Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

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FB01
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Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by FB01 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm

Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Thanks, | JR

smitcat
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm

FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.

Topic Author
FB01
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:36 am

Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by FB01 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:09 pm

smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.

Not taking the fast passes..Plannig to go next month....Do share your experience once you are back
Thanks, | JR

smitcat
Posts: 3580
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:13 pm

FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:09 pm
smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.

Not taking the fast passes..Plannig to go next month....Do share your experience once you are back
We have been there over a dozen times.
First move without fast passes is to check the crowd calendar for the days you will be there.
Do you have tickets for 1, 2 or 3 parks?
How many days?
Does each person in your party go on every ride? (height restrictions)
Do you want to try each ride or are there some/many you will skip?

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fortfun
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by fortfun » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:19 pm

We went to the Florida park a couple of years ago. The 3 day pass was not much more than the one day pass, so we purchased it but the Florida park is much bigger. We did Ollivanders but did not buy the Wand. It's cool but expensive. My kids were fine without it.

Even though we were a family, we used the single person line frequently. 9 times out of 10, we ended up in the same car anyway, just got through the line twice as fast. We had a meet up plan just in case we didn't get placed in the same car.

If you get a chance, I'd recommend the Florida park as it has 2 Harry Potter worlds that are connected by the Hogwart express (very cool).

Finally, get there 30 minutes before the gates open, that way you should be able to get in several rides before the lines get long.

jackholloway
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by jackholloway » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:52 pm

I liked Ollivanders. Our child was selected as the “powerful witch” at the center of the show, and the whole family bought wands. We have used them with various cosplay costumes at cons for many years.

Topic Author
FB01
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by FB01 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:16 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:13 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:09 pm
smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.

Not taking the fast passes..Plannig to go next month....Do share your experience once you are back
We have been there over a dozen times.
First move without fast passes is to check the crowd calendar for the days you will be there.
Do you have tickets for 1, 2 or 3 parks?
How many days?
Does each person in your party go on every ride? (height restrictions)
Do you want to try each ride or are there some/many you will skip?



We have tickets for just 1 day. My kids are 6 and 9 so maybe some ride might be restricted for my younger kid

Let me know the details you can provide about the good rides to cover first.
Thanks, | JR

smitcat
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:19 am

FB01 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:16 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:13 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:09 pm
smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.
Sorry - I misread you post and thought this was Orlando. Totally my fault for not reading , perhaps another poster will have good input for this Park.

Not taking the fast passes..Plannig to go next month....Do share your experience once you are back
We have been there over a dozen times.
First move without fast passes is to check the crowd calendar for the days you will be there.
Do you have tickets for 1, 2 or 3 parks?
How many days?
Does each person in your party go on every ride? (height restrictions)
Do you want to try each ride or are there some/many you will skip?



We have tickets for just 1 day. My kids are 6 and 9 so maybe some ride might be restricted for my younger kid

Let me know the details you can provide about the good rides to cover first.

smitcat
Posts: 3580
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:14 am

I see that the crowd calendar has data for the LA park as well, knowing ahead of time how crowded the day you select will be will help you plan your trip.
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by abuss368 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:40 am

Really enjoyed the Florida park and have been there a couple of times. The Transformers and Harry Potter rides were really cool.
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Topic Author
FB01
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by FB01 » Wed May 08, 2019 1:40 pm

FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:09 pm
smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.

Not taking the fast passes..Plannig to go next month....Do share your experience once you are back

Smitcat,

Can you share your experience if you are back?
Thanks, | JR

smitcat
Posts: 3580
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Wed May 08, 2019 3:27 pm

FB01 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:40 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:09 pm
smitcat wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:24 pm
FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
Do you have fast passes?
When are you going?
FWIW - we are headed there next week.

Not taking the fast passes..Plannig to go next month....Do share your experience once you are back

Smitcat,

Can you share your experience if you are back?
I was at Orlando not LA - I totally missed your LA location.
FWIW - the Orlando parks were great.

GRAZ
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by GRAZ » Thu May 09, 2019 4:06 pm

My family and I went to Universal Studios Hollywood for 2 days back in March and had a good time. My kids are 9 and 11 and are big Harry Potter fans. We didn't go to Olivanders because we thought that it was just a long line to wait and buy an expense wand. After our last day at the park, a friend told us that it's a pretty fun experience to see the different tricks with the wands, etc. We will be going back over the summer will plan to stop at Olivanders to watch the show at least once.

