Afternoon Thrill Seekers,
With 2013 in its penultimate month most people are turning their attention to 2014 and when we think about 2014 in regards to Orlando Theme Parks our first thought is the opening of the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley.
The expectation and excitement around its opening is set to even dwarf the original frantic scene’s and we for one cannot wait! However there are a few things that even though we’re sure the guys at Universal have thought of if giving us pause to think.
Today’s post we’re going to take a quick look at some of the dilemmas Universal must struggle with when considering phase 2 of Potter Land.
The announcement of the Hogwarts Express and the first photo’s of it being lowered on to the track got the internet talking. The idea of connecting both parks by train is genius and I for one can’t wait to ride it…. but here lies the problem.
Everyone is going to want to ride the Hogwarts Express, so this leads me to my first concern.
How will Universal deal with the queue’s? Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios is at most a 2 minute walk, so they can’t really have too many carriages attached to the main train, granted you can stretch the track further but this leads to a longer wait time between stations. We know there will only ever be 2 trains running at any time (Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and vice versa) how many people will the train carry? Based on perhaps 2 carriages, each carriage holding 32 people, I estimate they would be able to shift 1920 people per hour one way basing the ride time on 2 minutes. Islands of Adventure at full capacity can take 40k people!!!
Universal are not stupid they’ve encountered queues before but how do you keep everyone happy while queuing?
Multi day tickets
Not really an issue for our customers as our standard Universal 2 Park Bonus Ticket includes 14 days unlimited access to both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios but if you’re looking to purchase tickets on the gate your going to have buy a ticket for both parks costing approx. $200.00 per person.
Living up to expectations
How much are you looking forward to the official opening? Yeah me too… and so is everyone! Are Universal on a hiding to nothing?
How do you keep everyone happy, when the original Wizarding World was opened no one knew what to expect. With this new expansion there is a level of expectation when it comes to the look and feel of the park.
Hogsmeade’s flagship ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has been met with both critical (continues to win industry awards) and public praise. The ride introduced new technology to theme parks and I would expect the same level of detail at Gringotts Bank. A template for this ride has already been put down both in the Potter books and most recently on screen. Can they produce what we expect?
The rest of the park
A major puzzle for Universal, how do you make sure that the rest of both parks still get some visitor love?
Transformers the Ride has proven to be a very popular draw at Universal Studios this year but in reality 2014 will be ruled by Potter and only after the euphoria has died down can Universal realistically expect to see the parks return to normal patterns…
How Universal deal with these factors will be key to if the new expansion is a long term success… we know in the short term its going to be HUGE!!!
On a massive plus side, if you’re not a fan of Potter the queue times on the other rides will be minimal 🙂