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Help Please: Plan of Attack needed for 1 day visit to Universal.


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  • Help Please: Plan of Attack needed for 1 day visit to Universal.

    Help please: 1 day, Park to Park, No Early Entry, Plan of Attack

    Hello everyone,

    We are looking at visiting Universal for just one day during our Labor Day Weekend holiday. We won't be staying on site, but will be very close by.
    We were wondering what the best plan of attack would be to do both Diagon Alley and Hogsmead, since we won't be getting Early Entry privileges to either one. Sorry if these questions have been answered somewhere else.

    When is Universal generally less crowded...Saturday, Sunday, or (Labor Day) Monday?

    How early should we line up for park Opening? Do they open the gates right on time , or earlier? Is running (in a civilized way, of course) allowed in the park?

    With Gringotts being the new attraction at Universal, would it make more sense to try to ride that first, then take the Hogwarts Express over to Forbidden Journey? Or, would it be better to go to FJ first, and ride the HE over to Gringotts instead?
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  • #2
    Re: Help Please: Plan of Attack needed for 1 day visit to Universal.

    My understanding is that the EFG queue gets very long very quickly during early entry. Thus by the time you arrive at Diagon Alley, I would expect a very very long wait, especially considering it will be memorial day. If you want to ride EFG you will be in the queue likely for at least 90 minutes (this is the lowest I have seen reports mention waiting regardless of the posted wait time, which seems to be an overestimate), just mentally be prepared for that.

    My understanding is also that the line is at its longest the first few hours after opening. Thus it might be better to try riding in the afternoon. Though this is just based on what I've read, hopefully someone who knows more can chime in.

    As far as Forbidden Journey, from what I've seen online, it has had a very manageable queue this summer. You have to remember for that ride as well that the final 30-35 minutes of the queue are inside Hogwarts, which is filled with effects and cool things to look at, and it makes makes that portion of the line fly by. Thus even an hour long wait for FJ isn't too bad, considering that the lines moves quickly and a majority of it is spent inside the castle.

    The main reason I'm writing is to recommend that you explore doing Express Pass, namely the single use option which is about $40. It allows you to use the "Express" queue for all attractions other than EFG and FJ once per attraction. I think, given that you have only one day and that it will be Memorial Day weekend, this will be a good option for you. Waiting in long lines for EFG/FJ will be stressful, but knowing that you have quick access to literally every other ride in the two parks helps to ease that strew IMO. With Express Pass, even if you had spent a combined 4 hours waiting for EFG/FJ, you could still easily explore both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, ride the Hogwarts Express and hit nearly every other major attraction will little/no waiting the remaining hours the park is open.

    Yes Express Pass is a little pricy, but you will get the maximum use out of it possible considering you will be at Universal for just one day over Memorial Day weekend.
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    • #3
      Re: Help Please: Plan of Attack needed for 1 day visit to Universal.

      Well, I'm going the week after you so that won't help, but my plan of attack is to assume that most people are going to go for Diagon Alley first since it's brand new, so I'm heading to Hogsmead instead, hoping that the lines will be shorter early in the day. I'm hoping to see everything at Hogsmead in 3hrs, then spend the rest of the time at Diagon Alley and just resign myself to the 4hr line for Gringots.
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