My son (11), daughter (8), husband and I are visiting USF/IOA in late September for the first time. We are planning on 2 day park-to-park tickets. I’ve started and deleted so many touring plans trying to get the times, parks and rides correct but feel lost. We’re big HP fans, plus Marvel stuff, staying at Disney and using Uber. If someone can give me pointers, I’d be grateful!
So I’m only doing one day, but, in general, it was a beast planning the two parks on two separate plans and then trying to work out the rest times on each to coincide with ride times on the other.
I did start with some of the pre made plans on the site and then deleted, added and moved things around.
As an HP fan, it was important to me to do diagon alley first (rather than hogsmeade). It was also important to me to do Harry Potter in one big chunk to get the full immersive experience (nerding out, I know) rather than bouncing in and out of the wizarding world. I started with UF for that reason and put in everything I wanted to do in UF. Optimized to see where things "should"go and then did minor rearrangements based on my preferences. This along with the existing TPs on the website, helped me determine where it made since to put my “rest” and hop to IOA.
once I had that figured out, I did my IOA plan based on my rest time from the UF plan.
As I got closer, I printed out the plans and compiled them all on one excel sheet so I could see it a step one big chunk and make sure the times all worked and made sense.
It all works on paper - will find out in a couple weeks if it works in practice too!
I can certainly offer some pointers, but can you tell me if you are staying onsite or if you have EP? That will make a big difference.
No, staying at Wilderness Lodge (Disney). No Express Pass either.
I don’t know how comfortable you are with doing personalized touring plans, but for me, these are always the easiest. I like to go through, add every ride or attraction that I think I want to do, and try optimizing it and see what happens. If the times look ridiculous or it seems too chaotic, I will cut things out or rearrange. I feel like starting with pre-made plans is a bigger pain than it’s worth because they inevitably have things I don’t want to include and I need to add my own things anyway.
You could try putting everything you want to do in one park into one plan, optimizing and see what the end time is. If you have sufficient time after you’ve done all the things you want to do, you could create a second plan for the other Park, with a start time where the prior one leaves off, and just include a couple highlights. Then the next day, you could do the same thing but flip flop the parks.
If you are huge Harry Potter fans, you may want to consider doing all the Harry Potter stuff in one day and then hitting the highlights from both parks on the second day.
This was posted today - might be useful to you:
I am sure this throws a complete wrench in your planning. However if you are planning TWO days at US - I Highly Highly Highly recommend you stay at US for that time. We recently did a split stay and it was NO PROBLEM at all.
The benefits are as follows
1 - Early admission to park (aka - early admission to Harry Potter)
2 - If you upgrade (and as you are staying at WL - I take the liberty at assuming you could also afford the Deluxe at US) and you get Express Pass included
3 - if you have Express Pass included (drumroll please) you do NOT need to plan - seriously - no planning at all - none
4 - you do not have to Uber back and forth
5 - it is MUCH more convenient
6 - you can be in the US Bubble
I highly recommend you split your time
Unfortunately, won’t be able to do a split stay. We have Free Dining with our room and the availability for changes is really limited. We’d likely lose that discount if we shortened or changed. The crowd levels for our days are a 1 & 2 so I think I was stressing unnecessarily.
Totally understand. If you are able to modify without losing free I do highly suggest it. Also take a look at the cost of the room only discount. At the WL - a room only discount may be more substantial than “free” dining.
Regardless of that - have fun at Universal. Basically get thee to Harry Potter first and then work your way around. Also try Mythos for lunch. Theming is ok (you are basically inside a big (however very light) cave - but the food is good, not expensive and it is a nice resbit from the day.
We crunched the numbers with FD and it’s a better deal than a RO reservation. We have 2 kids, one of them being 11 son. Thanks for the recommendation though! Since it’s our first visit I think I’ll let this be a bit more relaxed than our days at WDW.
you may still find that it is worth your time / effort to have a night at a US resort (double pay) for the convenience. VIa hotels.com the RPR is $259 / night (and you can cancel last minute with no penalty). With the back and forth on UBER etc this may not be as bad as you think. Additionally you get all the benefits, it is less hurried and NO PLANNING!!! To save additional money - look at UNDERCOVER TOURIST for tickets. Just suggestions. Regardless you will have a wonderful time.