Hi all. I’ve shared two big trip reports from Disney before and I hope those were helpful to others. This will be our first time at Universal and I am aiming to share what I learn and how things go! It will be DD10 and myself. DH is here with our dog but will be working as his head cannot manage parks. He either gets vertigo or migraines. So he’s working from our AirBnB.
We drove from New England saturday and sunday in two big 10 hour stretches. First day was great. Second day felt like we needed paddles. But we got here and managed a good dog-friendly, outdoor dinner at Dahlia’s in Daytona. Today we are recovering. We will head to the parks tuesday-friday. Since wednesday will be the hottest day we will have a full VB day then. We’re still figuring out breaks and getting together with DH for dinner. It’s a bummer our dog can’t go to City Walk but she’s easy going and can snooze in the apt at least.
Tomorrow we will start with USF and DA! DD10 has read the books, watched the movies, played the Lego game, and spent way too much money on HP Legos so I think she’s ready
We are no EP, no EA, no special perks. Gonna just use good old liner knowledge and strategy to make it work. Cross fingers for us!
How exciting! Going mid-week in the “off-season” should make it less stressful than a school break! I absolutely love VB! It’s a bit tricky to navigate as the paths twist around. However, you can ask any TM for directions and they’ll gladly assist. I’ve even had a couple walk me to the slide I was looking for!
We will be there tomorrow to Thursday!!! Would love to say hi!
HI! I saw your plans for Universal. I hope you all have an amazing time. We’re going to start at DA tomorrow morning and then I have no after. My touring plan for tuesday looks like this:
Park opens 9
DH drop us off at 8:15 - clear security and be in line
DA - Escape from Gringotts (ride twice if able to)
Explore and get a wand from Olivander (or wait until end of day to get wand)
Ride a couple of things at USF and then try and ride Hogwarts before 11
Check waits at IOF and eat lunch
See some post lunch show and slow down
Set alerts on phone for waits
Hagrids - likely make the line around 6/6:30 after dinner
Lol. That’s the best I could figure! So, while saying hi will be lovely I have no idea how to do so. If you see us say hi.
Will keep my eyes open for you! We will be easy to spot as we are both on ECVs.
What’s your favorite Orlando - near Universal - not necessarily CityWalk - restaurant? We will have wednesday night and saturday as opportunities to eat anywhere in the area as we have a car.
We’ll we had a very successful and exhausting day. DD10 was obsessed with HP World and we ended up pulling a 12 hour day with mom enforced break.
RD USF and rode Gringotts back to back.
Olivanders and wand purchase done. I thought the show was so-so frankly. Sorry.
DD10 picked a lovely wand (not a character wand which I appreciated).
Practiced some spells, checked out shops.
Rode train to IOA.
Ate fish and chips at 3B which was very good. You know what wasn’t good? Ordering 2 Butterbeers only to discover DD10 did NOT like them. That was hard walking away from $9. I did get the refillable mug which was great for future soda refills everywhere else ($1.80 or so at all the other quick service places).
We rode the train over to Hogsmeade. Which was pretty but crowded and less intimate feeling.
We did Journey x 2 back to back. It was really really fun. I’m so sorry for those with motion sickness cause it’s a great ride and was always a walk on.
We needed up deciding to skip Hagrids today and just ride other stuff.
I think we did Spider-Man which I though was great but DD10 decided everything except HP stuff was solid but not wow.
I did Dr Doom solo which was so fun and took a quick 5 min. DD10 was a solid NO.
Did Storm Force.
We spent a good amount of time in Seuss land. Which was cute but that Cat in the Hat ride was embarrassing.
We also did Kong which was fun but DD10 ultimately didn’t like. I think it themed a bit too dark for her and the line moved slow.
Oh yeah, we did Journey again.
We then walked to USF as the train was 45 min. I forced a break at Animal Actors which was awesome. So funny and great. We both cried laughed and it was a good break.
We then did Simpson ride which DD10 LOVED. She wants to go back asap. It was hilarious.
