Visitors wait 5 hours for Harry Potter ride

Associated PressJuly 9, 2014 

Universal-Harry Potter

JOHN RAOUX/ASSOCIATED PRESSA dragon breathes fire from atop Gringnotts Bank during a preview of Diagon Alley last month at Universal Orlando.

JOHN RAOUX — AP

ORLANDO, Fla. -- You might need a magic wand to get on the new Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando Resort.

For a second day in a row, visitors waited up to five hours to get on the ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, located in the new Diagon Alley section of Universal Studios.

A day earlier, on the first day Diagon Alley was open to the public, visitors waited for as long as seven hours.

A sign at the entrance to the 3-D ride at midday Wednesday said the wait would be 300 minutes.

"We're not going to wait," said Eric Poudrier after snapping a photo of the wait time.

He was visiting with his girlfriend and 2-year-old daughter from Montreal.

Tammy Clark and her 11-year-old son, Ethan, also decided to skip the ride after seeing the line.

"It's a five-hour wait," said Clark, of Bridgeport, W.Va. "You won't be able to see anything else."

Juan Sigler, his wife Susy and their two children, Samantha and Steven, arrived at the park after 7 a.m., got in line and didn't exit the ride until well after noon. But they said it was worth a five-hour wait since they felt immersed in Harry Potter's world.

"It has great special effects and you see the central characters," said Susy Sigler, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.

The ride is the centerpiece of the new Harry Potter section.

It combines a roller coaster ride with 3-D projections featuring characters from the Harry Potter books and movies.

The rest of Diagon Alley consists of seven detail-heavy shops selling merchandise such as wizard robes and interactive wands.

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said park workers were trying to accommodate the crowds by giving visitors a ticket with a time to return if they found the wait too long on a first attempt.

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