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Old 05-30-2010, 08:22 PM   #2821
Momw/aplan
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Originally Posted by Graciesmom77 View Post
It blows my mind that people are saying they can't understand why people are upset with Universal for only letting them in for 2 hours a day! Are you kidding? I keep reading that we should expect it for soft openings. These packages were NOT sold as soft opening, previews or anything else, other than a Harry Potter package, they same sold from May 28th and on. Trust me, my package starts before the Grand Opening and goes through it, so I can be there on both sides, but I paid the same for the days that I can get it for 2 hours, versus the day I can get in for the full day. How is that ok?

Universal at NO point said that they would allow limited access, until recently. Nothing on my emails said anything being different between my tickets for the 17th to the 18th.

If I went on and on about an amazing full service dinner with all the trimmings and great delicious food on Sunday and Monday for 50 bucks, and the people who get there Sunday get an appitezer and told to leave and the people on Monday get a 7 course meal, trust me, the people who came Sunday would be mad. As they well should be.
Thank you. That's it exactly. I'm paying the same amount for my package that others are paying for their post GO packages, and yet my time will be severely limited while theirs will not.

As I said in a previous post, it's as if two people buy a car, paying the exact same amount, believing the cars are exactly the same, and yet one of them finds out later that their car will only run for a few hours a day whereas the other car is completely normal. It's a rip off. I would have bought the normal car if given the choice.

This is very likely our one and only chance to go to WWoHP for a very long time to come, if ever again--certainly not while my kids are still young and can fully absorb the magic of it all. A limited preview is not at all what I was led to believe I was purchasing at any point along the way.

I'm trying very hard to not let my feelings about interfere with my family's vacation. We will go and have a better time than we would if we weren't there at all. But with that said, I am not pleased with Universal in the least. They have been dishonest, misleading, and at the very least severely disorganized. Not a great first impression.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:24 PM   #2822
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I have an off topic question here, but when I go in September, the park opens at 9am. My question is, do they open the front gate at 9am or do they open earlier and let you into Port of Entry? If so, what time do they let you in and where is the rest of the park roped off?

Again, just working on logistics....I'm a planner and leave nothing to chance.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #2823
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I'm thinking that in order to be ready for the big crowds coming on June 18th, Universal will have to start letting more people in (general public) and keep the area open for most of the day. They need more "practice" than the two hours currently offered so that things will run more smoothly...especially the FJ ride. They should allow the onsite guests run of the place between 8-10 and then let the general public in afterward. It could be a disaster on June 18th if Universal doesn't "test the waters" in advance!
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #2824
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Originally Posted by Momw/aplan View Post
Thank you. That's it exactly. I'm paying the same amount for my package that others are paying for their post GO packages, and yet my time will be severely limited while theirs will not.

As I said in a previous post, it's as if two people buy a car, paying the exact same amount, believing the cars are exactly the same, and yet one of them finds out later that their car will only run for a few hours a day whereas the other car is completely normal. It's a rip off. I would have bought the normal car if given the choice.

This is very likely our one and only chance to go to WWoHP for a very long time to come, if ever again--certainly not while my kids are still young and can fully absorb the magic of it all. A limited preview is not at all what I was led to believe I was purchasing at any point along the way.

I'm trying very hard to not let my feelings about interfere with my family's vacation. We will go and have a better time than we would if we weren't there at all. But with that said, I am not pleased with Universal in the least. They have been dishonest, misleading, and at the very least severely disorganized. Not a great first impression.
I don't blame you at all. When i scheduled Hp back in FEBRUARY (assuming a normal spring opening) i made a reservation for June 11th - June 13th and a backup of June 18 - 21st. i was deciding if i wanted hp before disney or after. After 6/18 was announced I canceled the earlier b/c I wanted to be sure of full access but now i am wondering if it will all be up and running normally on 6/18.Sounds like serious kinks iwth FJ. Just a PR nightmare for US....
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:33 PM   #2825
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Originally Posted by derekburgan View Post
I've been trying to take in as much of this weekend as possible through various Twitter/Facebook/Message boards. It's really an amazing time we live in where we can pretty much get "real time" reporting and pictures of everything within minutes.

What stands out to me the most though is the huge difference of opinion between Pete's updates and everything else I've been reading. Everyone has the right to their opinion, and I can't WAIT to listen to the Universal podcast tomorrow, but to-a-person everything I've read/watched about this past weekend has been extrememly positive. Other boards have people desperately trying to book a hotel room hoping to get a chance to experience the few hours they are letting people in. I understand all of Pete's frustrations (at least the one's he has made public so far), but SO many other people are just raving about the WWOHP and outside of Pete the only negative remarks I have seen are from people who haven't gone.

