Rethinking plan based on new crowd levels

Original crowd levels were going to be a 6. Just got word they will be a 8/9 (end of June).
I was going to do one day just Harry Potter ( my 17-21 yr old kids are so excited about this) and then do 2 days of the rest of the rides in both parks. But now I am wondering if the crowds will be so bad that trying to do spells and enjoying the shops will be impossible in the middle of the day. We have experess passes for rides, so less concerned about that than walking around actually enjoying the area. Should we just do in morning and night over a couple of days? Or stay immersed and deal with crowds?

My plan is identical to yours: 3 days at Universal, no express pass, park to park tickets, planning to do HP one day, then the other two parks the other two days. I am staying offsite, so no early entry for me.

On my HP day, both parks are predicted CL7. On my US day, CL8, and IoA day, CL7.

While I know my days are one point lower than yours, my TPs show no issue with seeing everything we want to see. See attached.

HP touring plan, part 1:

HP touring plan, part 2:

US touring plan:

IoA touring plan:

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8-9 isn’t particularly bad crowds at Universal, less than at WDW. The Harry Potter areas are always wall to wall people though. I’d play it by ear when you get there. Morning and night will definitely be the least crowded.


Use EE for HP touring areas and to cast spells. Otherswise the EP makes ther rest of touring EASY!!!

We won’t have EE. Saying off site and bought the EP unlimited ticket combo. Was still way cheaper for the 6 nights we are staying and family size.
Maybe I will have to plan more rides in middle of day and spells at end.

In my experience, the front of the parks and the Harry Potter areas are most crowded in the morning, especially if you hit the park with early entry, but then they empty out a bit more late afternoon. If the night show is going in Hogsmeade, it will get busy again towards evening.

Since you’re offsite, I would try to arrive at the parks 1.5 hours before the scheduled opening, and head for the park without early entry. You have to park your car, go through security, walk all the way through CityWalk and enter the park. They often open the gates 15-20 minutes early. With Express Pass unlimited you will have fairly short lines on the rides all day. If HP starts to feel too crowded, you can always duck out and go back later.

When we were there in February for four days, they never opened the gates early.

But it is still better to be at the front of the line at the gates than to get there on time but have to wait through longer lines just to enter the park.

Anyhow, the HP lands in both parks will quickly develop wall-to-wall crowds no matter when you go. (We went when crowd levels were 2/3 and still could barely get through the crowds on the main walkways by midday in HP. Everywhere else was fine.)

No one in our group bought the wands to cast spells, but we really found it wasn’t necessary. You can stand back and watch others do them just fine and save time, rather than waiting to do what the person in front of you just did anyhow.