Wondering how wheelchair accessible Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley is now?

Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Hello, I am a pretty big Harry Potter fan in a wheelchair and would greatly appreciate honest answers. Years ago, around when the Harry Potter Park at Universal Orlando, around the time when it FIRST open, was just in one of Universal's parks-we went. I LOVED some things like the Butter Beer, Hogwarts castle, etc but some of the shops I couldn't even fit in or navigate around and we were VERY disappointed with the lack of accessibility.

WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE DISNEY WORLD and find that to be a completely different experience. As FL residents probably have been 20-30 times.

I am really kind of excited about all the new additions to the Harry Potter theme parks but BEFORE I purchase a one day ticket for October-we will be in DW celebrating my birthday-can anyone here give me some HONEST opinions on how things may or may not have changed for a person like myself? I would also like to know if the Hagrid's Motorbike Coaster is at least SMOOTH or not? i honestly didn't like the Castle Coaster ride and hurt my back a tiny bit. Nothing major but I did not like the feeling. Is the Hagrid ride similar?
 

J'aime Paris

Living happily ever after
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I've never traveled with someone in a wheelchair, so my perspective isn't firsthand experience.

October is predicted to be extremely busy at Universal Orlando. The HHN dates were cancelled last year due to Covid, and it was the big 30 year celebration of the event.
This Sept/Oct is the "do over", and huge numbers of people are expected. Onsite hotels are almost totally booked.

This will impact and certainly increase the daily attendance numbers, since folks that enjoy HHN will do regular touring of the parks as well. Navigating the HP lands in each park can be frustrating at times, and feels quite cramped. We were there just a few weeks ago and it was lines, lines, lines. Spilling out and around and all over the place to be honest.

The Hagrid's ride is smooth, in my opinion. But there is a 'surprise' during the ride that may be too much for someone with back issues.
I'm 99.9% sure that a person must be able to transfer out of a wheelchair to ride. I've never seen any part of the coaster that could accommodate a wheelchair.

Hope that helps a bit, and enjoy your bday trip!!
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
THANK YOU for ALL of this information! It was extraordinarily helpful and because of your insight I don’t believe we will be purchasing tickets for Universal. I am aware that you need to transfer for I believe all of the roller coasters at the Harry Potter parks. I don’t really have serious or significant back problems but given your description of the Hagrid ride, I don’t believe it would be a good idea and I also don’t believe I would enjoy it. Even some rides at Disney World in Magic Kingdom that I enjoyed as a small child, I no longer feel comfortable writing such as Space Mountain.

Also, your crowd depictions and possible expectations were extraordinarily helpful as well. Basically, I have determined that if we were to purchase tickets we would have to buy the additional ride access perks or line perks as you call them in addition to the park ticket price. Given the fact, that I believe that all of the Harry Potter rides would not be for me including the Gringgot Bank ride, The ride inside Hogwarts castle, and Hagrid’s ride, I believe they are all rather joulty and not smooth like Rock ‘n’ roll roller coaster in Hollywood studios( I have ridden it once before and absolutely LOVE it!!!)
 

mialovesart

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
I actually find Hagrid’s to be a very smooth coaster, even during the surprise. Forbidden Journey (castle ride) is very jerky and uncomfortable. I don’t think they are similar in roughness at all. I actually think Rock n Rollercoaster is rougher than Hagrid’s during the inversions.

I would be more concerned about navigating Hogsmeade if the crowds are heavy. Lately, it’s been wall to wall people in Hogsmeade & scooters were struggling to navigate through the crowds. Not fun!

However, if you visit in the early morning, the crowds are not as bad, especially in Diagon Alley. Diagon Alley is a bit more accessible than Hogsmeade. As a Potter fan, it’s definitely worth a visit. The new additions are very immersive!
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
I actually find Hagrid’s to be a very smooth coaster, even during the surprise. Forbidden Journey (castle ride) is very jerky and uncomfortable. I don’t think they are similar in roughness at all. I actually think Rock n Rollercoaster is rougher than Hagrid’s during the inversions.

I would be more concerned about navigating Hogsmeade if the crowds are heavy. Lately, it’s been wall to wall people in Hogsmeade & scooters were struggling to navigate through the crowds. Not fun!

However, if you visit in the early morning, the crowds are not as bad, especially in Diagon Alley. Diagon Alley is a bit more accessible than Hogsmeade. As a Potter fan, it’s definitely worth a visit. The new additions are very immersive!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for this viewpoint!! Do you mind sharing with me how jerky and uncomfortable the Gringots coaster is? If I bought a ticket and only wanted to ride Hagrid's ride, maybe Gringots and explore Diagon Alley would I still need a 2 PARK TICKET? I believe in order to ride the hogwarts express you have to have a ticket for both parks, correct or no? The train is wheelchair accessible yes or do I need to transfer, do you know?

