The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the most popular areas at the Universal Orlando Resort and well worth visiting during your trip – even if you’re not a big Harry Potter fan.
You can get early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter by purchasing tickets from the Universal Studios website (in some cases), staying at a Universal Studios Orlando on-site hotel, booking a vacation package or purchasing a VIP Pass.
If you’re a big Harry Potter fan then having this one-hour early park admission can be incredibly beneficial and allow you to ‘walk on’ some of the most popular rides within this area of the park, or take some incredible photos with little to no people in the background.
However, there are some things to note;
Firstly, early admission is only available at one of the parks (and subsequent Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter). The park is chosen by the Universal Orlando Resort admin team and is available to see on the park calendar in advance.
Typically the parks rotate every couple of weeks / month. So you may find that for the duration of your trip, early entry is only into Universal Studios Florida for example, and therefore you can only go inside Diagon Alley / Kings Cross.
Second, some methods of gaining early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter cost more than others, and some come with a number of additional benefits.
Booking Your Tickets Online
Depending on the promotions running during the time you purchase your tickets and travel you may be able to obtain early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter simply by purchasing your tickets from the Universal Orlando Resort’s official website as opposed to a third party.
This is the most affordable, and flexible way of obtaining early access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
However, sadly it’s not always available.
We recommend signing up for the mailing list for the Universal Orlando Resort and regularly checking the website’s ongoing promotions to ensure that if / when it does become available you’re able to take advantage.
Staying At A Universal Orlando Hotel
Staying on-site in a Universal Orlando Resort hotel provides you with early access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, among a number of other benefits.
These benefits include;
- Being within walking distance of the theme parks
- Complimentary transport to the theme parks
- Complimentary Universal Express Unlimited pass (at select hotels)
However, the cost of staying on-site at the Universal Orlando Resort is often significantly higher when compared to other similar hotels in the area.
We’d therefore only recommend staying in a Universal Orlando on-site hotel if you are able to benefit from a number of the benefits and staying for a short time (ideally under four days).
To access the selected park (and subsequent area of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) area early, each guest in your party (except those under 3) will be asked to show their room keycard.
This is done after the park entrance and after your park tickets have been scanned.
If you do not have your room key at this time then you will be denied entry until the park opens to the general public.
Purchasing A Universal Studios Orlando Vacation Package
You can also access the Wizarding World of Harry Potter early by purchasing a vacation package.
Vacation packages have to include a hotel but don’t always have to be booked directly with the Universal Orlando Resort, and in some cases, paid vacation planners are able to offer this as a bonus to incentivise travellers – even when staying in off-site hotels.
We recommend checking with your travel package provider to find out whether this perk is included in your package as well as finding out how you’ll demonstrate your early park admission to staff upon your arrival into the park since it can vary.
Take The VIP Experience
The VIP Experience at Universal Orlando starts at $189 per person in addition to your general park admission and includes a number of incredible benefits including early park admission.
However, we would not recommend taking the VIP Experience purely for early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, given the experience is so much more than this.
But would however, recommend considering this add-on experience for those looking for a guided tour of the parks and the ability to go on all the rides within the park in a single day.