Hi everyone!! First off I have binge read everything on here I could find and TP in the last 24 hours so tried to piece it together on my own but can’t! Knowing how fabulous y’all are I’m tapping the mat for help!
Booked a last minute Universal visit for Dec 24/25th. Yep tomorrow. Yep Christmas. Yep we are crazy. . DS16 said a couple days ago that he really wanted to ride Velocicoaster and would “ride anything in the park” which he NEVER says so since we were visiting the grandparents in FL only a couple hours away we called his bluff and booked!
Group of 7 - DH41, me 41, Grandma 66 but super fun and loves HP but has been to USF already not IOA, au pair 25, DS16, DD13, DD11 last four all still hooked on HP. Hubs and I hadn’t seen a single HP movie until two days ago and now are on movie 6 I think I’ve lost track (pray for us). DH and I last went to Universal shortly before HP opened whenever that was a million years ago. The rest have never been. DH Marvel obsessed and passed that down to the girls.
I am totally insane and booked a presidential suite (only room available) at RP for night of the 24th and booked an AirBNB super close by for tonight. Current plan is wake up early, head to RP and “check in” and drop bags and get keys for express unlimited and early access and head to IOA because it supposedly will be less crowded on 24th and then early access for USF on 25th and drive home evening on 25th exhausted.
Here’s where I am stuck so far (and I’m happy to gather any intel y’all want or send pics or live trip report or whatever you want in return!!).
What time should we try and be at RP to “check in” for an early access day on 24th (park open 8am)? 6am? 630am?
Once checked in, how should we get to IOA from RP (walk/bus/water taxi etc)?
Kids will likely want wands (pray for me again). I’ve read up and heard do it for EE, do it at the end (though I’m sure they will want to use it) and get timeslot reservation near park opening for later in the day. Thoughts?
I’m assuming it’s going to be stupid busy so plan is to expect that and take advantage of early access and unlimited express to tour until it becomes unbearable and then take a break (would be awesome if suite was available early to hang in! - a girl can dream…) and return for the later hours but probably need to have a plan for lunch and dinner options either way and no reservations are available though I’m happy to keep trying - any recommendations on which to try and how to get them other than just trying online all the time?
We haven’t done a park without a full plan in……can’t remember but I’m hearing you can do that more in Universal especially with express unlimited so praying that is true. Other than the headliners that I’ve penciled down are there any shows or do not miss experiences you’d recommend based on our group?
I saw Universal just announced masks effective the 24th and that’s our day one so will see how that goes and report back for sure. Any other restrictions we should be aware of/prepare for?
I’ve downloaded app and have been told to look for virtual queue for Hagrids so will do that and early entry for Hagrids and Velocicoaster. Possible dumb question but do we need/want a wand in IOA or is that just USF? If so, better to flip days and do USF first then IOA on 25th?
I’ve read about lockers, stumped on what to do there. Grandma isn’t going to ride any big coasters so we could hand her everything I guess or wait to get wands later or just throw everything in a paid locker though it would make it hard to live trip report in park without a phone…tips?
I think I can….I think I can….