1st trip to Universal- what do I need to know?

Have only been to WDW, sept 2019, never to Universal
Looking at 1st week of June 2022.
. Just wondering if it’s the same kind of planning, adrs? Where would there be info on restaurants etc?
Express pass, is it worth it? We will have 6 people, was thinking of doing a 2bd suite at value then adding on, or will it better to do the deluxe with it added on already?
Was planning on 5 days… is this too many, not enough? Was going to do all parks and resort days.

Any info would be appreciated!

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No problem! Here is more of the most helpful info:

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We love Universal! There aren’t many TS restaurants in the parks - 2 in each I think. But lots in CityWalk which is right outside the 2 parks. It’s probably cheaper to do the deluxe and get ExP included but you’d have to price it out. The AP room discounts are great, it might be worth getting one for someone but you’d want to check that your dates aren’t blocked out - I was looking for the cheapest AP for next year (seasonal AP) and the whole of July is blocked out! If you’ve got ExP, there’s not really any planning involved except keeping an eye on show times. They do sometimes use a virtual queue for Hagrid’s. You could do it all in less than 5 days, but that will allow you to be flexible and have late starts, early finishes and breaks as needed without worrying you’ll miss something. Oh and you didn’t mention Volcano Bay but it’s a lot of fun!


5 days seems long. Four days is plenty. You could do three as well, although four does give you more flex/down time.

If you will be there during a busier period, Express Pass might be helpful, but we have never had Express Pass. (But then, we always go during lower crowd time periods.)

Thank you for all of the reply!

@missoverexcited was planning on volcano bay also! I think I looked at the lowest AP and our dates were ok, so definitely something to think about!

@ryan1 was thinking maybe 3 or 4 Park days then resort, citywalk…thinking this should be enough for a slow pace?

@bebe80 ty for all the articles, need to get my reading on!


Probably. (I should have mentioned, however, that we never do Volcano Bay, so you might need that extra day if you plan to go there.)

If you are okay with waiting in some longer lines, then you can probably forego Express Pass…just plan your days a bit more carefully. Express Pass, however, will give you the option to pretty much go entirely unplanned.

If you decide to get Express Pass, it will almost definitely be cheaper to upgrade to a Deluxe room. And, if you really want to be “pro” about it, and aren’t afraid to do a split stay, since you get Express Pass for the day of arrival and departure, you can book 2 nights at a Deluxe and get three days of Express Pass from it. So, maybe start at the value for 3 nights, and then Deluxe for the final 2. This gives you 3 days with Express Passes.

We stayed at Surfside Inn last August, so we didn’t get the Express Pass advantage, but it was okay due to extremely low crowds. We stayed offsite this past May, and still didn’t bother with Express Pass. BUT, crowds, while still relatively low, were definitely higher. DEFINITELY plan to rope drop and take advantage of the Early Entry. If you get through WWoHP early in the day, you’ll be glad for it because both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade become almost unbearably crowded by noon. If you get them out of the way early, you can then focus on the rest of either park when everyone else is crammed into WWoHP! :slight_smile:

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Hi! I also love Universal! If you are a new guest and really want to do it all without running around in a panic you are going to want four days - especially in June. It will be very busy!!

I’m basically agreeing with everything @missoverexcited has already said!

Technically… you can buy a Seasonal Pass, the least expensive AP for $350 per person, to save money. The “break even” price point on a season pass is four days. There are no blackout dates in June

If the price, with your new AP discount, and space needed for your group allows you to get a deluxe hotel with Express Pass (UXP) included I’d highly advise it. You’ll really want it in June.

I really think you’ll be happy with at least three days, but I advise four. It’ll give you time to not only ride everything multiple times, but explore WWOHP and dine at CityWalk at your leisure.


I am a huge Universal fan. You can definitely take a leisurely trip in three or four days, but if you also want to go to Volcano Bay, I think 5 is a great idea. I don’t think that you will regret it. I also second staying at a deluxe resort and getting the express passes included. Express pass is amazing and it is, as mentioned, often cheaper, especially with 6 people, to get it included with your deluxe stay. I have a family of five, so this is always the way for us to do it, but we can all fit in one room. Since you would need more than one room, or a suite, you would probably have to do some math to figure it out. It is certainly possible to do the parks without express pass, but I feel like having it makes your vacation feel like more of a vacation.


How could I forget Volcano Bay??!!?? (I guess I was so focused on the Seasonal Pass - which they could still get for all 3 parks)


Do they offer discounts at certain times of the year? Or is there a good time to book vacations? Currently when I’m looking at diff options, it doesn’t have express loaded yet for my trip dates to add on…so can’t really compare as yet.

When they offer deals it is typically buy 2 days get 2 days free (Sometimes 3 days free)

This offer typically runs in the winter / late spring when it’s a bit slower crowd times.

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I think AP room discounts are offered 3 months before. If you already have one booked that would qualify you can call and add it.

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