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What Time of Day for Harry Potter's Wizarding World

Universal Orlando: Charles asks when is the best time of day to head fo the Wizarding World at Isle of Adventure, if you don't have fastpass or early entry.

From Charles Reichley
Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:13 PM
My family is hitting Universal Orlando next week, and I had a question about when to visit Harry Potter land. We won't have fastpass, or early entry.

So my theory is that a lot of people run to HP first thing in the morning, and we could hit other rides at that time, avoiding some of the crowds.

The idea is that since the early entry people have already run back to HP, it really won't have a shorter line at park opening. In fact, my guess is that the line will be about the same length for most of the day, so it really won't matter when we go.

But I'm looking for real-world facts from people who have been to the park in the past few weeks -- am I right? Is there a good time to hit HP that isn't first thing in the morning?

Thanks,


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

From Katie White
Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:36 PM
Its crowded no matter what time because in the morning its the people from Islands and in the afternoon its the people from Universal Studios. I went recently though and it was still crowded but I only waited in line for Forbidden Journey 45 min. I went around lunch time. About 1:00-2:00 pm. Eat earlier at 11:00ish and maybe you will get a less crowd while everyone is eating lunch between 12:00-2:00.

From Nick Markham
Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:41 PM
You want to know the truth: Any time is a good time to visit Potter due to a secret I've found out. That long line out of WWOHP is not for the land but for HArry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. If you enter Filch's Gift Shop and pass through the lockers, you can reach the single-riders line without having to wait in a 4 hour line. Your wait time would end up just about 20 minutes max! Read my trip reports for more info!

From Jon Landis
Posted August 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM
We were there last week and the crowds were crazy. We had early entry, due to staying on property, and by the time the park opened to the general public, they had blocked access to the HP area and the wait line just to get into that part of the park was around 2 hours long. That being said, we did find that line had evaporated by dinner time and you could walk right into the HP area. The lines for the rides were still over an hour long any time of the day. The line for the wand shop appeared to be about an hour long as well. Dueling Dragons line was never more than 30 minutes that I noticed. If you're just going for the HP experience, the Universal Express pass won't really benefit you since the main attraction doesn't permit its use. But, if like us, you were there to see everything, the Express pass is worth it. We got ours free by being Universal Hotel guests, and with it we never waited more than 10 minutes for anything. What I would suggest is to get the Express pass, knock out the rest of the park(s) by 4-5PM, then hit the HP area around dinner time. You'll still have to wait for the main attraction, but should be able to at least get into that part of the park without waiting.

From Russell Reichard
Posted August 3, 2010 at 12:35 PM
My family and I visited Universal in mid July. We asked upon arival when would be a good time to visit the Harry Potter attractilns and were told after 4 PM. They were right on with this suggestion. We rode the Dragon Challenge roller coaster with the only wait being the que just prior to loading. The wait for the Harry Potter Forbiden Journey was 30 min long outside and another 20 minutes inside the Greenhouse, although that line really never quit moving. The only long line we observed(did not want a wand) was the Owl Post, it was at least 45 minutes to get inside. Overall, great food, great staf and a realy pleasant experience. And I would like to add, the HPFJ ride, will be hard to beat. Probably one of the greatest ever. Enjoy.

From Nick Markham
Posted August 3, 2010 at 2:15 PM
Don't forget the single riders line people!

From Katie White
Posted August 3, 2010 at 7:13 PM
When I was there recently, a worker from Islands was saying towards Marvel Super Hero Island is the entrance to Harry Potter. What they don't want you to know is if you go through Seuss Landing and the Lost Continent its a much shorter walk and there is an entrance over there as well. You just keep going straight pass the bridge to Jurassic Park and past Sinbad and the entrance is up there on the left.

From Nick Markham
Posted August 4, 2010 at 12:05 PM
^The entrance you speak of is the main entrance everyone mostly goes through unless you are waiting in that incredibly long line. I always find it funny seeing people waiting in that long line when the main entrance is completely open with nobody stopping you. Tourists!

From Charles Reichley
Posted August 4, 2010 at 9:32 PM
Thanks to all of the responders. This is a great site.

Since I'm spending 4 days in the two parks, we were going to try to survive without express passes; we can't stay in the hotel because we are down on a special deal with Marriot.

But if after two days we are finding it too crowded, we will go ahead and buy express passes for one day just to get through the rest of the rides. We are hoping though that there will be at least one slower day during the week. We also will try to get to the park at general opening each day, in the hopes we can knock off 4 good rides in the 1st couple hours of each day.

From Katie White
Posted August 5, 2010 at 10:37 AM
The thing is, you don't really need an express pass to hit the rides you want to. You just have to know what to get to first and if you don't mind, use the single riders.

From Charles Reichley
Posted August 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM
OK, having gotten all the wonderful advice, we were sitting at closing of USF, and decided to go to Harry Potter world.

We got in line for Forbidden Journey at about 8:35pm, and walked off the ride at 10:01pm. So it was a long, long line, but we had decided we wanted to see the castle and since it knocked the ride off our list before we were even scheduled to hit the park, it was OK.

I'll do it again this week, but we'll use single-rider and hit it around dinner time, before the USF crowd arrives.

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