By Martha C. White
April 6, 2016

If you want to be one of the first people to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, you’re going to need a little wizarding magic yourself: Tickets for the April 7 opening day are already sold out.

It’s “the first time ever that the theme park has had to halt online ticketing transactions,” a Universal Studios Hollywood statement explained. As for visitors who are lucky enough to be admitted through the turnstiles in the near future, they should expect the theme park to be, well, a zoo for quite some time.

Not even a recent price hike that increased the cost of a one-day adult ticket by $20 to $115, or a shift to “surge pricing” that makes it more expensive to visit the park on peak days (kind of like how airlines price their tickets), have deterred demand to Disney and Universal parks. Observers have noted that broad price hikes have been instituted not simply as money grabs but also as crowd control measures, with the idea that some portion of guests would avoid the higher prices that go along with peak-demand periods. Certainly in the case of the new Harry Potter park’s opening, higher prices have done nothing to ease crowds.

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Even pricier tickets, or what Universal calls “specialty products,” like VIP Experience and Front of the Line options, sold out for Harry Potter’s opening day tomorrow, as well as Friday and Saturday. In a press release, Universal said this is the first time it has ever had to stop selling online tickets to the park in advance of a particular date.

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