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General Discussion - Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
15,789
Pittsburgh, PA
The last thing about Virtual Q and then I will leave it alone. It gives Florida residence, and APs, a huge advantage. I had done enough research ahead of the trip and was prepared for VQ, and it was still challenging to get one. Imagine the family that has no idea about VQ or how to navigate it, they are likely to strike out and miss the ride (like the family on the plane). I secured a VQ, but could not include my whole family (see previous post). The only 'sure thing', is to get in line when the park opens. We got in line around 8:30am for the 9am opening, and the double lines ended near Big Fire. We were boarding trains at 10:15 but it was worth it.
Yuuuuup. Same for boarding groups.
 

OrlandoGuy

Contributing Member
Sep 29, 2014
970
Chicago
I’d be really curious to compare ridership on a VL day vs standby day. The VL really highlights who doesn’t GET to ride because of challenges with the system…but how many guests are not riding the ride on a standby day when they CHOOSE not to wait because the queue is 3 hours long?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the two figures are real similar, especially since capacity counts over the past two years hasn’t discouraged Universal from turning the system off completely. The only people I see it really affecting are those who purchased Express but there’s a good chance Express wouldn’t be available on the ride anyhow, even if VL wasn’t a thing.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,889
Pittsburgh area
Good example. On Sunday the ride stayed standby, and the line remained in the 45 minute range most of the day. Really no good reason to keep switching around to VL (except during holiday crowds) when you have an attraction with pretty decent ride capacity and a high capacity queue. Take care of your guests that are spending the big bucks for a Universal on site vacation, and stop the VL nonsense. VL just makes it difficult for a out of state tourist to get a ride, especially when the operating agenda varies most every day. Heck, Kong still gets higher average wait times than Hagrid during mid day consistently and they've never used VL for Kong..........Hagrid's definitely was easier to figure out my vacation in November 2019. It was stand by all the time. If the line got too long, they just shut it down for 30 or 60 minutes....and then started it back up again. That was definitely less confusing, and easier to get on, then this hybrid stand by/VL system that has no consistent times, or any discernable rhyme or reason on how they determine it on a single day basis. It's just confusion as it stands now.
 
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FatalBubbles

Newcomer
Jul 19, 2018
54
Good example. On Sunday the ride stayed standby, and the line remained in the 45 minute range most of the day. Really no good reason to keep switching around to VL (except during holiday crowds) when you have an attraction with pretty decent ride capacity and a high capacity queue. Take care of your guests that are spending the big bucks for a Universal on site vacation, and stop the VL nonsense. VL just makes it difficult for a out of state tourist to get a ride, especially when the operating agenda varies most every day. Heck, Kong still gets higher average wait times than Hagrid during mid day consistently and they've never used VL for Kong..........Hagrid's definitely was easier to figure out my vacation in November 2019. It was stand by all the time. If the line got too long, they just shut it down for 30 or 60 minutes....and then started it back up again. That was definitely less confusing, and easier to get on, then this hybrid stand by/VL system that has no consistent times, or any discernable rhyme or reason on how they determine it on a single day basis. It's just confusion as it stands now.
As a fellow Pennsylvanian, I couldn't agree more. We went in November 2019 as well and while we waited close to 3 hours in line at least we knew what to expect. We are planning a trip later this year and I sure hope the VL is gone, it seems like a nightmare. I'll take a posted long wait time over a guessing game VL any day of the week.
 
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UniversalRBLX

Veteran Member
Nov 3, 2015
3,705
Cabana Bae
Surprised they have yet to figure out a more permanent solution to the locker area's bottle neck. They need to figure out a way to get rid of those barricades in front of the Hogwarts Express to make it more navigable.
 