We did MIB. My problem with shooter games is I feel I never get to appreciate the ride since I’m focused on shooting. We didn’t ask for the tour. Next time.
We then tried to go to Fast and Furious and they closed for tech reasons.
So we did Jimmy which DD10 liked and I appreciated for the nonsensical mess of it all.
We managed ET which a) smelled really weird and b) weirded me out. However our TM (CM) was amazing and had me laughing like crazy. That’s a one and done.
We managed to get back to DA for shopping and spells and finally closed out the park.
A few things on food. Fish and chips at 3B were very good. Green eggs and ham tots were solid. Crepes at USF were bad. We love crepes and cook them but these weren’t good. That was a bummer.
Tomorrow we will have a shorter but warm day at VB and dinner off site. Should be a good recovery day.
We still have so many rides to do Thu/ Fri. Hagrids, velocicoster, transformers, minions, flyers, hippogriff, fast and furious, and lots more shows!!!
Wow! What a full day! So sorry to hear about your crepes. I’ve had 4 this year and enjoying them all. I hate that for you!
Don’t miss The Bourne Stuntacular at USF. It definitely has big thrills for a show. Plus, you can sit indoors!
I love the Cat in the Hat ride!! Sorry your crepes were bad, people usually rave about them. Sounds like a great day! Enjoy Volcano Bay!
DS14 doesn’t like the Butterbeer either - he has better luck with the Gilly Water and ‘potions’. Expensive for flavored water, but fun!
Can you do it without the Gilly water? Also, what is Gilly water?
We were talking last night about Universal and how they like to replace rides all the time. And my first thought was no way they are ever replacing WWoHP. They make sooooo much money on drinks, food and merch. And boy did we contribute to that yesterday DD10 really wanted to buy the luck potion for $11 and all I could think was that’s $11 for sugar water in a small bottle and instead she got a chocolate covered pretzel wand for $4.50, lol. Parenting win??
Thanks! It’s gonna be 86 today. But I’ll take crowds over being cold!
It’s just regular water that’s Harry Potter themed
I think you could probably buy the potions separate, I just never tried!
DD10 is a little worried about the stunts for some reason. But I’m gonna work on convincing her. She’s down for the horror makeup show. Do you know if animal actors is the same show or do they mix it up?
It’s the same show each time. (as long as the animals cooperate! I watched them try to get a duck out of the pond for about 10 minutes one show!)
I’m not gonna spoil anything, but I’m gonna try to describe it in a way that will let you know what you’ll see. I’m blurring it for anyone else to avoid spoilers:
The show is a mix of live actors in front of a humongous Ultra 4K / Holographic screen that also uses practical sets! Compare it to the Indiana Jones Stunt show, but a billion times cooler. You’ll see stage fighting, high speed car chases, gunfights, people doing acrobatics from insane places.
It’s a little loud, but not awful. They understand this is inside a theatre so they aren’t doing big explosions or anything.
Outside of the WWOHP it’s next on my “must-do” list for attractions. I never get tired of it. I still see “new” things each show that I hadn’t noticed before. If you have any questions let me know!
Butterbeer: the first time we took our two DDs, we got 4 butterbeers (regular, cold) and none of us liked them. Too sweet! We definitely should have ordered 2 to share for our first taste. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with hot butterbeer and get it several times a trip.
I loathe “regular” Butterbeer! I hate the carbonation…
I do agree that hot BB is the best! I get one most days I’m at the parks. I drank 4 during the last Orlando Informer Meet-Up. I plan to beat that number at the next one!!
Hot BB is just heavenly!
@FindMeAFishingSpot - Yes. You can get them in Diagon Alley at the Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment stand near the performance stage. I have one as a souvenir that I don’t plan on opening. I, also, grabbed a “free” bottle of Gilly Water at the OIM just as a souvenir!
Cowfish! It’s definitely our favorite
This is super helpful and I can let her know so she’s not worried about it. She gets very ride obsessed and I have to force the break via show.