So I must admit… I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fan. I’m not obsessed, I can’t tell you every detail, I haven’t even read the books, but I have seen every movie… more then once!
When I heard that the Universal Studios in Osaka had a Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I knew that it was on my Japan travel list.
As soon as the gates opened for Universal Studios we walked straight to our destination. I had read that when the park is busy you have to get a ticket to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at an allotted time slot, and were where pretty keen to get in as soon as possible! I need not have worried though the crowds weren’t too large the day we visited (it was early Dec) so we could come and go without any worries.
Entering under the archway, I hesitated, a little overcome with emotion! It was just like being transported into Hogsmead, the streets, the shops and even the staff were just like in the movies.
We followed the crowd weaving down the path until we were standing right in front of Hogwarts. It loomed over us and was so realistic that I expected Harry to fly by any moment!
We soon realised that everyone was heading for the Forbidden Journey ride, a 4K3D experience that promised an exhilarating ride through the World of Harry Potter. We joined the line which took us through varying parts of Hogwarts, past Professor sprouts Garden, past Dumbledores chambers and past the wall of talking portraits, before being bundled into a locker room to off load all our belongings. Donning 3D glasses we sat it a seat side by side and was transported through many different scenes from the series, all the while the seat we were sitting on moved every which way possible making you feel like flying along with Harry on a broomstick. It was an absolutely amazing ride, I don’t think I have ever been on a ride like it! Definitely worth the (short) wait.
The shops that are featured on the books /films, such as Ollivanders are there with every Harry Potter merchandise item you can think of available to buy. Prices are what you would expect, a little on the high side for my liking, but just walking around the stores added to the magic. If you are keen you can buy any of the main characters wands and use them on site to cast spells and magically make objects move around. As we were there at Christmas time, the Tree that is featured in one of the movies was in the main street, and you could use your wand to make it move and make sound, at night night time it was magical to see!
We had to have a taste of butter beer that are sold from vending wagons along the street. We could get a warm one (we went in winter apparently they have icy ones in Summer) in varying cups, so we chose a normal one in a souvenir cup for around Aud$8. It was delicious, tasting like a ginger beer with a bit of ice cream on top!
My favourite aspect about visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was the atmosphere of the place. From the soundtrack of the movies playing on loop to the main street shops with the their snow covered roofs and from to the general public dressing up in Harry Potter themed outfits to owls roaming the streets, the atmosphere of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter transports you beautifully in the books / movies and is a must see for all fans.
How much: 5,100 yen for Children 4 -11 years (includes tax) and 7,600 yen for Adults ( includes Tax)
How to get there: Universal Studios is a short walk from Universal – city train station ( it is on the JR line). We caught the train from Osaka train station to Universal – City while I know of others who have made the trip for the day from Kyoto quiet easily.
Need to know: Get there early!!!!!! There will be crowds and that will mean lines especially in Harry Potter World. We got to Universal and hour and half before opening and had to line up to get through the gates. Avoid weekends and definitely avoid holiday times! When you get inside go straight to Harry Potter World (unless you need go on a busy day and need a ticket – checked this out as you go by the booths inside ) follow the crowds to the entrance and head straight up the back to Hogwarts to ride the Forbidden Journey ride (lines for this get very very long!). Also after you have explored all of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter go over to the most scariest ride I have ever been on The flight of the Dinosaur in Jurassic world!
Have you ever been to a Wizarding World of Harry Potter anywhere in the world?
What was you favourite part?