I'm sure it is difficult to tell that this is a pet peeve of mine. My family's motto has always been, "If you can't have fun on a vacation, then give us the money and we'll be sure to find a way to" :)
Thanks Robert for doing an amazing job of reporting the opening. It helps those of us who are unable to be there feel a part of it.
BTW, sounds like Ollivander's Wand Shop show should be a attraction by itself if people are waiting 3 hours to see it... LOL
I'm sympathetic to concerns about the availability of food and drink. But what did folks expect? Even without lines, you're looking at a day of brutal heat outside when visiting a central Florida theme park. Drink plenty of water in the days ahead of your visit, wear sunscreen and a hat (or bring an umbrella for shade.) As "Hermione" wrote, Universal's team members were allowing parties to split up in line so that some could take a break with a ride, get a drink or a have some time in the shade. Take advantage.
Or... stay at home until the crowds come down and watch our Wizarding World of Harry Potter video tour again in the meantime. ;-)
This attraction is a destination vacation now. I'm sure the waits are going to be less within a week, but they will still be long.
I wish that Universal was a bit more proactive in getting information like this out. But I haven't seen an answer on its website, Twitter feed or Facebook page.
On another note, R3 nearly vallied later in the day, right after the non-inverting loop. That thing is cursed!
Good work Robert! Also the other people reporting. You know the funny thing for me is that it feels live. (I mean the report) It almost feels as it was a play by play.
If the wand line is that big for the show? Why didn't they build what they have now, like the entrance, and made a little 50 or 100 people stage or something with seating so that the line could have move that much quicker. A 50 people place could have made that 3 hour wait a more manageable hour and a half. They could have use the store when crowds where little. You know, in 2015! Lol. I mean I get that (it seams) they went for the exact same look. Replica like. But they could have use the little stadium type thing for when thing where crazy. Like now...
On another note: The shuttle bus from the soundstage Universal was using as a media center dropped us off on a path between Hogsmeade and the Sindbad theater. That kept me wondering at what point Universal might be tempted to convert that theater to a Harry Potter show. Universal easily could build an entrance to the theater from behind the Hogwarts Express, without having to move the Hogsmeade gate. Place well a couple of themed walls around the theater and, boom, it's part of the Wizarding World.
That would leave the already-reduced Lost Continent with only one remaining attraction. But a huge theater show would do wonders for the Wizarding World's capacity.
Every now and then I entertain thoughts of making some money on the side as a bookie taking bets on whether theme parks would do things like this or not. :-)
Hey, maybe I see you on line in August. You know, It's funny that you said that about the theater cause actually the first thing that came to mind when I was about to type, was that place. That was the reason I avoided the word (Stadium/Theater) as long as I could. Je,je! See great minds think a like! Lol. I wouldn't take that bet, it seems logical something like that at some point.
So thanks! -Francisco from Puerto Rico...
Of course it's going to be ridiculously crowded & stuffed to capacity right now, but after the initial newness wears off, the shop will be manageable. I just don't think Universal would jeopardize the realism of the space for a larger traffic flow.
Great work Robert!
I had actually replied that, see play by play cause you answered so fast! (Now it seems a bid odd. Lol) Anyway, that's good that you're going on August maybe I see you on line. I also wouldn't take that bet. You know cause it seams kind of logical to do something like that. I actually thought of that theater, (I'm not kidding)that is the reason I didn't want to use the word Stadium/Theater till later, because it would lead to that site. See man great minds think a like! Lol. Also didn't want to infuriate the avid Harry Potter fans. (Like Melissa) I do think they should have stay as pure to the idea as possible. So Melissa don't be mad. Cause I like preciseness. But with that said let us not forget that after all it is a business. Even making something for 50 people or little more than twice what I hear they're letting in, would have made it half the wait. Half!! I mean I could be wrong here but I think even the most vivid Harry fans wouldn't mind something less accurate for half the wait. My vision was something Spidey like. You know you see the offices you get the story but on crowded days you do the queue outside first. I think they could tried to do something in which you could get the store in all it's glory and still incorporate more people to see the demonstration/show. Then on days with a lot less people you could get the same experience people are getting now.
Will Chilcote -"188.8.131.52." that's funny! I didn't had a name. I totally agree with you agreeing with me! Ja,ja! I'm just guessing here, but I would tend to think that Universal couldn't had foresee the Wand shop to have a larger queue/line than the Forbidden Journey. I had to think no one had. Cause I actually think if they would have they would had come up with some type of queue more elaborated or longer or something. Cause I don't see Universal saying Ok lets make it so the FJ have an elaborated wait of 60 minutes and the Wand Shop of 3 hours. I'm sorry but authenticity or not, that doesn't make any sense.
Thanks for the reply Robert! It's appreciated! Also for the spot on coverage. Again I'm not trying to make Harry's fans upset by saying they should make it cheaper, or anything just more practical.
-As Will said "184.108.40.206" or Francisco: from Puerto Rico.
Tripod's shot, but it was on its last legs anyway (pun maybe intentional, haven't decided yet...) And the camera's okay - I shot the Potter press conference the next morning with it. I do need to upgrade though.
Any readers have a recommendation on a good HD camera that's not too much of an expense, but that has a higher resolution than the HD Flip as well as the capacity to plug in an external mic?
The funny thing is, I'm not that big of a Harry Potter fan. I've never read any of the novels, and I haven't even seen all of the films. (I'm really just an avid theme park fan!) My reasoning here primarily stems from ideas that I've discussed with my husband. He's a design director in the theme park industry.
Anyways, we were talking about the complaints from park guests concerning these wait times, and he explained a very interesting concept in the world of theme park design to me. He said that parks will build a new attraction (or even an entire park) for what is called "design day" -- basically means you're designing for what you think the AVERAGE capacity of the attraction will be -- not what the "peak" or opening day's capacity will actually be. That's probably why it's so cramped right now. Universal Creative is keeping this world true to JK Rowling's Harry Potter brand or franchise rather than straying from the actual environment simply to push more guests through in a shorter amount of time. The other thing to consider is the cost -- If a larger theater/show venue is used, what happens a year from now when numbers drop? It may not warrant that kind of capacity in the future, and then Universal is looking at more cost on wasted or unused space.
Using that theater for a Forbidden Forest attraction, like Robert mentioned, makes sense to me because that would be a realistic use of space to accommodate a large number of guests without losing any authenticity from the novels & films.
The attraction mix is too skewed toward thrill rides to be complete, to me. A show would balance that and be a relatively easy add two years down the road, when any new land could use some refreshment.
If you needed main characters to set things up, the same technology used in Forbidden Journey might be employed here to allow Hagrid to appear, as well.