Recommendations on a WDW/Universal trip

We went to WDW for the first time last year and absolutely fell in love. We’ve decided to go back this year, but are going to add in Universal Studios this time. Does anyone have recommendations on how many days to spend at Universal? We are planning on going to the parks for a total of 7 days. I was thinking 4 days WDW and 3 days Universal since we have never been before. I just keep doubting myself and thinking maybe we should do 5 days WDW and 2 days Universal.
Also, how do you guys recommend structuring a combo trip like this? I read online that you should do WDW first and Universal last since Universal is more updated. We are just worried we will regret being done with WDW in the middle of our trip. Has anyone ever done something like 3 days WDW then 3 days Universal and had the last day at WDW? Thanks in advance for any advice!

3 days is enough for Universal. You probably could do it in 2, actually…at least, enough if it to decide if you love it enough to go back. We found 3 days we could focus on 1 day WWoHP, 1 day IOA, and 1 day USF. Doing this, we could be wrapped up by late afternoon, without Express Pass.

If you get Express Pass, you could probably do 2 days. This would give you more time at Disney.

I also recommend front loading your trip…do Universal days first (avoiding weekends though) so that if you find you don’t love UOR as much, you finish out at Disney strong. Disney is less impacted than UOR by weekends, so book your weekend days at Disney.

Having said all that, we are planning our next UOR trip in 2023 with 7+ days in the parks. We love Disney…but we also love UOR for different reasons. Last May we did 5 park days at UOR. We do not get Express Passes for our UOR trips.


Our first trip we did:
Sunday-Tuesday: WDW (3)
Wednesday-Thursday: UOR (2)
Friday: Seaworld

Second trip was:
Sunday-Monday: WDW (2)
Tuesday-Friday noon: UOR+VB (3.5)
Friday PM-Saturday: WDW (1.5)

We have always stayed off-site and had a rental car, so easier to mix days that way. I think 3 UOR days is good with a total of 7 park days. Our first trip, my youngest was not tall enough for a few rides at UOR. Both my kids love thrill. Age, height, & thrill seekers are important and a big factor on deciding the number of days at UOR. Volcano Bay is as good or better than WDW’s water parks if that’s of interest to you. I also would recommend Universal mid-week. While WDW can be crowded any day, UOR can be calmer mid-week. I don’t think the order is a big deal either way, not a big planning factor for me.

We were happy with the proportion of WDW & UOR for both of our trips. Our next trip when my kids will be 14 & 16 will probably be only 2 days WDW & 4 days UOR.

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I usually do universal first then Disney with staying onsite at each place. If you can swing it, staying at a premium resort like royal pacific at universal is awesome for the express passes. If you have those, you can definitely do universal in two days. I remember feeling a bit nauseous the first time I did universal with express passes because we were getting on and off rides so quickly!

I don’t think doing one before the other is necessarily better but if you love Disney, I think ending on a sure thing is best. Have fun!


Yeah. That’s what I was trying to imply. It doesn’t ultimately matter…but some people don’t find UOR hits the same feels as Disney, so ending with Disney just means you are sure to end the trip on a high note.

I’d recommend 2 at UOR and 5 at WDW. There’s SO much more to do at WDW.

I visited UOR for the first time in 2017. We had 3 full days with Express Pass, and by the end of the 2nd day we’d really done all our must-do’s. Third day was a nice bonus, more relaxed, but not strictly necessary.

I agree with those voting for ending with Disney. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with Universal. I love thrill rides and I’d always heard that UOR was oriented more toward those, but the only thing that really impressed me about those parks was the Wizarding World.

I’m going back to Orlando in March/April; we’re staying on-site at WDW the whole time, with a 7-day park-hopper at WDW and 1 day (in the middle) Lyfting to Islands of Adventure. We wouldn’t even bother with Universal this time but we’re dying to ride Hagrid and Velociraptor, which are new since our last trip.

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We are planning on doing Universal for the first time as well next year. Good advice on front loading the Universal parks so we can finish strong at Disney. Thanks

We went last summer and did a few days at Disney, 2 days at Universal and then returned to Disney for a few more days. We stayed at a Universal resort that includes Express Pass and found that 2 days was plenty of time to do everything we wanted to do. This was our first full-on attempt at Universal (not just doing HP stuff for one day) but we found outside of HP Universal just wasn’t really our thing. Too much virtual reality. However you break up the trip will work but we kind of liked having something different in the middle of our trip and then ending with Disney. It did make for a lot of moving hotels. We didn’t have a car so just used Lyft to get to Universal and back which worked fine.



Just going to bang the same drum as others. My wife and I have done Universal before and hit everything we wanted in two-days easily…but that is with Express Pass. My oldest daughter and I are actually going only one day as she has never been and is a huge HP fan. The HP section of Universal is beautiful. The rest of the two parks certainly have some select great rides, particularly the coasters, but nothing IMHO that compares with the HP section or the magic of Disney.

I’m not even a HP fan, but the rides and theming are truly incredible.


Do you have kids, and if so, what ages are they? While Universal can be fun for kids, it’s definitely not as kid-friendly as WDW.

For a first-time trip, I would recommend 1 or 2 days at UOR*. That way you can get a flavor for it and decide whether you want to make it a bigger focus for a future trip. Reasons you may be disappointed if you make it longer and put it at the end of your trip:

  • Lots of motion simulator rides that make some people sick
  • Generally more intense roller coasters that young children either can’t ride or are too scared to enjoy
  • Wet rides soak you to the core
  • Theming outside of HP is less magical on average than Disney

All of these can be pros rather than cons for some people, so that’s why you have to know your party and what appeals to you.

*If you want to go to a water park during your stay, I highly recommend Volcano Bay. It is better than any other water park I’ve ever been to, including those on Disney property. So that would be the only reason I’d add a third day. If you only want to see Harry Potter, you can do that in one day with a park-to-park ticket.


My suggestion would be 5 days at WDW (2 MK days and 1 day at each other park) and 2 days at Universal. If you can make it fit in your budget, I highly recommend deluxe on-site at Universal to get early entry and express passes. I don’t think the order matters much. If I had express passes for Universal, I would try to make Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday WDW days for the likelihood of lower crowds.


We just came back from our WDW/USF trip.

We had 8 full days to spend in parks.
We planned 4 in each of the WDW parks. 2 in each of the USF parks.
We left 2 days open to revisit whatever we thought we might want to hit again.

We found that 2 days was enough in Universal. We got the park-to-park tickets, so we were in both parks both days. We were able to hit all of the stuff we wanted to in those two days. (10 things in USF and 9 things in IOA). We probably could have gotten it all in one day if we rushed around.

I expected one of our 2 free days may have been for a 3rd day at Universal, but since we stayed on site at WDW, I found the 30 minute Uber ride to/from Universal long and an annoying extra expense. So we purposely didn’t do a 3rd Universal day. I just wish I knew that before I bought 3-day tickets for all of us.

We wound up using our 2 unplanned days as follows:
One to visit Hollywood Studios (we had to do Galaxy’s Edge again! Plus RnR and ToT!) and then hopped to Epcot world showcase for dinner.
Second day to visit Magic Kingdom again to revisit our favorites there, then hopped again to Epcot for dinner at Space 220.