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A round-up of sneak previews of Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

May 19, 2010, 12:33 PM · Universal Orlando allowed attendees at the recent travel industry "Pow-Wow" to walk through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this week. Here's a round-up of write-ups: (FYI, no photos or video were allowed, so no one has any.)

Orlando Sentinel

Tampa Tribune

St. Pete Times

From a mom's perspective on Potter for toddlers

Concerns about accessibility for larger riders

Thanks to TPI reader Pyra Dong for the initial link.

Replies (13)

May 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM · Psst. Thanks for the link but that review of the Harry Potter park is the Whoa Momma blog by the St. Petersburg Times, you have it as the Tampa Tribune.


Whoa Momma blogger
Follow us on twitter @WhoaMomma

May 19, 2010 at 1:22 PM · Whoops. Sorry for the coding mix-up there. Links are fixed now.
May 19, 2010 at 2:20 PM · YAY, thanks for the thanks Robert!

And your article was great Sharon!! I actually first read it in TBT - Tampa Bay Times! If I had a penny for everytime I was jealous while reading that article...

May 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM · Nice to hear the perspective of different people. Most of them said that the area is a bit smaller than they thought it was gonna be. We know the forbidden journey will have a long wait but getting into the wand shop or buying a butterbeer will be time consuming as well. Universal better have a crowd control plan set. You don't want the line to get into a shop or to buy pumpkin juice get in the way of the main street.
May 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM · Thanks Pyra, you are very sweet. And I agree Manny, I'm a bit worried we will all be a victim of our imaginations. We want this huge sprawling world and it's really just a corner of Universal. It's three rides, the castle, food in the Three Broomsticks and shopping -- a half-day at best, I think, so we should lower expectations a little. But that said, the set design is really top notch. I recommend that when you do go, make sure you enter through the main entrance, not through the Juraissic park side entrance. You really want that through-the-archway experience.

Sharon Wynne
Whoa Momma blogger for St. Pete Times
Follow us on Twitter @WhoaMomma

May 19, 2010 at 9:17 PM · Some good stuff there. I'm almost glad they didn't allow for ride previews of the main attraction yet. It forced the writers to focus on other details. The concept of bowing before the Hippogriff is a great idea for the children's coaster. They'll get a kick out of that.

One writer complained that Universal is discriminating against people with the Kuka robot arm seating constraints. I hardly consider disallowing obese people from riding to be discriminatory, but he continued to write that the ride is inaccessible to guests that have heart or back problems, as well as those who are wheelchair-bound. Come on, really? Doesn't every thrill ride do that? He lost his credibility with me when he complained that the cobblestone queue made his feet sore. Who is this guy, Harry's cousin Dudley?

May 20, 2010 at 7:53 AM · I read that article too and I’m in agreement Joshua, but I will leave it at that as this tends to be a touchy topic and I don’t come around these parts with the intention of rubbing people the wrong way. I was kind of turned off when he included himself with people who are actually inflicted or are physically incapable, to make his point, when his issue seems to be more of a lack of self control.
May 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM · We always count on crowds where ever we go. The reason we are waiting until August 2011 to go is because we imagine it's going to be a mad house for at least this year.

Can't wait to go!

May 21, 2010 at 5:28 AM · @Joshua, I have read and re-read the blog post about larger riders not fitting on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and I don't think it's fair to characterize it as a complaint or say that he was talking discrimination. He never said he was being discriminated against. In fact, he said he understands the limitations of the rides, and that Universal had probably sized the seats that way in the interest of safety. It seems to me that he was simply spreading the information, since it will affect many visitors' experiences at the Wizarding World. And other thrill rides with over-the-shoulder harnessing systems, such as the Hulk coaster at the same park, Manta and several Busch Gardens coasters, do have larger seats on some of the ride cars to accommodate larger people, so the experience of not fitting on the ride could be surprising to larger visitors.
May 21, 2010 at 6:30 AM · It looks as if Universal is building yet another ride large people can't enjoy. Thanks, Universal, for spending two years getting me excited with your marketing and then pulling the rug out from under my feet a few weeks before the ride opens.
May 21, 2010 at 12:27 PM · A few thoughts:

First on regards to large riders, are we talking just over all mass or is height an issue too. Because I am trim, but I am also 6'4". I would hate to miss out on something because of height.

Second, there seemed to be a trend in the articles commenting on how small the area actually is. Of course this comes to no suprise for devotees of this site or of parks and themeparks altogether. But I am wondering what is going to happen when people unknowingly travel to it without the full understanding that it is only but one "island" in the Islands of Adventure? Because you know that this is exactly what is going to happen.

Also, what about when all the crowds huddle around this one small area? Mass chaos? Lost children? Butterbeer spilled on the feet of dudes wearing open toed Tevas? I am just so curious of what to expect!

I do know one thing, if this means shorter line for Spiderman....then I can't wait for my visit in mid-September!

May 22, 2010 at 12:52 PM · "I was kind of turned off when he included himself with people who are actually inflicted or are physically incapable, to make his point, when his issue seems to be more of a lack of self control."

Your assumptions reveal your ignorance and bias.

May 23, 2010 at 11:05 AM · And your anonymous post reveals your inability to stand behind any comment you make.

Funny how supposedly my assumptions are called into question, and then it is assumed that I am a person who governs his opinions through ignorance and bias. Pot calling the kettle black much?

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