First Universal Visit in 18 years - newbie questions

Hi all! I’m sure these questions have been answered, but after reading questions for the past hour I haven’t seen any answers yet that I’m looking for. I was last at Universal about 18 years ago, so I don’t remember anything about the parks (probably totally different now anyway), and haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing HP yet. I’ve read the UG and although I’m way early, am starting to play around with TPs. So far, we’ll only have 1 day to allocate in mid-Sept in the middle of our WDW trip. We’ll be getting a 1-day park-to-park. I know I’ll need to re-evaluate many many times until then, but as of now it’s showing my wait times to be less than 10 minutes for everything, including HP. Can that be right? CL 5 for USF and 2 for IOA. Also, do they really close the parks at 7pm? Seems really early…



Yes they do. We were there over spring break in 2014 and the parks did indeed close at 6 or 7 pm, even on Friday night. Crazy early to me, but that is typical for them. Holiday weeks they adjust, but in September I would expect 7pm at the latest. Plan your dinner in Citywalk after the parks close.

Not sure about this, as we always have express passes from staying onsite, and we have only been during 2 spring breaks and Thanksgiving. During those times it would not be possible. Hopefully someone who has been at that time can comment.
You will not be able to see everything in 1 day, even in low crowds. We can’t see it all in 2 full days with early entry and express passes and long hours. You will probably need to pick the highlights in both parks. Universal is fantastic, the coasters are great and the Harry Potter areas are like a piece of art they are so meticulously designed. It really is worth staying onsite at one of the 3 deluxe hotels for 1 night and getting early entry and express passes for 2 full days (you need to check in early on day 1). Then you will be able to really see and do most things. This may mean giving up a day at Disney though, so not sure you will want to do that?

We were there first week of September last year and those waits wouldn’t be too far out. I clearly remember the walk from entrance to ride itself taking longer than the wait itself and the Potter rides actually having among the shortest waits We done two full days and came back for a half day on our last day in florida so one day sounds really tight. Or biggest waits were for poisedons fury and minions and you could Def skip poisedons.

Thank you! That was one of the questions, was whether we should give up another day at Disney to be able to do everything at Universal. Right now we’re planning on at the very least HP, and if we have time we’d like to hit Hulk, the new King Kong (should be open by the time we go), Despicable me, Rip Ride Rockit, Spiderman, and Mummy.

Follow-up question: From what I’ve read, Hogwart’s express is pretty cool, and I’d like to ride it. But when talking to DBF and considering doing 2 days, his argument was to get two 1-park passes and do 1 park a day to save a little money. Is it worth it to get the park-to-park?

Halloween Horror night start in Sept so parks close at 6/7 for that. If you can afford it I would get the park to park ( hopper) ticket. We found if one park got busy we could walk to the other it was a nice option to have, and you might get more done. You could go to HHN also!!

Absolutely! The parks are right next to each other and hopping is so easy, nothing like at WDW. We aren’t really even HP fans, and yet would not have missed any of it, including the Hogwarts Express.