Everyone should look at both the pros and cons on WWOHP before spending the money to go, but it's interesting to see the reactions of The Dis compared to Inside the Magic, Attractions Magazine or even Harry Potter sites like Pottercast. We're talking 180 degrees apart.
We actually met Pete in line this morning (along with Walter and an intern lugging around a big camera for the podcast). We also talked with them after we rode FJ. He's rightfully frustrated with the customer service end of things (or lack thereof). *Universal has bungled the soft opening quite a bit. *I was disappointed and frustrated in how they handled things as just an onsite guest. *I can't imagine how angry or frustrated I'd be had I paid for the HP package. * I will say we had a couple very interesting talks with them. *I hope we run into them tomorrow as well.

As for FJ, after yesterdays fiasco of getting 3/4 through the queue and then getting stopped for 20 minutes or so before they shut it all down and had everyone leave, Universal almost outdid themselves today. This morning it was worse than yesterday with the rude people running, shoving, throwing elbows, etc as hundreds made a mad dash for the FJ queue, only to be stopped at the castle gates because the ride wasn't operational. After 20-25 minutes they finally allowed entry into the castle only to get 2/3 through the queue where we then waited 30 minutes without moving (and no announcements as to why we were stopped). *A Team Member finally came around after 30 minutes or so stating FJ was not yet operational this morning, that "not even the engineers had been able to test ride it today, and they didn't know when or if it would be operational today." *their words not mine! *Amazingly, after another15 minutes later or so, an overhead announcement came on stating that FJ was operational, resulting in huge cheers in the queue. * FINALLY, 10 or so minutes later we actually boarded FJ and rode without incident! *I have know idea how long it ran today as we weren't impressed enough to consider waiting in the now 90 minute line to ride it again. *

Honestly, all 4 of us were a bit underwhelmed, and we're all big HP fans. Maybe it's that all the frustration ruined it for us, but none of us came off with that "WOW we HAVE to ride it again" feeling. *Further, I thought graphically it was pretty weak, particularly in today's HD world. I found the graphics to be muted and hazy.

I'll hold off on any specifics of the ride itself for the spoiler thread and once I get home and have acwss to an actual keyboard (typing this on my iPhone), but mark us down as one family that were slightly underwelmed.
***
We'll give FJ another shot tomorrow, and see if our opinions change on FJ. Maybe without the frustrations and the worry we wont be able ti ride before our trip ends, we'll actually enjoy it a bit more.*

I do have a couple further comments on the overall WWOHP experience. *IMO Universal made the ride seats way to small. Tall people, or those with large bellies and or big shoulders won't be able to ride FJ as they simply will not fit in the seats and have the safety bar close. I bearly fit at 5' 8" and 240lbs.

We also didn't see any merchandise for plus sized guests. Not a single XXL to be found anywhere in WWOHP, and the XL's tend to be in the small size, particularly in the womens clothing. * * * * **

Overall, we've found the WWOHP *theming to be great. Loved the Butterbeer and Hogs Head Ale. *And while the shops are small, they're not too bad after the crowds thin out. That said, we werent wowed by any of the merchandise. *Aside from an Ollivander's wand for our son, and the souvenier Butterbeer and Higs Head Ale cups, we didnt find anything that we had to have. *

I also think plus sized guests are going to feel a bit disappointed in being shut out io FJ as well as the shop merchandise.

Finally, I think Universal really screwed the package holders (and to a lessor degree onsite guests) with the limited morning only access. *It'd have been much more enjoyable to experience at our lesiure throughout the day. *They have olenty of security guardin the entrance that could easily check guests credentials to enter or not. *Heck they already had a sign out stating it was a private event, it really wouldn't be that hard for them to manage keeping it open all day for the palate holders, onsite guest, and maybe annual passholders. I think they'd be better off going the all day route, even if it meant no Dragon Challange so that the regular park guests could ride it as Dueling Dragons. There was no demand for the coasters anyhow (we were able to walk on front row seating for both coasters with zero wait yesterday, and less than 5 minutes today). *I also didn't like that nobody could try 3 Broomsticks for lunch as they shut the place down as soon as the package holders finished breakfest.***
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:34 PM   #2826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momw/aplan View Post
Thank you. That's it exactly. I'm paying the same amount for my package that others are paying for their post GO packages, and yet my time will be severely limited while theirs will not.

As I said in a previous post, it's as if two people buy a car, paying the exact same amount, believing the cars are exactly the same, and yet one of them finds out later that their car will only run for a few hours a day whereas the other car is completely normal. It's a rip off. I would have bought the normal car if given the choice.

This is very likely our one and only chance to go to WWoHP for a very long time to come, if ever again--certainly not while my kids are still young and can fully absorb the magic of it all. A limited preview is not at all what I was led to believe I was purchasing at any point along the way.

