No Early Entry at IoA? Strategy for Harrid’s / Veloci?

vinotinto

Just Keep Swimming
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Is this right? There’s no early entry in September or October at IoA? Website says “not available.”

If this is the case, what is your strategy for riding Velocicoaster and Harrid’s?

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lisam70

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
I have an upcoming trip 9/25-30 and I've been watching wait times for the past two weeks and they really don't seem that bad. Hagrids seems like it often gets to 60 min in the morning but then drops to 30-45. The longest wait for Velocicoaster has been around 45 min mostly staying around 20-30.
Maybe someone there now can confirm ??
 

vinotinto

Just Keep Swimming
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
I have an upcoming trip 9/25-30 and I've been watching wait times for the past two weeks and they really don't seem that bad. Hagrids seems like it often gets to 60 min in the morning but then drops to 30-45. The longest wait for Velocicoaster has been around 45 min mostly staying around 20-30.
Maybe someone there now can confirm ??
Mid-August through late September (excluding Labor Day) is one of the lowest attendance times of the year. It's a whole different ballgame in October with Fall Breaks. My trip is over Columbus Day weekend, which is traditionally a madhouse. I would love for 20-30 minutes for headliners, but I need a strategy if that's not the case! It sounds like mornings are busier than later in the day? I guess I'm surprised there's no early entry at all.
 

Mr. Drauer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Weekend days - get there an hour early to line up and do your best fast walk to get to Hagrid's for the first ride. Walk over to VC after. Both will be done inside of 30 minutes. Weekdays - probably 30 - 45 minutes is plenty to line up. If it going to be a really busy day (holiday times) Hagrid will probaly go to VQ. It did over Labor Day weekend but not since.
 

FlipHipster

Blackbelt in Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
I have an upcoming trip 9/25-30 and I've been watching wait times for the past two weeks and they really don't seem that bad. Hagrids seems like it often gets to 60 min in the morning but then drops to 30-45. The longest wait for Velocicoaster has been around 45 min mostly staying around 20-30.
Maybe someone there now can confirm ??
Been here since Friday this is pretty accurate for the week days. Last weekend was pretty insane though. Hagrids hit 75mins for awhile and Gringots was 85 Sunday afternoon. I think VC was around 60.

Studios has been opening an hour earlier than IOA (EE 2 hrs earlier). You could go to Studios, head to HE right before IOA opens, hop the train to Hogsmead and be right at Hagrids, but we just sleep in, wait for the morning rush to die down and it's been 30 mins posted for most of the day usually around 20 actual. When studios closes for HHN, tons of people hop the train to Hogsmead and wait times surge to around 60mins. Seems to start about an hour before Studios closes.

As far as VC it has been posted 25 mins or less most of the day, sometimes hitting 45-60 for short periods. We have ridden it many times with posted 25mins and never waited more than 15.

Edit: just read the other thread sounds like HE to IOA at park open isn't the best strat. Haven't actually tried it.
 
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FlipHipster

Blackbelt in Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Mid-August through late September (excluding Labor Day) is one of the lowest attendance times of the year. It's a whole different ballgame in October with Fall Breaks. My trip is over Columbus Day weekend, which is traditionally a madhouse. I would love for 20-30 minutes for headliners, but I need a strategy if that's not the case! It sounds like mornings are busier than later in the day? I guess I'm surprised there's no early entry at all.
EE has been for Studios because that park closes at 5 for HHN.
 
  • ClapYourHands

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    Mid-August through late September (excluding Labor Day) is one of the lowest attendance times of the year. It's a whole different ballgame in October with Fall Breaks. My trip is over Columbus Day weekend, which is traditionally a madhouse. I would love for 20-30 minutes for headliners, but I need a strategy if that's not the case! It sounds like mornings are busier than later in the day? I guess I'm surprised there's no early entry at all.
    Columbus Day weekend will probably be a madhouse. And precisely BECAUSE it will be a madhouse, I predict Hagrid's will be running VQ after the initial standby at rope drop. I know the "old" VQ that was done through the app often meant waits of around an hour once you returned and got into line, but the "new" VQ that started this summer through the QR code has been reported to have shorter waits once you return. If that's the case, you'll probably want to focus on hitting Velicoaster at rope drop and getting on Hagrid's through the VQ. If for some reason the VQ is not running, prioritize Hagrid's for rope drop, as the waits for that get longer, faster, and do Velocicoaster after that. I've not tried single rider myself, but from what I can tell, Velocicoaster's single rider line moves very slowly, and often the wait is equivalent or sometimes longer than regular standby. At Hagrid's the single rider line might get you through a bit faster.
     

    ShadeDK

    Permanently Staying in Room 237
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2017
    Another thing to watch (and in favor of prioritizing Hagrid's) is that Velocicoaster often has a delay first thing when the park opens (like this morning, for example - where it's still showing "delayed" fifteen minutes after park opening) - usually as they're getting the trains running and doing their safety check. As others have said, the wait for Velocicoaster also seems to build more slowly through the morning.

