Hey Thrill Seekers,
Two years of writing about it, researching it and occasionally breaking news about it came to a huge climax yesterday when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley officially opened at Universal Studios Florida!
Potter fans were up bright and early as queuing started at 5am and we’re not talking about a couple of fans we’re talking thousands! They were greeted with a red carpet, lots of confetti, fireworks and some extremely excited Universal cast members.
Universal opened the first stage of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade in 2010 and it amazes me to think that some quarters were stating that Potter was a fad and wouldn’t last, how wrong they were!
Those first through the doors headed straight to the Gringotts Bank where Diagon Alleys signature ride can be found, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Wait times averaged 300 minutes (5 hours) and at its height was 450 minutes (7.5 hours), it had a few moments of downtime but all in all for an opening day the multi dimensional thrill ride did very well.
The other hugely anticipated ride, the Hogwarts Express proved as expected to be a big hit. Wait times hovered around the 45 minute mark which is pretty good for an opening day.
Throughout the rest of Diagon Alley crowds moved quite freely Ollivanders and the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezers proved very popular as did the centre piece, the fire breathing dragon sat proudly on top of the Gringotts Bank, I’m pretty sure it was the most photographed thing there!
Those who didn’t get there early queued outside the Diagon Alley area for up to three hours, in the afternoon Universal staff started handing out return tickets to keep the crowds moving.
I’m pretty confident that we’ll see Universal Studios hit maximum capacity regularly throughout summer so be prepared to be patient and get used to queuing!