Thousands of people experience Diagon Alley on Opening Day

Despite long ride wait times, small glitches, grand opening is 'success'

ORLANDO, Fla. - Local 6 learned Tuesday night that the new Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringott's ride at Universal Orlando had to be shut down again for a short time. The ride was back up and running before the park closed at 10 p.m., though.

A Universal spokesperson said they had some small glitches with the official debut but overall it was a success as tens of thousands of people experienced the grand opening day of Diagon Alley.

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Local 6 talked with people leaving the park around closing time and they said people were still in line to get on the new ride.

"At 7 p.m. it was four hours to go on the Gringott's ride. They said people would be trying to get on the ride until about 3 a.m.," said Rachel Weir who is visiting from Northern Ireland.

Weir and a friend got to the park around 1 p.m. Tuesday and discovered Universal was offering passes for people to come back to Diagon Alley at a reserved time later in the day instead of waiting in line.

Weir said they took advantage of that option and returned at 7 p.m and got right in. She recommends other people visiting the new attraction this week to do the same thing.

"They were just monitoring the amount of people trying to get into Diagon Alley and when we went in there was space and it was great you could see everything," said Weir.

Weir's friend, Karissa Peterson, said they are diehard fans and didn't mind dealing with the crowds to be there on opening day. Peterson said through all the chaos, Universal staff handled it well.

"They had a lot of people around with the signs saying, you know, if you want information on how to have access. And they had plenty of people to answer questions," said Peterson.

The Gonzalves family visiting from Brazil says they got to the park at 10 a.m. Tuesday and waited six hours to get on the ride.

"We stayed there for 400 minutes and it was worth all the time we stayed there," said Eduardo Gonzalves.

The ride wait time averaged about six hours throughout the day Tuesday.

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