Gringotts at Rope Drop

On the 2Day/2Park w/o EE touring plan, alternate plan says to ride DM, Transformers, then Gringotts. We do not want to ride DM and could ride Transformers later with Express, so wouldn’t it be better to go directly to Gringotts? We will be there in July with a crowd level 8. USF opens at 8 and IOA has EE at 7am. We are staying offsite. What time do we need to be at the turnstiles to be able to get to Gringotts before the line backs up? And how much time do we allow for parking/walking to turnstiles? Its our first trip to Universal.

And btw, is the Express pass really a must? I’ve assumed it is given the crowd level, but it is really hard to part with that much money for it. I might do a throw away room, but even the cheapest deluxe is almost $400 so still a lot of money and I still have the hassle of arriving early to get room key before getting to turnstile. We have 3 days to spend in the parks and don’t mind some lines, but obviously continuously waiting and in the heat can be miserable. So trying to weigh cost vs. benefit.

Thanks for the feedback.

re express pass Wait and buy it if needed on the day there is a single use per ride exp pass you can buy good for either 1 or both parks instead of buying unlimited in advance. Ive done Easter without exp pass. Gringotts it gets a bottle neck at opening which might explain the tp suggestion. If offsite it is recommended to do gringotts after 4 as queue is much shorter then. No one knows how EPA will be then it might be back to USF @7 am
To get into park for 8 am openings I would be at the car park before 7am. It takes 15 minutes to walk from carpark to turnstiles and queues get long.

I’ve heard they can run out of Exp Passes- is that true?
I did a comparison of a touring plan with a single use express pass and a plan with no express pass. The express pass saved over 3 hours in one day of touring (during spring break). Don’t know how accurate the estimates are, but that made it a must do for me because we only have one day there.

I read that on the uni site also but have never heard of anyone not getting one. For one day def buy In advance so you dont have to queue on the day but gjackson has 3 days so if they are struggling after day 1 can buy in advance for another day. I should have pointed out we did 3 days of very relaxed touring .If we had less days I would have bought in advance.

Not sure if they run out or not, but have done the same thing s @Lrrich, running the TP with and without express pass. It is mind boggling the time difference (this is for the Friday after Easter). For just 4 hours from 11am-3pm, the plan without express would have us in line for 205 minutes with 62 riding. With express, the plan only takes 36 minutes to wait in line, with 62 riding. Huge difference and exactly why express is beneficial during busy times. It is well worth staying onsite one night to get 2 days of express passes. We were able to do everything we wanted in 2 days with express pass last April, including taking a mid day break, and the parks closed at 6 and 8pm. Well worth it!

On peak days Express can sell out by early afternoon, but it’s rare. If you have 3 days and follow a touring plan you can probably see everything you want to without express, but it is nice to have.