Getting to Know Universal – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

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This week we are going miles below ground into private wizard vaults as we get to know Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Escape from Gringotts opened in summer 2014 as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley expansion in Universal Studios Florida. Diagon Alley and Escape from Gringotts replaced the Jaws: The Ride opening day attraction.

Quick Glance

  • Location: Universal Studios Florida
  • Attraction Type: Indoor roller coaster with simulator elements
  • Scope: Super Headliner
  • TouringPlans Rating: 5 stars
  • Height Requirement: 42 inches

The Experience

Hidden from the prying eyes of normal humans is Diagon Alley, the Wizarding World’s London retail, entertainment, and lodging district. Whether you are a first-year shopping for books and an owl or an experienced dark wizard looking for ancient artifacts, Diagon Alley has it all. Magical folk might be able to transform objects and fly on a broom but they do not have an active electronic credit system so they must rely on wizarding banks for all their monetary needs.

Located at the end of Diagon Alley stands Gringotts Bank with its multi-story stone columns green dome. Inside guests wind their way through a grand bank lobby, with marble columns and grand chandeliers, and past goblin accountants. Today we are here to open an account at the bank on the same day Harry, Hermione, and Ron attempt their break into the vaults.

After a quick ID photograph, we head into the offices of Bill Weasley, curse-breaker for Gringotts Bank. Here we meet Bill and goblin Blordak to discuss our visit to the vaults. We are then quickly ushered out of the offices and to elevators that simulate a 9-mile trip below the bank, into the vault caverns. Upon our disembarkment, we receive protective goggles (nee 3D glasses) and make our way up a staircase to the load platform for our carts (guess the elevators must have skipped a level).

Once on board, we quickly start our trip to the vaults with Bill and Blordark. Of course, as our tour starts the situation immediately goes wrong. Bellatrix and Voldemort show up to thwart the hero trio’s infiltration of the vaults only for us to get caught up in the fight. The carts fall, pitch, sway, and rotate as they are flung around the vaults all before we are heroically rescued and escape via dragon. Bill makes one last pitch to open a vault at Gringotts as we make our way to the unloading platform.

The Opinion

Escape from Gringotts combines 15 years of Universal Orlando attraction design and innovation into one complete package. This attraction still wows guests and stands as a technological marvel seven years after opening. We mark this attraction as Not To Be Missed and think it is one of the best at the resort.

Guests also find Escape from Gringotts is less intense and motion sickness-inducing than Forbidden Journey. If you have experienced issues on Forbidden Journey you will likely be okay on Gringotts.

Restrictions & Accommodations

  • Guests riding Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts must be at least 42 inches (107 cm) tall to ride.
  • Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs must transfer to the ride vehicle.
  • Prosthetic limbs must be removed or secured during the ride; guests must be able to brace themselves while riding. See specific ride accommodation details online.
  • Due to restraints guests with waistlines larger than 40 inches might not fit; use the test seat outside the ride entrance to ensure you can be accommodated.
  • Bags must be placed in a locker
  • Rider Swap is offered for parties with members under the height requirement; see a Team Member at the entrance for assistance.

Touring Tips

Escape from Gringotts continues to be the most popular attraction in the park. Wait times for the attraction frequently reach and exceed 60 minutes on regular days with waits up to two hours on busy days. We suggest riding Escape from Gringotts the first thing in the morning during Early Park Admission or within the last half hour the park is open.

Universal Express Pass is accepted at this attraction; guests skip the grand lobby queue but experience all the preshows. A single rider line is available but skips all of the queue and preshows, we suggest using this once you have walked through the main queue once.

Have any more questions about this attraction? Is it a must-do for you? Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

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Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

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