Help with Wizarding World Two-Day/Two-Park Plans

Our first trip to UO. While we want to make sure we don’t miss anything in both Potter lands, we want to do everything in both parks.

We are staying at Royal Pacific (so have Unlimited Express).
We have 4-Day - 3 Park - Park to Park tickets.

We are planning to do both parks on dates 8/23 and 8/24.

So far early entry is only for IOA in August. No early entry for USF. Park hours are 9a-9p both days for both parks. This is where I was going to start with the “Universal Orlando Two-Day/Two-Park Plan WITH Early Entry” plan. But then I wasn’t sure if abandoning early entry for IOA was the right thing to do (on at least one of the days).

8/25 - Volcano bay and I can’t really move this to another day as I scored a cabana.
8/26 - just an extra day to do whatever / wherever (but USF closes at 6p).

Any TP help is appreciated. Actually any UO help is appreciated!

I’m still trying to finish TP’s for HS (for the week prior) and I’m stressing out that I’m not going to get enough time to plan for UO to do it justice (and having zero experience at UO).

Thank you!

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Using early morning entry will be key b/c those parts of the parks are easily the most crowded areas all day long.


I would rope drop Hagrid then Velocicoaster on at least one day! maybe even on your volcano bay day as you could be out and heading to VB before it opens(probably) and with a Cabana you get the tapu tapu without having to walk to the rides so should do everything easily in a day there.

on another day do early entry to IOA and do potter stuff then get on train over to USF as soon as possible to do USF harry area first thing with lower crowds.


IMO, yes it is still the right thing to do for 1 day. If you get to the gates early and rope drop, Diagon Alley is pretty empty compared to Hogsmeade. (The USF rope droppers arrive at DA before the Hogwarts Express train crowd from Hogsmeade.) Plus, you should only have moderate crowds on those dates.

  • My number 1 tip is lockers. Are you familiar with the locker system?

  • Are you familiar with which rides can give people motion sickness? I have an attraction questionnaire if you are interested

  • I also have a detailed Diagon Alley map if you are interested.

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Yes please to all of it. We are very wet behind the ears on universal. Don’t know how lockers work. I did see your post about the rides and plan to go get that document. I’m usually ok. I see this as, only live once, not sure if I’ll get back, I’ll go on everything once. DW might too but then we have DS’s of 14, 11, and 7 to consider.


First - Don’t Panic!! (or stress) Once you get to UOR you’ll see that it’s more of the size of Disneyland than WDW. You can walk from the furthest part of one park and all the way to the back of another in 20 - 25 minutes. It’s so nice!! It’s way more manageable than WDW.

Go to Early Park Admission (EPA) for your Volcano Bay day. Buses from your resort leave one hour before that time starts. It is going to be busy! Volcano Bay does reach capacity - often within 90 minutes of park opening. (They don’t turn away guests that are staying on-site, but it will be a hassle to come & go)

You’ll have no issue getting on rides or such on the first two days with your Express Passes (UXP)

Even during peak seasons you’ll wait only 33% or less than the posted waits.

With the UXP you don’t even really need a plan. Going to Universal is so much less stress and planning than WDW. Whenever I do make a plan for Universal, which is rare anymore, it is more of a “checklist” than an itinerary.

You’ll not have to worry about park reservations, what time you can park hop, Individual Ride Selections or Genie+. You’ll be able to do what you want to do, whenever you want to do it.

VelociCoaster & Hagrid’s, as you probably know, don’t accept UXP. If your party is interested in those rides EPA is a “must-do”. Staying at Royal Pacific means you don’t have to do the security check-in at CityWalk. You get your own “private” screening area and can hop on the fast water taxi. Get on those first boats and you’ll be ahead of 90% of everyone going to RD.

@trandall2 - I made edits / additions (I had to swap computers, but wasn’t done typing original thoughts!)

Here are some great YT creators that specialize in UOR:


Thank you everybody so far with the ideas.

Oh my god that sounds great. I’m so happy now that I planned UO after Disney. Sounds like a good way to end.

This plan is part of a 2-day, 2-park tour that consists of the following four premium plans:

Day 1: Part 1 (at USF) and This Plan (Part 2, at IOA)
Day 2: Part 1 (at IOA) and Part 2 (at USF)

Are you in agreement that the above plans are a good base / foundation for 8/26 (Tue) and 8/27 (Wed)? I’m trying to have a firm grip on where we will be each of those afternoons so I can make some sit down dining reservations for a mid day break (like 2-3p).

I did not know! I have so much more to learn.

Wow, didn’t know any of that either!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really do appreciate everybody’s time and effort.


These attractions you cannot take any type of bag/purse, etc:

  • Mummy
  • Gringotts
  • MiB
  • Forbidden Journey
  • Hagrids

Fanny packs are allowed though for your belongings (phone, keys, wallet, etc.) You can also use cargo shorts with the pockets that close for these things too.

