I thought you guys did a great job for our family when we needed All Star tickets in the last hour. Thanks for the great service. Dan G (Atlanta GA)
As I think you know, one of my wife’s friends who is the mother of one of our eight-year-old son’s friends, suggested that we all go together to Orlando this past June to visit the new Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios. She had the further brilliant idea of staying at the Nickelodeon Hotel outside of Disney World where the kids could get “slimed” once a day and we could all enjoy the Dora and Sponge Bob hotel motif.
What we didn’t know at the time we started to make these plans was that Harry Potter wasn’t even open yet and had already been subjected to a number of opening delays. As our departure date got closer, we finally thought that looking into tickets might be a smart thing to do. Only then did we learn for the first time that we were scheduled to arrive on Thursday and Harry Potter’s opening day was on Friday. Tickets, needless to say, were not available!
As we searched high and low for a way in, we started to learn about VIP passes and special opening hours but we couldn’t find any way to actually get our hands on any tickets. My first reaction was to call everyone I knew who might have a connection to Universal. As I was striking out on that front, my wife asked me if First Hand Tickets could help. I brushed her off thinking that was absurd but I also quietly emailed you guys just in case. In fairness, even your first reaction was “no way” but your team doesn’t like saying “no way” so quietly they went to work. By Thursday night, six of us landed in Orlando and checked into the Nickelodeon Hotel without a Harry Potter ticket in sight.
Well the story ebbed and flowed but it always moved forward and the next thing I knew, Doug had found us the six tickets we needed to get in to Harry Potter on Saturday (Friday, it turned out, was something of a soft VIP opening and not the ideal day to go but Saturday would be a zoo as it was the first official opening day of the new theme park!). Not only did we now have six coveted general admission tickets but Doug found us a hotel room at the Hard Rock Hotel on the Universal property for Saturday night which would allow us to check into the hotel at 7am on Saturday morning and would get us early access VIP passes to get into the theme park an hour before the general public. Well this all sounded great if it was real so with nothing to lose and faith in my friends at First Hand, we went to see a guy who knew a girl and so on and so forth.
On Saturday morning, we followed our instructions to arrive at the Hard Rock at 7am where we are met by “the guy” who proceeded to get us checked in, took care of our car, gave us our tickets and drove us to a spot within a 100 yards of the Universal entrance. Through the gates we went at 8am – an hour before the public opening – and we high-tailed it to the main attraction of the new theme park – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Picture a “normal” theme park ride moving through a replica of Hogwarts in front of an IMAX screen and you might get an idea of what this ride is like! Needless to say, we weren’t alone in line but about an hour later, we among the first to take the Forbidden Journey. By the time we emerged, the park was open to the public and the lines were approaching two hours to get into the shops and three hours to get on any rides – and that was if you had even made it into the park. We heard that there were people in line on Friday who never even got in!
Salt Lake City, Utah