The one day, two park plan has us starting in DA, then going to IOA mid-day, then going back to DA.
Thing is, IOA closes at 9, while DA closes at 7, so that itinerary doesn’t make sense if you want to maximize time in the parks.
In that case, would it make sense to just do everything according to the plan – only skip Hagrid’s in the afternoon at IOA and then go back to DA, but then go back to and finish the day at IOA by taking the HE over at like 6:30 – then doing Hagrid’s last???
The extra (3rd) train ride will take a bunch of time, especially the last one at Kings Cross during that time if day.
I’m assuming you are looking at the plan without EPA, because the plan with EPA has Hagrid’s at rope drop? In that case, you could just customize your own plan. Start at USF and switch once to end at IOA.
But if you want to experience HE both ways, you can do IOA to USF to IOA.
It is odd that none of the 1 day 2 park plans have an option to end at IOA.
Especially since it closes two hours later than USF.
Would it make sense to try to do Hagrid first? The day we are going is supposedly a category 3 day.
Only if you have EPA and arrive at the gates 45 minutes early.
Waiting for Hagrid’s late morning on, works fine on a lower crowd day. It also eliminates the delayed opening risk.
Here is an example from an upcoming forecasted CL3 day, with predicted actual waits of only 45/50 minutes in the afternoon.
I prefer riding it at night but….if it was my first time I wouldn’t risk it breaking. I’d rope drop it during EE if you have it and then do it last too. Hop in line 5 min before the park closes for the shortest wait. There can be a single rider line as well if that’s an option. I usually have express so we usually start in Hogsmeade then work our way around via Jurassic Park and ending in Lost Continent then take the train over. There’d I’d turn right toward San Francisco and work my way around ending in DA but with a 7pm close keep an eye on the time. And then hop on the train 5 min before it closes and get your last two hours in IOA. I’m not sure if this will work well without EP so you may need to do some zigzagging according to TP recommendations.
Also if plan to do shows in USF that can also cause zigzagging
Largely based on the trend in this chart, my personal preference is not to rope drop Hagrid’s cause it’s a zoo, and the couple of hours after opening have the highest waits of the day. Almost any time after 10am is better than morning.
But I would caution to watch the weather. If there is rain forecast for later in the day, make sure to lock in your ride on Hagrid’s while the chance of rain is low.
Is this universally true or just particular to this day?
I’ve wondered about that–I know there will be more of a wait if we rode later, but I don’t want to subject my kids to a stampede either.
Mostly true. Except for the highest crowd days when the other option is just before close.
Both of these statement sum up what I’d say…
Don’t risk it not being available due to going down late in the day, but the rush at RD isn’t for everyone. I do it, but it’s a madhouse if it’s your first visit.