Harry Potter


#1

So… I was reading the Unofficial guide 2011 and in there it states that no matter what time you get to IOA the queue to get into the Harry Potter attraction will be ridiculously long. Is this still the case or has it died down a bit now? I only ask it is something the whole family really wants to do and I don’t really relish the thought of wasting most of our only 3 days allocated for Universal and IOA just trying to get into the attraction.

Can anyone give me more up to date info on this and also any tips and advice to make this process easier and less painful!!!

Many thanks

:mickey:


#2

No - this isn’t true. If you are there first thing in the morning you will have about a 15 minute wait - problem is - you want MORE than that to be able to see all the fantastic special effects. The queue winds through the greenhouses of Hogwarts and into the castle. Everywhere you turn there’s something else to see - it is truly fantastic. The best special effects of any attraction I’ve ever been on. The Forbidden Journey itself is the most amazing ride imaginable. As much as I love Disney they have nothing to top this. If you are a Harry Potter fan you’ll recognize things everywhere you turn - the talking portraits, Nick the Headless Ghost, the list goes on and on. Once you have done the ride, you can join the “single riders” queue - you bypass the castle, but are able to get on the ride again very quickly. Prepare for an outstanding experience.


#3

Aaww thanks lovely lady! that makes me feel better. I was getting worried! I cant wait xxx


#4

Wow Polly! I didn’t realize how close you are to leaving! Have a wonderful and safe trip! I know you’ll love OKW!


#5

Funny you should mention this, because I was going to start a thread tonight.

Neighbors just went to Orlando for the first time a few weeks ago, and they “had to see” the new HP attraction.

Last night I saw the wifte. She She said they only spent 3 hours at US before leaving. Here’s what she had to say about US:

  1. The long lines were made more frustrating by the hotel guests’ FP system. (Watching yourself be lapped several times by kids in that line)
  2. Staff were boarder-line rude. In her words, “They need to have Disney teach these people how to treat guests.”
  3. Harry Potter was over-hyped and not worth the long wait.

They did HP & a Cat In the Hat ride (?) before leaving.


#6

Good to know! Going next month…


#7

[QUOTE=Cavey;1117318]Funny you should mention this, because I was going to start a thread tonight.

Neighbors just went to Orlando for the first time a few weeks ago, and they “had to see” the new HP attraction.

Last night I saw the wifte. She She said they only spent 3 hours at US before leaving. Here’s what she had to say about US:

  1. The long lines were made more frustrating by the hotel guests’ FP system. (Watching yourself be lapped several times by kids in that line)
  2. Staff were boarder-line rude. In her words, “They need to have Disney teach these people how to treat guests.”
  3. Harry Potter was over-hyped and not worth the long wait.

They did HP & a Cat In the Hat ride (?) before leaving.[/QUOTE]

Sorry, I disagree with this lady on every count.

  1. There is no “fast-pass” system for The Forbidden Journey. I honestly don’t remember what Universal calls their system, but it doesn’t apply to FJ. Sure - if they strolled in at about 11 a.m. and thought - "well, we’ll hit HP first…it wasn’t going to happen. Yes - it becomes incredibly crowded. That is why you are there first thing in the morning - it is called “making a plan”. It’s JULY for heaven’s sake.

  2. In all my visits to Universal Studios I have never seen one instance of staff members being rude to anyone nor has anyone ever been rude to me. On the contrary when we had an issue with a ticket one year, a staff member went out of her way to fix it for us. This whole “competition” between WDW CMs and Universal employees is getting old. (and for the record, Universal washrooms are just as clean as WDW washrooms; in the case of AK - cleaner. I don’t know why the washrooms at AK are always so grungy.) The bottom line is that WDW and Universal are in the same business - do you honestly think that Universal would let their employees be rude to paying guests?

  3. If anyone goes to IOA and only manages to do Cat In The Hat and nothing else - then they were very poorly prepared and not overly bright.

  4. HP overhyped? I’ve been going to WDW and Universal for a very long time. I’ve experienced the opening of ToT, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, AK, Expedition to Everest, IOA and a host of other attractions - and I’ve enjoyed them all and been thrilled with a lot…but NOTHING compares to HP. If you didn’t read the books, if you’re not interested in the movies, if you are looking at it as just another “ride” - then you might use the word “over-hyped”. HP was designed for HP fans. Go with the attitude that this woman seems to have - and yes - you will probably have a miserable time. Go with the excitement of seeing Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and everything magical and you will be blown away. Every single detail of this attraction had to have JK Rawlings approval. That should be enough for anyone.

