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TOPIC: Harry Potter Exhibit at Universal Studios, Orlando, FL

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August 10, 2012 12:06 PM
In November I will be going to see the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. I only live 75 minutes away from Orlando, and I will be driving East from Tampa, FL. Has anyone gone to see this exhibit, and if so, what is the fastest way to get to this exhibit once you are inside the theme park. Do you go right, left, or straight on in order to be one of the first persons to enter the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter"? I realize that persons who stay overnight at the park hotels have first come first serve, as they are allowed into the park earlier than those persons driving to the park in the morning. I really want to be one of the first 200 people to enter this particular exhibit at Universal Studios, because when the Harry Potter exhibit gets to capacity (number of persons in exhibit), Universal Studios closes the Harry Potter exhibit. They do this even if it is still morning. I am going to Universal SPECIFICALLY to see the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter", and for no other reason. I have no interest in seeing the other exhibits. I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me. Thanks.
August 10, 2012 12:11 PM
I was there last year, I can't remember which direction would be quicker. I do remember that it's so popular that you need a special ticket to get into that area of the park. You walk back there, and they'll give you a ticket with a time to come back. We had to wait a few hours, but we weren't aware of the policy and weren't in any particular hurry to get there. Your wait will probably be less, or there may not be a wait at all, if you head straight there when the park opens.
August 10, 2012 12:13 PM
I was there last fall. It was great. What we did: went up to the actual "ride". There was a line. We waited. Did it. YAY. then went to the two broomsticks and had lunch and some butter beer, then got in line for Olivanders. Then did the rest. My point: when we went there were only two things with actual lines. Otherwise it wasn't too crowded.
I don't remember what direction it was either. Sorry.
Edited by Sabine_Stroehm On August 10, 2012 12:13 PM
August 10, 2012 12:16 PM
It's right in the back of the park, so either way you go will get you there the same. If you've been there before, it's where Dueling Dragons was. That's still there, but renamed to go with Harry Potter.

We were told by a park employee that it's best to go at the end of the day, though. She said everyone goes there first so the lines are longer early on and shorter later. I will say, though, the wait for the main ride takes you on a tour inside the castle, so it's not a big deal if that line is long because that's part of the fun of it.

And you MUST get butterbeer. It's $7 or $8 a glass, but totally worth it.

And it's been there long enough now that it doesn't get so busy they close it, especially not in November. I don't think you need to worry about that.
Edited by rml_16 On August 10, 2012 12:17 PM
August 10, 2012 12:16 PM
I think we went more or less straight back, but I don't remember. We didn't plan out the fastest way through the park. As long as you're there when the gates open and you go there first, I think you should be ok.

I hated that ride. It made me so sick.
August 10, 2012 12:17 PM
QUOTE:

I was there last year, I can't remember which direction would be quicker. I do remember that it's so popular that you need a special ticket to get into that area of the park.


Not anymore. Was just there in March.
August 10, 2012 12:19 PM
QUOTE:
And you MUST get butterbeer. It's $7 or $8 a glass, but totally worth it.

Seconded. Although it's not what I thought butterbeer would taste like.
August 10, 2012 12:19 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I was there last year, I can't remember which direction would be quicker. I do remember that it's so popular that you need a special ticket to get into that area of the park.


Not anymore. Was just there in March.


I was there around Christmas, could have just been a busy time
August 10, 2012 12:20 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
And you MUST get butterbeer. It's $7 or $8 a glass, but totally worth it.

Seconded. Although it's not what I thought butterbeer would taste like.


People kept telling me it was like butterscotch, which I HATE. So I was so happy to find out it wasn't! I must find the recipe for that foamy stuff they put on top.
August 10, 2012 12:20 PM
What is Harry Potter?
August 10, 2012 12:22 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I was there last year, I can't remember which direction would be quicker. I do remember that it's so popular that you need a special ticket to get into that area of the park.


Not anymore. Was just there in March.


I was there around Christmas, could have just been a busy time


This past Christmas or the year before when it had only been open a few months? And, yes, Christmas is a very busy time in Orlando. Disneyworld blacks out entrance to Magic Kingdom the entire month of December (well, they used to. I think they changed the process) for people with annual passes and cast members and their guests so that only people paying first price can get in because it's so busy. November won't be that busy unless it's Thanksgiving weekend.
August 10, 2012 12:40 PM
Thanks for all of your information. I've been going to the site (Googled) "Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios" since before they opened that exhibit. It appears that the Harry Potter exhibit IS toward the back of the park, but that there is a "lake" in which you have to go around in order to get there (I think). I was also wondering which direction was the shortest way around the lake (if there is one)? I'll have to check the site again. I'm just not too sure about the map that they provide. I do know (from the sites map) that the cool rides are located toward the back of the exhibit. I was planning on going on the rides first, and then I was going to backtrack throughout the exhibit and see the other things (stores and eateries). Yes, I am planning on having their Butterbeer! I can not go there without trying it! I jump from planes, so I think I won't have a problem with the rides. I love roller coasters! I heard that if you are overweight, that you won't fit on the Harry Potter rides. Is that true? I weight 176lbs and am 5'7" tall. If that is true, then I have some exercising to do!!! Where do you get the ticket to enter the exhibit...if they still require one?
August 10, 2012 12:45 PM
You are not nearly large enough to worry about the size requirements. It's just a normal ride.
August 10, 2012 12:49 PM
We were supposed to go this year and our trip changed. I wanted to CRY!!!!!!
  4001156
August 10, 2012 12:50 PM
into IOA, hang a right- it's in the back right side of the park... the park is a big circle around a pond. You'll hit Hogsmead first- and the ride will be at the other end of the area. I'd go straight to that ride, and get an express pass (free) and go back later during your assigned time if it's longer then a 20 minute wait. Look at everything there- there's so many different things in all of the shops... and make sure you try the butterbeer and pumpkin juice. :)

Also- no separate ticket is required to get into the harry potter area. You pay to get into Islands of Adventure, and you get all of it.