Also, if we just end up going to universal city walk, can I get a buterbeer or is that only available in the parks?
 

mialovesart

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
THANK YOU SO MUCH for this viewpoint!! Do you mind sharing with me how jerky and uncomfortable the Gringots coaster is? If I bought a ticket and only wanted to ride Hagrid's ride, maybe Gringots and explore Diagon Alley would I still need a 2 PARK TICKET? I believe in order to ride the hogwarts express you have to have a ticket for both parks, correct or no? The train is wheelchair accessible yes or do I need to transfer, do you know?

Also, if we just end up going to universal city walk, can I get a buterbeer or is that only available in the parks?
Happy to help as much as I can! Everyone is different in what they can tolerate. I do think that if you can handle the Rock n Rollercoaster launch, then Hagrid’s should be a piece of cake. I find it much smoother & more of a “family coaster.” You can choose between riding on the motorcycle seat or the sidecar seat.

Hagrid’s is in Islands of Adventure, while Gringott’s & Diagon Alley are in Universal Studios. You will definitely need the 2 park pass to do both. As a Potter fan, I do think that it’s worth doing the 2 park pass, so that you can ride the Hogwart’s Express.

Im not familiar with wheelchair procedures on any of the rides. I am guessing that Hogwarts Express has to be accessible since you would need to bring your wheelchair with you from park to park.

Gringott’s is smooth. It does spin you around turns quickly, but I honestly find Space Mountain much harder on your neck.

Hopefully this helps!
 

mialovesart

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Just checked the Universal App. You can remain in your wheelchair on the Hogwarts Express! The other rides require you to transfer from your wheelchair to the ride seat.

Also, butter beer is only available in the parks, as far as I know. It’s definitely worth trying. We also really loved the butter beer pot of creme at the Leaky Cauldron.
 
  • sparky68

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2016
    Just checked the Universal App. You can remain in your wheelchair on the Hogwarts Express! The other rides require you to transfer from your wheelchair to the ride seat.

    Also, butter beer is only available in the parks, as far as I know. It’s definitely worth trying. We also really loved the butter beer pot of creme at the Leaky Cauldron.
    For the castle ride they pull a vehicle out if the rotation. It loads in a stationary position for easy transfer from a w/c. I believe gringots also has a special w/c loading platform.
    It is a very expensive ticket to just look around unless you are a potter fanatic.
    The stores are super tight for w/c access. I know that was a rowking design demand. Not sure how they got away with it considering accessibility laws in this country.
    If you could ever swing it schedule wise going to the Orlando informer after hour events would be perfect. The crowds are light, all the butter beer and food you can eat. With the low crowds during those events you could enjoy the park on her own terms much better.
     

    123SA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2005
    We found the cobblestones in Diagon Alley difficult to manage with a wheelchair. We also had a hard time with the flooring in the Kong queue. My son was in a push wheelchair temporarily because of a broken foot. We had no experience with wheelchairs, and our inexperience may have been the reason for our difficulties in these places.

    In Diagon Alley, the Butterbeer store and the stuffed animal store were wheelchair friendly. The other stores were way too tight -- again maybe this was because of our inexperience with maneuvering the wheelchair.

    We had only positive experiences with staff at the parks and at the resort.
     

    d0naldduck123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    I also found Hagrids to be a very smooth ride. Forbidden Journey was pretty jerky and my head would keep banging against the shoulder restraints so as a person with no back issues, I still found it uncomfortable. I'm not sure how crowd levels will be in October but this past week it has been wall-to-wall crowded in the HP lands and the lines for butterbeer were really long, so between people walking around and people also standing in lines, I would imagine it would take some time trying to navigate through Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley in your wheelchair.
     

    sparky68

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2016
    I also found Hagrids to be a very smooth ride. Forbidden Journey was pretty jerky and my head would keep banging against the shoulder restraints so as a person with no back issues, I still found it uncomfortable. I'm not sure how crowd levels will be in October but this past week it has been wall-to-wall crowded in the HP lands and the lines for butterbeer were really long, so between people walking around and people also standing in lines, I would imagine it would take some time trying to navigate through Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley in your wheelchair.
    October is going to be insane. The people who missed HHN last year are going to descend on the park in droves.
    I considered going myself out of a driving need to travel. The thought of the crowds scared me away
     


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