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Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
15,789
Pittsburgh, PA
Surprised they have yet to figure out a more permanent solution to the locker area's bottle neck. They need to figure out a way to get rid of those barricades in front of the Hogwarts Express to make it more navigable.
This is a larger function of the popularity of the ride and Covid measures. Once things die down I can see that opening up again
 

Yabbadabba Doh

Contributing Member
Jan 31, 2013
799
Good example. On Sunday the ride stayed standby, and the line remained in the 45 minute range most of the day. Really no good reason to keep switching around to VL (except during holiday crowds) when you have an attraction with pretty decent ride capacity and a high capacity queue. Take care of your guests that are spending the big bucks for a Universal on site vacation, and stop the VL nonsense. VL just makes it difficult for a out of state tourist to get a ride, especially when the operating agenda varies most every day. Heck, Kong still gets higher average wait times than Hagrid during mid day consistently and they've never used VL for Kong..........Hagrid's definitely was easier to figure out my vacation in November 2019. It was stand by all the time. If the line got too long, they just shut it down for 30 or 60 minutes....and then started it back up again. That was definitely less confusing, and easier to get on, then this hybrid stand by/VL system that has no consistent times, or any discernable rhyme or reason on how they determine it on a single day basis. It's just confusion as it stands now.
Agreed. My daughter was there on Sunday at park open and was able to ride twice. She and her friends loved the ride, and velocicoaster too!
 
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therock

Newcomer
Jul 29, 2018
62
When you get on the app to try and reserve a time, it says no availability but asks you to check back at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. But one tip is that another round opens up at 6pm as well, even though the app doesn't list it. I was able to grab a time for my family of 5 while sitting in my room at Cabana Bay, literally watching the clock and refreshing my phone waiting for the 6pm slots to open. Another tip is that it gives you 2 return times, pick the second (later) one, because everyone will try and pick the first available slot by nature and if you choose that one you are more than likely going to get blocked out, because the times literally go away in seconds.

If I had not kept trying and gotten lucky, our family would have been locked out of being able to ride Hagrids this whole entire trip. Like many out of state tourists, we get to come to Universal once every 3 to 5 years. Being blocked out of a park's best ride because your fingers aren't fast enough on a phone is something that should never happen at any park. Its why I won't go to Disney Hollywood Studios. I say just do standby lines and if the wait is 3 hours, so be it. At least you can still get in line if you want and if you decide not to ride, then its your own choice.

One other thing of note, when you get a virtual line pass, it doesn't mean your wait will be any shorter. It just means you get the privilege of being able to wait another 2 hours to actually ride. Its important to know this ahead of time, as we had one family in front of us literally walk out of the line after after an hour because they were upset because they thought virtual queue meant it was like a fast pass line, that you would get to ride soon. I felt bad for them because I knew they were giving up too early and probably wouldn't get another chance to ride later.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,889
Pittsburgh area
When you get on the app to try and reserve a time, it says no availability but asks you to check back at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. But one tip is that another round opens up at 6pm as well, even though the app doesn't list it. I was able to grab a time for my family of 5 while sitting in my room at Cabana Bay, literally watching the clock and refreshing my phone waiting for the 6pm slots to open. Another tip is that it gives you 2 return times, pick the second (later) one, because everyone will try and pick the first available slot by nature and if you choose that one you are more than likely going to get blocked out, because the times literally go away in seconds.

If I had not kept trying and gotten lucky, our family would have been locked out of being able to ride Hagrids this whole entire trip. Like many out of state tourists, we get to come to Universal once every 3 to 5 years. Being blocked out of a park's best ride because your fingers aren't fast enough on a phone is something that should never happen at any park. Its why I won't go to Disney Hollywood Studios. I say just do standby lines and if the wait is 3 hours, so be it. At least you can still get in line if you want and if you decide not to ride, then its your own choice.

One other thing of note, when you get a virtual line pass, it doesn't mean your wait will be any shorter. It just means you get the privilege of being able to wait another 2 hours to actually ride. Its important to know this ahead of time, as we had one family in front of us literally walk out of the line after after an hour because they were upset because they thought virtual queue meant it was like a fast pass line, that you would get to ride soon. I felt bad for them because I knew they were giving up too early and probably wouldn't get another chance to ride later.
All excellent points.
 
