This past weekend I flew to Orlando to attend and speak at a blogging conference. While in Orlando Universal Studios, gave me a couple tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, so I could tell you about the park and help you plan a trip of your own. My friend Lexus flew in to experience it with me.
Spoiler alert: It was everything we were hoping for AND MORE.
I’ve only been wanting to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter forever…so this was a dream come true. Since I have tons of friends wanting to go to the park, I thought it would be fun to put together a collection of all the best selfie-spots for your trip.
If you take your kids, they’ll love these…or if you’re an over grown kid that tears up at the sight of Hogwarts like I did, maybe this will be just for you.
The very first thing we saw when walking up to the Harry Potter section of Universal was Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. We weren’t sure exactly where we were on the map at this point, so there was a certain amount of screaming and running to snap our first selfie of the day.
This was right next to the leaky cauldron and the entrance to Diagon Alley. One thing that was really fun about this spot is how normal and low-key it looked. If you didn’t KNOW the significance of Number 12 Grimmauld Place, it would be easy to pass on by and move on to the next amazing thing in the park.
We saw several people taking pictures in front of number eleven which gave us a good chuckle before we ran over to the knight bus.
The bus is a great selfie-spot before you even enter the Wizarding World. Since it drives around out in the muggle world, I love that they included it before you enter the leaky cauldron. Everything was exactly where it should be, and I loved it.
This is also a great spot for regular pictures, as you can go talk to the driver and even the little shrunken head. We loved it.
The last thin you want to experience before you enter Diagon Alley, is jump inside the red phone booth. At first glance you might think it’s just a cute decoration to snap a picture with, but make sure you enter it. You can call the Ministry of Magic and listen to a recoreded message, which is what we were doing in the selfie shot above.
Now you’re finally ready to enter Daigon Alley. There is so much going on, on the street, it’s overwhelming (in a wonderful way!).
From here on out, everything is thematic, so you really feel like you’re living in the book. There are no muggle shops, and the workers are all in costume. Even “keep out” signs say “no muggles” instead of the traditional “employees only” or other phrases. You’ll want to run over and take a picture with the Dragon on top of Gringott’s right away, and then get in line for the ride.
One of the best things about all the rides in both parks is that the lines were SO ENTERTAINING. I would have been happy to just stand in the lines honestly, there was so much to do and see. And tons of selfie spots! Every where you turn there is something fun to see. I was in awe of their attention to detail.
Also in the Gringott’s line we got a selfie with our new goblin BFF. The room was full of goblins, just like in the movie and they were moving and working. The head goblin even talks to you when you reach that point in line. So. Cool.
Right before you board the ride, be sure you snap a selfie with Griphook’s office door!
After you ride the ride, you can start hitting up the shops. There’s a ton of neat stuff to see and a few more aweseome selfie locations. Grab a picture in the mirror at Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions. If you stand there long enough the mirror will start talking to you. It told us we were wearing strange looking robes.
Run in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes to grab some fun souvenirs and a picture with a Pigmy Poof!
If you are essentially still a five your old, you’ll want to stop for a hearty breakfast of ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s. We got a few different scoops to sample. We strongly recommend the sticky toffee flavor. SO DELICIOUS. Head over to the steps across the street to grab a quick ice cream selfie on the wizard street.
If you sneak down the side street by the Magical Menagerie, you can grab this priceless selfie with a massive snake.
Slip inside and grab a picture with Fang too! He’s so soft!!!
If you are a Slytherin (like Lexus) or just considering going dark, duck down Knockturn Alley. The whole street is cold and dark and feels spooky! Slip into Borgin and Burke’s. There are a lot of cool things to check out in the shop from the books and movies. Make sure to grab a picture with the vanishing cabinet. You’ll also be able to hear a bird tweeting if you stand next to it, from the time Draco lost a bird in the cabinet.
On the other side of the street, you’ll find some luggage. Make sure to grab quick shot with it, for a little hat-tip to Little Hangleton and Godric’s Hollow.
Make sure to grab a selfie with the mermaid while you are over there too!
By this time, you’ll be ready to head out of Diagon Alley and take the train to Hogsmeade.
Before you enter the station make sure to snap a selfie at King’s Cross Station (of course).
While heading to your train, be sure to grab a photo with the “make a little magic” perfume sign. This very poster was hanging in the train station when Dumbldore and Harry head off together to talk to Professor Slughorn. (Yes, this information is filed under WHY DO I KNOW THIS OBSCURE HARRY POTTER FACT). Though not strictly a selfie, I thought this was worth mentioning.
The train ride is nothing short of magical, especially when you get to cross over to nine and three quarters. Grab a quick selfie and then sit back and enjoy the ride!
When you step off the train, be ready to be amazed. Hogsmeade is nothing short of amazing.
Grab some butterbeer and get ready to walk the streets of one of the prettiest places ever!
While everything in front of you is SO BEAUTIFUL, make sure you still get a picture with Hogsmeade station behind you!
One of the first shops you’ll see on your left, is Fred & George’s old favorite… Zonkos!
Keep going a few steps and you’ll come across Honey Dukes right next door. It’s a real sweet shop, so you can buy candy souvenirs like chocolate frogs and Every Flavor Beans!
Keep heading down the street and pop into the three broomsticks for lunch. To be fair, this food was AMAZING and cheaper than the food we were getting in a (non-Universal) hotel.
Right next door to the three broomsticks is, of course, the Hog’s Head bar. Butter Beer for all!
Then you’re ready to turn the corner…and you’ll see Hogwarts for the first time. Pictures are great y’all but there’s nothing like seeing it in person. I genuinely teared up, but we all know Harry Potter means a lot to me so I shouldn’t be surprised.
All day, every time I looked up I could hardly believe we were actually here! Run your fastest to Hogwarts so you can explore the castle and ride the ride!
Through the halls you’ll find the Mirror of Erised. You’ll see your greatest desire in the mirror. For both of us, it was obviously a day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and that’s exactly what we saw.
We had to snap a quick selfie in the Hogwarts gardens, since I’m a Hufflepuff and we’re supposed to be good at that stuff. Sadly, I have no real-life gardening skills.
There is so much more to see and do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Don’t worry, I’ll be telling you about it all in future posts here and on Traveling Family Blog. Have fun on your trip and be sure to check out all the details or order tickets here!