"Final" Plans?

Our family have 5 days park to park tickets (We only paid for two with the buy two get 3 for free deal), plus the hotel give us Unlimited Express Passes for IOA and US.

People say that the two main Universal’s parks can be done in 3 days, especially with Unlimited Express Pass, we are sacrificing 1 day out of our 5 days to take advantage of the lower crowd’s levels at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens during our time at Universal, rather than going to those parks after, like our originally plan was.

After so many changes, we finally started to pay attention to those useful crowd calendars, and the fluctuating on the price of the “Quick Queue Unlimited” in Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, which usually match the crowd’s levels.

Btw I couldn’t find a calendar for Busch Gardens, so I’m using a crowd calendar for SeaWorld, with the hope that the crowds are of similar size in both parks.

We are arriving at the airport around midnight, by the time we are able to grab our rental and hit the roads, should be closer to 1am. We will be arriving at our family’s place around 1:30am, get up the next day around 9am to 10am and after breakfast drive to the Royal Pacific Resort.

Day 1 (Sunday, Dec 15):

  • IOA/US: Half a Day
    We should arrive at the Royal Pacific around 12pm, get the tickets and go to the parks until around 5 or 6pm.

Day 2 (Monday, Dec 16):

  • Busch Gardens Trip: Full Day
  • Crowds Levels: 7/10
  • Park Open: 10:00 AM
  • Arriving: 9:00 AM
  • Quick Queue Unlimited: $49.99

We will only buy the “Quick Queue Unlimited” in case we need them while on the park, I hope the price won’t change if we buy them online the same day that we are in the park, which I guess it will be cheaper than buying them physically through a cashier in the actual park.

Should I just buy the Quick Queue now because even with a 7/10 crowd, there will be over 50 minutes queue at Busch Gardens?

According to Google it should be around an hour drive in the Morning to Busch Gardens on that day.

We are only going for the rollercoasters and don’t really going to expend a lot of time looking at the animals. We are going to start driving back around 3pm to avoid the rush hour traffic.

Day 3 (Tuesday, Dec 17):

  • IOA/US: Full Day
  • Rope drop Island of Adventures to do Hagrid’s, and enjoy a relaxing day in both parks with Unlimited Express Pass.

Day 4 (Wednesday, Dec 18):

  • IOA/US: Half a Day
  • Sea World Trip: Half a Day
  • Crowds Levels: 7/10
  • Quick Queue Unlimited: $25
  • Park Open: 10:00 AM
  • Arriving: 9:00 AM

Again just as before is not about the animals for us, we love animals but we have a huge Zoo and a big Aquarium in our city.

By around 2pm we are planning to drive back to the Royal Pacific and go to the parks until late at night to watch the light shows.

Day 5 (Thursday, Dec 19):

  • IOA/US: Full Day
  • Rope drop Island of Adventures to do Hagrid’s, and enjoy a relaxing day in both parks with Unlimited Express Pass.

Day 6 (Friday, Dec 20):

  • IOA/US: Half a Day
  • Checkout day (Leave the suitcases at the lobby or in the car)
  • Rope drop Island of Adventures to do Hagrid’s, and enjoy a relaxing day in both parks with Unlimited Express Pass.

Whenever we feel like, we’ll leave the parks for good, go back to the hotel get our luggage, and drive to Clearwater Beach for a nice relaxing week.

Our original plans was to go to Busch Gardens while staying in Clearwater, but the crowds during that time period will be 9/10, the “Quick Queue Unlimited” will be $99.99, plus crazily enough even though the distance from The Royal Pacific to Busch Gardens is 75.7 miles and, the distance from our hotel in Clearwater’s beach to Busch Gardens is only 34.3 miles, according to Google in the day and time we wanted to go, it would have been almost the same driving time.

If you guys have any feedback or tips in to how to tweak this plan for the better, please let me know.

Thanks a lot!

With unlimited express, you could get all of universal done in a single day. I always plan two days, and sometimes toss a third in just because of the Harry Potter side.

To me this looks fun. The only difference for me is at Busch gardens id probably do the entire day till close, and quick queue unlimited and ride more then I could handle. :slight_smile: universal is great, but won’t match those coasters. If your doing quick queue normal, getting all the main coasters in twice at least should be pretty doable by the time you want to leave.


Thanks snow56border, That was the reply I was hoping for. It is doable! :slight_smile:

Should we just buy the “Quick Queue Unlimited” now? I have read reviews of people complaining that they bought the Quick Queue for Busch Gardens or SeaWorld in times they shouldn’t have because all the lines were 5 or 10 minutes. Is it 7/10 in those crowd calendars equivalent to 40 minutes of waiting time?

If I buy Quick Queue it will be unlimited, my kids are small but they love rollercoasters, my DD8 is the smaller one but with the right shoes on, she reach 54" in our local theme park, so she is always doing the big rollercoasters with us :slight_smile:

I’m not sure I can justify buying the “Quick Queue Unlimited Plus Tigris One Time-Ride”, I’ll just buy the regular “Quick Queue Unlimited”, rope drop the Tigris and try to do it as often as we can before the crowds start going to the back of the park.

I bought the quick queue unlimited before my trip but I honestly thought the tickets that included all day dining and paying for preferred parking were the two things I would always purchase ahead of time. The unlimited dining allowed us to get something every hour, even if it was a water, and we got Starbucks on our way out (buy one get one free with the dining). The preferred parking last year was $10-15 more (?) but you could walk to the gate.

Some attractions have the ability to purchase a one-time ride specific pass next to the lockers.

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Thanks PrincipalTinker, I looked into those dinning tickets, I’m not sure we eat that much any more, when I was younger I could have eaten every minute, but now it will be too much time taken from the rides, to do lines every hour for food.

I read some article of people waiting in line every hour for their food, and that is a lot of wasted time from the rides to me.

The only times Ive bought them ahead of time is when I knew crowds were going to be very large.

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Thanks snow56border, So 7/10 in those crowd calendar may not represent large crowds?

Will the price change for those “Quick Queue Unlimited”? It is right now $49.99 for the day we are going, but I’m afraid that if we show up at the park without them, then decide based on the queues that we need them, go to buy them online and the price suddenly is double lol

I don’t think I’ve seen quick queues change price like that day of. I’ve only done tampa twice, but I’ve done their other park in Virginia a lot. Out of all the parks I’ve been too, I only ever remember a minimal fee being added for buying at the gate. I’ve also only seen one case where quick queues sold out as well… but you could tell lining up in the morning that your first stop should be to get the band.

Those passes at the lowest are 20 on the empty days, 100.00 on busy. 50 is right in there of them guessing moderate crowds. Your all close to very busy times and they could estimate wrong.

Since you are going for RD, Tigris is the one ride you probably need to hit first. I’d see what my second ride looked like. If waits are staying under 20 mins… keep going. You may only need normal quick queue if you are staying to 3:00. The only benefit with unlimited, most lines drop you off on the losing platform… so you can start getting very number of rides, like 10 an hour. That’s a value call.

Unless someone on here has seen otherwise, I don’t think those quick queue prices really change once set.

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Thanks snow56border, for the very insightful points.

As you said let’s see if anyone has any knowledge of those Quick Queue prices changing after they have been posted at the Busch Gardens official web site.