This probably isn’t the answer you want, but I’d do
5 1/2 Disney park days and 2 Universal days, but splurge and get the express pass
You are going to be in the heart of summer break and that Express Pass will help you see it all.
If you really don’t care about “seeing it all” at USF / IOA then at least make sure you get a “park-to-park” ticket for that one day with your Express Pass. This will allow you to park hop to and take the Hogwarts Express.
Hard to say. Will you have park hoppers for Disney? I think 5 1/2 days is enough if you do 2 MK, 2 HS, 1 AK, and 1/2 Epcot (usually would need more than this…but with all the construction, time is limited).
So, I guess I’d lean toward two days at Universal.
BUT, we usually go when crowds are low. In our February trip to Universal, we never had Express passes and we got through EVERYTHING we wanted in two days arriving at opening (not early entry) and leaving by 3:00. But the time you are going, as @darkmite2 said, crowds will be much busier, making the Express Pass option appealing.
What are your plans at Universal? Or, rather, what ages are involved? If you can skip things like Seussland and Hippogriff and other kiddie rides, then you might be fine with a single day.
I enjoy Universal, but with only 7.5 days I would stick to only WDW. For us, we need all of that time for WDW as there is so much to see (and so hard to see it efficiently thanks to tiered FPP plus much larger crowds at WDW vs UOR). Is the any way you can extend your trip a few days? We find 7-8 days WDW and 3 UOR days to be the right mix.
I am going the same time and am doing 5 Disney park days, 1 resort day, and 1 Universal day. The reason being that our young kids don’t have as much to do at UOR and we really only want to do WWoHP at UOR, which we have done in one day before. We didn’t use Express Pass last time but depending on what you want to do, it could definitely save you time.
I would only do 2 days at UOR if you have specific attractions you want to do (including Volcano Bay, for example) that require a 2nd day. Make a touring plan and see if it fits in one day.
Another option is to split one day between the two resorts - it’s a little more expensive per day, but would allow more flexibility.
We will be focusing mainly on the Harry Potter stuff and want to hit at least the main attraction rides throughout the rest of Universal. Our party is 6 adults and 3 teens. We definitely enjoy a good coaster.
Okay. I’d lean to two Universal Days then. I think part of the experience is taking in the sights, particularly in WWoHP. If you do 1 day with Express Pass, I just feel like it would seem more like checking off a list of rides to get done rather than having a relaxed atmosphere to just LOOK.
With Park Hoppers at WDW, you can shuffle around your park days however you want to suit your needs with only 5 1/2 days to work with.
Can you do 1.5 Universal days? I planned two Uni days with two teens and they opted to leave early and go to Disney. So many sim rides we were a little dizzy and ready to be done. And that included DS and I spending an hour in Olivanders looking at every wand and discussing the details.
I’d seriously consider a few things:
1- Stay one night at a deluxe Universal hotel to get the “free” Express passes. The express passes will cost as much as a night in the room and are good for day of arrival and day of departure. Then you can definitely do Universal in 1- 1.5 days. Multiple rides on Gringotts and Hulk for the coaster fiends. We also loved being able to pop back to the hotel for a nap or a swim. The water rides are no joke and we actually decided to go back to the room for dry clothes. Luxury of being a 10 minute walk away.
2- Apply for annual pass at Universal if there is a good room rate and your trip doesn’t fall over a black out date. Run the numbers. Last trip we upgraded me to the lowest AP for $40 and saved >$250 on the hotel room for 2 nights.
3-Go to Universal first. We’ve done both ways. It’s nice not to have to plan every minute at Uni so it does seem relaxing after Disney. But it’s a bit of a let down. We liked starting at Uni and then moving into the bubble.
Maybe! As of right now we have 7 days of WDW park tickets booked, so we could technically spend half a day at each. Interesting to hear about your teens experience. One of the teens going with us has never been to Universal and has expressed concern saying, “What if we get to Universal and wish we were at Disney instead?” I don’t expect that to be a problem, but something to think about.
If you cannot extend your stay, I would recommend exactly what @MTrib suggests. Stay 1 night at UOR and have express pass for 2 days. We always go during busy holiday times and get a ton done thanks to express passes. Plus express makes UOR feel like a relaxing vacation compared to WDW planning and touring.
You don’t need any kind of plan (except for Hagrid’s) and it is the best thing ever. Just ride what you want, when you want. We don’t even go to early entry anymore since Forbidden Journey and Gringotts got express a few years ago. Instead we sleep in and feel rested unlike at WDW where sleeping in does not work well if you want to hit a lot of rides with low waits.