My tips:
Download the Universal Hollywood app - It is great for tracking wait times throughout the day

Get to the entrance early - Both days we went, they opened the gates about 30 minutes ahead of the official opening time

Do the studio tour - We did the tour each day, and although we went along the same route both days, the experiences were different due to different tour guides. Also, there are some ride like experiences during the tour which are pretty fun

The wait times drop significantly in the afternoon - Both days we were there, wait times went to almost zero after 3pm or so - I don't know if that happen year round or not, but for us it was consistent

The Harry Potter roller coaster is fun, but not worth it to wait inline for 1 hour. The other Harry Potter ride is also fun, but moves around a lot with a lot of virtual reality which can make it hard on the eyes if you are sensitive to that.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:14 pm

2 adults here - not Harry Potter fans by any stretch, though I saw (and liked) a few movies, and my wife was grateful for a 20-minute recap of all the movies on Youtube. We wandered down the hill to Universal City today, and started at the Harry Potter bit.

1) The wand shop. They average about $50 each (plus about 10% tax). One is about $46, another about $54. The difference was explained to me, but I glazed over within 5 seconds. I believe there is a cheaper wand, but that doesn't have any powers. There is also a collectors edition wand (maybe 5,000 produced) for $70. Then you have to decide which character's wand you want. There must be about 30 characters.

2) Most kids did not have wands. And the kids who did have them looked underwhelmed as they waved their wands at grunting gates, some musical instruments, and so on. The cool kids (and one or two unaccompanied adults) wore black academic gowns.

3) There are two attractions and about 9 gift shops. My wife is terrified of roller coasters, but she was able to stomach the Harry Potter one, which lasts maybe 30 seconds. Yes, it was very tame by Six Flags standards. The simulator ride is one of several at the park (Simpsons, Transformers, Despicable Me) and they all follow a similar trajectory. Listen to a lengthy backstory before climbing in and being thrown all about. I didn't realize until after the ride that I was supposed to be on a broom. Much of it was in darkness, and Harry was shouting a lot.

4) The most important thing is to get the Express pass, otherwise your life will be ruined. There was no waiting, except for Despicable Me, where a 10-minute wait was followed by a painful 5-minute cartoon video. If you have the Express Pass there's no point showing up at 8:30 am.

5) Gift shops. Well, the sky's the limit, and it helps to know your Gryfindor from your Hufflepuff. I blew about $60 on junk for my fanatical sub-10-y-o nephew and niece. Quality was mixed. A 10-pack of postcards (not sold individually) had maybe 3 or 4 interesting postcards. I don't think any souvenirs were sold with likenesses of the characters. I guess that's a licensing and legality issue. Interestingly, there were no Harry Potter books for sale either.

6) Most importantly. It's not advertised (which drives AmEx mad), but AmEx holders should be able to get 10-15% off food/drink purchases. It helps to enquire first as not all eateries participate. I believe the Hello Kitty store gives an AmEx discount for purchases above $70.

7) It's a whole new language at the Harry Potter site, and much of it was way over my head. Like, what's the deal with that crashed car? Apparently Harry crashed it in one of the books. They should sell explanatory wands to illiterates like me.

8) Elsewhere, I couldn't believe how geriatric and shabby the Studio Tour tram-ride has become since I first took it in 1980. The monitors inside the trams were too dark. The "King Kong" and "Fast and Furious" 3D stops were a literal blur. And I felt bad for Jaws, who really is looking his age. Funnily, the guide was talking up the "upcoming" Secret Life of Pets sequel due out this summer. Well, it came out last weekend, pal, and it bombed.

smitcat
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:26 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:14 pm
2 adults here - not Harry Potter fans by any stretch, though I saw (and liked) a few movies, and my wife was grateful for a 20-minute recap of all the movies on Youtube. We wandered down the hill to Universal City today, and started at the Harry Potter bit.

