Headed To Hogwarts – A Universal Trip

Headed To Hogwarts – A Universal Trip

Are you planning a trip to one of the Universal Studios locations? Whether you’re headed to Universal Hollywood or Universal Orlando, ParkDIA is here today to give you some pointers about what you need to remember before heading to the Hollywood set or the Wizarding World.

Remember To Pack

Whether you’re headed to Hollywood or Orlando, there are some universal items that will be useful to pack. Do note, some of these are liquids that may require you to check a bag. If you want to pack light, make a list of items to pick up once you reach your destination.


No matter which park you’re traveling to or the time of year, being at an amusement park means being out in the sun. The longer you’re out in the sun means the more likely you will get sunburnt. Avoid the risk by bringing plenty of sunscreen and be ready to reapply at least once or twice throughout the whole day if you’re in the park from open to close.


Whether it’s on your phone or disposable, be sure to bring a camera to capture the trip with plenty of pictures. If you’re bringing your phone, be sure to remember to pack extra charging cords and wall adapters so you never lose out on the perfect moment because of a dead battery.

Burn Cream

It’s pretty inevitable, even with plenty of sunscreen, that you’re going to get some kind of sunburn if you’re planning a trip in the middle of summer. Don’t let sunburn keep you in your hotel. Pack some aloe or other sunburn relief cream to keep your family out and enjoying the park as long as you can.

Carrying Bag

Either from what you’ve brought or what you’ve picked up, you’ll likely have a lot to carry on your trip through the park. Save on hands and bring one big bag to store everyone’s belongings in. This is also useful if you plan to ride any rides where you can’t take your belongings on and now have a place to store them all in one place.


Reduce the chances of getting a sunburn and add some extra shade. Hats are easy protection against the sun, and they can help you stay cool as well. Whether it’s a cowboy hat, ball cap, or even a wizard’s hat to blend into Hogsmeade, this simple addition to your wardrobe can provide some relief from the summer sun.

Comfy Shoes

Between waiting in lines and walking around the park, you will be on your feet all day while on your Universal Studios trip. Save yourself some pain and pack shoes that are comfortable. Flip flops and sandals may be nice for a day at Islands of Adventure, but for a day walking around CityWalk you’ll want something with a little more foot support.

Get There Early

Unless you want to pay for an Express Pass, there are going to be a lot of lines around the park. To get a chance on as many rides as you want, it’s important to get to the park early ahead of the crowds. Getting in early puts you at the front of the lines, and unlike waiting to the end of the day, it doesn’t risk being shut out from a ride that’s shutting down.

Universal Studios opens at 9 in the morning and is open until 10 at night. To get in at the front, plan to leave your hotel or resort around 8 to plan on the shuttles or drive over to the parking lot to wait in the line for security. The good news is that once you’re through the wait, you’re going to be at the front of most lines. Take this time to ride the roller coaster or see the attractions you can’t miss on your trip, and then spend the rest of the day trying something new.

Secret Interactions

If you haven’t heard, let ParkDIA tell you a little secret: there are hidden secrets around the park, particularly inside of the Harry Potter themed portions of Universal. While most of these secrets require having some kind of magical tool, like a wand from Ollivander’s, some of them are the details that go into building the parks based on their franchises. Be sure to take breaks to take a look around and find all of the unique secrets hidden inside the parks.

And while you’re at it, take a break in general. Theme parks like Universal Studios are massive. You’re not going to do everything there on one trip (unless you’re visiting for a couple of weeks). Instead, slow down and take your time. Take a moment to look over the map and review what rides you really want to try and maybe find something new you’d want to try instead. Pause to take a picture in front of one of the amazing sets you can only find at Universal Studios.

Try Something New

It’s likely you’re headed to Universal Studios Orlando this summer to try out the new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™ , the newest expansion to the growing Wizarding World that you can visit at Universal Studios. While the Harry Potter themed attractions are certainly a stop you should take while visiting Universal, there is plenty more to do at Universal, particularly for the roller coaster fans.

For the particularly adventurous, ride the Incredible Hulk Coaster®  or the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™. For someone looking for a more classic attraction, ride a bike with E.T. on E.T. Adventure™ or  Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®. Universal Studios has more than just roller coasters to ride, with a number of interactive experiences for young and old visitors alike. There are classics for movie fans of every genre, not just the urban fantasy fans. Take a minute to look over your map and find where you want to head next.

The Gift Shops

Like every theme park, there is the dreaded corner shop on every corner; the souvenir shop filled with that Hufflepuff scarf you can’t leave without. While some things you may not be able to avoid, like stopping by one of the many themed restaurants, gift shops are one of the unnecessary necessary stops. Whether it’s to pick up a wand at Ollivanders™ or to grab something for your favorite franchise at Universal Studios Store™, you’re going to want to make a stop.

If you are planning on picking up some souvenirs, here are a few tips to still walk home with some money in the bank.

  • Set a limit
  • Set a “No Really” limit
  • Wait until the last day
  • Spend a lot of time looking around before deciding
  • Ask yourself if you really need it
  • Have a friend or family member ask you if you really need it
  • Pick one big thing you really like over a lot of little things that you’ll forget about in a few weeks
  • Treat yourself a little (You’re on vacation after all)

While every trip is different, if you take a moment to make sure you’re shopping carefully, particularly with kids, you’ll come home without having guilt in a week and ruin the fun of the trip.

Park Your Car Somewhere Safe

You’re going to be gone for a while, which means leaving your car in long term parking at DIA. Don’t worry about having to take out a loan from Gringott’s parking onsite and park with ParkDIA for your trip. Our parking lots are safer than Hogwarts with 24-hour fully light surveillance security. Only five minutes from DIA, you’ll be on your way to Platform 9 ¾ faster than you can say “Wonders of the Wizarding World” five times fast.

Trust ParkDIA and worry less about your trip. Reserve your spot now, or contact us to talk about our other long term options. Start your plans for your Universal Studios trip today!

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