The anticipation for the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley was huge. Tons of die-hard Potter fans formed two major groups, one of these groups went by the name #PotterWatch, and the other group was called #OccupyDiagon. The crazy fans would show up to park at rope drop (park opening in the morning) and stand in front of the new Potter attractions all day to see if they would soft open. Soft openings are technical rehearsals, meaning practice runs for the new attractions. Soft openings are not announced to the general public, they’re hit or miss. My first experience with soft openings was in 2014 with Transformers: The Ride 3D. I wouldn’t go stand there in the heat all day, I learned to go grab a soda and sit in the nice A/C and then when the ride opened I’d dart to the attraction! In the photos below, fans wait for the Hogwarts Express to open!
For the Hogwarts Express, it was harder to determine when soft openings would happen because of the fact that the ride had many technical issues. It was too hard for me to choose a day to go to the park and know that I would for sure get into one of these soft openings, so I made it simple, I just didn’t go to wait for them! On this very day last year, one of my friends (who is not a theme park junkie) was at the park… It happened! After weeks of waiting for these soft openings, it finally happened! I told her to stop what she was doing and to run to the attraction! She made it in! To much surprise, the first day of soft openings for the Hogwarts Express went quite well, not many technical problems occurred. In the photos below, happy fans celebrate the opening of the Hogwarts Express!