Heading to Universal for our first time this fall. We’ll be getting multi-park tickets because DD11 is a big HP fan and we’ll need to take that train. Since it seems that you have to create 2 separate touring plans if you go to 2 parks in the same day, how do you optimize when to switch parks? Unless we can’t get into WDW later in the week we’re only spending 1.5-2 days so we want to make the most of it. Also, do the touring plans take express passes into account? We’re staying in a premier hotel so we’ll have those as well.
As far as I know, there’s no way to optimize across parks. I usually make the morning park plan, optimize, then start the other parks plan ~30 minutes later (to allow a bit of slack).
Express Pass can be built in - you indicate which “type” you have and it will calculate accordingly.
IME - Typically one park will close pretty early in the fall - like 7pm - 8pm. (This isn’t even during HHN which causes the parks to shut down at 6pm in Sept - Oct)
Go to the park that has Early Entrance and if that park closes early head over to the other park mid-afternoon (like 2pm).
If the EE park closes later, go there still first and do WWOHP stuff and take the train to the other park before lunch (11am) Then bounce back after 2pm to stay late.
USF/IOA is so much smaller than WDW. Think of it like Disneyland. 2 parks right next to each other that you can bounce back & forth around if you want.
You can do ALL the major attractions / show within 2 days. You may not get to repeat ride a lot of stuff, but it can be done. If WWOHP is your focus with a few other major rides included then 1.5 - 2 days will be fine. (It’ll probably make you excited to come back and do the rest!!)
Yep! It’ll ask you when you set-up the plan. Just like it does for Fast Pass and Extra Magic Hours for WDW plans. Also, do the touring plans take express passes into account? We’re staying in a premier hotel so we’ll have those as well.
If Express Pass (UXP) is the only reason you are staying at a deluxe resort I’d consider saving $100’s - $1000+ by choosing a moderate or value hotel. The deluxe resorts are very nice on their own if you like lounging by the pool & etc…
However, I never buy UXP in advance or stay in a hotel because of it. You can buy it at any retail outlet in the parks for about the same price if you think the park is crowded. You do save a little on UXP with a hotel package, but IME it’s better to get far less less expensive hotel and buy UXP ala carte if needed.
You can “waste” a lot of money on unnecessary UXPs. It’s not much more to just pay out of pocket if you actually need them.
Thanks for the details! I’ll admit I picked Royal Pacific because it was the cheapest of the UXP hotels (and walkable… I always like a hotel where I don’t have to stand around for transportation). I was seeing $80/pp for the UXP which x4 (our family size) is the total difference between the prime value hotel and RP. Since we have such a short time there and they close early both nights for the Halloween party I was worried about seeing everything. Sounds like maybe this isn’t such a worry.
Since we’re HP-centric I just assumed we’d stay in theme and then return to do what’s left. Might need to rethink that.
I’m a “late bloomer” to Universal. I was “loyal” to WDW for some odd reason for 30+ years. I just started going in early 2019. I regret all the amazing rides and shows that I missed out on by only going to WDW.
Universal doesn’t treat it’s attractions like they are museum pieces. They can get swapped out / demolished every decade or so.
If you have ANY Universal questions - even if you think they’re “dumb” - PLEASE ask! There isn’t as much USF media and attention as WDW so I spent a lot of time researching. I’d call USF and know more than them sometimes! (IME - That’s just due to poor training / education about their products / services)
This was our plan that we really enjoyed. Do early entrance rides. For us, that was Minions, Grigotts and Grigotts, and maybe Grigotts, I love that ride. Explore the HP area until crowds arrive, when you go to the non-HP area of a park. Concentrate on half of one park to save on walking. Early/Mid-afternoon, the Hagrid’s wait time would go down, so we’d ride Hagrid’s. Then we’d explore the HP areas. We took the train a lot. Often for trivial reasons like we wanted butterbeer ice cream and it was in the other park. To us, there were three parks with the HP being the third park. Make sure you ask the train people in London how to get to 9 3/4 or Diagon Alley, they are a hoot.
Speaking of poor training/communication. In the Q.S. dining plan, the beverages and snacks are in one “bucket” and can be used for either.
I heard that the locker area is VERY restricted now. So, I’d work hard to not need to use a free locker.