Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Tips, Tricks, and Goodies

January 7, 2011 § 18 Comments

Oh, hi πŸ™‚

Tips & Tricks for Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before the park opens and head straight to HP World. Granted, I was there during the holiday season which is admittedly the most hectic time. But still. Have your tickets ready and be ready to surge right into the park upon opening.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and layers! Florida is a land of ever-changing climate! Also, the lines are all pretty crazy and with all the walking and standing, you will need feet-forgiving shoes.
  • DO NOT miss out on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or else your trip counts for nothing. This is the main attraction. It is awesome. It is amazing. Enough said. I would recommend heading here first as the line tends to get longer as the day goes on.
  • For items like keychains, T-shirts, hats, patches, etc– Filch’s Emporium is the place to go. Brave all the shoving and pushing.
  • For more specialty items like wands, candy, diaries, owls, etc.– try Honeyduke’s, Zonko’s, Ollivander’s, and Dervish & Banges where the crowd is controlled.
  • If you aren’t interested in the Ollivander’s Wand Experience (which, in my opinion… you should be interested in), skip the long line and buy your wands and specialty items at the street vendors.
  • Try Butterbeer. No matter what. Please.
  • Here’s a little something my teacher recommends- LOOK UP! Wherever you go, keep your eyes glued to the sky or ceiling. Apparently, you miss a lot of things if you aren’t looking up. Shop windows, in the castle, etc.
  • The Owlery is supposed to be located at the top of the castle, which you can tell by looking at the structure and exterior of it. However, we unfortunately aren’t allowed to travel to the top of the castle. So… the Owlery IS part of the castle but it is located in Hogsmeade. I did not know this. It is located across from The Three Broomsticks in a shaded area with a lot of picnic tables. Go under the shaded area and look up. There will be owls. And owl poop. Enjoy.
  • Go to the restroom next to the Three Broomsticks/Hog’s Head and you will get to hear Moaning Myrtle. It’s quite pleasant.
  • Look into all the store windows! You will get to see cool things like Bludgers struggling to get out of a case, a jumping Chocolate Frog, books by Gilderoy Lockhart, and much much more!
  • The workers will be herding you along in the castle, but they give you the option to let people behind you bypass you so you can pause and take pictures. Do that. Seriously, take a long time touring the castle because there are so many details you won’t notice if you’re rushing through it. You go through the dungeons, Potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office, etc. etc. etc. You can see the portraits of the Four Founders (notice what they are holding ;)), listen to the paintings, etc. Take in all the little things!
  • Don’t be afraid to be your true, HP-loving self. I was screaming ‘Expecto Patronum!’ when the dementors were all up in my business and I was conversing very normally with Harry and Hermione during the ride. And I bowed very deeply to Buckbeak. Please tell me I’m not the only person who would do that.
  • Enter through the Toon Lagoon entrance. You will get the whole effect of the music, the best view, the Hogwarts Express, etc.
  • Don’t forget about the other sections of Islands of Adventure! If you have time in the evening or if you are forced to get a return ticket, there’s always Seuss Landing, Jurassic Park, the Lost Continent, Toon Lagoon, Marvel Superheros, and a few others.

{ carousel in Seuss Landing }


{ goofing around in a mini-play area at Seuss Landing }


I didn’t get that many souvenirs, but the ones I did get were belated Christmas presents from the sis. Firstly, I got to keep my Butterbeer mug (that’s $10.50 including the drink… Not sure how much the drink is alone– I think around 4 or 5 bucks?)

{ the haul }

{a magical mug – $16.95 }

Sorry! I cannot, for the life of me, get this picture to right itself. Tilt your head to the left? Isn’t it pretty? It was a gift from my dear cousin πŸ™‚ But it’s no ordinary mug. Observe.

{ the back of the pretty mug }

The matte area on the mug remains so when left alone. However, if you fill the mug with a hot beverage, the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will magically appear in orange print! Fancy!

{ Gryffindor journal – $24.95}

Not to be confused with Tom Riddle’s diary! I really loved this little journal with its (faux) leather cover and its lovely, parchment-like colored paper and its scarlet page marker. I’m using it as an inspiration journal and will write in it with…

{ ballpoint pen quill – $9.95 }

Hi pretty. They also have Rita Skeeter’s freakishly green charmed quill which didn’t appeal to me at all. I’ll stick with the nice stuff.

