So you decided to spend this Christmas in Orlando! First I want to say WELCOME to Central Florida! And while here you decided that you were going to enjoy the wonderful Holiday offerings at Universal Studios, and especially see that brand new Harry Potter land known as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. But much to your surprise you find out that people are waiting 3 -6 hours just to get into the land, let alone ride a ride!
Now you might be freaking out. Who waits 4 hours to get into a land? Well if you follow my quick and easy guide, to Islands of Adventure for the Holidays, not only are you going to be able to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but you will also have an enchanting Holiday experience that your family will cherish!
1. Make the Wizarding World of Harry Potter your number 1 Priority! This sounds like a no brainer, but you need to make this the central focus of your Islands of Adventure Park Strategy. During the holidays Islands of Adventure will be open from 8:00 am - 10:00 pm/12:00am/1:00am While that may seem like a lot of time, you really don't want to spend 4+ hours of your day waiting in line to enter a land. Get to Islands of Adventure at 7:00 am. When I say get, I don't be arrive at the parking structure. I mean be in line at the physical gate with tickets in hand, and ready to enter. While you will wait an hour to enter the park, it is 3 hours of extra things you can do later in the day! Once the park opens walk briskly to the Wizardy World of Harry Potter via Seuss Landing. Once you are in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can take a breath, they can't kick you out once you are in! lol So go first to Olivandra's Wand Shop, while this might seem counter intuitive, because you want to ride the big ride you will thank me for this. Go through Olivandra's buy your wand, then go ride Dragon Challenge. After Dragon Challenge the line for the Forbidden Journey should be about 75 minutes, and that is the perfect length of time. The Forbidden Journey at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is about an hour long attraction. You will spend about 15 minutes outside hogwarts, then about an hour of queue inside Hogwarts, and in the end, it will feel like you didn't have enough time to enjoy it. So a longer wait is a bonus! After the Forbidden Journey, take a ride on the Flying Hippogriff, then explore the shops, get lots of photos, and maybe ride the Forbidden Journey one more time. Before you leave the Wizarding World, make sure you have all your photos because you probably won't becoming back in.
2. SLOW DOWN. You are at Islands of Adventure during the Holidays, and it is time to enjoy it! After you are done with Harry Potter it should be around 11 am. At this point you should enjoy the stroll through the Lost Continent, and stroll away. It is time to take this park nice and slow. While in the Lost Continent, enjoy Poseidon's Fury, and then Lunch at the comfortable and affordable Mythos Restaurant.
3. Enjoy Grinchmas. Islands of Adventure's Holiday Offering is Grinchmas at Seuss Landing. After lunch, stroll on over to Seuss Landing, and get in line to see "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" over by Circus McGurkus. Shows are on the hour, but there is ample seating, so you won't wait very long in line, and there is lots of "streetmosphere" for you to enjoy with Whovillians all over the place interacting with guests.
4. Relax, and enjoy. After Grinchmas just enjoy the park, there are going to be decent lines, but most of the people are going to be occupied in the back of the park, waiting to get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so in all honesty you won't need Express Passes.
5. Buy Ponchos. Just because it is chilly doesn't mean you can't enjoy the 3 stellar water attractions at Islands of Adventure. Invest in some Ponchos, and then go experience the Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dudely Do Right's Ripsaw Falls, and Popey and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges. There will be 0 lines for these, so ride the over and over, just go crazy! There are some full body dryers near the exits for all these attractions, so after you are doing going crazy on them, you can warm up a bit if necessary.
6. Appreciate the smaller attractions. Island of Adventures true charm comes when you appreciate some of the smaller attractions. Make sure you explore "If I ran the Zoo" at Seuss Landing and Staying Dry on "1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" is a fun challenge. Then at Jurassic Park the newly reopened Triceratops Discovery Trail is a MUST experience, and Camp Jurassic is also a place that needs to be explored along with Popey's Ship at Toon Lagoon.
If you follow this advice, you should really be able to have a stress free, fun filled day, that is enchanting and awesome!