Quick review of VIP tour

Len and I were lucky enough to get a (non-private) VIP tour of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure Friday. We were paired with a Canadian couple who had started their week at Universal with the same tour, went to WDW for a day, and then re booked another VIP tour at Universal because they liked it so much.

Cost is around $300/person for 2 parks/7 hours. They claim 10 attractions with front of the line access. Admission and lunch is separate.

You begin your day at the VIP desk (right by USF guest relations) in air conditioned comfort with morning beverages and pastries.

For some reason, our admission was never scanned when we entered the park - don’t know what’s up with that.

It was totally worth it right now because of the waits to get into Diagon Alley.

Our longest wait was for ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s in Diagon Alley (tasty!)

The thing with the tour is that it’s you and whoever else is with you, so there needs to be some consensus about what you want to do and see. The largest group looked to be about 8-10 people (I think they were all in the same family). Ours was probably the smallest with 5. I’d say I saw maybe 40 isn people waiting to start tours (they start at 10 AM and you have access to the guide until 5).

There’s are also options to do just one park (not much savings there) and private tours guaranteed with just your group.

I’m considering doing this in cooler weather with my mobility impaired parents just to keep myself sane and not have to do all the herding.

Questions? Ask away.

Which attractions did you do on your tour?

Gringotts, Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge (both sides), Hulk, Spider-Man, Hogwarts Express (both ways). Lunch at Leaky Cauldron. Could have done more, but that’s all we wanted to see.

Is it true front of the line? Does that mean you miss the good part of the queues for Gringotts and FJ for first timers? Since you did fewer attractions did you finish early? If so what time? This sounds like it might be good idea, but I want to get more specifics. Thanks in advance.

We went from 10:45 to almost 4:00 including lunch (20 minutes?) and ice cream (another 20 minutes) and lots of time just walking around Diagon Alley. We all agreed that even if you’re not a fan of Harry Potter that you could easily spend several hours just walking around checking that area out. As detailed as Hogmead Village is, Diagon Alley is that and more.

It was true front of the line - depending on the attraction, we entered through the exit, the accessible entrance, Child Swap, or dedicated Express Line. With Gringotts and Forbidden Journey, we were given time to check out the queues.

Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks!

We are considering doing the private VIP tour in August (family of 5), specifically to bypass the 3 harry potter rides, but also to be able to do other rides and make the most of our 1 day at Universal. (We have done WDW V.I.P. guides in the past, and feel that the opening of the new harry potter rides warrants this special treat again). So - a couple questions: 1. Did you skip the cue completely for all the rides? (we are ok with this but realize that the Hex has a neat cue and was wondering if not doing it took away from the ride). 2. Did people get upset that you had front of the line access to those or any other rides? 3. And about how many other rides did you have time for that day besides, the 3 Harry Potter rides and time in DA? 4. How much time do you think we’d need to explore D.A.? (we are trying to decide if that is something we should use the VIP guide for or do it after the tour?

and just didn’t notice the ‘replies’ from your post before and I see that you answered some of my questions (I am new to this forum format and didn’t realize I needed to click on the replies). But I would appreciate your insight as we are happy to splurge on this but want to make the most of our Guide time. We have only been to Universal once and only did the studios side with an Xpass.

No one seemed to mind/notice that we went ahead - you do wear a lanyard with a small VIP card on it and I think one party did notice that.

We could have happily spent all day in DA, but I’d allow at least a couple of hours, especially if you want to see the details/shops. However, you may not think that’s a good use of your money.

We were told that it’s good to see at night too, so you may want to end your tour while you’re still in DA and hang out until the sun goes down.

I’m not exaggerating when I say DA is best themed land I’ve ever seen (and I’m not a huge HP fan - though I’m familiar enough with the books/movies). I’d need to see Tokyo Disney Sea or Hong Kong to say it’s the best in the world, but it’s for sure the best in North America.


Thanks, Laurel. This is very helpful!