Hagrid’s, Ollivanders and Velocicoaster strategy as off site guests

Heading to UO, IOA and Volcano Bay in July with DS.

One day at Volcano Bay and then two days with two park, unlimited express tickets for UO/IOA. We are DVC and are staying on site at WDW so we won’t have EE privileges at Universal. DS and I want to get new wands. It’d be cool to do Ollivander’s but of the three, that’s lowest priority.

How would you plan to tackle doing both rides and the wand experience over our two park days?

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How old is DS?

He’ll be turning 10 on our trip.

So probably old enough to stay late and old enough for single rider if you’re comfortable with it. I’d probably aim for late afternoon for both rides, the times often drop then. I’m not sure I’d ride either for the first time in full darkness but if you want to, you should have short waits then. Single rider will be your best option otherwise I think. I’ve never done Ollivanders so no advice for that, sorry.

We’ll be there 19-21 July, how about you?

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Shut the front door! We will also be there…July 19-21! Volcano Bay on the 19th.

So, both rides have a SR line? He likes coasters but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s nervous for his first time on both of these. Don’t know if it would fly with first ride nerves but good to know its an option.

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No way!! We have to meet! We’ll be hopping back and forth, VB morning of 20th.

Yes both have single rider. VC sounds scary, I wouldn’t want to put my kid on it as a single rider either! Hagrid’s is just fun.

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Yes!!

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You really will have enough time over two days to do those three things…

Do wand spells as early in the morning as possible if this is important to you. I’d prioritize this over Hagrid’s. At least Hagrid’s has a dedicated queue! It’ll get to be elbow-to-elbow by lunchtime and everyone waving their wands around… Do not line up for Olivander’s early. I just got back from Universal and saw this multiple days. The third - fourth show will have little wait as all the RD ppl for it are done. (Typically about 30 minutes after park opening)

VelociCoaster’s queue moves very quickly even when at more than one hour wait. They run multiple trains. Plus, fewer people will ride it due to it’s size.

So… that leaves Hagrid’s. All I can say is that it’s worth the wait. Idk what it’ll be like in July, but if you see the queue is at 60 minutes or less - jump in it. If you can ride it after dark - DO IT! Even if you have to get in right at close. I do not recommend Single Rider for Hagrid’s if you want the motorbike. While it’s never guaranteed, it’s easier to get it for your DS if you go as a couple. Otherwise, they can get “outmaneuvered” at boarding by someone who “really” wants the bike.

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Ok, so this is different from last May when we were last there. From what I remember, you HAD to sign up right at RD during EE or you would be SOL for the entire day. That’s not happening anymore? Due to social distancing being a thing of the past?

Well, that’s good. A fast moving 60 minute queue always feels faster than a slow moving 30 minute queue somehow. Last May it wasn’t officially open but the last day we were there it was “unofficially” open I guess. We got in line and it never opened. We just stood still for half an hour before giving up.

Is it more fun in the dark? You don’t think you miss out on details during the ride if it’s dark? We were going to get in the queue last year right before close but DS chickened out at the last minute because someone mentioned the ‘big vertical drop’ to him and he wouldn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t that big. Lol.

I was there last May like you, and yeah, it’s totally different now. No more signing up during EE, no more single-party groups, etc. Sounds much less stressful.

Personally I think it’s best at dusk. Cool and thrilling. Riding a roller coaster in the dark is great too, but I would do it at least once in some degree of daylight to see everything.

I would do Hagrid’s at RD on your first day, go to Ollivander’s at some point that day, and do Velocicoaster any time but especially at night if you can.

Second day, spend some time doing spells in the morning before it gets crowded.

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Well said… Do this! (I’m still a bit sleepy from my trip!)

I say do Hagrid’s at night, at some point, because there are no lights out there except the headlamp of the motorbike. It makes for a far more impressive ride. (Not scary, just how the designers intended)

There are no more COVID protocols at Universal… It is like being back in 2019

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Much less stressful!! Whew. That will be lovely.

Universal, in general, is so much less stressful than Disney its ridiculous. With EP, I genuinely only have to worry about fitting in these two rides.

And @darkmite2, I hadn’t thought of the headlamp ambiance in the dark! Sold. Maybe dusk as @Jeff_AZ suggested…if MK has deluxe extended hours on the 20th, I plan on us attempting to go there after UO closes. :thinking:

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Hagrid’s at RD when not staying onsite?

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You have no idea!!! No park reservations, no G+/LL$, park hopping at any time, both parks within walking distance, dining reservations are available, you can get a TM on the phone in minutes & so much more!!

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Yes!! :raised_hands:

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Good catch. This is from yesterday on a CL 7 at IOA. The July dates look to be a similar CL. I would say wait til afternoon ( or at least later in the morning) since no EPA.

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Do they still utilize a VQ for Hagrid’s? Or is it all SB at this point?

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No. Standby only.

I will mention, not sure if its a big factor. Currently there is no EPA at USF. In the summer, both parks have EPA. So maybe that will lessen the early crowd at Hagrid’s since the other park will be open at that time too. But, Hagrid’s is still where most people go at opening.

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Has VC’s opening not drawn crowds away from Hagrid’s at RD?

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Also, totally unrelated to anything else here except that it pertains to our trip…I just read last week’s Saturday Six on Volcano Bay Cabanas and now I WANT ONE. Only, they have apparently increased their prices to $700 a day???

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