Wizarding World of Harry Potter (the days after opening)

Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:14 PM

I arrived in Universal the day after the official opening. Locals said people were lined up starting around 4am and it took some 7 hours just to get into the SECTION. Another two hours to ride the simulator ride in the "castle". As far as my opinoin, Universal was not prepared to get this kind of influx of people. Butterbeer lines took about 20-25 mins, the shops were crammed with people (fire code hazard maybe?) and sad to say most of the store fronts are for decorative appeal. They should have make the section bigger or the stores bigger OR why not have real stores instead of fake store fronts. The ride in the castle was amazing and worth the hour wait. Best time to go to that section of the park is in the evening and not in the morning. On some days, the line strechted to the entrance of the park to get into the section. Universal finally got it somewhat organized by giving out tickets to people to get in the section and cutting off lines to get into the stores toward closing time. One worker said that sometimes he did not get done until 2 hours after the park closing time of 10pm because of the people wanting to get into everything. Dragon Challenge is the same dueling dragons with a slighty better quque. Flight of the hippogrif is ok. Bummer also is the harry potter experience is not an express pass ride (yet) BTW neither is rip ride rockit at studios. Hopefully that is in the works for both. Theming is great all round but bottom line is the section is a little too small and too many fake store fronts.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:33 PM

Are you kidding me? What should Universal have done, built two of everything? If anyone needed to adjust their expectations, I think it was probably you.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:57 PM

Yes that is a plausible argument. You would know better than me having more park knowledge than I currently have. Sorry to disappoint.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 1:54 PM

kingdacor is right.. Unfortunatly IOA is too small of a park to deal with such an influx of people, this is going to be a problem for a long time. I feel that they overhyped this "new" section of the park and while it appears to be nice, its just going to cause more problems. After my last trip to IOA I will never go back because of the lack of things to do to keep you busy, (2 hours in line for everything does not compensate for that)

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Monday, June 28, 2010 2:25 PM

Funny, I've been back to IOA countless times in the last ten years, with very few new things added. I have a good time, every time.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 2:30 PM

[Insert the need to stay at a Universal Resort Hotel so you never have to wait in line post here]

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 10:17 AM

This is the biggest thing to open in a theme park in a long time---it has very broad appeal, and *everyone* knows about it. I don't see how you can expect anything other than complete chaos in the first few weeks/months after it opens. We're in Orlando later this month, and had already decided to avoid IOA this trip, and save it for some time when the furor dies down a little bit---hopefully by February.

Also, word on the street is that if you are staying offsite, you can go in the last hour or two and it is merely very busy.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 10:45 PM

Brian Noble said:
This is the biggest thing to open in a theme park in a long time---it has very broad appeal, and *everyone* knows about it. I don't see how you can expect anything other than complete chaos in the first few weeks/months after it opens. We're in Orlando later this month, and had already decided to avoid IOA this trip, and save it for some time when the furor dies down a little bit---hopefully by February.

Also, word on the street is that if you are staying offsite, you can go in the last hour or two and it is merely very busy.

Exactly what I was going to say. Give them a few weeks to get the swing of things and settle into a routine. It isn't going to be perfect. And really what were you expecting? To be able to ride around the park on a broom like the commercials? Everything takes time. I think it looks darn spiffy, and to kids, just being able to SEE this sort of thing is going to be a big enough draw.

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Monday, July 5, 2010 1:55 AM

Rokuchan said: And really what were you expecting? To be able to ride around the park on a broom like the commercials?

Yes, yes I am. I want my own personal Nimbus 2000.

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Monday, July 5, 2010 9:54 AM

Ensign Smith said:
. I want my own personal Nimbus 2000.

I want to personally walk around the park with Alan Rickman but it ain't happenin babe. ;)

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Monday, July 5, 2010 11:43 AM

Ensign Smith said:


Yes, yes I am. I want my own personal Nimbus 2000.

Nimbus 2000's are so last year, c'mon Mike!


Seriously, I figured it would be packed so I put off this years trip til next year. I was actually scheduled to be there this week. Yeah, lot's else to do there but my main reason for going again was to take my niece to see WWOHP.

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Monday, July 5, 2010 5:50 PM

Got to The Complex early today, about a half-hour after opening. Went right to WWoHP for our first try at Forbidden Journey. It was truly immersive and amazingly detailed. The combination of effects was really well-done, and worth the 70-min wait (once, LOL). By the time we got out of the ride, it was around 11:45am, and the wait was 2.5 hours. Bailed on IoA entirely since the Dragons' line was over an hour and figured we could score a couple USF rides before leaving for home.

Rock'it, front row, powerful airtime onto almost all of the numerous blocks. Need to remember to figure out the "special codes" before headin down next time. Mummy and MiB are always easy rides since the SRLs work so well on those. Scored my all-time high on MiB, just under 500K. Scored a surprisingly short line on Simsons, always enjoyable, and got out of there for the ride home.

Can't wait for the off-season....WWoHP really looked amazing, but I couldn't relax and enjoy any of it with the throngs of people everywhere...it'll be GREAT on a weekday in October - spotted a couple of the Easter Eggs in passing.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010 3:02 PM

Ok yes I was bashed a little bit on the podcast and I understand why. I think I whined too much about it. Anyway, to answer the question about butterbeer and what exactly it is....You can order it frozen or non-frozen. I can best describe it as orange creme soda with a froth on top. You can also order it in a keep sake cup for a few more bucks. It tastes very good, although some might find it a little on the sweet side. You can order butterbeer at the large barrel on the street or in the three broomsticks.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 1:19 AM

I took my kids to IoA on July 28th. The line to enter TWWoHP stretched all the way through Lost World and Jurrasic Park, but it only took about 30 minutes to enter. The line to Fobidden Journey was listed as 75 min., but since we had no bags to put in lockers (do this before you get in the line) we were brought ahead of the line (outside the entrance) and knocked about 15 minutes off of the wait. Only took an hour to get on the ride for us. Great ride, a must-try experience if you visit the park. We came back to the dueling dragon coasters several times. The wait varried greatly all day long (15-75 minutes). At the end of the day, about 9:40 on, they allow re-rides and let you return to the queue right there near the boarding platform. We got in 4 rides right before close - awesome! The dragons were great, but the launch on The Hulk is about the best coaster experience I've ever had. The first time took me completely by surprise. Spiderman 3D is also something that should be visited at least once. The kids and I disagree on the best ride - I say Hulk and they say Chinese Fireball.

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