Harry Potter World question

Hi, friends! Happy Thanksgiving!
I haven’t been on in a long time, it’s hard for me when I don’t have a trip coming up very soon. We went to WDW last spring break for our DD’s 10th birthday and had a fantastic time. We had such a good time that we are going to the World again for her 13th birthday. This time, however, she’s gotten into Harry Potter, so I’d like to include a day touring both Universal Parks, mostly for the Wizarding World.
My husband wants to do this instead of an “off” day-last year we did one of the water parks. I’m not so sure about that, but…at any rate, I’m wondering how you would include this into your WDW trip? Would you put it on the beginning or end so you could stay on property? Put it in the middle for a change of pace? We usually stay on-property at WDW, last time was at WL, & we like having a rental car.

I would put it at the end of my trip and add a night at a deluxe resort. You will get check in and check out express line. If you do it in the beginning FPs just don’t seem that great (at least to me ).


I put it squarely in the middle as a nice change of pace, but I’ve never stayed onsite at Universal. Though it’s a more leisurely pace and easier touring than WDW I wouldn’t call it an off day. It’s a lot of walking and a lot to do there!!

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I put UOR toward the beginning or middle as a break from Disney and because I like Disney better overall (don’t want to start / end my trip with something I don’t like as much). It also helps push your FP day back a little so the later days are easier to get FPs. Also I don’t like changing resorts and I rent a car due to the size of our party (can’t fit in an Uber).

But if you are going to stay onsite and get the express pass (which is a great deal and the resorts are really nice), it would make the most sense to go at the beginning or end of your trip.

I put it in the middle so we can use ME at the start and end of our trip. We do stay onsite at Universal so we’re paying for 2 rooms for one or two nights but it’s worth it to us.


We just did this on our trip this month! Since we were in Orlando at the tail end of Jersey week/Veterans Day, I put our UOR day on the day Disney looked busiest, which ended up being day 3 (of 8) for us. We also had rented a car, so we just drove over. I paid for preferred parking, but it still felt like our car was sooooo far away from the parks—if you’re using your UOR day as an “off” day, I’d warn you that it’s definitely not very restful. We were pooped by about 3 or 4pm.

That said, it really was no problem to drive from WL to Universal. It didn’t make sense for us to add a night at one of their resorts, and we only wanted to go to Universal for one day (we don’t do the big coasters so there’s significantly less for us to do there).

On our latest trip we ended up going WDW-UOR-WDW because:

  • We could then use DME to and from the airport
  • We were able to combine transport between sites and transport to KSC by renting a car for for the day (Avis, Disney Springs to Doubletree Universal - would also for any other relatively inaccessible destination, e.g. BG)
  • Disney accommodation was much more expensive for the three particular nights we spent at UOR
  • Halloween Horror Nights was only running on certain nights

Obviously the last two are pretty specific, but worth checking out prices and seasonal attractions before making your decision!

We just did this. Started off at Portofino hotel then switched to our Disney hotel. I was originally going to be at the Disney hotel the whole time but couldn’t pass up the early park admission and Express pass. I definitely wanted express but it was cost prohibitive with my large family. We went during a high crowd time. We too sacrificed the down day and we all ended up getting too exhausted.

My DD and I are doing this in January. We are both huge Harry Potter fans. I looked at the crowd calendar and decided when it made the most sense. We are going first to Universal and then to Disney and switching hotels. If you are going at a busy time, staying at a Universal deluxe resort would be a good option as you would get the Express pass “free”. If you are only planning 1 day this is also a good option to get on the rides quicker (except Hagrid’s is not included in UE yet). Also you would enjoy the boat transportation to the parks (very relaxing after a long day) and early entry. You can also purchase the Express pass if you decide not to stay on property. There is a lot of walking involved in touring both parks in 1 day so I wouldn’t consider it a “break”. From what I have seen though, Universal is usually not as busy as Disney so at least you’re not fighting the crowds as much.