My friends and I only had a matter of hours at Universal Studios, Hollywood,

so I thought I’d share our game plan, incase you wanna follow in our footsteps…


First off… take a moment and walk the red carpet.

You’re a rockstar!

Pretend you’re on E! and wave to your fans.

Now that you’ve lost your cool points anyways, you might as well nerd out and head directly to the attraction that brought you here…



After you walk through the Hogsmeade gate, you’ll see the Hogwarts Express.

Go ahead and take the photo op… You know you want to!

Some of us were so excited we were kissing strangers (oh wait- that was just me)!

Don’t judge me… he’s the train conductor!!!


Next, head over to Ollivander’s Wand Shop.

If you plan on watching the wand choose a wizard experience, stop for a Butterbeer first so you can drink it in line (I recommend the frozen one!).

If not, go on inside to purchase your wand (or if the wait is too long- there’s a kiosk to buy them near Hogwarts Castle).


Should you choose an interactive wand, inside its box you’ll find a map with different areas around the park where you can cast spells.

*Don’t worry if you’re directionally challenged… if you see a medallion at your feet, you’re in the right place!


After you’ve had your fun casting spells, head towards Hogwarts!


Deep inside the castle is the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride, which could possibly be the best ride I’ve ever been on.  SERIOUSLY!

It’s art direction and innovation are unmatched… It combines a 3-D experience with a robotics system designed to make you feel like you’re flying!  MIND BLOWN.

Whatever the wait time… stick it out!

Plus, while you’re in line, you’ll walk through the Greenhouse, Dumbledoor’s Office, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom (be sure to notice the desks and chalkboard in the classroom- they’re from the movie set).

If you have young kids that could be scared of this ride (yes- there’s a dragon) they can still take a walk through the castle.  The “Flight of the Hippogriff” roller coaster should be more up their alley… it’s an easier ride that older audiences may want to pass on (as it’s only about 30 seconds long).

 (Pro-tip for the “Forbidden Journey”:  If you’re carrying personal items with you, you can store them in a locker.  That being said- avoid the lockers if possible… Or at least send a single person as your group’s representative.  The locker area is tight and there will be lots of traffic trying to get in and out.)


Hungry now?

Head over to the 3 Broomsticks.

For a full meal my recommendation is the fish and chips, as it always reminds me of London, but if you only get one thing there…



Next, stop by the Owl Post and send off a note to any friends and family you’re missing…  Yes- they even have Howlers!

(You can also check out other shops like Honeydukes, Zonko’s, Dervish and Banges, and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.)

And just incase you skipped it before:

Be sure to grab a Butterbeer before you head out!



 Want to see more?! Check out Universal’s interactive tour HERE.