Longtime lurker, first time poster!

We are planning our first trip to Universal in February '22. Our DD will be turning 11 and is fully anticipating the arrival of her owl and acceptance letter! I have lots and lots of questions, but I’ll try to break them down into bitesize pieces for ease of response.

WWOHP is our primary motivation, but we have up to a week to play with (school break 2/16-2/21). 1) How many days are needed to do justice to HP without exhausting ourselves? (For reference, we did MK in 2018 from rope drop to nighttime EMH and we were ready to keel over) 2) Would staying onsite with EP change the # of days needed (e.g. stay at HRH)? 3) Do we have enough days to add some WDW park day?

Thanks so much!


You will get a lot of different answers from a lot of different people on this one. As a full-on Harry Potter fanatic myself, I take one full day to dedicate entirely to all things HP. I do nothing that is not HP related. I do the spells, I ride the rides, I take in the shows, I eat in the restaurants and I enjoy just wandering through Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Knockturn Alley. I’m so excited by all of this that I never get exhausted. But I do always want time to ride the rides again at least one more time, so I also work the Harry Potter areas into my other days as well. I am very rarely a person who goes back to the hotel in the middle of the day, so I would say I could take everything in and do multiple times on the rides in a day and a half, one full day if crowds are light. And that’s when the hours are not super late. If you are okay with just breezing by the shops (which I would not recommend), you could definitely do it in less. For reference, one trip my sister and I literally spent five hours in Diagon Alley alone, shopping, casting spells, watching shows and just taking everything in.

Edit: I should clarify that all of my experience is pre-covid. I have not been back since December 2019.


December 2019 for me too! After multiple trips I can plan 3 days with express pass (two nights at a deluxe resort). I would think you would want at least that much time, four days is what I would recommend but if I wanted Universal advice, I would ask @rebeecky!


Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting!

First things first. Looking at your travel dates and crowd levels because of President’s Day weekend. If you visit UOR Saturday thru Monday you would definitely need EP, maybe even Friday the 18th.

Are you able to get a full day in on Wednesday the 16th or is that your travel day?

Is arriving Monday or Tuesday a possibility or are those necessary school days?


You can definitely finish all of Harry Potter in one day if you plan well. But you can also fill two days and feel much less rushed and more relaxed. EP would definitely be helpful on a holiday week - book early using the AP discount.

If it were me, I would spend the rest of the week at Disney, but it depends on what appeals to you more between Disney and the rest of UOR.


We spent 3 days at Universal at our most recent trip (pre-covid) and dedicated one day to the Wizarding World in both parks with a park-to-park ticket. This gave us a chance to ride everything, do the wand ceremony, watch all the short shows, shop all the shops, and eat at Three Broomsticks. We did not do any spell casting, so I can’t say how long that would take.

On our other two days, we did the rest of each park but also included the best of the Wizarding World in our plans. That basically meant re-rides on Gringott’s and Forbidden Journey and taking in the sites and sounds again (particularly at Diagon Alley…it is AMAZING and better than Hogsmeade IMHO). We used the single rider lines for re-rides, and often times they were a walk-on! I know some single rider lines have opened back up again at Universal, but I’m certain they will definitely be open by the time your trip occurs.

Have fun planning!


@rebeecky Truth be told, this trip is as much for me as for my DD. I will want to really take in the theming. She is more likely to want to race through and “do” all the rides. It will be a battle between our travel styles. I know she will want to do Ollivander’s, so that will be a priority. I’m leaning toward planning a minimum of two days for HP with an alternate day for the other areas. I am not a return to the room person, either, but she will almost certainly want time to swim (it does not matter what the weather is like, she will swim until she is blue) and I tend to dislike afternoon crowds so we may use that time to take a break. Thanks!

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@bebe80 That’s a great point. I figured that weekend would be rough crowdwise; especially as we will likely have lots of pent up travel demand and few restrictions by that point. She won’t want to miss the school Valentine’s party (canceled this year) on Monday, so I’m thinking we will head down Tuesday and come home on Saturday or Sunday for better flight prices.

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@Jeff_AZ It never occurred to me to get an AP for a single trip. We are debating who should come. Possible iterations include various combos of me, DD (10), DH, DS(6) and my mom. I’ll have to see what makes the most sense financially. I will always want to choose Disney (you’ll see me posting on that side of the forum once I get the basic outlines of this trip figured out!) but I wasn’t sure if we would have enough time for both.

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@TwoBits This is really helpful. Thank you! We will probably want to include spell casting & @rebeecky provided a good idea of how long that could take.

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I agree, sounds like a good plan! I guess the question now is 1 or 2 days at WDW.