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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Please, can anyone tell me the height of the drop(s) on the new Gringotts ride as my 11 year old nephew will not go on it if he doesn't know how high the drops are, and are the drops straight down or on a slope? We are going next week, please help us, thank you . . .

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Please, can anyone tell me the height of the drop(s) on the new Gringotts ride as my 11 year old nephew will not go on it if he doesn't know how high the drops are, and are the drops straight down or on a slope? We are going next week, please help us, thank you . . .

I really don't think there are any "drops", I haven't been on it but I think there is a tilt track at the beginning and nothing else really that tall. Someone whose ridden could be more specific and confirm this though.

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^^There is a slight drop at the beginning of the ride that is probably 15-25 feet, but not overly intense. The drop is at and angle and falls in a traditional coaster fashion after a non-traditional track tilting section does its thing. The drop is more like what you'd find on Space Mountain or even Revenge of the Mummy and nothing like a vertical drop segment like on Verbolten or Thirteen. There is a simulated drop later in the ride that looks like you are falling a great distance but in reality you have barely changed elevation much if at all.

 

Exact stats on the ride have yet to be release and won't likely be anytime soon.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Please, can anyone tell me the height of the drop(s) on the new Gringotts ride as my 11 year old nephew will not go on it if he doesn't know how high the drops are, and are the drops straight down or on a slope? We are going next week, please help us, thank you . . .

There is only one coaster drop. It felt about the size of Pirates of the Caribbean.

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A few thoughts about Diagon Alley.

 

1. Diagon, and ESPECIALLY Gringott's is the priority for nearly every single human visiting Universal this week. I've been opening day and twice since, and I've learned that the AREA is hitting capacity before park opening every day, which is nuts, and the only plus time to ride Gringott's is as early as possible. For anyone who CAN come during a lesser season (Early September??), probably a great idea.

 

2. Getting into the area after 9:30 or so is pretty easy and usually quick even with return tickets, but Gringott's regular queue isn't going under 4 hours and is running at maybe 50 percent of its capability (I've heard 4 or even 5 trains out of seven, but just one station and FREQUENT breakdowns). Everything that is new-Harry Potter that is also not Gringott's has minimal wait times at worst.

 

3. Everything at Studios other than Despicable has atypically light morning crowds. Only Rockit/Despicable/Transformers are getting even hour wait times in the afternoon. IOA is pretty light other than the water rides, I saw Forbidden Journey at 30 minutes at 2PM on Friday.

 

4. As for the land itself...The most immersive themed environment in Orlando. It honestly feels like you walked into a foreign country. Rediculous amounts of artwork/detailing/animatronics/interactive elements/new food options. The shops are incredible fun, and are clearly upgraded all around from Hogsmeade. Not comparable to New Fantasyland, IMO it's just excessively better in representation of the property. Little details and fan service just oozing from every corner.

 

5. As for the ride itself...MUCH clearer storyline than Forbidden Journey, and definitely has some new and interesting technical elements. Is it the clear world's best attraction I had hopes for? No, not really. It rides a LOT like transformers in the end, but again the theming is new-precedent-immersive which really propels the experience. It's certainly an A attraction, top 5 percent in Orlando.

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Thank you all so very much! My family and I went to IOA in 2012 and were blown away! The theming is uncomparable anywhere else on this planet! The level of detail is incredible. I have not heard anything negative about the quality of the video screens on Gringotts, so I'm guessing it is pretty good. The new ride, Guardian at Canada's Wonderland is 4D and is having some technical issues with the quality of the video screens becoming quite blurry due to not sync-ing (is that right?) the speed of the cars with the motion on the screens, however, that doesn't seem to be an issue on Gringotts. Only a few days until my family gets to go on this incredible ride, I'm just hoping for a really slow day and hopefully a less than 2 hour wait perhaps in single rider line . . . how has the length of the line been, say near closing time at night? In 2012, we went on Jurassic Park river ride twice in about 10 minutes, about a half an hour before park closing . . . we'll have to come back in a couple of years after the Jurassic Park expansion, I think we already know that is probably going to be incredible as well!

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A few thoughts about Diagon Alley.

