Disney Veteran, USF newbie with a few questions- PLEASE HELP! So confused!

Hello, long time Lines user, but kind of new to using an actual Touring Plan. This is our first time going to USF and IOA (we are DVC members and we go to WDW every year.) We are die-hard Harry Potter fans and this is the year we are taking a little break in the middle of our WDW vacation this August to go to USF for 2 nights. I purchased 2 day, 2 park P2P tickets and the hotel (staying at Royal Pacific) through Undercover Tourist. I am traveling with my DH, DD age 10 and DD age 12.

I have used the Lines app to monitor wait times and crowd calendars when actually IN the parks, but sticking with a pre-designed TP was never something I did. Usually, I book all my FP’s for my Disney trip, then create a personalized Touring Plan, plugging in all my FP’s- and end up kind of just doing whatever I feel like doing if wait times are low and I’m near an attraction, even if the TP says otherwise. I have never actually taken that “leap of faith” and strictly adhered to any kind of TP that was created for me. (We always have a blast anyway.)

That being said, I would really love to use one of Touring Plans’ premium plans for the Universal part of our trip this year and actually take the good advice of the experts that created this site in the first place!

So…I have a couple of questions and I hope you guys can help me out.

  1. Since I am staying at Loew’s Royal Pacific resort, does this mean I automatically have the Unlimited Express Pass? I am assuming YES. That, in conjunction with the 2d2P, P2p tix basically means I can go on a ride as many times as I want in those 2 days, correct?
  2. Being a hotel guest, I am planning on using the Early Morning entry to WWoHP on the first day of our stay at 8am. When I try to create a Touring Plan, do I start my day at 8am when entering the time, or should I start the plan at 9am when the park opens for everyone? I am confused bc the plan has me going on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at 8:02 am?
  3. Is Early Park Admission ONLY for HP World?
  4. Where should I enter the park? Should I go in through USF or IOA? I am confused because of question #5 below:
  5. The notes in my TP say elect “Hogwarts Express Arrival” only if entering The Wizarding World BEFORE Early Entry officially begins; otherwise select “Main Entrance.”" What does that even mean? Is there another event even BEFORE Early Park Entry?

Thank you all so much for any help! Any other advice or tips are appreciated!

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First off, welcome! Fellow Potterhead here! Let me start by saying that as a Disney vet, you are going to be thoroughly amazed at how much easier and more relaxing your Universal trip will be. No ADRs! No FPPs! And with that Express Pass, you are set! So here we go!

  1. You are correct. You can use your EP whenever you want as many times as you want. The only rides not accepting it are Pteranadon Fliers and Hagrid’s Motorbike.

  2. For Early Entry (EE), you can mark your TP to start at 8. Sometimes, if the park has not officially declared the park for EE, TP is just guessing which park it will be, based on historical data, and you won’t be able to use that time. However, once it is finalized, you can. Often Despicable Me opens for EE and that line gets long quickly, even with EP, so it is often advisable to do that first and then head to WWOHP, but that is your call. You need to pass it on your way to WWOHP.

  3. In Islands of Adventure, only WWOHP is open during EE. In Universal Studios, usually Despicable Me or Mummy is open along with WWOHP.

  4. You will enter the park via the main entrance to whichever park has Early Entry. The park entrances are about 5 minutes walking distance from each other, so either way, you will enter through City Walk and then go to the entrance of the park with EE.

  5. Okay, that makes NO sense. I would have to go back and read it, but the Hogwarts Express does NOT run during EE. It only opens once both parks are officially open. And, regardless, the Hogwarts Express is at the back of the parks and only runs between the two WWOHPs. You have to walk through the main entrance to even get to the Hogwarts Express, and from there, you would use it to get the other park. And no, there is no event before EE. That sounds like a typo to me.

Sometimes during busy times, both parks will be open for EE. In that case, if you are a huge Potterhead, I would start with UOR so you can go to Diagon Alley and experience Harry’s journey in the “proper” order. The Hogwarts Express has a different “show” each way, so be sure to ride it both ways. With EP, you won’t really NEED to stick to a TP, though I still like to make TPs to get the flow of traffic.

If you have any other questions, just let us know!


Are you looking at the correct TP? There are two 2-day plans. One WITH EE and one without

Seems like that plan might be a little outdated.

It’s probably the right TP. DM is often open during EE and it is highly recommended to go there first because the line does nothing but build all day and waits are long, even with EP. There have been periods of time where Mummy has been the ride open during EE, but it seems like that has been switching around. Also, until Universal has officially said which park has EE, the TP will not accept an EE time.

