Comments for Smaller crowds mean few lines to be found in Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter


  1. Charissa

    Awesome to see it so empty!

  2. Joe_Spence

    Was the sorting an official thing on the 1st? if so, thats a cool little thing

    1. Ricky Brigante

      No, but it really should have been. It was just something that Michelle and I did on our own. We grabbed a Sorting Hat in Filch’s Emporium (normally for sale) and took a few photos. No actual “sorting” was done, unfortunately.

  3. Wild Ol' Dan

    Howdy Ricky,

    Say, thank you for this wonderful visit. Have you considered doing another WWHP Podcast celebratin’ the peace and enchantment of these quieter times? The first one you and your wife did here was solid gold.

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol’ Dan

  4. Mark (UK)

    Thank you for this article.

    I will be in Florida from the 27th of September for two weeks and have been worrying about the excessive crowds and queues in the WWOHP ever since it opened.

    Your tip regarding being able to stay in the park after it officially closes is also great news as I want to see the WWOHP at night (and the park officially closes at 6pm most days whilst we are there).

    Can you confirm how long people are allowed to stay in the park after the official closing time? The sun sets around 7.15 pm whilst we are there.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      The amount of time guests can stay past closing seems to depend on how many people are there. Rides closes promptly when the park does, but the shops stay open as long as people are in line buying merchandise, though I’m sure there is a point at which they cut it off and start asking guests to leave. We stayed around 30 minutes past closing and still saw plenty of people hanging around. But more than an hour after closing might be too much.

  5. Roberto Paredes G Femat

    Hi Ricky!!!! Your blog is great, the first thing I do every morning is check if something wew has been published. My wife, and my 1 year old kid will be visiting florida next January and I was also worried about the crowds in the wizarding world of harry potter, since the pictures of the grand opnening that you posted a few months ago. Do you think early January (3-11) would be as lightly crowded as in the pictures you just posted? Thanks in advance for keeping us all well informed!!!

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Yes, early January is always a great time to come to Orlando’s theme parks. I do think the crowds will be similarly light then, if not more-so.

  6. Amy Black

    Thanks for the great info! So glad to hear this! I’m heading to my Hogsmeade weekend on the 9th. Thanks for the tip about staying in the park after closing. Will get the rides done during park hours- I can’t wait to see the shops lit up. What a way to spend my 40th B-Day!

  7. Spencer

    Personally I think the whole wizarding world is a little bit overrated but Now that it’s not busy anymore I might have to actually stop by and check it out.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      It does help to actually visit in person before you form an opinion. 😉 And now is a great time to go, allowing plenty of chances to explore the area without dealing with too many people around you.

  8. Conny

    Thank you, Ricky, for that great update. It makes me even more excited to go there. Will be around on september the 21st and hardly can wait.

    Thanks again for your awesome work!!

  9. Elizabeth

    Thanks for the info! I’m glad to see it’s died down somewhat. My family will be making a trip to WWOHP during the Christmas season (approximately the 18th or 19th). I know it will be more crowded then, but do you think it will be so crowded that we won’t be able to enjoy the park or rides?

    1. Ricky Brigante

      That time of year is always VERY busy. With Grinchmas expected to also be going on at that time, Islands of Adventure will likely be quite crowded. You’ll still enjoy your time, but be prepared for lots of people to be there too.

  10. Vince

    We will be arriving in Orlando on 10-2. Hopefully planning on going to IOA during the first few days before the Halloween nights begin around the 7th. Leave end of week for Seaworld, Aquatica, etc. Thanks for all the info.

  11. WizardGirl91

    Will be going to the park on the 20th September, making my way across the pond from jolly ol’ England! Really cannot wait to experience this park, was probablly 10 when I first the read book and I remember sitting next to my mail box waiting for my Hogwarts letter to arrive – which it never did (Personally I think a Death Eater stole it) But 9 years on and hopefullly this park will make up for everything! It looks truely amazing!

  12. Nicole

    So glad it started to empty out!
    I went for the first time yesterday although I live five minutes from the park I wanted to give it some time to clear out.
    I was extremely happy and rode TFJ at least 3 times in under an hour. Very impressive!
    Not to mention Frozen ButterBeer is amazing!

  13. Ronald

    Hi! I came across your article while looking for information about the wizarding world and I must say, and I must say that you pretty much answered all the questions I had. I am planning on going to the park around October 6th or 7th, do you think there will be a lot of lines and crowds since the Halloween Horror Nights is taking place around that time, thanks for your help and the answer will be highly appreciated, keep up the amazing work…

  14. Brandy

    Is your lovley wife wearing a Labyrinth shirt? Super cool- I loved that movie as a kid, been trying to find the book but it appears to be out of print.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Yep, Labyrinth! Dance magic dance…

  15. Eric

    We will be hitting Disney the second week of December, which is historically pretty light crowds. Think Universal will be the same? Might want to take a day.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Yes, there should be light crowds at Universal then as well.

