According to Universal’s EPA web page, both IOA and USF should be open for early entry during our trip, starting May 8. But what is odd is that the Park Hours calendar in the Universal app only shows that IOA will be open for EPA. I checked the Universal park hours calendar on their website, and they don’t list EPA hours at ALL, for any park, in the park hours calendar.
So, what is one supposed to trust/believe? We are about 3 weeks out…I would have thought by now they had the park hours (including EPA) updated in the app.
(I’m not sure why the website no longer shows EPA hours in the park hours web page…instead, it just has a separate link to a page dedicated to dates when EPA is supposed to be available…but there was a time when the park hours web page showed both, if I recall.)
Right. But what’s weird is that it wasn’t that long ago that this EPA page was updated to include the May 8 and beyond dates for USF. (I can’t remember exactly when, only that it was discussed on the forums…I’ll see if I can find when.)
Universal is notorious for updating their operating calendar as late as up to about 5 - 7 days in advance. I’ve had all my UOR plans totally change the same week I’m supposed to depart because they’ve cut hours or changed EPA!
I, also, tend to rely more on the App than the website. Right now, the App says IOA is the only EPA park. I’d plan for that. They’ll typically only have both open in July for the summer.
However, if they do have USF open as well then that’s a bonus!
I know you’re well versed enough in how IOA / USF operates to know what your EPA priorities would be at each park. Plus, the ride choices rarely change. If you need any help though, you know I love to assist! Only 3 weeks to go!!! I’m excited for ya!!!
I got a TP notification that they reduced park hours for our UOR days - May 21-22 - USF is still closing at 7, but IOA is now closing at 8 instead of 9. And right now I think IOA will be the only park with EPA, but we are planning on starting in Diagon Alley to get the full HP effect, so that won’t help us. We might RD Hagrid’s on day 2. The only good thing about the park closing earlier is we’ll transfer to YC a bit earlier than expected.
I heard back from UOR…their EPA page on the website is wrong. There will be no EPA for USF during the dates of our trip in May. They said they would request that the web page be updated accordingly. As of the time of this post, they haven’t yet done that.
I just checked our park hours for mid June. EPA only for IOA during June as well. Also, I cannot believe that US closes at 8:00 every night during our mid-June trip!! No dragon breathing fire in the dark experience this trip.
8:00pm seems way too early for them to be closing in May/June - summertime! What is going on with that? I’m hoping it means they’re expecting lower crowds. I guess it will be nice to get to bed earlier. Maybe we won’t be tired going into our WDW stay right after UOR. That would be kind of nice.
Although, “true” summer…meaning after most schools have let out…doesn’t really start until roughly the first week of June, give or take. Crowds are considered to be some of their lowest end of April, beginning of May and don’t start to pick up until mid to late May.
The part about them closing earlier that I’m not a fan of is that it means you can’t be there in the dark, when it is cooler. If you take a break in the afternoon from the heat and want to go back after dinner, it does limit your time, though.
Not being in the park after dark is also why I’m disappointed AK closes at 7:00 while we’re there. I really want to see Pandora after dark. I guess we’ll have to go in the winter someday to see that.
I’m not sure if we’ll take a break or not. We’re from Texas, so we’ll be used to the heat already (though we’re not used to humidity in West TX). I bet our kids would love to be back at the hotel in time to swim after dinner. Trying to look at the bright side of early closing.
To be fair, I’m not sure we’ve ever stayed at UOR past 3 pm or so. We done several trips, and typically finish out each day, having hit everything we wanted, by around 2 pm. This is for 3 and 4 day trips. So, once we left the parks each day, we didn’t bother to return. Having said that, I think staying on property (rather than a VRBO, as we have done in the past) makes it easier to hop back into the parks.
I’m from TN. I’m used to heat & humidity and let me say, Florida is a wholly different climate! It’s a swamp! The humidity is so bad I sweat through my clothes. I have to decide whether to go change mid-late day so I don’t stink at night or keep going! (If I have a dinner reservation or “party” plans at night I’ll go put on “dry” clothes!)
Sadly, it’s the norm… I still remember when WDW would stay open until 11pm every night! They extend hours in late June…
If you are on-site you will typically be, literally, back in your room in 30 minutes once you walk out the main gate. The buses & boats come habitually and the campus is so much smaller that WDW. You can get right back to your hotel in 15 - 20 minutes and then another few minutes to get into your room!
It’s a big reason I now take breaks at Universal. I used to go non-stop at WDW because the logistics made it so hard to come back later once you left.
It’s true, Florida is a special kind of hot, plus the sun is much more intense there! That was exactly our experience last Sept when DH and I went. The low crowds were amazing, but we paid for it - in sweat. (Fame, anyone?)
We have 2 days and it’s our first visit, so I am imagining staying all day. We’ll see how it goes! We do have EP so maybe we will get everything done that we want to do by afternoon and go swim.