A Muggle’s Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade

By in Alston Stephanus, Disney Adventures, Florida, Harry Potter, Hogsmeade, Orlando, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, theme park, Universal Studios, USA on December 22, 2016
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When you take the train from King’s Cross at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando, you’ll end up in Hogsmeade, the perpetually snowy village at the base of Hogwarts.

If you’re at all familiar with the Harry Potter books and films, Hogsmeade will look just like you imagine. It’s fanciful and just a little askew. The roofs are pitched and chimneys whirling, and it’s buzzing with excitement. While mostly a gateway to Hogwarts and the rides and attractions there, Hogsmeade deserves some of your time. So don’t go running to The Forbidden Journey just yet!

A Muggle's Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

There’s plenty of magic on display here, from interactive window displays, to Hogwarts students prowling about.  There’s also The Dragon Challenge dueling roller coasters here in Hogsmeade. Themed after The Triwizard Tournament, two roller coasters flip and intertwine. It’s actually a re-purpose of the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, but sssshhh. No one told you that. The two coasters were renamed “Hungarian Horntail” and “Chinese Fireball” in homage to the First Task.

FUN FACT: Hogsmeade and Hogwarts were the first part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that was constructed. Diagon Alley came four years later.


What most people look the most forward to at Hogsmeade is going to The Three Broomsticks, the famous tavern from the books and local eatery of witches and wizards. In the style of an old English pub with, The Three Broomsticks is really the only place to get a full meal in Hogsmeade. There’s a number of choices of magical nosh from fish and chips and Shepherd’s pie to Cornish pasties, turkey legs and various vegetables.

Though vegans… there’s nothing for you here. The vegetables are soaked in butter, as I sadly found out.

A Muggle's Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

For adults there is the Hog’s Head Tavern located at the back of the restaurant where you can get some Fire Whisky, wine, and other alcoholic delights. There are, of course, alcohol free choices too.

The atmosphere is rather lovely. There’s low artificial lights, instead relying on the large windows. It has that same whimsical feel that the rest of the park has, and you can’t help but to admire it. There is painstaking detail in everything from the portraits to the chandeliers, to simply the labels on the (Gilly) water. Everything here is about an immersive experience, and The Three Broomsticks captures the magic in a simple way.

The Three Broomsticks - A Muggle's Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

Now while your tummy was rumbling for food here, we all know what you really want.

The Butterbeer.

What is Butterbeer? Still not entirely sure. A buttery soda but not soda with a lot of creamy foam on top. It was a staple in the books and films and is something you simply have to get to complete your visit.

Just make sure you have a napkin to wipe your mouth with after!


After you’ve got your fill of food, sugary drinks, and are itching to explore more, head back out into Hogsmeade to take in the sights.

Most of your shopping will be in Diagon Alley, but if you weren’t able to get over there on the train, or you missed something, you’re in luck! Hogsmeade has a few of the same shops so you can grab your wands, robes, candies, books, and House apparel.

A Muggle's Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

You can head into Dervish and Banges for magical supplies and wizarding equipment like Spectrespecs, Omnioculars, “The Monster Book of Monsters.” This is also where you’ll get all your Quidditch goods including brooms, jerseys, scarves, jumpers, and fan goods. If you’re looking for more Hogwarts related items, head on over to Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods. It’s the store at the end of The Forbidden Journey ride that’s in Hogwarts Castle, but we’ll talk about that later.

A Muggle's Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

There’s also a branch of Ollivanders here in Hogsmeade, if you have buyer’s remorse about that wand you didn’t get in Diagon Alley. Like the main store, you can choose a unique wand or a movie replica.

The famous Honeyduke’s sweet shop is also here, the one that Harry Potter snuck into in ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban.’ You can get all sorts of magical candy here including the infamous Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (beware!), Puking Pastilles, Cauldron Cakes, Chocolate Frogs, and Acid Pops. I know they sound a bit… awful, but just go with it, it’s magic, okay?!

