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  1. #1

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    info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    Hey!

    so i'm going to universal orlando for a quick trip..red eye july 29 and have full days for the 30th and 31st. then a half day the 1st and red eye home that night.

    i've never been. and the main reason i'm going is for the wizarding world duhhh. so for anyone that has been (both universal and specifically the wizarding world) how should i prepare/what should i do?! haha super general, i know. most of my inquiries are for the wizarding world...

    i've been reading that it's crazy busy. luckily, i'm staying on-site so i'll get to go in early. i was reading a review and heard mention of lockers. i am wondering if it is like six flags magic mountain (if you've been) in that you are required to put your shiz in a locker. aka would it be better to wear something with pockets and bring a minimal amount of stuff (or would a small bag be ok to bring on rides too?).

    i also saw that the hog's head has stopped serving alcohol bc it's like to busy or something?? read it in article from the orlando sentinel. is this true...were there fun wizarding drinks that i'm not going to get to taste now?!

    i guess i'll post specific questions as they come to me, but any general advice is much appreciated!!

    and i'm insanely excited to be going to the wizarding world of HP
    that is all. thank you!

    flower gleam & glow...

  2. #2

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    If you are staying in the hotel you get an "express pass" which allows you to go on practically every ride (except the flyer ride in Jurrassic park, forbidden journey, and rip ride rockit) as many times as you want.

    Have fun!

  3. #3

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    Hey!

    so i'm going to universal orlando for a quick trip..red eye july 29 and have full days for the 30th and 31st. then a half day the 1st and red eye home that night.

    i've never been. and the main reason i'm going is for the wizarding world duhhh. so for anyone that has been (both universal and specifically the wizarding world) how should i prepare/what should i do?! haha super general, i know. most of my inquiries are for the wizarding world...

    i've been reading that it's crazy busy. luckily, i'm staying on-site so i'll get to go in early. i was reading a review and heard mention of lockers. i am wondering if it is like six flags magic mountain (if you've been) in that you are required to put your shiz in a locker. aka would it be better to wear something with pockets and bring a minimal amount of stuff (or would a small bag be ok to bring on rides too?).

    i also saw that the hog's head has stopped serving alcohol bc it's like to busy or something?? read it in article from the orlando sentinel. is this true...were there fun wizarding drinks that i'm not going to get to taste now?!

    i guess i'll post specific questions as they come to me, but any general advice is much appreciated!!

    and i'm insanely excited to be going to the wizarding world of HP
    that is all. thank you!
    A bunch of the rides require you to get a locker if you are carrying a bag. I would not carry a bag if you can at all avoid it because the lockers are a hassle.

  4. #4

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    Hey!

    so i'm going to universal orlando for a quick trip..red eye july 29 and have full days for the 30th and 31st. then a half day the 1st and red eye home that night.

    i've never been. and the main reason i'm going is for the wizarding world duhhh. so for anyone that has been (both universal and specifically the wizarding world) how should i prepare/what should i do?! haha super general, i know. most of my inquiries are for the wizarding world...

    i've been reading that it's crazy busy. luckily, i'm staying on-site so i'll get to go in early. i was reading a review and heard mention of lockers. i am wondering if it is like six flags magic mountain (if you've been) in that you are required to put your shiz in a locker. aka would it be better to wear something with pockets and bring a minimal amount of stuff (or would a small bag be ok to bring on rides too?).

    i also saw that the hog's head has stopped serving alcohol bc it's like to busy or something?? read it in article from the orlando sentinel. is this true...were there fun wizarding drinks that i'm not going to get to taste now?!

    i guess i'll post specific questions as they come to me, but any general advice is much appreciated!!

    and i'm insanely excited to be going to the wizarding world of HP
    that is all. thank you!
    Lockers are available and free at all attractions in which they are absolutely required. Those attractions are Revenge of the Mummy, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Men in Black: Alien Attack, The Incredible Hulk, Dragon Challenge, and Forbidden Journey. They are also available, at an additional cost, near Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls & Popeye's Bilge Rat Barges.

    No bags whatsoever will be admitted into the attraction, so if you can avoid carrying a bag, do so. But again - the lockers are free for the duration of the current estimated wait time, so it's not the end of the world if you have to bring one along.

    You staying on-site will help you dramatically in terms of lines - as another poster noted, your room key will act as an unlimited express pass for all Express-participating attractions. At this time, the only attractions not participating are the Forbidden Journey, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and the Pteranadon Flyers. The latter is a waste of time; for Forbidden Journey you'll have early access due to your on-site status, so you should be able to get several rides in before lines get crazy. Even then, the single riders line moves relatively quickly for that attraction and can save you a lot of time should you desire rerides. Rockit is more fickle, with a complex loading procedure that can either be moving surprisingly fast or as slow as hog in quicksand; queues can range from 20 minutes to an hour and a half. I highly recommend using the single rider's line (if you're not there at opening) if at all possible. It is closed when the single riders line gets too long, so don't be surprised if you're directed to the regular standby.