1) The wand shop. They average about $50 each (plus about 10% tax). One is about $46, another about $54. The difference was explained to me, but I glazed over within 5 seconds. I believe there is a cheaper wand, but that doesn't have any powers. There is also a collectors edition wand (maybe 5,000 produced) for $70. Then you have to decide which character's wand you want. There must be about 30 characters.

2) Most kids did not have wands. And the kids who did have them looked underwhelmed as they waved their wands at grunting gates, some musical instruments, and so on. The cool kids (and one or two unaccompanied adults) wore black academic gowns.

3) There are two attractions and about 9 gift shops. My wife is terrified of roller coasters, but she was able to stomach the Harry Potter one, which lasts maybe 30 seconds. Yes, it was very tame by Six Flags standards. The simulator ride is one of several at the park (Simpsons, Transformers, Despicable Me) and they all follow a similar trajectory. Listen to a lengthy backstory before climbing in and being thrown all about. I didn't realize until after the ride that I was supposed to be on a broom. Much of it was in darkness, and Harry was shouting a lot.

4) The most important thing is to get the Express pass, otherwise your life will be ruined. There was no waiting, except for Despicable Me, where a 10-minute wait was followed by a painful 5-minute cartoon video. If you have the Express Pass there's no point showing up at 8:30 am.

5) Gift shops. Well, the sky's the limit, and it helps to know your Gryfindor from your Hufflepuff. I blew about $60 on junk for my fanatical sub-10-y-o nephew and niece. Quality was mixed. A 10-pack of postcards (not sold individually) had maybe 3 or 4 interesting postcards. I don't think any souvenirs were sold with likenesses of the characters. I guess that's a licensing and legality issue. Interestingly, there were no Harry Potter books for sale either.

6) Most importantly. It's not advertised (which drives AmEx mad), but AmEx holders should be able to get 10-15% off food/drink purchases. It helps to enquire first as not all eateries participate. I believe the Hello Kitty store gives an AmEx discount for purchases above $70.

7) It's a whole new language at the Harry Potter site, and much of it was way over my head. Like, what's the deal with that crashed car? Apparently Harry crashed it in one of the books. They should sell explanatory wands to illiterates like me.

8) Elsewhere, I couldn't believe how geriatric and shabby the Studio Tour tram-ride has become since I first took it in 1980. The monitors inside the trams were too dark. The "King Kong" and "Fast and Furious" 3D stops were a literal blur. And I felt bad for Jaws, who really is looking his age. Funnily, the guide was talking up the "upcoming" Secret Life of Pets sequel due out this summer. Well, it came out last weekend, pal, and it bombed.
We have not been to U-Studios Hollywood but from your detailed description it sounds like it would be well worth it to go to Orlando if this is a park that you want to experience. The Orlando parks are at least 3 times the size with that much more to do and see for those that find the travel and/or trip within their plans.

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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by BogleFanGal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:33 pm

The orlando park is awesome...love it there. Never been to CA one, but I'm sure a few google inquiries will turn up lots of posts with tips. The nice thing about the FL location is CityWalk - a themed restaurant, shopping and entertainment district a few walking steps from both parks. Plenty of good eateries, big Cinemark movie complex, mini golf courses, shops.

re: wands: I've heard you can pick up used ones on amazon and ebay - parents resell them after their kids get tired of them, I guess. Might be worth taking a look to save some $$$over MSRP. :D

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CAsage
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by CAsage » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:58 pm

You really should do Ollivander's Wand shop, just to enjoy the amazing décor/set/show they put on. A "wizard" from an audience of 40 or so gets to choose a wand (so, likely not you). Then you exit through the gift shop, but are under no obligation to buy a wand just to see the (fun) show. Frankly, a wooden dowel, some paper mache and string, black spray paint and you could make a really cool wand as a "custom" project some weekend.... I would hesitate to drop the $$ on one unless your child is a die hard fan. And picks their character! Skip the "upscale" powered wands they only work onsite. And window shop slowly - the displays are awesome. The 3 Broomsticks is good to dine in, the roller coaster is strictly for younger kids. And the Main ride will toss you around quite a bit, but older kids love it. Definitely buy some Butter Beer (sort of butterscotch soda) just to say you did. I've been to both Orlando (took my DS when he turned 11...) and LA (more recently), love both. The street views, castle are great. And watch out for the show of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, it's done on a stage midtown.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by SrGrumpy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:49 pm

