Never been to Universal - Help!

Hi! We (myself, husband, 7 year old daughter (52" tall as of now)) are headed to Orlando the week of April 7th. We have the 8th and 9th as Universal Days, with the 2nd day being morning - afternoon only and then dinner elsewhere. We will get 2-park tickets.

My question is this: if we only want to do Harry Potter and the stuff for younger kids (I don’t even know what’s in the parks anymore tbh but I know there is a Seuss world and Curious George?) Do we need 2 days? I am planning on getting to HP first thing, doing rides that interest us, doing Diagon Alley, taking the Hogwarts Express to the other park, doing the HP things that interest us in that park (I haven’t planned much yet) and then doing the kid-oriented stuff. Would a second day to redo HP or hit other rides be needed? We are big fans but also my daughter doesn’t love what I call “Six Flags coasters” (she did every ride in Disney and only Everest scared her if that gives you an idea) so I am assuming we won’t have much to do in the other areas of the parks.

Please help, I am so lost.

I think you’d still need the two days. HP will take up a lot of your time if you want to experience it fully. There are a lot of rides that aren’t roller coasters that you guys can go on as a family. Despicable Me, Shrek 4D, Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon, ET, The Simpsons, Men In Black, the water rides in IOA, Spider-Man, all the Dr. Seuss stuff, etc.

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I spent 3 days in Universal with my 7 year old nephew, but we also did a pool break each day. I think there is plenty for a 7 year old to do over 2 days. The Dr. Seuss area is fun, but he also loved Spiderman, Transformers, Men In Black, Simpsons, ET, Despicable Me, and others in addition to spending a fair amount of time at the Harry Potter areas.

FYI - I think the Curious George play area has been closed for a few years.

There is a “Kid Zone” area, but I haven’t been to it before, so I’m not sure what’s there. I think Barney and Woody Woodpecker?

Thanks everyone. We will stick to the two days then! I am excited, I don’t know anything about Universal except it used to be where Nickelodeon was! Hah. I have never been and husband went in Middle school. As a dedicated Disney fan, I am looking forward to a different pace and a different set of things to do.

Personally I’d do two days. The Harry Potter stuff is mind-blowingly good. Two days gives you the insurance policy of having (you hope) at least one dry day to really enjoy it.

Universal is less rollercoaster and more 3D simulator experiences. Some of them are amazing. Some are aimed at kids.


You didn’t ask for restaurant suggestions, but I will give a couple anyway. My wife and I love Cowfish at CitiWalk. Great burgers and sushi and one of the best shakes we have every had. Also, I haven’t been to Universal since the Toothsome Chocolate restaurant opened, but my brother was there with my nephew last year and said great things.

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We were just there with my 7 yo and I vote to definitely spend two days! There was tons for her to do. Especially if you get an interactive wand in HP world. She spent an hour at the end of the evening doing every spell. Not to mention DS11 who couldn’t decide on which wand to choose. We spent a lot of time in Ollivanders! but the detail everywhere is so amazing that we didn’t mind just taking our time to take it all in.

We all loved NYC area. We stopped to listen to street performers and get a snack at Auntie Anne’s pretzels (a family favorite!) they even had a cool building climbing area, like rock climbing but up the side of a building. We paid extra to do it but the kids loved it.

We ended up eating quick service both days. In IOA we ate on “the lost continent”. We had gyros and chicken kebabs that were really good. We wanted to eat in a HP restaurant but they were packed. My son was obsessed with trying a Krusty burger from Simpson’s area. So we did. Burgers were surprisingly good.

Express pass was awesome. Worth staying there to get it. We stayed at Hard Rock Hotel and it was fantastic. Loved the short walk or boat ride to parks. Pool was great. Grab and go food area with Starbucks on our way out the door.

We’ve liked these restaurants in UOR and would return on different trips: Ritcher’s Burgers (US), Louie’s Restaurant (US), Springfield (Cletus’ Chicken Shack, Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, and Of course, the pink donut!) Margaritaville (citywalk), and once we ate at Mythos (IOA). I didn’t like the HP food in the restaurants, however, the butterbeers are a must! When we go, we love getting dessert and drinks from Diagon Alley (butterbeers, ice cream, cakes, and candy).

Our plan is to buy express pass at the gate if things get out of hand, but since we have 2 days I think we will fit in what we need to! We are from 40 minutes from NYC so it will be fun to see a mini NYC that isn’t quite so l… cityish. :slight_smile:

Once I showed my husband the pink donut, he told me not even to look at the restaurant choices because that will be our lunch. :smile:

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Thanks! My daughter is extremely picky and eating is a chore so having some suggestions is great!

Do you know if you can bring snacks/water into the park?

Thank you! We will be doing 2 days for sure then. My daughter is named after a HP character after all… we might be too into it.

Wow Woody Woodpecker? I think my very sophisticated (:roll_eyes: ) 7 year old may think Barney is silly.

Yes you can!

The wand chooses the wizard …


That is what I was hoping! But alas third try was the charm to finding a wand that stuck. Literally, they let us return the wands until he got the right one!

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Undercover tourist usually has a buy 2 days get 2 days free deal going on with Universal

Around the time I went this year in spring, they didn’t have that deal. I’m not sure when you’re planning on going, but I would take advantage of the buy 2 days, get two free deal while they have it now.

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It’s nice that they let you change until he found the one that he wanted. Like others have said, the wand chooses the wizard (or witch), you can’t rush these things, lol.