Universal twice in 5 months?

Have never done universal and now debating a trip late August and early December. Wondering if this will be overkill?
I already have a split stay cabana bay/ royal pacific booked for dec 7 to 14th with 3 park - park to park 5 day tickets ( I bought from undercover tourist). Also have tickets for mvmcp and doing a day at sea world. This is a surprise trip for DS and More focused on Christmas theme.
Have a Disney trip booked for aug 21 to 31 where we go every year for DS birthday. Now tonight he tells me he wants to switch it to universal (he does not know about December trip). I priced up 10 night at cabana bay volcano view with 5 day park to park (3 parks) with express pass and it looks like it would be no more and actually I am thinking about 700 to 900 dollars cheaper.
Just wondering if the two trips would be too close together or would we be glad we were going back so quickly with the bonus of Christmas themes. Also I wonder if by going in August am I taking away from the excitement of the surprise dec trip which would no longer be our first visit to universal. Final question is if we decide to do universal twice can I and should I look at a annual pass. Is that an option with UT tickets and coming from Canada.
I have to say as my fast pass day approaches the universals express pass is very appealing. It just seems like universal is a more laid back trip…am I wrong?

I don’t think it’s overkill, we love Universal, and always enjoy a trip. We usually go in the spring or summer, but the opportunity came to visit in the winter before the winter break crowds, and we really liked it. Also, the decorations were really nice.


You are not wrong at all! If you are used to planning trips for Disney, Universal is a walk in the park. It is much more laid-back and the Express Pass is far superior to the Fastpass system. You are in for a real treat!

As to your other question, I could easily go twice in five months, but, yes, you would obviously lose some element of the surprise of the December trip if you went in August.

Oh, and I will be there part of that time and December as well! Perhaps we shall cross paths.

We went in December with Undercover Tourist buy 3 days get 2 days free. On the 4th day (we weren’t going to use the 5th), we were able to upgrade to a Seasonal pass for free. I think to do the next level up it was $20 so I would check with Universal when you are there to see if you can upgrade your tickets to an annual pass. Seasonal passes have blackout dates in December though so you may have to upgrade to the next level up.

I LOVE Universal Studios! If you like Harry Potter, it is an amazing experience! I went in Dec 2018 and am planning trips in September with my boyfriend and October with my daughter. You won’t get bored at all I promise!


Thanks so much for responding. I am a bit ashamed to say we have never watched a Harry Potter movie. I bought the set for Christmas so gonna watch first one tonight and if DS still interested and if so I think I am gonna make the switch. Yes hopefully we may cross paths in December :slightly_smiling_face:


Read the books before watching the movies. (Or, listen to the audio books.) :slight_smile:

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Yes I am def gonna check out annual pass. We are gonna start the movies tonight :slightly_smiling_face:. I am kinda sad to be letting Disney go but excited to see what universal has to offer.

I love reading so I def want to do the books too :slightly_smiling_face:.

Normally, I would agree with this, but time is not on your side at this point. Unless you have a ton of free time to read books, you will probably not get them all read by August. Plus, the visuals in The Wizarding World at Universal are pulled from the movies, so you may appreciate it more. All that having been said, I definitely think that the books are superior to the movies.


Oh. Right. I was focused on December. August is fast approaching.

Although, my wife read all 7 books in the time it took me to read just the 7th book. 11 days. :slight_smile:

This is very true.

This is definitely also true! :slight_smile:


I can only help with the Annual Pass question – I’m also Canadian and got one seasonal pass (for our family of 4) through Universal for hotel booking discounts and it was no problem.

There’s a very useful spreadsheet by @Jadesfire21 showing the costs of upgrades vs. tickets here:

I think with a longer stay you can book Cabana Bay as cheaply elsewhere as through the annual pass discount page, but that’s here in case it’s useful (under the “Hotels and Packages” tab next to Featured Fun): https://www.universalorlando.com/webcontent/en/us/tickets-packages/annual-passes/your-annual-pass?v=a6

And in case those August dates are at all flexible, the Annual Pass after hours party is August 18th. It looks like last year the Passholder Appreciation Days included discounts on express passes but I’m not sure if that’s included this year. From that same link (under Featured Fun):

Passholder Appreciation Days

Aug. 12–Sep. 30, 2019

Get ready for tons of perks, discounts and exclusive opportunities as AP Days returns. It’s 50 days and nights dedicated to our UOAP family including the Ultimate after-hours event, on August 18.

I found a blog post about last year’s UOAP after-hours party and it sounds like the wait times are wonderful: https://yourmileagemayvary.net/2018/08/28/universal-orlandos-exclusive-passholder-after-hours-party-2018-vs-2017-vs-wdws-ap-events/

In the chance that you haven’t watched the first movie yet (or for liners with visits in the future), I would read at least the first book, and plan the movies out in the 3-4 weeks before your trip. Depending on how often or fast you read, you could get through the first 2-3 books pretty quickly.

In my overly opinionated reader of the books opinion :wink:
the books are more immersive, and attach you more to the characters, and picturing things like Hogwarts first in your mind, then seeing the movies, and then immersing yourself at the park is pretty cool.

I also think that most of the magic of WWOHP is really covered in the first three books. (Yes, I think even the Gringotts ride would be enjoyable without finishing the series. :laughing: )

All that to say, yes watch the movies, but I’d encourage you to read at least the first book first if you could.


I share this overly opinionated opinion.

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It is worth noting that Book 1 is the MOST LIKE its corresponding movie of all the books. Meaning, they changed very little.


Neither of my kids (boy 15 and girl 10) had seen or read Harry Potter before we went in December. As soon as we got home, they both insisted on watching all of the movies in 2 days. They both love Harry Potter now and I even redecorated my daughter’s room in Gryffindor colors. That is how amazing the Harry Potter parks are!


True, true. I think my rationale is more if you’re wanting to read the books, just get started, and fill in with movies when you get to crunch time, and don’t avoid reading any just because you can’t read them all yet.

I do agree with you though. My sons and I were a lot more annoying about, “This part is different than the books,” starting about movie #4. :wink:


I love this story, but would love it even more if she was Slytherin. :snake: :rofl:


Both my kids are convinced they’re Slytherin, though I could also make the argument for one being Gryffindor and the other being Hufflepuff. The Slythepuff kid thinks DH is Gryffindor but he might be Slytherin too. I am without doubt Ravenclaw.

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We’ve done several of those on-line tests to determine which house you belong to. My daughter is Hufflepuff. My wife and I are Ravenclaw. My DS9 came out to be Gryffindor. I can’t recall what my DS17 was, now.

My kids deliberately answer the tests to get Slytherin. Which is very Slytherin-y of them, so maybe they’re just the opposite of Harry, “please YES Slytherin please YES Slytherin.”

Anyway, on topic, if we do end up getting the seasonal APs for access to the passholder party, I’ll have to look more closely at the blockout dates and see if we can get back before the passes expire. If everyone wants to, that is.