills bottled water, in Hogsmeade you’ll only find Keeper Springs water. The same goes for sodas – there are no Coca-Cola products in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but upon exiting the area you’ll be greeted with a huge Coca-Cola refreshment stand.
I think it’s just one special touch that keeps the area truly authentic to guests. I felt completely immersed in the story while in the area. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference!
Whether you know the stories or not – the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a “must see”. From the Flight of the Hippograff ride to the Dragon Challenge roller coaster and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride – there is truly something for everyone here.
Now… pass me another Butterbeer.
Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Tell me your tips…
** Universal Orlando Resort sponsored travel, accommodations and activities for myself and my family during our stay at the resort. Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own and not influenced by others. **