I've read posts with a similar theme, but I have a few additional questions I hopeful the TP regulars can answer. I'm going to be in Orlando at the end of March, and I would like to take my 10 year old HP fan to Universal for the day. I realize that this is on or near spring break, and the crowd calendar lists it as a 7 or 8. Will we be able to do all things HP in 1 day, assuming we get to the park at opening? We are not staying someplace that has a shuttle to the park, so I'm curious on the parking situation. Should I drive (I'll have a rental car) or consider taking a cab / uber? It has been a long time since I've been to Universal, so with all of the changes I basically consider myself a 1st timer. I noticed the touring plan titled 'Wizarding World One-Day/Two-Park Plan PART 1' however I didn't see a 'PART 2' -- did I overlook it? I appreciate any comments / suggestions for helping me try to make it a great visit for my son!
I had a hard time finding it at first too. If you pull up "Universal Orlando Highlights One-Day/Two-Park Plan without Early Entry PART 1" before you click to copy the plan, you should see the blue link right above the "Plan Steps" section. Or if you look for the touring plans under Islands of Adventure, you should be able to find it too.
Not an expert, but as someone who just returned from a terrific first time trip (with 7-year old Harry Potter fans), I can say with some confidence that yes you will be able to do it all in one day. I suppose the only concern would be that your 7/8 day turns into a 10 day.
We were there for what was a 5 in USF and a 2 in IOA. We relied on the one-day two-parks Wizarding Worlds touring plan as a guide. It was the basic pattern we followed, and it worked well. We did everything except Dragon Challenge (too short) and missed one show. Plus, did FJ 3 times, Gringotts 2 times and Hippogriff multiple times. Some additional thoughts:
For a first time visit for big Harry Potter fans, I strongly recommend starting in Diagon Alley. (As others here recommended to me.)
On a 5/2 day, it still felt quite crowded in the Wizarding Worlds, even though the waits for the big attractions were reasonable.
If you and your son do not really have any interest in getting an interactive wand and doing spells, that alone will save you A LOT of time. You can still watch others cast spells and get the gist of it. That said, our 7 year olds LOVED doing spells. Heck, it was a big part of why we were there.
Last thought: Because you have to walk through a park to get to (or leave) the Wizarding Worlds, beware the temptations of all the other thrilling attractions. I was lucky because I could tell my kids, "Don't worry, we will do it tomorrow."
Can't help you with the parking.
Have a great time!!! It is pretty incredible.
It has a big parking garage and parking is really easy, but it's $20 or $22 per day so uber will likely be cheaper.
We were there Christmas New Years 2015-16, so very busy time of year...first, either Uber, or if you want to drive, use the valet parking. Yeah, it was $20, but did not have to park, and we were right there by security! Was worth it to us. Plan that you will need Park to park tickets. Since you are not staying on site at UNI, you will be behind the crowds who had early entry. Doable still...plan that all you will see is HP areas...it will be incredibly busy back in that section of the park. It was amazing though, and we loved it!
Thanks for this! I'm doing the same thing with my upcoming trip in May. We just have one day for Universal, but HP is the focus! The day I've picked out is a Sunday, and it's a CL 3/2 for USF/IOA. I am curious to know if either park had Early Entry on the day that you followed that "One-Day Two-Parks Wizarding World" touring plan. Do you remember? I've read that if one park has early entry, you should basically start at the other park because crowds will have swarmed the HP part by the time regular guests can get in.
Indeed, IOA had 8am early entry. We chose USF for 9am entry because we wanted to do Diagon Alley first. It worked out great. Not sure about overwhelming crowds one way or other. But we were there on similar crowd calendar days as you, and it does feel quite crowded in both places (as I'm sure you read).
Exploring all the nooks and crannies and doing spells is really what takes up the whole day. And it is terrific. But if you just wanted a taste and to do the big rides, you would have time for other UO attractions.
Have a great time! It's amazing.
Good to know. I'm checking Universal's posted early admission calendar constantly and hoping that IOA has the early entry on our travel day. I really want to experience it in the order that Harry would have: Diagon Alley, and then Hogsmeade. (Total Potterhead here, lol.)
In my humble opinion, doing it in the order Harry does it is the ONLY way for a true Potterhead to do it!