Universal Studios Hollywood Harry Potter

A Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California

October 20, 2021 /

Warning: Due to COVID 19 some information in this article (e.g. operating hours) may not be up-to-date.

If you travel to California or take a tour of the West Coast, you not only have an opportunity to admire some of the most amazing natural wonders of the USA, but also the possibility to visit some sensational theme parks located in the area between Los Angeles and Orange County.  These parks are competitors and have amazing rides and truly impressive reconstruction of locations from the Harry Potter movies.

While Disneyland scored big in the world of entertainment by recently inaugurating Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in California, well before that, (in 2010) Universal Studios, Disneyland’s fierce rival, opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Orlando in Florida, and then replicated it (about 6 years later) in its location in Hollywood.

Soon I will write a detailed guide about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, but today I thought to dedicate a little guide to its Hollywood counterpart, in order to answer some recurring questions that we often receive on the subject, for example, what are the differences between the Harry Potter park in Orlando and the one in Los Angeles? Does the ticket for Universal Studios in Hollywood also include the themed area dedicated to the famous wizard of Hogwarts? How long does it take to visit it? What rides, attractions, and reconstructions are there? Let’s take a closer look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Los Angeles.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood: Where Is It? What Is It?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Los Angeles is an area entirely dedicated to the famous magician immortalized in J.K. Rowling’s books, but it is not a park in itself; rather, it is an integral part of Universal Studios Hollywood, an amusement park entirely dedicated to the world of cinema located in the San Fernando Valley in the vast Greater Los Angeles Area.

All you need to do is pay the entrance fee for the park, which includes all the attractions and rides. You can find more information on how to purchase tickets here. For information on how to get to Universal Studios by car or public transportation and other details on how to plan your visit, please refer to our comprehensive guide to Universal Studios in Hollywood.

How Is It Different from the Wizarding World in Orlando?

harry potter land hollywoodAlthough the two themed areas have the same name (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) there actually have substantial differences. First of all, the one in Orlando actually consists of two areas (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley), which in turn are located in two neighboring but distinct parks (Universal Studios and Universal Island of Adventure), while the one in Los Angeles consists of only one area that shares similarities with the Hogsmeade in Florida. Consequently, you can understand how the Hollywood version is consequently smaller and has fewer attractions than the one in Orlando.

Attractions in the Wizarding World in Hollywood

You’ll find yourself in Hogsmeade, the snowy village where Harry and his companions go to drink beer butter (and of course you can too). Here you’ll find various shops and restaurants featured in the Harry Potter series, including Ollivanders, where you can buy your magic wand.

As you walk through the streets, you’ll see the silhouette of Hogwarts Castle, home to the park’s most popular ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a 3D heart-pounding journey in which you’ll follow Harry as he flies on a broomstick. In front of the castle, there’s another ride, Flight of the Hippogriff, a roller coaster inspired by the famous bird in the Harry Potter novels.

Missing Rides and Differences in the Shows

Universal Studios Hollywood Harry Potter ridesThe most obvious difference from the Florida version of the park is the lack of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and the Hogwarts Express. The latter allows you to move quickly between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at the Universal Studios in Orlando.

Unlike Universal Studios Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood no longer has the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. However, in its place, it has Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle, a show of music, lights, and special effects that will materialize before your eyes the darkest creatures of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the villain par excellence, Lord Voldemort. Currently, this experience is exclusive to Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Ticket Prices

One last important difference regards the cost of admission. If you want to visit both Harry Potter-themed areas in Orlando, you’ll have to buy a ticket for 2 parks (as we will soon explain in our guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida). As a result, you’ll have to pay a higher price. In the case of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, you’ll just have to buy one ticket for Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

Amount of Time to Spend in the Wizarding World in Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood Harry Potter parkHalf a day is more than enough to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, while a full day allows you to enjoy the entire park. Depending on the time of visit, you may find it convenient to use the Express Pass, which allows you to skip the lines at individual attractions. For more information on this topic, read these tips on the best time of day and time of the year to visit Universal Studios.

Is It Worth It to Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood?

harry potter hollywoodWhen the most die-hard Harry Potter fans visit the incredible reconstruction of Hogsmeade in Hollywood, they will feel like they are missing out on something, since they know that here they cannot enjoy the equally amazing Diagon Alley, where there is the roller coaster dedicated to the descent through the underground tunnels of the Gringotts Bank, the famous Knight Bus, and the mysterious atmosphere of Nocturne Alley.

However, it must also be said that the Wizarding World of Hollywood is really remarkable. The village of Hogsmeade is reconstructed in the smallest detail. Walking inside Hogwarts Castle surrounded by paintings and talking hats is breathtaking, and it is right here at the castle that you will find the best ride (or at least the one with the highest turnout also in the Orlando park): Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

In short, if you’re a fan of Harry Potter and are passing through Los Angeles, I doubt you’ll be disappointed, and you can go on all the other attractions in Universal Studios Hollywood, including a tour of the movie sets, and in my opinion, that alone is worth the price of the ticket and is the exclusive privilege of those who visit Universal Studios Hollywood.

Read my guide to Universal Studios in Hollywood

Our Tip:
Looking for accommodations for your trip from California to other parts of the Southwest? Read our guide that contains reviews of hotels and strategic tips for finding accommodations near major attractions: Where to Stay: Our Tips for the SouthWest Area

Warning: Operating hours can change and closures for extraordinary events can occur, so we strongly suggest to check the venues official websites.

lorenzo puliti
lorenzo puliti

I am fascinated by the wonders of the world I never tire of going in search of them.

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