One early entry day at IOA - help!

Hi! I’m a WDW liner spending one day at IOA. My first and only visit was in 2019 and we did park to park and focused on HP stuff. My priorities this trip are Hagrid’s and Velocicoaster.

I’ve gathered that I should be at turnstiles by 7-7:15 for an 8 am early entry and go straight to Hagrid’s. My question is, how long do I wait if Hagrid’s start is delayed - aka, when do I bail and go to VC?

Thank you so much!

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IMHO - 15 minutes maximum. (I’d only wait 10) However, it is perfectly OK to ask the TM at the queue entry if they know of any delay before entering. They’ll tell you if they know.

After about 15 minutes, the VC queue starts to fills to it’s “normal” 45 - 60 minutes wait. They don’t often do Single Rider during EPA.

I’ll be there next week. I’ll be rushing straight for Hagrid’s and then VC. If I’m lucky I’ll be in the VC queue before official park open and done not long afterwards.

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Thank you that is helpful!

The friend who will be with me doesn’t want to ride VC, so I will have the option for the single rider line later in the day if needed. I’d really love to get Hagrid’s and VC done first though.


OK… with that in mind then I’d wait it out for about 40 minutes. That’s most of EPA. (But the wait is typically an hour all day anyway). The only stuff open is VC, FJ or wand spells so you might as well wait if VC or FJ isn’t a priority

This means, I’d leave when there’s only a few minutes left of EPA. This way I could get to any attraction in the park and be ready to queue when it opens.


I realize Hagrid’s is known to be delayed somewhat often; do other EE attractions tend to open right at the posted EE time? I’m curious because there are a few cases at WDW where attractions will open a bit before the posted EE time.

IME - They are open the moment you get there - unless there’s an issue. So, if they open the main gate 15 minutes early, they’ll be ready for you at VC or WWOHP when arrive.

Gotcha thanks so much!! That is helpful!

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One note, not directly answering your question…the posted wait time for Hagrid’s is frequently appreciably higher than the actual wait time. For us, for example, a posted 75 minute wait was under an hour, and a posted 45 minute wait was about 30 minutes. Now, this isn’t always the case…but worth being aware of.

And welcome to the forums!


I think @darkmite2 's rule of thumb average is actual waits are 30% less than posted.


In my defense, Hagrid’s is one of those rides that breaks that “rule”… You’ll probably wait close to the posted time. If I see it posted at 70 minutes, I know I’m probably not getting to the bikes for about 60 minutes.


We rode Hagrid’s over a half dozen times during a heavy crowd week a month ago (March 19th - 26th).

Assuming no breakdowns or capacity issues (running fewer cars, one of the drop tracks being down) our rough estimation was:

It’s a 30-35 minute wait once you’re at the entrance of the castle/indoor queue.

It’s a 45-50 minute wait from roughly Hagrid’s hut in the outdoor queue.

It will be a 60-80 minute wait from the main stone archway entrance to the attraction (where the lockers are).


and if you see the queue going out past the Hogwart’s Express you should just go home!! :rofl:


Thank you SO much everyone! I feel much more competent in my EE strategy. I gotta get some UOR experience in as I’m hoping to bring my littles in 25 or 26 when Epic Universe opens (and they are tall enough for UOR attractions…my 4 yo is a daredevil but tiny!)


I think you’ll have a blast! It’s way more manageable than WDW, especially these days! No park reservations, 60 day ADRs, or Genie/LL$. Plus, park hopping at any time and all the shows, entertainment & dining have been fully staffed and in full swing for months!!

I miss WDW, but not too much! I don’t want to deal w/ all the Disney Drama. (That’s why I call myself a “Disney Refugee”)


Thank you so much. Yes, Disney has become complex for sure - so much so that I did a “practice run” trip this winter before our big family trip this fall.
I’m hoping to time APs for UOR with the opening of Epic Universe, we are super excited for a third park.


Popping in for some related questions-I also have this plan. We’re riding over from WDW for our day at Universal. How early should one be at the ride share drop off in order to be at IOA turnstiles by 7:15? Trying to gauge how long the walk and security take.
We will also have to stop at a kiosk or Guest Services to retrieve our tickets. We have to stop at Guest Services inside the park to pick up an AAP pass (have already registered for it over the phone). Maybe we could do the tickets here as well? Because of this step I know we won’t be at the front of the pack necessarily—so do we need to kill ourselves getting to turnstile at 7:15?

The walk from Security to the IOA gates is just a couple minutes. Obviously, the earlier you arrive to the parking garage the easier it will be to get through security. If you are dropped off by 6:45am, I’d wager you’ll be at IOA / Guest Services by 7:15am (unless it’s a busy holiday weekend or something)

There are plenty of self-service kiosks to get your tickets at the main gate. You’ll need your confirmation number and the credit cards use to purchase. This is much faster!! You can be done in a minute or two with no wait. I’d get my tickets there.

Then only the people who need to actually deal with the AAP can go to Guest Services. The rest of your party can go queue at the turnstiles or enter…

Last April we went from WDW for a day at Universal. We started at USF so it was recommended to be dropped off at Hard Rock instead of City Walk, which was awesome. Not sure the best place for drop off to go to IOA tho.
The ride was dang quick from WDW that early in the morning. 20 minutes or so.

Last minute logistical question: We will have a car and be checking out of Cabana bay in the morning and it seems like it makes sense to move the car to the parking structure and walk to IOA from there (my friend is an AP so I’ve gathered we have to pay for parking at CB, but not at the main parking structure). Just want to make sure I’m not going to encounter any roadblocks (literally, lol) if we do this.

Related question. We may be swapping days given the weather forecast and doing IOA on check-in day. Is there any way around going to CB first to get the room key (like showing the reservation email or in the app) for early entry?