A Muggle's Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

Hogsmeade is wonderful to walk around in, and the atmosphere is fantastic! Even in the Florida sun, the illusion of snow was quite cooling. I think. I may have been delirious with happiness.

The main attraction here, of course, is Hogwarts. The castle looms over Hogsmeade and it’s hard not to get very very excited and immediately dash to the attraction. But spend some time in Hogsmeade, it’s wonderfully constructed and full of so many nooks and crannies.

A Muggle’s Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a multi-part series, so make sure to subscribe and follow us on social media to know when the next part is published!

| London & King’s Cross | Diagon Alley | Hogsmeade | Hogwarts & The Forbidden Journey | How To Dress Like a Wizard (& Witch!) |


A Muggle’s Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is part of the Disney Adventures collaboration between The Nerdventurists and  Alston Stephanus of Alston Stephanus Accessories. Check him out on Instagram & his company!

Photos and video by Noriko Sugiura.

Kristina is an ardent traveler and has been to over 48 countries and has no plans to stop. She taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and accidentally fell in love with K-pop in Seoul. It’s been a wild ride.
  1. Pingback: A Muggle’s Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: London & King’s Cross – The Nerdventurists

    • Anisa
    • December 25, 2016

    I may be one of the very few people in the world that has not seen or read Harry Potter. I know I need to get on it. The theme park looks a lot of fun!

      • Dane
      • December 29, 2016

      I have not either haha

  2. Reply

    I live in Florida and still haven’t been.
    I’m dying to visit! It looks so cute!

    • Ella
    • December 25, 2016

    This is my kind of heaven! I really need to go here with my sisters so that we could pretend we’re Hogwarts students and full of magical awesomeness haha. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. Reply

    Back When I visited Universal Studios more than a decade ago, they didn’t have The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I am glad I found this Post, well written and great photos, its time to make another trip to Orlando.

  4. Reply

    I want to go SO BAD, but the closer one to me is the one in London and I’ve heard it’s super difficult to get tickets O_O Seeing the insides of these buildings just seals the deal, I HAVE to go here!! Want to drink that butterbeer like mmmm. :))

  5. Reply

    I have not read any HP books but have seen all the movies. This is one place where every HP fan should visit. Anyway your post took me there. thanks….

  6. Reply

    How was the butterbeer? Did it meet your expectations? Funny but it hurt to see this because I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I badly want it to be real.

  7. Reply

    I can imagine my 10 year old nephew going totally beserk here. He’s going to want to stay the night too, if they will allow him to. What fun, so much to do and experience for kids and adults alike.

  8. Reply

    this looks fantastic – I am definitely going to go

  9. Reply

    I lived in Florida when they were building the Wizarding World of HP – but I had left the states before they finished it! I’ve always wanted to visit – it looks exactly like what’s in my imagination!

  10. Reply

    I have not read the series or seen the movies, But my husband, oh he would love this place!!!

    • helena232323
    • December 28, 2016

    This place is so high on my list! I am hoping to get there next year. I love your facts as well!

    • Joe
    • December 28, 2016

    Looks like a dream place for fans of the Harry Potter books and movies 🙂 I’ve been to the studios that are near London; a different sort of experience to what you have here, which actually looks more authentic and fun! I hope the butterbeer tasted better than the one I sampled…was very flat once you got passed the initial creamy top!

  11. Reply

    Sounds like a fun place to visit. I kind of grew up with the stories of Harry Potter, so it would be fun to see places like this. But it would probably have to wait until someday in the future when we might have kids to bring along. 🙂

  12. Reply

    I use to live in Florida and earlier this year I took my mom here as a surprise for her birthday/Mothers Day! I’m actually on my way as we speak to go preview the one in a London!

  13. Reply

    I’m. In. Love. I want to visit this so badly after seeing your blog! I think my husband and I might be the only Americans alive who haven’t visited Disneyland, Disney World, or Universal Studios. It’s tragic, I know. This is now on our bucket list! (Love the butterbeer ‘stache, by the way.)

