I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. We are trying to do 1 day with a park to park and only want to do Harry Potter, like everyone else. We are going with our 11 year daughter, but it is a surprise she has no idea we are doing HP and WDW. So excited. We will be there Tuesday March 27, 2018 and we will not be staying onsite. Feeling a little discouraged. I’ve looked at the 2 different touring plans and the Undercover Tourist plans too. I’m just little worried how busy it will be and not sure what to do. I also didn’t want to spend the $1000 to do the express pass unlimited for the 5 of us. Any advice appreciated. We will be driving from Disney Springs to UF anyone know what the traffic is like?
My family and I did a similar plan in May 2015. We took a Lyft from BWV to UOR for the day, using Park-to-Park and focusing on WWoHP. Travel time was totally negligible - didn’t take long at all - maybe 20 minutes? If you’re driving yourself, factor in deck parking time and walking over to security/through CityWalk.
If WWoHP is all you’re interested in (and you don’t care about missing anything else), you’ll be more than fine. My fam was at the park gates 30 minutes before regular open (the park that didn’t host early admission - don’t think March is released yet, so stay tuned on that front). We went straight for Diagon Alley and hit up Ollivander’s (the larger between that and Hogsmeade) and then Gringotts. We spent the next hour touring DA, and jumped in line for the train before the waits became longer mid-day. We raced over to Forbidden Journey (though you may want to do Flight of the Hippogriff first if that line is short - the FJ queue is so great, 40 minutes can seem like 15). After lunch at Three Broomsticks, we ventured out into the rest of the parks, seeing most major attractions with little wait, and wrapping up in the early evening.
Will those areas of the parks be crowded? Yeah - they’re so immersive and built almost exactly like the movies, which means that they can get small and sometimes feel cramped. That said, visiting is still a wonderful experience, and I’ve enjoyed myself with high crowds, no crowds, and everything in between. Great news is you’re visiting when the parks are open later than normal (awesome!) so you can linger as they empty out and enjoy your time in the Wizarding World.
Having a TP makes you one step ahead of the game. And even though we enjoyed ourselves without having EP, if you really, truly think you need it, you can always purchase it day-of.
If you are worried about the effect of crowds on these plans, the best thing to do is copy them as Personalized TPs and evaluate them for the day that you are going. However, as the plans have you starting at USF (Part 1), going over to IOA (Part 2), and then returning to USF (Part 1 again), you will need to break Part 1 into two plans, one for everything from the start up through taking HE to IOA, and the other for everything after returning from IOA on HE. You then Evaluate the plans in the order you are going through them in (Part 1a, then Part 2, then Part 1b), making sure to set them all for the day in question and to set the start times for each plan based on the finish time of the prior plan. You also need to set the correct entrance for each plan (Main Entrance for Part 1a, Hogwarts Express Arrival for Parts 2 and 1b).
Here is an example of that this looks like:
Part 1a: https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2881953
Part 2: https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2881995
Part 1b: https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2881986
Note that these plans have been tweaked a little bit to make them work out. In order to hit Beedle the Bard in Plan 1a I dropped the entry for Diagon Alley, so you go there during the Free Time after breakfast and during the break after the show. In Plan 2 I moved Three Broomsticks up in order to get there around the desired 12:30 time. In Plan 1b I dropped the second Beedle the Bard show as there are no shows scheduled after the return to USF.
Hey @len - maybe you could have the team split up Part 1 so that there are three sequenced parts and users can more easily turn them into Personalized plans.
OK, good idea. Brian is looking at this. Thanks for the heads-up.
Do not be discouraged!!! You have already gotten some awesome advice here and I will add an extra piece. When I went with my family during the week of July 4th, we had the best success with short lines during the last hour before park close. It seemed a lot of people started clearing out a few hours before the park closed and the crowds, lines (and, in our case, heat) was MUCH more manageable. If you can stay until close, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
No matter what happens, you are sure to have an amazing time. The theming is so incredible, you will be in awe!
There were several times that the Hippogriff wait was longer than FJ last week, which was totally unexpected. If it’s a must-do, you might actually be better off to go there first and save FJ for afterwards, as @kristenabelle suggests.