Spring Break at Diagon Alley

We’ve planned a family trip to Orlando over spring break 2016 (Madness, I konw but nedessary due to constraints around taking kids out of school). I’ve done all the necessary research for my WDW days and have been putting together our touring plans (we are a party of 10, 3 generations) but i think I’ve not really put as much research into Universal.

Catching up now, i am TERRIFIED!!! Blogs talking of 4hr waits for Gringotts, DA full before 9am, No return before 5pm AND the Express passes at that time are $120 EACH! We will be travelling with my parents (in their 60’s) and kids (DD8 DS6 DS5) and We are staying offsite so no early entry. I’m loath to spend $1200 ON TOP of our tickets for express passes but at the same time, DD is SOOOO excited about DA that i dont’ want the holiday of a lifetime to be a disappointment.

Are there ANY tactics to prevent us having to be there at 8am only to wait until 5pm to get into DA and then still have to wait hours for Gringotts??

Is there any way at all you can stay at one of the onsite deluxe hotels, or are they booked solid already? the cost of the hotel might be worth it for the free express passes.

We have been to Universal the last two Aprils and have never had waits like you are speaking of. This year we met some friends there, they were offsite, no express passes from Easter Monday- Friday (we met them starting Friday). They said they did fine with huge crowds and no early entry or express. They rode everything they wanted, they did use single rider lines a lot though. The crowds were not bad for us over the weekend, but we stayed onsite so had early entry and express passes. Make sure you are at the gates at least 45 min before they open (and make sure to plan enough time to park and walk to gates, you have to go through citywalk). Have a great plan that gets you to the HP stuff in the morning or at night. I would not let the blog articles scare you, they were probably written when DA first opened. We avoided traveling to Orlando over spring break for years as I was worried about crowds- but have found that it really isn’t bad. The weather is usually great, the parks have long hours and are prepared for huge crowds, which to me is better than going during a low crowd time that has short hours and reduced staff, causing all sorts of issues when the crowds are larger than expected (if you have followed chat at all this month, you will know what I mean). Anyway, don’t stress! The express passes are great if you can budget for them (or stay deluxe onsite one night which gives you two days of express and early entry), but if not you can make it work. My friends just could not make onsite or express work for their budget, and they did fine. How many days do you have at Universal?

Thanks @Wahoohokie that sets my mind at ease a bit. I should explain, we’re a mixed family-some coming from Canada, some the UK so we’re taking advantage of the U.K. 14 day tickets for WDW and Universal (a
Unlimited multipark entry). We have booked a villa for the duration of our stay and I had looked at booking an onsite hotel regardless as it might be cheaper than 10 fast passes but it’s still $1500 for a night-again, my budget can’t justify it.

Looks like we’ll just arrive early and take our chances so thanks for the advice.

170 days to go!!!

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Sounds like a fabulous vacation!

We have done Easter offsite without exp pass and survived. RD is key gringotts queues are shortest in last 2 hrs ( 90 mins before park close is optimal). Minions ride lines never go down so hit first at rd. Wander DA and Hogsmead from 12-3/4. We had planned for 1day exp pass if needed on final day but didn’t feel it would add enough to validate the cost.

Not sure what blogs you are referring to, but those kind of waits were only seen during the opening summer. Spring break is about the busiest season but it’s still manageable with a good touring plan.

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