Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1

    Default Harry Potter World

    Has anyone ever been to Harry Potter World in Orlando?
    If yes, can you please tell me about your experience?

    Did you stay in the park? We were in that area in November when we visited the Kennedy Space Center and we stayed at the Gaylord Palms. It is near the theme parks but I think it would be less hectic than staying in the park. OTOH, there may be benefits to staying in the park, IDK. I am not a fan of theme parks or crowds so this type of trip sounds awful to me. (My sister is leaving for Disney tomorrow and her planning, scheduling, etc. seems so stressful. We just returned from a short trip to a state park...the state park hotels are crummy, but overall the state park vacation is more my style!)


    However, my children loved the Harry Potter books so much. (My son, the boy who used to read reluctantly, is reading them for the second time. I find myself saying "Please stop reading!") They heard about Harry Potter World and want to go. They are turning 12 soon - is it geared for younger children? If we go, I would like to go in the fall when it is, hopefully, not too crowded or too hot.

    Any information/advice would be appreciated.
    TIA
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  2. Thank You Leaderboard
  3. #2
    Senior Member Evolved Marmalade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    572
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    There are two parks within 2 other parks. So there's one park in Universal and one in Islands of Adventures. Both areas are pretty small and cramped and crowded, but if you love Harry Potter then you'd enjoy it.

    There are two options for visiting the two parks. One is to get a park hopper type pass, this one allows you to go from one (Islands and Universal) to the other. If you have this pass you can take the Hogwarts Express from one Harry Potter world to the other. This is an additional $45 per person and in my opinion not at all worth it unless you plan to only be at the parks for one day and plan to visit as much of each park as possible. The Harry Potter sections are simply not enough to keep you there all day.

    There is a fun little interactive wand that they can use (I don't know if this costs money) but I think this would be fun for the under 10 or the uber-fanboy/girl.

    I've never stayed at the park. I've always either stayed where they offer free shuttle or drove ourselves (we are Floridians so we drive down). I believe they usually offer things like an early entrance to the park (Might actually be worth it-that place can get jam-packed!!)
    Our style is mostly eclectic, child-led and extremely relaxed.
    Curriculum varies year by year and day by day.

    Girls: 17, 15, 2
    Boys: 12, 10, 4

  4. #3

    Default

    marmalade,
    Thank you. It seemed like there were two parks when I read the website but I thought I misunderstood because it didn't make sense to me. I'm not sure my children would be interested in the other portions of either park, so it may not be worth the cost. I need to look into it more.
    Thanks
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  5. #4
    Senior Member Enlightened
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    115

    Default

    We went last September, which was the least crowded time. My husband is a big Disney fan and this was the first time we did the Universal parks as well. He plans literally for a year before we go! We did not stay at a park hotel. We started at the Floridays in a 2-bedroom suite with a full kitchen. It only cost slightly more than the Disney resorts we usually stay at.

    The Harry Potter World is definitely geared toward older children and adults. Most of the rides are not for small children. Actually, we waited to go until DS was tall enough to go on all the rides. I am a big HP fan and really loved the park. Even DH, who had never read any of the books and only watched the movies because I wanted to, really enjoyed it.

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miriamhokie View Post
    The Harry Potter World is definitely geared toward older children and adults. Most of the rides are not for small children.
    This is good to hear. My children will be twelve - but think they are fifteen! They are also sort of tall so I didn't want them to be too big for the rides. My children and husband like all the crazy roller coasters as Six Flags - I dislike them so I will be the 'holder of stuff' while they go on rides.

    The kids have been begging me to read the books, I will have to read them or watch the movies if we go.

    Miriamhokie - did you visit the other sections of the two parks or just concentrate on Harry Potter worlds?
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  7. #6
    Senior Member Enlightened
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    115

    Default

    We did a bit of the rest of the parks, but focused mostly on the HP section. DH and DS did more of the other rides than I did because we also had DD along. So, I did more of the really little kids stuff in there other sections.
    Universal does have nice rider-swap areas (much better than Disney!), so you can wait in line with your family. You would definitely want to do that at the Hogwarts ride because the line goes all through the castle and you see a lot of the wizard stuff. But that ride is not for the faint of heart! I saw many adults come it to the rider-swap room to sit for a while to get over their nausea from the ride.

