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Old 12-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #1
Kittylover513
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Harry potter-one day only

Hello, we will be coming off a DCL cruise on a Saturday (early AM) in February and will have Saturday only and I was think ing we'd like to go to Harry Potter attractions. Having never been to universal I'm not really clear on the configuration, is it the equivalent of a whole park (ie a parallel to a particular disney park?) or the equivalent to a land? Is it at all feasible to just spend a day (we could stay onsite and then we have to get a flight on the Sunday)

Also is it fun for a kid who doesn't really like scary/fast rides, ie other things to visit/see in the HP part ? I'm sorry to sound so clueless but I honestly have no idea what there is there, and maybe instead would be better to go to Epcot or something for the day

Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:26 PM   #2
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www.universalorlando.com will help you decide


you can find out what is in the parks and get descriptions of the rides and shows on the site.

depending on your day in february, you might find crowds on saturdays.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #3
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Universal is more similar to Disneyland then DisneyWorld in that both parks are right next to each other, separated either by the equivalent of Downtown Disney (CityWalk) or a train ride (the Hogwarts Express.) It consists of two parks Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios is the original park and Islands of Adventure is the newer park. A larger percentage of all the rides at both parks are higher thrills then those at Disney. There are some kiddy rides and play areas for the younger ones also, so if you have one that doesn't like thrill rides there are things for them to do.

Yes there are things to do besides the faster rides in the HP area. You can look through the shops, in the Hogsmeade section one of the three coasters is a pretty tame coaster. Of the two main attractions in HP area I would say the Gringotts ride is the tamer of the two. The Hogwarts Express is a very tame ride, just a train ride with some effects, but you do need a 2 park pass to ride it (the Disney equivalent of a Park Hopper.)

For our last two vacations we have done both parks in the same day both times, since we don't want to pay for two days worth of taxis. Mainly due to the fact that both me and my wife had been there before without the kids so we knew what we could skip and what we had to see (specifically the HP sections.) You can see all the high points on a non-busy day, especially if you plan on being there as soon as the park opens. You do have to check ride times and plan what YOUR important things are and where your give and take is.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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Thank for the advice. Overall which park is more worth going to, islands of adventure or the main one, if we just did a single park pass? We have a 10 and 6 yo. The 10 yo does not like wild rides, but is newly interested in HP. The 6 yo has not read HP but is more adventurous in terms of rides

Also I don't think we'd get there by park opening (unless it happens to open like at 10 that time of year (Feb weekend) be aside we'll be getting off the ship at port canaveral and will have to then go rent a car....is there somewhere to look up average crowdedness at different times of year? (This will be late feb, a Saturday)
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:34 PM   #5
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If you only do one park you will be unable to ride the Hogwarts Express, you MUST have a two park ticket to ride it. Although personally I wouldn't pay the difference in park tickets JUST to ride that ride, but for a big HP fan going from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade and doing the things there could be worth it.

If I had to choose and having kids that aren't big thrill ride people I would choose to just do the main US park. It has enough lower thrill rides to keep a family interested for an entire day and of the two BIG HP rides Gringotts is the tamer ride and Diagon Alley is larger then Hogsmeade is.

The following has a crowd calendar that includes both parks as Univeral. Of course it is just based on anticipated crowds, things could always change at last minute.

https://www.undercovertourist.com/or...rowd-calendar/

It looks like most days in February both parks open for non-resort guests at 9:00. We went there in November and got there at 9:30 and left about 6:00 it was a pretty full day for us, but we did lots of things at both parks, except for HP areas most of the park was just walk-on directly to the rides.
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Last edited by marauder; 12-05-2014 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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Thank you! I was also thinking US may be the better pick though maybe it's worth it to get the PTP ticket...not that much more
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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I would definitely get he Park-to-Park tickets so you can see both Harry Potter parks. Diagon Alley (at Universal) is bigger and better than Hogsmeade (at Islands of Adventure), but I definitely think it's worth it to do both if you are just going to be doing Harry Potter stuff. And make sure you ride the Hogwarts Express both ways, because the ride is different each way!
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #8
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I would hate to skip Forbidden Journey in IOA personally. Plus the Hogwarts castle is so cool and your child might get a kick out of bowing to Buckbeak like I do.

Do they like Dinosaurs? Dr Seuss? IOA has a lot to offer kids too IMO. But I do agree that overall the original park is more family friendly.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:49 PM   #9
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For a Harry Potter fan, one nice thing to do is buy an interactive wand. There are a few window displays you can play with using it.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:39 PM   #10
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This Inside the Magic video shows the wands in action.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:30 PM   #11
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Are there new types of wands? My son has one from years ago but I don't remenber him saying anything about it being interactive
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:48 PM   #12
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The wands themselves don't do anything, you point and wave them at various windows and other things throughout the HP section and something happens.

You are actually pointing at some type of camera/detector. Whether there is some type of RFID chip or something in them that would distinguish between a current wand and an older wand, I don't know.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:00 AM   #13
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My wife and I have just started researching this.

We are DVC members we but are finally considering going off property for a little while during our March 2015 trip so our boys can see "Harry Potter land".

Park to Park tickets are a must; you can't miss the Hogwarts Express. We will probably go with 2-day park to park tickets.

I don't know when they changed the wands exactly, but the new wands have a different tip. The new tip reflects light at wand spots to create the interactivity.

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Old 12-14-2014, 06:28 PM   #14
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We're only two adults but IMHO, you'll spend 2 hours max in either HP area. Not counting rides or wait times. Diagon Alley is mostly browsing, walking around and taking it in. We waited about 15 mins for Gringotts in the morning and the ride itself is relatively short. I'd say we DA took us about 90 minutes total, and we spent the rest of the day exploring the rest of Universal Studios. We did go back for lunch at Leaky Cauldron.

We spent even less time exploring Hogsmeade, but Hogsmeade does have two more rides than DA does. Took us less than an hour, not counting the rides. You also will need park to park tickets to ride Hogwarts Express.

I agree that if you buy interactive wands, you could spend a bit more time there. But if you'll truly have a whole day to spend, I would plan on exploring the rest of the park too. US took us longer than IoA did, if you're not looking to do both. We also liked DA better than Hogsmeade, even though there's less rides.
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