• Report: #616814

Complaint Review: Universal Orlando

  • Submitted: Wed, June 23, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, January 24, 2013

  • Reported By: rich — orlando Florida United States of America
Universal Orlando
universal blvd orlando, Florida United States of America

Universal Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter Wasted MOney orlando, Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Planning is Your Friend

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Waited 3 hours to get in to the Harry Potter world at Universal Studios. Waited 3 hours for their advertised interactive experience at Olivanders for him to pick her wand. It doesnt happen like that. They heard 25 people in at a time andonly the first person has the experience. Children crying parents cursing.   Then the dragon roller coaster is just the old dueling dragons, they didnt even change the colors of the coaster cars. Then if you want to ride the harry potter ride in the castle you must put you belongings in a locker. PROBLEM, the lockers are so small that the wand i bought for my daughter in the box wouldnt fit. Cant leave it cant ride with it and no one cared.      Butterbeer 12 dollars a cup wands 31 dollars tickets 120 dollars parking 14 dollars. line waits 6 hours rides ridden   0

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/23/2010 05:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Universal-Orlando/orlando-Florida-32812/Universal-Orlando-Wizarding-World-of-Harry-Potter-Wasted-MOney-orlando-Florida-616814. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Planning is Your Friend

AUTHOR: Krusty - (United States of America)

As an ex employee of Universal Orlando, I can tell you that there are many folks who have poor experiences.  There are far more however, that have amazing experiences with cherished memories that they can look back on for a lifetime.

People tend to make fun of those that plan their vacations, but in reality, those people often times have more fun than others because they have done their homework, they know what to expect and how to create the vacation they want.  

Your post here was listed in late June.  Which is one of the busier times of the year at Universal Orlando.  June 18 - August 18 is the summer peak season.  It is busy, the lines are long, the heat and humidity are racing neck and neck for triple digits, and tempers can flare.  Ride Attendants, for the most part, do all they can to make your day work and often times bear the brunt of unhappy guests' tempers.  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is still the only place on the entire planet where you can experience rides and attractions based on the Harry Potter book and movie series.  It is ALWAYS busy.  Your best bet is to stay at one of the onsite hotels so that you can have early park admission.  Show up an hour early, go directly to the Wizarding World and ride everything.  When you have finished with this, walk counter-clockwise to Jurassic Park, then Toon Lagoon, then Marvel, then Seuss Landing.  At the end of the day, go back to the Wizarding World for the last rides of the day.

The best time of year to go to Universal is the week after Labor Day.  Arrive on labor Day (your flights will be cheaper because you are flying TO orlando on a holiday), then stay that week.  Most visitors will not do this because the kids are in school.  But if you do, you will be rewarded with walk ons for all the major rides.  There will be about 1/10th the number of guests in the park than there are during the peak seasons.

Research the parks ahead of time so you know where you will go and when.  Know which restaurants you want to go to.  If you have teenage boys, you should think seriously about the Meal Deal as it is essentially unlimited eating for a set price.  If you stay in the hotels, you get unlimited express access to all of the rides that accept Express passes (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey does not).

Buy your trinkets at the end of the day.  In both parks, there are large stores by the entrance/exit so that you can buy things from the entire park.  Or, if you need to lighten your wallet in the back of the park, Universal has a service to have your purchases sent to the front of the park so that you don't have to carry them all day (or worry about them fitting in the lockers).

Be realistic.  Commercials are filmed in the way they are to entice you.  This is just as true for Universal as for beer advertisements and their bikini teams.  They are embellishments at best.  Knowing this, you have to realize that it would be impossible for every guest to be chosen by their wand.  

You talk about how the Dragon Challenge is just the same as when it was Dueling Dragons, but you gloss over the fact that Universal created a replica of Hogsmeade to the tune of over $200 million (they spent more on the Wizarding World than they did on the entire park in 1999).

I am sorry that you had a poor experience.  And, I hope you learned something from it so that you can come back better prepared to have a great experience.

OH, and just for the record: Butterbeer does not cost $12.
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