OK, so the train didn't REALLY go to London... ;~P
Nonetheless, we decided after the rains left yesterday to try a wet Sunday evening as our best hope to get on the new train and Gringott's ride without an insufferable wait. Arrived at the parking lot around 7pm, went to IoA first to ride the train over. Lots of clever stuff, Jill said she thought it should "bounce like a train" for the entire trip, it really only had a little bouncing about halfway through. Extremely entertaining, like the way they use your pass/2-park ticket as a train ticket (after 18 months of discussion, now we KNOW). Somewhat hard to keep up with the "show" in the 8-passenger cars since there's a monitor on one side and some action happening on the other side of the car as well...frosted glass means everything there is in silhouette. We ended up in London (the USF version) at about 7:30-ish and wandered a little before getting directed to the Gringott's ride.
The signage said 120 minutes, but before I could ask about the single-rider line length (crowds make any signage hard to find/see), Jill jumped in. I followed, figuring we could ask someone how long it would take. Well, the issue with the SR lines is they are entirely dependent on groupers...the people who came in behind us were highly internet-abled, and told us they thought it would be an hour, give or take. The line started MOVING right away, and we decided it might be 30-40 minutes. Then the line STOPPED....people were discussing a breakdown, but since I could still hear the coaster behind the walls, it seems likely they had traded groupers and the new person was dead-set against taking singles if there was ANY other way. Ugh, a half-hour without moving meant half of us sat on the floor. Then, I'm guessing a new grouper came along, because we didn't sit down again, and moved steadily through the corridor, up the stairs, and (eventually) onto the ride...total wait probably about 90-95 minutes.
I want to ride again, because I'm sure I missed quite a bit, but the coaster portion, albeit short, was pretty intense. The dark-ride aspects were AMAZING. Not really like anything I've ridden before. I'm not going to say to much for fear of spoilers, but I will say that HBC is hot, and spooky.
Afterward, we caught a quick MiB just to walk around some after so much sitting/standing, and then left. I probably won't ride Gringott's again until November since the crowds are terrible, but the train offers a GREAT option for park-hopping that doesn't involve a mile of walking...very happy about that after the recent MiA incident where I didn't realize the train could be used for transportation...
Ask away if there's questions, I'll do my best...but for those wishing to avoid spoilers, I'll try to put tags around the stuff you don't want to know about...
Extremely entertaining, like the way they use your pass/2-park ticket as a train ticket (after 18 months of discussion, now we KNOW).
A few of us guessed that WAY back. (although, I'm actually having trouble with the Gonchback on that one...sigh)
All I know from that 18+ months of discussion is that things are never really as complicated and overthought as the forums want them to be.
This was my comment in dec 2011 when I correctly theorized most of the Hogwarts Express details:
"As for ticketing for people going back and forth, they could just make a ticket booth part of the queue for the train where they make sure everyone has the proper admission media for the other park, and sell an 'upgrade' on the spot if they don't."
I never understood why / how there was that much speculation about how the ticketing would work. I mean, how many different options were there, really?
You'd be surprised of the number of options and how late the final one was actually decided.
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