 

1. Diagon, and ESPECIALLY Gringott's is the priority for nearly every single human visiting Universal this week. I've been opening day and twice since, and I've learned that the AREA is hitting capacity before park opening every day, which is nuts, and the only plus time to ride Gringott's is as early as possible. For anyone who CAN come during a lesser season (Early September??), probably a great idea.

 

2. Getting into the area after 9:30 or so is pretty easy and usually quick even with return tickets, but Gringott's regular queue isn't going under 4 hours and is running at maybe 50 percent of its capability (I've heard 4 or even 5 trains out of seven, but just one station and FREQUENT breakdowns). Everything that is new-Harry Potter that is also not Gringott's has minimal wait times at worst.

 

3. Everything at Studios other than Despicable has atypically light morning crowds. Only Rockit/Despicable/Transformers are getting even hour wait times in the afternoon. IOA is pretty light other than the water rides, I saw Forbidden Journey at 30 minutes at 2PM on Friday.

 

4. As for the land itself...The most immersive themed environment in Orlando. It honestly feels like you walked into a foreign country. Rediculous amounts of artwork/detailing/animatronics/interactive elements/new food options. The shops are incredible fun, and are clearly upgraded all around from Hogsmeade. Not comparable to New Fantasyland, IMO it's just excessively better in representation of the property. Little details and fan service just oozing from every corner.

 

5. As for the ride itself...MUCH clearer storyline than Forbidden Journey, and definitely has some new and interesting technical elements. Is it the clear world's best attraction I had hopes for? No, not really. It rides a LOT like transformers in the end, but again the theming is new-precedent-immersive which really propels the experience. It's certainly an A attraction, top 5 percent in Orlando.

 

I went to Diagon Alley this past Saturday and made it right into the land at the park opening. Also, when I went Gringotts had both stations running and there was a very small break down in which I happened to be in the ride to break down. I went into single rider and I only waited 45 minutes right at the opening. The regular line was 150 minutes. When I came out at around 9, it was at 210 minutes. I had an amazing experience considering it was the weekend of the opening of the new land. The only thing I could say to fix is how you get to the land. They only opened one metal barricade to dart to the front of the yellow rope and everyone is pushing to get through that 4 foot of space to the yellow rope. Then you have the long walk of pushing to get to the land. Other than that, I thought Gringotts was an incredible experience and Diagon Alley itself really is the most immersive themed environment that any theme park has ever created.

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Has anyone tried to go on Gringotts near closing time, say, about an hour before park closing time? I've heard that Universal gets really quite near closing time as people head out to CityWalk at night . . . any thoughts? What time do they cut off the line at night? I just don't think there would be a 3 hour line up at 9pm, I just don't think so.

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^I'm not sure about the night-time waits, but since it is still very new and EXTREMELY popular, I wouldn't count on it having a super-reduced wait time at any point in the day.

 

Diagon Alley is going to be SUPER-crowded almost always for the next year or so. Heck, even Hogsmead is still SUPER popular and very crowded - and it has been opened for years.

 

I'd recommend getting there early, and diving into Diagon Alley first thing. Be prepared to wait for Gringotts and be prepared for it to be crowded. That isn't to say that it won't be fantastic and that you and your family wont enjoy the hell out of it - but go in expecting crowds. After you experience that - with your express passes - the rest of the day will be a breeze.

 

I'm sure you guys are going to love it and I can't wait to hear your opinions .

 

David

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Has anyone tried to go on Gringotts near closing time, say, about an hour before park closing time? I've heard that Universal gets really quite near closing time as people head out to CityWalk at night . . . any thoughts? What time do they cut off the line at night? I just don't think there would be a 3 hour line up at 9pm, I just don't think so.

 

It varies every day but they've been closing the line 1 - 3 hours before park closing based on the line and operations that day.

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^I think it will. It's very low capacity (I'm hearing less than 300pph right now) and it's the only ride in the new area (train doesn't count!). You're going to wait a LONG time if you want to ride this anytime soon.

