I won't really knock Universal for the lack of FJ. Honestly, they didn't have to do anything. It was a really great gesture on their part for the fans, helps to build up good faith in the Universal Resorts Product, and is a great PR move to boot. Pretty much a win for all involved. Kudos to Universal for out-Disneying Disney.....again.
We arrived on the 12th and bought our tickets for the movie the night we arrived, most shows were sold out but there was a few tickets for the 9:20PM show on the 15th. We arrived an hour early to find a pretty good line for theater 18 already there.
We managed to get great seats (dead center in the middle of the row and screen center as well). It was insane when the key moments in the movie happened, I had never seen anything like it.....
Now on to the park.... Apparently, a lot of people planned to be here for the movie launch so they could experience the WWOHP durig the day and see the movie while on vacation. We got up the first and second day we were here to get into IOA early as we wanted to get our money's worth and ride Forbidden Journey as much as we could. We mnaged to get on the ride in 10 minutes or less both days and we jumped right in line for the Olivanders wand show on the second day.
We waited around 30 minutes in line before entering. It is something you only need to do once, but it is a must see if you are a Potter fan. We bought wands for our daughters and the Gringott's dragon for the little one. We also shopped at Honeydukes and ate breakfast at the Three Broomsticks. We had everything sent to our room so we didn't have to put it in lockers for the rest of the day.
I have to say, for the first couple hours after the park opens, the rest of the park outside WWOHP is a ghost town. My girls got to ride the Pteradon Flyers twice in less than ten minutes... that is the only ride other than Forbidden Journey & Rip Ride Rockit that doesn't have Universal Express.
We have now stayed at all 3 Universal Hotels, so I will write up something when I get back home. I have some really cool stories to tell about the hospitality and treatment we have received since we have been here. This has been the best trip to Universal by far....