Blishens-Fire-Whiskey

Blishen’s Fire Cinnamon Flavoured Whiskey Now Available at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studios Orlando

This week, Universal Studios added another Wizarding World beverage option to their range of themed libations: “The King of Whiskies” Blishen’s Fire Cinnamon Flavoured Whiskey is now available as single or double shots, and as a mix-in to certain existing themed beverages.

Currently, Blishen’s Fire Cinnamon Flavoured Whiskey is only available at The Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley, and The Hog’s Head Pub in Hogsmeade. Full-size 750ml bottles featuring a beautiful full-color with gold foil embossed label are on display at each location to promote the addition of the whiskey, but the bottles themselves are not for sale.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. filed a trademark for “The King of Whiskies” Blishen’s Fire Cinnamon Flavoured Whiskey in April 2014, and it was approved by February 2015. The trademark includes the label design in various formats which we can assume will start appearing on souvenirs, apparel and other items in the near future.

Universal Studios partnered with TerraPURE Spirits in North Charleston, SC to develop this private label handcrafted 35% Alc. By Vol. (70 Proof) cinnamon flavoured whiskey.

Ollivanders-Wand-Selection-Ceremony

Ollivander’s Wand Selection Ceremony Videos – Hogsmeade & Diagon Alley – at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando)

A special experience for young wizards or witches is that of being chosen for the special wand selection ceremony. This is a show for all in attendance, and the experience is available at both Ollivander’s Wand Shops (in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley) at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando. A very popular attraction, both shows take place in a separate, private area from the main retail shop and feature dialogue, interaction, music and special effects that recreate a similar experience to that of Harry Potter finding his first wand.

Below, are our own videos and photos of the wand selection ceremony at each location:

Hogsmeade:

 
Photo Gallery:

Diagon Alley:

 
Photo Gallery:

Butterbeer

Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Saving on Food & Drink at Universal Orlando Resort

Butterbeer

Butterbeer is THE most popular drink in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and you cannot get it anywhere else in the world, except at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

Butterbeer has been especially developed by the culinary experts at Universal Orlando Resort, and is described as “reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch”.  The base beverage is very similar to a cream soda, and all of the beverage versions (see below) are topped with a bubbly foam that infuses the beverage with vanilla and  butterscotch notes.

At Universal Orlando Resort, Butterbeer is available in 4 versions:

  • Cold Butterbeer (similar to a soft drink)
  • Frozen Butterbeer (similar to a smoothie)
  • Hot Butterbeer (only available during the “winter” months)
  • Butterbeer Ice Cream (soft-serve)

Not all locations serve all 4 versions, but for the cold and frozen variety – which are the most popular – there are several spots to buy them in each park.

We have found the shortest lines for Butterbeer can be found as follows:

Hogsmeade
Inside The Hog’s Head Pub which is attached to the Three Broomsticks sit-down restaurant, but also has its own front entrance so you can just order from the bar and see the Hog’s Head on the wall move and snort while you wait!  In Hogsmeade you can only get the cold and frozen varieties of Butterbeer.

Diagon Alley
The Hopping Pot beverage stand is integrated into the building facades and located at the rear of the Carkitt Market annex of Diagon Alley near where the live stage shows are performed.  At this location you can get all 4 varieties of Butterbeer!

Saving on Food & Drink

We recommend:

  • Eat light snacks throughout the day versus big sit-down meals
  • Consider a kids’ meal option to keep the meal less “heavy” and also cheaper
  • Consider a Dining Plan which will earn you a discount on your first meal, and include a snack and beverage for later in the day

 

The-Wizarding-World-of-Harry-Potter

Selecting Tickets for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando)

The Harry Potter areas at Universal Orlando Resort are separated between 2 parks with Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida, and the Hogwarts Express train connecting the two.  So, to enjoy all of the Harry Potter attractions, you will need a “Park-to-Park” pass.

To make the most of your visit, you will need to make several decisions when purchasing your tickets online, in person or through a travel representative:

Step 1: Number of Days

Universal Orlando determines their ticket prices based on the dates you will be visiting.  When calculating the number of days your ticket should cover, consider whether you plan on visiting the park(s) for a partial day on your day of arrival and departure from Orlando.  Depending on what time your outbound flight is scheduled on the day of your departure, for example, it may allow you to go to the park for a few hours before you have to be at the airport.

Additionally, staying at a Universal onsite hotel gives you the added benefit of gaining Early Park Admission into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is one hour earlier than the standard opening time for regular guests.

