Published: October 30, 2013 at 8:10 AMThis is great news for me, since it means there's a chance it will be soft opening while I'm there!
Published: October 30, 2013 at 3:42 PMThere is no point in mentioning the ticket promotions and pass blackout dates since they offer no clue on the opening for the Harry Potter expansion. Those dates coincide with the start of different peak seasons.
May 22nd is the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. June 14th is the first day that the majority of schools in the United States will be on break for summer. (Yes, I know many go on summer break in late May.)
The opening of Diagon Alley will happen as soon as all of the pieces are in order. They're not going to let it sit unused in a finished state for a few months to exclude a few promotional tickets or value passholders. Most park operators in the United States will tell you that they like to have their new attractions open and fully operational by at least Memorial Day weekend. I'm certain that Universal would agree with that approach.
Ultimately, the final phases of construction will determine when the opening actually occurs.
Published: October 30, 2013 at 2:17 PMExcellent detective work. With that said, Universal and even Disney have made it a habit of opening attractions in the first two or so weeks in June. It should be open by then.
This project has moved along quite quickly, can't wait to see the finished project.
Published: October 30, 2013 at 4:29 PMLet's not forget that constriction is not a random process. Universal's contractors surely have contracts that specify a particular date when their work is to be completed. Perhaps there might be bonuses for finishing early, but with so many contractors on a project of this size, I suspect it would be difficult to move forward a projected opening date by more than days, a few weeks at most. But not months.
What we're trying to determine is what the deadline is on those contracts. Universal's promotion and blockout schedules, also determined far in advance, provide clues. Let's remember that this year's USF blockout sked blocked out the month of July, which led many of us to suggest that Transformers would open in late June, which it did. If I remember correctly, the previous year's calendar didn't block out USF in the summer at all. This year's calendar moves up the blockout by more than two weeks, into early June. That's not just a seasonal adjustment.
Published: October 30, 2013 at 11:24 PMI was just at HHN last week and the progress looked great. With the Hogwarts Express already placed on the track, it's hard to imagine how the rest of the work would take 8 months.