I don’t have any idea if our visit was “typical” or not, but I’m happy to share our experience. Two 45+ adults, one 15 year-old boy. I had put a quick link to USHWaitTimes.com on my phone to check official wait times much like DLR/WDW has. Used it a bunch.
Park hours were 9a-8p. We pre-purchased our tickets and parking on-line and arrived to parking lot around 8:00, putting us at the entry gate around 8:30. They let us into the park and there was no barrier to entry to the WWOHP, so we went directly to FJ through the regular queue (we would return later to do the Castle Tour and ride single rider). The queue moved quickly with the park mostly empty, so we really wanted to come back and savor the experience later in the day. I am in the minority in that I found FJ to be frantic and disjointed and I think the 3D did not enhance the experience. I am not a fan of 3D in general, but this frenetic attraction already has more than enough going on. I just don’t see how 3D was necessary. YMMV.
I should mention we opted to rent a locker for 8 (all day, in/out as often as you need) to hold our park bag. US doesn't let you take bags on rides, and a bag was not optional for us (women's clothes have no @#%^ pockets and we had fleece to discard mid-day). Lockers were located somewhat inconveniently near the front of the park, but as the whole park is not that big, returning at any point was not that big a deal.
After FJ, we did Hippogriff, which was not exciting, but the scenery was great. Once was plenty.
Saved shopping for later in the day and by 9:05 we were headed to the Studio Tram Tour. Our guide reminded me of the wife on Family Guy. A better guide would have improved the tour, IMO. It was fine, but now I don’t have to do that for another 40 years (last visit was around 1976). Funny, that shark lagoon seemed much larger in 1976. . .
After the tram tour, we hit the Lower Lot to do Transformers and Mummy (did not want to ride JP and spend the day wet, so we saved that for last). Lines stayed low for Transformers all morning and did not develop a wait until probably 2pm. Transformers was good. Mummy was awesome (think DL’s Indiana Jones crossed with Space Mountain). The velociraptor meet and greet by JP is LOTS of fun. The “handlers” really get into it. We spent quite some time over the course of the day watching/listening to the show.
Saw the 11am Special Effects show (liked it), ate a meh lunch at Plaza Grill (because I am a dumbass and totally spaced Three Broomsticks), then hit the Animal Show (meh) at noon. If you opt for the turkey sandwich at Plaza, split it. It’s really honkin’ big. Sat in the outdoor seating at the Plaza and watched the young kids play in the water play area. The food was fine and the seating was ample. I just kick myself for not thinking to go back to Three Broomsticks.
Walked over and experienced Minions (very cute). Went to Water World show (meh). After which, we opted to skip Simpsons and Shrek. Both lines were 30+ minutes by that point, none of us are particular fans of either, and we were heartily tired of herky jerky 3D simulation rides. It was time to shop and explore HP.
Back to WWOHP for a closer look, to purchase a postcard (and a sheet of astoundingly overpriced stamps) and have it sent Owl Post, and to check out the shops. We skipped the Olivander’s show because we knew we would end up with a $40 wand we did not need. Instead, we enjoyed watching several young witches and wizards using their interactive (read: $$$) wands on the shop windows. It was cute, but we did not need a $40 wand. Did the Castle Tour to savor the FJ queue, then rode single rider. Funniest/saddest thing was the ~10 year-old in my son’s FJ car who FREAKED OUT and was screaming “I WANT TO GO HOME!” And he didn’t mean back to the hotel. He was genuinely freaked out. Hope that wasn’t their first ride of the trip. . .
Last thing we did was retrieve the ponchos from the locker and ride JP. We do not like being wet. Liked JP, but enjoyed time watching the velociraptor encounter more. Spent probably a half hour tucked in the shade listening to the handler. Fun!
Aside from the shows in the park, the only non-simulation 3D rides are Hippogriff and JP. Each attraction is great, standalone. But an entire day of 3D motion simulator rides? Overkill. Could be I’m too old.
We shopped our way back out of the park, stopped at the locker, and were having dinner at Karl Strauss’ by 5:15.
The Touring Plan from World of Universal:
- Studio Tram Tour
- Animal Actors
- Water World
- Special Effects
We went on the Thursday before Memorial Day so the crowds were, in theory, lower than they will be a month later. Hope the info helps a bit!