BogleFanGal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:33 pm
The orlando park is awesome...love it there. Never been to CA one, but I'm sure a few google inquiries will turn up lots of posts with tips. The nice thing about the FL location is CityWalk - a themed restaurant, shopping and entertainment district a few walking steps from both parks. Plenty of good eateries, big Cinemark movie complex, mini golf courses, shops.
I guess L.A. was the prototype. We have a CityWalk here, opened in 1992/1993 - the usual array: Bubba Gump, Tony Roma, Hard Rock, a horrendous candy store touting the benefits of sugar. The real estate footprint is obviously limited, unlike the patrons' waist sizes.

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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:43 pm

CAsage wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:58 pm
You really should do Ollivander's Wand shop, just to enjoy the amazing décor/set/show they put on. A "wizard" from an audience of 40 or so gets to choose a wand (so, likely not you). Then you exit through the gift shop, but are under no obligation to buy a wand just to see the (fun) show. Frankly, a wooden dowel, some paper mache and string, black spray paint and you could make a really cool wand as a "custom" project some weekend.... I would hesitate to drop the $$ on one unless your child is a die hard fan. And picks their character! Skip the "upscale" powered wands they only work onsite. And window shop slowly - the displays are awesome. The 3 Broomsticks is good to dine in, the roller coaster is strictly for younger kids. And the Main ride will toss you around quite a bit, but older kids love it. Definitely buy some Butter Beer (sort of butterscotch soda) just to say you did. I've been to both Orlando (took my DS when he turned 11...) and LA (more recently), love both. The street views, castle are great. And watch out for the show of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, it's done on a stage midtown.
"I've been to both Orlando (took my DS when he turned 11...) and LA (more recently), love both"
Have you been to Orlando since they opened Diagon Alley, The Gringotts ride and the Hogwarts train between the two parks?
Additionally they have a huge waterpark there now - very impressive rides there as well.

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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by CAsage » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:17 pm

smitcat wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:43 pm

"I've been to both Orlando (took my DS when he turned 11...) and LA (more recently), love both"
Have you been to Orlando since they opened Diagon Alley, The Gringotts ride and the Hogwarts train between the two parks?
Additionally they have a huge waterpark there now - very impressive rides there as well.
Tragically not, and I would love to! Florida is a LOT further from CA (as in, you lose a day on travel each way), so it's harder to book. Darling Son was 11 (and yes, I pulled him out of school for a whole week, he seems to have survived) and Florida had the only Harry Potter world then. Would love to book a trip to see Diagon Alley and Gringotts.... one day, not in summer!
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:09 pm

10-hour wait for Day 1 of the new Harry Potter roller coaster at Orlando. Plus thunderstorms. Would this be good parenting or bad parenting? (Per The Points Guy)

smitcat
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by smitcat » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:56 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:09 pm
10-hour wait for Day 1 of the new Harry Potter roller coaster at Orlando. Plus thunderstorms. Would this be good parenting or bad parenting? (Per The Points Guy)
With planning there is never a reason to wait anywhere near that long. In most cases you can arrange a trip so that you wait very little or not at all.
Of course for those that 'must' be there for a new opening or be there on specific dates the choice is no longer available.

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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:41 pm

FB01 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Hi,

Anyone recently been to Universal Studio, LA. I am reading that Ollivanders Wand Shop should be the first one to visit and but a want with is like $25 and $48 and then to do the arry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Is buying the wand worth it and waste the time standing in the line?

Apart from that, if anyone tell me what rides to go first that would be great. There are number of articles but who just went recently, might be helpful

Also..any tips are suggestions are welcome
You can have the Olivander's experience without actually buying a wand at the end. The wand is a cool souvenir and can be used for some occasionally functioning little tricks nearby.

So if $25-50 is chump change to you, get it. If it isn't, then skip it.
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Re: Universal Studio, LA - Ollivanders Wand Shop worth it

Post by Afty » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:04 am

I took my daughter for her birthday a couple years ago. We did the Ollivanders show 5 or 6 times; it was her favorite thing there. You don’t have to buy anything. Overall the Harry Potter area is wonderful if you are a HP fan. The attention to detail is just amazing.

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