NOTE: Most of the time during the off-season, Universal will offer a 3rd day free with the purchase of a 2-day ticket.

Step 2: One or Both Parks

As mentioned above, the Harry Potter areas at Universal Orlando Resort are separated between 2 separate parks with Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, and Diagon Alley next door in Universal Studios Florida, and the Hogwarts Express train connects the two.  So, to enjoy all of the Harry Potter attractions, you will need a “Park-to-Park” pass.

Step 3: Extras

Several options to bundle your ticket purchase with upgrades will be available during your purchase.  One of the most popular options is ExpressPass which allows you to bypass the lines at most rides throughout the parks.

During the off-season which is generally November-February excluding holidays and special events, crowds are more moderate and ExpressPass will be less necessary than if you are visiting during the peak times which include holidays, Spring Break or Summer.

NOTE:  At this time, ExpressPass is not available for any of the Harry Potter rides.

Step 4: Delivery Method

Tickets must be assigned to the name of each guest in your party during checkout.  Universal offers several ways to obtain your tickets after purchasing including:

Print-at-Home
You will receive an email link to a printable PDF file which contains each ticket on a separate standard A2 (letter-sized) page.

NOTE: During my visit on February 17, 2015, I observed that ticket scanners throughout the park were not reading this format, and the ticket takers had to manually type-in the barcode numbers from the ticket each time.

Will-Call Kiosk
Outside the main entrance to each park, there are automated self-service kiosks where you can retrieve your tickets by swiping the credit card you used to purchase them, and entering the confirmation code you received via email.  You must have both of these pieces of information to retrieve your tickets quickly and easily.  If you have ever used a kiosk at your local movie theater to buy or retrieve tickets, it’s a very similar experience.  Small card-like tickets will print out that easily fit in a pocket or wallet and scan consistently and quickly throughout the parks.

NOTE: You cannot purchase tickets at these kiosks.  They are for retrieval only.

Mail Delivery
Small, card-like tickets like the ones you would receive at a Will-Call Kiosk will be dispatched to your mailing address.

NOTE: This option may only be available for certain ticket types such as Annual Passes and may not be available if your arrival date is too near to the time of purchase.


Next Tip: Selecting a Hotel for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando)

Hogwarts-Castle-Exterior-Night

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade – Hogwarts Castle (Exterior – at night)

Below, are some additional images of Hogwarts Castle at dusk and at night.

Visit our full Hogwarts Castle daytime photo gallery!

Hogwarts-Castle-Exterior

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade – Hogwarts Castle (Exterior)

Below is our collection of photos that capture the exterior of Hogwarts Castle which houses the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL.

Visit our separate photo gallery featuring Hogwarts Castle at night!

The-Wizarding-World-of-Harry-Potter-Hogsmeade

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Orlando

We visited the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on January 20-21, 2014 and September 5-6, 2014.  Below is our collection of photos that captured all aspects of our visits.  Universal Studios contains Diagon Alley, the London Embankment and the rides Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express (from King’s Cross to Hogsmeade).  Islands of Adventure contains Hogsmeade village, Hogwarts Castle and the rides Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, Dragon Challenge and the Hogwarts Express (from Hogsmeade to King’s Cross).  During our January trip, we captured some photos of the London Embankment and Diagon Alley which were still under construction.  Be sure to click though each photo to see our unique and detailed descriptions.

We have created several themed galleries which can be accessed directly by using the links below:

Hogwarts-Express

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Express

Universal Studios contains Diagon Alley, the London Embankment and the rides Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express (from King’s Cross to Hogsmeade).  Islands of Adventure contains Hogsmeade village, Hogwarts Castle and the rides Harry Potter and the Forbidden JourneyFlight of the Hippogriff, Dragon Challenge and the Hogwarts Express (from Hogsmeade to King’s Cross).

VIDEO: Hogwarts Express Arriving at Hogsmeade Station

VIDEO: Hogwarts Express Arriving at King’s Cross Station (Behind The Scenes)

Dragon-Challenge

Dragon Challenge Ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Orlando

We visited the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on January 20, 2014 and January 24, 2014.  Below is our collection of photos that capture the Dragon Challenge ride queue and sets.  Be sure to click though each photo to see our unique and detailed descriptions:

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Flight-of-the-Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff Ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Orlando

We visited the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on January 20, 2014 and January 24, 2014.  Below is our collection of photos that capture the Flight of the Hippogriff ride queue, sets and on-ride POV.  Be sure to click though each photo to see our unique and detailed descriptions:

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