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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 602: Universal Holidays & Velocicoaster photo report posted!

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I have a suspicion that most guests who are visiting the parks for all the rides will just refer to it as ‘the motorcycle coaster’ or something along those lines and even most potter fans will probably say something along the lines of ‘The Hagrid ride’ or something similar.

 

I see hardcore theme park enthusiasts insisting on using its full name more than even Harry Potter fans actually.

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I like how they build a roller coaster in the same time it took them to built new lockers for Harry Potter.   

On Sunday I ventured out to the Universal Orlando Resort for a chance to see the new holiday offerings at the two parks. This year is a little different thanks to COVID-19, but Universal has still man

^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to b

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A few Halloween Horror Nights questions:

 

(1) You cannot just buy admission to HHN right? It's a ticket to Universal Studios Florida (not IOA or Volano Bay) and then a separate fee?

(2) Assume Friday and Saturday are busiest days, how do Sundays tend to be? Is it recommended to get an Express Pass on a Sunday assuming I want to see ~5 attractions?

(3) Related to crowds, how well do they do with controlling the crowds in the scare experiences? I went to a similar Halloween attraction a few years back and it wasn't all that effective / enticing given they had so many people walking through at once. I obviously get the tradeoff that if fewer people go through the attractions at once, lines are longer.

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I just saw Fantastic Beasts 2: crimes of Jonny Depp and it was ok... which is probably how I feel about most Harry Potter films but this one was more meh than most but I kind of realized, it's interesting this brand new ride isn't themed to this part of the franchise at all. Harry Potter isn't going anywhere, anytime soon but I find it interesting that even though this is movie 2 of 5 even this new ride is focused on a finished part of the franchise.

 

I mean when was the last time a park ignored a currently ongoing series for an old one. The original Star Wars is huge but Galaxy's Edge is focused on the sequel trilogy, it makes me wonder how much faith there is in the Fantastic Beasts series.

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A few Halloween Horror Nights questions:

 

(1) You cannot just buy admission to HHN right? It's a ticket to Universal Studios Florida (not IOA or Volano Bay) and then a separate fee?

(2) Assume Friday and Saturday are busiest days, how do Sundays tend to be? Is it recommended to get an Express Pass on a Sunday assuming I want to see ~5 attractions?

(3) Related to crowds, how well do they do with controlling the crowds in the scare experiences? I went to a similar Halloween attraction a few years back and it wasn't all that effective / enticing given they had so many people walking through at once. I obviously get the tradeoff that if fewer people go through the attractions at once, lines are longer.

 

1) You can just get a ticket to HHN without a daytime ticket. The advantage to having a daytime ticket is you can stay in a "holding area" during the transition inside the park and get first dibs on some of the houses.

 

2) Honestly now a days any day is a busy day, but I'll let someone else speak to that. They have certain tickets that are good certain days and certain lengths of time for the locals and they flood the park any chance they have with their "season pass" of sorts. One ticket is good for unlimited visits the first few weeks, the other is good for unlimited visits certain days off the week. I haven't looked at this years options so this may have changed.

 

3) Unfortunately it's one big conga line, which really limits the scares. They don't let in small groups due to the sheer crowds and moving as many people as they can through at one time as possible.

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I have a suspicion that most guests who are visiting the parks for all the rides will just refer to it as ‘the motorcycle coaster’ or something along those lines and even most potter fans will probably say something along the lines of ‘The Hagrid ride’ or something similar.

I can corroborate this, most of the people I have overheard talking about those attractions casually have always referred to them as "Harry Potter World / Land" and "The Harry Potter Ride" and "The Gringotts Ride". Diagon Alley is the only attraction I consistently hear people refer to by name, for obvious reasons.

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A few Halloween Horror Nights questions:

 

(1) You cannot just buy admission to HHN right? It's a ticket to Universal Studios Florida (not IOA or Volano Bay) and then a separate fee?

(2) Assume Friday and Saturday are busiest days, how do Sundays tend to be? Is it recommended to get an Express Pass on a Sunday assuming I want to see ~5 attractions?

(3) Related to crowds, how well do they do with controlling the crowds in the scare experiences? I went to a similar Halloween attraction a few years back and it wasn't all that effective / enticing given they had so many people walking through at once. I obviously get the tradeoff that if fewer people go through the attractions at once, lines are longer.

 

1) You can just get a ticket to HHN without a daytime ticket. The advantage to having a daytime ticket is you can stay in a "holding area" during the transition inside the park and get first dibs on some of the houses.

 

2) Honestly now a days any day is a busy day, but I'll let someone else speak to that. They have certain tickets that are good certain days and certain lengths of time for the locals and they flood the park any chance they have with their "season pass" of sorts. One ticket is good for unlimited visits the first few weeks, the other is good for unlimited visits certain days off the week. I haven't looked at this years options so this may have changed.

