Help! Need UOR and WDW short trip feedback. TIA (brain fried)

Need some feedback on my plans. This trip is happening next weekend, and busy teacher life means I haven’t been able to give the attention I usually give. So, I’m afraid I’m missing obvious tricks, tips, opportunities, or issue.

4 adults - me, DH, DF and DFH (dear friend and dear friend husband)

Day Breakdown
April 8 - arrive late, uber/lyft MCO to AirBNB
April 9 - UOR park to park: priorities Harry Potter, roller coasters, ET
April 10 - Day off (for the boys to rest)
April 11 - Epcot: priority is Flower & Garden and the Frozen ride, but we like most of Epcot
April 12 - Morning pool, lunch then Disney Springs before heading to the airport for 5:30 flight

UOR Day Plan (scroll down for WDW)
Islands of Adventure (Hogsmeade): 8AM - 10PM, 7AM Early Entry
Universal Studios (Diagon Alley): 8AM - 10PM

5:40AM Uber/Lyft to AirBNB for Lowes Royal Pacific Check-in

  • I check-in as early as 6AM to pick up keys for Express Pass
  • Meanwhile the others pick up breakfast for at Tuk Tuk Market to take with us to the gate
  • Walk/Water Taxi to IOA gate (everyone will have app with ticket loaded)
    Anything I’m missing here? What do I need for check in and picking up passes? Do they need to be with me?

Rope Drop Strategy for Islands of Adventure

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Velocicoaster
  • Walk to Diagon Alley (so that we can start our HP voyage in canon)

Diagon Alley - Universal Studios (plan)

  • Wands, Gringotts and Exploring (thinking do Ollivander’s first, send wand boxes to guest services at the front)
  • Early-ish lunch at the Leaky Cauldron
  • End with a hop to Islands of Adventure via Hogwarts Express
  • Shortly before 12PM start checking for Mardi Gras Virtual Queue

Hogsmeade - Islands of Adventure (plan)

  • Visit the Hogshead for beer and Butterbeer
  • Depending on Mardi Gras plans, check out Three Broomsticks for an early dinner.

I’m not too worried about fitting rides and attractions in since we will have unlimited express. Depending on how everyone is feeling and whether we are making good time, we might take a break when done with Hogsmeade. Roller coaster enthusiasts, which coasters are truly worth my time (I’m a Cedar Point goer so standards are high) Velocicoaster is an obvious choice, but what about the others?

Evening Events

  • Mardi Gras Parade at 7:15, performers can be seen by the Tribute Store a few hours before the parade. Try to watch from near the Bourne Stuntacular or Horror Makeup Show.
  • Mardi Gras Food Booths (available all day)
  • Hogwarts Castle Lights
    Is it worth watching the fireworks show at Universal if you aren’t a big Universal fan?

General UOR question - right now I’m not stressed about having a TP because I will have express pass unlimited. Is that right approach? Talk to be about mobile order. We aren’t currently planning a sit down dinner.

"Break Day"
DH and DFH playing golf at LBV golf course.
DF and I are going to do the pool. We might pool at the AirBNB, but more likely we will pool hop at Universal. How does that work? Favorite pools considering we are two adults and probably more worried about the pool bar than a water slide?

Evening Festivities - Magic Kingdom Monorail Crawl

  • CR: Plan is to “RD” opening of CG at 5 to try for a cocktail so that we have the option to go back for fireworks. We might also hit the Steakhouse 71 lounge.
  • Poly: The dream is Trader Sam’s, but it’s starting to sound more like a pipe dream. Other ideas for Poly? Anything other than Tambu lounge?
  • GF: We plan to hit Enchanted Rose. This has not been a problem in the past.

If everything gets to crazy or tedious, the plan B is to boat over to WL and eat at Geyser Point.

If we aren’t at the CR for fireworks, where would you watch from? Poly beach?

Epcot Day
Park Hours8:30AM to 9:00PM (Resort guests have 8AM entry. Deluxe Resort guests have 9-11 extended evening hours. We have neither.)

We are planning to do Genie+ (with Spring Break and it being our only Disney day, it is what it is).

What do I pull for Genie+ at 7? FEA or TT?

Arrive at 7:30 for Rope Drop. Hoping to beat the Remy and FEA crowd to Soarin’. I saw that as a tactic that would have worked on MLK weekend Jan. Thoughts? Would you take a different approach?

