Starting to conceptualize what a dual WDW & UOR could be for Apr 4-12. I’m comfortable with planning a WDW trip and coming up with touring plans, but quite unfamiliar with UOA. DH is a thrill ride guy and would like to try something new. DS4 and DD6 will be with us as well. DS4 does not like 3D, and I have problems with motion sickness with screen-heavy attractions. We haven’t gotten into Harry Potter yet but would still enjoy it, I think. I think we would be into a couple shows but not all day. Is a UOR/IOA a good fit for us? Am I talking myself out of it rightfully, or just because I favor WDW (lol)? So early on in my research but looking forward to reading through all the posts in this forum to get me more acquainted. Thanks!
Based on what you shared, I think UOR is only a good fit for your husband. Buy him a day ticket to ride all the rides, while you and the kids enjoy another day at Disney. The rides are mostly meant for kids 10 plus at UOR. There is a lot of screens, 3D, rides that make you motion sick, and there are also a lot of height requirements that I don’t think your kids will meet. If kids are really into Harry Potter, it might could work but if not, I am not sure what there is for them to do. I would definitely check the height restrictions. I describe UOR as mostly roller coasters and 3D screen spinny rides.
With the length of your trip, I think you could afford to take 1 day at UOR, but I wouldn’t do more than that. And if you do go to UOR, I would focus on the Harry Potter areas. It really is impressive and fun for everyone, even those who aren’t super HP fans. And you might come away being a super fan!
I would focus on:
- Diagon Alley / Ollivanders
- Hogwarts Express
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Butterbeer, ice cream, treats, etc.
- Meal at Three Broomsticks or Leaky Cauldron
- Seuss Landing
- Super soaker rides if your kids are tall enough (Bluto’s)
ETA: And Jurassic Park play area! Maybe E.T. and Woody Woodpecker if you have time.
Everything else either has screens or thrill rides. You would probably be done by 5pm. Or you could have a late start and stay from noon to 8pm, depending on how your kids are.
I agree with @Wahoohokie that having your husband take a solo trip may be a more fulfilling way for him to do the thrill rides and for you and the kids to enjoy the slower pace at WDW, especially since you aren’t die-hard HP fans. But I wouldn’t completely write it off.
I think you could have a very fun one-day visit, if you split up. Let your husband get his thrill fix in. I’ll bet you spend half a day just in Seussland. The train ride is awesome both ways. Hippogriff ride.
Before you split into two families, go to Pter. flyers so that both you parents get to experience that. The shows are great. We enjoyed the Minions and Shrek show/rides, where you basically sit in a chair that jiggles. Some fun play areas while you rest.
I would save UOR until your kids are older and into HP. It’s magical and definitely will not be very appreciated by a 4 & 6yo.
This ride made me sick and I was in a stationary chair. (It was tolerable, but I wouldn’t recommend the moving chairs if you have sensitivity.)
With an April 4 to 12 trip, I would normally recommend at least 2 days for UOR (Universal Orlando Resort). But, in your situation 1 day would be good. While DH could spend a couple days, it would be good to do a 1-day “family preview” because of your younger kids. Come back for a longer stay in a few years.
USF (Universal Studios Florida) has Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone, ET, Animal Actors show, and some other rides for kids already mentioned. Shrek will be closing. Of course Diagon Alley (Potter) is something to see.
Islands of Adventure has Seuss Landing, Camp Jurassic, Toon Lagoon, and Hogsmeade (Potter) is magnificent, plus Hippogriff is a kid’s coaster.
Here is an article that compares WDW attractions to UOR’s.
Here you can look at the attraction pages and sort by age ranges:
Thank you all! It took me way too long to come back to this post, but I totally appreciate all of your feedback!!! Thinking a 2-park 1-day pass is best for us. How’s the UOR waterpark? 4yo & 6yo kid-friendly? We are still working out the logistics of where we will stay and transportation. On our previous trips, we were strictly Disney transport so that we didn’t have to worry about renting cars and lugging around car seats. With a split stay, we may stay part-time WDW property/part-time UOR property and Mears to get us around. Another option for us is an off-site condo for the entire trip, rent a car, and lug the car seats.
Volcano Bay is beautiful and fun. Many people prefer it over the WDW water parks. If you want to add VB to your trip, I would get a 2 day ticket so you are not rushed.
At Waturi Beach Wave Pool (in front of volcano), kids under 48" must wear a life vest. Same at The Reef Pool.
Your older child should be tall enough to go on the 2 Slides (42") at River Village. And most of the bigger family attractions also have a 42" minimum height requirement.
The Tot Tiki Reef section of Runnamuka Reef is for kids under 48". It has a very small slide, splash pad, fountains.
They will also need to wear a life vest to go on the Winding (lazy) River.
Thanks! Are life jackets provided, or best to bring your own? I only see IOA and US joint 2-day passes. I’m thinking IOA/US 1 day and VB a 2nd day. I haven’t seen any groupings of tix this style. I think I would have to by a 1-day, 2-park pass AND a VB pass separate. Has anyone seen anything grouping them in this fashion?
yes, there is a 3 park 2-day ticket that looks to be slightly less expensive than two separate tickets
life jackets are available at no charge
I love Universal and prior to having kids, I would split time between Universal and WDW.
After my kids were born, however, my Orlando trips have been exclusively WDW. My kids are the same age as yours, and I will not be taking them to Universal for a couple more years. Too much of the park is geared toward older kids, teens and adults.
One thing that I think Universal does better than Disney right now for kids in the age group of yours is playgrounds. There are three amazing ones in both parks. So if you are comfortable with splitting up your kids would certainly get a thrill from the running around in If I Ran the Zoo, Me Ship: The Olive, Jurassic Park, Fievel’s Playland (with slide that you can ride), the wet area of Curious George Goes to Town and the ball House where you can shoot foam balls everywhere. My kids spent hours in them when they were close to your kids ages. I think they will like MIB and possibly the 6 year old will like doing the wands and they’ll both like the Hogwarts Express there are four kiddie rides in Seussland and a kiddie ride in Jurassic Park that’s a pretty tame hang glider coaster. There is a kiddie coaster in Hogsmeade too as well as one in Woodypecker’s Kidzone and the ET ride also you should all enjoy and a dumbo style Simpsons ride. You can probably all handle Despicable Me but that’s probably about it for the littles and you. I honestly feel that’s easily a long day of stuff if you wanted to do that while DH rode velocicoaster, Hagrid and the hulk, etc.
Knew I forgot one
This is what happens when you develop and write a post with a head cold.