Robert Niles
Editor

Published: June 18, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Twitter commentors have noted that Universal has been selling Harry Potter packages starting June 29. Let's remember that the same thing happened when Hogsmeade opened. Universal had booked Potter hotel deals for stays that happened before what turned out to be the official opening on June 18, 2010. But people who had those packages were able to visit the original Wizarding World on a restricted soft-open basis. I would expect to see the same situation here, with soft openings to accommodate Universal hotel guests (and perhaps others!), starting later this month.
James Rao
Writer

Published: June 18, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Best to wait a few months, imho.... the rumors of technical difficulties on the Gringott's dark ride persist. Give USO a few more months to work out the kinks.
Brent Moody

Published: June 18, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Robert, could this "others" you are referring to perhaps be AP previews? That would be awesome if you could make that happen for me!
Duncan Henny

Published: June 18, 2014 at 7:54 AM

would like to see some of the ice-cream that they have or the shop fronts i would also suggest to everyone avoid going in Sept as thats when i'm going and would like the queues to be shorter :)
Andrew Bermudez

Published: June 18, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Dang it! My family and I are going next week, and I was really looking forward to checking this out. But you never know. We still might be able to check it out during a soft opening if one is available when we're there.
216.54.60.248

Published: June 18, 2014 at 8:39 AM

already planning on visiting 7/13, hopefully a little less of a zoo on a sunday morning, however i suspect even if we are there at rope drop (not staying on property so we miss out on an hour) the lines are going to be crazy
Nick McKaig

Published: June 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

What rumors of Gringotts technical difficulties?
James Rao
Writer

Published: June 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM

@Nick a quick scan of the www or listen to a few theme park podcasts and you'll get the rumors. Issues have been mentioned in relation to programming, electrical setup, timing, the ride manufacturer, etc. It's all very vague but persistent. And when you think back to all the issues Universal had with the Hogwarts bench ride when it first opened, you should prepare for the worst. Technological advances don't come without some trials, that fact cannot be denied. Best to be safe and plan your trip accordingly.
Sylvain Comeau

Published: June 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Of course the main thing I want to see is Robert's review of the Gringotts ride!
Hmmm, that's the first I hear of technical problems with the new ride. That probably explains the later-than-expected official opening date.
I hope they will have all those issues ironed out by the beginning of October, when we'll be there. Are we giving you enough time, Universal?
Tony Duda

Published: June 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Robert, is the Hogwarts Express explicitly included in the July 8 opening? Previous advertising always seemed to separate Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express into 2 different entities. Will/can the Hogwarts Express be an earlier or later opening?
E S

Published: June 18, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Does anyone know if the new Gringotts ride will accept the Unlimited Express Pass for guests of the Universal hotels?
N B

Published: June 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM

WOW.... We fully expected Diagon Alley to be open by the last week of June, which is why we pushed our date back another whole month to July 29th...

There was NO way I was going to miss this by a couple days. I am surprised at the July 8th date, full expecting the 24th or 25th of this month.

This sucks for all the June visitors, but without an opening date, I wasn't taking any chances...

Update: The Facebook page and Universal forums are going crazy with all the people that planned for the first week of July... it's insane...

Tracy Bates

Published: June 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Emily, I don't know officially, but they've never allowed the express pass on whatever the newest ride is in either park because it simply wouldn't be express because everyone would stay at the hotels to get on the ride faster.

Put another way, you still can't use it on the forbidden journey in Islands of Adventure and that's been open how long...

Sylvain Comeau

Published: June 18, 2014 at 1:40 PM

I have a feeling that the single rider line will be popular (if the new ride has one).