Wow, if you didn’t blow your Universal Orlando vacation budget on park tickets, you will be tempted by all the Harry Potter souvenirs at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Each ride has its own specialty gift shop and the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley offer a bonanza of shopping opportunities.
In fact, shopping is a huge part of the experience, as you get to do what Harry Potter and his friends did in the books and movies – stock up on your magical gear. Every Harry Potter shop features clothing and robes with your favorite Hogwarts house crest, but some gift shops are better than others, and I’ll fill you in on why below.
[Make sure you get my best Universal Orlando tips and an insider’s guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!]
Best Harry Potter Souvenirs to Buy Before you Go
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Of course, when you are walking around The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will see people with all kinds of Harry Potter paraphernalia that they bought before they arrived like t-shirts, special wands, jewelry and more.
Since we are a major Harry Potter fan family, I’m always scouring Etsy and Amazon for some fun gifts or things to bring on our trip to show our fandom. Here are some of my favorites:
- Deathly Hallows necklace
- I solemnly swear that I am up to no good t-shirts (we saw a lot of these in the park)
- “My Patronus is a…” t-shirts (I think these are so cute)
- I’m just here for the Butterbeer shirt (I just bought this one for me!)
- While you are at it, pick up the new illustrated versions of the Harry Potter books!
- And download the movies to watch on the plane!
Best Universal Studios Souvenirs
While at the park, it is definitely easy for Harry Potter fans to go a little crazy on Harry Potter souvenirs. Every time we go we stock up on sweatshirts, t-shirts, postcards, Harry Potter stamps, chocolate frogs, notebooks — you name it!
But of everything we bought, the best Harry Potter souvenirs were the interactive wand and pygmy puff. By the way, if you are also heading to Disney, check out my friend Jodi’s recommendations on the best Disney souvenirs.
A few years ago, we bought Hannah a very nice Hermoine wand at Barnes & Noble. It even lights up when you wave it – which came in very handy and attracted a lot of attention in the dark Knockturn Alley when visiting Borgin & Burkes.
But despite bringing this perfectly good wand to the park, we knew we were going to get suckered into buying another at Ollivanders Wand Shop.
As I’ve already written about in my Insider’s Guide, Ollivanders was our first stop in Hogsmeade and since we had been able to get into the park early, we were part of the first group to be ushered into Ollivanders for the first demonstration of the day.
As the only kid to be outfitted in witch’s robes, Hannah was selected from the small audience to participate in the demonstration and “choose” a wand. After she was paired with the correct wand, of course we had to buy it. But that is ok, I didn’t mind spending the $50 because this interactive wand provided two days of fun at Universal.
The wands sold at the park are interactive, and come along with a map and instructions showing the location of interactive displays and the spells and wrist motions needed to activate them.
And at least we have gotten a lot of use out of it as we have brought it back for subsequent trips. (Just note that you may need to stop into Ollivanders and have them reactivate it for you.)
Keep reading because I’m not just talking about any Pygmy Puff. I’m talking about Pgymy Puffs purchased at Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes in Diagon Alley. If you aren’t familiar with what a pygmy puff is, it was those adorable puff balls that all the girls wanted at Hogwarts. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ginny got one and named it Arnold.
Pygmy puffs are actually really popular with real girls too. At least, I know they were for mine. Luckily, we decided to get one at Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes, because it seemed more authentic since that is where Ginny got hers. Well, every time someone adopts a pygmy puff for the first time at Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes, the clerk goes through a naming ceremony by ringing the bell and shouting out the name.
The naming ceremony definitely made the experience special and makes the pygmy puff the second best Harry Potter souvenir to get at Universal Orlando.
The one bonus I’d add is that if you visit the Owl Post to purchase postcards, also pick up a “Howler.” (For those not familiar, these were the magical letters delivered by owl at Hogwarts, typically from your mom, screaming at you for something.)
In the non-magical version, it is like one of those greeting cards that allow you to record your own message. I’m saving mine for if Hannah isn’t writing me letters from sleepaway camp next year. So Hannah, if you are reading this, you are warned…send those letters or you are getting a Howler sent to your bunk!! 🙂
And don’t forget to download your Harry Potter photo scavenger hunt for Universal Orlando!
- Get tips on how to save money on your Universal vacation so you have more to spend on souvenirs!
- Make sure you read our insider tips on visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
- Don’t miss these Universal Orlando tips from a pro from my friend Amber over on Global Munchkins!
- Check out my review of our stay at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Plan out your Universal dining options