The grand opening of Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter drew huge crowds and very, very long lines in nearly 100-degree Florida summer heat.
Tuesday marked Diagon Alley’s official opening day to the public, and the long waiting times -- up to six hours -- signaled that Universal Orlando Studios still has not ironed out all of the kinks for their main attraction, the ride called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
The expansion was unveiled to VIPs and the press at the end of June.
According to Mugglenet.com, the design was “visually stunning” but “after many delays and shutdowns, the line was evacuated” before anyone got a chance to try the ride.
On Tuesday, those glitches still hadn't been resolved.
— Jon Busdeker (@jonbusdeker) July 8, 2014
The Escape from Gringotts had been having "technical problems during previews and operated sporadically. ... But Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, said he was 'beyond confident' that the ride would operate today," according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Large crowds were expected, and fans went to Twitter to air their grievances for the extremely long lines – especially for a ticket that can cost up to $136 per day for a single adult.
— Bret (@Schmoofy) July 8, 2014
— Orlando Informer (@OrlandoInformer) July 8, 2014
— Craig Evans (@TheCraigEvans) July 8, 2014
— Ricky Brigante, Host (@InsideTheMagic) July 8, 2014
— Theme Park Review (@ThemeParkReview) July 8, 2014
The Hogsmeade portion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010. Grossing nearly $7.7 billion to date, Harry Potter is the most successful film franchise in history, far above all the Marvel movies, "Star Wars," and even James Bond himself.
Universal Studios didn't reply to a request for comment.