Actors: Husband (me), Wife, Son (13), Daughter (7), Son’s friend
The plan was to initially RD IOA for Early Park Admission and go straight to Hagrid’s. However, since we had already had 2 VQs the last two days, we were fortunate to avoid that ugliness (people were practically willing to sell their children to cut in line for a chance to ride). I would say 90% of the RD crowd went to that queue. We instead went to FJ, which was closed initially, so we rode Hippogriff 2x, which my daughter ended up loving (she’s slowly coming around on the thrills - she even later rode ROTR, 7DMT and SDD - all of which she was set against riding the prior week). FJ opened, so the boys and I took the castle tour while the ladies proceeded to ride Hippogriff again (still a 0-2 minute wait) and then investigate Hogsmeade shops and wand spots. FJ (small 5 minute down time when we were next to hop on) was a really good ride too; I’m a fan. As you might guess, after FJ and the boys buying Hogwarts house shirts in the castle shop we decided to vacate Hogsmeade as it grew ever more crowded. Though while waiting outside I did manage to snag our third VQ for Hagrid’s ~840-845 (return time 1130-1200).
From Hogsmeade we went through Jurassic area, deciding to split parties on thrill level again. The boys and I rode Kong while the ladies window shopped in Toon Lagoon. After meeting up to try to get my daughter on Pteranodon Flyers (which was experiencing a delayed technical difficulty opening), we split again as my daughter did not want to experience any of the water rides. Boys (and me) ride JPR and then Ripsaw Falls. They ride Ripsaw Falls again alone. Girls had gone and done all of Seuss I think. Then we met up again and I took daughter back to wait for PF (15 min) after it had finally opened. The boys rode Bilge rats three times while my wife held down a table at Blondie’s at which we all subsequently ate lunch. Blondie’s wasn’t too bad at all.
After lunch, the boys and I headed back to line up for Hagrid’s one last time. That ride is fantastic. I was not bored riding it a third time. Then my son and I rode Doom’s Fearfall and Hulk before getting ice cream in Marvel Island (felt like the longest wait we had - interminably slow service and customers).
We all walked back to USF to hit up the 1530 Bourne Stuntacular to close out our time at Universal. Bourne is an awesome show. I’ve not seen anything like that and was very impressed (if I’m nitpicking, there are a couple of corny scenes perhaps). Instead of leaving my son then wanted to ride RRR one last time so I obliged. He figured out the changing the set list thing and got to hear Immigrant Song which is what I was trying to do. I was unsuccessful . (It’s happening; my son is surpassing my technical prowess - it’s all downhill from here - next he’ll be beating me at all sports I imagine).
This was our first time at Universal, and I must say I was impressed. I think I liked Universal better than our subsequent Disney trip. It just felt like WDW wasn’t soaking up crowds sufficiently, though it could just be that the UEPs spoiled us. We’re headed back (hopefully) this summer and again in the fall to maximize our passes.