You'll be good to go on the rides. On the bigger coasters, they have special seats even for wider chested riders, but I don't think you'll even need that based on your pictures.
Edited by kitigonkukoo On August 10, 2012 12:54 PM
August 10, 2012 12:52 PM
I just went two weeks ago, and there's no need to get a special ticket anymore. It is, however, very busy in the morning. We ended up getting butterbeer at the Three Broomstick's, which is much easier to get it at, and it was $9 for two frozen ones. The carts outside have long lines, but we hardly had a wait inside. The line for the ride was about "45 minutes", but we got through it in 30. Not too shabby. smile definitely worth waiting for anyways! And you have to stop in Honeyduke's, but go at the end of the day as well, it's less crowded!
August 10, 2012 12:53 PM
Go to Islands of adventure, if you go take a left from the endtrance and go back through Marvel World and up you should get there. However, I recommend saving it for later in teh evening. Hogsmeade is GORGEOUS at night and the castle is lit up. The rides are so much fun too.

Spend your day in the other areas like Marvel, Dr Suess, Lost Continent, Comics, etc...Islands of Adventure is just AMAZING
  24052624
August 10, 2012 12:54 PM
I was just there back in... May? April? This past spring-ish. It wasn't that busy that there was any concern about not getting in. Frankly though, it isn't near as crowded later in the day. Also, the Harry Potter region isn't near as big as it seems. It is big, but not big enough to worry about the quickest way to get somewhere.
Some advice: The main attraction, the Wizarding World ride, has a MASSIVE line. Almost always (especially if it rains!!) but the queue is so gorgeous that you won't mind. It takes you through the castle and through the greenhouse and it's magnificent.
As kiddy as it seems, go on the Flight of the Hippogriff. So fun, we went on it probably 5 times.
Butterbeer: DELISH but really really reallyreallyreally sweet.
The wand "experience": WHY IS THE LINE SO FREAKING LONG?! We said forget it because it was SO crowded that even without the "experience" just the wand shop was PACKED. Craziness.
Dueling Dragons = Dragon Challenge. Nothing has changed about the roller coaster, they just painted it. Still a great ride.

Can't think of much else, but the park map is pretty accurate. Drink lots of water, don't worry too much about seeing everything you want to see, you'll either be stressed and won't have fun or will be concentrating so hard on getting somewhere fast that you'll miss something really cool.
OH! Make sure you go to the... aahhh what's it called... Poseidon/Greek gods area. Really really cool area. I loved it. :)
August 10, 2012 12:56 PM
QUOTE:

I just went two weeks ago, and there's no need to get a special ticket anymore. It is, however, very busy in the morning.


You were there in the summer- the crowds here (I live in Orlando) are horrendous in the summer. November is a MUCH better time of year to come (crowd and temperature/weather-wise), second only to Jan/Feb.
August 10, 2012 1:00 PM
I wanna go!
  3546229
August 10, 2012 1:10 PM
Thanks again for all of y'alls help. I really, really, really appreciate your filling me in on the attraction. If anyone has anymore to contribute to this thread, please, feel free to add more information. I'm loving your responses! drinker
August 10, 2012 1:14 PM
I want to go to this SO bad!!! Have fun!!
August 10, 2012 1:17 PM
I'm from the Tampa area as well, and we arrived an hour after the park opened, and got in very quickly. Each time I've been, there's always a crowd even during the off seasons, but it's worth it in my opinion. Everyone rushes there in the morning, and leaves before the park closes, so they all go to Harry Potter World first. I'd say go through most of the park first, and then go. And make sure you have some $$ to spare for souveniors! Lots of really neat stuff you may want to pick up. happy
August 10, 2012 1:17 PM
I went to this last year and I was so embarrased when they pulled me outta line to see if I could fit in the demo seat. I did get to ride and Im 5'6 250 pounds at the time. It is amazing!
  27656744
August 10, 2012 1:21 PM
It is pretty much all the way in the back and you have to go through other parts of the park to get there. I live in Florida too (Jacksonville) and I've been. It's neat, I went last May and it was busy, but I never had to wait to get in that section of the park. Weird! Oh well. I enjoyed the park, but most of the rides in that area are just renamed rides from before, like the Dueling Dragons. I don't remember what they are calling it now! lol. But Harry Potter Land was awesome. I didn't like Butterbeer. Too sweet for me, but that's a personal taste, I much preferred the Pumpkin Juice! And the shops are awesome.
However, if you are going to be spending they day there, don't completely rule out going to check out the rest of the park! I love Jurassic Park, and Rip-Saw Falls. If you live getting a little wet, try those out!
And if you like roller coasters then ride the Hulk!
The whole park is so much fun!

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