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Just returned from WWOHP

Universal Orlando: Just a few details about my trip. Hope it helps anyone planning on attending soon!

From Sara M
Posted June 16, 2010 at 8:33 AM
Wizarding World Breakdown!

Having just returned from a five day trip to WWOHP, I wanted to share my experience! It really is amazing, completely immersive experience.
Forbidden Journey:
We were able to ride forbidden journey three times during our stay. I’ll begin by just discussing the queue. There are so many small details that you really need to go through it several times to fully appreciate everything. Some things to look out for; the sword of Godric Gryffindor is hidden in Dumbledore office. It’s above the window behind you. When you reach the defense against the dark arts classroom there are several different spells Hermione can cast on the classroom and there all awesome.
You should know that before riding if they don’t think you are going to fit in the chair they will make you try it out. Although I did notice a group where one person was larger and the attendant had the whole family sit in the test vehicle as a “help to the attendants” while I suspect they just wanted to see in the mom would fit. Happily she did and all was well but I found this to be a nicer way to do it.
Ride one: The most eventful for sure. We sat on our enchanted bench traveled 15 seconds into the ride into the astronomy tower and the whole ride stopped. Within five minutes they had the lights on. We sat suspended for about 45 minutes during which most cars were able to be evacuated to a bridge walkway. Unfortunately the position of our arm did not allow that to happen. The staff came over with a giant window washer contraption and we were evacuated on that. They made sure to build a fence around us first though just in case we jumped off in our despair of not being able to ride the whole way through lol
Ride two: We went one more scene in this time and then the ride stopped. Luckily it restarted in a few moments and we went the rest of the ride through but the brief stop tarnished the experience a bit.
Ride three: well the third time was the charm as we went the whole way through no stops and it was incredible. I think my favorite part without giving too much away was seeing my face reflected in the smoke. AWESOME!

Three Broomsticks
We went to the three broomsticks for the breakfast special and it was some of the best theme park food I have ever had. It was a filling and delicious breakfast. This was also my first try of pumpkin juice, which I did enjoy but did not buy again. The theme in the restaurant and in the hogs head pub in fantastic. We would often go to the pub to get our butterbeer instead on the cart outside as the line is shorter and the drink is colder. After trying bother frozen and non frozen I personally prefer the frozen. We decided the taste was butterscotch root beer with butterscotch cool whip on top 

Olivanders
What a great show. We show two different actors perform and both were great. They really stick to the act and do a fantastic job with it. I found they like to pick younger children though to participate. But you do have a shot if you are standing towards the front.

Overall I think they did a great job. For the serious potter fan in me this was everything I could have expected and more. I’m glad we went when we did because I can only imagine the craze after opening. I would def recommend it.

On other notes, the royal pacific was lovely as always our room was ready for check in by 8am and the islands breakfast did not disappoint. We went to mythos for lunch during our trip as well. We all ordered the cream of mushroom soup and really enjoyed it. I got the buffalo chicken wrap and would it to be quite yummy. Unfortunately they do not let you take anything to go to I left a ton on the plate. Poseidon’s Journey is such an awful ride/show. I will go out there and say I think it may be the worst IOA has to offer. I would rather ride the train in Suess landing all day.
We were able to catch train while we were at universal and they did not disappoint playing all my favorites! Overall I think this was a very successful trip. Hope this helps anyone looking to go to HP


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From David L.
Posted June 16, 2010 at 9:42 AM
looks like you had a great trip. Is the main ride jerky at all? also, is there any main changes in the Hipogrif ride besides the cars?

From Melissa Donahue
Posted June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM
Hi Sara,
Thanks so much for your detailed trip report! Your experience with the Forbidden Journey was truly unfortunate, but at least you were able to ride it continuously on the third try.

My husband & I head down at the end of this month, and I just can't wait! I'm sure that the crowds (coupled with the Orlando heat) will raise the discomfort level a bit, but I'll just have to suck it up! Sounds like it's everything I'm imagining it to be.

Can you answer one question -- Is the only entrance to WWoHP through the Lost Continent, or can you still reach this area on the Jurassic Park side as well? Thanks!

From April C
Posted June 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM
Melissa, you can enter from Jurassic Park as well. :)

Sounds like a great trip!

From Melissa Donahue
Posted June 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM
Thanks, April! :)

From Brian Emery
Posted June 22, 2010 at 1:49 PM
Thanks for the report…
But Poseidon’s Journey is not that a bad..

Can you describe for us the ButterBeer?

From Shannon Price
Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM
Is there a time where the crowds thinned out at WWOHP? I'm going next week on Wednesday or Thursday. Also, I really want to go through the castle, but I'm skeptical about the actual ride. I'm not a roller coaster rider or ride anything with drops and flips you upside down. Are there any drops or flips on the Forbidden journey?

From Amanda G
Posted June 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Did you happen to head over to Universal Studios and if so, did you find it to be less crowded? We're going next Wed. and hoping that everyone is at IOA instead.

From Mike Seary
Posted June 24, 2010 at 9:25 PM
I just returned from a 20-22 trip to the Universal Parks and found that yes, in the early hours (before lunch) US was significantly less crowded than IOA. On the morning of the 20th, at approx 9-10 am, the line just to get into the WWOHP (NOT the ride) stretched all the way to the gate between Marvel Island and Port of Entry... was told by staff that the wait time was several hours. When I returned to IOA in the late afternoon/early evening (about 7 or so) WWOHP was walk-in easy, but packed nonetheless. Standard line wait time at FJ was 60-120 minutes (with wait time decreasing the later it got), HOWEVER:

SINGLE RIDER LINE WAS NEVER MORE THAN 30 OR SO MINUTES IN THE EVENING FOR ALL THREE DAYS.

Didn't bother with ollivanders, as it seems more of a sales pitch to convince parents to blow money on their kids than an actual attraction. Dragons was the exact same ride, just with a newly potter-ized queue, didn't care about butterbeer or the shops.... JUST FJ.

FJ is AWESOME. it really gives Spiderman a run for the money. That KUKA robot arm business is so smooth in the motions that it enhances the illusion of flight significantly. FJ queue is mostly indoors and really well done, but don't buy the hype about it being "an hour long attraction in itself". Its just a line. Talking paintings, scrim-projections of the potter crew and dumble-guy, and a talking hat. Nicely done, but still just a line.

The ride is probably about 4-5 minutes or so, but LIVES UP TO THE HYPE. Totally immersive experience. Transitions from film-driven scenes to animatronic/prop-driven scenes is NEARLY FLAWLESS. Physical animatronics and props are INSANELY close, film sections utilize both wide screens with scrolling projection and semi-spherical screens which follow the ride vehicles and cover your entire range of vision. Tactile and temperature effects, some unexpected (but not TOO wild) vehicle maneuvers and acrobatics... its in a class of its own.

ONLY COMPLAINT:
The moving walkway boogies along rather quickly, my poor mother nearly ate it trying to get on and the loading crew are more concerned with cramming people into seats than actually helping that they practically dragged her across the walkway. Hopefully they finesse that procedure a bit.

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