Recent rope drop videos?

I promise I googled and looked directly on YouTube but I keep finding older videos OR even though I specifically mention Hagrid’s - I get videos that I watch for like 5 minutes and then they say, everyone goes to Hagrid’s but we’re not heading that way! - ugh

I am not familiar with the parks at all and having a walk through will help me immensely. I do have park maps printed and laminated so that will be somewhat easy to navigate.

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Are you talking early-entry, or regular entry RD? They’re two wholly different animals. With EPA only limited things are open, and they really restrict where you’re even allowed to go… basically you can follow one open way to get back to Hosgmeade village, and stop at Velocicoaster on your way there. Otherwise they’ll have access to everything else blocked, with RD-type barriers.


I’ve been so many times. I’m happy to “paint a word picture” and even use maps, vacation photos and anything else so you’ll have a visual reference. Is Hagrid’s RD all you want to know about? Early Park Admission or regular park opening??

I love talking about UOR and helping new visitors!!

First, and I can not stress this enough… Universal is soooooo small compared to WDW. You really don’t need to stress about getting around. You can walk everywhere with ease. The on-site guest transportation, literally, will pick you up right outside the hotel lobby and take you directly to the entrance to CityWalk/Security Screening. This whole ride will typically take 6 minutes or less. Getting through security, unless you hit a “peak” entry time, will take about 5 more minutes. (I often “walk-thru” as an experienced solo traveler.) They don’t poke you bags with sticks or dig through anything. It’s all done with X-ray scanners and metal detectors…

I’m going to start a “visual guide” on how to get to Hagrid’s during EPA

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Oops - I totally meant to say IOA - Early-entry!

First rule for a “true” Hagrid’s Rope Drop… The first buses to the park will be sitting outside the hotel about 70 - 75 minutes before Early Park Admission (EPA)

The first bus will pull away when it’s exactly 60 minutes before EPA. Being on this bus is ideal, but as long as you get on the second bus (typically waiting behind bus #1 to pick-up more people) you’ll still be at the front of the crowd…

Here’s one of the Endless Summer Resorts bus pick-up locations. It’s about 20 feet outside the lobby door and very easy to find…

From there you will be driven to CityWalk - the hub of Universal Orlando Resort. You’ll be dropped off at the bus terminal

From there you will take this escalator (Right at the bus drop off) up to the security screening for UOR and enter CityWalk

From here you are now “officially” at Universal Orlando Resort! You’ll take a walk through CityWalk going past shops & etc… until you have get to a fork in the road…

This isn’t the best “map”, but it will give you an idea of the resort layout. I like to think of it as a capital letter “Y” with CityWalk being where the branches meet…

From there you will go left to IOA…



After turning left you will make your way past Margaritaville and over a bridge…

Keep walking towards the “Lighthouse” - the icon of IOA


Which resort are you at?

I believe they’ve said Endless Summer (Dockside/Surfside?) in other posts. I’m working off that. Both hotels are, basically, the same in regards to buses & pretty much most things.

From here you will see the ticket booths and entry stations/gates


Walk past these until you get to the gates…

This is an old vacation photo of mine… They now have face scanners. All you do is look at the camera for 2 seconds and walk on in. It’s even easier than a Magic Band or fingerprint - IMHO

You will wait here until about 10 minutes before official park opening (if they let you inside early)

You’ll know you are about to be admitted as they do an “opening ceremony” with a family. They let a child read a “welcome” speech and then it’s “Off to the Races” time!!

OK…so now you are inside the park


I always try to gather as much info as I can! I am still tweaking my TP but I would love your help! Let me try to work on them tonight/tomorrow morning and I will post them here. Thank you so much!

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OMG - I answered 1 phone call at work and you already started posting - YOU ARE AMAZING! I can’t wait to look through all of it!!


I’m at Cabana Bay :slight_smile:

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From here… you can ONLY go to the right…All paths going to the left (Marvel Island) will be blocked off

You will be directed to go towards Seuss Landing. HOWEVER, before you go into Suess Landing there will be a row of Team Members (TMs) verifying your access to EPA. This is done by showing them your hotel room key. They WILL NOT inspect it or even truly look at it. You just have to “flash” it as you walk past them. You don’t have to stop or anything.

