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Guide to Hogsmeade vs. Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort

Planning a visit to Universal Studios? It’s time to have another debate regarding which one is better: Hogsmeade vs. Diagon Alley.

Dark villains, magic spells, and daring heroes! We are talking about Hogsmeade. Located in Islands of Adventure, it is a magical place.

Wandering through the captivating cobbled streets surrounded by snow-capped rooftops, the attention to detail of this place will leave you in awe.

On the other hand, Diagon Alley is no less. Whether you are a die-hard fan of Harry Potter or don’t know his story much, you won’t be able to help but be amazed when you enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Located at Universal Studios Florida, visiting it is about as near as actually living in a magical world of wizards.


Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley? They both have delicious butterbeer, exciting rides, and shopping spots. But at the same time, they are very different.

In this article, we have compared the two theme parks and have discussed five determining factors.

  1. Rides
  2. Food
  3. Shopping
  4. Entertainment
  5. Environment

These factors will help you decide which Harry Potter theme park you should plan to visit.

By this point, you are probably wondering which one is better. No worries! Our guide is here to help you. The side-by-side comparison of both places will help you choose which theme park is the best for your vacation.

Hogsmeade vs. Diagon Alley

1. Rides

Rides at Universal Studios are thrilling coasters that flip, twist, and speed. In addition to the Wizarding World, the parks are also known for exciting rides that will make your adrenaline levels rush.

For this reason, rides are a perfect factor to start with when comparing Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

Rides at Hogsmeade

Let’s quickly discuss the thrilling rides you can have at Hogsmeade.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the coolest ride in Hogsmeade. You may have never experienced a roller coaster like this one before.

Whether it is Hagrid’s motorbike or sidecar, once the ride starts, you will twist, turn, and roll.

The one-mile-long track makes it Florida’s longest roller coaster. So if you are fond of thrill, this ride alone can make you decide which Harry Potter theme park is the best for you.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is an exciting 3D ride in a magnificent recreation of Hogwarts Castle.

As you wait in line for the ride, you will pass through Hogwarts Castle, where you can see Dumbledore’s Office, the famous Sorting Hat, and more.

Although the journey is enjoyable, going to Hogwarts is the best part. And for any Harry Potter fan, it would be a dream come true.

Flight of the Hippogriff
Flight Of The Hippogriff

The Flight of the Hippogriff is the best ride for young kids or those who prefer a gentler experience.

You can also get amazing views of Hogwarts Castle when it goes up.

Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station
Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station

Board on Hogwarts Express and travel from Hogsmeade to Dragon Alley through a steep pathway. But who wants to leave Hogwarts?

Rides at Diagon Alley

The rides which you can enjoy at Diagon Alley are:

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is the main Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios Florida. This ride is amazing and has been beautifully themed and perfectly designed to every last detail.

Have you ever wondered what the Harry Potter world looks like?

This ride is your answer! With lots of twists, turns, and drops, it is a thrilling ride.

Sometimes the queue outside can be very long, so you have to wait for a while.

But when you finally enter this stunning replica of Gringotts, you feel like you’re in a real magic world.

Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station
Hogwarts Express: King's Cross Station

Want to experience Hogwarts in its truest sense?

Then look no further. Proceed to platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express. On your way to Hogsmeade, you will meet a variety of people, including some of your favorite characters.

The only con of this attraction is that you need a Park-to-Park ticket if you want to ride.

Final Thoughts

Hogsmeade has three rides. Two of them are actual roller coaster rides, whereas Diagon Alley has only one.

Both parks have Hogwarts Express to take you from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and back, but that is not a thrill ride.

So, if rides are a priority in your decision on which park to visit, then Hogsmeade is your place.

2. Food

Although food might not make much difference while visiting places like Harry Potter theme parks, still, we would like to touch it as a determining factor.

Food Options at Hogsmeade

There are lots of delicious food places at Hogsmeade. Here we have discussed the best ones:

Three Broomsticks
Three Broomsticks

What comes to your mind when we talk about the Three Broomsticks?

Of course, butterbeer. It is where Harry Potter had his first butterbeer, so you should try it.

Besides this, they offer great food, including fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, turkey legs, and fresh vegetables.

Whether you want breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this quick-service-style restaurant would be a perfect choice.

Hog’s Head
Hog's Head

Right at the back of the Three Broomsticks is a cool place known as Hog’s Head.

So, if you want to have pumpkin juice, butterbeer, or any domestic or imported beer, Hog’s Head is your spot.

Butterbeer Kiosks
Butterbeer Kiosk

In Hogsmeade, cold and frozen varieties of butterbeer are also available in two outdoor carts.

One is in front of the Three Broomsticks, whereas the other is near the bridge where you can see the enchanting Hogwarts Castle.

Food Options at Diagon Alley

When it’s about food, Diagon Alley is no less than Hogsmeade. Here we have discussed the eateries which offer some yummy food options.

Leaky Cauldron
Leaky Cauldron

Leaky Cauldron is the main restaurant of Diagon Alley which can be perfectly described as a popular wizard pub and inn.

All Harry Potter fans would know that Harry stayed at the Leaky Cauldron for some time before starting his third year at Hogwarts.

This place offers quick options from traditional British food, such as fish and chips, cottage pie, bangers and mash, fisherman’s pie, and ploughman’s platter.

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour

Diagon Alley also has Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, which serves a variety of classic and unique flavors.

It is rare to go wrong when there are so many delicious flavors to pick from, like butterbeer, sticky toffee pudding, caramel blondie, and more.