This sounds like the typical “oh - I guess we’ll hit Universal today and see what they have”. Universal is just like Disney - you need a plan, you need to get there in the morning, you need to educate yourself a little. Especially in mid-summer. That is not rocket science. Too bad she wasted her money.


#8

[QUOTE=llama;1117382]Sorry, I disagree with this lady on every count.

  1. There is no “fast-pass” system for The Forbidden Journey. I honestly don’t remember what Universal calls their system, but it doesn’t apply to FJ. Sure - if they strolled in at about 11 a.m. and thought - "well, we’ll hit HP first…it wasn’t going to happen. Yes - it becomes incredibly crowded. That is why you are there first thing in the morning - it is called “making a plan”. It’s JULY for heaven’s sake.

  2. In all my visits to Universal Studios I have never seen one instance of staff members being rude to anyone nor has anyone ever been rude to me. On the contrary when we had an issue with a ticket one year, a staff member went out of her way to fix it for us. This whole “competition” between WDW CMs and Universal employees is getting old. (and for the record, Universal washrooms are just as clean as WDW washrooms; in the case of AK - cleaner. I don’t know why the washrooms at AK are always so grungy.) The bottom line is that WDW and Universal are in the same business - do you honestly think that Universal would let their employees be rude to paying guests?

  3. If anyone goes to IOA and only manages to do Cat In The Hat and nothing else - then they were very poorly prepared and not overly bright.

  4. HP overhyped? I’ve been going to WDW and Universal for a very long time. I’ve experienced the opening of ToT, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, AK, Expedition to Everest, IOA and a host of other attractions - and I’ve enjoyed them all and been thrilled with a lot…but NOTHING compares to HP. If you didn’t read the books, if you’re not interested in the movies, if you are looking at it as just another “ride” - then you might use the word “over-hyped”. HP was designed for HP fans. Go with the attitude that this woman seems to have - and yes - you will probably have a miserable time. Go with the excitement of seeing Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and everything magical and you will be blown away. Every single detail of this attraction had to have JK Rawlings approval. That should be enough for anyone.

This sounds like the typical “oh - I guess we’ll hit Universal today and see what they have”. Universal is just like Disney - you need a plan, you need to get there in the morning, you need to educate yourself a little. Especially in mid-summer. That is not rocket science. Too bad she wasted her money.[/QUOTE]

Just reporting what she said. I agree she wasn’t prepared. I gave her all kinds of advice that went ignored–like having a touring plan. After they left US they went to AK in the mid-afternoon! (Yes, they bought a full day park ticket for AK mid-day).

But I’ve heard on more than one occasion and from more than one person (on this board & elsewhere) that US lacks in Guest Service. I’ve heard it enough that I don’t plan to ever spend my money there. Plus, I have always resented that commercial they ran years ago with the little girl stating she was sick of pixie dust and wanted something more.


#9

Throw me off MB - sometimes I’M sick of pixie dust.:glare: Sometimes I just want to walk on the Wild Side.:cool: You’ve “heard” about their Guest Service and I’ve “experienced” their Guest Service - I’ll stick with my experience. No rude employees, no dirty bathrooms, no evil or sin. (Well, I guess that depends on your perspective) and yes - better food. Not as good as Sea World’s food - but better than WDW…

Universal is not the Den of Inequity - it’s a well-run super-fun park - it’s too bad you wouldn’t give it a try - your guys would LOVE it. So many of their attractions are aimed specifically for pre-teen boys; Jurassic Park, Men In Black, The Mummy, Spiderman…


#10

We haven’t waited more then like 35-40 mins. That’s when we go in May. When we go in Sept. or Oct. it’s like 15-20 mins. We do get there before the gates open. The hotel guest go in I think an hour before opening. Also when we go, they have let us in around 8:40.


#11

I can think of 440 reasons ($$$) why I’m not willing to take that risk.


#12

Being a Floridian, I grew up going to WDW and US. While I have not been to US in about 5 years, DH and I really have no plans of going back- I guess at least until the kids want to. Not Harry Potter people either.

We didn’t have a bad experience, but we felt that it was definitely not Disney… and we love Disney and all that it offers. And I have to admit that when we were there 5 years ago, DH and I were shocked at the lack of cleanliness at the park. Our thought were that they are in the same business as WDW and they needed to step it up.

I assume a lot has changed in 5 years and all my friends that go seem to love it.


