Going to Universal for first time in April. On arrival day, we will get to Royal Pacific around 1:00. USF & IOA close at 6pm that night, but Volcano Bay stays open until 8pm.
If we went straight to Harry Potter land for a couple hours and tried to arrive at Volcano Bay around 5:00ish, is that worth doing? With the late arrival to Volcano Bay, would we be able to still ride the main water rides or will the wait times be so long by then that we wouldn’t really get to ride much?
IMHO - Seems like you’d be better to either commit to VB or USF/IOA and stay until they close. While the parks at Universal are closer together than WDW, it’s still a commute to go from either USF/IOA to VB. It’s not a simple walk to VB.
If you get to the hotel at 1pm and rush to a USF you’ll, realistically, probably be in WWOHP around 2pm if check-in & etc… go smoothly. That gives you 3 hours to play. Then you have to rush over to VB, change your clothes & etc…, to begin swimming by, hopefully, 6pm.
It just feels like a lot of stress on Day 1 of your trip. If you are concerned about the 6pm closure, you’ll have all CityWalk dining and fun options for the rest of the night. If you aren’t familiar with CityWalk it is a dining & entertainment complex (similar to Disney Springs) You must walk through it to enter or exit the parks - it’s not separate or far away like Disney Springs.
By going into the parks and exploring you’ll have a good “feel” for the layout of Universal that will help you over the next few days.