15 Comments

  1. Bill Massey
    June 13, 2010 @ 1:07 PM

    Hey Tom! Agreed on the last point. I was part of IOA opening, too, and I recall that our excitement over the excellence of the park and attention to detail was EXACTLY the feeling going around Universal right now over WWoHP. But within two years of opening, IOA was already looking like ass, so I do fear for Potter.

    The possible savior is that quality control from Rowling and co. demands the best, so let’s hope the licensing contracts call for regular inspections. Even a “gotta clean up the apartment before Mom and Dad visit” policy will force UO to keep its attention on keeping WWoHP up to snuff.

  2. Ryan
    June 13, 2010 @ 2:01 PM

    I’m going to be heading there in about 2 weeks, so I’ll get to experience it for myself (probably by myself, as I’m the only Potter fan I know up here…). I tend to be a lot more forgiving than you with the rides though. So we’ll see how our opinions match up.

  3. Tom
    June 13, 2010 @ 5:02 PM

    @Bill: I fear for the possible savior, though, since the same speech regarding standards was also given regarding the lengths Universal had to go for the Seuss rights – and now look at that island. Time will tell.

  4. Kely
    June 13, 2010 @ 6:31 PM

    This is kinda what I’m worried about with HP going to Universal. They’re just not as up on it as Disney in the end.

    That being said – is there anyway anyone can tell me exactly when the spiders come along so I can be prepared? I’m seriously arachnophobia.

  5. Tom
    June 13, 2010 @ 6:37 PM

    @Kely: My wife is also afraid of spiders… but she lived. LOL. Watch for the spiders immediately after the Dragon – and they do “spit” on you, so don’t freak out over the little blasts of water during that part.

  6. Michael G
    June 15, 2010 @ 12:08 AM

    Pretty spot on in your assessment, my fiend. Except for maybe the food. I ate at the Three Broomsticks twice -both times were rather disappointing. First attempt: Cornish Pasties and (alleged) Salad – the salad pieces were barely large enough to fit on the fork and totally uninteresting. The pasties were tiny (three less than palm sized items) and had the flavor of over peppered sausage wrapped in a bland flour pastry shell. Time two – here, I thought I’d go with I hoped would be a familiar friend – the roasted chicken and corn – apparently more than just the menu listing was left over from the Enchanted Oak- the chicken must have been sitting there since the Oak closed as it was tough and lacked the flavor I recalled from days gone bye (at least the corn on the cob was acceptable) – my date had the soup and salad- again FAIL – the soup had the consistency of mop water. . .Funny about the hydrant – wonder why they didn’t paint it up like a house elf. . .Totally agree on the ride -lame (they have the ability to do better and didn’t), also didn’t help that years of haunted house work have cursed me with excellent night vision -and what’s up with the spiders – the ones in the Haunted Mansion (70s) seemed to have more character (won’t even go into the bubble headed freaks for the forbidden finale’) – oh and speaking of endings -kinda abrupt don’t you think (the cheering squads that is). . ALL of that aside, where the ride really fails is its “perfect specimen” seating requirements and the way the wizards working the load area failed their charms class – this is going to be a PR nightmare! My good friend had a very negative experience by three different team members. The person grouping kept asking him how many muggles- he didn’t know what that was (not being a Potter follower) – the groper got agitated (balled fists and all) and rudely (after asking indignantly several times how many “muggles”) snapped how many in the party. . . I’ve had the opportunity to ride thrice – on the third time brought my girlfriend – for some reason they couldn’t get the required three clicks on the restraint and pulled me off – she asked to go with me and was given a sneering ‘there’s not enough time’, happened again with the same friend who is very broad shouldered – they literally stuffed him into the seat and forced the restraint shut -to the point of hurting him – he tried to complain but the loader shrugged him off and walked away – he had to yell out to another loader that he couldn’t breathe to be taken off the ride – when he asked that his ADHD son be taken off too, they refused (do that to the wrong person who has press connections and they’ll need more than defense against the dark arts training – and I’ve been hearing similar stories from others – its a joke -didn’t they plan for everyone not being the same size? Anther example of the poor training/customer service happened when my friend (same one) asked what a butter beer was (as I said, he’s not a Potter fan, has only read part of one book so far) – he was told emphatically that it was. . .butter beer; when he mentioned that he was a muggle (having learned that lesson moments ago -the server asked what a muggle was. . . And all of that is just for soft opening – what’s going to happen when the crowds descend (many of whom I am sure won’t make the third click)? (Don’t get me wrong I love the area – spent the last three days there – my experience with Universal’s poor food, occasional apathetic -if not rude- team members and the company’s eventual lack of upkeep/care have me wishing for a change in culture that I fear will not apparate in time)

  7. Shannon
    June 22, 2010 @ 11:09 AM

    I’m going to WWOH next week. We’re doing Disney and Universal. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan read all of the books more than once and have seen all of the movies more than once. I am not a rider. I’m usually the bag holder person, but since i love harry potter so much I actually am tempted to ride. I do not like roller coasters mainly because of being turned upside down and because of drops and dips. Are there any drops and dips on the Forbidden Journey ride? Also, could you tour the castle without actually getting on the ride?

  8. Tom
    June 22, 2010 @ 11:28 AM

    @Shannon: If you’re prone to motion sickness (or related issues) you may want to sit this one out. The ride is a motion controlled simulation of flying similar to Epcot’s Soarin’. You can, though, go through the queue line and opt out of the ride at the end (my in-laws did the same thing.)

    You should be warned, though, that they lines to get into Hogsmeade (aka The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) have been INSANE since it officially opened. Wear sunscreen and expect to spend some time to just walk into the area.

  9. Shannon
    June 22, 2010 @ 11:40 AM

    Thanks Tom for the advice. I’m not really prone to motion sickness. i can ride things that go in circles and be fine, but it’s the dips and drops and the flips that i don’t like!

    Is there any time of day that the lines aren’t as insane? My family and I are doing some Disney parks for two days and then going over to Universal Studios Parks for two days. We were thinking of going to IOA for the WWOHP on Thursday, but we do have park to park access tix so maybe we can split it up on Wednesday and Thursday.

  10. Tom
    June 22, 2010 @ 1:06 PM

    @Shannon: Right now there won’t be a good day for IOA with WWoHP having just opened. Just pick which day is most convenient and be ready to wait in line. 🙂

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  12. Danielle
    January 14, 2011 @ 6:55 PM

    oh my god Im just exiteied Im going in september this
    year .it is going to be an 8 hour flight im going to stay
    in a hotel resort near the wizarding world of harry potter theme park wow Im going to buy a butterbeer
    at the three broomsticks Im going to buy some Bertie botts every fleverd beans choccolete frogs everything
    Im going to buy a harry Potter t shirt cool Im going to buy a wand from olvenders wand shop in Hogsmede super Im going to go on Flight of the hippogiff the dragoan ride and Harry Potter and the Forbiddon Jouney wooohoo

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  14. harry potter wizzz
    December 14, 2011 @ 6:45 PM

    the ride in universal was AMAZING! i wanted to go again and again! it was UNBELIEVABLE! u feel as if ur acyually following harry on his broomstick and flying around with him! unbelievable! everyone MUST go check it out!!

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