More details emerge about Harry Potter in Universal Orlando

Posted Monday, December 16, 2013 9:24 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Orlando unveiled details on a handful of restaurants planned for CityWalk on Thursday -- plus it confirmed an expected one for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion set for Universal Studios theme park. A Leaky Cauldron eatery will be part of the Universal project, as well as a train between the two parks. The project is scheduled to open in summer of 2014.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Monday, December 16, 2013 2:43 PM
rollergator's avatar

"He did not say how the parks would handle a one-park ticketholder who wanted to board Hogwarts Express or if a two-park ticket would be required. A Universal official said more details would arrive as the grand opening gets closer."

Shoot, we've been discussing that for well over a year!

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Monday, December 16, 2013 3:08 PM
Jeff's avatar

It's like US Customs, no passport, they put your ass back on the plane. Er, train.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, December 16, 2013 6:08 PM

You get to gaze longingly through the fake window at all the fun you might've had if you had only spent the extra money.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, December 16, 2013 6:09 PM
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:43 AM
LostKause's avatar

I suspect it will cause a huge rise in sales of two-park tickets! It's genus, actually.


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:48 AM
bjames's avatar

Who would eat at the Leaky Cauldron? It's a grimy old pub in an alley run by a mutant.

Last edited by bjames, Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:49 AM

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 3:08 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I suspect a pricing structure change that makes it silly not to buy a two-park ticket - similar to the way Disney has priced their tickets so that a one-day ticket is a poor choice.

Just get it to the point where it makes little-to-no sense to buy a single park ticket and you've solved 95% of the issue at the gate.


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 3:38 AM
bjames's avatar

^How will the new park transit-via-hogwarts express work? It seems like you will need to pay for at least 1 and a 1/2 times the expense for each park for this ride to be possible. This ride joins both parks, it is essentially a single park, its two halves accessible by a monorail.

Last edited by bjames, Tuesday, December 17, 2013 3:41 AM

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:29 AM
Jeff's avatar

If I had to guess, the single-park ticket is about as common as a single-day ticket at WDW.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:59 AM
rollergator's avatar

^I think the original WWoHP might have *temporarily* made the single-park ticket more common (albeit only until the completion of Diagon Alley/Gringott's). But I definitely believe that the Gonch/Jeff solution is where Universal is inevitably heading...

The critical difference IMO is that I'm still getting annual passes to UO for under $200... for now.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:58 PM
LostKause's avatar

bjames, they could do it a few different ways.

1. Only allow people with two-park tickets ride Hogwarts Express, or

2. Allow people from each park to ride Hogwarts Express, but have an entry gate at each train station to allow guests with two-park tickets to exit the ride into the other park. No two-park ticket? Sorry, you have to ride the train back to the park you paid for.

3. Only sell two-park tickets, which is a terrible idea.

I can't figure out any other way for them to do it.

My guess is that Wizarding World has caused the Studios park to lose business, and maybe they wanted to figure out a way to get people back to visiting both parks during their stay. Adding more Harry Potter to the Studios park is a great way to make people pay to visit both parks.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:58 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

I can't figure out any other way for them to do it.

Make all the HP stuff a separate gate?

Or maybe a ticket add-on of some kind?

3. Only sell two-park tickets, which is a terrible idea.

From a realistic, logistical standpoint, it's probably the best idea on pretty much every level.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 7:50 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I have to think there will be at least a transition period where single park and double park tickets are available. I work in a theatre box office and even there we get pushback from people feeling "forced" to buy higher priced tickets.

Making HP areas a separate gate or upcharge doesn't seem too realistic to me; it would Islands a bother to navigate around if you couldn't pass through WWOHP en route to other attractions.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:15 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I probably should have left that as one statement instead of two.

Make it a separate gate/add-on.

Don't make me explain it more than that. It feels like it should be common sense in how it'd work.

Othewise, and I still think this is the most realistic option, they just move to a single admission that includes all of Universal.

There's just no other logistical way to check everyone coming in and out of the WWoHP areas.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:58 PM

Well, to be fair, IOA operated just fine for a year with a bypass around Potterland while it was under construction and when it was finished we discovered that the area really does sit off by itself somewhat with only two entrances, and in fact have gates or arches to designate the transition between that and other areas. It wouldn't be that hard to monitor traffic in and out.

But it would suck. The park would have to hate it for a variety of obvious reasons and the public would hate it too, especially those of us who are used to coming and going as we please.

A one ticket admission to both parks is a very sensible solution, but there may be those who object. I would guess that during very busy times it might be hard to navigate both parks and try to fit everything in in one day, and due to this some guests may feel like the forced increase admission is too high. This is an unprecedented thing that Universal is doing. I can think of examples where transportation is provided to get guests from one theme park to another on property, but I can't think of any where the transportation is an actual attraction in itself. Add to that the notion that the two themed areas at each end of that transportation are linked by story line.

My prediction is that Universal will offer a two park ticket for those that want the complete Potter experience and want to park hop. A one park ticket will also be available, and that person can visit the the Potter area at that particular park all they want, they just won't be allowed on the train. String and stamp the two-park customers and check em at the queue entrance. Easy.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:45 PM

I predict they just move to an RFID style ticket and make people scan their ticket to get in line just like Disney is doing now for Fastpasses. If the ticket type doesn't check out as valid admission to the other park then you can't get in line. This is in no way complicated. I do predict that they do away with the multi day non-hopper tickets as they wouldn't make much sense in this scenario, but the one day one park tickets should stick around.


"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RCMAC said:

A one park ticket will also be available, and that person can visit the the Potter area at that particular park all they want, they just won't be allowed on the train. String and stamp the two-park customers and check em at the queue entrance. Easy.

That was my prediction as well a few years back. Except I imagined them making it more of an 'experience' with presenting a ticket to ride - you know, make the mundane feel special.

With that said though, I think I've wavered a bit in that prediction. Seems like there's be less backlash (in the long run, mind you) with killing the single-park ticket than creating a whole system and explaining to people that they're not allowed access to what appears to be a single attraction because they didn't buy admission to a whole separate park.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

I predict nothing changes. The train stations just act as gates to the other park.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 11:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Probably.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 11:39 PM
kpjb's avatar

Jeff said:

It's like US Customs, no passport, they put your ass back on the plane. Er, train.

I would think that it's as simple as this. You get off the train and need to scan your pass to exit the ride area. If you have a one park/day pass, you have to queue back up and do the round trip. If you have a multi park pass, you go on to the other park.

No different than if you would go to Magic Kingdom with a non-park hopper and then decide to monorail it to Epcot. Hope you enjoyed the ride, now get back on.

Last edited by kpjb, Wednesday, December 18, 2013 11:40 PM

Hi

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