Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosIf you are like most Universal Orlando guests, you start your morning by running to the back of Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure to beat the crowds to see all of the Harry Potter attractions.  After some playing, you are bound to feel hungry.  Good news!  You can continue to feel the magic of the Wizarding World with meals and snacks inspired by the series.
On the Universal Studios side, immerse yourself in London, get all of your Wizarding supplies and grab a meal at the Leaky Cauldron.  This restaurant serves breakfast,  lunch and dinner in the setting of the famous pub right out of the movies.   I prefer to grab breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron just after my ride on the Escape From Gringotts and before heading over to Hogsmeade on the Hogwarts Express.  On the Islands of Adventure side, head over to Three Broomsticks from some traditional English fare.  The ordering stations are laid out to look just like you are checking in as a guest of this famous inn.  This restaurant does a fabulous job of immersing guests into the movie while they enjoy a tasty meal.

 

Do I need to make reservations?

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosNo!  Both of these restaurants are considered counter service locations so simply decide when you want to eat, walk up and order.  Prices range from a reasonable $9.99-$16.99 or 1 counter service credit on the Universal Dining Plan.  Both of these restaurants are pretty busy all day, but don’t let a line deter you.  They move people very quickly and there is always room to sit.

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal Studios

If you are having way too much fun to take time to sit and eat, but still want to experience some Harry Potter treats, there are plenty of options.  If Butterbeer is what you crave, there are plenty of Butterbeer carts in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley served regular, frozen or my personal favorite, Butterbeer ice cream.  If you want a more magical snack to take home as a souvenir, visit Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.  You can fill your own bag of Bertie Bott’s, take home some Butterbeer fudge or surprise your friends with some Exploding Bon Bons!

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosUniversal does an excellent job of immersing guests in the magic of Harry Potter.  Eating like a wizard here is a magical experience for both adults and kids.

 

For more information about Universal or to book your vacation, please contact a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist. We are highly trained in both Universal and Disney destinations, and we would love to assist you!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

Are you ready for some Muggle Magic?

Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the most immersive and impressive themed lands ever created.  It is no wonder that this area is very popular and always crowded.  In order to get the most out of the Wizarding World with the least amount of hassle, you must go in with a plan.  By following the steps below, you are sure to experience all that your Muggle heart desires without the aggravation of lines, crowds and excessive waiting.

 

Step 1 – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Park 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Escape from Gringotts!

Congratulations!  You’ve been accepted into Hogwarts so now you must pick up all of your supplies.  Stepping into Diagon Alley is like stepping into the movie.  Never have I experienced such a feeling of being a part of the story.  You will want to spend some time here experiencing all of its beauty.  Do the attractions in the following order to get the most out of your time here:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts
  • Purchase your interactive wand from Ollivanders and if you are lucky, your wand will choose you!  Interact and cast spells all over Diagon Alley. (Read more about the Wand Ceremony, HERE!)
  • Grab breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron before catching the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade.

 

Step 2 – Arrive in Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure Park 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hogsmeade

You’ve made it to Hogsmeade and now you are ready to become a wizard!  Stepping off the Hogwarts Express, pause and take it all in.  The snow-topped buildings with the awe-inspiring Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be like heaven for muggles so make sure you get plenty of photos!  Explore Hogsmeade in the following order to make the most of your time:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Compete in the Triwizard tournament in Dragon Challenge (Use your Express Pass)
  • Hop on board a Hippogriff in Flight of the Hippogriff (Use your Express Pass)
  • Interact throughout Hogsmeade with your wand
  • Have lunch at Three Broomsticks (Learn more about Universal’s Dining Plan, HERE!)
  • Grab a Butterbeer from one of the carts: regular, frozen or ice cream. Wizarding World of Harry Potter

 

Other tips and tricks to make the most of your visit to the Wizarding World 

  • Stay at a Universal on-site hotel to get early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  For an even more convenient experience, add Universal Express Pass to your tickets or Unlimited Express Pass free with your stay at one of the three premier Universal resort properties.
  • Make sure you have a Park-To-Park Ticket to be able to ride the Hogwarts Express between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, you are sure to fall in love with this area of the Universal theme parks.  Take your time, tour with patience and enjoy your journey into this magical world. For more information or to book your Universal Orlando vacation, contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

 

Want to make your Harry Potter trip a little more magical?

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you may already have your favorite Hogwart’s house picked out. To add to the fun of your visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, I recommend visiting the official site for J.K. Rowling before you arrive at the park (or while standing in line to get in!)  You can learn all about Harry Potter, Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and even get sorted into one of the four Hogwart’s houses!

Let’s get started!

  • Start the fun at www.pottermore.com and select “Begin Your Journey.”
  • If you are viewing the site on your computer, select “Sorting” at the top right. If you are on your smartphone, there is a drop down menu in the upper left corner.
  • You must provide your birth month and year.
    {Important to note: guests must be at least 13 years old to register.}
  • You will need a separate email address for each member of your family to register.
  • Once you complete the registration, jump back to the Sorting area and scroll to “Join Your Hogwart’s House.” Select “Be Sorted and Discover Your House.” Answer all the questions in the Sorting Ceremony (making sure to scroll to view all the possible responses) until you complete each question and are finally “sorted” into your house. Harry Potter Sorting

For true Harry Potter fans, you can also be sorted to reveal your Patronus (an animal that possesses characteristics from your own personality) as well as to select your wand.

Now that you have your house colors, go explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with confidence!


I will tell you that my family got ourselves “sorted” before our first adventure into the world of Harry Potter. For us, it made the visit more magical and fun, especially for my daughter. She was able to pick out a Hufflepuff scarf and a wand, and it definitely was more exciting for her knowing where she “belonged!”

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

* Pottermore.com is not affiliated with Universal Studios, but it is the official site for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter stories

I’m a Disney purists. I love the history, the films and of course the theme parks! I think no one does it as well as Disney. With that said, two years ago, I had the opportunity to get a private look at Universal Studios and especially Harry Potter areas of the parks. What I found was a bit surprising and amazing. Universal Studios vs Disney

As a child I had visited Universal Hollywood. I grew up watching Nickelodeon on TV and it was great seeing the shows and rides that were featured. I remember the original Back to the Future ride and the backstage tour it was great but on that same trip I also went to Disneyland. To me, Disneyland is the center of all theme parks. It’s where it all started so at the time there was no comparing the two. Disney outmatched Universal – period.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I visit Universal Studios Florida. It’s okay but no Disney World. It has some great roller coasters at Islands of Adventure and some shows but I was like “ehhh it’s ok.” Now fast forward few more years after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens and what can I say now – WOW! It changed everything. I said something I never thought I would. “I’ve never seen something like this at a Disney park.” It’s beautifully done, well designed and incredible. That is all being said from a person, who at the time, had never seen a Harry Potter movie! Universal Studios vs Disney

The folks at Universal have done a great job transforming that park. It’s a full fledged resort with hotels, great food, shopping and world class rides. I will say their rides, in my opinion, tilt toward older children but it is still a great family destination. I think it’s worth exploring one or two days or even staying at one of their resorts.

What I wanted to point out in this blog is that I’m a person who absolutely loves Disney – my white blood cells are in the shape of Mickey Mouse! Disney will always be the best in my eyes but I also think the park a few miles down the interstate is pretty good. Check it out and see for yourself and for those of you like me let’s just keep it to ourselves and not tell Mickey! 😉

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

P.S. All of the Me and The Mouse agents are specialized in Universal vacations. If you would like to add a day at Universal don’t forget to contact your agent!