    • The Roaming Renegades.com
    • December 29, 2016

    Wow this place looks amazing! Looks like you had so much fun and had an epic time. We would love to go there again, because the Harry Potter world wasn’t there when we last went!

    • neha
    • December 29, 2016

    So interesting. Everyone of us who has lived the Harry Potter era would love to visit here. I would wait for my little one to grow a little, get acquainted with harry potter and then I would plan to take her here so that she can have a wonderful time just like you had

    • Fair Dinkum Traveller
    • December 29, 2016

    I am not much of a Harry Potter fan but that place looks cool. Lofe your description of the place, you make it seem a place that definately needs to be visited. I know mykids would love this place.

    • Dane
    • December 29, 2016

    I have always argued with friends that Gandalf would destroy Harry Potter haha no one really disagrees with me but they never like to admit it either. I have never read or seen Harry Potter but this place looks pretty fun. I love the lady wearing the Pokemon hat also, nerding for life. 🙂

  14. Reply

    Exploring Hogsmeade looks like a lot of fun. They did a really good job recreating Hogsmeade. I think I would enjoy checking out The Three Broomsticks/Hog’s Head Tavern even though they don’t have any vegan options. Too bad. I wish they did. I really like the Gifs you’ve added to the blog by the way.

    • Jure
    • January 2, 2017

    Not big on amusement parks myself, but definetly a must visit for all the Harry Potter fans our there.

    • Adam, Bite of Iceland
    • January 2, 2017

    Sounds like an amazing place to visit! Every Harry Potter’s fan should see it. I wanna go there too! 🙂

  15. Reply

    I am a big fan of Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It is so nice to find Butterbeer and other memorabilia there. What are the expected prices??

  16. Reply

    I am not a big fan of Harry Potter but this blog makes me want to change my mind. Perhaps I should engage more with the series. There is a reason why the whole world is gaga over Harry Potter.

    • Brown Gal Trekker
    • January 3, 2017

    I love it! Wish I can visit this place one day…there’s just so many options..that’s the problem! Geeking out is fun …thanks for sharing.

  17. Reply

    I’ve wanted to visit the wizarding world of harry potter for so long! I’ve been to Universal Orlando in 2010 and they were building it. Then I visited Universal Hollywood in 2014 and it was also under construction! I’m visiting Singapore next month and I’m considering visiting Universal there and finally experience it! haha Great pictures

  18. Reply

    Seeing your photos makes me live my childhood dream. Great article. Bookmarked and shared

  19. Reply

    Ohhh guys, I’m so jealous 😀 I’m a hu fun of Harry Potter and the wizarding world. It’s such long time I wish to visit Universal Studios in Orlando…or at least in the studios in London. From your shots and your funny gifs I can imagine how much fun you had there 😀 really great post guys 🙂 hope to visit this place Asaaaapp.


  20. Reply

    I have never read any Potter books yet… 😛 seen some of the movies so I can relate to this in a lesser degree. But definitely seems like a must visit for all Potter lovers which includes my daughters. Loved seeing the little fun videos that you have taken.

  21. Reply

    This looks like a paradise for Potterheads. I do not consider myself one but a lot of my friends are. I am sure they will be really thrilled when I’ll share it wth them.

  22. Reply

    Wow, I don’t know anything about Harry Potter. Nice outfits. Must have taken a lot of effort!

  23. Pingback: A Muggle’s Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogwarts and The Forbidden Journey – The Nerdventurists

  24. Pingback: A Muggle’s Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Magical Shopping! How To Dress Like a Wizard (& Witch!) – The Nerdventurists

  25. Pingback: A Muggle’s Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: London & King’s Cross – The Nerdventurists

    • Roy
    • July 17, 2018

    Wow, what a wonderful place. I hope I would travel to this place once a day and turn my visuals into reality.

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