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One of the more fun experiences we have had at Universal Studios is with the interactive wands in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These engaging items keep us in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade longer than other areas of the parks. Essentially, the Interactive Wands make things move or appear in different windows and areas of the Wizarding World with a few swishes and flicks.
Over time, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to make our magic better and the experience more enjoyable. While these have all been tested at Universal Studios Orlando, I’m sure it holds true for Hollywood and Japan as well. Here’s everything you need to know about the interactive wands and how to use them in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Where to Buy Interactive Wands
To begin with, there are two types of wands, interactive and non-interactive wands. The wands have an interactive element at secret spell locations in the park. (See Spell-casting below.) It’s a difference in the price of only $6, so be sure to double-check. Currently, the regular wands are $43.95 and interactive wands are $49.95. If you are an annual pass holder, your merchandise discount applies.
To choose your magic wand (or let it choose you) you can go to Ollivanders Wand Shop, of course, makers of fine wands since 382 B.C. Ollivanders has a main shop in Diagon Alley with an additional shop in Hogsmeade. You can choose to stand in a short line to witness Ollivander himself help a young witch or wizard find their wand. A fun interactive show experience, even if you don’t buy. Or you can wander directly into the shop.
The main Universal gift shops, the larger ones at the beginning of the park, also sell wands. They do not have the full selection. Ollivander’s will be your best shop to find the right wand from the Harry Potter books.
It does get a bit congested in both shops. If you’re only looking for a character wand, around the corner find Gregorovitch’s shop in Diagon Alley. This is an open-air shop, nearly hidden and less crowded.
Interactive Wand Types
Both interactive wands and regular wands come in the Harry Potter character’s original wands and wood-based wands. By wood-based, I mean they are modeled after the tree, ivy, rowan, oak, and so forth. There are 12 different kinds of wood to choose from the Celtic Tree Calendar. As for characters’ wands, you’ll find nearly every character you can imagine. If you want Harry Potter’s wand, you’ll find it. You’ll find replica wands from Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Dumbledore, and many more. Most come in regular and interactive wands. Be on the lookout for wands from the Fantastic Beasts series as well. Universal Parks does continue to update the wand selection, so don’t hesitate to ask for your favorite character from the Harry Potter Movies..
When you receive your interactive wand, you have a map, that shows you the different locations you can do cast spells. The spell and a circular number notate each location on the map. Popular attraction locations are in a diamond number. One of the first mistakes we made was going to the diamond numbered areas thinking we could do something. Additionally, gold medallions are in the ground notating a magical location.
There are 11 magical spots in Diagon Alley, 5 in Knockturn Alley, and 9 in Hogsmeade. Each location is activated by a different wand movement notated on the map and on the medallion.
There are also a few “hidden” locations, that doesn’t require a specific spell. Look for the eyes near Gringotts, the skeleton in Knockturn Alley, and the parchment near Wingardium Leviosa feather, to name a few.
Swish and Flick
Professor Flitwick would tell you that casting magic spells are more in the movement than in the words. Your swish and flick are more important than saying Wingardium LeviOsa, not LevioSA. If it’s your first time, be patient and use smaller moves than you think you should. Often, the interactive spell locations don’t easily detect the grandiose swishes. Stand straight, point your wand directly ahead of you and make the correct spell movement (as indicated on the medallion). There are witches and wizards placed around the Wizarding World that can help you. If you’re having trouble despite your best efforts, get a witch or wizard to help.
Once you get the hang of it with your own wand, it’s so much fun. In fact, I think I enjoy it as much as any young wizard.
Interactive Wands Repair
Should you find casting spells a bit difficult, your wand may be in need of repair. A helpful witch or wizard may suggest you bring your wand in for repair. This happened to us after a witch tried to do spells with my daughter’s wand and it did not work. She inspected the tip of the interactive wand and suggested a wand repair.
Simply return to any of the wand shops and tell them your wand is broken. They will take it and repair it. We had this done and it was a relatively quick process.
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Do you have any different experiences with your interactive wands? I'd love to hear them! Please comment below.