 

3) Unfortunately it's one big conga line, which really limits the scares. They don't let in small groups due to the sheer crowds and moving as many people as they can through at one time as possible.

Thanks! Very helpful.

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A few Halloween Horror Nights questions:

 

(1) You cannot just buy admission to HHN right? It's a ticket to Universal Studios Florida (not IOA or Volano Bay) and then a separate fee?

(2) Assume Friday and Saturday are busiest days, how do Sundays tend to be? Is it recommended to get an Express Pass on a Sunday assuming I want to see ~5 attractions?

(3) Related to crowds, how well do they do with controlling the crowds in the scare experiences? I went to a similar Halloween attraction a few years back and it wasn't all that effective / enticing given they had so many people walking through at once. I obviously get the tradeoff that if fewer people go through the attractions at once, lines are longer.

 

1) You can just get a ticket to HHN without a daytime ticket. The advantage to having a daytime ticket is you can stay in a "holding area" during the transition inside the park and get first dibs on some of the houses.

 

2) Honestly now a days any day is a busy day, but I'll let someone else speak to that. They have certain tickets that are good certain days and certain lengths of time for the locals and they flood the park any chance they have with their "season pass" of sorts. One ticket is good for unlimited visits the first few weeks, the other is good for unlimited visits certain days off the week. I haven't looked at this years options so this may have changed.

 

3) Unfortunately it's one big conga line, which really limits the scares. They don't let in small groups due to the sheer crowds and moving as many people as they can through at one time as possible.

Thank you! Very helpful.

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A few Halloween Horror Nights questions:

 

(1) You cannot just buy admission to HHN right? It's a ticket to Universal Studios Florida (not IOA or Volano Bay) and then a separate fee?

 

As other have stated you can get just admission. If you're gonna be there for more than one day and depending on when you are coming, I would recommend one of the multi-visit pass. For instance, the rush of fear pass generally cost the price of one night and it is for every night the first few weeks.

 

(2) Assume Friday and Saturday are busiest days, how do Sundays tend to be? Is it recommended to get an Express Pass on a Sunday assuming I want to see ~5 attractions?

I haven't brought express in a while, however, I am always in the park and tend to get in at least 2 mazes before they even open the gate for those waiting outside of it. If you have the option of multiple visits, I wouldn't bother with express.

 

(3) Related to crowds, how well do they do with controlling the crowds in the scare experiences? I went to a similar Halloween attraction a few years back and it wasn't all that effective / enticing given they had so many people walking through at once. I obviously get the tradeoff that if fewer people go through the attractions at once, lines are longer.

They try to "pulse" you through but it never works because half way in the house you will meet up with a slow moving to stand still conga line.

 

I would say when the houses are announced, kinda pick out the top ones you wanna see for sure and hit them up first.

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^ Literally never works to the point that I don’t think they even try to send groups through. Every house I’ve been in at Universal has been a 100% unbroken line through the entire maze. Honestly makes it so that legit scares are basically nonexistent.

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In my experiences, if there really isn't a huge line (the beginning and end of the night) they do have breaks in flow and wait until the group has cleared the door and send more in. I have experience this at both hollywood and orlando.

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This is the only time I can think of where people aren't happy with a B&M being replaced by an Intamin. I'm curious to see how this turns out though. Hopefully its really well themed and the ride is a decent length.

This might have something to do with the fact that this is the only time a B&M has been replaced by an Intamin.

 

EDIT: Just checked RCDB. This is actually one of only 2-3 times a coaster has replaced a B&M period, the other two being Iron Wolf and maybe Chang (not sure where in KK Chang was, so IDK if a coaster has "replaced" it).

 

I dare you to take this challenge one day...

 

While at the park, walk up to 1,000 people and ask them if they know what "B&M" or "Intamin" means. I'm willing to bet you'll get ZERO people who have any idea what you are talking about. Probably most casual theme park fans wouldn't even know either. So outside of some die-hard roller coaster fandom....

 

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My thoughts on HHN is that if you are going for one single night and you don't have express, you just end up going from sizable line to sizable line (which is not great, and if you only see houses one time you will miss things due to the conga line scares) or you have to miss houses. This goes for basically any night past the first two weekends. I think the event is much more fun committing to a second night and doubling your time from 7 hours to 14 to see it.

 

I too cannot remember ever seeing pulsing guests happen at HHN, including owning a multiple night ticket for the last 5 years and actually working a house 1 year. Definitely have seen it Howl o Scream (and other local haunts), which I think is the better "I only have 1 night and I've never done a haunt before" event.

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The Universal Orlando Resort has sent us a press release announcing the upcoming projection experience "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle" at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade.

 

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Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort invite guests to experience an exciting new dimension of sorcery at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” with the introduction of the “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle,” a powerful, original and breathtaking projection experience.

