1. 6 Different Types of Butterbeer
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you know that trying Butterbeer is a must. Don’t Worry- despite it having “beer” in its name, it is completely alcohol free. Did you know that there are six different types of Butterbeer treats to try at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? You can try Butterbeer soft serve ice cream, fudge, potted cream, cold Butterbeer, frozen Butterbeer and hot Butterbeer. I highly recommend trying all six. Even though they all are Butterbeer flavored, they all have a different taste!
2. Memorabilia Tour at Hard Rock Orlando
On Universal’s City Walk (which is located right between the two parks), stop at the world-famous Hard Rock Café Orlando. The Hard Rock Café in Orlando is the largest Hard Rock Café in the entire world! The next time you are there, be sure to ask for the memorabilia tour. Some really amazing things that you will see on the tour are the booth that Elvis recorded his first song in and John Lennon’s couch where he wrote many of his songs. I ask to go on the tour every time that I’m there because I always spot something new that I didn’t notice before. It is a truly wonderful experience for any music fan.
3. Cast a Spell
Did you know that you can make your own magic in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? In order to participate in this fun experience, you must first purchase an interactive wand at Ollivanders) or any other store of your choice that sells wands). Simply look for the bronze medallions that are embedded in the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. The spells are written in tiny letters on each of the bronze medallions, so it is easy for you to remember them. You then point your wand, recite the spell and sit back and watch some magic take place. It is a very fun experience and seeing the look of wonder and imagination come to life on people’s faces is truly priceless.
4. There’s Only One Opening Day Attraction Left
E.T Adventure opened with Universal Studios on June 7, 1990 and has been a fan favorite ever since. On Universal Studios opening day back in 1990, E.T Adventure was one of the only rides that actually worked (due to a technical issue). Many people walk past the three-decade old ride without knowing that it is the only opening day attraction left in the whole park! For those who are fans of E.T or are simply just longing for some nostalgia, this is the perfect ride to give you that “blast from the past”.
5. There’s a (Secret) Second Entrance
Have you ever hit a little bit of traffic or pressed the snooze button one too many times on your alarm clock and gotten to the parks when the lines were enormous? I bet you didn’t know that there’s a *secret* second entrance to get into Universal Studios. Okay, maybe it’s not a secret, but it is relatively unknown. The lines much shorter to get in at this entrance so it will help you get to your favorite rides a little bit faster. It is located between the Despicable Me ride and the Studios Store and opens at 10am, which is slightly later than the regular park entrance.
6. You Can Mail Letters from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Another fun experience that you most likely didn’t know about is that you can mail a letter from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Visit the Owl Post at Hogsmeade on the Islands of Adventure side of the park for all your letter writing needs. The Owl Post sells stationary, quills, ink, seals and toys. When you mail a letter from the Owl Post, your letter will receive a special Hogsmeade postmark. Another fun thing that Harry Potter fans will absolutely love is that you can send a “howler” from here – complete with a bright red envelope and all.
7. You Can Find Duff Beer Only at Universal
Fans of the long-running animated show The Simpsons will be happy to know that they can enjoy Homer Simpson’s favorite beverage in Springfield U.S.A: Home of the Simpsons at Universal Studios. What many people don’t know is that Duff Beer is exclusive only to Universal Orlando meaning that you will not be able to find it outside of the park. Super fans can also take a picture with the giant statue of Duff Man outside of Duff Brewery Garden. Guests 21 and older can also enjoy a Duff Beer at none other than Moe’s Tavern.
8. Secret Songs on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a thrilling, high speed roller coaster that allows riders to choose their favorite song as the soundtrack to their ride. You can choose from more than 30 songs once you are seated. Many people are unaware that there is a secret playlist that unlocks more than 60 more songs! Riders have only 30 seconds to pick their song, so you must be quick. Here is the secret- once you are seated, bring up your lap bar and instead of scrolling through the songs, hold your finger down over the logo for the roller coaster. Hold the logo down for 5-10 seconds and a keypad will replace the playlist. You will then be able to enter a three-digit code- but you can’t just enter any code.
Here are some of the codes for the secret songs:
103- Break on Through- The Doors
104- Crocodile Rock- Elton John
113- Immigrant Song- Led Zeppelin
121- Runnin’ Down a Dream- Tom Petty
130- Won’t Get Fooled Again- The Who
304- Still Rock and Roll to Me- Billy Joel
902- The Rainbow Connection- The Muppets
9. Easter Eggs on Ride Queues
Much like Disney, Universal also pays homage to former attractions in its rides and queues. Diagon Alley was built where the old Jaws ride used to be. There are shrunken heads in Knockturn Alley that are singing one of Quint’s (character in the Jaws movies) favorite songs “Show Me the Way to Go Home”. There’s also another Easter Egg in the window of a record shop in Diagon Alley. There, you will find an album by the Quint Trio entitled ‘Here’s to Swimming with Bowlegged Women’. There is also a set of sharks that you can find in the window in front of the Apothecary Store right near Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour. Also, there’s an Easter Egg in the queue for the Revenge of the Mummy ride. There’s a gold King Kong statue at the beginning of the queue to pay tribute to the old King Kong ride that used to be there. On The Simpsons Ride, you will spot many appearances of Doc Brown from the Back to the Future ride. The Simpsons Ride took the place of the beloved Back to the Future ride back in 2007.
10. Speak to the Ministry of Magic
Here is another fun secret for Harry Potter fans at Universal. Right outside of Diagon Alley, guests can speak to the Ministry of Magic. There is a red phone booth located right in front of King’s Cross Station and it will connect you with the Ministry. Simply step inside of the phone booth, pick up the phone and dial 62442. On an old phone like that, it seems like just random numbers, but it actually spells out “Magic”. Listen to the message on the phone for a fun experience.
There is so much beyond the rides and attractions at Universal. When we are running off to jump in line for our favorite rides, it is easy to miss out on some really cool hidden gems. The next time you go to Universal and you’re waiting in line, instead of scrolling on your phone, look around the queue to see what other secrets or Easter Eggs that may be hidden in plain sight. With all of these new secrets about Universal Studios, which one will you go check out first?