Published: June 18, 2010 at 7:44 AMHope you will offer up a strategy for those planning to visit Potter in the next few weeks.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 7:52 AMI hope someone is getting some crowd pics. I can't even imagine Islands that packed.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 8:02 AMHere's my only strategy tip: Do Ollivander's first. It's the worst wait in the park, to get into the wand-selection show. (FWIW, you actually buy wands next door at the Owl Post.)
I suspect that the long-term strategy will be to do Ollivanders, then Hippogriff, then Dragon Challenge, and to leave Forbidden Journey until later, when the initial rush passes.
For now, I'd try to get into Ollivanders, then do FJ. If Ollivander's isn't open immediately, go to FJ.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 8:18 AMSo is the bottom line basically that right now the entire Islands of Adventure theme park is nothing but a line for Harry Potter?
Published: June 18, 2010 at 8:40 AMAerial shots: here and here.
So, Steve, from those photos, the whole of IOA and CityWalk is the queue for Potter.
Here's what I tweeted earlier: "The huge crowd at #wwohp this AM is a message to theme park industry: Don't go cheap. Spend $ on new attractions. Public will reward you."
Published: June 18, 2010 at 9:36 AMJust overheard chit chatter behind me at the Media Center that the kids in those classes that won the trip to the Grand Opening came out of the Forbidden Journey having the biggest smiles on their little faces. Today show did a great job bringing all four classes here to UO.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 10:18 AMI heard that people who work over in Jurassic Park were asked to come in extra early this morning to have that land ready for guest overflow.
I was over near Universal guest relations this morning at 8am, picking up tickets for friends and the line there at 8am was over 200 people long. And that wasn't even Islands. I also saw people racing past me, some all dressed up in robes, heading for IOA and this was nonstop, not like the usual dribs and drabs of crowds.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 10:37 AMSend a reporter to guest services!
Published: June 18, 2010 at 10:45 AMDomenik is posting updates on Twitter.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 11:27 AMI really can't imagine being a Universal employee today -- it must be sheer madness in both parks! Thanks for all of the posts/updates everyone!
Published: June 18, 2010 at 11:40 AMWhere was Hermione?
Published: June 18, 2010 at 1:11 PMRobert,
Nice story. I was at the same event yesterday (actually we were in the same tour group with Channing) when they let the flood of guests. I was caught off-guard by that, but it ended up being a great opportunity to get some of those fans rushing in.
The Forbidden Journey ride was awesome. One of the coolest attractions I've been on in a LONG time. Spider-Man had been my favorite due to the tech and my love for Marvel, but I'd be lying if I said Forbidden Journey isn't No. 1, in my opinion.
Great article keep up the work!
- Rich in Orlando
Published: June 18, 2010 at 6:16 PMYea, after seeing those crowd pictures, I'm glad we decided not to go this year. Will definitely keep an eye on it in the coming year because if it stays this crazy, there's no way I'm going to get caught up in that madness!
I wonder how long the wait times were?
What about capacity for the park and safety? It actually looks pretty scary, all those people crammed in together like that, just waiting for something to pop off.
Published: June 18, 2010 at 8:32 PMHey, it's Hermione but I can't remember my login right now.
But I am a dedicated potter fan so I limped on all day. I got into IOA at about 10, saw how insane the line was, left for studios, and rode everything in studios AND ate lunch in citywalk to be back in IOA by 1:45. (studios was absolutely dead, it was great!) My group decided to try and wait again because we heard it was only 4 hours to be let into the wizarin world (plus 2 hours for forbidden journey and about an hour each for each individual shop.)
It turned out to be a 6 hour wait but we finally got in. We did single rider on FJ and got in within 20 minutes...but halfway through it shut down (right by the dementors! Dementors in the absolute darkness is waaay scarier than the actual intended ride.) The ride started up again after about 10 minutes and it was great as always (yes, I've been in WWoHP 5 times before today and came anyway. Like I said, dedicated potter fan!)
We managed to eat at 3B (yum!) and ride dueling dragons and hippogriff just before they cut the lines at 10pm. The lines for the shops were still going strong but you could clearly see that everything had been picked over and not much was really left so we agreed to come back another (quieter!) time.
