Whoops! Honestly, shame on UO for not seeing this coming and at least having a better plan in place. I get that HP stuff is popular and has a rabid fan base, but for a ride to have 8-10 hour waits, that's more than just an issue with popularity. It seems to have inherent capacity limitations right off the bat, then you factor in weather issues which....I mean central Florida, those aren't going away any time soon...on top of the technical glitches you're going to have with any new attraction. Granted, I don't know all the ends and outs by any means, but just seems to me like one big operational screwing of the pooch IMO.
As others have said, this is why I do not do the "OMG, Gotta be the first ones on" . I am more than willing to go to other parks to ride their rides and come back later to the current OMG ride when the crowd dies down. With those goofy wait times, I could have rode how many other rides at another park in the same time period ?
Was there a reason why they didn't soft open this to try and work some of the operational kinks out? I know some of it might be secrecy, and trying not to spoil some of the unique elements of the ride... but they gave us some press releases with information regarding the creatures, etc. so it wasn't like they were trying to hide the entirety of the ride.
I know it often gets recognized at how quickly Universal builds and opens attractions compared to Disney... but at what cost? We all saw the debacle of Volcano Bay when it opened and they hadn't entirely worked out all the issues with the virtual queue system. If you went onto TripAdvisor and read reviews of Volcano Bay those first few months, it wasn't pretty. Yet it almost felt like Universal set an opening date to try and counter-attack Pandora, and come hell or high water that date was not going to change. It almost feels the same here - "let's date this shortly after SW:GE opens at DL, but weeks before it opens in DHS" to try and take as much heat away from SW:GE as possible.
I know Disney has operational issues opening some of their attractions... but I think they demand such a high level of performance before they open it, they would rather set the opening date later to a realistic timeframe, or they delay it if necessary (which is what I've heard about Rise of the Resistance). I don't recall there being many major issues with Flight of Passage upon opening, outside of normal hiccups from daily operations that occur with any attraction... and that was an extremely technical ride using newer ride systems and processes. I'm sure they tested the hell out of it before they opened it.
Hagrid's looks great, and I'm sure it will be a huge hit for years... it's just interesting to see the circumstances around it's opening and how Universal has chosen to handle it.
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