    Fully agree that the Single Rider line for VC is not always the best option. If the Standby wait is below 30 minutes, you're probably better off in Standby than in Single Rider, as the latter line can move very slowly if it's backed up towards the stairs on the upper level (or, worse, in the lower queue before the lockers/metal detectors).
     

    zdad59

    They call me "ThePrince of Planning"
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2014
    We are here right now. This is day 3. If you are here mid week, lines are not an issues at all right now. Yesterday we rode Velocicoaster with a 10 min line and Hagrids with a 20 minute line. Today being the beginning of the weekend the waits are longer. V-coaster and Hagrids can be an hour wait today. Midweek is the key.
     
  • wdwrule

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2013
    Looks like Hagrids has been using virtual queue today.
    Yes, daughter and I were there this past Saturday and were able to get back to back virtual queue passes/times. This past Saturday was a mad house. Then Sunday all was calm and lines were much shorter. No VQ for Hagrid’s yesterday as standby was pretty steady around 45 minutes.

    OP, I’d suggest rope dropping Velocicoaster then (hopefully) grabbing VQ for Hagrid’s as I would imagine they’ll offer it on a holiday weekend. Just my opinion though.
     

    AaronRif

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2016
    Yes, daughter and I were there this past Saturday and were able to get back to back virtual queue passes/times. This past Saturday was a mad house. Then Sunday all was calm and lines were much shorter. No VQ for Hagrid’s yesterday as standby was pretty steady around 45 minutes.

    OP, I’d suggest rope dropping Velocicoaster then (hopefully) grabbing VQ for Hagrid’s as I would imagine they’ll offer it on a holiday weekend. Just my opinion though.
    I was also there this past weekend when it was using a virtual queue. If they aren’t offering it, I’d rope drop Hagrid’s first and then do Velocicoaster since Hagrid will build a longer line faster. For Saturday, Hagrid’s started doing VQ sometime during the day rather than first thing in the morning since I was able to ride it via standby Saturday morning.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    In the past, it seems like Hagrid's VL fell into 3 categories:
    • Non-"Busy" days - no VL
    • "Busy" days - No VL at open, VL starts when ride team decides (may be based on some magic wait time threshold)
    • Busiest days - VL at open. Again, determined by the ride team
    My recommendation would be to start checking the vltest.universalorlando.com site prior to rope drop and while you walk back in the direction of Hagrids/JWV. If that site shows VL is unavailable, head to Hagrid's first.

    If VL is available, grab a time and go to JWV.
     

    snowwhite84

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2006
    I’m having trouble wrapping my head around how to VL works. You can only access it through the link, not the app, is that correct? Is the app good for anything regarding the VL? And if you get a VL reservation, where is your bar code to svcan at the entry? Is it emailed to you?
     

    tony67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2003
    Columbus Day weekend will probably be a madhouse. And precisely BECAUSE it will be a madhouse, I predict Hagrid's will be running VQ after the initial standby at rope drop. I know the "old" VQ that was done through the app often meant waits of around an hour once you returned and got into line, but the "new" VQ that started this summer through the QR code has been reported to have shorter waits once you return. If that's the case, you'll probably want to focus on hitting Velicoaster at rope drop and getting on Hagrid's through the VQ. If for some reason the VQ is not running, prioritize Hagrid's for rope drop, as the waits for that get longer, faster, and do Velocicoaster after that. I've not tried single rider myself, but from what I can tell, Velocicoaster's single rider line moves very slowly, and often the wait is equivalent or sometimes longer than regular standby. At Hagrid's the single rider line might get you through a bit faster.
    FYI - Also that entire week is usually quite busy - If I am not mistaken it is Jersey week so a lot of folks from Jersey are there for the entire week - I stopped going that week several years ago because its way busier than the weeks around it. So Just be prepared - one good think is because of VC the early crowd is split between the two so if you get there early and wait for open you should be able to get on Hagrid's pretty quickly - for me it was almost a walk on on a Friday as I was close to the entrance at open (maybe 10 back) and by the time I got off it was an hour wait - it does seem to not go much higher (VQ might be a factor) than that most of the time now that there are two big attractions.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    I’m having trouble wrapping my head around how to VL works. You can only access it through the link, not the app, is that correct? Is the app good for anything regarding the VL? And if you get a VL reservation, where is your bar code to svcan at the entry? Is it emailed to you?
    You have to use the link. Nothing in the app for VL. The app link is a ‘test’. I’d assume that, at some point, they will add it to the app but for now, they are separate.

    That link will do everything. You will set your number of riders and it will tell you your feature time.

    Keep checking the link - your VL time will likely keep changing as ride availability changes. You can also try to change the time yourself.

    Finally, when your ride window opens, that link will have your QR code.

    Edited to change one reference from app to link.
     
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