With Annual Pass Previews for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter now underway, we thought we’d outline what exactly you need to know to attend a successful preview of Universal’s latest blockbuster addition to the Upper Lot. For those who are not Annual Pass holders, this article may also be helpful if you’re looking to attend a technical rehearsal on the day of an Annual Pass Preview event. We suggest scrolling to the bottom of this article if you’re in this category.
How do I register to attend an Annual Pass Preview of Wizarding World?
First things first: we’re going to assume that you’re an existing Annual Pass holder that’s eligible to attend this preview. That means you’re going to need an Annual Pass that was purchased on or prior to March 13, 2016. If you’re an existing pass holder with an older tier of pass, you’re going to need to ensure that it’s valid until March 30, 2016. If you meet either qualification, you may reserve a time bracket at this link.
What should I bring?
Bring your Annual Pass and a printed reservation confirmation ticket for each member of your party. The name of your pass will be tied to the name on your printed ticket, so please ensure that all the details on your printed confirmation ticket are correct. It may also be helpful to bring photo identification in case there are any complications.
What time should I arrive?
Based on our experience on March 19 – the first Annual Pass Preview event – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened earlier than 9:00 AM (though this is not always guaranteed!). So if you’re looking to beat a potential crowd of pass holders, arriving early may be your opportunity to do so.
Some of our readers have expressed concern that their RSVP ticket recommends arriving at least one hour prior to their reservation time. This may be difficult if you have a 9:00 AM appointment time. Here’s what we recommend:
For existing Annual Pass holders, arriving at least 15 minutes at the park’s main gate may be sufficient for you to gain entry into the event. We were able to check in and attain our wristbands in under five minutes.
For new Annual Pass holders, we highly recommend arriving at least one hour prior to your appointment time. Universal is currently dividing entry into two lines: existing pass holders and pass holders who need to register to attain their new pass. Registration is a longer process, and we highly recommend arriving early to avoid long wait times or delays.
Suffice to say, it’s always better to arrive early – especially if you’re a huge Harry Potter fan. Early arrivals will give you a greater likelihood of experiencing Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff multiple times. This is especially prudent if you’re registering your pass for the first time.
I have my ticket and my pass – where do I go?
With your confirmation ticket and pass in hand, head through the security checkpoint and proceed to the right side of the arch. The entryway will be next to the restrooms in the entrance plaza.
Once you arrive at the annual pass check-in, you’ll be confronted with two lines: existing Annual Pass holders and new Annual Pass registrations. Pick your path depending on which pass you have, and you’ll be given a wristband after checking in with a Universal team member. This wristband is required for entry during the preview event. You’ll then be directed by Universal team members for further instructions.
How long is the preview?
Annual Pass Previews will likely last until noon. For us specifically, Annual Pass members retained exclusive access of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter until 10:30 AM. This meant that only Annual Pass members were given access to the land, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff and the land’s shops and restaurants. With that being said, please keep in mind that this time may fluctuate depending on the day of your visit.
How are wait times?
Wait times – thus far – have generally been low and moderate during Annual Pass Previews, but this may of course change depending on the day of your visit. Wait times generally peaked once guests were allowed inside the land, so plan accordingly and take advantage of your appointment time.
Disclaimer aside, many pass holders were able to ride Wizarding World’s major attractions with ease.
Will I be allowed to roam the rest of the park?
Yes. Once the park opens, you’ll be able to roam the rest of the theme park. However, if you are granted early entry, you’ll be restricted inside The Wizarding World.
What happens when the Annual Pass Preview ends?
Once the Annual Pass Preview reservation windows conclude, park guests are likely able to enter the land. Pass holders that are inside the land will not be forced to leave.
What if I do not have an Annual Pass? Will I be able to experience the land on an Annual Pass Preview date?
Based on our experience on March 19, guests inside the park – including those without an Annual Pass – have been able to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter around noon, if not earlier once Annual Pass Previews conclude. However, access is restricted to Annual Pass holders wearing wristbands during the preview window.
Given the new signage for the land on the park’s digital display boards, it may be reasonable to assume that technical rehearsals will be occurring with more regularity as the land approaches its April 7 grand opening. If you’re looking to attend a technical rehearsal, it may be reasonable to assume that you will be able to get in around noon on the day of the Annual Pass Preview event, though we recommend checking in with our community for a specific prediction based on what our community has experienced so far.
Edit: March 20, 2016 – the land opened to the public at 12:35 PM. We’ll be sure to edit this portion to include additional time stamps as Annual Pass Previews progress so that you may make an informed decision.
Edit: March 21, 2016 – the land opened to the public at 10:35 AM.
Any more questions? Comment below!
If you have any additional questions, please comment below. If you’ve attending an Annual Pass Preview, we’d love to hear your thoughts, tips and experiences as well. These tips and suggestions are tentative, and Universal may change their operations prior to April 7. As such, please keep in mind that your experience may differ. Please comment below if you experience any changes, and we’ll edit this article as needed.
Good luck and have fun!