The battle of the theme parks! Just kidding, it really isn’t a competition and I will make no secret of the fact that I am extremely disappointed that Disney did not try for Harry Potter World because, although I absolutely adore Harry Potter World, I simply cannot justify the almost $350 it is for my husband and I to experience all of Harry Potter World in Universal Studios except once every two or three trips out there. I just can’t. I love Harry Potter. If you know me, you know this. I have Harry Potter pictures from my wedding, I threw my cousin a Harry Potter themed bridal shower, I have read each book so many times I’ve had to buy several copies because they literally fell apart.
I would have absolutely been the happiest Potter fan in the World, had Disney bought the rights to Harry Potter. When Disney announced the plans for Star Wars, the theme park, the hotel, the…everything. I was crushed because I just know that even though Universal did an amazing job with Harry Potter, Disney would have just recreated the entire World, the entire experience. I sound like I am dogging Universal and I don’t mean to. I truly love Harry Potter World, honestly it’s the cost for me and the fact that there is literally nothing else I want to go to Universal for, and the fact that you have to buy the pass to both parks to get the full experience just breaks my heart.
I have heard that the reasoning Disney had for not trying for Harry Potter was that they weren’t sure of the staying power of Harry Potter. I wholeheartedly disagree with this, but I am a little biased. I understand that Star Wars is a multi-generational empire. I get that, movies have been released for decades and will continue to be released but I truly believe that Harry Potter has a plethora of loyal followers, believers and fans, who will keep this franchise going strong for decades to come.
Can you imagine a Hogwarts hotel modeled after the Star Wars Hotel that is in progress! I can! And it would have been amazing. People tell me that it is cheating on Disney to be a Harry Potter fan (Hogwarts Alum). It’s not. I love going to Harry Potter World at Universal and would do it so much more often if the cost wasn’t so astronomical.
The first time my cousin and I got to Hogwarts we literally ran through Universal to get there and it brought tears to my eyes to walk into the World. It transported me there. It was like being back in Hogwarts, seeing Hogsmeade, it was incredible and don’t even get me started on the butterbeer. It was everything I had imagined it would taste like. When reading through the books, you imagine what the butterbeer would taste like, and it tasted exactly like that!
If you have never been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you have to go! Even if you are not a Potter lover, this place is truly incredible and it transports you straight to J.K. Rowling’s vision. My husband is not nearly the Harry Potter fan I am and yet he walked into that part of Universal and was floored. Is it worth it to visit every time you are in Orlando? No. Not in my opinion. A park-to-park ticket which allows you access to both parks which you have to purchase in order to experience all of Harry Potter World is $165 per person. That is $330 for two people to experience Harry Potter World for one day. That. Is. Outrageous. When you consider, there is nothing else to do in Universal (again just my opinion) except to go over and ride the Men in Black ride.
Bottom line, go see Harry Potter World, make a day of it but don’t expect much else from Universal. Harry Potter World has to be experienced. The rides are incredible. You truly feel as though you are flying in the Forbidden Journey ride (which is in Hogwarts) and Hogwarts is constructed with such intricacy that it is worth it to wait in line just to see everything. The details in Escape from Gringotts are wonderful as well. Honestly, the line is just as fun as the rides in both of these because the details are done so well. Know that you are paying for Harry Potter World so plan on spending the entire day entrenched in J.K. Rowling’s imagination come to life.
Thanks for stopping by and even though this is a post about the Potterverse for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse…or in this case that it all started with an idea written on a napkin in a bar.