IOA early entry

I was planning a calm, Potter-focused start to our trip with EE at IOA - Hippogriff, Forbidden Journey, Ollivanders. We have 5 day tickets and will not arrive early for EE (which is plenty early enough for us!). I was thinking to save Hagrid for last thing at night and VC for a 2nd EE. However, lately it’s looking to me like Forbidden Journey doesn’t open til 8:30am, rather than 8. Is that always true? Will Ollivanders open right at 8am? Should I simply flip the two? Thanks for all advice.


@darkmite2 : Thoughts on this?

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All of the attractions in Hogsmeade should open during Early Park Admission (EPA). The only reason it will be closed is due to an unexpected delay.

Which should you do first is entirely up to you. I’d check the FJ wait as you into the area and then decide. Ollivander’s happens about every 12 minutes like clockwork - as long as the have a enough guests & staff. (IME - They won’t do a show for just 3 - 4 ppl. I’ve had to wait a bit for more guests to enter before they would start)

I like to do this too! The ride is designed to be experienced at night! The only caveat is that sometimes it breaks down at night. You’ll be there for 5 days so you’ll have other chances.

VC doesn’t get as long a wait in the morning. Almost everyone is rushing to Hagrid’s. Plus, VC doesn’t appeal to as many people. If you get there while there is still a bit of EPA left, before regular park opening, you’ll have low waits. It’s the best time of day for VC - IME


Thank you both!

Based on thrill-data, FJ hasn’t opened til 8:30ish in at least a month. Because of this, I tried the app this morning, and it was listed as “opening at 8:30”.

I can certainly check the app and decide on the spot. Thanks for the details on Ollivanders opening. How long have you had to wait at Ollivanders during EE?

I was definitely planning to try Hagrid early in the trip, to allow extra nights in case it was down or we want to ride again. I’ll consider VC for 1st day EE if we have extra time. I was just trying to keep it simple 1st day while we get our bearings; plus not all of us want to ride (especially me!).

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Good catch. TP data also agrees with this. Could be an operational change due to low demand that early for FJ.

Will verify on the official app in the AM.


Typically, the wait for Olivander’s can vary. It shouldn’t be long though during EPA. You may have a morning where the TMs / perforners are a little late or tgey want a fuller show. Even that should be minimal.

What time are you entering the park? You say you are skipping EPA, but are monitoring the queue wait during this time. More information always helps with planning advice.

Sorry, I can see how what I said was confusing. We’re planning to come for EPA, just not early enough for a low Hagrids wait. If I’m very lucky, we’ll arrive at the gate at 7:45am, though I suspect it’ll be closer to 8. Thanks for everyone’s help!

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You’re going to be fine then. Hogsmeade is in the VERY back of the park. It’s easily a 10+ minute walk if you aren’t in a hurry. Plus, FJ is in the VERY back of Hogsmeade! :rofl: (The castle is the furthest thing from the park gates! - That’s a couple extra minutes of walking!)

You’ll have a couple moments to “take in” Hogsmeade and look around on the way to the rides. EPA is my favorite time to just be in WWOHP. Once the park opens those lands get very busy and you’ll have people all around you. During EPA you can stop and look in all the shop windows and/or do spells with no one on top of you.

sounds great, thank you! We just have to get our wands before we can actually do spells :slight_smile:

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It’s not as “cool”, but you can buy all the wands in CityWalk. Most hotel gift shops have a small selection of the most popular. It is fun though to get your wand inside WWOHP…

Personally, this Ravenclaw shops at Gregorovitch’s! Gregorovitch actually made Ollivander’s wand!

Also, they have all the wands with none of the crowds while still inside WWOHP! It’s in Diagon Alley!


Confirmed FJ 8:30 opening every day this week. Universal gives themselves flexibility to do this, with their “up to 1 hour” EPA language.

Checking the app before park opening is smart to do before anyone’s trip. There are a couple other attractions that don’t open with the park.


Thanks. That’s exactly what I’ve been noticing.

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