A wand is a wand is a wand, but if you are planning a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida then you need to know at interactive Harry Potter wands. These wands are special, and with one you can do magic throughout Hogsmeade and DIagon Alley.
If you want to do magic (and any true Potterhead does!), then an interactive wand is the only wand to get. Keep reading for everything you need to know about these truly magical wands.
What Is The Difference Between Interactive Wands And Regular Wands?
There are two types of wands sold at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) - interactive and non-interactive. Both type of wands look exactly the same except at the tip. Interactive wands have a small glass tip which is where the magic escapes from the wand and interacts with various parts of the park. Interactive wands are also a little bit lighter in weight than non-interactive wands.
Be careful with the tips. Although I have not seen this myself, I've heard that the tips can be broken so always treat your wand with care.
Can The Tips Break?
The tips are made of glass so, yes, the tips can break. The good news is that Ollivanders Wand Shop can repair your broken tip at no cost to you! Simply bring your wand to any worker at Ollivanders and explain that you are in need of wand repair.
Where Can I Buy Interactive Wands?
There are three places in the WWoHP where you can buy interactive Harry Potter wands. Hogsmeade has an Ollivander's Wand Shop, and Diagon Alley has both an Ollivander's Wand Shop and Gregorovitch Wand Shop. Gregorovitch's Wand Shop is much smaller, both in size and inventory, than Ollivander's but all three shops sell interactive wands. They cost a bit more than non-interactive wands but are well worth the extra money if you want the fun of casting spells.
How Do Interactive Wands Work?
The wands work without you doing anything. Meaning, there is no on/off switch or button to push. They are always ready to do your bidding. They are a lot like using a Wii or Xbox KNEX gaming controllers.
There are 25+ spell locations throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Most places are marked with round plaques on the ground, but there are also a couple of hidden places that are not marked. The plaques do more than show you where you can do magic - they also tell you what spell you need to perform.
These plaques are incredibly helpful! Each interactive wand comes with a map of every marked location, as well as the spell to perform at each location, but the maps can be difficult to read. Plus, those of you who want to save your maps won't want to repeatedly pull them out in case they get damaged. Fortunately, the plaques are much easier to read than the maps.
What Kind Of Magic Can I Do?
I don't want to spoil the fun of experiencing doing magic at the WWoHP by telling you all of the different things that will happen when you use an interactive wand but I'll give you a few examples. Casting the right spell will mend a broken coat of armor, flush a toilet, and make it rain. There are 25+ different types of magic you can do!
Where Are Spell Locations?
The majority of spell locations can be found in window displays, but not all. Some are out in the open, some are found in dark, hidden places. Have fun looking all around both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley for magical spots! I will say, though, that most of the spell locations are in Diagon Alley.
Below are maps of both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade that are included when you buy an interactive wand at Universal Studios. Each map shows you where the spell locations are, and what spells to use.
Do Interactive Wands Need Batteries?
No! Interactive wands are powered by magic, not muggle batteries or electricity.
Want to Know How Interactive Wands Work? (SPOILER ALERT)
The tips of each interactive wand has a piece of glass, and each spell location has an infrared camera. The infrared camera reflects light off the glass tip, which allows it to track the wand's motion. This is how the camera "knows" if you've done the right spell at a spell location.
Do You Have Any Tips For Using Interactive Wands?
Magic can be challenging at times for even the most experienced witches and wizards, and sometimes Muggles using wands can be a little tricky. The good news is that it usually takes just a few times before you succeed with your spell. And, if you ry and try but still need help there are plenty of theme park workers who are more than happy to help you out.
Here are a few tips that my daughter and I learned when using our interactive wands:
- Stand on or just behind the plaque.
- Use small wand gestures, not wild or large ones.
- If the plaque doesn't show you how to use your wand then hold it up and keep it still until something happens (there are at least two documented locations that require you to hold your wand still to active magic - giant eyeballs and moving skeleton - and one hidden location).
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
I can only think of one more thing, and it has to do with the map of spell locations. As I said above, every interactive wand comes with a map of all magical spots. It comes folded up accordion style and is rather large.
What most people don't know is that you can ask for a smaller version of the map. The smaller version is smaller (that was obvious, right?) and flat. Meaning, it isn't folded in any way. It makes for a gorgeous keepsake. Of course, the challenge is to get the map home without any damage. You might want to bring a manilla folder with you to the WWoHP if you want a small map so you have something that will protect it.
Update - The last time I was at Universal Studios I found out that they are no longer have the small maps. You can still ask because it's possible they might have one or two hidden away in a drawer somewhere, but it looks like these have gone the way of cauldrons made of cheese.
Want to See Each Character's Wand?