I feel pretty confident about taking care of rides in Epcot. Just curious what your Genie+ approach is there.

What’s the update on Flower & Garden. I know it’s crazy busy because of Spring Break, but my plan is for us to basically snack and eat a booths all day. Have things been so crazy that the booth lines are impossibly long?

Last Day
We are going to do lunch at DS. What are your favorite lunch options that don’t need a reservation? We do have one vegetarian and one pescetarian in the group.

Y’all thanks for any help. Teacher life and brain fry is a lot this year - so I know there are things I’m forgetting or things I haven’t forgot.


So excited for you!! I’m just gonna go over the Universal part of your plan as I was just there last month and haven’t been back to WDW since 2018.

You don’t need them to be with you are check in. If the tickets are already loaded on the App and each person knows how to access it, they’ll be fine.

IME - you only need to be there if you are picking up “hard” tickets / APs. Then the person who paid has to show the credit card & ID.

Neither of these rides offer Express Pass. Personally, I’m not a fan of trying to RD Hagrids unless you can seriously be at the front of the pack. Literally 85% of ppl are headed there at EPA and park opening… (10% go to VC and the others to FJ)

I’ve gotten multiple rides on VC and got on FJ and Hippogriff once before EPA ends - just to see the queue at Hagrid’s extended out of Hogsmeade entirely. If you can wait until lunch time the queue gets down to an hour instead of 90 - 120+ minutes.

If you go to Hagrid’s first, there is a chance it will use up all your EPA and the start of park opening.

(If you are true RD ppl at the head of the pack, you can do it. But I go solo and can get around quick and even I don’t try. It’s a massive herd of ppl going there. I duck off the path and into Jurassic Park!)

If you want Hot Butterbeer, the only place in Hogsmeade to get it is Three Broomsticks. It can be really busy and a pain. You can get it in Diagon Alley at Hopping Pot & Fair Fortune (along with Leaky Cauldron). All the other stands & places have traditional / frozen butterbeer and such… Personally, hot is the only one I like and IMHO what “butterbeer” is supposed to be like in the books. (not carbonated or frozen!)

Really… IMHO just VC and Hagrid’s. I really like RRR, but other than the vertical lift hill it’s a pretty standard coaster. The same for Hulk - average. (Both are a lot of fun though!!!)

Now… if Mummy were open I’d tell you to go there ASAP! It’s awesome and rivals anything coaster at Universal even after all these years (Not “extreme”, but does a lot of unique things for a coaster!)

FYI - If you want to be on the parade float this is going to eat up a lot of your evening. You’ll have to arrive at least an hour before the parade to fill out waivers and such. Then you stand around and wait for a long time until you board. Finally, you’ll be in the parade and such. I’d plan at least 2+ hours of your night for this.

The Hogwarts castle lights tend to be around 8:15 - 8:30 this time of year (right after sunset) - This will overlap with Parade. (Please triple check the show time, but I feel pretty positive. I was there for a week and had to do watch the Mardi Gras parade one night and castle show another night)

It’s only a 5 minute “show” It’s really pretty, but it isn’t the spectacle that fireworks at WDW are. If your kids really love HP they’ll like it. Otherwise, it’s just “ok”. It’s very pretty… Don’t get me wrong. This would be a hard choice for my family because the parade is cool, but it’s a lot of downtime. Whereas, the Castle show is pretty, but over quick and can leave you with a “that’s all??” feeling if you have high expectations.

You will absolutely NOT need a TP - especially with UXP. I still make one each trip just to get an idea of how busy attractions can be at peak times. I don’t even use UXP and I don’t use my TP there any more. The Universal App is great!!! It’s sooooo much better/easier to use IMHO than MDE.

Like WDW… mobile order can either be a lifesaver or a headache. I’ve had positive experiences where everything is goes smoothly and it’s great. I’ve had times when I get there and it’s not ready or a glitch. I’d tell you to try it and see what you think after one or two pickups. Again… the App is so easy to use!!

I hope all this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions!!


Hulk and Hagrid’s for sure…add in RRR and Mummy(…just saw mummy is closed…). Even though considered a “kiddy” rollercoaster, we found Hippogriff fun.


TT has single rider, if your group is willing to do that. You still get to design a car.

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