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The Best Way To Experience The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, According To Fans

Given the state of the currently COVID-19-infected world, social distancing and sanitation requirements have made close-quarters recreational activities a no-go. Theme parks have taken an especially heavy hit, with Disney Parks alone having no choice but to lay off tens of thousands of employees in 2020, with even more expected to go in 2021, according to USA Today. Nevertheless, as things get a bit safer, it shouldn't take too long for vacationers to resurrect amusement parks to their pre-pandemic glory. In the meantime, all we can really do is study how to make the most of these pricey yet exciting experiences once they're on the table again.

For example, one of the most popular attractions at the Orlando, Florida Universal Studios Resort is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Since opening on June 18, 2010, the attraction has captivated fans from around the world. Complete with thrilling rides and concession areas wrapped in the aesthetic of the famous franchise, this region of the park is dazzling but can come across as rather intimidating, especially for first-time visitors. There's so much to do and see that determining where to start is a tall order — but, according to frequent park-goers, there's only one way to properly kick off your Wizarding World experience.

Diagon Alley is the perfect introduction to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a massive region of the resort, with its two main draws being iconic locations from the books and films: Diagon Alley (at Universal Studios) and the village of Hogsmeade (at Universal's Islands of Adventure). For Reddit user u/NoShameMallPretzels, deciding which to visit first on their trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wasn't any easy choice to make, so they opened up a thread to pick the brains of the forum's Harry Potter fans. The people of Reddit made their stance very apparent.

Redditor u/Supernova_shark is of the opinion that visiting Diagon Alley first is the way to go: "Diagon Alley is more impressive thematically in many ways, the entrance is really neat, and you'll likely spend more time there." They also mentioned that despite Hogsmeade falling short of Diagon Alley's impressive immersion, one's initial look at the area is truly breathtaking, and they shouldn't skip it entirely. Echoing their sentiment, u/ToiletPlungerOf Doom also talked up Diagon Alley's food options, recommending the butterbeer ice cream and shortbread cookies.

Another fan, Reddit user u/cwbelden, agreed, saying, "For a better Harry Potter experience I [...] start at Diagon Alley (Studios) first and head to Hogsmeade (IOA) second; it feels like the books and films." They did add, however, that if you're looking to visit Hagrid's right off the bat, then Hogsmeade should be your first stop. User u/intotheairwaves17 put this approach into perspective, mentioning in their reply that "it's kind of like being Harry's footsteps going to Diagon first then taking the train over to Hogsmeade" — further driving the point home that Diagon Alley is the best introduction to Universal's Harry Potter-themed offerings.