The team members along the wait and inside wwohp really mad everything run as smoothly as possible when all things were considered and I have to say they were very understanding about one person holding the place in line while the others hopped on a ride along the wait route. (It was only harry potter people were lined up for - the rest of the park had 5-10 min waits all day and we just did essentially our own version of child swap as we came to each ride in the line.)
Sorry this is so long, I just thought people might be interested in the insanity. :)
Published: June 18, 2010 at 8:42 PMHi guys this is TPIer Manny B from Orlando. I spent Friday at IOA and the Wizarding World. I'm officially crazy. I waited 8 hours to ride that thing. It took an just to get into the park some people fainted during the wait. Got in line for the land at about the Hulk Coaster. It was brutal but hey i expected it to be like this and it was very rewarding to get into the land today. Truly an unforgettable day for many reasons. Forbidden Journey is beyond awesome.
Published: June 19, 2010 at 1:30 AMI was planning on going in 16 days time. I am hoping it's not like this, my family will take one look at that and go the other way! I hope the Virgin package that gets us entry into the Three Broomsticks before the park opens makes the difference. We'll probably just do Forbidden Journey, buy some wands and I'll do Dragon Challenge on my own. They really should've made a seperate theme park just for Harry Potter. I wonder what the queues were like for other rides in the park. Are people even going to be let through to go on Hulk, Spiderman, Jurassic Park etc.?
Published: June 19, 2010 at 5:39 AMGreat report! The excitement is palpable, reading along and looking at the pics. Now, when to plan my trip...? (Oh, and a fun surprise this morning- reading an article on the opening in my Buffalo newspaper, and there's a quote from our own Robert Niles :)
Published: June 19, 2010 at 7:11 AMHey there everyone! Mind if I share our long story?...well,I am :) We're in Fl.for 5 days,and new that it was going to be crazy but as a "Potter geek", I was willing.I had read that the garage would b open early, so I expected somewhat of a large group to b here.Even still, our hotel was only a 10 min walk.So for some reason I assumed coming @ 7 would b smart...pretty stupid,yea but even as a fan, I just wasn't coming earlier. When we got to the park,everyone was being directed to the right. There were groups of about a thousand ppl already ahead of us and shortly after, hundreds more filing in behind us.Slowly the line moved, then it stopped for about 11/2hr. It was pretty hot out, but I was optimistic :). Then, we started seeing ppl running on the CityWalk side n realized that they were allowing ppl to line up over there as well. It almost turned into a riot when we noticed they had ppl following closer to the entrance of IOA behind a rope and then BOOING erupted (from our side of course)! There was no way that they were going to let a newly formed line in!! That just wouldn't be right.Soon enough (around 10)a group of us were allowed to enter IOA. Even after getting in and going around to Seuss's Landing the line was ridiculous and we were told the wait was est.at a discouraging 8-9hrs,lol. Yea, I'm crazy, but not stupid! The sun was unbearable so we made the ultimate decision to take advantge of the 10-20min waits around the rest of the park which we had never experienced. The only reason why we ended up back on the line (@ around 2)was because we thought it was going to poor down raining(we had emergency ponchos) and expected ppl to leave the line...the clouds hung around, then dissapeared.haha! So we gave in a stood on the line, which by this time was no longer around Seuss's on the right, but was now from the left near hulk, through marvel and jurassic park.Even though Universal seemed a little unprepared and stupid in the beginning, they figured out a way to place ppl with earpieces at certain locations,stop us @ one point to keep lines seperate and in total we only waited 41/2hrs. Once near Jurassic, we steadily moved n low n behold, we walked straight into Hogsmeade. It was a tad cramped and everyone was definitely sweated out, but well worth it. The coasters only had 5 min waits,Ollivanders and Owl Post were around 2hrs n forbidden journey had 120 min, but walk ons on the single riders. (Note:if u test the seats up front n they shake their heads no, go in anyway! 3 from my group were not big, but chubby and they got "the head shake outside n got a "well, get off and try again" from a rude and puny cast member not willing to push down when on the actual ride seats inside.But there was a guy near the test seats inside that just pushed and it clicked, no prob. Just ask for a guy when ure ready to ride.) Overall, it was worth it if u were willing to sacrifice some time. My bf is not a huge fan, but knew how bad I really wanted to experience it and as we got closer he "geeked out"lol. Alright, enough with my novel...just go and enjoy WWOHP! :D