Hi! I am new to touring plans. I have a good start on our WDW portion of the trip, but I need advice for Universal. Here are some details…
Drive to Orlando 6/29 and stay at Embassy Suites (we have a free stay and I didn’t waste a driving day during a park day.)
6/30 Check into HRH as early as needed to take advantage of early park hours.
6/30 and 7/1 hit the parks (no water parks.) We have the military salute 2 park to park passes which are good for 4 days.
7/2 check out in the morning and head to WDW.
Family of four (2 girls…9yrs (HP crazy) and 5 yr old.)
We will have unlimited express passes, and Harry Potter is the only must do.
I have read with express passes you don’t need a touring plan, but I am wondering if that is still the case since crowd levels are very high. Would anyone be willing to point me to a plan that focuses on HP and age/size appropriate touring plan for our youngest who is 42” tall.
That’s definitely still the case. There is a HP touring plan I think which I’ll look for. But there are 2 rides in IOA, 1 ride in US and the Hogwarts Express running between them, so they don’t require much in the way of planning. There are quite a few shows.
Edit - I can’t find it. I know people have referred to it before though so it must exist.
There just isn’t much to do in the Harry Potter world at Universal as far as rides. So Express Pass or not, you won’t have to worry about it. The rest of the stuff you do at HP is more about just taking in the details. The shops, Ollivander’s, Knockturn Alley, etc. But Express Pass won’t affect that, nor will a Touring Plan.
The Express Pass WILL get you into Forbidden Journey and Gringott’s faster, of course. But again, a Touring Plan isn’t needed.
We finished both sides of HP in about a half day without an Express Pass, BTW…but we did go when it wasn’t terribly busy.
Thank you! So from what you are saying we shouldn’t have too much trouble seeing everything HP related in our two days which will allow for light days and more pool time? I will start to look into the other rides to have an idea of what our younger daughter is able to ride due to height restrictions. Once we start to factor in other rides (non hp) we are still good to go without a serious touring plan due to the express passes?
Thank you! I have found a couple of hp plans, but I keep reading that plans aren’t really needed with an express pass. That sounds too good to be true though
But do make sure to take some time right at opening to cast spells (you’ll need to buy a wand) and explore the areas. The HP areas get extremely congested as crowds peak. The experience is much more magical 1st thing in the morning (or just before closing).
Not just buy A wand, but buy the RIGHT wand. The more expensive wands can actually perform the spells. The cheaper (if can you call them that) do not. So if you want to do the spells, splurge for the more expensive wand.
Also, regarding wands…the Olivander’s Wand Shop is crazy busy. It will take a long time to find and buy your wand most of the time. So don’t be afraid to buy your wand at the store at the front of the park (OUTSIDE Of Harry Potter), OR at Wands by Gregorivich, which is a smaller venue, but much quicker. They are the same wands. (This is at Diagon Alley.)
Is it possible to by these wands ahead of time, and have them shipped? Online would be best.
I quite like Brian’s videos with maps on how to beat the crowds at Universal parks - unfortunately they came out too late for my 2017 trip but here are the links for them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teHTv5z3heU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIsYrv_zydU
Also like Brian’s walk around videos - here’s the one for Diagon Alley (part of Universal Studios) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIsYrv_zydU
Yes. I bought our wands on eBay, but I believe you can also buy directly through universal online.
Ebay may be a good choice especially with multiple kiddos