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Old 11-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
FutureDis
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Still the mad dash to Harry Potter?

I went to HP 2 years ago, in Jan of 2011. At that time, there was a mad dash to HP when the gates opened. If you weren't there 30 minutes before the park opened, you were in for some very long wait times.

What I'm wondering, is how is it today? We'll be visiting the first weekend in Feb. What is now the best time to visit HP? Mad morning dash (is there still one?) or wait for quiet afternoon?? Does it matter anymore?

Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
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We were there Nov 3rd and 4th, satying onsite. We made the early entry every morning for the HP mad dash. It's still the area everybody heads to first thing (just like Toy Story Mania over at WDW).
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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But does it quiet down by afternoon? I'm wondering if it would be better to save it for the end of the day, rather than the beginning...?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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We just returned yesterday after spending 5 nights at HRH with a 4 day Park to Park ticket. We went to IoA for early entry twice. The first time, we entered the park at around 8:30am and only had about a 5-10 min. wait. Of course, you don't want to go through the queue too fast or you'll miss all the great detailing. Yesterday, we arrived at IoA just after 8am. There was no wait. We rode FJ twice, Flight of the Hippogriff twice and did the wand show (my son was chosen). We were done at about 8:45am and had to return to HRH to meet the rest of the extended family for breakfast at the Kitchen. We had the bed and breakfast package.

As we were leaving the Harry Potter Land, lots of people without early park entry were arriving. They had to have been let in about 15 min. early. Even so, for the time we were there, the wait for FJ was usually between 30-45 min. most of the day. Of course, it helps to go during the slower season. The beginning of Feb. should not be too busy.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info! I've read some people say that after 4p, it was pretty empty. Did you happen to poke your head in there in the late afternoon?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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Check out the blog about my experience concerning this topic. Potter still packs them in early....Although I didn't stick around for the afternoon to see if it cleared out.

http://www.disunplugged.com/2012/10/...packs-them-in/
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureDis View Post
Thanks for the info! I've read some people say that after 4p, it was pretty empty. Did you happen to poke your head in there in the late afternoon?
I have the Universal Studios wait times app on my phone. My kids like to look at it and they noticed the wait times of 30-45 mins. throughout the day each day we were there. We also noticed similar wait times on signs posted in the park. We were in the area one afternoon when it was 30 mins. We went on Dragon Challenge and then we were going to get in line. After riding DC, the wait for FJ was up to 45 mins. so we decided to wait until the next day when we went to early entry.

Last year, we went to the parks on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Thanksgiving night at around 7pm, we saw a wait time of 30 min. and got in line. Initially, we were going to wait until the next morning for early entry, but since 30 mins. wasn't bad, we got in line. We were happy that we did. My son got sick during the night and we weren't able to go for early entry. Luckily, he felt fine the next morning but I didn't want to wake him up early.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:04 AM   #8
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When I went used early entry

I was there nov 4-7 used early entry, but FJ was closed for maintenance until 11am for 2 of the 4 days, so the line was huge by 11am. Recommend early entry.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
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We were just there Monday; did US first till about one then headed over to Harry. No wait at all for Hippogriff and only 15 min for Forbidden Journey. :D

We had lunch at Mythos at 4, then went to Hogs Head for a beer afterwards. Empty then too!

We were also there Friday evening for a private event, was the first ones in! So incredibly cool to see it empty at night! And all the shops were empty as well Got some cool photos!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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We went off and on for two weeks in March (have a house in Winter Park and annual passes). We found that it really did empty out in the early evening. We were walking onto the Hippogriff, and very short queue to FJ. Dragon was short also according to my Dh. No lines in the shops or for the beloved butter beer. Everyone goes in the morning.

We stayed up until closing and just enjoyed the quiet and beauty of the atmosphere. Got cauldron cakes and had a thorough look at the shops, without the press of the crowds. It was lovely. We did this several evenings.

I hope you enjoy your trip! We are going down on Saturday! Yea!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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Perfect!! Thanks so much! Sounds like evening is a great time to go.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:17 AM   #12
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We stayed at HRH from Friday 11/9 through Wednesday 11/14 and went to the parks on Sat, Sun, Tue & Wed. Monday was our day off from the Universal parks. We had tickets to MVMCP. The days we went to IoA, the wait times were usually 30 minutes and sometimes up to 45 minutes. Below are some pictures of what the Harry Potter area looked like for early admission. We got in line for Olivander's wand show and including myself and my two sons, there were only 5 of us in the room.








By the way, my niece and nephew had Things 2 & 4 shirts (all purchased by their grandmother) but they didn't come with us for early entry. Some of the Universal workers asked where Thing 2 was.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureDis View Post
I went to HP 2 years ago, in Jan of 2011. At that time, there was a mad dash to HP when the gates opened. If you weren't there 30 minutes before the park opened, you were in for some very long wait times.

What I'm wondering, is how is it today? We'll be visiting the first weekend in Feb. What is now the best time to visit HP? Mad morning dash (is there still one?) or wait for quiet afternoon?? Does it matter anymore?

Thanks!
A LOT depends on whats happening on the date you go. Is your weekend a holiday weekend? If its a regular winter weekend, no 3 day weekend or holidays attached, then it shouldn't be crowded, no need for mad dashes. If its Pres day weekend, then yes, it will be busy and the evening would be better if you don't have early entry, imo. Take a look at how much express passes are on the days you are going to gauge the crowd level.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:15 PM   #14
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The first weekend of Feb. isn't a holiday weekend, so you should be fine going in the evening.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #15
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I go in early December and I think 30 minutes is the longest I have waited. After 4 as many said it really thins out.
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