These attractions have metal detectors so absolutely no items can go with:

  • Hulk
  • Velocicoaster
  • Rip Ride Rockit

The small lockers are free for the ride duration. Note that they are small. Mini-back pack, sling bag, etc. will work. A larger bag may not fit, and you will have to pay for a larger locker.

Diagon Alley Map:

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So you honestly need no Touring Plan at all with Express pass. Go with the flow and ride what you come across as you cross it EXCEPT VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s (most especially Hagrid’s). You can very easily do Early Entry both mornings in IOA and each day head to one of those rides first to get the shortest line (in fact I recommend you do that) and then take the train over as soon as it opens and start with the Universal Studios touringplan from the train station. However, again you don’t really need to do this at all. There will be no rush for you to get over to USF with Express Pass. I recommend trying to jump in the line for Hagrids 5 min before close one of your days when the park is open after dark. Same for VelociCoaster on another (and this one is not important as Hagrid’s because the line isn’t ever as long as Hagrid’s)


Also since you’re going so long if you get bored…there are some fun diversions on this:

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I prefer Diagon Alley at night and its often way less crowded then too. It looks better at night and the wand effects work better so I would actually say to aim for touring the alley itself (minus the ride/leaky cauldron or the stage shows around their timed offerings) the last couple of hours the park is open one day (not on the day it closes at 6pm).

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I can not stress enough that these plans are more of a guide. Touring UOR is so much easier than Disney. Here’s what you need to know about WWOHP…

If you want to buy an interactive wand ($60 each) to do the spells, the best time to do it is first thing in the morning. Even before any rides. These areas will become packed and they aren’t “staffed”. Meaning that if little Timmy is having trouble doing the spell no one is going to make him stop trying until he is done - even if that takes 15 minutes!

WWOHP at both park is going to be the first “lands” that fill up. Diagon Alley is breathtaking and an attraction itself. However, it is designed just like in the stories with narrow passages and winding streets. You will be “elbow-to-elbow” with people within the first hour of park opening.

The Hogwarts Express is actually TWO rides!! You get a different “show” in each directions!

Hagrid’s is always going to be 100+ minute wait unless you are one of the first people there at RD. Just “make your peace” with that fact and plan accordingly! (Pro Tip - It is a wholly different experience after dark. IMHO - That’s the best way to do it. Try to get in the queue about 15 minutes before park closing / sunset. It’ll be the last ride of the night and you’ll never forget it!!)

Flight of the Hippogriff is a ride for “toddlers”. It will always have a 45 - 60 minute wait. This is due to that it has extremely low capacity. There is only one animatronic and nothing else. Skip this or get there ASAP at EPA… (skip it…)

Get on this ASAP! While isn’t a “60 day” ADR day like WDW these places do fill up. If you try to eat anywhere after park close and don’t have a reservation you will wait at least 90 minutes.

If you need any recommendations or have food questions - just ask! Some of the best places, like Three Broomsticks don’t even offer reservations!

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Does this mean you cant even have a phone in your pocket? Following, I am going in December for the first time in many years


Yes… nothing at all… no matter even if your pocket zips up / shuts close


Use it as a checklist of the top attractions/shows and best places to eat. But do NOT follow the plan to a tee with Express Pass because you are going to force yourself to do a lot of unnecessary walking. I would actually build your plan around making circular movements around the park. For example, start with Hagrids in IOA and then finish off Hogsmeade, then proceed to Jurassic Park, then Kong, then Toon Lagoon, then Marvel, then Seuss, then Poseidon’s Fury and then catch the train over one day and do any PM shows in USF and tour Diagon Alley at night.

The second day if you decide to do early entry in IOA and come in on Hogwarts Express turn left, ride Gringotts and see the wand show if you’re interested, do MIB, Simpsons, Woody Woodpecker, any shows you missed yesterday in Hollywood, Production Central, New York and San Francsico and then take the Hogwarts Express toward IOA and reride anything over there and see the castle light up show jumping into line for Hagrid’s right before close. Feel free to take midday breaks and come back too in the evenings. Really pay attention to how you feel. There are a lot of virtual screen rides and a lot of intense rides that can wreck havoc on your vestibular system. If you need a calm afternoon, rework the plan and listen to your body…You’ve got a whole third day to come back for rerides and things you miss!

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with Express that will not be true so ride it! but just once. It’s not that great of a ride but the queue and animatronic are cute.

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but they have mobile order

exactly, not a phone, a key, a coin…nothing that will make a metal detector go off. you can and will need a card with a barcode on it for the locker and if you’re using your phone for this (for you park ticket) you can ask the attendant for a paper card with a bar code to use for the locker so you can leave your phone in the locker.


And hold on tight to this! LOL If you lose it or can’t get back into your locker if you remember your color/number you can ask an attendant to break into it for you :wink: They usually ask you what something is in there to verify its yours. This used to happen to us with the fingerprints…

Got it, thanks for the help.

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