UOR with HHN in September

We’re doing a girls’ trip 9/19-9/23. Our main concerns will be new things at HHN and the Hagrid coaster, since we all went last year. We’re staying at Portofino, so we’ll have Express passes during the day but crowds levels are low during that time. I’m not super familiar with UOR planning, so I have a few questions.

My main question is whether to trust TP predicted wait times where it shows a longer wait with Express than without. This is happening on F&F, and while it’s only a few minutes difference, it just makes me wonder if this is a bug or whether it’s actually smarter to not use the Express pass sometimes during slow season.

My next question is really just inviting speculation. As of right now the TP times show Hagrid having wait times around 50-55 min from early admission until about 3pm, and then getting shorter in the afternoons. Obviously there’s no telling whether those will hold since it’s so new and we don’t know when or if they’ll add an Express entrance but do we think <1 hour wait could be possible? It’s slow season, but the ride will still only be barely 3 months old. I’ve never been to Universal when a ride was so new.

My last question (so far) is how much will the Premier Pass one free HHN night offer affect crowds that weekend? Is that a new perk? It seems to me that my friend had a Premier Pass when we went last year but never mentioned that when planning our dates, and she bought the BOGO ticket like the rest of us. We got the Frequent Fear pass this time, so we’ll be able to go the 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd but we’re trying to gauge whether we might want to just do 3 nights and have an early hot tub night one night.

This is WAAAY off. As of right now, the ride is not even opening until noon, and then tends to close for several hours in the middle of the afternoon. Wait times seemed to be about 2 to 3 hours. At this point, there is no way to know when it will be operating normally, so predicting wait times is nearly impossible.

In general, the wait times seem to not be as accurate. Honestly, I would use EP every time and just make a TP to determine the traffic flow, not for accurate wait times.

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I will be in Orlando for a conference during this same time and am hoping to do UOR one night. This is my first trip and would be to preview for a probable 2020 family trip (we have already done several WDW trips in recent years). My question is primarily about going back and forth between parks. My hope is to get done early with the conference on 9/20 or 9/21 and start at IofA then go to US for the Halloween event. Will I be able to take Hogwarts from IofA on the night of a party? What time is the last train? Also, how will I get to my car after the Halloween party? I will have a car and will be staying off-site at the conference hotel. I am guessing I will be better off taking Uber but just wanted to know the options. Thanks for any help.

Going in reverse order, because that’s easiest to hardest.

Driving vs. Uber comes down to how far away the offsite hotel is. Compare the price of Uber to the price of parking. Either way you’ll be entering through CityWalk (a no-admission entertainment complex similar to Disney Springs) which has the entrances to both parks, so there’s no problem getting back to the car regardless of where you start and finish.

You can take Hogwarts Express from IoA, but you have to do it early enough… I believe they closed the station around 5:00pm last year, but if there’s a line longer than 1 train it may close earlier.