'Sup? Tad here. Today we're talking about one of my favorite topics — Harry Potter! Mommy Frog (that's Flora to all of you grownups) gave me a copy of the first book as a birthday gift back when I was a younger frog. My fascination with all things Potter hit its high note when Universal opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I can walk through Hogwarts and sip Butterbeer? Frog. Mind. Blown. In this post, I'm going to talk about my favorite part of these worlds — the wizarding world wands, which include the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts wands for many characters from these movies, as well as original wands that perhaps you may make famous someday. I'll also answer some common questions that our readers have asked about these interactive wands. Plus I've got tips on getting chosen at Ollivanders wand shop!
At Universal Studios Hollywood, you're surrounded by magical fun. You can take a ride on a magical beast on Flight of the Hippogriff and soar with Harry, Ron and Hermione on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Visiting wizards can also make magic hoppen with their very own wand. IKNOWRIGHT? I love wandering around Hogsmeade with my wand, saying a spell —and then with a flick of my wrist — woosh. Magical things happen. While you don't need a wizarding world wand to enjoy your visit to Hogsmeade, they make the experience extra magical.
Any Harry Potter fan can tell you that the wand chooses the wizard. One of the coolest ways to see the power of the wand is by visiting Ollivanders wand shop. Inside this famous shop, you may purchase your very own wand. A few lucky folks even participate in a wand pairing ceremony and get chosen by a wand! There's plenty of wizarding world wand fun to be had at Universal Studios Hollywood. Let's leap in and see what you can conjure up with your own wand!
Types of Wizarding World Wands at Universal Studios Hollywood
Interactive Wands and Resin Wands
There are two kinds of wands available for you to purchase. The most popular wands are the interactive wands. These special wands can be used all around Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood to activate different effects in windows and other features. The resin wands are essentially decorative wands that you'd purchase to display in your bedroom or office or have for dressing up and play. They are cheaper and lighter than the interactive wands. You can purchase a wand stand for displaying your wands at Ollivanders.
Prices for the wands vary. Expect to pay around $55 for the interactive wands and $49 for the resin, non-interactive models. If you have tadpoles ages 5 and up who aren't yet into Harry Potter and who don't know the characters, there is a less-expensive toy wand available in the shop. It lights up (but doesn't interact with the Wizarding World) and can be yours for about $30.
Design of Wizarding World Wands
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Character Wands
Many visiting wizards and muggles alike leap at the chance to purchase the wands of their favorite characters. There's a certain thrill of waving around Harry's wand or dazzling at the details of the Elder Wand aka Dumbledore's wand, which is also the same as Grindelwald’s wand. But you can also go old school and get Dumbledore’s original wand before he defeated Grindelwald and acquired the Elder Wand. Are true Harry Potter wand fans still with me? You may purchase select character wands from the Harry Potter movies as regular resin wands or as interactive models. The character wands from the Fantastic Beasts movies are not available as interactive versions.
Non-Character Wizarding World of Harry Potter Wands
One of the appealing wand options are the various non-character ones. You have the option of purchasing a wand made of different materials — holly, reed, birch, willow, ash, vine, hazel, ivy, rowan, hawthorne and alder, each with a different core. These wands are only interactive. You can read more about these wands on scrolls around the shop at Ollivanders.
I'd like to have my Pottermore wand created. Can I get a custom wand?
There are no custom wands available at Ollivanders wand shop.
Ollivanders - Makers of Fine Wands Since 382 BC
Ollivanders Wand Pairing Show (temporarily unavailable)
At Ollivanders, you can watch — and hopefully take part in — a wand pairing show with a wandkeeper. In this dark back room of the wand shop, the wandkeeper will select someone to participate in a wand pairing demonstration. The wandkeeper will offer several wands to the individual to see how well they work together. As you can guess, it may take a few tries for the correct wand and wizard to magically find each other. The show is pure magic. Even if you are not shopping for a wand, this pairing is worth the wait for diehard Harry Potter fans. I have seen it a few times, and each show is a little bit different with different spells and wands. You can watch my video of it on our YouTube channel.
After the show, the audience exits into the main wand store to peruse the shelves of wands. The individual and their family will be given the option to purchase the wand that selected him or her. They may also purchase a different wand if they like — or leave empty-handed.
How can I get chosen to be in the Ollivanders wand choosing show?
We get TONS of questions about this. The answer is ... it's a wizarding secret. We've done this show plenty of times and can't see a common formula. We've seen young adults picked when we were SO SURE it was going to be a certain child. Ollivanders politely declines requests from parents who PLEAD that their child is picked.
I can count the number of times I've seen the show on both flippers. I've never been picked — and I've shown up in head-to-toe Ravenclaw gear. Meanwhile, my best friend who’s a Hufflepuff has been chosen twice! We still think it’s helpful to dress up and make yourself as visible as possible (think front row instead of back) so the wandkeeper can see you. It's a bummer that I haven't had the chance to be chosen by a wand yet, but I've realized that it's not the end of the day if I'm not chosen to participate. I spend hours using my interactive wand, casting spells and making magic. If you're not chosen for the Ollivanders show, don't take it too hard. Focus on the fun you're having. After all, you are at Universal Studios Hollywood. The line gets shorter in the afternoon, so you can always hop back in line and try again. The spells in each wand pairing are different, so you might get to experience a different show or even a different wandkeeper at work.
