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One thing all Harry Potter fans are constantly in search of is a way to bring the magic of the movies and the books to life. Although there are a plethora of different ways to achieve this goal, taking Pottermore quizzes and shopping for wands doesn’t quite match up to some people’s expectations. The answer for everyone looking for the best experience yet is definitely visiting a Harry Potter theme park. However, given the massive popularity of the series, there are so many out there you simply have to ask yourself which ones are the best.
This article will give you a brief breakdown of the 4 best theme parks to help you have your own real-life Harry Potter experience to help you forget about your muggle life, at least for a short while.
1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure, Orlando
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios in Florida may be the most interesting Harry Potter-themed park in the world. Aside from featuring replicas from the movies which are available in all of the other Wizarding World parks, this one has a few exclusive attractions.
The first one is Diagon Alley. The most notable set piece in this recreation of one of the most interesting parts of the wizarding world is the Gringotts bank.
The recreation features a roller coaster ride in the dark showing the viewers around the Gringotts bank using 3D technology. The ride is also narrated by Bill Weasley.
One of the most memorable parts of this attraction is the dragon on top of the Gringotts bank that breaths fire every now and then.
The thing that makes this expanded set truly special is the fact that it was built farther away from the replica of the Hogwarts castle while the park was expanding. This provides the visitors with a truly unique experience of actually boarding a Hogwarts Express replica which will take them to the portion of the park which features the rest of the Wizarding World.
The second thing which makes this park special is a ride called Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This rollercoaster is located in the Hogsmead part of the park.
This ride takes the visitors on a ride in Forbidden Forest in Hagrid’s motorbike. While on the ride the viewers get introduced to different magical creatures such as Hagrid’s dog Fluffy, Centaurs, and Cornish Pixies.
Aside from the story element, the ride is actually a pretty thrilling one which makes it perfect for any rollercoaster lovers. In addition to being the longest ride in Florida totaling almost a mile in length, the ride is also one of the few rollercoasters in America featuring a vertical drop of almost 17 feet followed by a backward drop.
The ride is one of the most popular ones in the entire park and has received critical acclaim from both officials and visitors.
2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan is best known for the replica of magical locations from the movies. These include an extremely detailed recreation of Hogwarts castle interior and exterior as well as Hogsmeade.
Before you actually see the Hogwarts castle you’ll be greeted by the replica of Hogwarts Express. This feature is an amazing introduction to what awaits you further into the park. This experience is made even better by friendly conductors on the site who are always happy to take photos with you to make the visit even more magical for you.
If you ever wondered what it would be like to attend Hogwarts this is the perfect place for you. The almost to-scale replica of the castle offers a realistic experience of walking through the castle. The attraction includes corridors filled with moving paintings, Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, and even Dumbledore’s office.
To make sure your experience is complete there is also a plethora of interesting attractions in Hogsmeade. The small section of parc includes a few different shops where you can get anything your Potterhead heart could possibly desire and two restaurants from the movies if you want to grab something to eat in the middle of your Harry Potter adventure.
For those among us who are looking for a more thrilling experience, there are a few things for you as well. Most notably the park features two rollercoaster rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff.
Both rides are centered on different elements from the series
3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios in Hollywood is quite bigger than the one in Japan. In addition to the Hogwarts castle da Hogsmeade, it also features some famous attractions from the movies such as Arthur Weasley’s flying car.
The park features a replica of the castle and its iconic locations such as the Gryffindor common room and the Room of Requirement.
One thing which makes the experience even more magical is the ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It is an attraction that brings the world of Harry Potter world to life using a lot of muggle technology and a tiny bit of magic.
The ride provides you with an amazing and unique experience of seeing the Hogwarts castle from a bird’s perspective. After the ride comes to an end the portion that follows allows the people on the ride to come face to face with different magical creatures while enjoying an unforgettable adventure with your friends.
Another interesting experience is a ride called Flight of the Hippogriff. It’s an unusual ride through Hagrid’s pumpkin patch. The premise of the ride is a short lesson in the care of magical creatures, narrated by Hagrid as the riders approach the Hippogriff.
If you happen to lose or misplace your wand you can visit Olivander’s shop in Hogsmead, where you can find the perfect fit for your wand.
While in Hogsmead you can also visit the frog choir to hear their amazing performance or bring your spirits up by visiting the Triwizard tournament rally. This is also a great place to catch a short break or eat something in authentic film locations like Three Broomsticks.
This particular park offers a special experience called Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Once the day comes to an end and the castle gets engulfed in darkness a sinister show takes place. The castle lights up with the dark mark as Dementors, Deatheatrs and an Inferi army take over Hogwarts.
This is an extremely interesting experience accompanied by a soundtrack that makes everyone present feel like they are actually witnessing Lord Voldemort’s attack on the castle.
4. Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London
Although this isn’t a theme park in a traditional sense of the word it is definitely worth mentioning. The tour of the studio is an amazing experience for any fan of the series.
The tour offers a unique look into the process of filming the movies. As the visitors walk around the studio they can see most of the sets used in the movies.
Most of them are also filled with different props and costumes from beloved characters. One of the most popular sets on the entire tour is The Great Hall, which always looks exactly as it does in the movies.
An interesting addition is a small souvenir you get once you actually get inside. The Harry Potter passport is a small booklet introducing the visitors to what they’ll see ahead accompanied by interesting facts about the exhibits.
The tour also features a model of the Hogwarts castle which you can walk through a few times to make sure you got all the details. Another model feature on this tour is the King’s Cross train station completed with platform 9 3/4 and a perfect photo opportunity for any Potterhead, a wall with half of the luggage cart making you look like someone caught you right as you were rushing to catch Hogwarts Express.