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For January: need for special pass or multiple days for Universal/IOA??

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  • For January: need for special pass or multiple days for Universal/IOA??

    Hi folks,

    I'm heading back to Florida to see family and want to squeeze in my first trip ever to Islands of Adventure/Universal. I love Disney, but it will be fun to see something different. I plan to be there Tuesday January 18 and am wondering about crowd level and my ability to get to things. This is mid-January and is the day after the MLK holiday.

    I'm familiar with the general tips on touring for Disney (get there at opening, eat at off-peak times and so on--but this my first trip to any Universal park. My goal is to experience the bigger and more unique experiences such as Spider-Man, Harry Potter, Mummy, Simpsons, Jurassic Park, Cat in the Hat, Sinbad and so forth. I can skip the carousel and dumbo-type rides with no qualms as we'll be kid-free when we go.

    My question is whether there is any real need to get the special-cost pass that gives "front of the line" access--or will lines on that date be relatively short making it a waste of money? I know Harry Potter is not included in the pass, and thus I will need to head there first thing....but for all the other rides (Spidey, Simpsons, etc)--would it be worth it in January? Is it worth it to get a hotel on property to get the early hour to HP, or have the crowds died down enough for it to be reasonable (45 minutes or so wait)?

    Finally, is it crazy to think I could hit the major rides in both parks in one day--or do I need to either scale back and just do IOA or try to adjust my schedule to make time for two days?

    Thanks in advance,

    Brer Dan

  • #2
    Re: For January: need for special pass or multiple days for Universal/IOA??

    January 18th is a Tuesday, both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios open at 9:00 am and close at 6:00 pm.

    I always judge the need for the Express pass on how much it costs (it changes due to crowd levels). You should be able to view the cost matrix at https://secure.universalstudios.com/...x?CG=UO&C=IUEP

    Basically the express pass starts at 19.99 and goes up to 59.99, the day you are visiting it is 19.99 which means that crowds are going to be light, and that you really don't need it.

    If you get there right at 9 am, you should be able to hit up Olivander's then the Forbidden Journey and just enjoy that park, then hop over to Universal Studios, and enjoy that.

    I hope this helps.
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    • #3
      Re: For January: need for special pass or multiple days for Universal/IOA??

      Thanks--this helps a lot! Somehow when I looked up the cost for the Express Pass, I was only seeing the VIP pass (which is $109 and up!). Glad to know it should be a fairly light day.

      We'll see whether I go for one day or two.... Now, on to read up on restaurants!

      Thanks much,

      Dan



      Originally posted by KingEric View Post
      January 18th is a Tuesday, both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios open at 9:00 am and close at 6:00 pm.

      I always judge the need for the Express pass on how much it costs (it changes due to crowd levels). You should be able to view the cost matrix at https://secure.universalstudios.com/...x?CG=UO&C=IUEP

      Basically the express pass starts at 19.99 and goes up to 59.99, the day you are visiting it is 19.99 which means that crowds are going to be light, and that you really don't need it.

      If you get there right at 9 am, you should be able to hit up Olivander's then the Forbidden Journey and just enjoy that park, then hop over to Universal Studios, and enjoy that.

      I hope this helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: For January: need for special pass or multiple days for Universal/IOA??

        Originally posted by BrerDan View Post
        Thanks--this helps a lot! Somehow when I looked up the cost for the Express Pass, I was only seeing the VIP pass (which is $109 and up!). Glad to know it should be a fairly light day.

        We'll see whether I go for one day or two.... Now, on to read up on restaurants!

        Thanks much,

        Dan
        Personally I recommend 2 days, that way you can sip the parks. Islands of Adventure was meant for sipping, not running from ride to ride. If you do just bounce from ride to ride, and you don't discover all the hidden walk ways (which are tres romantic for strolling, holding hands and stealing a kiss or two) you loose the charm of this park.
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        • #5
          Re: For January: need for special pass or multiple days for Universal/IOA??

          Very true! I traveled to Paris two winters ago and made a side-trip down to Disneyland. I was only there one day and did manage to ride nearly all the rides I wanted, but I did not have nearly enough time to simply wander and soak in the atmosphere.

          I think two days would be great, if I can manage it!

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