Things I'm glad we did BEFORE our trip

Thanks rebeecky that is a good idea !:slightly_smiling_face:

If my S11 get pick my D8 Will get upset, she always wants to win lol . I think your approach is savvy, if one get picked tell the guy after the show if he can do a personal recommendation for the other. :wink:

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I would never call you dense!!! :smile:

No. But you’d THINK it! :wink:

For us, going 3 times in a row (it was a 1 or <1 minute wait the first 2 times, less than 5 minutes the 3rd time), I both agree and disagree with this. The second time was the same room/same wand master and the same spiel but different tricks to get to the right wand. The third time we were in a different room with a different wizard dude and both my kids got picked so it was super magic (for them but for me too), slightly different words.

I think they liked knowing some of what to expect but it still played out as unique, especially with the two of them being matched with wands (spoiler: the key was not to pick a different wand but to swap them, and he explained why the properties of each made them right for each kid. And they shared a core from the same… phoenix? dragon? I’d have to watch the video again.)

For us the key was going in the hour before the park closed to everyone except the annual passholder party attendees. I would also go in Diagon Alley instead of Hogsmeade because they have more rooms.

My nieces were there a few weeks after us and my older niece (11) got picked the first time through. They could tell the younger one (9) wanted to get picked too so after buying the first wand they went back in, had the same wizard again (and the same one who picked my kids I think, based on the photos, so he’s totally my favourite!!), and he picked the younger one. They were wearing robes, ties, and uniform-y short-sleeved shirts with shorts. My kids were not wearing robes, had matching shirts with a Harry Potter symbol part of the design. The girls that were picked in the first two shows we went to weren’t wearing robes either and I don’t remember seeing anything Harry Potterish on their shirt but they were keen. And I just realized it’s possible they had been through before.


Thanks Steenaca, if there is the possibility of different rooms with slightly different tricks, I’m all in for a second round :grin:

Now can you explain the picking two kids at the same time deal? Because that sounds amazing! I may have to do my hotel trick of sliding a $20 to one of those wizards :wink:

I think we just got very very lucky. I did hear the team members managing the queue say something like “last time” as we were waiting but I don’t know if that had anything to do with us. Maybe they were closing down one of the rooms for the night? Maybe it was our wizard dude’s last show for the day so he decided to make it special? I can only speculate.

The video is here in between dragon pictures: 12 park days with no actual rope drops: a delightful first and possibly only trip


I was thinking more about bribing the wizards, which I’m philosphically but not morally opposed to. You don’t get to see the one who does the ceremony until you’re in the room and I don’t know if you could actually slip them money even if that would work (which I doubt.)

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My adult sister and I also got picked together, so I think this is something that they do with some amount of regularity, though not all the time.


That is so cool. Let me guess, you had to swap the wands and then they were the right ones for you?

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Do you remember how much the extra lanyards cost? I’ll be going with some family in a few weeks and will need extra lanyards for them.

Hey, I’m glad this thread came up again b/c I wanted to thank the original posters. Your idea of wand holsters was perfect for my 3 kids!!! I was too late to get them off Etsy and mentioned it to my husband, who happens to be crafty. The day before our trip he sewed 3 holsters out of some old fabric he had lying around and used that string that is like a heavy cord to make straps so that the kids could have them around their shoulders (like a purse). The wands were always ready to go; I even used the holster myself awhile when one of the kids wasn’t using his. We got the robes and stuff but they were cheap robes and didn’t have holsters (I understand the official Universal ones have a pocket for your wand). Ours were basically long rectangles of sewn fabric but it was brown or black fabric and coordinated pretty well. I"m really glad we didn’t spend the whole trip taking wands out of the backpacks and putting them back in. Thank you! :slight_smile:


You can use a lanyard bought from anywhere, not just Universal. Ours were all things we already had.

I know I can use any lanyards, but the ones I have to do not easily disconnect the holder from the rest of the lanyard. If the photo pass lanyards are cheap enough it might make to get extras of those.

Have an amazing trip! I think it was $5 for the extra lanyard and photo pass card. It turned out we really only used 2 lanyards (the two from the photopass people) after the first day – my husband had our 4 park passes plus a photo pass in one, and I had the 4 room keys (for express pass) and the other photo pass in the other. It made it easier for the rides where things needed to be secured and the kids, who have fidgeting-with-things tendencies, just had to keep track of their hats that way. For Hulk, which was the only ride we child swapped, my husband took 2 express passes in his pocket and I held everything else in the child swap waiting room until it was my turn.

We may be splitting up into two or three groups, and I want each group to have a lanyard.

That makes sense. We only split into 2 groups a few times and never more, so 2 photo pass cards and lanyards was enough. I thought we’d each need a lanyard for our passes/express passes so it was good after the first day when we came up with a more efficient system.

We’ll have an 11, 12, and 14 year old, plus myself and one another adult. Last time I went with the other adult, the 11 year was 10, but he managed his own ticket on a lanyard. Worked out really well for us. I’m thinking even with the two older kids, we’ll manage.

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I recall from my last trip to UO, that many rides required you to store items in lockers – Did your husband have to store the lanyard in the locker or was he allowed to wear the lanyard on the bigger rides?

I have worn my lanyard on every ride I went on. I had no issues wearing it on Hulk, Rip Ride Rocket, Forbidden Journey, Gringotts, MIB, or Mummy. For most of the rides, I tucked it into my shirt before boarding the ride vehicle.