Visitors wait 5 hours for Potter ride

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.

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.

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said the park doesn’t disclose attendance figures but “we are very pleased with the results we’re seeing.” Park workers were giving visitors a ticket with a time to return if they found the wait too long on a first attempt, he said.