(Photo: Arthur Levine)
(Photo: Arthur Levine)

J.K. Rowling conjured the village of Hogsmeade for her series of Harry Potter books. The Potter films brought her mysterious outpost to life onscreen. For a fictional place, the Scottish hamlet sure gets around.

In 2010, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando and invited muggles to explore the theme park version of Hogsmeade. A second iteration of the mythical town where Harry shipped off to study witchcraft and wizardry opened at Universal Studios Japan in 2014. Now the original movie theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood, has its own Wizarding World.

The Hollywood Hogsmeade is essentially similar to its East Coast counterpart. For visitors who have seen the films and read the books, there is a sense of déjà vu (along with euphoria for superfans) at both places. But there are some major as well as subtler distinctions between them. Folks who may be planning a pilgrimage to the latest Wizarding World may wonder how it compares to the Florida original. And die hard fans that have visited Harry in Orlando may wonder what experiences await them on the West Coast. Let’s don our Hogwarts robes and study some of the differences between the two lands.

For the complete story, visit USAToday.com/Travel.


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