On busier days, the wait time to even enter the ice cream shop can last up to 45 minutes or more!

The Fountain of Fair Fortune
The Fountain Of Fair Fortune

This place serves a large variety of beers and beverages. Non-alcoholic drinks include butterbeer, pumpkin juice, bottled water, and many others.

Final Thoughts

Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley have good eateries. Also, food choices are always subjective, so it’s up to you which place you will choose based on the food options.

3. Shopping


You will never go to a theme park only to shop, but once you are there, wouldn’t it be a good idea to buy a souvenir or something which will remind you of this trip?

Oh, wait! And what can be a better souvenir than a wand when it’s a trip to Harry Potter World?

This is what you get at Ollivanders. It is present in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Here you can choose a wand to purchase, or a wand can choose you.

All day long, there are performances where a small group enters the shop, and one guest is selected to try out various wands unless they find a match.

Fortunately, you won’t miss this interesting experience as Ollivanders is in both parks.

However, there are other shops too which we will shortly discuss.

Shops at Hogsmeade

Sweet treats, magic stuff, or fancy apparel?

At Hogsmeade, you can have them all. Here are the options:


Bonbons and delicious treats such as Cauldron cake, flavored beans, chocolate frogs, and more are available here.

Dervish and Banges
Dervish And Banges

Hogwarts robes, broomsticks, and other magical stuff, such as spectrespecs, omnioculars, and sneakoscopes, are offered here.

Owl Post
Owl Post

Here you can buy writing stuff. Also, you can mail letters having a Hogsmeade postmark.

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
Filch's Emporium Of Confiscated Goods

Filch’s Emporium offers you Hogwarts apparel, toys, stationery, house crest banners, and much more.

Shops at Diagon Alley

With everything available at Hogsmeade and more, Diagon Alley is no less. Here, you can shop from:

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is a colorful shop owned by the twins, Fred and George Weasley. Here you can buy prank gifts, joke items, and the popular Pygmy Puffs.

Gringotts Money Exchange
Gringotts Money Exchange

Here you can exchange U.S. currency with Gringotts notes, which you can use in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Both cash and credit cards can be used here.

Madam Malkin’s Robes
Madam Malkin's Robes

Madam Malkin’s Robes is in North Side, Diagon Alley. This shop has beautiful clothes and jewelry which can be worn on any occasion.

Therefore, it is also known as “Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.”

Borgin And Burkes
Borgin And Burkes

This shop is present in the dark Knockturn Alley section.

Here you can have movie replicas, masks, replicas of costumes from the Harry Potter movie, and much more.

Magical Menagerie
Magical Menagerie

Magical Menagerie offers cute plush toys, including magical characters. This shop is definitely going to attract all the young ones visiting with you.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to shopping, Diagon Alley clearly wins as it has more shops as compared to Hogsmeade.

Here you can have everything as Hogsmeade, plus more.

Also, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes contribute to Diagon Alley’s win as this shop gives vibes and makes you feel as if you are in the actual shop from the movies.

3. Entertainment



In Hogsmeade, you will get to see pep rally-type shows. Triwizard Spirit Rally and Frog Choir. These are 10-minute shows performed on the stage between Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village.

So if you are a Harry Potter fan, you will be glad to see how another facet of the books and movies has come to life.

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is the most magical thing in the entire Hogsmeade. Scheduled on specific days, this incredible performance fills Hogwarts Castle with a stunning light and projection display.

In the wintertime, this show is even more stunning and magical because of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.” So while you are at Universal Orlando, this is the perfect way to round off your night.

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

In Diagon Alley, you can catch a few different stage performances during the day. First is the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, telling the stories of Beedle the Bard.

It includes The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers, which are in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Another show featuring Celestina Warbeck and her Banshees is also good. In the books, Molly Weasley’s favorite singer is Celestina Warbeck, who is well-known across the Wizarding World.

Final Thoughts

It is a very close call, as both places have plenty of fun and entertainment.

But Hogsmeade is the winner because of its magical and truly amazing light show display at Hogwarts Castle.

4. Environment


Hogsmeade At Night

Hogsmeade is quite captivating. Cobbled streets and snow-covered rooftops give a very cozy feel.

Furthermore, Hogwarts Castle in Hogsmeade has no comparison. It is just as beautiful as it looks in the movies.

Moreover, at nighttime, the light and projection show does nothing but add to its beauty.

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

It is immersive at Diagon Alley. In fact, you would walk right past it if you didn’t know it was there.

In the London section of Universal Orlando, there is a crumbling brick wall close to King’s Cross Station. As soon as you pass through it, you enter Diagon Alley.

This is done because Diagon Alley cannot be seen by a muggle eye. You have to be a witch or a wizard to see it. It looks like what it is in the movies and is truly amazing.

Final Thoughts

Although Hogsmeade has the stunning Hogwarts Castle, nothing compares to the feel of Diagon Alley.

From going through the broken brick wall to the exact layout from the movie, it is just immersive. Even just going through the line at Gringotts Bank gives you the impression that you are in the actual movie.


So here we are, after discussing all the determining factors. We hope that our comparison of both Harry Potter theme parks will assist you in making the right choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which one is bigger: Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley?

Hogsmeade is bigger than Diagon Alley. Although both have about 20 acres of land, Hogsmeade wins by a few hundred square feet.

Do I need to buy a separate ticket for The Wizarding World?

No. You can enter The Wizarding World with a regular Universal theme park ticket.

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