You are currently viewing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios (Los Angeles)
Summary of the article: Universal Studios in Los Angeles has numerous sets and attractions dedicated to the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” Immersion is total. You can explore the village of Hogsmeade, buy a wand at Ollivanders, enjoy sweets at Honeydukes and have fun in the “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” attraction.

After my article on Universal Studios Los Angeles, today I’d like to share a little more about my experience of the Harry Potter section of the theme park.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter completely immerses visitors in the atmosphere of the eponymous books and films. There’s no shortage of settings, attractions, stores and restaurants to marvel at.


What’s Harry Potter doing at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Since the saga was produced by Warner Bros., the question of bringing the Harry Potter universe to Universal theme parks naturally arose. The answer is simple: to attract even more visitors, Universal bought the rights to Warner.

To the delight of fans, Universal’s franchise has developed The Wizarding World of Harry Potter universes in several of its parks:

  • Hollywood (California, USA)
  • Orlando (Florida, USA)
  • Beijing (China)
  • Osaka (Japan)

Of course, Universal’s goal of attracting new visitors has been largely achieved, and the parks have seen their attendance grow steadily thanks to Harry Potter.

The description of the universe I’m about to give you concerns the Los Angeles (Hollywood) park, which has been open since 2016. It’s the only one I’ve had a chance to visit so far. It should be noted, however, that the attractions present in this theme park are common to the other three Universal Studios.

If you’re looking for differences between The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter in the 4 cities, you’ll find more about Orlando, which has additional attractions.

Discovering the wizarding village of Hogsmeade

Marvel at the scenery

poudlard express
It really feels like we’ve arrived at Hogsmeade station!

Right at the start of this part of Universal Park, we discovered a reproduction of the Hogwarts Express locomotive. Next, we entered the streets of a wizarding village featuring the main stores of Hogsmeade and one of the Chemin de Traverse, accompanied by music from the films in the background. Many visitors, young and old, stroll along the paths wearing their wizard robes, freshly purchased in one of the souvenir stores.

The sets are truly realistic, plunging us headfirst into the wizarding world. With the rooftops covered in a layer of fake snow, it’s almost as if we’re in Los Angeles, despite the +25°C October temperature!

Buy your baguette at Ollivanders

One of the events in the Harry Potter village takes place in the Ollivanders store. While the other shops are indeed part of Hogsmeade, an exception is made for this shop, which is actually present on the Chemin de Traverse in the books.

We queued there for a while (10-15 min if memory serves) before entering the back room and seeing a small performance by a man playing Ollivanders.

shop ollivanders
This is a reproduction of Ollivanders’ store.

A child is chosen from the audience to find his or her wand, and the little show begins. To the delight of parents (or not), it ends with a wand to buy in the real store, which we enter through another door at the end of the show.

ollivanders store

The store offers a wide selection of magic wands. If you’re tempted to take home a souvenir, you can choose your own wand based on its characteristics, or pick a wand from one of the famous characters.

products harry potter

Fill up on sweets at Honeydukes

shop honeydukes

In the books and films, Honeydukes is the famous confectionery store in Hogsmeade. In its Californian reproduction, we found plenty of well-known sweets from the saga, including Bertie Crochue’s famous Chocogrenouilles and dragées surprises. I had great fun tricking friends on their way back from vacation with these…

Buy stuffing at Zonko’s


Another well-known Hogsmeade shop, Zonko leaves no Harry Potter fan indifferent, with its many games, sweets and other souvenirs.

Discover a wide range of souvenir gifts

Other stores located in different parts of the Harry Potter section of the park offer a wide choice of souvenirs:

  • Dervish and Banges
  • Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
  • Gladrags Wizrdwear
  • Hogsmeade Station
  • Owl Post
  • Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment

One of the stores I visited was Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, just outside the Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey attraction. The name of this shop is a direct reference to the hated Hogwarts janitor, Rusard (Filch in English).

I spent a little time there (much to Denis’s dismay…) looking for gifts for my friends and myself. The store offers a wide range of stationery, clothes and mugs, all in the colors of each of the Hogwarts houses. I also saw some items related to our beloved Marauders.

The overall quality of the products is quite good. For example, I bought myself a Slytherin mug which is still in perfect condition after almost 4 years.

The Three Broomsticks

The Three Broomsticks

Known as The Three Broomsticks, this place attracts many wizards to come and warm up over a good Bièraubeurre. In its Universal version, the pub is also the only restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Recognizable by its 3-broomstick façade, you can stop in for a drink and a real meal.


Attractions at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

If there’s one thing to do in this part of Universal Studios, it’s the “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” attraction. To get there, you have to enter Hogwarts Castle. After walking through the corridors, past the hourglasses of the 4 houses and numerous animated paintings, we arrived in the room dedicated to the attraction. The ride is aboard 4-seat gondolas.

Then it starts, and the gondolas move forward, so that we really feel as if we’re on a flying broomstick. Through the movement of the gondola, images and sound, the story unfolds, as do the locations: a Quidditch match takes place, we fly over the castle, and so on.

It’s an incredibly immersive experience that leaves no one indifferent. Denis, who doesn’t really like Harry Potter, really enjoyed this attraction!

As one of Universal Studios’ flagship attractions, the queue can quickly stretch to several hours during peak periods. Depending on the season, it’s best to get in as soon as it opens, or to take a queue-jump ticket.

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff is the second Harry Potter-themed attraction at Universal Studios. We personally didn’t do it, as it seemed less interesting to us. It’s a small roller coaster, and the ride doesn’t last long.

From the reviews I’ve found on the Internet, the tour is great fun, especially for kids. Many also appreciate the scenery visible along the queue (which we therefore missed). Hagrid’s hut and pumpkin patch are successfully reproduced.

Our review of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood

sirius black

As you’ve probably gathered by now, our review of the Harry Potter area at Universal Studios Hollywood is very positive.

The detail in all the settings makes them truly beautiful and impressive. The experience is a success, just walking through the alleys of Hogsmeade and admiring the castle’s reconstruction.

Of course, with all the stores present, it’s all about spending your money. So I’d strongly advise you to budget for the day in advance, so you don’t end up splurging on all the toys, souvenirs and treats on offer.

Finally, if there’s one attraction you must do first at Universal, I’d definitely recommend Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, which we loved so much ourselves…

Book your tickets with free cancellation on GetYourGuide.

My next goals? Visit Warner Bros. Studios in London and Universal Studios Orlando, where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is even more developed!


I love travels, photos and food. Through this blog, I like to share my experiences and travel tips.