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Old 03-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
kimmyann
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Change of plan, not staying onsite..?'s

I was planning to stay one night onsite for the FOTL, but I just can't bring myself to pay almost $300 for a hotel. So, we are winging offsite. We will be doing IOA on May 12th & US on the 13th (Sunday & Monday). I'm figuring to get there by 8:30 (no later) each day & plan to use the touring plans from the unofficial guide. Now, we are not theme park newbies by any rate. We visit Busch Gardens here in VA several (I mean alot) times a year, we have done Disney & the Busch parks in Florida at the end of June & have never had any kind of issue with a long wait in lines. We get there early, go commando style for rides, then use the rest of the day to enjoy the park itself.

So, that leaves me to ask the experts of Universal. We are planning on hitting Harry Potter first thing then...

Are there certain rides that tend to get the longest lines the earliest? I would love to compare the *expert* opinion to that of the book.

I'm thinking that realistically, we should be able to ride everything within the entire day. (Yes, everyone will ride everything, except I may skip the drop tower) Really, is that pretty realistic? We will be eating at the park (lunch), I actually plan to be done by dinner to eat offsite & enjoy our hotel.
We are conquering this whole trip in three days. Two at Universal & one at Busch Gardens Tampa (my girls are dying to feed giraffes) & hopefully make a pit stop at SeaWorld for the boys to ride Manta. (we have season passes for Busch parks)

Give me your knowledge, tips & secrets. Trust me, any tidbit of info is gold to me.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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if the drop tower you are referring to is Dr Doom, don't skip it.


that's one of my favorite rides at ioa that i usually for a full hour........

i love looking over the park in that ride...



if you are in line to enter the park at 8:30, that could work.
i have seen peeps in line at 8 waiting to enter.

don't know what type of crowds will be there that day.
school groups usually go on fridays, earlier in that week will be less in the park. early May is really a good time to be there.
last time i checked the ep's were at a very low cost.
the ep low cost makes me think UO is not expecting many peeps that day.


if you have littles with you, do ollivanders first. only about 20 peeps are let in for each show. if you do this kid show after the rides, that section waiting for ollivanders willl grow.

then hit FJ.
use the single rider line.

from there the hippograpf then dueling dragons. in the morning DD doesn't have extremely long lines.



after you have rode the rides, peeked into the shops, drank your beer, go out thru jurassic park section and head towards Marval.
3 great rides in that section.
get the park guide map when you first enter the park to find the times the marvel heros will ride into the park by spidey ride.
they'll do a meet and greet period for the parkguests.

swing to the other side and explore seussland.

grab a sandwich or snack at confisco grille at the port of enty on your way out of IOA before you head to the studios.

check out www.universalorlando website and figure out the rides you will try.
have a plan A and a plan B.
if plan A has long lines, switch to B and later go back to A for catching up on the rides you missed.

if lines become to long of a wait at ioa, switch to the studios.
if crowds seem larger there later in the afernoon, hop back to ioa.
it is only about a 10 minute, at the most, to get to the other park.

i could walk it faster if i would stop talking to people along the way..........



study the park maps before yo go on your trip.
highligt the things that are on your A list.

have plan B held in check in case the A list has long lines.

always stay one ride ahead of the direction where the hoards of other park guest are headed.

and that is Mac 101 for today.

it is turns out to be a very hot day, know where the RR's and water fountains are located, and if you need a break, find a store that is a/c and you can go in to brows a bit.

i can remember my first stay there where i was going back and forth to two pakrs. if i wanted to catch a street show or an indoor building show, i made a plan to get it all done by time periods. i wanted to do it all on the same day and not miss a thing there.

study the layout of both parks.
find out show times or events that will happen in the parks.
try to catch it all for the short period you wil be there.


you'll sleep like a baby that night your head hits the pillow at midnight.

if you can catch the highlights of your choice with in a short time span, that will give you more flexibility to finisih up the rest of the parks.


the parks are not that big where you could back track to a ride that previously had a long line wait.

sometimes you can zig zag back and forth and get the rides done in the time period you have in mind.


many years past i have done the park touring like you will do for a couple of days.
i changed my pattern of theme park fun to longer stays so i could enjoy more of the things i like in UO.
i stay onsite for a decent amount of time and stay relaxed.

i do some parks, shop, back to the hotel for fun, then later back to the parks.
i'm there for 10-11 days and a scheduled built into my plans to just sit around the pool to relax with a book and a bottle.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:48 PM   #3
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well, dont drink and type like i just did.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
kimmyann
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Wow Macraven, thank you very much for such an informative reply. We just have two day base tickets, so we will be at each park all of that day. I think we will be okay for the most part, it's just that darn Harry Potter that has me worried (my DD would die if we didn't do it). Thanks again.
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2007(June)- HoJo Maingate East. Our first & cheapest trip to Orlando. Platinum Pass holders for Busch parks. Seaworld and BGT.
2009(June)- Disney. Port Orleans French Quarter.
2010(June)- The Palms Hotel & Villas. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Clearwater beach.
2011(June)-Quality Suites LBV. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Wonderworks.
2013(May)- RPR & Comfort Suites Maingate East. Universal, Seaworld & who knows what else.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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Those sound like good days to stay offsite. You should be able to do a lot of stuff in the mornings. I'd do IOA on the Sunday and the Studios on the Monday.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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I dont know if it will affect crowds but Sunday May 12th is Mothers Day. I'm fairly sure that when we were at WDW on Mothers Day 2011 it was really busy, not sure if it would be the same at IOA but just thought I'd throw it out there. We'll be there at that time also
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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We usually stay offsite and the most important thing is to get to the park before opening. If you do that and tour wisely, you will likely be OK.
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