Touring Strategy with UExp

Trip Aug 20 - 25, 5 day, 3 park to park tickets. Arriving between 12-2pm on Sunday. One day at Volcano Bay. Staying at HRH, so we have UExp.

Party: me (no big thrill rides), all 3 kids will ride thrill rides, girl 17, boys 14 & 11 (52.5 inches - so no Hulk)

We have never been to this park before.

It seems like I should do the non-UEXP rides first, before the park gets crowded. After that, does it matter? Do some of the UExp rides build a line meaning I should go there at a certain time? Are there some UExp rides that we should do the regular lines for?

We’ve been to DIsney on 10-14 day trips 12 times, and each time I meticulously plan out the days and pretty much stick to it. I learned early that the worst days were the days I decided to wing it. I would much prefer to have a plan, I just feel a bit overwhelmed. I can’t figure out where to start. I’m fretting over having no dining plans, although it seems that’s okay.

Any advice, or even links to other plans is appreciated.

This is just my opinion. Went to US last spring - were there 2 1/2 days - but really 2 days with EXPRESS PASS is sufficient (and we didn’t stay late - left around dinner time 2 days and 11 am the last day)

Early Entry: Do early entry and hit whatever HP side is open FIRST. Do NOT go to minions or otherwise get distracted - EYES FORWARD. Head straight for either Gringots or Forbidden. Have your fastest “walker” get there and pop any bags into the lockers (free and convenient). REMEMBER YOUR LOCKER NUMBER and COMBO. Rest of party gets in line - bag person meets up.

Once done - if the line isn’t bad - hit that ride again (you will want to - both rides are just awesome!!

Stay around in HP for as long as you like. Then start tackling the rides you want. We did MIB 4 times in a row as we all had fun on it. And we just made our way around the park. NO PLANNING - can you image?!?!
If you are a HP fan - get into Olivander’s early as the line gets long for the “ceremony”. It is fun and the “actors” really get into it. I liked the one on the Diagon Alley side best.

But once in the general area of the park - just do what you like as many times as you like. Even with EPass there are some rides that have some wait (Rip Ride Rocket /Minions) however it is ok. On IOA side there are about 3 or 4 rides where you get wet - well not so much wet - but soaked. We saved all of them for the same day in the afternoon just before we wanted to go back to the hotel. They have dryers that you can use - but there is a line, they are expensive and you still have soggy shorts - so just group these rides and do them before you leave - unless you like soggy shorts (I don’t judge).

I do also suggest MYTHOS to eat. It is just outside the Hogmead’s are of HP on IOA side. It is nice and quite and cool. The food is marginally more expensive than a counter service - but it is just a lot nicer. The food itself was actually quite good.

Also don’t be afraid to go back and forth on Hogwart’s express. We rode it one way - got back on and rode it back. You MUST have a HOPPER PASS though.

The really nice thing with EXPass is you DON’t need to plan.

Hope this helps


This is great info. Thanks!

Have a great time. We LOVED US. THe hotel was gorgeous and we were just much more relaxed at US as compared to WDW. I tried to do US after WDW - but for budget reasons - it was a lot cheaper to do it first. I would suggest (my humble opinion) to do it after WDW as it is a bit more relaxed as you don’t need to plan. It is smaller - so getting back to the hotel is quicker and I have to say - the hotels were awesome (at least the Portofino was).

Have a great time!!

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I think @Tigger613 offers some great advice, but I would offer some slightly different advice as well.

If you can, one morning, DO go to Minions first thing. Even though this ride has EP, the line even for EP can get very long. It will be worth it to go there one morning, trust me.

Also, I personally prefer doing the Harry Potter areas at night. They are more magical and lines seem to drop significantly, especially in the last hour before park close. You can certainly go there during EE, but I think you may find better waits at night. When I went the week of July 4th, I waited longer to ride Forbidden Journey during EE than at any other point during my trip. My thought was that EVERYONE was going there at that one time. Or maybe I just had bad luck. But my waits at night were much more managable for the Harry Potter stuff.

I also agree that UOR is much, much more relaxed than Disney. And if you will be there five days with EP, honestly, I wouldn’t plan a darn thing. Have a very loose idea what you want to do, and just play it by ear. You will have plenty of time to do everything you want multiple times.

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@rebeecky - I REJECT ANY DEVIATION FROM WHAT I SAY!!! Just kidding. No you are absolutely correct - especially about Minions. We always checked in a bit early - but I am sure HP is really really cool at night. Why is everything just a bit more magical at night? I think you are correct about EE as EVERYONE goes there first thing.



I say more magical because the dragon shooting fire atop Gringotts against the black sky is awesome. Hogwarts lit up against the night sky is amazing. Those kinds of things.

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It does sound like doing US would be better after WDW, but I’m locked into my WDW dates. Our touring at WDW is usually arrive before opening and stay until closing, and we like to check out every last detail. We will check out the HP stuff at night for sure.
I have 4 mornings. (We arrive early afternoon on the first day) I am assuming we will get up for Early Entry each day. I was planning on going to Volcano Bay one day, but I think I may want to 2 plan 2 mornings instead. Arrive for Early entry, leave around 11am. Change and eat a grab and go at the hotel and be at one of the parks by 12:30.

For the first day, we should arrive I think around 1 or 2pm. I don’t know what to plan yet, but I was considering ending that day at the rides that get you soaking wet - -so we get wet and then leave.

No fully agree with you (was just kidding with my CAPS response). I love the parks at night - there is that extra “magic”

I knew you were kidding! :slight_smile:

I just wasn’t sure if you were honestly asking the magical question, so I figured I would answer just in case.

Ha - good. No thank you for the clarification. I can only imagine how cool HP is.