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“First time visit to HP”

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Ranked #1 of 436 things to do in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando vacation, but there is only one place where vacation becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex. It's the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained - you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, battle aliens alongside Agent J, and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Now open: the new, heart-warming and hilarious Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. And coming soon: Transformers The Ride-3D. Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed March 29, 2013

My daughter was just beside herself to go to HP and all in all it was a very good experience. The best amusement for my money was the Forbidden Journey. Excellent use of motion, visual effects and animatronics. (This can be scary for smaller children). We went to Olivander's for a wand (the show as okay, and I'm not sure it's worth the wait) and we eat at the Three Broomsticks - it's expensive but the nice thing was the staff kept people moving and getting patrons seated. I did not was have the butter beer but was told it should have been hot.

Of our time in Universal's Island of Adventure 80% of it was spent at the HP section of the park.

In most cases you need to use the lockers for backpacks and cameras - these are free (but cost for longer usage). There was a huge crowd there but I did not sense it to be over bearing. We were even hit with a torrential downpour and everyone behaved nicely.

Universal has a Fastpass-like capability, but you pay extra for that. I was not about to pay more money on top of already expensive tickets. The staff was very nice.

Go early, if possible, the crowds and lines got larger as the day went on.

Thank DaveW31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 29, 2013

Beautiful but very crowded....the castle is breathtaking but it is scaled down quite a bit. Hogwarts Meade is nicely designed with shops and restaurants - if you can get in...the roller coast had the least waiting time averaging 20 min - I guess everyone else is trying to get in Hogwarts. I you don't arrive early - I mean 7:00 am, expect long delays to get to Harry Porter's park. Also, after 10:00am the park start issuing scheduled admission to Hogwarts Meade in order to control the crowd, which doesn't work - it is still very very crowd. After this experience I will never visit the park during peak season again - hope you do the same with your family!

Thank Tpritchard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We went on Tuesday, March 26. We arrived around 10:30. We paid $830.00 including tax for 2 adults, 1 child for unlimited express passes to Universal and Islands of Adventure. We splurged because of only having 1 day for both parks. We are not early risers and were prepared to spend all day in the parks until closing time. We had the park app that tells the wait time for rides so, we were prepared for the long wait for the Forbidden Journey of Harry Potter. At 10:30 it was 120 minutes. We were not prepared for that part of the park to be at capacity which required us to get in a standy by area to wait for pass to enter Harry Potter area. Our wait there was only 10 minutes. We were rerouted all over Jurassic Park area and even into ugly backstage areas not meant for guests and then received a special pass to get into Harry Potter land. Then we were given horrible directions to go up and take a right at a palm tree. Mind you, we were in the Jurrasic Park area which is full of palm trees. We were then sent on a wild goose chase by employees that sent us back to the original overflow area. We only figured out where we were going because we flagged down a more official looking employee who gave us proper directions. The employees seemed annoyed that we were asking where to go. Finally we get there and it was so packed.
We went straight to the Forbidden Journey ride. We waited close to 1.5 hours to get even get into the castle. In front of the castle there are now 2 lines. One we waited in and one that looks like the express line. We see 2 young men say they are single riders and the employee lets them in the empty line to run ahead. So, our group waited for 1.5 hours to get to the point and these 2 "single riders" just get to completely skip the wait. We enter the castle and we get bombarded by an employee screaming at us to put all of our valuables in a locker. Yelling at our group to send one person for a locker and for the rest of us to move into the line. It was chaos. There was no notice the entire 1.5 hours of walking in line that we would need to put our stuff in a locker. We were excited to get into the castle and then get yelled at to leave our valuables behind like children. We paid $800 + to be yelled at. What a buzzkill. The wait in the castle was ruined because, we started to realize all of the valuables we left with one group member to put in a locker and the frustration that our group was split up, making one group member have to "line jump" to get back with us. The employee told us to move ahead and that person would then join us. Pushing through the line for 10 minutes apologizing to everyone. Add to that the fact that this ride is not an express pass ride but, single riders get to jump in front of everyone, we were very frustrated and could not enjoy the castle.
The ride was exciting but, concern for our valuables we were forced to back at the entrance kept us from truly enjoying the ride.
Getting off the ride was a mess also. You end up in a small store with no rhyme or reason and only a small door to get to the lockers.
The Hippogriff rollercoaster is so short, 30 seconds or maybe a minute. We walked right on because we had express passes but, the wait was 1 hour for those without express passes.

Honeydukes was cute but, couldn't enjoy it at all because of employee yelling that SHE IS THE END OF THE LINE TO PAY!
Didn't attempt to get Butterbeer. Line was probably 30 minutes long. Leaving Harry Potter 4 frustrating hours later, we see the standby line wait was 75 minutes.
Then we get yelled at by another employee to stay on the right side of the walkway.
If you must see Harry Potter world, do not expect a Disney level of crowd control or even a tiny bit of Disney courtesy. My family works at Disney and if they yelled at a guest like the Universal employees did, they would be fired.
If we wanted to waste $830 and get yelled at, we would have went to visit our relatives.

4  Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

My family & I (HUGE Harry Potter fans)visited on March 19th, 2013. We arrived just as it opened. It is visually amazing & makes you feel as if you are in the movie. We were able to go on the Forbidden Journey with a much shorter wait by going in the "single rider" line. You do not see the person sitting next to you anyway. The ride is awesome! My only complaint is that it is so crowded & there just isn't enough room to put people. I supposed it would take away from the intimacy & the authencity of the whole experince if it had been any bigger. There were huge lines to get a butterbeer (delicious!) & even to go into the small shops so I think we may have missed a lot of it. All that being said, still a must for any Harry Potter fans to experience.

1  Thank Sueh33804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013 via mobile

Crowds were awful and we were in the middle if a microburst...nothing dampened our experience at Harry Potter! Go early and plan to just wander!

Thank khambit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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