#13

My point is - why can’t you love Disney and enjoy other things too? It’s not being “disloyal” to Disney. No - you won’t have a Disney experience at Universal - because you’re at Universal! Enjoy it for itself. We have to travel a long way to Florida - I want to experience as much as I can. Sometimes we have a week at Disney, then go to the Keys. Sometimes we spend some time in Tampa and go to Busch Gardens. Sometimes we have WDW holiday and then go on a cruise. I don’t care if people go to Universal or not (less people = better time for me), but I’m kind of tired of the “rude employees”, “badly run”, “dirty washrooms” comments. In parks the size of Disney and Universal you’re going to encounter a lot of things. The rudest employee I ever dealt with was a CM at Disney. I’m not going to discredit WDW because of her.


#14

Very well said Llama.

We Went to IOA last May and did two days at WWoHP. Yes the experience was totally different than Disney but that’s what we expected. The kids were excited to check out a new park but we spent almost the entire time in WWoHP; my kids LOVED it and can’t wait to go back.


#15

I think you covered my own sentiments quite nicely in your remarks, llama. My boys got tired of WDW when they turned that corner into adolescence. It became baby-ish to them. Not that they didn’t enjoy WDW or would not go, it’s just that they preferred the slightly more edgy appeal of US: action movie themes, thrill rides, some scary things, etc.

I also agree that Forbidden Journey is a step above the rest. Whether or not you are a fan of US, you have to admit they go for the newest innovations in rides. Spiderman was state of the art when it came out and now so is Forbidden Journey.

Too bad so many Disney fans feel that enjoying other parks is disloyal. Disney would never strive so hard for our business if they didn’t have any competition for our dollars. And Universal is a stiff competitor for good reason: they have an excellent product to offer.


#16

What I have learned from this thread:

Universal is not Disney.


#17

[QUOTE=tigger;1117833]What I have learned from this thread:

Universal is not Disney.[/QUOTE]

You are correct.


#18

I am not a fan. I could care less about Harry Potter and Harry Potter land.
As such and as a fan of the original IOA, I’m actually pretty disappointed.
There is really only one new ride. Dragon Challenge? All they did was rename Dueling Dragons and I bet the hidden Mickey is still in the queue as well, showing its origin as a coaster for the unbuilt AK. Most of the rest is just walk throughs. It doesn’t hold much interest to me. In fact, for all the hype, I expected more than one new ride and the inclusion of stuff that has been in the park since opening.

But what a ride it is!!
Easily the top of the class in central Florida. Standing on the shoulders of Spiderman and using a robot arm coaster as its ride system, this is something to be ridden again and again and honestly, there’s nothing in a Disney park today that comes close. This is the distillation of 100 years of amusement technology in one package. It IS the state of the art!

Too bad there isn’t more. They hyped Harry Potter Land as if it was a whole new park, a third Universal park. Instead, all it is, is one of the islands of adventure in a park where the best island is still Marvel Superhero Island.

IOA AND UNIVERSAL STILL NEED MORE RIDES!!!

To the hotel express pass, with only three hotels and less than 2500 rooms, the hotel guests should not be making that much of a difference. It isn’t like WDW with something like 30,000 rooms. Plus Universal also has their own free express pass as well as a paid premium express pass. None of these allow guests to get to the front of the line on the Rip Ride Rocket coaster or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Nice tip about jumping the single rider line in the exit gift shop where the lockers are located Llama.:ninja:


#19

We went in September of the opening year and found it very manageable. Keep in mind that we were hotel guests at the Hard Rock Hotel … so we were those people. I found that if you want to do IOA/US staying at least one night in those hotels is worth it. Keep in mind that you get to use the hotel guest front of the line access for the day you check in and the day you check out. So, one night gets you 2 days of access to the park. This would make the whole park very doable on a 2 day schedule. Go to forbidden journey first thing because it is the most popular and does fill up fast. There was no front of the line access for any of the Harry Potter attractions. Honestly, the que for forbidden journey was wonderful and they truly brought to life everything that you would be looking for. I’ll also say that Spiderman is one of the best rides I’ve ever ridden. I just really like that ride. It’s not Disney, but I do feel like they do a really good job at Universal too. It’s like comparing apples and oranges to me though.

Some pictures from that trip and the que here:
http://www.mousebuzz.com/forum/trip-reports/55921-short-mnsshp-report-3.html


#20

I have only ever experienced Universal in California and that was in the 80’s. It was a fantastic experience. I will in my whole life not forget my amazement when I walked through the ET queue thinking what a fantastic ride this is and how surprised I was that that was only the beginning :laugh:.

I want to go to Universal and spend time. I just can’t ever fit it into our trips