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Touring Tips for WWoHP


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  • Touring Tips for WWoHP

    Hi Folks,
    I am going to Universal Florida for the first time the first week in January (not sure the exact day yet.) I've never been able pull myself away from Disney before so I could use a few pointers. We will be staying at Cabana Bay for two nights so we get the extra hour (8-9am) and as of right now, the park is scheduled to be open from 9-8. We plan to be at the gate before 8am and head straight to Diagon Alley. After experiencing Gringots and the shops there, we will take the Hogwarts Express (I know we need the 2-park tickets) and then experience Hogsmead and the Forbidden Journey.

    My questions are: 1. Is this a good plan? 2. Will we have enough time to do this in one day? (we want to examine every shop and detail.) 3. How intense are the two big rides? My mother is not big on thrill rides but she loves Soarin' and Indy at Disneyland and can manage Thunder Mountain and Mission Space. 4.Will I have time to do anything else in the park? 4. I would like to go on the Simpsons ride. What else is a must do for you?

    I appreciate any help you can provide.

  • #2
    I have never been in January before but I heard that crowds aren't that bad provided that you don't go the week of New Years. Doing HP first probably would be a good plan as they are always busy and popular. If your mother can ride DL's Indy then she can ride both HP rides. FJ isn't that jerky and has an awesome track system. When it comes to Gringots I have only rode it once so I can't remember much about it other than it reminds me of the Mummy ride if that helps?

    Ride the Simpsons and check out the mini land. Try to eat at Moe's Tavern. It's in a big food court area designed to look after several restaurants featured in the Simpsons. Don't forget the non alcoholic Flaming Moe drink. Or a Lard Lad doughnut. Those things are addicting. (The doughnuts that is. lol)

    I would say ride The Hulk at IOA but it is closed until summer. Jurassic Park is a little different from the Cali version I heard. Oh and if it isn't cold check out Dudley Do Right's Ripside Falls water ride.

    At Uni check out Men in Black too. Oh and as I mentioned above about the Mummy the track is a bit longer than the one in Cali. Transformers is probably the same as the one in Cali. Hope this helps and have fun!!


    • #3
      Thanks for the input. We will be there somewhere around the 6th or 7th so we will avoid the crowds at both New Years and MLK weekend. Glad to hear Gringots isn't too intense. Mom would be disappointed to miss it.


      • #4
        Your plan is perfect. Getting to the parks in the morning will pretty much guarantee a ride on anything you've desired to ride. I'd hit Gringotts first, then enjoy Diagon Alley as exploring it in the crowd-less morning was a treat. It is also a great time to visit Olivander, as you will most likely have a personal session and have someone in your group get picked (always a bit more fun when it's someone you know instead of a random kid). Just don't expect Gringotts to be open right away, if that's the case just explore Diagon Alley while they fix the ride. Gringotts is a very mild but thrilling ride, but Fobidden Journey can be a jerky at times due to sudden movements. But it honestly is the best ride ever and so worth it as it only does so when to be expected ( like getting attacked by Dementors). I can see Indy and Mission Space being more uncomfortable to people in general than FJ so I'm sure she'll love it. FJ might have a moderate wait due to it being the only ride open as well, but it is constantly moving so it isn't bad at all. Both my parents, my brother and his GF (none huge HP fans besides seeing the movies in theaters) all consider it their favorite ride without me even asking it's a blast. Dragons Challenge is very thrilling so I'm not sure if you both would like to ride that, but if so it always has a short wait.

        What you do after is pretty much based on interest. Especially during the last hour sometimes two, the park really empties out. I'd myself hit any water rides you wanted to hit as you are already in the park and I'm sure being there since the morning might make you want to go to the room at some point, might as well do it wet. Jurrasic Park, Dudley Do-Rights, & Popeyes are all in that order from Hogsmeade. If you want to choose to stay dry, Spiderman is first thing that comes into mind (especially with Hulk down it might generate a slightly bigger line). Poseidon is a nice little interactive walk-through if you want to stay cool. The park usually empties out the last hour sometimes two so you can usually hit a few rides then as well. Simpsons, Diagon, Transformers, Mummy, & Men in Back are all pretty close in rotation. I also enjoy both HP lands at night & are virtually empty as well the last hour. I was able to walk on 3 times on FJ the last half hour it was awesome. I personally love exploring Camp Jurassic as I love the movies. I've only visited the resort twice recently so I discovered new rooms one visit to the next, including a beautiful geyser room that almost sprayed me off guard haha. Knockturn alley has some great actors as well worth interacting with.


        • #5
          Your plan sounds great. Gringotts will have about a 20 minute wait during the first hour and then at least a 40 minute wait once everyone is allowed in the park. My friends and I spent about 4 hours in DA exploring every nook and cranny, that included Ollivanders, buying a wand, and trying all the interactive windows. We then hopped on the train to Hogwarts. FJ had about a 30 minute wait (off season last year). Even if there is a long wait, the queue for FJ makes the wait very enjoyable.

          If you plan on doing a lot of shopping, you can have your purchases sent to the front of the park so you don't have to carry them all day. We did that with our wand boxes last year. You can also have them sent back to the hotel, but they won't guarantee delivery until noon the next day which won't work if you are checking out the next day.

          You may want to confirm with Uni Guest Services which park will be open early. Lately they have been switching parks for Early Access. If only Hogwarts is open early, run to FJ and then do Ollivanders later inside DA since Hogwarts only has the one store.

          If your mom can handle Indy and Thunder Mountain she can easily handle both HP rides. Even if she decides not to ride, make sure she goes through the queue with you. Both queues are amazing and it's easy to head to the exit if people decide not to ride at the last minute.

          I also second Moe's Tavern/Simpsons and Spiderman if you have time. They are, however, on complete opposite sides of the two parks. If Simpsons is on the wishlist and time is short, I recommend hopping back on the train when you are done with Hogwarts and heading over to the Simpsons area for some donuts and beer (or a non-alcoholic Flaming Moe).

          P.S. If you've never been to Florida in winter before, the weather can be extremely unpredictable. Shorts and a warm winter coat are both recommended.

          And now for the really difficult decisions: regular butterbeer, or frozen, or warm. Or ice cream! Three Broomsticks or Leaky Cauldron??

          Have a great trip.


          • #6
            Thank you for the info. It seems like I'm on the right track and that we should have plenty of time for everything we want to do. We have been to Florida and WDW many times so we know about the weather. We are both big HP fans so we plan to really look hard at all the details. I didn't know that only one park opens early each day. I hope it is the Studios park because I would like to see Diagon Alley first and then take the train to Hogsmead like Harry did!