I'm trying very hard to not let my feelings about interfere with my family's vacation. We will go and have a better time than we would if we weren't there at all. But with that said, I am not pleased with Universal in the least. They have been dishonest, misleading, and at the very least severely disorganized. Not a great first impression.
I wonder how it is going to be for the people who bought their packages for after the opening date. They will get the area to themselves with onsite guests for the first hour and then the entire park will be let in for the rest of the day. I'm wondering which is the better scenario: to just share the Wizarding World for 4 hours with onsite guests or to share the WW for 1 hour with onsite guests and then the rest of the general population for the rest of the day. I'm really not sure which I would prefer. I see pros and cons for both.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:53 PM   #2827
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Originally Posted by petals View Post
Not been to CA yet. The Florida castle and Paris castles ain't that small but isn't CA Sleeping beauty and others Cinderella as well maybe that's why? I dunno I'm only guessing there..

Slightly off topic but anyways

Also bumping if anyone finds out if that grey jumper Emma Watson had on at the end of the HP Cast in IOA vid is sold in park can yee let moi know and how much as well ta a million
Yes, the grey sweater she was wearing is in Filch's. I think it was $50 or $60.

BTW, it's a Gryffindor sweater with the Gryffindor shield patch on the left.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:12 PM   #2828
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well it doesnt to be honest. There is still the issue of thinking they are getting one thing and actually getting another. As has already been stipulated a preview isnt a shortened view of something. It is an earlier view (ie pre-view = before view) of the full thing, much like in a movie you dont see the first 20 mins and thats it. Those people may not have paid more however they may have been enticed to somewhere they may not have been going had they not thought they were getting a full view.
When you see a preview of a movie you don't see the whole
Thing, just the trailer. I got in today on a room only at Portofino. I was dragging three little ones and I did more in three hours than the general public
Will in a day after GO. The ride was fantastic, the butter beer was delicious and the wand selection was fun. I was in the middle of the pack and everyone seemed well behaved in my area. Universal seemed in control.

I thought I was a little disappointed until I rode FJ. Potter fans will love the ride and the castle. My little ones rode FH over and over with no line and we could have ridden DC repeatedly. I could not be happier. We watched Olivander's and looked in all the shops. It was not a rush and by the time we left there were very few people in the area. The village is smaller than I expected and will quickly become too crowded for comfort after GO.

Back again tomorrow for more butter beer.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:13 PM   #2829
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:14 PM   #2830
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Preds, the intern's name is Max
Thanks! I felt bad that I forgot his name!
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:17 PM   #2831
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Originally Posted by scottmel View Post
I don't blame you at all. When i scheduled Hp back in FEBRUARY (assuming a normal spring opening) i made a reservation for June 11th - June 13th and a backup of June 18 - 21st. i was deciding if i wanted hp before disney or after. After 6/18 was announced I canceled the earlier b/c I wanted to be sure of full access but now i am wondering if it will all be up and running normally on 6/18.Sounds like serious kinks iwth FJ. Just a PR nightmare for US....
I completely understand why people are upset, but none of this was deliberate on Universal's part. It seems they had every intention of having everything grand opened by now, but for whatever reason that opening was delayed by a month (whether it was a specific effect on FJ, general ride operations, who knows!). The stars being in town last weekend suggests that was the originally planned grand open date -- delays happen, and while that's not the fault of paying customers, it's not unexpected and definitely not unprecedented at any theme park around the world.

From everything I've heard, it sounds like the preview window is plenty of time to do everything, and with a much smaller crowd than there will be after grand opening - I'd much rather have one of the packages now than one of the packages in a month and have to fight summer crowds after my one hour early entry (which would have been spent rushing to FJ, waiting in line, and then emerging to crowd chaos in the rest of WWoHP!).
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:26 PM   #2832
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For clarification All I am trying to say is that after the early entry hour package holders will get after GO, the place will be ridiculously crowded. I was there for over three hours and I rode all of the rides. I think I am better off and I am pleased with the whole experience.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:29 PM   #2833
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Originally Posted by Preds View Post
Yes, the grey sweater she was wearing is in Filch's. I think it was $50 or $60.

BTW, it's a Gryffindor sweater with the Gryffindor shield patch on the left.
Here's a picture of it in Filch's courtesy of Felipe from Orlando United (edited with a better pic!!):
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:36 PM   #2834
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Can anyone help with my question above?

I'm also curious what will happen if I get chosen for the wand experience and the guy asks me what my name is.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:37 PM   #2835
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Here's a picture of it in Filch's courtesy of Felipe from Orlando United (edited with a better pic!!):
Ok, so maybe the shield was in the center. Whoops!
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