Midday break logistics

So, I’m looking at a full day of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, one day on our spring break.
I’d like to take a midday break - probably right around the time we’re switching parks. We’re staying at Portofino and want to head back there for a snooze or pool time.

My options are - take Hogwarts USF->IOA, watch a show, then leave. When we come back, we’d go straight to IOA, then, Hogwarts IOA->USF at the end of the night. That feels weird to me.

OR, after our morning at USF, go back to the hotel from there. Then, in the afternoon, go back into USF, take Hogwarts to IOA and spend the evening there. Same end-of-the night plan, Hogwarts IOA->USF, to get both directions in.

Is that better? Will getting to/from Portofino be any different from IOA or USF? Maybe this doesn’t really make a difference. But which walk is further? To Hogsmeade or DA?

The garden path from Portofino is closer to the entrance to USF than IoA. The entrances are very close together though. It would take less than 5 minutes to walk between the park entrances.

From Portofino it would be a shorter distance to get to DA than Hogsmeade.

Walking between DA and Hogsmeade (station to station) I think takes a good 20 minutes.


I think plan #2 makes the most sense from Portofino for the reasons @Shmebulock outlined. Seems less clunky given how close that garden path entrance is to USF

Have a great time!


It’s really an insignificant distance… at least in terms of theme park “steps” from both entrances. USF is closer though…

Do you not want to see the Castle Light show at IOA at night?

IME - This is really going to depend on what exactly you want to do at each part of WWOHP and at what time. The travel distances to your hotel are within minutes of each other

I do understand wanting to see HE in both directions


Agree that you’ll probably want to see the night show at Hogwarts castle in IoA, so I wouldn’t plan to end the day at USF.

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We do - based on my TP, we could see it, and still make it back to USF for a ride on Gringotts. It’s not a set-length show, more like the Tree of Life at AK, right? TP says it’ll start at 7:50, which should give us plenty of time to get back to USF by 9. (Yes?)

Actually, let me post my plans. The goal was to “follow” the books as much as possible. I know it’ll mean a long wait at Hagrids.



Nope! It plays at that time and that’s it. They will run it twice on nights where they close really late like 9pm or so.

IME - This is not possible, even in my slowest trips like February I would’ve had to run & hope that I might make it.


I’m looking at your plans and even by step 5 they are overly ambitious…

TP does not do as good a job with accurate times at Universal as they do with WDW. I stopped relying on TP at Universal by the end of my first trip of my AP last year!

Also, do not trust the show times in the TP app. They are habitually wrong.

Oh! While there are two different Tales of Beetle the Bard show they are no longer running The Fountain of Fair Fortune show. You only see The Tale of the Three Brothers - still my favorite though!!

A lot of your explore and show times are very low. You gave yourself 10 minutes to do spells in all of Hogmeade/ You might do one in that time as you’ll have to queue for each and find them.

Not trying to be a troll or hater… I really want you to have fun. I could try to suggest a more viable route, if you want. (For once, I’m very busy at work this week!! :crazy_face: It will take me a bit, but I could get to it later)


Thank you! I was feeling like the wait times were too short, but wasn’t sure. Maybe if I take off the UXP it’ll be more accurate?

I guess I have some work to do. You’re right, I didn’t put in enough Hogsmeade time.
I think I’ll have some time to rearrange today - you don’t have to do this for me. (But maybe you’ll review after my changes?)

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Is this related to the IOA plan? (I hope so, since USF is Ollivanders and then exploring)

Those plans are doable. Readjust right before your visit for the latest show times for that day.

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Olivander’s is great in the morning. It’ll help your odds of being picked in the show too. However, entry is wholly dependent on the the performers are ready. I’ve walked right in during EPA and I’ve seen the same people queued while walking back around 30+ minutes into EPA.

I’d plan on it to taking longer than 12 minutes…

Maybe I’m being to harsh on TP this morning. (People at my office are stressed, so it makes me anxious. )

I just know that wands & exploring habitually take longer than planned! (At least for me… I can get stuck in DA just walking around… :crazy_face:) Plus, you can get frustrated trying to do a spell and stand there for minutes until you get it!! (or the people in front of you are doing this!)

TBH - I think you could just call steps 1 - 7 (subtracting seeing 3 Bros. twice) “Diagon Alley Time” and make it 2 - 2.5 hours.

FF Ice Cream can be 5 minutes or 35 minutes it’s another variable…

I’d probably eat at LC as early as possible and see Celestina before you leave

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Oh, good. In my mind, this is what those steps are… flexible exploring of DA.

I did rearrange to ride Gringotts earlier in the day, so that we could stay in Hogsmeade all evening. (Is that my plan or yours in your link? Those are the changes I made, if it’s yours!)

It does feel weird to ride Hogwarts both directions all at once. Maybe I move one (IOA->USF) to a different day.

General heads up: UOR showtimes are updated weekly

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So, if I look early next week, the Monday plans should be the same as what’s available on Friday?

That makes things easier!

I recall sometime in years past TP did a great job with wait time prediction at UOR.

Covid surely made this more difficult. To be fair can you really compare fairly since I don’t think you visited WDW for a few years? I do realize you do wait time tests from the computer though.

Expected waits in the Lines app when I was there 2 weeks ago were pretty accurate. Definitely closer to the actual waits than Universal’s posted waits.


Ok…now I’m trolling…I’m sorry… I know Joseph means well & represents TP here, but I can speak from a full year of multiple visits that you can not rely on TP for accurate show times. Period. I’ve been messed over by this too much to not have an opinion.

It’s not personal… I promise!! It’s, as my DD21 would say, “My Truth”. I’ve experienced it enough to have it be a real pet peeve of mine!!!

We’re gonna just disagree here… My last UOR trip before COVID was in 2018. The wait times were still inaccurate. Either way to low or too high. I don’t usually complain because more often than not, I get ahead of plan. But, I only use TP for UOR as a loose guideline…

Sorry…Not sorry… :man_shrugging: :crazy_face: :innocent:

IMHO / IME - TP gets the overwhelming majority of their business from WDW visitors. They don’t prioritize UOR. Maybe with Epic Universe coming and people leaving WDW to try UOR they’ll put more effort into it.

(Please don’t hate me!) :innocent:


No one is going to hate you! I think you have enough evidence to back up what you are saying–I’ve been following your TRs for a year!!


I don’t think you’re trolling! I definitely appreciate your current in-park experience. And honestly, I’d rather under-plan my time than over-plan. So having that reality check that I should back-off is SO helpful.

Also, I’d use the Universal app to check show times.
And, now I’ve gone off in the weeds on Thrill-Data, looking at posted wait times over President’s weekend. I expect spring break will look similar.

But - how much faster is express pass? All of the TD info is standby posted waits. Can I expect 1/3 of the wait?

This is my favorite thread in weeks - I love a good planning session! I worked on my touring plans yesterday & have a rather ambitious Sunday planned (IoA open until 10pm, USF open until 9, parade at 7:30). Now I’m going to go look at it again to see if I am crazy for thinking it’s possible or not.

Involves IoA first, train to USF for Leaky Cauldron around 4, an intro to Diagon, Gringotts & watch part of the parade, then take the train back to IoA for Velocicoaster & Hagrids……

If pressed for time, I would/will drop watching the parade. It’s our first day in the parks, we will sleep in, then hit the ground running.

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