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  1. #1
    jgenie is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    East Coast

    Default Universal Orlando

    Iím contemplating a trip this summer. Iím thinking 4 full days. Is that too long? I looked at rates - itís a $1,200 difference between the basic on-site hotel and the on-site hotel that includes the skip the line pass. We would pay $99 per person per day so itís the same to just book the nicer hotel. Anything Iím missing? They have airport transfers at $110 for all of us. It looks like Uber XL would be $40 each way so cheaper plus it would only be us not a bus of people. It looks like the resort is super close to the airport. Is it as easy as it seems or am I missing something. Weíre mainly going to see Harry Potter. Which other rides do you recommend as not to be missed? Which rides arenít worth the effort? TIA
    for Carmen

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Are you going to go to Volcano Bay? If so, 4 days is a good amount of time. Staying onsite with express passes mean you can take breaks mid-day for the pool and relaxation. Unlike Disney, you really can blend a theme park vacation with a leisurely one.

    FYI- that $99 for express passes is the starting price- it can be as high as $140+ per person based on how busy it is. So, staying in the fancy hotels is the better choice.

    Uber or Lyft make a lot more sense. They are readily available. That's what we used. Easy.

    See if their buy 2 get 2 day ticket promo is running while you are there. I know they recently extended it.

    All rides are worth it as while some may think they are either boring or they don't like motion simulators, other people really enjoy them. Who knows what you'll personally like! The theming of the simulator rides is really fun.

    Must dos- buy interactive wands, all Harry Potter stuff, ride the Mummy, ride Men in Black, see Animal Actors, ride all the water rides (though you'll get soaked!), pick a fun song on Rip Ride Rockit, do some meet and greets especially with the Transformers, play in Camp Jurassic

    Read the Orlando Informer website to learn a bunch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    DC Suburbs


    If you're just going to the two parks, I think 4 days is too much. We went for three days, and on two of them the park closed at 8pm and we left by like 5pm.

    I would definitely stay at the onsite hotel that include express passes.

    We took an Uber XL both ways and it was <$40. Super easy. I requested one once we retrieved our bags, and it arrived in about 7 minutes. The drive to our hotel was maybe 20 minutes.

    Get Park to Park tickets so you can take the Hogwarts Express.

    Have fun!
    Mommy to my wonderful, HEALTHY twin girls
    6/08 - Preemies no more!

  4. #4
    newnana is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    For us, 4 days was perfect. DD is a HUGE HP fan and she doesn't like rides. Everything I looked at said it would be too much, but it was great for us. It gave her time to absorb every teeny tiny detail of the HP areas at her own pace and then worked up the courage to do the rides and gave me a little downtime to actually have a vacation.

    We would go to the park for the early morning hours before the crowds arrived and head straight to one of the HP areas.

    Day 1 was just about absorbing it all for DD. She also really wanted to do the castle tour where you have more time in each of the rooms and not do the ride, there is a separate line for that. Once it started to get crowded, we took the Hogwarts express to the other park and did something else (MIB, transformers, just explore...)

    Each day after the parks got crowded we went back to the hotel either to nap (time zone difference for us) and head to the pool. Then early dinner and back to the park after the lines died down and to see different fun stuff at night (frog choir, the Gringott's dragon at night, etc etc. )

    I let DD pick what to prioritize the next 3 mornings so we didn't ever have to worry about fast passes since her ride interest is so low. She could have spent 2 days just doing exploring the shops and the magic wands. Because she is so HP obsessed and the parks are so small, 4 days was perfect for us to let her explore at her own pace. We did not feel rushed and we left feeling like we had done everything we wanted to do. She did do the Gringott's and castle rides and LOVED the little roller coaster by Hagrid's hut). With focusing on avoiding the crowds and really only being in the park morning/evenings we never really waited in lines even though it was a long holiday weekend. Enjoy!

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