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:
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.
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.
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)