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belloq87

Veteran Member
Dec 7, 2009
6,172
Universal Exports
One other thing of note, when you get a virtual line pass, it doesn't mean your wait will be any shorter. It just means you get the privilege of being able to wait another 2 hours to actually ride.
Now I'm even less of a fan of the Virtual thing than I thought I was!

I'm struggling to see how it benefits anyone (provided the attraction is operating reliably).
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,889
Pittsburgh area
I recall when Fallon opened, one of the Universal mgt. leads of the project, who previously worked for Disney, highly touted VL in an interview. He basically said it was the wave of the future. At that time they tried it briefly on some attractions, DM, Shrek and Ptry. Fliers. It didn't work out too well, except for Fallon. There's probably some mgt. types that still push for VL, behind the scenes. ....Well, the system sucks, and Universal & Disney needs to back off. VL is not a customer oriented idea. It is certainly not tourist guest friendly.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,534
One other thing of note, when you get a virtual line pass, it doesn't mean your wait will be any shorter. It just means you get the privilege of being able to wait another 2 hours to actually ride.
But that IS how it's supposed to work. If there's still a 2 hour wait after entering the line at your return time, that's another problem altogether.
 

BBL

Newcomer
Feb 11, 2013
50
I’ve been here for a few days and have ridden Hagrid’s both using virtual line and standby. If you can, standby is much better. I had no issue getting virtual line passes and lucked out the first time I tried. However, we still waited about an hour and forty minutes. Yesterday we decided to rope drop it, and despite the fact the TMs were telling people it was a thirty minute wait, it was literally a walk on. We went straight from Hagrid’s to the velocicoaster and walked right on to that also. Then rode it a second time using the single rider line which was also a walk on. We were done by 9:15 with all three rides.
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,243
I’ve been here for a few days and have ridden Hagrid’s both using virtual line and standby. If you can, standby is much better. I had no issue getting virtual line passes and lucked out the first time I tried. However, we still waited about an hour and forty minutes. Yesterday we decided to rope drop it, and despite the fact the TMs were telling people it was a thirty minute wait, it was literally a walk on. We went straight from Hagrid’s to the velocicoaster and walked right on to that also. Then rode it a second time using the single rider line which was also a walk on. We were done by 9:15 with all three rides.
what time did you get to the park for rope drop?
 

BBL

Newcomer
Feb 11, 2013
50
what time did you get to the park for rope drop?
We were in line a little before 8:00. We ended up in the switchbacks by the ticket booths, so not as close as we could be, but close enough to be able to power walk to Hagrid’s before the masses arrived.
 

BBL

Newcomer
Feb 11, 2013
50
what time did you get to the park for rope drop?
We were in line a little before 8:00. We ended up in the switchbacks by the ticket booths, so not as close as we could be, but close enough to be able to power walk to Hagrid’s
the masses arrived.
I


Assuming park opened at 8 right?
Islands of Adventure actually opens at 9:00. The studios has early admission right now. We did the same thing today and it still worked great. They let people in the park at 8:30 today instead of 8:45. They didn’t even stop us at Seuss today like yesterday. Went straight to Hagrid’s which was open and walked right on. Then went right to velocicoaster and walked on that, and rode a second time single rider which was also just about a walk on.
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,243
We were in line a little before 8:00. We ended up in the switchbacks by the ticket booths, so not as close as we could be, but close enough to be able to power walk to Hagrid’s
the masses arrived.
Islands of Adventure actually opens at 9:00. The studios has early admission right now. We did the same thing today and it still worked great. They let people in the park at 8:30 today instead of 8:45. They didn’t even stop us at Seuss today like yesterday. Went straight to Hagrid’s which was open and walked right on. Then went right to velocicoaster and walked on that, and rode a second time single rider which was also just about a walk on.
.
Ok: the park opens at 8am when I am there. So basically you waited an hour before the park opened. That’s what I was wondering
 
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