Wizarding World of Harry Potter West

August 22, 2015, 10:22 AM

When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood, does anyone have an estimate for how long the lines will become? I'm planning to go this spring and spend a day there, but after seeing the photos of the lines when the first Harry Potter land at Islands of Adventure, I feel like I might have to spend two days there.

Replies (8)

August 22, 2015, 1:09 PM

It's really tough to tell, as we don't know when the new land will open, or what the ticket prices will be.

I would bet that the lines wouldn't be nearly as long as Orlando's original WWoHP, as that was the first in the world and the opening date was well publicized fairly far in advance. With this being a copy of the lands now in Orlando and Osaka, it will appeal more to locals, holding down the size of the potential audience.

Still, that's a huge audience and I think that waits measured in hours will be common for the first spring and summer of operation.

Edited: August 22, 2015, 2:53 PM

I agree with Robert...we probably won't know for sure until the area opens. You can definitely expect it to be very busy, but I would be surprised to see anything near the crowds Florida saw in 2010. I've heard USH is shooting to have the area open for spring break in order to help disperse crowds and that they may completely suspend pass sales until the fall (unlikely, but not unbelievable), so I'm sure they expect huge crowds. However, it has been 5 years since the most recent film was released and, while still popular, Harry Potter is not as big as it once was. Lastly, add in the fact that the new area has nothing to draw those who have experienced the Florida or Japan versions.

At this point, my guess is that Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will be constant 90-120 minute waits for about the first six months (possibly more on peak days), then crowds will drop to a more reasonable level. I do not think we will see the 4+ hour waits seen in Florida (except possibly on opening day). The rest of the park may be a bit busier as well (aka 60 minute waits instead of the currently typical 30-45), but given the size of the park I really don't think you'd need two days. One open to close day should be sufficient even with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

As for me, even though I have yet to get to Florida I'll probably wait until Fall 2016 before visiting the area. I want to see it, but I'd rather wait a few months than rush out at opening if crowds will likely be smaller.

August 22, 2015, 8:08 PM

Just avoid Spring Break (mid March to April).

August 22, 2015, 9:15 PM

So what would be an estimated wait time for the summer? Will the lines for all the other attractions be shortened as everybody goes to Harry Potter, or will the crowds be huge for all the attractions with more people visiting? Also, does anyone think that this might lead to a Universal Studios Hollywood resort?

August 22, 2015, 9:33 PM

Long.
No and Yes.
Universal has a Evolution plan.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/23/news/la-trb-universal-studios-hollywood-20101119

August 22, 2015, 11:09 PM

So what would be an estimated wait time for the summer?

Difficult to say at this point. My guess is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will probably be around two hours and other attractions will probably be around an hour. On my visit this week lines were 45-60 minutes at peak (noon-4 P.M.) and 15-30 minutes the rest of the day, so I would use those as minimums.

Will the lines for all the other attractions be shortened as everybody goes to Harry Potter, or will the crowds be huge for all the attractions with more people visiting?

I would guess lines will get longer overall, though I do not think it will have a huge impact on waits in the rest of the park. You will probably see it take longer for lines to develop at other attractions as people rush for Harry Potter first thing, but afternoons and evenings should be more or less the same as they are now.

Also, does anyone think that this might lead to a Universal Studios Hollywood resort?

A resort as in more attractions and an on-site hotel? Yes. A resort as in a second theme park? Not likely. From what I've heard, Universal Studios Hollywood is supposed to add 7 new attractions between 2012 and 2030. Despicable Me was the first, Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the second. Harry Potter Phase 2 (probably Diagon Alley) is reportedly coming in 2020 and will replace Waterworld and some of the backlot. I haven't heard much about the other 4 attractions other than that one will replace the Special Effects Stage, but I would bet Jurassic Park/World will be involved in at least one of them. I have also heard there are plans to have an on-site hotel in the near future, so I would expect that to open by the end of the decade.

August 23, 2015, 12:09 AM

Thanks everybody for answering my questions!

August 23, 2015, 9:17 AM

I would think the park will be slammed. Universal will probably use the times return reservation system like they did at IOA during the first 2 or 3 years of Hogsmeade and that they are using in Japan now. You can only fit so many people into that section of the park and I would imagine it will hit capacity often. Don't underestimate the crowd levels in a park that's relatively small. It will be very crowded, no doubt.

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