Did you know you can visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on both coasts? That’s right, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be found in Florida at Universal Orlando Resort and in California at Universal Studios Hollywood. Luckily, our team at Get Away Today visits both coasts numerous times each year so we can share all the tips and tricks for your vacation.The detail found on both coasts is unmatched. There are so many similarities and so many differences. In this article we’ll explore both so you can know exactly what to expect and you plan and prep for your visit.
What is Different At the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida and California?
Let’s start with some of the major differences between the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida
- Universal Orlando Resort has the larger of the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations, spread out over two theme parks.
- Hogsmeade is located in Islands of Adventure.
- Diagon Alley is located in Universal Studios Florida
- Universal Orlando also has Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which the California version does not.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is patterned after the Hogsmeade side of Universal Orlando.
- There is only one park in California, and you can easily experience everything in one day.
- Hogsmeade on the west coast is just slightly smaller than the original in Orlando, but the space is used so wisely, you would never know. The layout of the streets and shops are almost identical, but with an additional attraction and more space, Orlando is more spread out.
In addition, Florida’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas are connected by an actual working Hogwarts Express! If you'd like to visit both sides of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the same day in Florida, you'll need a park hopper ticket.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California
Now there are even more fandoms represented at Universal Studios Hollywood, with the addition of a new area—SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.
What is the Same at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida and California?
Now that we understand a few key differences, let’s look at some similarities between the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations. Here are a few general comparisons from west coast Hogsmeade to east coast Hogsmeade:
- Both Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations feature the two attractions, Hogwarts which houses Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff.
- Both Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations feature Ollivanders, Honeydukes, the Three Broomsticks Restaurant, Hog's Head Pub and Butterbeer carts.
- Both Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations feature many shops and live entertainment.
Secret Differences Between Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida and California
By now you may have a good idea of which Wizarding World of Harry Potter you’d like to visit, or maybe you’re looking to visit the second location. But we want to share some of the nitty gritty details of the Harry Potter differences between California and Florida. Many of these you may not even notice, but any hardcore fan will appreciate the subtle and not-so-subtle differences.
- Both Hogwarts Castles are identical but each have their own setting.
- In Florida you access Hogwarts from two areas; one by crossing a bridge from the outside near Jurassic Park, or inside after wandering through Hogsmeade.
- In California, you get to Hogwarts by passing through the Forbidden Forest outside of Hogsmeade. You can even see the remnants of Mr. Weasley's muggle car after its encounter with the Whomping Willow.
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is an intense attraction in Florida, but the one on the west coast is even more intense because it is the same attraction, but in 3D and HD.
- The actual seats on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Florida feature different sizes, only allowing larger (regular adult sized riders) to use select seats. In California, they adjusted the seats to all be the "larger" size so that they will all accommodate more riders. moves revealing one of two wand ceremony rooms. You would never know that there are any rooms, let alone two!
- In Florida, both the Frog Choir and the TriWizard Spirit Rally were added after the plans were completed for the park. Because of the shows' success on the east coast, the shows were part of original plans for the California park, and a stage to highlight the live entertainment was built. In Florida, the shows take place on the street level.
- The Flight of the Hippogriff in California has individual lap bars while the one in Florida has one lap bar for the entire car. The California version also has two more seats per train, which is great news for those waiting in line in Hollywood.
- There are two Ollivanders locations in Florida; one on the Hogsmeade side and one on the Diagon Alley side. In California there is only one Ollivanders, but it is an extra special one that has two showrooms. Guests enter in one main area lined with wand boxes. Once everyone is gathered in, a panel in the room moves revealing one of two wand ceremony rooms. You would never know that there are any rooms, let alone two!
Join the Conversation!Leave A Comment
Get Away TodayJanuary 24 2020
Ronald - Thanks for sharing your insight! We do love Universal Orlando's Harry Potter experiences, but also love the convenience of heading to nearby SoCal to check out the Universal Studios Hollywood version.
Ronald WeasleyJanuary 24 2020
Personally, I thought Orlando was better because of the train experience and the new ride, Hagrid's Magical Creatures. Hollywood wasn't the best, I can assure you. Everyone thinks that they are Superior to you (much like the Malfoys) Otherwise, both parks are great. But Orlando is greater. ??
Get Away TodayDecember 29 2019
AnonymousDecember 29 2019
Hermione: Stop, stop, stop. You’re gonna take someone’s eye out. And besides, you’re saying it wrong. It’s LeviOsa, not LeviosA
Get Away TodayNovember 25 2019
Kairi - That sounds like a great plan!
Kairi MalfoyNovember 24 2019
I live closer to Cali so I might go to that one and I will get Draco Malfoy's wand, but I'm a Hufflepuff so I will get a Huddlepuff scarf, because I already have a tie, and a robe. CAN'T WAIT!
Katie December 29 2018
I really want to go. I have read all books at least three times. I love the Harry Potter series
AliasJanuary 21 2018
OMG I JUST WATCHED THE LAST MOVIE AND WHY DONT I GO THERE RIGHT NOW (the only thing that we have but not Lord Voldemort is NOSES but i really want to go there and buy potter stuff like wands and stuff OR SCHOOL UNIFORMS IF YOU CAN GET ONE (Im Going To Get Raven Claw Because Im In Raven Claw But I Got 40% Of Being In Gryffindor) c:
AnonymousNovember 08 2016