3 Days, 2 Parks - off-site, no early entry, with park-to-park

This is our first trip to Universal and I have no idea what I’m doing! We are going in January and the crowds for the 3 days are: IOA = 2, 3, 8 and USF = 7, 6, 6. I was thinking I would just use a 2-day/2-park plan and revisit our favorites, or stuff we missed on day 3. But looking at the crowds, I definitely want to completely hit IOA on days 1 & 2. USF doesn’t seem to matter so much. None of the days have early entry (and we probably couldn’t get there anyway being offsite (cannot change that)). We will not be purchasing the express pass.

So what do you think, should I just use the one-day plans for each park? How do I plan for the Hogwarts Express? I’d love to do it both ways. And then how do I plan the 3rd day?

We are 2 adults, but I’m really excited about seeing the HP stuff. I also love all the rides, but DH doesn’t do rollercoasters or extreme simulators, so I could use the single line for those. We’re also not superfast walkers anymore!

I think my strategy would be to start the morning in the more crowded park, then switch to the less crowded one for the busy part of the day. Something like this, maybe:

Day 1: Start in USF. Hit Gringotts and Ollivanders, then take Hogwarts Express to IOA and do Forbidden Journey, explore Hogsmeade, eat at the Three Broomsticks or Mythos, and then see anything that interests you in Lost Continent and the Dr. Seuss area.

Day 2: Start in USF again. Hit the big attractions in the front of the park (Production Central and New York), then head over to IOA via the front entrances and do the stuff you want to do in the Superhero and Toon areas.

Day 3: Start in IOA. Hit Kong first thing, then Jurassic Park. Take the Hogwarts Express over to USF, explore Diagon Alley, do Men in Black and/or Simpsons if you want, and then check out shows (Horror Makeup, T2, Animal Actors, etc) and anything you missed or want to do again.

But that’s just what I would do!

^ seems good to me. I would also jsut keep the ap with you and keep checking lines to see what in the area is low and go from there. If EX P is in your budget - I would highly recommend that - but if not - not a deal breaker for sure.

To be honest the H express is very cool - but you will not be missing anything crazy if you miss one direction.

I do also recommend - as above going to Mythos - it was very civilized for dining. it was not much (in any) more expensive than a counter restaurant - but it was just more civilized and relaxing. Do get there before the rush though

This sounds like a really good plan, and one I would not have come up with myself. Thanks so much for your help!

1 Like

Mythos - I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for your ideas!