Harry Potter in one day or split over 4?

5 of us ( parents and 17, 19, 21 yr olds) will be there end of June and leaving 4 th of July. We have the express unlimited pass.
The kids are Harry Potter fans, or were growing up.
My question is: Do we immerse ourselves all Harry Potter for one day, and then have 3 days to do rest of parks, or will they get bored with only 2 rides? BTW, they have the interactive wands and have never been to the WWHP.
Or, do I just do Harry Potter at night and do rides during the day? Will the WWHP be too crowded to enjoy walking around and seeing shops during the day?
We should have more than enough time with 4 park days to get everything in considering we have the passes.
Any ideas on what is best?

My family’s last trip to Universal was in early May 2017 (Me, the spinster aunt and trip organizer, my sister, her husband, my disabled nephew (17), my niece (12), my other niece (22), the careworker for my nephew, early 20s) - so 6 adults and one tween.

We had 2 1/2 days (the pass where you can go to both parks - Islands and Studios) and spent the time on the rides - not so much exploring or playing with wands, since my nephew has multiple disabilities and we were eager to let him enjoy as many of the thrill rides as possible before we headed back to the house to let Sean rest. Our strategy was to minimize walking and do the water rides (Dudley Do-Right, Popeye’s) after lunch, in the heat of the day and dry off on the walk back to the parking area. We started with Forbidden Journey because at that time everybody had to queue for it (not part of the express pass deal).

I think with the express unlimited pass - you don’t really need a plan - BUT I have never been to any of the parks in high crowds. TouringPlans on Youtube has a new video on avoiding crowds at Islands of Adventure at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teHTv5z3heU - I am watching it in the background as I type…

The only rides Sean didn’t go on were the children’s rides, the Hulk, Jimmy Fallon and Doctor Doom - and he only did Rip-Ride-Rocket once because my B-I-L found it flung their heads too much. But he did everything else (Dragon Challenge, Hippogriff, Forbidden Journey, Jurassic Park, Popeye’s, Dudley, Skull-Island Kong, Despicable Me, Spiderman, Revenge of the Mummy, Simpson, Transformers). If your family is into thrill rides, I think you’ll have no trouble enjoying all 4 days.

Thanks. Yeah, I am wondering how crowded it will be during the day to enjoy the stores and wands in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade and if the crowd level will make the immersion factor of one day of just Harry Potter not worth it. If maybe doing HP at night over several days would be more enjoyable. But then you would you get the same feel of a day of living in HP world.

There are numerous Youtube videos of people exploring Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley - I don’t have the links for those in particular - but I know TheTimTracker and TouringPlans have done them.

I’ll give you the link for the last TimTracker video I watched because it features the water rides we love at Universal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxUemCZv6-g (and it was still up in my browser).

We finished both sides of HP in half a day. If it were more crowded, it may have taken longer. On our way out of the park, we did hop on two non-HP attractions.

I think devoting one full day to HP makes sense. While it is immersive, it will ultimately be up to you as how HOW immersed you wish to be. For us, despite our love for HP, the crowds were becoming just annoying by about noon or so, even on a low crowd day. (The rest of the parks were fine, but HP became crowded beyond belief as the day progressed.) I grew to despise the fire-breathing dragon on the top of Gringott’s because it means every 10 minutes everyone in Diagon Alley has to stop, block the entire walkway, and take pictures with their phones for the 3 seconds that it actually breathes fire.

So get there early and do as much of it as you can before noon, IMO.

I say get there early, and leave right before noon to explore the other areas, but come back around 5:30-6:00 until closing to explore DA some more. The crowds leave pretty much around that time, and DA has to be experienced at night, imo. It’s like a completely different experience.

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Also, I was going to write this in my trip report, but haven’t yet. On this trip, the dragon ONLY breathed fire on Saturday, and we were in DA everyday that we were in the parks, no fire. I noticed the fire thing on the Mummy ride as well: fire on the ceiling ONLY on Saturday, and we rode it many times throughout the trip. Not sure if they’re trying to save money or what, but my party and I definitely noticed the difference between the week and Saturday.

Thanks y’all. I asked my oldest two Home from college what they wanted to do. The oldest actually said he wanted to do HP in one day. He also was super excited about the wands and already called which one was his. Then the oldest two ( youngest is in school studying for AP tests now) are binge watching all the HP movies and last night went out to the store so they could make their own version of butter beer at home. So, even I didn’t imagine they would be that into it.
I guess we will shoot for one day and if it gets too crowded, leave the area and comeback. We will get there early. Mid day I think we will just watch a few show things, have lunch and snacks and such.
I am excited they are so excited!

Every trip I take, I devote one day to doing all the Harry Potter stuff. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and love the idea of getting completely lost in the storyline and the details. There is no denying that it gets crowded, and if it gets too crowded for you, you should definitely leave and take a break. But there is so much to do, that my sister and I actually spent about 6 hours in Diagon Alley one trip, between riding Escape From Gringotts multiple times, casting spells, watching all the shows, eating lunch at Leaky Cauldron, exploring Knockturn Alley, and looking in all the other shops. Sounds like the kids are already into it, and I must say, every year, I also do a Harry Potter movie marathon. You will have an amazing time!

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