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Universal Studios - Giving it another try?

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  • Universal Studios - Giving it another try?

    Okay, we've decided to go to the dark side. We're doing a DCL Wish cruise next August, and wanted to do some land activity but we don't know how to do WDW in less than 5 days. So, for the first time in 27 years, we're going to try Universal again. Mostly because DSIL loves Harry Potter. LOVES.
    We've got just over a year, so what should I know? What should I plan to do?
    Participants will be:
    Me (56)
    DH (66)
    DD # 2 (will turn 40 while on cruise)
    DD # 4 (25)
    DSIL (27)
    DGS (almost 4)
    DGS (almost 1)
    DD # 2's caregiver - I don't know her exact age, but I'm going with somewhere near 45-50

    We know we'll explore all things HP. But what else? We're only going to be there for 2 nights and fly out in late afternoon on the 3rd day.

  • #2
    Universal did a wonderful job with the Harry Potter parts of both parks. I would suggest you get tickets that allow you to go to both parks on the same day. Make sure you ride the train both ways as each direction is different and fun. For the rest of the two parks and what to do, it will depend on how much you enjoy thrill rides as Universal is more geared towards that type of ride. If you are staying on site in a qualifying resort, I would suggest you take full advantage of the front of the ride perk that is offered. The lines at Universal build quickly and don't really seem to calm down at any point during the day. As with Disney, it is best to rope drop the most important to you rides and then take whatever else you can do as the "icing on the cake".
    Ta Ta For Now. Jenn https://www.pixiedustlane.com/core/i...ilies/cool.png

    WDW 2007, 2015 & 2020/2021 (New Year), Universal FL 2011 & 2015, DLR 2012, DCL (Dream) 2016, (Wonder) 2018

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    • Teresa
      Teresa commented
      Editing a comment
      OH that is great advice! I didn't know there was a train. DGS is crazy about trains and I'm sure he'll love it! We have reservations at a qualifying hotel!

  • #3
    We are giving Universal a try next year - we think, lol. My boys spent one day at Universal in April when they went with their high school marching band and they LOVED it, so much so, that they are willing to give up Disney time to visit there. DH nor myself have never been so we know nothing about it. I've been doing some research and I think we are going to spend at least one night of our three night stay at a premiere (or is it premium?) hotel to get Express Pass. Since we will only be there for 2 1/2 days and it will be summer, I think we need Express Pass. We also really want to visit Volcano Bay. We have watched YouTube videos of VB and it looks awesome! When my boys were there in April, they rode Velocicoaster twice and they thought it was the best! I know I won't be riding it, but if you have thrill seekers in your party, they might enjoy it.
    Louise

    2022 ~ POP; 2021 ~ BC/Poly; 2018 ~ POR/YC; 2017 ~ Disney Dream/BLT; 2016 ~ BC/Poly; 2015 ~ BC/Poly (June) and Disney Fantasy (November/December); 2014 ~ Poly; 2013 ~ Disney Fantasy; 2012 ~ BCV (June) and Disney Magic (August); 2010 ~ WL; 2009 ~ POP/CBR; 2004 ~ WL; 1996 ~ Dixie Landings; 1991 ~ CBR; 1985 ~ Fort Wilderness

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    • Teresa
      Teresa commented
      Editing a comment
      Glad to hear about the thrill rides! We are all actually thrill seekers. Of course, with the babies, I'll probably be hanging back more, but I'm happy to let my family have the fun and just hang out with the babies.

  • #4
    We really enjoy UO/IOA. We do spring for Express. It just makes everything so much less hassle. In addition to the HP areas, which are super duper, we like Marvel Superhero Island, Jurassic Park, and Seuss Landing on the IOA side. On the Universal side, definitely ride The Mummy and Transformers. That side of the complex seems less themed, but the other attractions are still fun. If you do get Express, you can do almost everything in 2 days.

    ETA…Plus, our very own Marci works in the Harry Potter area. I bet you might arrange a meet up!
    Susan

    DLR off-site June 1979, WDW offsite March 1985, ASMovies June 2002, ASSports May 2006, ASMusic May/June 2007, ASSports May 2008, Pop Century May/June 2010, Coronado Springs October 2011, ASSports May/June 2012, Pop Century May/June 2013, ASMovies October 2013, DLR off-site June 2014, ASMusic May/June 2015, ASSports May/June 2016, ASMovies October 2016, Pop Century May/June 2017, MNSSHP October 2017, ASSports March 2018, Pop Century July 2019, AoA December 2020, ASMovies Sep 2021, Disneyland June 2022

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    • Teresa
      Teresa commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the tips! We are staying at one of the resorts that will give us front of the line passes.

    • disny_luvr
      disny_luvr commented
      Editing a comment
      Where are you staying? I think we might stay at Royal Pacific one night for the Express Pass.

    • Teresa
      Teresa commented
      Editing a comment
      We have reservations for Portofino (?). We've got a 4 bedroom suite - the rooms, the tickets, etc, all cost less than rooms at WDW would have. I'm somewhat thrilled and somewhat scared that we will like it too much.

  • #5
    I've been there a few times lately--Universal has an AMAZING pass for military.

    I second the 2-park pass (or in your case, 3-park pass), just so you can ride the Hogwarts Express. Be sure to ride it in both directions, as it's different each way.


    Anyway, I'm a thrill-ride lover, and Velocicoaster is AWESOME!! Best of all, it has a single rider line, so you can usually zip right on through in 10-15 minutes, as opposed to 60+ minutes in the regular queue.

    OTOH--The Hulk coaster is awful! Your head is banged and slammed around so much that I always had a headache after riding it. Now I'm too smart to get on it again, LOL, although DS27 loved it. And the Rip Roarin' Coaster....something like that, the red one--that one's fun. You get to pick the music that plays during your ride, too.

    The King Kong 3D ride was fun, as well. There's a Fast & Furious 3D ride. I've never seen those movies, but the action was fun.

    Have a great time. That said, unless you like everything, you can have your fill in two days, IMO.
    WDW visits: 1977, 1985, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 3-2014, 9-2014, 11-2015 (birthday trip), 5-2016, 2-2017, 3-2017 x2, 6-2017, 8-2017, 10-2017x2, 11-2017x2, 12-2017. Living in Florida now--lost count!
    DISNEYLAND(no kids): 1984, 1993, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 6-2014 (DS19 & me!), 8-2014 (solo), 12-2015 (solo), 9-2016, 9/2019.

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    • #6
      You’ll love the water taxi between the hotel and City Walk. Then it’s a quick walk to either theme park.
      Susan

      DLR off-site June 1979, WDW offsite March 1985, ASMovies June 2002, ASSports May 2006, ASMusic May/June 2007, ASSports May 2008, Pop Century May/June 2010, Coronado Springs October 2011, ASSports May/June 2012, Pop Century May/June 2013, ASMovies October 2013, DLR off-site June 2014, ASMusic May/June 2015, ASSports May/June 2016, ASMovies October 2016, Pop Century May/June 2017, MNSSHP October 2017, ASSports March 2018, Pop Century July 2019, AoA December 2020, ASMovies Sep 2021, Disneyland June 2022

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