Another Harry Potter question


#1

Our family has been to Disney many times but we have only taken our sons to Universal once. It was before Harry Potter arrived. Now we have been waiting for them to get tall enough to experience the Harry Potter parts. One son is 9 and the other is about to turn 12 and we thought we would go down for a few days. The Dragon Challenge will be closed while we would be there.

Is The Dragon Challenge being closed enough of a factor that we should wait and go another time?

My husband rode the Dueling Dragons before the transformation and recalls it was similar to the Kraken at SeaWorld. Is it pretty much the same ride just with Harry Potter theming? My boys were too short to ride it before but they could now. I personally prefer Disney and so I don’t want to spend money on Universal if I am going to have to do so again just so they can go on Dragon Challenge later when it is open.

If the Forbidden Journey was closed we wouldn’t even consider going but I’m just wondering how big of a deal Dragon Challene is in the scheme of things?

Thanks for any input,
Janice


#2

We’ve been several times since it opened. We are huge Harry Potter fans.

Let’s put it this way - if you are Harry Potter fans you’ll love it. Every detail of Hogsmeade and Hogwart’s had to be approved by JK Rowling, so every detail is perfect, down to Moaning Myrtle in the ladies washroom. My 25 year old daughter got chosen to be fitted for a wand by Mr. Olivander at his shop and just about swooned from excitement.

I don’t do crazy rollercoasters, so we didn’t even consider doing the Dragon Challenge. Forbidden Journey is probably the very best attraction I’ve ever been on in either park. It’s unbelievable. Even without the ride, going through Hogwarts is an experience in itself. There really is no way to explain Forbidden Journey - you have to see for yourself.

Now, if you’re not fans, you’ll still have a good time, but you probably won’t “get it” in the same way and if rollercoasters are important to you, then you might want to reconsider spending a whole day at Universal. Personally, we enjoy the Universal Parks, so we try to get there every second visit or so.


#3

With the on site line privleges, have you thought of staying onsite at US for 1-2 days before transfering to WDW? Or vice versa? DD said she would do this if she ever goes to US again. I’ve never been so I have not experienced the killer lines many have mentioned.


#4

We’ve actually never had too much of a wait. We’ve gone in Sept. so that might be something to do with it. As far as Forbidden Journey is concerned, you want to take some time in line going through Hogwart’s. It’s an attraction on it’s own. But, of course, you do have to plan to get there first thing. Staying for a day or two would be a very nice solution. However, the Universal “fastpass” isn’t available for Forbidden Journey anyway.


#5

I don’t know how anyone could confuse a coaster like Kraken with a coaster like Dueling Dragons (sorry, I’m not going to use the new name), they are two very different animals and each coaster is the only one of its kind in Orlando. In fact, last I looked, Kraken was the only one of its kind within a 600 mile radius (the nearest are in Va and Tx). Kraken is floorless with the train and track below you. Dueling Dragons is an inverted with ski lift style seats and the track above you.
All that aside, they haven’t changed a blessed thing other than the name and perhaps colors. I did not notice any new theming, Harry Potter or otherwise. It still is the only one of its kind, a dueling, racing inverted (designed by the grand master Werner Stengel for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and there’s even a hidden Mickey in the queue!).

In my opinion, Harry Potter World was a big letdown. There was only one new ride, albet one of the greatest theme park rides in the world and one of a kind, the rest is two coasters that have been in the park since it opened (DD in 1999 and Flying Unicorn in 2000) and a bunch of Hogwarts atmosphere.
Of course, we’re talking about just one of the six islands of adventure and HP World is only a small part. There’s still Marvel Superhero Island with Spiderman and the Hulk coaster as well as the Dr Doom slingshots, there’s still Dr. Suess Island, there’s still Jurassic Park, there’s still the Cartoon Landing with the wet rides.

And then there’s Universal Studios with the Rip Ride Rocket coaster (which was down the only time we’ve been there since it was built), the Simpsons where Back to the Future originally was, Men In Black (which utterly destroys Buzz Lightyear’s similar attraction), the Terminator 3D show and a bunch of other stuff.

For comparison, I’ve only been to Disneyland twice. The first time Matterhorn was down in deep refurb and the second time Space Mountain had just been rebuilt but they weren’t opening it back up until Disneyland’s 50th birthday (7/17/2005), which was a month after I had gone home. Twice I’ve been to Cedar Point, the first time, Top Thrill Dragster never ran and the second, it was only by a last minute miracle that Millenium Force was able to run for the first time in two weeks while we were there because the part finally arrived from Switzerland, though it still took all day to install and ride test before anyone was allowed on.


#6

Yes, but if you’re sharp enough, you’ve figured out the single rider bypass in the gift shop and you’ve saved yourself a few hours and still ridden three times in the last 45 minutes.


#7

We went to Universal in September and loved the Harry Potter section! The Dragon Challenge is a very good coaster, but I don’t think it being closed is a reason to skip Universal. Hogwarts and the rest of Hogsmeade is so well done, it’s worth it all on it’s own.


#8

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is for Harry Potter fans - and Harry Potter fans are going to have a fabulous time - because it’s so much more than the rides. If you haven’t read the books, much is going to go right over your head. As mentioned, you can do “single rider” on the Forbidden Journey - but I wouldn’t recommend it for your first time - you don’t want to miss going through Hogwart’s.


#9

My kids (at the time 9 and 11) ABSOLUTELY LOVED the Wizarding World of HP. If your family has read the books, you’ll totally enjoy yourselves. We were at Universal for 2 days; while universal had some good rides, the only place my kids wanted to be was at WWoHP. Make sure you see the Hogwarts choir and the other shows offered. A trip the the bathrooms is a must…I know this sounds weird, but make sure you listen.


#10

LOVE wwohp but i’m a potter nerd. they are expanding too so it might be good to wait another year or two!


#11

Make sure you get some butterbeer! Delicious!


#12

Maybe you all have a point, and a day at US is worth putting into the schedule. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t seen everything there is to see at WDW and a few hours away form it won’t kill us! LOL


#13

I know I’m planning a Harry Potter day… but I am also a completely HP nerd. We’re also planning JUST for Harry Potter, and if we do anything else at IoA… whatever.


#14

We went to the amazing Harry Potter The Exhibition at Times Square last year. Wow, so cool. If you have the chance, you must go see it. They have actual props and costumes from the movies, and each room is decorated like a scene from the movies. It’s like a regular museum on steroids. A lot of interactive stuff too. FUN!


#15

Thanks for all the input. Our whole family does love Harry Potter so we know it will be great - we just were not sure if we would regret missing the Dragon coaster.

We ended up deciding to wait to go because of the new Transformers ride that will open this summer. My boys will want to try that out as well so we’ll wait for summer. Plus, we’ll have more time and I can get my Disney fix at the same time!

I can’t believe all the changes at Disney - I’m going to have to figure out our whole Disney trip strategy all over again!


#16

My friend recently did this tour in London and was bowled over by it. Something to consider for any of you planning a UK trip.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London ? The Making of Harry Potter


#17

[QUOTE=dixie;1128668]My friend recently did this tour in London and was bowled over by it. Something to consider for any of you planning a UK trip.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London ? The Making of Harry Potter[/QUOTE]

I wish I could see it.:crying: I wish I could go to London.:crying:


#18

[QUOTE=dixie;1128668]My friend recently did this tour in London and was bowled over by it. Something to consider for any of you planning a UK trip.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London ? The Making of Harry Potter[/QUOTE]

The Times Square version had candles floating in the air above the Great Hall. It really was so stunning you wanted to tear up, It’s like they thought of all the good stuff to include.