Thank you to everyone who has posted useful information on this forum! To pay it forward, I want to share “things I’m glad we did before our trip.” (4 adult females visited Universal Orlando, 3 days, 9/8-9/10 2019. All four of us are theme park and Harry Potter fans. We stayed at Lowes Royal Pacific, which includes Express Pass. Crowd levels were low!)
I’m glad we bought/did ahead of time:
- Bought a small, flat fanny pack big enough for my phone, id, credit card, cash. Because: Waiting in 2hr queue for Hagrid would have felt really long without phones to take pictures and text the outside world. Sometimes bartenders do ask for ids. One day the Royal Pacific payment processing system went down and we needed backup payments options of credit cards and cash.
- Bought Lanyards - we chose reel-style ones that worked really well. Because: You have to show your Tickets/Express Passes over and over and over! It was super nice to be able to pull the string and hold the passes out to whoever needed to scan them. Scanners could read the barcodes through the plastic sleeves with no issues.
- Bought our Interactive Wands online. Because: We had fun looking at and discussing all the wands and selecting our favorites. I would have had a hard time picking one on the spur of the moment at Olivander’s – unless one chose me, of course!
- Bought Wand Holsters. Because: I’m sure we looked like the nerdiest of nerds, but our wands were always handy and we didn’t have to worry about forgetting them anywhere. I was actually surprised we didn’t see more of these. They would be easy to make if you can sew and have time. Several Team Members commented on and appreciated them. (I will try to attach a photo.)
- Bought Extra Keurig coffee pods. Because: I need more than one cup of coffee if I’m going to be social at 7am.
- Bought Disposable plastic rain ponchos. Because: Even though it didn’t rain on us, we were prepared and I can save them for next time.
- Downloaded the (Free) Universal App. (Listed in the Playstore as “Universal Orlando Resort™ The Official App.”) Because: We found this App quite useful for the map, show times, wait times, and restaurant menus. Downloading and becoming familiar with it ahead of time was a plus!
- Made at least a sketchy/outline touring plan. Because: Even though our crowd level forecasts were low, we had ExpressPass, and we didn’t need a step-by-step plan, it was still nice to know what time we planned to start each day, which park, and the primary attractions we wanted to see.
- Made a few dinner/lunch reservations. Because: Having a plan meant we didn’t have to spend a lot of touring time considering dining options. Plus reservations are easy to cancel if your plans change. Of our four reservations, we used three and cancelled one. https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/dining-experiences/reservations
- Made a list of all the attractions we might want to see in both parks. Because: We probably would have missed some things without a list. (I will try to attach, but please NOTE my list is just the ones we wanted to see – not a comprehensive list.)
rides and shows list.pdf (102.5 KB)
I was really glad that:
- We stayed at one of the resorts with Express Pass. The only thing we waited for was Hagrid’s Motorbike and lunch at the Three Broomsticks.
- Bought park-to-park tickets. We went back and forth daily.
I’m sure everyone here is a planner - what are YOU glad you did in advance?