Harry Potter World: Ollivander’s Wand Shop

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I’ve just returned from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, and will be doing a series of posts on my experiences in Harry Potter World. I’m a big fan… and the park had a lot to live up to… I’ll try not to give too much away for those of you who haven’t journeyed to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But hopefully my posts will either bring back memories of your own trip or entice you to travel there yourself!
This post will highlight: 
Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Dervish & Banges, and the Owl Post

A lot of people say to skip Ollivander’s because it’s a quick little attraction and typically has a much longer wait.  But I’d already resigned myself to the fact that I’d be waiting in lines all day (it was a holiday weekend and quite crowded).  And I figured if I came all the way down here, then I’m not skipping anything!  I didn’t want to miss something and regret it later.  So yeah, the line for Ollivander’s was long (I think our wait was over an hour).  And yeah, the attraction is only 5-7 minutes.  But I’m still glad I saw it!

If you think back to the first HP movie and when Harry gets his wand, this attraction very much tries to recreate that experience.  One person from the audience is chosen by Ollivander (our Ollivander was a very good actor and charming fellow) to hold different wands and instructed to wave them about.  Strange things happen when the wands are waved in the shop, similar to how it was for Harry.  It’s fun and cute and one of the few calm attractions in the park.  And what I loved was feeling like I was in the Wizarding World for even just a few minutes.

So I’d vote against skipping Ollivander’s.  Grab a butterbeer or pumpkin juice to sip while you’re in line.  Play a silly game with the people you’re with (like “I Spy” or the alphabet game with Harry Potter characters).

And people say only kids get chosen by Ollivander, but in our group it was a 20-something girl in the front instead of a kid in the front.  I think the real key is just being up front!

Below are some pictures of Ollivander’s:

Ollivander’s sign

Wand Display Window

Wand boxes in the bottom left corner

I did end up buying a wand.  One of my brothers was making fun of me saying I was paying $30 for a stick.  And that he would go outside when he got home and pick up his own “wand” off the ground for free.

But I love the wand I got.  It’s Luna Lovegood’s and it’s beautiful. My other brother bought Snape’s wand, but I don’t have any pictures of his.  So below are pictures of my wand aka Luna’s wand:

Label on the Wand Box

Rich brown color

Pretty tulip handle

Not a toy?

Ollivander’s wand shop is connected to Dervish and Banges and the Owl Post.  They are kind of all just one big shop.  You can buy wands, stationary, postcards, stamps (postage stamps as well as a wax seal kit) journals, quills, robes, stuffed owls, brooms… If you buy postcards, they will postmark them with a special Hogsmeade stamp.  So cool!  This is one of the bigger shops and was crowded all day long.  But it’s fun!!!  You should definitely stop in here!  Below are some pictures from Dervish and Banges and the Owl Post:

Dervish and Banges sign

The Bludgers were fighting to get out!

The Monster Book of Monsters!

Owl Post sign

Shop window outside the Owl Post

Owls and packages to be delivered…

There are owls up in the rafters!

One thing I wish they had at Harry Potter World:
EVERYONE was buying wands.  Hogwarts scarves and wands are by far the two most popular souvenirs.  Everyone was walking around the park, waving their newly purchased wands and feeling so magically cool.  But… it’d be awesome if they had an attraction that USED your wand!  How cool would it be to have a “Charms Classroom Experience” where you get to enter a Hogwarts Charms classroom and have a 15 minute lesson on how to perform a few basic spells (Wingardium Leviosa?).  If you didn’t have a wand, you could borrow one, but it might not “work properly.”  The classroom could be rigged to follow with the pace of the lesson/instructor so that different magical things (floating feathers or explosions) happened throughout the lesson when students started waving their wands.

I definitely think an attraction like this is possible, and I think the park needs more of this kind of attraction.  The rides were all thrill/scary/intense rides, but we Harry Potter fans really want to feel like we’re in the world J.K. Rowling created.  We want to pretend we’re wizards for the day.  The thrills and roller coasters are fun, but I’d much rather experience Hogwarts firsthand.

Check tomorrow’s post for another ride/attraction I wish they had at Harry Potter World…

8 comments on “Harry Potter World: Ollivander’s Wand Shop

  1. The Charms thing would be the BEST!And yes, the key is to be in the front. I talked to one of the people working there after I'd gone through and that's what they said. Did you get chills when the wand picked the person? I so got chills. Also, if you watch the Monster Book of Monster for long enough it like freaks out and starts moving around its cage XDI don't know why'd anyone would want to skip Ollivander's shop! When I go back I'll be going through again! So magical <3333P.S. I bought Hermione's wand, and they are fragile! Mine chipped while I was at the DH2 premiere 😦

  2. That's a really cool wand! Nice choice! And did you smack that brother around a little bit? ;)I like your idea for the Charms class. And I totally agree – most of the fans are there for the experience – to see what it would feel like to be in the world of Harry Potter. Rides are fun, but we want to be wizards (at least for a day)!!!!

  3. CWhitney says:

    You have me soooo jealous! I want to go there like no one else. But I AM POOR! I can't afford to pay to get there, stay there, and go to the park. I am really glad that you explained the wand shop – I was wondering how that worked. I thought that it wasn't just one person out of a group… But super awesome! I am finishing the 7th book for my paper and it has me all bittersweet feeling. I think the cure is a trip!

  4. Aylee says:

    Aw, what does your brother know? That is a beautiful wand!Ugh, I wonder when this park will ever be not busy. I mean, I'm happy it's doing so well, but I wish there could be a time to go when lines were minimal and I could enjoy the atmosphere without the crazy crowds.Love your Wizarding World ideas!

  5. LHughes says:

    I saw the Monster Book of Monsters move around and growl and stuff! It was perfect!I don't know why anyone would want to skip it either, but literally the employees outside were trying to persuade people to get out of line and there's a ton of foursquare tips that said to skip Ollivanders. 😦 I totally thought it was worth it and awesome…That's sooooo sad that your wand chipped! Hermione's was so pretty with the ivy leaves on it. 😦 I'll have to be careful!

  6. LHughes says:

    My brother just knows how to push my buttons. That's what brothers are good at, I suppose.I'm glad you think Charms class sounds fun too! Yay to pretending to be wizards!

  7. LHughes says:

    I hear they are planning to do an expansion to the Harry Potter section of the park, so if you take some time to save money, it could be worth it because the park will be EVEN MORE AWESOME when you go! Just definitely don't go in the summer when it's crowded. Try to go in the winter off-season.

  8. LHughes says:

    I think it was just busy because it was a holiday weekend when I went. The people who work there said it hadn't been as busy lately.But I agree with you. I would love to just go and leisurely hang out there and enjoy the atmosphere. I really hate crowds, but the one good thing about the Harry Potter crowds was it did seem like most of them were really nice people. But I'd still rather have the whole place to myself!

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