    Now, as for the Hog's Head. It is true that they've halted the sale of hard liquor due to increased demand for Butterbeer. That said, basic beers and the Wizarding World-exclusive Hog's Head Ale is still available for purchase; in addition, the three other drinks (Butterbeer, frozen & tap, as well as Pumpkin Juice) are always available for purchase in the land. You thankfully won't miss out on any exclusive drinks.

    Have a great trip and let us know if you have any more questions!

  5. #5

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    ^ thank you!! super helpful. kinda bummed there's no express pass for forbidden journey. that would've been extremely helpful.

    one more question, are there lines to get into the stores in the wizarding world? i know zonkos, ollivanders, filchs, and honeydukes are kinda small compared to demand (right?) and i thought i heard of waits to get into the stores...how true is that?? i need ample time to buy everything lol! and i'm not planning on doing the whole the wand chooses you mini show at ollivanders if i can convince the people i'm with not to go haha

    flower gleam & glow...

  6. #6

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    I'll be at IOA on the 31st myself. Not staying on-site, but I plan on getting there before the park opens so I can have as much time as possible exploring and soaking it all in.

  7. #7

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    ^ thank you!! super helpful. kinda bummed there's no express pass for forbidden journey. that would've been extremely helpful.

    one more question, are there lines to get into the stores in the wizarding world? i know zonkos, ollivanders, filchs, and honeydukes are kinda small compared to demand (right?) and i thought i heard of waits to get into the stores...how true is that?? i need ample time to buy everything lol! and i'm not planning on doing the whole the wand chooses you mini show at ollivanders if i can convince the people i'm with not to go haha
    No problem. Again, don't worry about the Forbidden Journey. Show up for early entry (being at the park gates around 7:30 would be ideal, that's when they tend to open despite the advertised 8 AM start). Forbidden Journey will be 15 minutes or less until the park opens, barring any abnormalities. A quick tip that almost threw us off: it may appear that the entire queue for Potter is filled and a massive crowd will be waiting outside the castle, sometimes all the way into the streets of Hogsmeade. This is not the line for the attraction, but for the lockers, as it gets extremely crowded in that enclosed space. My recommendation is to enter Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods (to the right of the main entrance), and enter the locker area from there. Often there's up to 4 locker stations not being used because there's such a crowd at the first part of the locker area that no one notices them. Moreover, if you don't need a locker at all, you can use the area as a shortcut to go right to the start of the line.

    Now, as for the shops - in my experience, except for in the very heat of the day (12-3ish), the only shops that will have a line are Ollivander's/Dervish & Banges. Zonkos and Honeydukes (which are housed in the same structure) are usually crowded but walk-ins. They've moved a lot of the Owl Post stuff outdoors into the Owlery area to purchase via kiosk. Dervish & Banges is typically a 15-20 minute wait, while Ollivander's is almost never less than 90 but can get up to 120 or even 150. You can get into Ollivander's with no wait only at early entry - if you have a desire to do so (and it's a fun little show if you only wait 5-10 minutes) do it right at the beginning of early entry. You should only have to wait 10 minutes max (everyone else will go to Forbidden Journey, which has the capacity to manage the crowds). Once you've completed Ollivander's you'll be dumped into the wand shop + Dervish & Banges, allowing you to purchase anything you need once in there. Otherwise, wait til the evening to attempt to enter Dervish & Banges.

    A final word of warning - the wand boxes do NOT fit in the provided lockers for Forbidden Journey or Dragon Challenge. You will have to send them to package pickup at the front of the park, and sadly you can't do this anywhere in the Wizarding World due to the amount of crowds they have to deal with. Thus, if you do find yoruself needing to purchase a wand, I recommend heading to the Jurassic Park Discovery Center Store, or the Mulberry Street Store in Seuss, both of which are nearby and seldom have large crowds which makes it a 5-10 minute process, max. That way you can easily pick up your merchandise at the end of the day without having to worry about lugging it around during your park time.

    Hope this helps!

  8. #8

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    Re: info/helpful hints for trip to universal orlando

    Quote Originally Posted by Skip View Post
    A final word of warning - the wand boxes do NOT fit in the provided lockers for Forbidden Journey or Dragon Challenge. You will have to send them to package pickup at the front of the park, and sadly you can't do this anywhere in the Wizarding World due to the amount of crowds they have to deal with.
    I was there last week and the TM guarding the exit door at Olivanders said they would send the boxes to the front store at IoA for me to pick up later but that it would take 3 hours. I was going to do this because we were going to ride FJ but when I came back to do it they were out of the Harry Potter wand so I didn't actually do it.

    As a side note I found the Harry Potter light up wand for $25 at Barnes and Nobles as opposed to the $39 they want at Olivanders. The box looks a little different because i think the Hermine wand we bought had "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" on it but it looks like the wand is the same.

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