Wow, thanks for all the helpful replies!
A couple of things I wanted to add based on everyone’s responses:
-I checked Universal’s web site and it says USF is the park with EE for the month of August.
-We are only going for 2 nights.
-The TP I selected is the Universal Orlando Two-Day/Two-Park Plan WITH Early Entry DAY 1/PART 1 and looks like this:

  • Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem 8:02am
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit 9:00am
  • Transformers: The Ride-3D 9:08am
  • Revenge of the Mummy 9:15am
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged 9:26am
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts 9:54am
  • Ollivanders 10:04am
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack 10:19am
  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl 10:27am
  • The Simpsons Ride 10:34am
  • LUNCH 11:30am for 30 minutes
  • Animal Actors on Location 11:51am
  • E.T. Adventure 12:26pm
  • Hogwarts Express - King’s Cross Station 12:42pm
  • Notes: Take the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure (park-to-park-ticket required)

I already know I am NOT riding RRR or The Mummy or The Hulk. Those are definitely being removed!

Should I add time for exploring Diagon Alley? This plan doesn’t include the Hagrid ride, either.
Should I bypass DM and head straight for Hagrid?

I am thinking I might hit Hagrid first, then Ollivander’s, then Gringott’s, then explore Diagon Alley, THEN hit all the other rides on the above TP. Opinions on this strategy? I am wondering if I should head over to IOA before the regular crowds hit, but if I spend too much time exploring DA, I won’t make it over there.

Thanks again!

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Definitely add time for DA. I prefer it to Hosgmeade, but I prefer FJ to Gringotts

If you want to do Hagrids first then I would RD IOA although lately it seems like early-mid afternoon has seen decent wait times (less than 200 minutes). If you want to beat the regular crowds to Hogsmeade then you’ll need to beat them to the turnstiles at IOA. I don’t think that HE can get you there quicker.

So you will ride Hagrids, but not Mummy?


So it looks like the only thing it has you doing during early entry is Despicable Me. Given that, after that ride, I would head over to Diagon Alley do Gringotts, and then explore Diagon Alley. I completely agree with @trainfam that Diagon Alley is superior to Hogsmeade, and I also like Forbidden Journey better than Gringotts, though Gringotts is also a great ride. Hagrid is not in your touring plan because the only plan you have is for the USF part, and Hagrid is in IOA. So, if you want to hit Hagrid first, you will have to skip early entry at USF and rope drop IOA instead. The rope droppers will beat anybody heading over from USF on the Hogwarts Express. However, I would keep an eye on the thread on this forum that is tracking the operating times for Hagrid. It seems like it might not be worth going there first thing.


I used those 2 day/2 park plans as the starting point for our planning and the second day has Diagon Alley time built into the afternoon (day 2 part 2) plan for USF. My understanding (this is our first trip to Florida, but reading/researching before trips makes me happy) is that it’s worth visiting the WWoHP areas both during the day and at night so I’ve got Diagon Alley exploration planned first thing (after Despicable me and Gringotts) with early entry and in the evenings. I also have us going to Ollivanders before any WWoHP exploration to get the wand asap. I haven’t decided yet if we’ll do Ollivanders or Gringotts first with our first early entry morning – we will probably have gone the evening before and done Ollivanders, but we might do it in the morning too if either of my kids wants an extra shot at being picked.

The second day’s morning plan ( Universal Orlando Two-Day/Two-Park Plan WITH Early Entry DAY 2/PART 1) has you rope dropping IOA and heading to Hagrid’s first. If you want to start with Hagrid on Day 1, you can just swap the days (i.e. use the Day 2 plans on your first day, Day 1 on your second day).


Whoops, reading these replies I realized that Hagrid is at IOA and not USF! Totally forgot about that. :woman_facepalming:
So just to clarify: If I use EE to go to USF, then that means that is the only park I can go to before 9am, correct? I think I was mistakenly under the impression I could just hop on HE and go to IOA during EE. I’m going to assume that I am wrong, otherwise EVERYONE would head over to IOA to ride Hagrid and beat the regular crowd. Guess I’m kind of answering my own question here.

In regard to me not riding the Mummy but riding Hagrid, I haven’t read anything about it but I’ve read The Mummy is like a shorter version of EE at AK. EE screwed me up the rest of the day after I rode it last year! I don’t like the backward in the dark- well, at least I do in theory, but my body reacts differently than it used to and I’m not really happy about that! I may not even ride Hagrid- I just haven’t done enough research yet lol. I have a feeling I may NOT be riding that one after all. Is alcohol served at those parks that early? Lol.

Correct. And HE only opens once the other park is open.

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I too have problems when roller coasters go backwards. However, the Mummy’s is super short, and is one of my “I have to ride rides”. Plus, it’s all indoors.


To me, The Mummy is one of the best rides at Universal. Great combo of dark ride and coaster.