Over the weekend my girlfriend and I were able to enjoy the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you're a fan of the movies or books, it's an absolute must-see. You'll be completely encompassed in the world of wizardy, with endless things to see and do, and of course tons of trinkets to take home with you.

Here's some tips on how to enjoy everything Hogwarts and Hogsmead have to offer while making the journey easy on yourself.

 

Get There Early

If you don't pony up the extra cash to get early access tickets, get to Universal Hollywood as soon as the park opens. We walked in shortly after 9 a.m. and it felt like we had the entire park to ourselves. Lines for the Harry Potter attractions were minimal, the shops were easily navigable, and there were minimal waits at the snack stands.

 

Have A Butterbeer

Seriously. It's amazing and it's served ice cold throughout Hogsmead. I won't spoil what it tastes like here, but trust me you're going to want one. Also, they're non-alcoholic, so you can share with the entire family. Order one frozen.

 

Enjoy Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

Some have said this attraction is for kids. I strongly disagree. We had the best time making our way through Hogwarts in line before jumping on the ride. It's truly immersive, making you feel like you're along for a ride on a Nimbus 2000 with Harry and his pals. It's a must.

 

Buy ALL THE THINGS

Wands. House sweaters. Shot glasses. Board games. A stuffed hippogriff. Seriously, the shops inside Hogsmead have everything your little wizarding heart desires.

If you're a Harry Potter fan, do check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hollywood or Orlando, cast leviosa on yourself and get there!