Tell me it's worth the cost!

I’m really struggling with adding a Universal day to our January WDW trip.

At first I thought it was a no-brainer. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I’ve read all the books many multiples of times, I’ve listened to the audio books so many times that when I read the books I hear Jim Dale’s voice in my head, I love all the movies, and I even read Harry Potter fanfiction. I’m a fan.

But now I’m starting to freak out about the price. For the three of us (me, hubby, and 8 year old son) it will cost us $420 in tickets for one day in the two parks (plus transportation to get there). My husband and I are fluffy and our 8 year old is short, so we can’t ride Forbidden Journey (I figured we would ask for the castle tour though, to see most of the themeing). We also won’t ride most of the other rides in the parks due to short kid and not being a thrill ride fan. So really, this is all about the WWoHP.

For less than $30 (total, not per person) we can add a day to our Park Hopper passes. We have 6 day passes now and intend to do our first evening in Epcot, next day at AK and then move to MK for evening entertainment, Day 3 in MK, the Thursday of our trip is scheduled for Universal, Day 4 in HS, Day 5 in Epcot, and Day 6 doing whatever we feel we need to do for our last day (I suspect it will be split between Epcot and MK, but I could be wrong!). Dropping out the Universal day would add another full day we could use at the MK.

But if we go to Orlando and don’t go to WWoHP won’t I regret it? I can’t imagine we will be back for quite some time - this is the first not visiting family vacation we’ve done in 6.5 years!

Thoughts? Encouragement? Have you had similar dilemmas and what did you decide? Ack!

That is tough! We aren’t the biggest HP fans, but do love what Universal has done in the parks. Amazing! But for us, 1 day at a high price would not be worth it if we weren’t going to ride every single ride. We also don’t go to Uni unless we stay on site with express passes (front of the line access). Our first Uni trip we were there for 3 full days before moving to WDW, our last trip 2.5 days. Our next trip will be 2.5 days as well. It is an expensive side trip. But well worth it since we love thrill rides. It really isn’t the best experience for anyone who doesn’t meet the height requirements or doesn’t like thrill rides. If I were you I would add another day to your WDW tickets. Way cheaper and you can do a lot more it sounds like. Save Uni for an onsite stay when your son is tall enough for all the rides. It is really a fantastic place, I can see why you are torn!

If you can afford it comfortably then yes but if you are the slightest bit unsure about the finances then no. As a HP fan I would say yes it is worth it for the theming. Moaning Myrtle is in the bathroom, the Monster book of Monsters is alive the shop windows are alive there is so much more than just rides. Loved the peanut butter and strawberry ice cream can’t wait to try gilly water 3 broomsticks is fab. We spent over 4 hrs in Hogsmead and didn’t do any rides there was sooo much to see. WWOHP isn’t all about rides ( think of it as an interactive museum) plus more pooh size seats have been added to FJ and there is trial seats outside so you might get to ride ( its about chest width mostly) Don’t know if this helps. Mx

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Just saw your profile picture, there were much fluffier people than you riding FJ and your son might have a growth spurt if not there is a child swap area.

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$420 for just HP minus Forbidden Journey? Not worth it IMHO. $30 for an extra day at WDW seems like the way to go.

Thank you everyone for your opinions. I think we will take a look closer to the trip and decide. My husband says as long as we are down there we might as well, and I really don’t know when we will be back so he’s probably right. I just read all these trip reports of how everyone wishes they had more time at WDW and I am torn. But I’ve been dreaming about going ever since Hogsmeade opened.

Eh, I have time to ruminate. Thank you again for taking the time to give me your thoughts!

As a reasonably regular visitor from the UK (planning trip #8) I think I’d say “it depends on how good you think your stamina and fitness is”. When I looked at your proposed schedule I said ‘wow’. All the parks plus evenings and park hopping some days? I’m not sure I’d attempt that with an 8 year old. I know we’re lucky as we always come for at least 2 weeks, but I’d always build in at least one rest day for chilling at some stage each week. Disney and Universal are great, but nothing’s that good if you’re tired and the smallest party member has a grump on! If you’re all fit and organised and up for the fight then go for it (and the HP theming is hard to beat) but a schedule like that is not for the mild of heart in my view. I haven’t commented on whether the cost is “worth it”, all things are relatively on that front for me, depends on what you can afford overall which only you can say. I long ago decided absolute cost is meaningless in Disney terms as its all about the memories, so my only advice is if you add Universal do it and forget the price, because counting the extra dollars on the day will kill your enjoyment for sure.

Hello, just wanted to agree with @mumcalsop - please don’t assume you won’t be able to ride Forbidden Journey and other rides at Uni. My mum came with us in January and she is 5"6" and at least 215 pounds - she rode Forbidden Journey, Hulk, Dragon Challenge etc, etc with zero problems.

Great points all. We don’t need a full days rest but a few hours break/nap each day does the trick for us

wow - thanks everyone!

We are planning on breaks. We are going to take each day as it comes and when we are tired we will slow down or go back to the hotel for a bit. I’m all about making plans, and then adjusting as we go for how we are feeling or if we decide we’d rather do something else. Or weather.

I’m a huge planner, but I know no plan of attack lasts past first contact with the enemy. :smile:

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I am not a small man, but much smaller than I was a year ago when I topped out near 300 lbs. I rode Forbidden Journey with no problem.

We love Universal. IMHO, they have some of the best indoor dark rides you will find anywhere.

I’m 6’7" just under 300 lbs and I can ride FJ. Warning. If your prone to motion sickness at all this is a tough ride.

I’m 5’8 and around 275 and I can fit in FJ its a little tight but not too bad.

There are plenty of non thrill rides that you and your son might enjoy

minion mayhem
men in black
the simpsons area is a ride in itself
maybe transformers or spiderman
dr seuss (2 rides)

We’ve decided we are definitely going, it’s just silly to worry about the cost when it could be our only trip to Orlando for…well…a long time.

So we are going to go and indulge all our Harry Potter geekiness, and if there is still time and energy left we will see what else Universal has. I think the Dr. Suess area in particular could be a lot of fun.


im so glad!!! I cannot wait for when I go, im such a harry potter nerd, that I would hate for a fellow potterhead to miss out.

If you add on a uor lines subscription there is a 1 day 2 park wwohp plan for offsite guests that might help you.Its in 2 parts under adult plans. You can access it via computer or download the uor lines app and its in there

I’ve got the liner subscription to Universal already!

We have yet to experience Daigon Alley, (it was being built during our last visit in 2013), but besides the Potter attractions here are the rides/shows we do not miss when we are there:

  • The Simpson’s Ride (my family’s favorite)
  • Spiderman (my favorite)
  • Transformers (a close second)
  • Revenge of The Mummy
  • Beetlejuice’s Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue (cheesy but fun)
  • Horror Make-Up Show
  • Minion Mayhem
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