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Harry Potter World Orlando, cheapest way to do it?

(23 Posts)
Evenstar Thu 21-Jul-16 23:25:00

Just that, leaving on Saturday morning to go to Orlando, really want to go to HP World, but prices on Universal's website look ridiculous. Any suggestions/experiences? TIA

OP’s posts: |
Willow2016 Fri 22-Jul-16 00:59:29

Look on the Dibb website. They have lots of info there.
We are just back from there it was fab, just like walking into the HP world.

I think you will have to buy a ticket for Universal for both parks (Islands of Advernture and Universal) as the HP world is over 2 parks. You get the Hogwarts train to from one area to the other, or walk to the other park.

There are lots of ticket sites which do tickets cheaper than the parks, We got '2 week' tickets which was cheaper than just turning up on odd days over the hols.

If you are going there anyway you really have to go to HP, the Gringots ride is amazing (not a rollercoaster) we didnt do the Dragon Challenge one as I cant do rollercoasters sad but you can go through in the queue and see all the stuff on the walls of the rooms (both have long queues quite quickly so go early) and then just leave...
I could prattle on about it for ages was completely blown away but I am a sucker for stuff like that smile

Just a heads up, if you havent been before it is really hot just now, even the locals were commenting on it. It hit 100 degrees on one of the days, rest were between 80 - 90's. In the 70's at night even with nightly thunder storms which usually clear the air here smile Nothing prepares you for that wall of heat as you walk outside smile factor in lots of drinks in budget, get a refillable mug at park it seems a lot but you will get your moneys worth even if you just use them for water (bottled water soon costs a lot and the water in the drinking fountains is warm)

The fish and chips in 'The Cracked Cauldron' is good!

Have a great time you wont regret it if you go.

NicknameUsed Sat 23-Jul-16 00:21:29

We are in Florida just now, staying in a hotel just round the corner from the Universal sights. The HP attractions are phenomenally popular so get there early. If you stay in a Universal hotel you can get into the parks an hour early.

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is horrific and made me feel sick. DD loved it. I think Willow is referring to this ride, which is in the castle. The Dragon challenge looks even more horrific.

The heat is sapping. It has been averaging 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 centigrade) all the time we have been here, and the humidity is very high. One morning our glasses steamed up as we left the hotel.

I don't think this kind of holiday can be done cheaply. Food prices in the resort's are much higher than away from the tourist areas. And watch out for the tax that they add at the till.

I also found the people at the entrance very pushy when it came to trying to sell us express tickets. We refused and the woman got quite unfriendly - they don't have a fast pas system at Universal.

Willow2016 Sun 24-Jul-16 00:39:43

Universal does have an Express Pass system, there are two queues for all the rides. You can get different types depending on what you want and how much you want to spend!
Possibly cheaper on the non Universal ticket sites you should compare.

Willow2016 Sun 24-Jul-16 00:46:15

Sorry misread your post but the express passes are just fass pass under another name you can get them seperately from ordinary tickets.

Sorry meant to say thats the ride I meant, got the name wrong. We got as far as the last 'gate' inside and I bailed!

We didnt get any hard sell at all, everyone was very welcoming and helpful. But then we had the tickets already so maybe missed that by going straight to turnstiles.

The heat is something else isnt it?

NicknameUsed Sun 24-Jul-16 02:43:21

The express pass isn't free though, unlike the fast pass which is. We were offered them at 89 dollars, so we said we would take our chances.

We had already paid for our tickets. I just had to use the printout to collect our tickets. This is where we got the hard sell.

Because we are so close we just hop on the shuttle bus as and when we want to. We just have a couple more things to do and then we are done. I am feeling a little theme parked out now.

Willow2016 Sun 24-Jul-16 15:01:51

We didnt get them for any of the parks, thought they were too expensive for how much you could use them, although I see Universal has an unlimited one I didnt see before. But apart from queueing for an age a few times (which admittedly in that heat was not great) we seemed to get lucky and got in pretty quickly for most rides.

NicknameUsed Sun 24-Jul-16 15:19:54

We have been really lucky as well. We seemed to have been able to time things well. We misjudged the Hogwarts one the first time. Why on earth was I talked into that one? It made me feel sick and I had to keep my eyes closed throughout.

Hulababy Sun 24-Jul-16 16:12:25

Express doesn't apply to the two main HP rides. You can use it on Dragon Challenge though. We got our passes as part of the hotel package. Good to have but not essential in our experience of visiting there several times.

The rides are fab and the attention to detail of the WIzarding world areas is amazing. However, they are intense rides and dragon challenge is a proper coaster (was there before WIzarding world, now just rebranded) so if you don't like theme park rides then you may not enjoy them. As theme park fans we love them.

There are two areas - one in each park, each with own theming. In US it is Hogsmeade and Hogwart. In IoA it is London and Diagon Alley. There is the Hogwart Express train between the two - the journey you experience is different in each direction. You need a Hopper ticket to use the train.

Not sure there are really cheap ways to do the parks. Too late now but buying in advance can help from certain retailers. Try The Dibb and MoneySavingExoert for recent known deals. I will only buy from official authorised ticket sellers but you can save from unofficial ones; I just won't take the risk.

It's hot in Florida in the summer, yes. But totally manageable in our experience. There's a lot of air con around inc inside rides and shaded queues with fine whet must sprays.

We are currently in California and just been to US Hollywood where there be recently opened WIzarding World there. Fab!

Hulababy Sun 24-Jul-16 16:14:55

Nickname - keeping your eyes shut often makes you feel worse. It intensifies the movements and will make you feel even more nauseous. Made that mistake several times!

