I'm that guy

Typically am a planner, but have put together a last minute trip to Orlando for a father daughter trip before she heads to college. Will be staying at the Swan. 4 full days for WDW and Universal. Right or wrong we are spending three days at WDW. One day at Universal. Our day at Universal is 08/07. I have already purchased the two park with the Unlimited Express pass rider. Have used Touring Plans successfully for the WDW parks but seems like the two park plan for Universal is a little clunky. I am open to advise. I’m a big rope drop advocates at WDW but am considering coming a bit later to Universal and trying to enjoy the HP areas in the evening. I don’t know if we can go all day with the crowds and the heat. Currently have lunch reservations at Mythos. Also have access to the American Express lounge. Sorry for such a broad question but while I feel comfortable touring the WDW parks I am a Universal newbie and there appears to be a lot of knowledge on the forum. Suggestions?

If you only have one day, I’d suggest RD at Universal. Even with Express Pass, there’s a lot of ground to cover. But with Express Pass, you don’t really need to plan at all. Your waits will be very short. I recommend seeing the Harry Potter areas both in daytime and at night, totally different vibe.

We were there from 9th Aug last year and crowds weren’t bad at all, except in Harry Potter areas which were heaving, especially Hogsmeade. There aren’t as many shady areas for a sit down as at WDW, but there are some.


With express pass you will easily see all you need to see in one day without stress

Start in one Harry Potter park. Do it all then get the train to the other Harry Potter do it all then stay in that park for a couple of hours with touring plan minimising your walking

then head back to the train station and back to the other park do Harry Potter again and then the rest of that park

You will have loads of time to rest during the day

The 2 train journeys themselves are relaxing

And mythos is a great stop for a calm lunch with great air conditioning

You will have a great day

Definitely do the HP stuff first. The Express pass is a must as you are only going for one day. Agree the train journeys are relaxing. I am super jealous. Have great time!!

OK - so with the express pass - just go and have fun - NO PLANNING NEEDED. I would hit Harry Potter and enjoy that - lots to see. Then I would just work myself around the park(s). Make sure you take Hogwarts Express at least once. Also if you like a ride - hit it a few times. The Express Pass is the best money you will spend!!!

With a rope drop start and express pass you could still do both parks well with the lunch and be out by 3pm

Must dos with the college age daughter

I think

In no particular order
Both Harry Potter world’s with their rides and trains both ways
Rip ride
Jurrasic river adventure
Jimmy fallon
Mummy maybe
Terminator maybe
Simpsons ride is fun
Men in bLack

Easily done by mid afternoon with a nice lunch at mythos in the middle and with fasr passes

Less than 15 mins for any of those

We just spent 5 days at swan

Ate in epcot a lot. We love it in the evening

Monsieur Paul in France
Le celier steakhouse in Canada our favourites to eat there

Hollywood brown derby in Hollywood studios also great

You must do avatar FOP in animals kingdom and tiffins restaurant there is great

Best evening show by far for me was the one in magic kingdom with the effect on the Castle. It was stunning.

Best ride FOP which is quite stunning followed by gringotts and Kong. spiderman is still great.

Nicest atmosphere - walking around world showcase in epcot in the evening

Good pool grotto at the swan/dolphin as well if you get chance to relax

I really disagree about being done by 3. I could spend half a day each in the 2 Harry Potter areas, just taking in the details. Sure you could rush though the parks not looking at anything, but I don’t know why you would.

Well I take your point but we also went in all the shops and restaurants etc for photos in amongst the rush for rides

Which reminds me that the ice cream shop in one of the HP lands serves amazing ice cream

I do think you can see the shops etc in Harry Potter in 30 mins in each land with a bit of urgency which you do need to have when you have limited time. And I have allowed for that above as well as all of the rides. With express pass it’s still doable.

As you know many of the buildings don’t open and the ones that do often have the same things in them

But yes you have to explore with a bit of urgency as well to feel like you’ve seen it all

We weren’t there to buy merchandise but mainly for the rides and the photos

We didn’t do the magic wand bits but we watched a couple of them

I’m sure huge HP fans could spend half a day in each land

We could have spent longer in the queue as well looking at stuff I’m sure