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  1. #1

    • Waiting for my E-Ticket
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    IOA/Potterland crowds

    So, how have the crowds at IOA been recently, specifically WWOHP? I'm heading up that way next week and want to do a day at IOA to see Potterland in all its glory.

    A coworker was telling me lines were still stretching out to CityWalk just to get into that area of IOA, but part of me is thinking that just isn't right.

    So who's been there recently that can fill me in? I'm planning on next Saturday (I know, weekends will be busier, but that's the only day I have for IOA as I got other stuff going the rest of the time I'm in Orlando).

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: IOA/Potterland crowds

    The lines were that long opening day, but I understand it has calmed down a bit. Like you, we will be there shortly, so this is all based on reports I've read on other boards, and seems to be consistent. Universal hotel guests get in an hour before opening (8AM), however there are reports of them being let in as early as 7:15-7:30. Non-hotel guests are being let in but must wait in a line going towards Jurassic Park until 9AM. Lines for FJ seem to be posted in the 90 minute range as often as not, but some are reporting sometimes only waiting about 50 at times, especially at night. The longest waits seem to be for Olivander's, with people saying it's sometimes if not often 2-3 hours. The coasters don't seem to be that extreme. The shops are all said to be completely overwhelmed most of the time. There are also consistent reports of things getting more reasonable at night when the folks there from rope drop start wearing out and departing. FJ has SR, but bypasses most of the queue, so I would only use it for repeats

    What we plan to do is this. We'll arrive at 7 and join the wait for opening. We'll go to Olivander's, but know that hotel folks will already be there, so we'll evaluate whether to give it a miss. We'll then ride FJ. If the coaster waits aren't that bad afterwards, great, and if not, we'll ride them at night. So that could be 1-4 things, with only FJ a certainty, before we circle around to the rest of the park. We plan to take off to the condo a few hours in the afternoon, then return in the evening, and hopefully be able to savor the WWOHP as well as doing some (re)rides.

    We actually are having 4 days at Universal, with 1 night in their hotel which means we'll be in early once with express privleges. My neice, though, will join us for the 2 days we won't have express, so how comprehensive we must be will be determined by her desires. It sounds like the other rides may actually have shorter waits, or at least have the lines build more slowly. Hope that helps a bit, I'd be curious to hear of your experiences.

    A bientot.
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  3. #3

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    Re: IOA/Potterland crowds

    Universal hotels are WAY out of my budget (I'm staying at the Holiday Inn Express about a mile from DTD), so I can't go that route.

    Well, IOA is open 9am-10pm when I'm going, and I plan on staying the whole day as I haven't been to IOA since 2004 and kind of rushed through there with a couple friends because we had something going on at the Studios next door we had to be back for. Only other time I was at IOA was in 2002. I still haven't done Spider-Man, so I'm looking forward to finally riding that.

    And I know there are 2 entrances to Olivander's, one for the "show" (which has the long line) and then just to go into the regular shop part. Plus apparently they're selling wands at one of the shops near the entrance at IOA, so I have other options for that. I think experiencing WWOHP at night will be even neater than during the day. I love theme parks at night as it's a whole other experience on the whole. A totally different vibe.

  4. #4

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    Re: IOA/Potterland crowds

    I was there a week ago.

    My cousin and I got to the park about 8:45 on a Tuesday and walked with the crowds to JP land to get in line to be let in to WWOHP. We only had about a 30min wait.

    First thing we hit was FJ, with a posted 75min wait. We were in line for maybe only 45 minutes though, so not too bad. You definately need to go through the whole que though to get the experience once. The tech used for the painting is amazing, and don't even ask me about the ride (I rode it 6 times that day).

    DD / DC coaster was not that bad of a wait, about 20 mins, the shorty coaster had a longer line. Good photo ops on all three rides too.

    FP has the paintings, Dumbledore's chamber, Dark Arts classroom (I think its the DA room anyways), and the Sorting Hat giving you ride instructions...

    DD/DC has the Weasley car, the Tri-Wizard Cup, and the hall with the floating candles in the sky.

    Shorty Coaster has Hagrid's Hut and an AA Buckbeak.


    The worst line is Olivander's, as they only let 20 or so peeps in at once for the "show", usually 2-3 hours early in the day, but it dies down. If you arent interested in the Olivander's show you can bypass that line and go around to Dervish & Bange's (Both lines lead you to the same connected stores, Olivander's/Owl Post & D&Bs).

    Honeyduke's/Zonko's is connected to eachother as well (across from Oli/Owl/DB) and was about an hour wait at peak.

    3 Broomsticks was about a 30 minute line just to order, then a battle for a table, just not worth the hassle IMO.

    Hog's Head was no line, and they also have some good beers on tap, including a special brew made only for WWOHP. They also have Boddington's and Strongbow on tap, plus a few others I don't recall. Just remember to go through the alley to the backside to get into Hog's Head. You can also use this way to have a 21 yr old cut into 3BS for a table.

    Butterbeer cart had a 20min line or so at peak, but it was worth it. Butterbeer was definately interesting to drink, but if you like cream soda you'll like it.

    Also the area does die down a bit later in the evening, but it really depends on how many Brazilian tour groups are in the area.

    Don't even get me started on the BTGs!

  5. #5

    • jonyyeh
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    Re: IOA/Potterland crowds

    I suggest hitting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the afternoon or evening. There is then no line to get into the land. Although the Forbidden Journey will have the longest wait of the rides (75 min is probably the average, but it can be shorter). The shops and Ollivander's will still have lines of course. Dragon Challenge won't have a long wait (many people who come are not exactly rushing to the coasters. In fact, I once bumped into a family that thought that the Forbidden Journey was a roller coaster, didn't bother to ride it at the end of the night, and was surprised to learn from me that it was not a roller coaster).

    The park is open till 10 pm during the summer, and the thing is that there is no night time spectacular shows to keep the crowds busy at night, so there are fewer people in IOA at night (USF has a night time spectacular, Universal 360). So hitting Harry Potter at night isn't a bad idea.

  6. #6

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: IOA/Potterland crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by Aenomy View Post
    Butterbeer cart had a 20min line or so at peak, but it was worth it. Butterbeer was definately interesting to drink, but if you like cream soda you'll like it.
    I understand you can get it at the Hog's Head, and that there's a second cart that seems to be overlooked (usually described as behind/beside the castle). Thanks for typing all of that Aenomy, that's the kind of knowledge that helps me greatly. You ain't kidding on their hotels aimster. Couldn't bring ourselves to do it in 2005, and if we weren't there right after they lower the peak summer rates, probably wouldn't do it this year either.

    A bientot.
    Remember
    What the dormouse said
    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  7. #7

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    Re: IOA/Potterland crowds

    My niece just got back from Orlando on Sunday.She said that the posted wait time, for the new HP ride, was 2 hrs and she was hesitant to get in it, but went anyways and the actual wait was only about 45 min. I'm not sure what day of the week it was but she was at Universal/IOA for 4 days and none of the lines were too bad.

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