Can I be in the show, but turn down the wand?
Let's get real. Not all of us have a vault at Gringotts full of gold — yet, if you do, I'm open to being adopted. Buying an Ollivanders wand may not be in your vacation budget, or you may already have one. If you're chosen for the ceremony, you may simply turn down the chance to purchase it at the end. No harm, no foul. But if the wandkeeper asks if you are there because you are looking for a wand, the answer is yes. Otherwise, he or she might pass you up for another participant who came to get a wand. We’ve seen it happen!
World of caution for all you parents: Please prepare your tadpole in advance with expectations in case they get chosen. You have no obligation to buy at the end, but it's very hard to turn down a wand that chooses you. Being paired is a magical experience and your little one will feel very drawn to having that wand.
Choosing Your Own Wizarding World Wand at Ollivanders
Sure, purchasing your own wand flies in the face of that whole "wand chooses the wizard" thing. While it's certainly weird to slap down our cash for a wand without ceremony, it's really fun to pick out your own.
As you exit the show — or wander inside from the side entrance or through Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment — you'll be able to peruse the shelves of wands. There's a section of the character ones, and one for the non-character wands. The Ollivanders non-character wands have an “O” on the label (they are all interactive). The character interactive wands have a gold label, and the character non-interactive wands have a white label.
The Character Wand Stand
Another option for checking out wands for specific characters is across from Hogwarts. A small stand sells just about every character’s signature wand. It is fun just to be able to see all the details on wands, from Voldemort’s and Bellatrix’s wands to Harry's, Cedric Diggory’s, Mad-Eye Moody’s, Fleur Delacour’s, Dumbledore’s and more. There is a particularly cool Death Eater wand with a skull on it. #goals
Universal Studios Store
You do not have to enter the park to purchase a wand. The Universal Studios Store in City Walk has some of the more popular character wands, but not all of the wands. You can also shop for wands at the Universal Studio Store just before exiting the park. The biggest selection of Harry Potter wands remains inside the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Hollywood.
How to Use Interactive Wizarding World Wands
Congrats! You were selected in the Ollivander's show OR you talked your frog family into buying your very own wand. Now the fun begins!
Your interactive wand comes with a map that shows the locations and spells around Hogsmeade. Wander around the village, and you'll find gold markers on the ground in front of shop windows that show you where to stand. Following the ground markers is way less cumbersome than following the map. Plus a few spells do not even appear on the map!
Here's how spell casting works: Make your way over to a marker — our favorite one is by Dominic Maestro's. Stand on the marker and look at the motion that's indicated on it. Point your wand at the window and say the spell — "Ventus" — and wave your wand. If you do it correctly, some magic will happen. This particular one sets off instruments and flying sheets of music.
Other spells may open items (such as a Chocolate Frog box), raise items, lower items, illuminate things, freeze them, make them turn or bounce or change in some way. There is often a helpful wizard nearby to assist guests with their spells. They know you are learning and will be eager for your success. There are some newer exciting spells, bringing the total to 15. The Incendio spell conjures flames that reflect your skill level, and the Alohomora spell is difficult, but by far my new favorite. Cast that spell on a door with a series of locks. Can you reveal what’s behind the door? If your map magically disappears while you are distractedly learning spells, you can hop back into the shop for a free replacement map. Be sure to hop over to Tad's post on Toadally Cool Wizarding World of Harry Potter Spells at Universal Studios Hollywood for more tips on casting spells.
Fun with Wizarding World Wands in Orlando
Are you planning a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort? Pack. That. Wand! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split between two parks. You'll find Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure, while Universal Studios Florida is home to Diagon Alley. How to get between the parks? THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS YO!
Both areas are full of interactive elements for plenty of wizarding world wand fun. One of our favorite ones is deep inside Knockturn Alley in Diagon Alley. Over at Hogsmeade, we're fans of Revelio outside of Honeyduke's. Your wand will work at all of the spots. I purchased my wand in Hollywood, then took it with me to Orlando. It's really fun to explore familiar spells in Hogsmeade, but the ones in Diagon Alley are even more enchanting. You'll see young and old frogs alike having fun with their wands.
Should You Buy a Wizarding World Wand?
T-shirts. Mugs. Designer dresses. You can buy TONS of things on vacation. The choices are even more tempting at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, where it's tempting to pick up house scarves and dress robes. Wizarding World wands are the rare souvenir that you use while on vacation. Sadly, the wands don't work around your local town, so the "magic" is limited. But you are certainly welcome to do pretend spells or use your wand as a costume prop at home! I’ve been known to engage in a little wizard dueling with my Harry Potter wand, myself. If you're a die-hard fan, then it's the perfect way to remember your visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There's definitely an emotional connection drawn when your tadpole correctly casts a spell, and that can make for magical memories.
If a wand isn't in your future, there are still many great ways for additional wizarding fun. Mom has a post on our favorite places to eat or drink in the Wizarding World. You can even buy a chocolate pretzel wand at Honeydukes if you prefer to eat a wand rather than cast spells with it! There are so many fun things to do in the Wizarding World. Hoppy spell casting!
Do you have a favorite spell? Have you ever been chosen for the Ollivanders show? Share your secrets with us in the comments below!