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Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Melbourne, Florida
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Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Hey all, it's no secret around here that I'm a huge fan of the Disney parks. BUT...we're going to the "dark side" this weekend and checking out Harry Potter...which means I have no idea what I'm doing! Any tips for touring? Or things not to miss? Any quick service location you'd suggest for lunch?

Thanks in advance!

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of...
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Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL
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1. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

I wouldn't think it would be too busy this weekend. You could probably start with everything else in IOA while everyone else is running to Harry Potter and making lines long there. Well, unless you have early admission. If you don't, I'd save it to after lunch when things have slowed a bit. It helps at IOA if you don't have any bags with you so you don't have to waste time with lockers. Unlike Disney you can't take your stuff on the rides. Have fun. The new ride is pretty wicked

Edited: 11 February 2011, 12:03
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of...
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Orlando, FL
Melbourne, Florida
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2. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Thanks for the quick reply. I was debating bringing a bag...I'll just bring my wristlet and make my fiance stuff it in his pocket during the rides :D

Norwich, United...
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3. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Just make sure if you are stuffing things in your pockets that they pockets do up. The rides are a bit more extreme that what disney can offer so you really dont want to lose anything mid ride. Also not fun for the people below.

I did not find it that time consuming using the lockers at Universal/IOA, only really takes less than a min to get you stuff in a locker if it is not that busy.

Things not to miss. The Hulk, Spiderman, Dr Dooms fear fall, I know a lot of people class rip saw falls as one of the best flumes around, Harry potter obviously. Make sure you do both coasters of dragons challenge they are different layouts and one is better than the other!

There is mixed advice on how to do HP, you could just go there strait away and try and beat the crowds, but also if you go into IOA and head left towards the Hulk (big green coaster you cant miss it) then with most people heading to HP it should make the rest of the park a lot quieter.

Also make use of single rider queues if it is busy. They are great for skipping the main lines, just you have to sit wherever the ride op tells you to go.

The best advice I have heard is make sure you approach HP from the Dr Suess area not the Jurassic park area. You get a far better view or something, it just looks better apparently.

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4. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Hi Kat! Nice to see you!

I went to the dark side, myself, back in December. As 1031 said, everyone made a beeline for Harry Potter first thing and lines were LONG. When we came back in the afternoon, there were far fewer people.

Ollivanders will be busy any time of the day. If you can move very quickly, you may want to head there first thing, but if not, just be prepared to wait later on. (We got there at opening, but were a bit slower than the rest of the crowd - went straight to Ollivanders and waited 30 minutes.)

Most of the shops are disappointingly fronts only, but the few shops they have are TINY. And very crowded. Just be prepared.

If you plan on buying souvenirs, bring lots of money; HP merchandise is crazy expensive.

Do not miss a lot of the small details - like the wanted poster of Sirius Black and the moving Marauders map (I think that was in Filch's Emporium) And the ugliest doll I have ever seen - Voldemort in all his hideous glory. Uggghhhh.

Try the butterbeer. I heard lots of complaints that it was too sweet, but I thought it fabulous. I would have had several during the day, were the cost not so prohibitive. They have two versions - cold and frozen. It was in the 40's when I was there, so I didn't try the frozen!

As for quick servoce places to eat - can't really recommend one. We ate at a place Fred chose in Seussville - they had burgers and chicken plates. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as Disney's equivalent.

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Since the weather won't be extremely warm this weekend, be aware that you get a little wet on the Jurassic Park River Adventure - more so towards the front of the boat. On Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges, you will get very wet! There is a walk-in dryer not far from the rides for $5.

Yorkshire
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6. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

I agree with 1031Orlando, if it's not busy you should go to US or IOA first thing in the morning and when everyone is having lunch, you should sneak to HP and have a great time! The "dark side" is really good!! I wouldn't miss Rip Ride RockIt, even if your not a coaster fan it is an amazing ride.

Hope this helps

xxx

Connecticut
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7. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

Can't wait to hear about the darkside.

More importantly what the two of you ate.

I wish we had more time on our next trip to visit Universal, still debating it. Hard to resist with the transport/tickets offered on Dis. I do have a HP fanatic in my house too.

8. Re: Universal - IOA/Harry Potter

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