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Advice for Maximizing limited time

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  • Advice for Maximizing limited time

    I'll be going to USF soon for the first time in 20 years but will only have a day and a half. The full day, we're planning on going from open til close, but the second day will only be the morning. We will have park-to-park tickets.

    I'm looking for advice on how best to maximize our time. The main goal is to see WWoHP. We know to expect long lines everywhere and especially in WWoHP so plan to go directly to that part of the park in the morning, but beyond that, can anyone suggest any routes? Either the best way to walk to get through the park to that area, best order to approach the rides within that area to maximize our time?

    If by some chance we manage to do all the HP stuff and still have time, thrill rides are a priority. But for now I'm cautiously assuming there might not be time.

    Currently thinking start in IA day 1 and then do US day 2.

    Also can anyone tell me if it's usually pretty easy to get a cab from CityWalk? Or would we be better off going to one of the Universal Hotels and trying to get a cab from there? How long of a walk is it on average from Diagon Alley to wherever it's easiest to get a cab? No small children with us, so assume average adult walking pace.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    No idea about the cabs, but I'm to say that since Diagon Alley is still almost brand new, that will probalby be the busier land of the two HP lands, so I'd hit Diagon Alley first thing when the park opens, then when you've seen everything you want to see there, get on the Hogwarts Express and head over to Hogsmeade. Since you have a day and a half, if it happened that Hogsmeade was too busy by the time you got there, then you can hit it first thing in the morning on the next day. As for the rest of the park, I really like Islands of Adventure (Hulk, Spiderman, Jurrasic Park are my faves), so I would spend the rest of the time there. I don't really care for the rest of Universal Studios other than Revenge of the Mummy.

    No idea about the cabs.
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    • #3
      Wish I knew what time you planned on going. This post is a few months old, so this might be old news since "going soon" is kind of vague so I might be too late. I do not know about how to get a cab other than just calling one (by the way most hotels also run a shuttle to theme parks), but I would say from the dropping off point to the actual walk to Diagon Alley it is probably about a mile in total (maybe a little more). That's just a very, huge (and might be bad guess). However, it is close to the entry into the City Walk.

      Now tips on how to utilize your time.

      - Get there before the park opens (probably obvious tip).
      - When you walk through CityWalk cut through a store that near the movie complex (although I plan to go to Universal soon I haven't gone in awhile and I can't remember the shop name), but that is the general area and it is (or was) a surf like shop, it also goes kind of into another shop, and leads out to a street that makes you a little closer to Universal (this is a tip for you so you don't have to walk around the shops).Just head towards the back. If there's no entry out, it might be another shop, but trust me it is basically right next to the movie theater. It isn't much, but might save you a little time.
      - Once you get in, if you want to see Transformers and haven't I would hit that before the WWOHP as it is in the way and I'm sure is probably a 5 minute wait. Typically in Universal terms 5 minutes, or 10 minutes is practically just walking onto the ride. If you could careless about the ride, cool, just head straight to WWOHP instead.
      - And basically what Big D said. You do what you gotta do in WWOHP, then ride the train, hit the rides there, and from that point either ride your favorite rides, or most popular rides at Islands, or take the train back and ride your favorites at Universal.
      - Also, if you do not care about breaking up with your party I suggest maybe doing single riding as much as you can. As the single rider lines are always shorter and sometimes you might end up with your party (in a way) anyway. For example, you might not be in the same row in Mummy, or Spiderman, but you might be in the same ride vehicle. However, I must say that now that the Hulk is down (but will be back up by Summer), Island's only has two rides with that choice, where as Universal has five.

      This probably might not help, as you posted and asked for advice months ago, but maybe this will help for the future, or someone else.

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      • #4
        Thanks for this. My trip has indeed passed. I went about a week after the original post. We went straight to Seuss landing and waited to be allowed in. Had heard a rumor they sometimes let the regular folk in about 15 minutes before the early entry hour is technically over. Alas, in our case we were let in right on the dot. No complaints though. Made a beeline for Hogsmeade and basically walked on to everything except Forbidden Journey, which at the time was posted 45 minutes (which we thought was lucky since we anticipated waiting at least an hour). It turned out to be closer to 25 minutes so that was nice. The queue lived up to the hype. The ride...less so. Managed to do Hulk as well (this was before it closed for refurb). The whole "maximize" plan didn't quite work out as expected. There were severe thunderstorms and lightning and a number of things were shutdown for extended periods. We did manage to do every Potter ride in both parks day 1, so in that sense it was a success. Personally I found escape from Gringotts far superior to Forbidden Journey. (Although queue-timerwise we had the opposite experience: posted at 45 minutes, ended up being over an hour, but worth it!)

        I know it's Florida so I did expect it to rain at some point every day, but not quite so much and so hard, and the radio indicated the lightning strikes were actually within 1 or 2 miles, so it was harsher than anticipated, and of course threw off the intended schedule for coasters.

        We were able to find cabs easily from Citywalk, even when it was pouring. So that worked out as well and didn't break the bank. The second day was mostly Diagon Alley, and the Rip Ride Rockitt which was finally open as the weather improved. Did Escape from Gringotts twice more, once as a group, once split into single riders. Normally on trips like this I like to hit as many attractions as possible but between the limited time and the weather closing the major coasters, it wasn't as densely packed as I'd hoped. Still, the major concern was WWoHP and we managed to hit everything there we wanted to, including Hogwarts Express in both directions. Enjoyed it so much actually wanted to go back to be able to savor it a bit more and not be in such a rush, and I did not expect to feel that way heading into it. Definitely wouldn't return until after Hulk reopens though. If I regret anything about the trip it's not doing that more than once, but the weather didn't cooperate (unless I'd jumped back in line immediately after getting off. I basically had no other chance.)

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