Final Payment - now to make some plans

Made our package final payment today - not a single discount on rooms or park tickets . Hours have been released! Now it feels more real that we’re going to UOR. And I have questions!

First - VB will be open until 7pm. Sunset is right about that time. Is it worth staying - or leaving and coming back? Will anything even be lit up by then?
If there’s nothing special in the final hour or two, we’ll probably bail around 4:30 or 5 and go out for a nicer dinner.

Second - we’re moving from CBR to RPR on our third morning. I’d like to go about 8 or 9. We’ll skip EE that morning just to make this transfer easier. We won’t have a huge number of bags - 2 suitcases and 4 backpacks (amongst 4 people who can carry their own stuff). What’s the best way to make that move? Do we walk? Take an Uber or bus?

Third - we’ll head to IOA that morning. Any suggestions for how to start? We’ll have express pass and park-to-park. Really I’d like to take some time to get a feel for both parks that day. DD10 is a little nervous about the coasters. She’s done everything at Disney, so I’m sure she’ll be OK, but they ARE a bit intimidating.


VB should be lit up around 30 minutes prior to sunset. You may not notice it at first though. I have “closed out” VB before and it is fun, but not essential. There isn’t any special show or presentation.

If you want my opinion, I’d say go have that nicer dinner somewhere. You’ll be tired from walking up all those steps! My DD & I say it should be called Stair Island instead of Volcano Bay!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The easiest way is to get an Uber. I’ve done it many times.

The only other option is to take all your stuff with you to the buses. There’s no direct route. You’ll have to go from CBBR to CityWalk then take another bus to RPR. It’s not ideal. I have seen people on buses doing it. An Uber typically costs me $10 - $12 and IMHO that’s worth it for “door-to-door” service.

If you don’t think everyone will fit in the car then one adult could go in the Uber and everyone else could go to the hotel via bus to CityWalk and then water taxi.

.Both IOA and USF are large circles. So you don’t ever have to worry about being lost. Just keep walking and you eventually make it back around!.

If IOA is your first stop take her to either Marvel Island or Seuss Landing. (Basically the first Lands you can encounter depending on direction)

If she needs to “warm up” to dark rides / motion simulators then Seuss Landing will be the better choice. There are “kiddie” rides in this area. From there you can go see the Poseidon’s Fury show and go into Hogsmeade. By that time she may have the courage to do Forbidden Journey. It’s not a coaster, but it does move you around wildly. You have the same “over the shoulder” restrain a coaster would use. After all this just keep going counterclockwise around the park doing what she can / wants.

If she wants to do a “ride”, but not a “thrill” Marvel Island has Storm Force Accelatron (tea cups) and Spider-Man is a great motion simulator / 3-D dark ride that is exciting but not a rollercoaster. From there if you want to get absolutley SOAKED you can do the water rides at Toon Lagoon. I love Kong. It’s another motion simulator. It does toss you around a lot though. If she likes log flume / drop rides, Jurassic Park River Adventure is so much fun!! It does have a big drop at the end. (But you don’t get too soaked thankfully!)


That’s what I want to hear. :smiley: Dinner > more waterpark time

We’ll skip HP this day and do a full day of it later. Looking forward to that more than anything else!
I like your idea of just starting at Marvel Island with the slightly tamer rides. I bet if we just leave Hulk for 3rd, she’ll be fine. (But I might not be)

Thank you for the advice! I will be back with more questions

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If those 2 are large (checked-bag) size, I agree that’s too far to walk. Carry-ons would be doable though.

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Oh! you guys! Change of plans, maybe.
I just noticed. My Harry Potter morning has zero rides. You can’t use EP for Ollivanders, right? We were just going to do that, explore Diagon Alley and eat at the Leaky Cauldron.

So, we could EE USF for that first morning, go back to CBBR and transfer our luggage at lunch time.
That generates a new set of questions for me.

  1. can we do late check-out at CBBR? (normal checkout is 11?)
  2. If not, what is the bag-check like, there? Will it be crazy in the morning when we want to get to the park?
  3. How likely is it for us to have a room to rest at RPR if we’re checking in midday?
  4. We were planning to ride Hogwarts Express that morning, over to IOA. I’m not sure, now, how to fit that in. Go BACK to USF just to ride HE to IOA? That seems a bit weird.
  5. This gives us 3 EE days. It’s all-around better this way. Right?

Late checkout at CBBR depends on how full they are. I’ve gotten varying results: 12-1pm, or a flat no.

CBBR bag check in the lobby was pretty efficient when we used it.


Yes, but not guaranteed. It would only be until 12pm unless they are slow.

I use bag check frequently. It’s really only super busy around mid-morning / early afternoon when people start arriving from their flights. I rarely wait more than 5 minutes.

I haven’t stayed at a Lowe’s Première Hotel yet. I have heard they can be hit or miss about early check-in. Whenever I do stay on-site I typically get an e-mail a few days before departure. This is the early mobile check-in. I always do this to save time. Plus, you’ll get a survey asking for any special requests like a late check-out / early check-in.

Yes. That is weird and very inefficient. The WWOHP is in the back of each park. The hike there would not be fun just for that.

