2 Day/2 Park with Ex Pass in April. Touring Plan needed?

We will be visiting FL April 14-21, 2018. We have older teens with us and have non park to park passes. We do have Express Passes and after viewing the crowd calendars, we will be doing US on April 17 and IOA on April 18.

We are counting on this being a less stressful, less planned vacation than a Disney vacation. Looking forward to a more leisurely and less structured pace then our WDW trips have been. We did purchase the Express Pass to help with the wait times. Do you think that we need to follow a touring plan also or should we be able to “wing it” by using the Express Passes??


I basically did the same thing last year and will be doing it again this year. I didn’t use a touring plan. The Express Pass waits in line were 15 minutes max. It’s worth doing a little planning in terms of knowing what’s available and what you want to do, but there’s none of the Disney planning stress.


I agree with @profmatt. It is incredible how much more relaxed a Universal vacation with EP can be versus a Disney vacation. I like to make touring plans, simply because they give me a good idea of where crowds will be at different times of the day. Even though my waits with EP will be short, the shorter the better. Plus, I pull the TPs up on the app and check things off as I have done them to make sure I don’t miss anything. And lastly, I find making TPs to be great fun. I am a total geek that way. (Among other ways!) :slight_smile:


Thanks for the replies. When going to WDW I really plan what/when we will do each ride. I am looking forward to a more relaxed trip to Universal and it is good to know that it is possible. I think the express passes will be worth the cost to be able to just go with flow and enjoy ourselves.

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We went in February, no EP. Tried to use the Touring Plan, but found it wasn’t helpful (at all!) and really didn’t need them anyhow. I’m sure WITH the EP, this is even more true.

I agree with the comments of @profmatt and @rebeecky.

For most of the attractions, your wait time with EP should be less than 10-15 mins.

However, when I was there last month, I still had some attractions where the wait time was higher.

First of all, the posted wait time at Kong was at 80 minutes in the afternoon. With EP, we ended up waiting nearly 25 minutes. I have not done Hulk (where the wait was also 80 minutes), but it’s possible that the rides with long stand-by line will also have a longer wait with EP. We waited less than 5 mins in rides such as Spider-man, Jurassic Park River Adventure or Transformers, where the stand-by wait was posted at 30 minutes.

In addition, for the two big Potter rides (Gringotts & Forbidden Journey), we ended up waiting more than what we thought.

For exemple, we RD Gringotts (without EP to see the queue) for a total experience of 23 minutes, so probably between 5 and 10 minutes of waiting time.
We did Gringotts again in the afternoon with EP (posted at 40 minutes) and we had a total experience of 38 minutes, so probably a wait between 20 and 25 minutes.

For Forbidden Journey, the first part of the queue (before arriving to the lockers) is the same for stand-by riders and for those using EP, which can be confusing at first.
Again, we did did Forbidden Journey early in the day (at 09:55, posted at 15 minutes) without EP to see the queue for a total experience of 19 minutes, so probably less than 10 minutes waiting time, walking through the castle.
We did Forbidden Journey again in the afternoon with EP (posted at 40 minutes) and we had a total experience of 33 minutes, so probably a wait of about 25 minutes.

All in all, even with crowds not that large, the EP was really worth it (we were only one day).
I agree that an comprehensive touring plan isn’t needed with EP.
However, even with EP, I would still consider hitting Gringotts/Forbidden Journey and the mose popular rides early in the morning of late in the evening to reduce your waiting time.