Harry Potter Theme Park Orlando Review: Facts, Hours and Rides

Harry Potter Theme ParkThe new Harry Potter theme park is definitely for anyone who was sad to see the series end in 2011. By visiting the park, you can forever remember the dearly loved heroes of this exceptional movie series, even if just for a little while.

Ironically, even if you aren’t all that familiar with the movie, you will still enjoy the Harry Potter theme park, simply because it is in a word, awesome. This park is unlike any other in existence and as long as you don’t mind terribly long lines, you are sure to experience a life changing thrill.

Harry Potter Theme Park Facts

A couple of years ago, back in June of 2010, the park opened in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, to a crowd of more than 5,000 along with the stars of the movie, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. There was an amazing control of the crowds, considering the anticipation leading up to this once in a lifetime event.

Once the curtain dropped the Hogwarts Express train conductor revealed a massive invitation to all who had stood in line since 5:30 a.m. and thus, the Harry Potter Park Orlando, Florida was born.

Since then, this has become one of the major Orlando Florida attractions. In fact, it has won awards for two years straight for the best theme park and the best new attraction. People come from hundreds of miles each year and not just for the rides. They also yearn for a taste of butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks or marvel at Olivander’s wand shop. They purchase chocolate frogs and enter Filch’s Emporium to see movie props or perhaps purchase a few souvenirs.

Harry Potter Theme Park Hours

The hours of operation vary, but they generally begin around 9:00 a.m. Closing times differ depending on the days of the week, but they do not close any earlier than 8:00 p.m. If you can find hotels in Orlando, Florida close enough to make the trek in 15 minutes or so, you should have plenty of time to explore.

Harry Potter Theme Park Rides

First and foremost, is the amazing, Forbidden Journey ride. This ride combines all kinds of technology that allows you to visit Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and all of the iconic rooms and locations. You will see the Defense Against the Dark Arts room, the Room of Requirement, Gryffindor’s common room and of course, Dumbledore’s office.

The next ride is called the Dragon Challenge. You have your choice between two different dragons, one aggressive and one ferocious. Of all the Universal Studios Orlando rides, this one tends to evoke more of a spirit of adventure. You loop and twist at super-high speeds and both dragons offer a totally different ride experience.

The final ride, called Flight of the Hippogriff is more of a family-style roller coaster. It closely resembles the character in the movie and is one of the reasons why the Universal Studios Orlando packages sell out so quickly. It’s for everyone, including smaller children so they can really feel what it’s like to fly across the grounds at Hogwarts.