  8. #7

    Default

    I have not been, but have been slowly gathering information for a trip eventually I think 12 would be a good age (some of mine are too little to ride the rides, so we decided not to go until most of them can ride the rides). There are 2 parks, and if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express, you will need the park-hopper which costs more, since you go from one park to the other. If you stay at one of their hotels there are perks- you can get in early and at certain hotels the are also passes to get you to the front of the line. Depending on when you go, it may or may not be worth it. One thing to think about if you plan to go for 2 days- you can check into your hotel at 6AM (you room won't be ready) to get the perks for that day and the next day. Say you plan to go on Monday and Tuesday to the parks. Stay somewhere else on Sunday night, get up MOnday and check in and get that day's perks of going to the front of the line. Stay the night MOnday night, and take advantage of early entry and front of the line on Tuesday- so, 2 days of perks for the price of one night. Otherwise I would just stay off-site with a kitchen and more space! There are actually forums just for this type of thing- Disboards, scroll down to the Universal board.
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  9. #8

    Default

    In January we went to the HP parks. We did the park hopper because we were only going for one day and wanted to see all the HP stuff. Go as early in the day as you can, and preferably when school is not out. But even then, we managed to pick a weekday where there were special events about HP going on (we did not pay extra to attend those). The areas are not large in each park - one park is Hogsmeade, and the other is Diagon Alley. The rides are awesome, and the shopping is fun. Taking the Hogwarts express was neat, too.

    Prepare to spend a boatload of money, though. I want to say it was nearly $400 for three tickets to both parks for one day. DD had saved up her spending money, and she spent it all and more in the park. There is just a lot of really neat stuff to see, so diehard HP fans will enjoy it.

    If the interactive wands are available for rent, I was unaware. DD bought one for about $40 or so, but she had fun finding the sites around the two parks to do "spells" and see what happened. That was a pretty fun thing for her.

    If Universal has special extra park hours like Disney, I would seriously consider staying at a Universal property to get that deal. At Disney, staying at a Disney park allows you to go to select parks (depends on day for which park) an hour earlier than general admission. We have always found that to be a great perk - we race in and hit the big rides that tend to queue up the worst, first.

    Despite spending an ungodly amount of money on the tickets, we saw only ONE other attraction in the Universal parks outside the HP worlds. This was more our choice than anything - we spent the whole day doing HP, and by 3pm or so, we were wiped out. We certainly could have stayed longer and gone on more rides elsewhere, but we didn't. So eat your Wheaties if you want to get more of your money's worth from the day.
    Last edited by Starkspack; 06-15-2016 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Additional thought
    Working mom homeschooling DD (10) who is working on a 4th-6th grade level and keeps me hopping! SimpleMoney is my new venture. www.simplemoneypro.com

  10. #9

    Default

    Verify this, but I thin it's still true:
    If you stay at some Universal properties, you will get a free fast pass for the day that lets you skip lines all day long with a special lane through the queue.

    You'll get many more rides in during the day, much less stress.

    We even paid for fast passes out of pocket day in July (omg, never, never again in the summer!); the lines were so long that otherwise we'd have ridden about 4 rides for an entire day. It was expensive as **** to do it that way but once we got over our grief at spending the money we had a great time and never looked back.

  11. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CO-MOM View Post
    Verify this, but I thin it's still true:
    If you stay at some Universal properties, you will get a free fast pass for the day that lets you skip lines all day long with a special lane through the queue.
    According to the website, this is still true if you stay at the four higher priced hotels. It sounds like it is worth it. You can also access the park an hour earlier.
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About us

SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted.

SecularHomeschool.com is a community and information source where secular homeschoolers ARE the majority. It is the home for non-religious homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, freethinking homeschoolers AND anyone interested in homeschooling irrespective of religion. This site is an INCLUSIVE community that recognizes that homeschoolers choose secular homeschool materials and resources for a variety of reasons and to accomplish a variety of personal and educational goals. Although SecularHomeschool.com, and its members, have worked hard to compile a comprehensive directory of secular curricula, it does not attest that all materials advertised on our site, in our newsletters, or on our social media profiles are 100% secular. Rather, SecularHomeschool.com respects the aptitude of each individual homeschool parent to fully research any curriculum before acquiring it, to ensure that it holistically meets the educational, personal, and philosophical goals of each homeschooler.

Join us
Harry Potter World