You’ll then walk to the left of Green Eggs & Ham Tots (one of the BEST QS places at all of UOR!!!)

From here you’ll cut through Seuss Landing and keep walking to the back of the park! THIS IS A HIKE!! You’ll see people running at the start that are out of breath by the time we get much further!!

I have tested RUNNING, jogging and fast walking to Hagrid’s multiple times. IMHO - It’s not worth the RUN. (Best ride in Orlando, but you’ll feel bad from all that running as you board! :crazy_face:)

I do recommend fast walking / “walking with a purpose”…


Opps! That’s right I remember now - after I mentioned water taxis times!

You’ll still take a bus like I said. The bus pick-up at CBBR is a bit further from the lobby.


You’ll see this, but it IS NOT the bus stop! You’ll continue walking down this side walk. From there you will see an obvious “bus terminal”…

CBBR is a nice hotel, but one of my least favorite. The campus is HUGE and confusing. Plus, IME, nothing is convenient because the place is so big!

Yeah… don’t be bothered if you get on the very first bus and to the gates and there are already people there… the other resorts have a walking option and they can get in a tiny bit earlier, but many of them are the runners and even if they were behind you they’d just run past anyway.

The thing that will actually make a bit of a difference is if you have to put stuff in lockers. That can be a time suck, so if you can manage to have everything fit into fanny packs (must have plastic clip fasteners) or cargo pockets that will be a big help.


So…back to your route…

after Seuss Landing you’ll be heading to The Lost Continent via this bridge…

After you go past this bridge you’ll see Mythos Restaurant on the left

Keep going! You’ve still got a bit of ground to cover…

BTW - Immediately after Mythos you’ll see a path going to the left. This is for VelociCoaster. You will easily see the ride and often a TM is on the path with a directional sign.

(Sorry! I couldn’t find a picture!)

You are almost at where the Hogwart’s Express station is located and where Lost Continent ends.

Typically, you won’t even make it inside Hogsmeade before you hit the extended EPA Hagrid’s queue. You’ll still be in the Lost Continent

Be aware!! This is the right queue. However, this queue leads you to the lockers. You will not be allowed to take ANY bags will you. You can take your cell phone. There are no metal detectors.


PRO TIP - This is the FIRST set of lockers! EVERYONE is going to stop here! There is a SECOND LOCKER AREA on the other side of the “official” entrance to the attraction. Go there!! It will be empty (or at least a LOT less people)

Opposite view:

It will be a madhouse / “Thunderdome” with people all in a panic / hurry. I highly advise only ONE person go put stuff in the lockers. Having a family all standing around in that small space makes it hard for everyone.

If you don’t need lockers then you can just go right into the attraction queue

After that…You’re in!!


My key points

#1 - You MUST be at the bus pick-up at LEAST 70 minutes before EPA
#2 - Have your hotel keys ready to “flash” at Seuss Landing before you even enter the park
#3 - Walk with a purpose, but you don’t need to jog or run
#4 - Pace Yourself - It’s in the furthest area from park entry
#5 - Use the “second” locker bay
#6 - Relax & enjoy your ride!


I’m the opposite… I just love the vibe there, and the food court is A+. I did feel the hallways and regular rooms needed a bit of love during my last stay there, though.


I love the vibe & the amenities are great. IMHO - If I want to refill my Coke Freestyle I really have to decide if it’s worth the 10 minute walk. There are sections of the campus you can’t reach in a direct route. This got me so lost a couple times!

Overall, I think CBBR has the quietest rooms with the best beds. If I have to choose between Endless Summer & CBBR and they are both about the same price (which does happen) I will book CBBR…

As you probably know I love Volcano Bay the most. If the price is comparable to Dockside getting that easy access to VB is what helps me stay there instead.


#7 - Don’t forget to take in the theming. To me, the ride itself is a decent one, but the thing that makes coaster people actually rank it in their top lists is the really immersive, seamless way the story and the ride come together.


In the same vein, for my July stay I went with Aventura over CBBR because they were both $10-15 more than the Endless Summers, and the boat won out. I like the CBBR pool and pool bar a lot more, but Sapphire Falls is a very quick pool hop away and that’s a nice pool.

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