So you’ve seen the new movie and you’re ready to experience it in the parks! Bad news: Universal Studios has not given any word about a future parks expansion based on Fantastic Beasts (though it could happen). Good news: there are still areas of the parks where you can find those fantastic beasts.
You can head to Flight of the Hippogriff in Islands of Adventure to meet one of the most famous fantastic beasts in the Wizarding World: Buckbeak the Hippogriff. Hippogriffs are magical creatures that are half eagle and half horse.
As any good witch or wizard knows, Hippogriffs are very proud creatures and it is very easy to offend one. Buckbeak can be found hanging out in his nest, which is beside the first lift hill of Flight of the Hippogriff. Don’t forget to bow as you approach Buckbeak!
If you’re in the mood for a creature even more dangerous than a Hippogriff, head inside Hogwarts to take a spin on Forbidden Journey. During the ride, you’ll encounter a fierce, fire breathing dragon and numerous terrifying Acromantulas.
Acromantulas can reach a height of fifteen feet and have a taste for wizards. There are rumors of a colony of these beasts in the Forbidden Forest on Hogwart’s grounds. If you encounter these creatures, it’s not the best idea to try to fight them off. The recommended course of action is to run.
If you’re looking for an animal companion that is also functional, the Owl Post and Owlery in Islands of Adventure is a good shop to visit. Inside this shop you’ll find many types of Wizarding World stationary, quills and journals. You can even send a postcard to your friends and family back home that will sport a Hogsmeade postage mark. The best part of this shop is all the different types of owls. You’ll find snowy owls, barn owls, tawny owls and many more.
You’re seen a few fantastic beasts, but if you want to see even more, then hop aboard the Hogwarts Express and head to Diagon Alley inside Universal Studios. Once you’ve reached London, you’ll immediately notice a Ukranian Ironbelly dragon atop Gringotts Bank. If you are lucky, you might be able to see the dragon release a mighty jet of flame as he celebrates his escape from imprisonment and torture deep inside the vaults of Gringotts.
Duck inside Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and you’ll find pygmy puffs, the special miniature puffskeins bred by Fred and George. Ginny Weasley had a purple pygmy puff named Arnold. The shop makes quite a spectacle when a new pink or purple pygmy puff is purchased. They do a naming ceremony where you get to decide on a name for your new pet.
It is now time to visit the ultimate fantastic beasts location at Universal: the Magical Menagerie. Inside the shop are many magical creatures including frogs, cats, owls, baby dragons, rats, phoenixes, three headed dogs and many more. If you look up around the ceiling you’ll spot other fantastic creatures like a kneazle. Outside the shop in a small side alley there is a rather large snake in the Magical Menagerie’s shop window. You can test out your parseltongue on the snake and try out an interactive spell in the same window.
We can all only hope that Universal’s Wizarding World will one day encompass a Fantastic Beasts expansion, until then, enjoy finding all the fantastic beasts that already reside in the Wizarding World!