Never had any hard sell at any US theme park for more expensive tickets and for express passes. Infact quite the opposite. Everyone is always super friendly and helpful.

Willow2016 Sun 24-Jul-16 17:03:12

Going to stop reading this thread, didnt know the express was different each way. Am not happy I missed going back the other way! But I didnt need a hopper ticket, we got tickets for all 3 Universal parks (and Disney Parks) cheaper than onsite, in advance from a ticket seller, recommended on the Dibb, so didnt have to buy another ticket.

NicknameUsed Sun 24-Jul-16 23:15:08

Hula you have them the wrong way round. IoA has Hogsmead and Hogwarts grin. Thanks for the heads up on the different journeys on the train. We are just off to the park to catch up on any rides we have missed.

Not the Dragon Challenge though shock. I really can't stomach that kind of torture.

BelfastBloke Mon 25-Jul-16 09:01:57

Can anyone clarify:

Are you paying one price for all of Harry Potter World? Does that price ALSO include entrance to the two parks in which they are situated?

If you only bought a ticket for Islands of Adventure, does that mean you'd only get half of the Harry Potter experience?

Does the train ticket cost extra?

What are the official prices?


AssembleTheMinions Mon 25-Jul-16 09:10:33

No you're paying for the entrance to the park which contains Harry Potter. There are two parks and they both have a HP section. The most common ticket you get in the UK is a two park hopper for around £140 for 14 days unlimited access. You will then be able to ride the Hogwarts express both ways.

You can buy a single park ticket on the gate but will be restricted to that park and therefore only one HP world and no train. From memory a one day one park ticket is around $100 plus tax.

It's far better value to buy a 14 day ticket here if you are planning to do a day in each park.

The forbidden journey (broomstick one) is better then the gringotts one in my opinion. even though it broke down while we were almost upside down for 10 mins

IHeartKingThistle Mon 25-Jul-16 09:21:46

Can I ask a question? We're going next Easter with our two who are massive Potterheads. But DS will only be 7 and can be very nervous of rides. Some he loves and others that I thought will be fine freak him out - high things in particular. He's tall enough for the HP rides but he's not going to cope is he?

On the broomstick one, if I was next to him would I be close enough to hold his hand? He'd be gutted to miss out!

AssembleTheMinions Mon 25-Jul-16 09:53:43

Yes you could possibly hold his hand, you're certainly close enough although I cant remember if the harness and the divider between the seats would allow it.

It's not high at all, it feels like it is when you're flying because of the wraparound screens. At 7 you might need to check how tall he is though, my dd2 only just scraped in when she was 8. She is on the small side though.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 25-Jul-16 09:56:11

Oh great. Will double check the height. Thanks!

Aworldofmyown Mon 25-Jul-16 10:05:01

We've just come back and I agree that the heat is manageable. Even with my 1 year old! We spent far longer in Universal this time just because of HPW, it is incredible.

You can hold his hand, I did with my 7 year old daughter - she loved it!!! Universal do a fantastic child swop and often they don't mind if adults go on again. So you could go on once then take your son on , talking him through whats about to happen.

I also think the broomstick one is best!! Its feels like your actually on a broomstick. The dragon challenge ride is great, Its an old ride though. Used to be called dualling dragons before the HPW was even there!

Squiby1976 Mon 25-Jul-16 10:43:20

We loved Harry Potter world!! We did all the rides multiple times, we were there just after they opened Diagon Alley. If your kids are old enough you can get through much faster if you go on th single rider queue. We used this loads and DD (10) always ended up with one of us anyway. Forbidden journey (the Hogwarts one) was our fave!!

NicknameUsed Mon 25-Jul-16 14:29:26

I thought the broomstick ride was the one at the HP studio in the UK.

Are you referring to the Forbidden Journey ride in Howarts? You sit in seats and you have to put bags and loose items in lockers. DD loves this ride. I think it is horrific.

We went back to IoA and Universal last night and DD did the ride in Gringots You have to be there in the evening to see the fire breathing dragon in Diagon Alley. It is quite a sight.

We took the train both ways - thank you Hula grin

I love the parks in the evening. They have a magical atmosphere, especially the Dr Seuss part. It is cooler and less busy as well.

Last day todaysad

Hulababy Mon 25-Jul-16 17:06:32

Nickname - sorry! You'd think I'd manage to type it right after going so many times! All mixed up after going to Hogwarts at Universal Hollywood, there isn't a second park there! Sorry.

But yes - different ride each way and you are supposed to have a hopper ticket and they check. I have seen people turned back from the train if your ticket is not a multi park one as the train leads you directly into the second park. Very surprised anyone got through without!

Hulababy Mon 25-Jul-16 17:12:02

At the WB tour in London the broomstick is just a green screen experience - infact I am off to do that at the WB Tour in Los Angeles today though that's not just HP stuff.

At US the broomstick ride is the Hogwarts ride. You don't actually sit on a broomstick. It's a 4 seater coaster carriage but designed in such a way that the way you sit and hold the bar makes it feel like a broomstick when you are 'flying' round the coaster

On the app so can't go back and read names - the op with 7y who is a little unsure. Show him You Yube. You can watch every ride from start to finish on it, gives you and him an idea of what it might be like. 14y dd spends hours watching US and Disney rides!

NicknameUsed Tue 26-Jul-16 02:58:14

IMO if the 7 year old is nervous of rides he won't like the Hogwarts ride. I felt horribly sick. There is also a height restriction, but I can't remember what it is.

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