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What to do and how long to spend at USH?

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  • What to do and how long to spend at USH?

    My 7 year old and I love Harry Potter so I'm planning on surprising him with a trip to Universal during our stay at the DLH. My husband is objecting to my plan to spend the morning there before doing other things, he thinks for the price we should stay all day, but I don't think there's that much to do. Even all of HP doesn't sound like it could be more than a couple of hours? Right now I'm planning on going Monday 9/25 and trying to arrive at opening. Hopefully crowd level is low. I'm a ride weenie, Space Mountain is officially the last roller coaster I'll ever go on (I am still holding a grudge against the CM who said it wasn't scary) and I think I'll try and be brave enough to do the Cars ride one more time now that my daughter is old enough and it's getting a Halloween overlay. Is there anything at Universal I can handle outside of HP? Jurassic sounds really cool but I'm not sure I can handle the drop. Is it pretty quick? Is it worse than Splash Mountain?

    My 7 year old is about 48 in. but unfortunately is prone to motion sickness, the tower of tower ruined him for the rest of the day. Anything else that would be worth it for him?

    My daughter will turn 5 the week before we go and is about 42 inches now. She's a complete daredevil and can often handle rides my son can't but not sure what else would be fun for her height?

    I'd love advice on what to do and how long to plan. Does Broomsticks have a kid menu? The online menu wouldn't be of much interest to them. Any chance there would be a night show at the castle like there is this summer?

  • #2
    Well there is Child Switch which allows you to all wait in line and Switch if you have kids can use that on Potter, if your one kid can ride it but not the other
    I'd say you can stay for most if not all the day if you do EVERYTHING.
    I'd get there and do Potterland first then go on the other bigger rides...Jurassic, Mummy and so on. Then do the shows and finish with the Studio Tour. Maybe Grab dinner City walk and while the food costs a little more than Universal its BETTER and many times has more food on the plate.

    As for the Three Broomsticks, I think it does have a kid's menu and should be online on there website or on there Offical App
    Happy Halloween!!!


    • #3
      I agree with JerrodDragon that by sampling most options, there is enough to do for a day (especially if you want to take it easy and take in the atmosphere)... however, if Space Mountain wasn't your thing, I feel Mummy and Jurassic also wouldn't be favorable as they are more physically intense than Space and Splash Mountain respectively. Thus, that might rule out two major attractions that would eat your time. Note with Jurassic: thematic scary dinosaurs aside, the ride itself is calmer than Splash. However, the last drop is steeper and longer (I find it more intimidating with that "tummy feeling" but it does go by faster and is over before you know it). Looking at your daughters height, she should be able to ride this if you think you can brave it.

      Flight of the Hippogriff is a really tame and short coaster designed more for everyone than thrill seekers. This might be one you can handle. Speaking of Potter, take the time to look at the windows in stores; even ones that do not work with the wands have moving parts! As for other parts, if they are showing it, WaterWorld is great (don't judge it by the movie). Studio Tour should also be on you to do list.

      I always find theme park time to go by fast; Universal may not be the full day Disneyland is, but I do think you'll need more than just the morning (considering wait times and just getting into the park). I would say if you make other plans, do it for the evening, leaving early afternoon for Universal. Unless, they have the castle show which would be later in the evening. Hogsmeade is even more charming at night and great to get on Forbidden Journey quickly last minute if you missed it in the morning. However, if you only stay for the show, know that while great, it is short (5 min). It is definitely worth seeing but I am not sure if it is worth staying for if you want to leave.

      Three Broomsticks has a surprisingly solid mac and cheese on the kids menu as well as fried chicken strips, roasted chicken, and fish and chips. I love the frozen butterbeer, but if they happen to offer the hot butterbeer (since you are going a bit later in the year) I recommend having that instead. I also recommended sharing one and seeing how everyone likes it before committing to buying one each as the taste is somewhat unique.


      • #4
        I would definitely spend an entire day at Universal. If you get there early in the morning, you can get through most of the attractions by 5 or 6. Then I'd walk into CityWalk and grab a nice dinner.

        If your son gets motion sick on TOT, he may not be able to handle Forbidden Journey. I don't usually get motion sick, but every time I have ridden it I have felt a little queasy. I don't find the drop on Jurassic Park to be any worse than Splash. Although, if extreme water effects are on you will definitely get soaked.

        I agree with the others who have recommended eating at Three Broomsticks. My younger son (12) is still quite picky with the food he eats and really enjoyed the Mac and Cheese. All of the other food is great there too.

        Have a great time.


        • #5
          Any chance DsnyRnr that you haven't done the HP ride since they took away the glasses? It would be awful if we go to USH just for that and he gets sick!


          • #6
            It was after the glasses were removed. It's a combination of the way the Kuka arm moves you and the projections in the ride.


            • #7
              FJ does shake you around quite a lot, unfortunately; at one point, you're on your back on the bench (there aren't any inversions). I personally wouldn't want that to discourage them from riding it, though, as an additional consideration is the fact that the feeling of being in Harry Potter really made me ignore any unsettling feelings.

              As a HP fan, I easily spent most of my time inside WWoHP from park open until park close, with intermittent breaks to ride stuff in the Lower Lot and the Studio Tour. However, with Transformers and Mummy likely out of the way (they're both pretty intense in terms of motion), you're probably fine staying in the parks until the late afternoon. With your kids' ages, I definitely think Ollivander's is a great idea, as they specifically target young children as part of the wand choosing ceremony. Make sure they're in the front row inside the shop to give them the best chance of being chosen! The Three Broomsticks has an excellent breakfast and lunch selection, and the frozen Butterbeer is so good. If you get interactive wands, you can also go around the land doing spells, which is entertaining.

              Jurassic Park is right up your alley as far as thrills are concerned - it's surprisingly gentle ride-wise up until the drop (which, while a bit longer than Splash, you definitely feel more secure in it!), and the thrills come from the surroundings. The Studio Tour is also a definite must do, unless projections also make you queasy with 3D glasses.

              Have fun!


              • #8
                Thanks so much Walt! Is there really that much to do at WWoHP? It sounds like you spent a lot more time there then I thought would be possible.


                • #9
                  ^That really depends on your level of interest in the Harry Potter universe in general. In terms of attractions, there really isn't that much to do: FJ, FotH, and Olivanders. The rest are shops, food, and Frog Choir/Tri-Wizard show. That's literally it.

                  However, that said, the level of detail is astounding (there are lots of in-jokes if you know the books and movies well), and if you really explore and look at the details, you can spend hours there. Especially if you get an interactive wand. So it really just depends on how closely you want to look.
                  Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?


                  • #10
                    I would say from when I got there to park close, which was about 12 hours worth of time, I easily spent 6-7 hours in WWoHP (which included repeat rides of FJ, watching the Nighttime Lights show twice, eating at Three Broomsticks for breakfast, going through the shops, and doing spells around Hogsmeade). The remaining time was riding Lower Lot attractions, the Studio Tour, and leaving the park for a little bit when it got really busy for lunch and a walk around CityWalk.

                    That being said, I'm a huge HP fan, but even then I'd imagine 3-4 hours in WWoHP is doable if you've even so much as watched the movies.