For the fans of Harry Potter paradigm, we offer up the ultimate Harry Potter Themed Travel guide! Themed travel is nothing new. There have been themed cruises and themed tours of cities for decades. Themed travel centered around Harry Potter’s world will quite literally take super fans around the globe!
For the die-hard Harry Potter fans looking for a unique take on your next vacation, they will love this guide that will quite literally take you around the globe and through all of your favorite moments from the Harry Potter books and movies! We start at two theme parks in Orlando, Florida that capture all the movies have to offer!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida
First, let’s go to the epicenter of the Harry Potter universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The Wizarding World features daring rides, delicious treats, and decor that puts you in the heart of the Harry Potter universe. Explore Diagon Alley, where you can tour Gringotts, try to escape the Death Eaters, stroll into Knockturn Alley, check out Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and dine amidst it all at the Leaky Cauldron.
Diagon Alley is an incredibly detailed and immersive setting taking you to London as seen in the movies. When you’ve experienced all of Diagon Alley, hop on the Hogwarts Express – quite literally the coolest interactive train that connects two theme parks and two different worlds – and head over to Hogsmeade.
Hogsmeade at Universal’s Island of Adventure
Once you get off the train, you’re transported into Hogwarts – located in the adjacent Islands of Adventure theme park. Here, you can walk through Hogwarts, visiting the herbology lab outside, the headmaster’s office, view the sorting hat, and then hop on the ride to see the quiddich pitch, Chamber of Secrets, and Forbidden Forest!
When you’re visiting Hogwarts, make sure to grab a glass of butterbeer, visit the shops, and of course you can’t miss the magic shop where you can get your very own wand. Your wand can be used to cast spells at certain parts of the theme park!
Ultimate Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
Be the best in your class, and click here for an extensive guide to both themed areas at Universal Orlando! Also, did you know you can use Siri on your iPhone while you’re in the theme parks to unlock secret spells. Get more spells details here!
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Next, we head across the pond to London, England. Start your European luge of the Harry Potter Themed Travel with the Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London! This is a must see while in the U.K.! You will be immersed into some of the real movie sets, props, and more. Get your tickets ahead of time here!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
After the studios tour, while you’re in London you must head to the West End and see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play by none other than J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being performed at the Palace Theatre London.
Don’t take our word for it, here’s the play synopsis from the source: “19 years after Harry, Ron, and Hermione saved the wizarding world, they’re back on a most extraordinary new adventure – this time, joined by a brave new generation that has only just arrived at the legendary Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Prepare for spectacular spells, a mind-blowing race through time, and an epic battle to stop mysterious forces, all while the future hangs in the balance.“
✅ Click Here to Learn How to Become a Theme Park Architect!
The London Zoo
Next, while you’re still in London, we suggest making a trip over to the Reptile House at the London Zoo. Here Harry spoke with a Burmese Python assisted with his magic in freeing a snake and trap Dudley in the exhibit. This is a great real-world setting that was used in the movie. The existing detail and character of the Reptile House is a themer’s dream!
King’s Cross Train Station
Do you want to see where Harry Potter first ran through the wall at Platform 9 3/4 to hop on the Hogwarts Express. While you’re in London, make your way over to King’s Cross station. Platform 9 3/4 is easy to find since it’s right next to the gift shop. This makes a great photo op with you and the real train station, making your friends envious.
The Harry Potter Train (Jacobite Steam Train)
The Scottish real-world Jacobite Steam train was used as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies. The true, die-hard fan will want to take the 84 mile journey beginning near Ben Nevis and ending at Loch Nevis. Check the schedule and buy tickets here. We can’t guarantee what you will run into along this magical journey!
The real-life Alnwick Castle is where Harry and his companions had their first ever flying lesson. While no flying lessons can be scheduled, you can travel to this castle that was built almost 1000 years ago! We highly suggest you purchase tickets in advance, click here to book your tour.
✳️ Looking for Books Written by Real Theme Park Designers? Check out our List!
First, head to the Bodleian Library at The University of Oxford where you can roam the stacks used in multiple scenes in the movies. Next, walk over to Duke Humfrey’s Library the shooting location where in the movie Harry nearly got caught in the ‘restricted’ area. You can’t leave Oxford, without checking out Christ Church, the real-world location that inspired the Great Hall in the movies.
Quidditch World Cup
Yes,quidditch is a real thing, and it is passion of its players. If you are interested in joining a quidditch team, check out US Quiddich. Looking for more quidditch in your Harry Potter diet? Check out the International Quidditch Associations.