How do bags and lockers affect your touring plans?


#1

I've been to Universal several times before, but always with a stroller and child swap. This time I am traveling with my Mom, 2 sisters, and my 2 daughters who are 13 and 16. Dec 1-3.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the metal detectors which I understand means no keys, no phone, no camera, nothing in the pockets. And the locker situation.
1. Are metal detectors only at Hulk, rip ride and Dragon Challenge? For Dragon Challenge, are they located close to Hogsmeade or inside the building? I'm trying to figure out where my non-thrill seeking 13 year old can wait with our bag. Maybe Grandma will stay with her?
2. Are the lockers tricky to use? Do they eat up lots of time? My 13 year old is unwilling to ride the 3 thrill rides, so she can hold our bag. But for any other rides with no bags, we'll have to use lockers.
3. Which other rides are no bags? Gringotts, Hogwarts, Kong? Water rides? Mummy? We've always had child swap, and left the backpack with the stroller and small children.

I'd say, let's just minimize what we bring, so we don't have to be getting in and out of Lockers throughout every day for 3 days... but since we are in early December, we'll likely need sweatshirts to start the day, and a backpack to hold the jackets if things warm up. I suppose I could tell everyone to tie sweatshirts around waists and we'd only have the 13 year old holding "the bag" for the thrill rides? Is it possible to do this without a bag at all? Cargo pants for everyone?

I'm also considering buying the interactive wand. I understand some of the longer ones don't fit in the lockers.

Would you adjust your touring plans to consolidate the "no bag" rides for the locker rental situation? Or only buy/carry the interactive wand on one day and avoid "no bag" rides and lockers that day?

Has anyone else thought about these issues, and how did the locker situation work for you?

Thanks for any thoughts you can offer!


Universal Orlando rides that accommodate backpacks
#2

When I went with my sister during slower days in October, she had a backpack and needed a locker at every ride. It wasn't really that bad. The banks of lockers are near the front of each ride and easy to use. At some locations, like FJ, there's huge crowds, but if only one person per group goes, it's fine. And the lockers for DC are next to the Hogwarts Express.

Your 13yo can always wait in line with you then go to the child swap room to sit with the bags.

Only Hulk, DC and RRR have metal detectors.

Personally, I prefer wearing a small fanny pack to hold various necessities. It can go on all rides except metal detector ones so you don't have to worry about lockers.


#3

Thanks for the tips, I'll have to inform my mom and sisters about the locker vs. fanny pack option! I had a very small backpack last time, kind of the same concept as a fanny pack, and it worked great to hold my camera and wallet and phone.

On the metal detector rides, can my 13 year old come with us to the child swap room or will she need to wait with the bag outside of the metal detector area? She's willing to ride all the rides that don't have metal detectors.


#4

On the metal detector rides, no one in line can have anything, so 13yo would not be able to hold anything. You would need to use lockers still.


#5

I'm not sure I can answer all of your questions, but let me say this. I too had a some locker anxiety before I left but I did bring a nice sized backpack to carry wands and water shoes and a couple snacks. I believe the lockers really do nothing to your TP because you will likely be in and out of the locker area in minutes. They are RIGHT next to the rides. I had a few problems with retrieving because of the way I placed my finger on the reader. But there are staff people there to help (just remember your number!) Gringotts, Forbidden Journey, Mummy in addition to the others you mentioned need lockers. Hulk has some lockers big enough for backpacks. Really and truly at the time you are going, it will not be a problem of you to have a backpack (I was just there last weekend).

Two great pieces of advice I got before I left. One send your wand boxes and bags to your hotel (if on site) or to the front of the park (if not) as they do take up too much space in the lockers and they you might need two lockers. Two, bring some pencil top erasers for your want tips, this brought some piece of mind when I put them in my backpack. Have a great time.


#6

Thanks for easing my LOCKER ANXIETY!:relaxed:
I appreciate the info on the various rides you know don't allow bags.
I wish the locker was just a key and quarters, then I wouldn't worry.
The fingerprint and paying with a card are unknowns to me.
Maybe I'll write my number on my hand.
Thanks for the tip about the wand boxes and the pencil erasers! We may end the day at a different park than we start, so not sure about sending the wand boxes to the front of the park, but worth looking into. We are staying off site.