Family's first UOR trip in 2 weeks!

Heading to UOR for our family’s first visit to Universal in about 2 weeks! A little nervous since I don’t know the ropes yet and hoping I don’t miss any key planning so I am posting for any tips and advice you may have :slight_smile: I have posted on chat and received great advice and figured I would come over here for a lengthy post.

Some info on us:

We are a family of six, me, DH, DD (19), DS (17), DD (15) and DD (14). We are staying at HRH so we have EP - I am hoping that helps since it will be crowded and hot. We have cooling towels from a previous July Disney trip but they didn’t work that well. Anyone have a favorite cooling towel or cooling device you recommend? We probably will just leave the parks during the afternoon for a swim at the resort but just incase we tough it out.

We just purchased annual passes with the current promotion :tada: :tada: I am so excited we are passholders! Hoping we can make the most of the APs! Is there a separate passholder entrance? I saw that there was one in May but I believe that was temporary. Also read about the special dishes just for AP holders so looking forward to trying them!

We have 4 nights and plan to hit the parks on arrival and departure day so I think we should have time to do everything. My DS will be turning 18 during our trip! Excited to celebrate a milestone birthday in the parks!

I have ADRs at the following -

-Confisco Grille - arrival day- figured we should eat in the parks so we can just jump right on the rides!
-Hard Rock Cafe

Lunch will be QS - hoping to try Green Eggs & Ham, Central Park Crepes and maybe 3 Broomsticks but afraid it may be too busy :grimacing:

I still need to grab park bags, lanyards and collapsible cups so if you have any you recommend, please share! I did see the thread about purchasing the lanyards from Universal and the plastic card covers from Amazon so we will most likely be doing that. Also will be grabbing ponchos before we go.

Also looking for good waterproof sandals for the family. I am thinking Crocs and Reefs but if you have a favorite, I’d love to hear!

Okay, I think I have rambled enough :joy:

Thank you for any tips and advice you can share!!


So excited for you! I have my hands full atm…will answer as many as I can in a bit!


No need to be nervous as all. EP is your golden ticket to a totally chill out and do what you like experience.

Hagrid’s motorbike adventure is all you will have to think about timing for. You can’t use EP there. I would recommend RD, but there are other dips in wait times that are also a good option.

All your meal locations are great choices.

Hope you have a fabulous trip!


It sounds like you are pretty prepared! So Exciting!

The biggest tip I usually stress is understanding the ride locker system so there aren’t any surprises, so here it is:

Locker Use at Attractions

  • If you have a bag, locker use is required at certain attractions. Small lockers are free but large lockers are not free.
    • These types of bags will fit into the small lockers: Mini backpack, drawstring bag, or sling bag.
    • Note that the complimentary lockers are only free for the duration of the attraction.
  • Near an attraction entrance, find the locker bank, scan your ticket, and look for a locker to pop open.
  • These attractions you may not take any type of bag or purse on:
    • USF : Revenge of the Mummy, Escape from Gringotts, Men in Black Alien Attack
    • IOA: Forbidden Journey, Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure
    • Cargo pants pockets that can be closed and fanny packs (3-prong closure) are permitted for holding items.
  • These attractions you may not take a bag or any loose items on:
    • USF: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
    • IOA: Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic World VelociCoaster* (*lockers are inside queue)
    • No phones, coins, wallets, etc. are allowed on (metal detectors used)
  • NOTE: You must take your ticket with you on the attraction, so you can retrieve your belongings afterward.

Here is an attraction questionnaire if interested:

And here is a handy map of Diagon Alley:

Diagon Alley Map.pdf (5.9 MB)


We celebrated my oldest DS’s 18th at IOA, it was fab!


Thank you darkmite2! We are so excited!!

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Thank you Shmebulock!! That makes me feel better :blush: I was going back and forth about the ADRs. Good to know I made good choices :hugs:

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Bebe80, thank you so much!! This is very helpful!! I love the map too :raised_hands: I was reading your trip report and saw the maps you made for the parks! They are great!

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So fun :partying_face: Glad your son had a great 18th :blush: I am wondering if mine will wear the birthday button. Hoping he will!

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Good luck with that! Mine 100% wouldn’t. I did manage to get younger DS to wear one for a while at Disney last year for his 18th.


I think there used to be. I didn’t see one last month. I didn’t need one. The lines were short and move fast.

I think it may be true that there’s less shade at UOR than at WDW. I just make the most of air-conditioning whenever I see it.

Good call

It’s all about the timing: eat at unpopular times. But I would personally recommend the Leaky Cauldron: I think the food is better.

I bought Harry Potter lanyards and card holders. They were not cheap, but they look good and are a nice souvenir.

I’m a recent convert to Natives. Unlike Crocs, your feet don’t slide around in them when you’re wet. But they need wearing in.


100% agree. Very little planning is required. Just be aware of showtimes, so you can get to those when you need to. Otherwise, do what you want, when you want.

I wouldn’t recommend RD for Hagrid. I think there are better times. I’ve had luck going after lunch. Everyone goes to Hagrid at rope-drop and who needs that kind of stress.


Yes, there are other good times to go. A nighttime dark ride is great fun too!

Personally I’ve never found RD stressful. It’s well managed with TMs giving directional and ride status info. The one big negative to RD is the fact that there can sometimes be delayed starts to ride operation, in which case the line is held just outside Hogsmeade. Rule of thumb I’ve heard is that if you can hear the test vehicles running wait it out. If not, bail.

I think as long as you avoid that early peak you’ll do fine. If you manage to hit a trough then you’re winning :+1:t2::laughing:


That 12-2pm slot is Gold. That’s when I go.


My family will be at HRH for 4 nights too! It’s our second time only so still a newbie. Like others have said very little planning needed unlike disney.

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Haha! I don’t think mine will either. That is great your younger DS wore it!

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Mousematt, great info - thank you!! I will look into the Leaky Cauldron. The Natives look great!! Sending them to the family.

Thanks for the Hagrid’s tip!

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Good to know when to bail if the ride is delayed!

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Enjoy your vacation!! I can not wait to see how relaxed Universal is!!

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Spoiler: super-relaxed