In 2010, when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened its doors at Universal Orlando, fans from all over the country flocked to the opening. Even now, when every book has been read and every movie has been watched, (several thousand times over,) the chance to see Hogwarts up close is still as exciting as ever. In fact, with Diagon Alley opening this summer, it's more popular than ever.
If you have a child who's a fan of the Harry Potter series, or you're a fan yourself, you might consider visiting this exciting theme part. However, if you're using an Orlando mobility scooter rental, you might be curious about what you need to know before entering the park, and whether Universal will be accommodating to your specific physical needs.
Using Your Mobility Scooter at the Harry Potter Theme Park
Universal Studios, where the Harry Potter theme park is located, is extremely accommodating to individuals using mobility scooters and wheelchairs. All shopping and dining facilities are wheelchair accessible. Outdoor stage shows are as well, with areas that are specifically marked with the “International Symbol of Accessibility” that are reserved for individuals with disabilities.
In addition, you'll find that all lines within the magical world of Harry Potter are accessible to wheelchairs. It's important to note though, that there are specific rules regarding boarding these rides when you are using an Orlando mobility scooter rental.
- You may have to actually transfer out of the mobility scooter onto the ride vehicle's seating. If you're capable of transferring by yourself, this will be allowed. If not, another person in your party can help you.
- No rides within the Harry Potter theme park will accommodate the use of your mobility scooter. However, some will allow riders to board the ride with a standard wheelchair. You can transfer from your mobility scooter to a wheelchair for these attractions. These are located at all rides for your convenience.
Visiting The Harry Potter Theme Park
Once you understand what your abilities will be once you're inside the Harry Potter theme park using your mobility scooter, you need to know how to best navigate the attraction and get the most out of your visit. Here are a few tips.
- Get to the park as early as possible. This may be a little difficult, as getting the kids ready and to the entrance gates by nine o'clock in the morning isn't an easy feat. Getting there early will provide you with a few hours of uncrowded time in the park, though, making it easier to enjoy the shops and rides without waiting in line. In addition, entrances are sometimes closed during peak hours when the park is full.
- Check the lines. Some rides have two lines. One is for guests that need to store things in a locker before they get on the rides. The other line is for guests who can go straight to the ride. The second line generally moves faster. Also, check with attendants to see if a separate line is available for you if you're using a mobility scooter. Sometimes a few people in your party can join this line with you.
- While waiting in line isn't how you want to spend your day, don't skip the line when waiting for the Forbidden Journey ride. Once you get inside the castle, the line turns into a tour of Hogwarts, with talking portraits, a filmed introduction to the ride by the three stars of the Harry Potter movies, and special effects appearances by many characters, including Dumbledore.
- Want to buy a wand or two for the kids? Don't make the mistake of standing in the long line at Ollivanders. You can't actually buy a wand here. The line is for a live-performance, and because only about 24 people can fit in the shop at a time, the line is very slow. If you want to buy a wand, visit the Owl Post next door or the cart right outside Hogwarts Castle.
- You'll no doubt want to visit many of the shops you've become familiar with when reading the books or watching the movies, like Zonko's Joke Shop and Honeydukes, but when you're using an Orlando mobility scooter rental, these shops can be difficult to navigate. They are rather small and tend to be hotspots, which means they are crowded. If you want to go shopping and need a little elbow room, visit Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods or the Port of Entry shop.