 

The “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will illuminate Hogwarts castle and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” nightly from April 13 – 28 at Universal Studios Hollywood then return from May 25 – 27.

 

Universal Orlando Resort’s experience will debut later this year with dates to be announced at a later time.

 

This exciting all-new experience in “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will cast a mesmerizing display of light, music and special effects, unleashing the darkest creatures and villains, including the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort.

 

Illuminating a darker side of the Wizarding World, this spectacular new light projection experience will be a departure from previous “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” and “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.” “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will bring more intense tones and drama that reflect the Dark creatures and wizards that challenge goodness in the Wizarding World.

 

Guests will be asked to summon their inner strength and bravery in the face of the all-consuming Dark Arts as some of the awe-inspiring moments and creatures inspired by the films come to life within the majestic light display.

 

As darkness falls on Hogwarts castle, Dementors™, Death Eaters and other unspeakable creatures from Aragog and Mountain Trolls to Thestrals will cloak the castle with sinister images from the darker side of magic—even conjuring the visage of Lord Voldemort™ himself, until the Patronus spell—one of the most famous, difficult and powerful defense of the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world—is cast.

 

The “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will be accompanied by an exclusive musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment. It was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London, based on the original scores composed for the film series created by Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams.

 

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.

 

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen.

 

With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, the all-new 2019 Season Pass invites guests to experience the fun throughout the year for $149 when purchased online. Blackout dates and restrictions apply. Visit http://www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com for more details.

 

At Universal Orlando, guests can take advantage of an unprecedented offer featuring up to six months free on any Universal Orlando Annual Pass if purchased before April 4, 2019. Click here for more details about Annual and Seasonal Pass options.

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I just saw Fantastic Beasts 2: crimes of Jonny Depp and it was ok... which is probably how I feel about most Harry Potter films but this one was more meh than most but I kind of realized, it's interesting this brand new ride isn't themed to this part of the franchise at all. Harry Potter isn't going anywhere, anytime soon but I find it interesting that even though this is movie 2 of 5 even this new ride is focused on a finished part of the franchise.

 

I mean when was the last time a park ignored a currently ongoing series for an old one. The original Star Wars is huge but Galaxy's Edge is focused on the sequel trilogy, it makes me wonder how much faith there is in the Fantastic Beasts series.

 

Being a very big HP fan and knowing others as well, general consensus is: First FB was OK at best until the Depp reveal (audible groaning of dismay in theater) which killed much interest in any sequels. I think it's a tryhard attempt to catch the spark (and the cash flow) of the original series that was doomed to fail from the beginning, even Rowling herself can't seem to recapture it (Cursed Child read more like amateur fan-fiction than a canonical addition to the lore). So from having a vested interest in the IP I'm glad they're not pivoting to a Fantastic Beast focus. They've got some merch from it in the stores and that's good enough for me; additional beasts in the pet shop is a perfect fit for example.

 

What would have probably worked better is to make a movie about Fantastic Beasts be about.... pretty much just the beasts! But no, they got too greedy for that sweet sweet franchise cash. This could have translated to a HP park pretty well too, kind of like a magical version of Animal Kingdom, something along those lines. Ah well.

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Hey everyone,

 

So as some of you know, I'm visiting Universal Orlando (both parks) on Wednesday the 27th, and I need advice! I'll be staying the whole day from open to late in the evening (7:00-8:00 I'll be leaving), so keep that in mind when responding. Because this is part of a school trip, I can't add any more days, unfortunately.

 

1. What is the best order to hit up the rides and attractions? Must rides for me at IOA are Hulk, Spiderman, Jurassic Park, Kong and Forbidden Journey. Must rides for me at USF are the four coasters (I only have 1/4 credits), plus Transformers, maybe Jimmy Fallon, Men In Black, Simpsons, and maybe Fast and the Furious. This question is CRITICAL because I only have one day here, and I'd really like the best advice possible.

 

2. What are the best restaurants for lunch and dinner? (best snacks in the park would be a nice bonus too )

 

3. "Magic" seats or the best rows/seats on coasters? I love trying multiple seats for the best possible ride so I always ask those questions when trip planning.

 

Thanks!

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Hey everyone,

 

So as some of you know, I'm visiting Universal Orlando (both parks) on Wednesday the 27th, and I need advice! I'll be staying the whole day from open to late in the evening (7:00-8:00 I'll be leaving), so keep that in mind when responding. Because this is part of a school trip, I can't add any more days, unfortunately.

 

1. What is the best order to hit up the rides and attractions? Must rides for me at IOA are Hulk, Spiderman, Jurassic Park, Kong and Forbidden Journey. Must rides for me at USF are the four coasters (I only have 1/4 credits), plus Transformers, maybe Jimmy Fallon, Men In Black, Simpsons, and maybe Fast and the Furious. This question is CRITICAL because I only have one day here, and I'd really like the best advice possible.