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Actually, it fluctuates throughout the day really. This weekend it was as low as 2 hours, which for a new ride running at half capacity (or less), isnt bad at all. From what I have seen, I think its best to go early in the morning, but if thats not do-able, 6-7 pm should not be as bad as noon. Of course, it varies by day, but this has been the general trend all week sans the first two opening days.

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That's what I'm thinking OrlandoGuy. The crowds must die down sometime around dinner time, it just makes sense, put off dinner a bit, go on Gringotts and eat dinner after, makes sense to me, rather than standing in that amazing but very hot Florida sunshine, I think I'll save that for Daytona Beach . . . also, I think they should rethink about these new 'high-tech', well, I call them simulators. Guardian at Canada's Wonderland is very similar, although not nearly as well themed, but Guardian has about half that capacity right now, including 'break-downs'. If they built a high-capacity, highly-themed coaster in Diagon Alley, I think people would be just as happy and alot more people would be able to ride it without waiting a ridiculous amount of time in line . . . just my opinion . . . thanks David, I know we're gonna have a blast!

Edited by HAUNT MANIAC
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I think they should rethink about these new 'high-tech', well, I call them simulators. Guardian at Canada's Wonderland is very similar, although not nearly as well themed, but Guardian has about half that capacity right now, including 'break-downs'. If they built a high-capacity, highly-themed coaster in Diagon Alley, I think people would just as happy and alot more people would be able to ride it without waiting a ridiculous amount of tine in line . . . just my opinion . . .

 

Have you been on it? I think if you did, it would change your opinion. Gringotts is incomparable to a high-capacity roller coaster, especially if youre a Harry Potter fan.

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This is a discussion I've gotten into up here in Canada, and I will not give an opinion specifically about Gringotts, as I still have to wait a few days until I get there . . . I'm just saying, in my opinion, and my experience here in Canada with a very similar physical 'high-tech' ride . . . that there are always going to be technical issues with these rides. Gringotts has been open for less than a week and everyone thinks the technical problems will just one day suddenly dissapear . . . Guardian has had nothing but technical issues since it has opened . . . this is just my opinion and I know the concept is amazing, but technically speaking, these rides will be very difficult to maintain . . . at least Gringotts doesn't have video issues or laser guns not working . . .

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^It's always a challenge to build a operate an innovative new ride system. But if no one tried, we'd get nothing but the same old stuff at the parks year after year. I give Cedar Fair a lot of credit for stepping closer to Universal/Disney territory.

 

Gringotts is something new and different, and I'm always in favor of parks giving something new a shot.

Edited by cfc
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^^Apples and Oranges. Universal has the resources to ensure things get better. Rockit is a perfect example---it's still FAR from reliable, but has seen significant improvements in downtime since it opened.

 

The reality of any ride is that you can design the perfect ride on paper in CAD and write the perfect program, but you won't truly learn how to maintain and operate the ride until it's open for guests. Technicians gain experience and figure out new ways to troubleshoot and improve processes that were never thought of during the design and testing phase because the focus at that point is just getting the ride open, not how to fix it.

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Also, when I went Gringotts had both stations running and there was a very small break down in which I happened to be in the ride to break down.

 

 

THAT is fantastic to hear. I attended opening, thursday, friday so It's great to see that on Saturday two stations began. This will increase throughput dramatically, the ride is actually well designed for capacity but was bad for the first couple of days.

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This is a discussion I've gotten into up here in Canada, and I will not give an opinion specifically about Gringotts, as I still have to wait a few days until I get there . . . I'm just saying, in my opinion, and my experience here in Canada with a very similar physical 'high-tech' ride . . . that there are always going to be technical issues with these rides. Gringotts has been open for less than a week and everyone thinks the technical problems will just one day suddenly dissapear . . . Guardian has had nothing but technical issues since it has opened . . . this is just my opinion and I know the concept is amazing, but technically speaking, these rides will be very difficult to maintain . . . at least Gringotts doesn't have video issues or laser guns not working . . .

 

True, there will always be some technical problems from time to time, but Gringotts will become a lot more reliable down the road. I'm sure they were saying the same thing when Spider-Man first opened and now it's as reliable as any ride or coaster in either park. It just takes time.

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