  16. Mark (UK)

    I have just returned from a two week vacation in Florida and visited the WWOHP on Thursday, September the 30th.

    As I am the only die hard HP fan in my family the other members were going to have a leisurely breakfast in the Three Broomsticks whilst I took an hour to do my HP shopping. They got to the order counter at 9.55 AM only to be told that they stop serving breakfasts at 10AM and that they could now only choose from the lunchtime menu (which they did not want to do). The staff were not interested that they had tried to place their breakfast orders before the official cut off time so my family had to walk all the way back around the IOA park before they found an open shop/stand near the main entrance where they could buy a drink and a snack. They were understandably not happy at the service that they had received.

    And now onto my shopping experience. My plan was to vist Zonko’s, Honeyduke’s, the Owl Post, Dervish & Banges and then check all my shopping into the free collect your bags later service (from the Trading Post shop near the main entrance). I would then go onto Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods with no bags! Oh the best laid plans of mice and men.

    What you need to know is that the IOA park will not accept any food items into this service, so basically that’s anything from Honeyduke’s. So I was forced to carry around chocolate all day in the 80 degree heat. Even though I was careful the Honeyduke’s bar melted slightly and cracked in half.

    Also, I thought that I was being clever by putting all my separate bags inside of one another. However, when you leave your shopping with this service the member of staff has to go through them all and check the items against your receipts. So there she was having to empty all my bags within bags, matching items with different receipts whilst I wished the ground would open up and swallow me. She also made me fill in two separate forms, one for the Dervish & Banges items and one for everything else which I had bought before. So after taking up 15 minutes of her time I apologised and was able to escape with just my Honeyduke’s bag!

    As I found out later if you want to buy a chocolate frog or a bar of Honeyduke’s chocolate it is best to get them from the Trading Post store on your way out of the IOA park or from the Universal Store as you walk back through the Universal Citywalk area.

    The WWOHP was absolutely heaving with people all the time we were there which was over 5 hours (my family had really had enought of it by then but I could have spent all day in there). The wait time for both Ollivander’s (in full sun with no shade) and the Forbidden Journey were 50 minutes each.

    I am a person who tends to get stressed very easily so it took a couple of hours before I was able to relax and start enjoying the WWOHP.

    So I hope that everybody else who visits the WWOHP has a more relaxing start to their visit than I and my family did.

    My favourate experience of the whole vacation would have to be the electrical parade and fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and I am not ashamed to admit that I had happy tears in my eyes when the fireworks had ended. We all agreed that they were the best fireworks that we had ever seen.

    Celebrate a dream come true ……. Oh well, back to reality now.

  17. Francisco

    Do they sell books that are talked about in the harry potter stories in the park?

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Not that I’ve ever seen. They do sell the Harry Potter novels, but I think that’s it.

  18. Amie

    This site has been really great in helping me prep for my trip.

    I know the Christmas season is generally a high traffic time at the parks, but any idea how it will be after Christmas? My boyfriend and I are planning to go 12/27-12/29.

    Thank you!!

    1. Ricky Brigante

      The crowds remain through New Year’s Eve, then drop off for a number of weeks. Early January is always very light.

  19. Stefanie

    This is obviously months after this was originally posted, but I just came aross it. Thank you!!! This is music to my ears! I am going to be in Disney World to cheer my father-in-law on in the half marathon in January and we’re planning on visiting Wizarding World while we’re there. The comment about the crowds being just as light then as these pictures is eases my worries about fighting crowds. I didn’t think it was possible, but I am even more excited!!! Thanks for all the great pictures!

  20. emc

    does any one know at what time does the 3 Brommsticks Breakfast starts? from what I have read on the comments it ends at 10am. Thanks. (love the podcast!)

  21. aimee

    OMG! this is amazing! Im 13 and the BIGGEST ahrry potter fan of life!!! We are leaving for there in 3 days time:) Im just so excited! I saved up all my money and im buying EVERYTHING. i can afford;) Thanks for the tips:) and yea.. But wooo:)!!! SO HAPPY,.

  22. Kristina

    Hi I just found this article while trying to find the waiting times 4 the park.And since i found this it gives me an idea of how long i will have to wait to get into the park(since i heard about a ticket?)also the rides!and i’m going to IOA this weekend and wanted to know the wait times for the forbidden journey of harry potter i’ve heard like about 75 minutes to 2 hours!I just wanted to know the real times for january 22


    1. Ricky Brigante

      It’s impossible to predict exactly what the wait times will be, especially in the Wizarding World. This coming weekend will likely be an average weekend with reasonable wait times. It’s not a holiday or special occasion, so you shouldn’t have any wait time just to get into the area. Forbidden Journey is usually 45 minutes at minimum and can get longer from there.

  23. gjkl

    it starts at eleven

    1. gjkl

      the breakfast does

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