 

2. What are the best restaurants for lunch and dinner? (best snacks in the park would be a nice bonus too )

 

3. "Magic" seats or the best rows/seats on coasters? I love trying multiple seats for the best possible ride so I always ask those questions when trip planning.

 

Thanks!

 

1. So the day you are going to is listed as a 9/10 on Undercover Tourist Crowd Calendar, and Early Park Admission is at Universal. That will force some long waits for a few of these attractions as it's not feasible to hit all the heavy lines in the early morning. The highest average waits at Universal Parks are for Kong/Gringott's, Hulk, Rockit/Despicable Me in that order.

 

What I would do if I was down for a ton of walking to start my day: Arrive well before open, go into to Universal Studios side asap and only ride Rip Ride Rockit. Leave and go to IOA, Hit Hulk through Single Rider, then straight to Kong through Single Rider. Then backtrack to Spiderman Single Rider, then Jurassic Park Single rider, then Forbidden Journey Single Rider. This should all take less than 2 hours even on a busy day. The rest of the day you have single rider available at Mummy, MIB, Transformers, and Gringott's, Jimmy Fallon and F&F you can book through UO App, the others just find a good time to ride or wait it out.

 

What I would do if I was down for less walking or didn't arrive until 9AM-Start just at IOA instead, literally just hit the park in a circle from the left, do the rides in order as long as you get to Kong before 10AM or it's posting over 30 minutes on UO app. You can usually power through the headliners of Islands in 2-3 hours even if it's real busy.

 

2. You should eat Lunch at Three Broomsticks or Leaky Cauldron, even though these can be busy (avoid noon-130). The theming is amazing, the food is not cheap, but it's quality. Simpson's Fast Food Alley has great variety. Florean Fontescue's has the best ice cream.

 

3. Single Rider Lines give you no choice on seats, you can request in regular queues however. But there are no magic seats on the UO Coasters really anyways. Rockit is usually much rougher in the back (but a couple pops of air), Hulk is more exciting in the Front seat or the Rear of train. Personally I find all UO's coasters to be Front Seat rides.

 

Have Fun!

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^ & ^^ Unfortunately I don't have that luxury this time around. I did get a pretty good plan from BlahBlahson though, I'll probably stick to that. So thanks!

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ADMIN EDIT: Please allow the TPR Moderators to post official announcements to the park discussion threads as they are announced. Parks send us their official press releases and posting another news source's article just to be "first" on our thread doesn't help us to share the news from the official source.

 

50mph?! That’s pretty substantial for what I assumed to be a family coaster!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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The Universal Orlando Resort has announced more details about Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, opening at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade on June 13th, 2019!

 

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On June 13, 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – the epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – will soar into Universal Orlando Resort and become the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet. Today, all-new details have been revealed about the magical new adventure that awaits.

 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will combine a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with rich environments and sets – including an actual forest with more than 1,200 live trees. It will also give guests the unique opportunity to join Hagrid – one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter films – on a journey to one of the most mysterious places in the wizarding world – the Forbidden Forest. With Hagrid as their guide, guests will fly deep into the Forbidden Forest and brave the mysteries and thrills beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle on a groundbreaking coaster experience unlike any other.

 

It all begins when guests (starting at 48” tall) join Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class and board magical motorbikes specially designed to make them feel the freedom of flight. Guests will either ride the motorcycle or board the adjacent sidecar as they embark on a journey that will bring them closer to some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. But as they make their way through the Forbidden Forest…things don’t go as planned. During the adventure, guests will:

 

  • Experience a freewheeling coaster flight where they’ll twist, turn and rush forward – and backward – at speeds up to 50 mph into the dark forest
  • Encounter some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures, such as a majestic Centaur, a swarm of mischievous Cornish Pixies, Fluffy, the three-headed dog – and even a creature that’s never been seen in the films
  • Hurl past challenging obstacles, become entangled in a thicket of Devil’s Snare and so much more …while encountering a few surprises along the way.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be an epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. The magic began with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The expansion of the global phenomenon continued with the launch of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida and the Hogwarts Express – allowing guests to travel between both lands. And when it opens on June 13, 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will join the lineup of award-winning entertainment experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and bring an all-new adventure inspired by J.K. Rowling’s beloved stories to life.

 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. More details about the new experience will be revealed in the months ahead. For more information and Universal Orlando ticket options, visit http://www.universalorlando.com.

 

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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:( I am sorry jedi.

 

Not a problem--just something to not do in the future! We have a process where the parks send us their press releases and when it comes to news that they send us, we try to curate our discussion threads so you know the content we post is coming from the most reliable source.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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