I’m really unclear why you are doing that though. Couldn’t you ride it before you leave the parks and just exit from IOA? Make it the last thing you do that morning at USF and then go get your stuff done. (Unless DD wouldn’t be able to control their excitement at seeing the other park & Hogsmeade)

Anytime you can go to Early Park Admission (EPA) it’s better! You’ll get so much more done (as you probably already know as a Liner!)

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Yeah, I’m not sure why I was thinking this, last night. Long day, I guess. I was probably trying to skip ANY rides without EP. I just re-evaluated my TP without EP and it’s only a 20 minute wait for HE. So, that seems like this is an excellent plan. :smiley:

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Ok - new question.

How long should I allocate for meals at 3 Broomsticks (6pm-ish) and Leaky Cauldron (11am-ish)? Spring break timeframe, we’re happy to mobile-order. You can’t do that ahead of time, though. Right? (Like at Disney, I can MO in the morning for dinner-time)

It all depends on the queues to get in the door. The actual meal service will be quick service speed and only takes about 5 minutes or so to get your food.

6pm is the tail end of the dinner rush. I’d expect about a 20+ minute wait to get to the counter to place your order if you see a queue out the door. Less time if there’s no queue.

11am is the start of lunch. If you really get there a little before or right at 11am you shouldn’t queue for too long or at all.

IME - Three Broomsticks is always busier than Leaky Cauldron. 3B has less “exotic” food and more chicken & ribs stuff. The Seafood / Sheppard pies & etc… at LC are often too “exotic” for many park goers that are too timid to try new things.

You can mobile order ahead of time and then do the “I’m Here” button so they actually start making your food. You will still have to stand in the majority of the same lines though. You’ll be in standby to enter the building, but you’ll skip the counter to pay. Then you’ll go to the queue to get your food. It’s still faster, but I didn’t want you to think there was a special “mobile order” queue so you could skip past the main queue.


What’s the current procedure at 3B & LC?

Recently, it was basically wait in line to get a table. (Place mobile order while in line). A TM seats you at a table. Then you enter/scan your table number in the app. TM’s deliver your order to the table?

It’s been hit & miss with them bringing out the food versus you getting it yourself at the “second station” after you pay. (Does that make sense??)

IME - They bring it to you more often at LC than at 3B. They will almost always assign you a table. I have had a “sit anywhere” when I’m just popping in for a hot Butterbeer

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I’m not sure why’d you do this. I’d never pick EE over EP and you could actually do both if you check in early enough. You say no rides that morning but the magic of express is walking by something and if the mood hits, you ride! You’d also have express for Hex.

Yeah, I just don’t want to make that extra stop, that morning. It’s early enough as-is, to get to EE.
We’ll have 4 full days to do the 3 parks, so I’m not worried about getting to everything. We’ll enjoy a “quiet” morning in Diagon Alley. Us and our 30,000 friends. :wink:

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Next question!

How early do we have to be for shows? I see the Make-up Show and Animal Actors offer EP, but Bourne does not. Seating location doesn’t really matter to us, but I’d hate to be turned away from anything because we showed up too late.

Bourne has EP, but if you’re at the front of the line you can’t see the preshow screens which I really enjoy. They do cut off the EP line at some point. We showed up about 8 minutes before last time we were there (in December) and we went into the regular line, had a good spot for preshow and once we entered the theater.

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Showing up 10 minutes ahead is usually fine for all three shows. I’m one to show up early just because, usually 15 minutes.

Being extra early to the Make-up Show will get you in the front row and more likely to be involved/interacted with. (It’s really fun, like a comedy show)


You don’t have to get to the shows really early. However, I suggest getting to the Make-Up Show at least 10 - 15 minutes early. There are neat make-up exhibits in the theatre lobby I recommend. Plus, Beetlejuice is often outside meeting guests before shows!


In July, on our transfer day, our room at RPR was not ready until 5. We had intended on swimming in the afternoon until our room was ready, but thanks to a thunderstorm, the pool was closed. We sat for a long long time in the lobby just waiting (in hindsight, that was a stupid move on our part - idle minds turn cranky on vacation in my house). If we were to do it again, I would plan a full service lunch somewhere & stay in the parks until we get our room ready text.


I could be because I’m exhausted but I don’t see when you’re going. We just wrapped up 4 days - myself and my DD10. You should be able to find my trip report still.

Do yourself a big favor - the walk from the back of the park to the other other or through citywalk to parking/uber is 25-30 min. So everytime you leave / come back / change parks, it’s a long walk. We hated the walk through citywalk at the end of the night but that’s also cause we go hard. So think about your touring plan flow and if you can minimize walking or going back - do that. Also I’m fairly certain VB is what destroyed me. All that walking barefoot and doing stairs exhausted me when I was counting on that day as being more relaxed.

We never got to the shows early and it was fine but we were also attended low crowd dates. They make for great breaks and are super well done. Do all of them. They last 20-30 minutes though so best to pair them with something else if you need a longer break.

We generally ate breakfast around 7:30, got to parks around 8:45 (we didn’t have EA) and then lunch around 11 is. That worked well. They have some of the same dishes at Leaky Cauldron and 3B so you can find things at both. 3B feels less like a dinning hall than LC. We usually shared one adult dish which left room for a snack later. 12-2 was always pretty packed.

Let me know if you have any questions.