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If your kids are like mine, they would buy just about everything Harry Potter. I knew before our trip to Universal Studios Hollywood that shopping would be a main attraction inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but I wasn’t about to buy everything my boys asked for! I had a few ideas on how to save money at the park, but after visiting I collected even more ideas and I am sharing them with you! Here are my top money saving tips when visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
- Set a budget based on what’s important to you and your family. Is Butter beer a must have? (yes) Do you want to buy an interactive wand? Shirts? Hats? Make a list of the things you really want to buy and stick to it. There are plenty of frivolous things to spend your money on in the park, so spend wisely.
- Buy wizarding robes beforehand. Robes at Dervish and Banges will set you back $115! I was lucky enough to find robes at Goodwill around Halloween for $8 each! If your local Goodwill doesn’t have any, try ebay or Amazon.
- Buy one interactive wand for your family. Having an interactive wand is really a fun part of the Wizarding World experience, especially for those that are big Harry Potter fans. There are several spots around Hogsmead where you can “cast a spell” with your wand and see magical things happen before your eyes! However, only one person can go at a time, and since you have to take turns, there isn’t much need for more than one wand. Another option is to check ebay for used wands, I saw several there the last time I checked!
- Chocolate frogs are cheaper at IT’SUGAR. The ones at Honeydukes will set you back $12. On your way into the park, stop off at IT’SUGAR inside Universal City walk. Chocolate frogs there? $4. Yes they are smaller, but the magic is still there and my kids were happy.
- Meals at Three Broomsticks are big enough for 2. That being said, the kids meals are big, and if you are still hungry you can finish theirs!
- Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi in the park! If you don’t have unlimited data (like us), free Wi-Fi is invaluable while traveling. The last thing I need is an overage charge!
- Encourage your kids to save up their own money before the trip. Perhaps give them a few opportunities to earn more money before you leave. This helped me out tremendously because I was able to set the expectation that if my boys wanted to buy anything special, it would be with their own money. It also helped them choose something that was really important to them, and not just buy silly knick-knacks.
- Buy Harry Potter t-shirts at Target before the trip! I was able to purchase one for each of us for the same price it would have cost us to purchase **maybe** two in the park.
- Each lunch (or dinner) at the Universal CityWalk fast food area. It’s called “CityFood” on the map. They had a Subway, Taco Bell, Panda Express, Smashburger, Pizza Hut Express, and Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs. It’s also a nice mid-day break from the crowds. Just be sure to get a hand stamp on your way out of the park so you can get back in!
- Buy your tickets online or at Costco. We ended up purchasing season passes at Costco because we knew we wanted to visit 2 days, and it made more sense financially to buy the season pass rather than buying individual tickets. However, I was dismayed to find out that our pass did not allow us to get into the park early. If you buy a ticket online at UniversalStudios.com, you will get that extra perk.
I hope these money saving tips help your family enjoy the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Do you have any tips to share?