Wednesday, June 23, 2010
So, being the theme park lovers we are, and the Harry Potter freaks we are (and I am saying “we” but I mean “me” LOL) we went to the Islands of Adventures at universal Studios to check the new harry potter addition to the park. I was prepared for lines, for heat, for discomfort.
We got there at 9:30 am and got in the line to get our tickets (Bought on line, but since we choose “Florida residents” we had to show our IDs). The line was 40 minutes long, and half of the windows were closed. Of course Universal was not really concerned about its customers.
Finally we got in the park and immediately got in the line to get access to the HP area. Not the ride, just the are of the park. We were in line for 2.5 hours. Finally we got there.
The first impression was disappointing. The thing is small. No, I mean, really small. Absurdly small. And it was over crowded with people. There was nothing that one could do without a line that was, at least, 45 minute long. Even to get to the stores!
We walked around, tried to do a few things, it did not work. Throughout the day we managed to get things done and seen. We had the Butterbeer thing (it was war and it is cream soda. It was warm after a 45 minute line). We tried the pumpkin juice (tons of cinnamon in it) and we tastes the beer developed for the park (another 50 min line to get to the Boar head bar).
There are three rides in the HP area. Two were already there and were just “remodeled” to fit the new theme. It was obvious because they were the only things without a line. Nobody wanted to go there.
“THE RIDE”: harry potter and the forbidden Journey, had a 2 hour line (in the middle of the day it was 4 hours long), and in the middle off the day it went “out of order” for a couple of hours.
During our visit to the park, it run out of hot dogs (yes, hot dogs!), butterbeer, postcards and wands.
And the cool thing was to mail a post card from the park, it would have (hypothetically) the post stamp from “hogsmead”). I was in line for 40 minutes and nobody bothered to tell me the post office was without postcards…
Most of the staff was used to prevent people to get into stores thorugh the exits (since they are not properly marked).
The shortest line in the park was to get butterbeer from a street cart: 45 minutes.
To get to the restaurant, any restaurant, the waiting line for a table was 2.5 hours!
My first cold drink I got at 6 pm. Before that everything sold in the park was hot. This is a middle 90s temperature.
The Hp FB ride is nice. Nothing worth the 4 hour line. It is cool but not that much.
The general impression is that they opened the park in a hurry to cash on the summer vacation. The “special effects are poor, the park is cheap, the castle is pathetically small. Everything is just pitiful.
Universal had the chance of building the theme park of the century, but they took a pass. The merchandise is cheap, the staff is unprepared, the park (what cannot be change) is absurdly small. Disappointment was what I felt.
Oh! They are making money, lot’s of it. But I doubt that people will go back. The whole thing is just bad. If you want magic do not go to Universal, go to Disney. They deliver it! Universal seems not to have a clue of what they are doing.
If you are In Orlando and get a free ticket to go to the park, you should go. If you are going to pay for it. Please, don’t, I am sure you have better things to do with your money.
P.s. The castle? I have seen doll houses bigger than that! it is ridiculous!