If you want a sneak peek at the new Harry Potter coaster coming to the parks, head to Doctor Dooms Fear Fall in Islands of Adventure.
If you want a sneak peek at the new Harry Potter coaster coming to the parks, head to Doctor Doom's Fear Fall in Islands of Adventure.
This may seem like an obvious decision, since staying on Universal property allows you to get into the parks an hour earlier, but there's a twist.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is scattered across two of Universal Orlando Resort's parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (IOA). Universal Studios, which houses the Hogwarts castle, Hogsmeade, and Flight of the Hippogriff, opens daily at 8 a.m. IOA opens one hour later and is home to Diagon Alley and the popular Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts attraction.
If you're staying at a Universal resort, you can access those parks at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively. However, if you know your way around Universal Studios, you can get into IOA before 8 a.m. You just can't go through the main entrance.
The Hogwarts Express connects the two parks and guests can ride the train as long as they have a two-park ticket. This is your key to getting into Diagon Alley earlier.
What to do: Get to Universal's IOA at 7 a.m. and head right to the Hogwarts Express. As long as you have a park-to-park ticket, you'll be able to ride the train over to Universal Studios, which doesn't open for another hour. Once you arrive, you'll be able to line up to wait to get into Diagon Alley before most other parkgoers.
I tested this out on a family trip in 2014 right after Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts opened in Universal Studios. Right at 8 a.m., we were allowed inside Diagon Alley as others were just entering the park's main entrance. It was still a 90-minute wait for me at this time, a few short weeks after the attraction opened, but it was much better than the six-hour waits the ride had during its busiest times of day.
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