And now for the biggie:

{ wand case }

As I’ve said before, the Marauders era is my absolute favorite. James Potter, Lily Evans, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin (along with the very complex character of Severus Snape) are my great loves. We shall conveniently forget about Peter Pettigrew, the stinkball of a traitor. Anyways, in Ollivander’s, there are two different kinds of wands: the specialty wands and the character wands. The specialty wands came in way nicer boxes, but the wands themselves felt flimsier and the designs weren’t all that great. The character wands came in plainer boxes, but had a lot more substance. I think they had wands for Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Draco Malfoy, Snape, Dumbledore, Voldemort, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and I’m pretty sure a couple others.

I was torn between Harry’s (very classic), Hermione’s (extremely pretty), Dumbledore’s (unique), Remus’s (very classic and ordinary), and Sirius’s (a bit different). I wanted something that looked like a wand instead of a stick and one belonging to a character that I really could identify with. That took out Hermione and Dumbledore. I just didn’t love Harry’s and I really wanted to love Remus’s because I love that man, but I just found it too plain.

So I went for the bad boy’s.

{ Sirius Black’s wand – $29.95 }

Haven’t regretted it since. I take it out of its box all the time and pet it affectionately. I’m not strange, I swear. Anyways, it’s quite long and heavy. The top has hieroglyphic-like symbols and then the all the way down is the spiral-y pattern. It’s real pretty, but very very unique. I really wish they had wands made for James Potter and Lily Evans, but I’m all warm and happy that I possess the replica of a wand that brought much laughter to Hogwarts, that brought much brotherhood to James, and much love to Harry.

Sappy, much? I also wanted to grab a Gryffindor scarf, but they are out of stock until mid-January. All the more reason to go back!

Alrighty people, up next- Epcot for NYE!



§ 18 Responses to Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Tips, Tricks, and Goodies

  • Cassie says:

    So cool! Love the wand!

  • Maeve says:

    FINALLY!!! Someone with good tips for the WWoHP and a love for Lupin! Remus Lupin is my favorite charcter in all of the books! How can you not love him? Thanks for the tips, too.

  • Alison says:

    I just have to say, I am in absolute LOVE with Sirius Black and I had no idea you could get his wand! So now when I go next month I’m just gonna have to get that πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing all your tips and such!

    • I love Sirius too! He is such a lovable mischiefmaker/amazing godfather πŸ™‚ Yes, his wand is one among many choices, but my personal favorite! Hope you have fun and thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

  • Catharine says:

    We all know the Pettigrew does not deserve to be mentioned. But siriusly (that one was for you!!), you were shouting Expecto Patronum? I am SO doing that when I go over the summer!! See, I want to let my HP Guru-iness shine, but I don’t want to be a fool. I don’t think I will wear robes, though. Thanks for the tips!!!

    Potter is our KING!!!!

  • Mike says:

    Actually if you watch the movies, the owlry is in a tower totally seperate from and located behind the castle. What you see at the top of the castle is the astronomy tower. It made its first appearance in the 6th movie. Awesome tips! I’ll keep them in mind!

  • ME says:

    Hey why didnt you get any of the candy it is AWESOME!!!!!

  • Julie says:

    Do you recall how much the wands cost?

  • RibbitBliss says:

    The Warner Brothers site is selling James Potter’s wand now!

  • Stephanie says:

    I was thinking the same things as Maeve … this is actually helpful. Instead of most of the tips I’ve read that consist of “Get there early and stay in the hotels onsite”. It’s like “Yes, thank you we know” None that I have read have mentioned the option of having them slow down in the castle for you to take pictures, and “look up” is the best advice ever. I tell everyone that … it’s just a good thing to do throughout life πŸ™‚

    So thank you. I am gratefully informed.

  • Siobhan says:

    Great tips that I haven’t seen anywhere else! Moaning Mrytle!! Thanks- Can’t wait to enjoy the experience.

  • GarrickOllivander says:

    You have no idea how much I laughed when you wrote the dementors all up in my business. HAHA. I’ll hopefully go to WWoHP this May, I know it’ll be crowded but I hope it’s worth it. I’m a hugely huge HP fan.

  • larah2001 says:

    I am such a big Harry Potter Fan that I cried reading parts of this…

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