I’m headed to Universal for 1.5 days before a longer WDW trip. We’re landing at MCO early the morning of 4/15/23, staying at RPR so will have express passes, and need to head to WDW by 3 p.m. on 4/16/23. It’s me, DS13, DS11 and DD9 (DW and DS6 are at Legoland while we’re doing this…). We’re all mobile and high energy. The kids haven’t done many intense roller coasters (EE at AK is probably the most), so we’ll see how they do here!
Here’s my proposed plan, assuming we’ll get to the parks at 10:30 a.m. after dropping bags and getting express passes at the hotel:
10:35: Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
10:50: Enter Diagon Alley, explore a bit
11:00: Escape from Gringotts
11:20: Grab food (something quick) & explore Knockturn Alley (can flex here to make sure we make it to Bourne on time)
12:05: Bourne Stunt Spectacular
13:10: Revenge of the Mummy
13:30: Hogwarts Express
13:55: Flight of the Hippogriff
14:15: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
14:35: Back to hotel to check in and nap (we’ll need it after a 6 a.m. departing flight)
16:35: Enter Islands of Adventure
17:00: High in the Sky
17:20: Cat in the Hat - could skip to make sure we’re on time for appropriate showtime for PF
17:40: Poseidon’s Fury
18:00: Dinner at Mythos - 6 p.m. reservation, so need to make sure we’re on time!
19:35: Nighttime lights
My big question is whether we’ll get through lines quickly enough with express passes on a Saturday in April and whether an hour 15 min is enough time for Mythos. I’m less fussed about making it to each place at the right time. Any other tips or suggestions appreciated!
I can’t speak to the overall plan and whether you can do it all. It does seem to leave little room for error at points, though.
My one main concern is leaving Hagrid’s to the very last moment of the day. That might work out. But if there is rain or any reason for them to close down Hagrid’s, you will have missed out on the best ride in all of Orlando! (IMHO.)
Thanks Ryan, I’m excited for this ride too. We have most of the next day so I figure if Hagrid’s is down we try to go to sleep early so we’re there for early park entry rope drop the next day. But I’ve heard the lines at rope drop can be longer than late in the day so I’m hoping to get it done on the first day with Sunday morning as a fallback.
The next day we don’t have nearly as much planned, but thinking if it’s warm we’ll do a couple water rides in IoA in the morning after early entry so we can get drenched and then change back in our room before check out, do VC, RRR or Hulk depending on how the kids handle the earlier rides, catch the Hollywood Horror show, MiB and re-ride anything the kids want. So if 1 or 2 things slip to Sunday it’s no big deal.
40 minutes? That would be my minimum . I also don’t think you are allowing time to walk to restaurant, order, and then get to Bourne. Do they allow food into the show? I would not expect to walk straight in.
My first thoughts are that 15 mins for Minions and 20 mins for Gringotts are very ambitious.
Both of these are likely to take longer.
Given that they’re some of your first steps then everything will be set back from those.
Thanks for the feedback. I’d seen in a few places that you shouldn’t wait more than 10-15 min with express pass even at popular rides (with VC as the exception where we should expect a longer wait) which is how I thought 20 min should work for most rides. The hard part is planning around a small number of fixed times - Bourne, Poseidon’s Fury, dinner reservation - but I can be flexible with most other things. Given the day will likely flow much better getting Bourne done at noon rather than waiting until later, I think we’ll skip Minions and head straight to Diagon Alley and Gringotts. And we bring snacks to the park in case we need to move a quick meal until after Bourne.
You may only wait 10-15 minutes… but that doesn’t include waiting for lockers, loading, the ride time itself, etc. That 10-15 minute wait for the ride might end up being half an hour or longer from the entrance to exit.
14 attractions in a day PLUS a break is very ambitious. I’m not trying to scare you, just give you a reality check of the situation.
Ok - I can give a little perspective on Hagrids. We were there during Orlando’s spring break. It was really busy! But, we got on it 4 times, in the 4 days we were there. Could’ve done more!
The first two times, we rode late at night, like you’re thinking about doing. We watched the nighttime lights and then got in line. I think it was like 45 minutes (day1) and 65 minutes (day2). Kind of long, but the queue was neat so we didn’t mind.
Then, everyone loved it so much that we Rope-Dropped the next two days. Day 3, we were a few families back at the taps, and didn’t get through very quickly. Someone in front of us had ticket issues. (That was an ongoing problem for UOR while we were there!). Hagrid’s was down, but we got in line anyway. We were stopped outside of Hogsmeade. They started running tests right about at early entry time, and fed us through the queue. Oh - this is something that I didn’t understand before being there. At RD, they don’t send you into the real queue until early-entry opening. So, when you see a crazy line outside of Hogsmeade, as you first come in, that’s not necessarily because the TRUE line is that long
Anyway, back to the story. Once they let us into the true Hagrid’s queue, we only waited about 10 minutes, maybe. So, all-in-all, I’m guessing a 20 minute wait. We did NOT run, we were not first at the taps, and it was still fairly short. We are all active people who could walk at a fast-moderate pace, though.
The final day was magical. We were first at the taps (walked from Portofino, leaving around 7 for an 8am opening). We breezed through and were one of the first families headed to Hogsmeade. A handful ran past us (I HATE that UOR allows that, by the way), but we just kept our quick walking pace. Once we got into the queue, it was not being held outside, so we could walk straight into the castle, and on, and on. Turns out, it was a walk-on to the ride! We didn’t even have time to discuss who was riding with who.
I WOULD suggest riding in the dark and in the daytime, if you think you can swing both. SUCH a good ride!