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Harry Potter on the 30th-- Help me plan?

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by gules, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. gules

    gules Crazy for my hero

    So my husband and I are veteran Disney-goers, and this year we decided that we just love Harry Potter and Jurassic Park too much not to hit IoA while we're in the area. Problem is that we'll be there during peak season (no getting around it this year), so I want to plan a bit more than usual. I know there will be wicked lines, but we've also done Disney on New Years, so I figure it can't be worse?

    One of the problems is that I have a rather long souvenir list, and from what I remember you can't ride things in IoA without putting your stuff in a locker, and the lockers are pretty small. So here is my tentative (and rough) itinerary, and I would be grateful for comments and suggestions for improvement!

    7:00 AM: Arrive at park, even though I know they don't open til 8AM-- just in case.

    1) Beeline to WWHP.
    2) Hit up Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, Ollivanders.
    3) If I remember right, the Owl Post is next to Ollivanders? Postcards and mail some things.
    4) Whatever meal we can grab at 3 Broomsticks. Pick up souvenir mugs.
    5) Honeydukes. I have a weak spot for candy, so we're bound to get a rather lot.
    6) Finish picking up any bulky must-haves we saw.
    7) Drop-off run to the car. Maybe some down-time if we're pooped.
    8) Back to the parks, skipping to just before Potter and working our way back through clockwise.

    I'm hoping this puts us at WWHP again in the evening so we can have another spin on Dragon Challenge (I loved it when it was Dueling Dragons, too), OR we could backtrack to Marvel for The Hulk if it's too long of a line initially (unlikely, as we can stand in line for 3 hours and still be happy).

    My worries are:
    - Attendance caps. I know this happens at Disney. Would we be able to get back in if we leave to drop things off at the car?
    - Food. If my blood sugar crashes, I'll be out of the game. Can I get through with some things like granola bars and tea? No idea how strict they are there.
    - Bags. I plan to bring a folding tote bag to haul souvenirs since I am predicting buying some bulky things. Will that be OK or will security get edgy about a large, non-Universal bag?

    I know that Universal offers drop-off at the gate, but it makes me anxious to think that I might have to stand in line just to get my things, or that one item might go missing. Plus, candy. :3

    Input and answers welcome! Thanks!
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  3. macraven

    macraven <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><marquee><font co

    if the park closes due to capcity, you would not be allowed to reenter the park.

    use the procedure to have your purchases sent to the front store in the park.
    i have never had issues with any lost bags when i have done that.

    the last hour or so before the park closes, does have longer lines in retrieving your belongings.

    it is the simplest way to handle not having to use lockers at the front of the park or going to your car during the day to put your bought items in it.

    if you stayed on site one night, you would be able to utilize the early entry perk.
  4. BrinkofSunshine

    BrinkofSunshine Mouseketeer

    I second using Package Pick-Up. Going to the car will be a huge waste of time. Also, I've carried around candy in the park before and it did melt. If it's a particularly hot day your car won't be any better.. I once left a wand I had purchased in the car for a day and it warped!

    Also, you can pick up Harry Potter merch at the exit store at IOA (where Package Pick-Up is), it's not as extensive as Honeydukes, Dervish, etc.. but they do have a LOT of merch, including candy.

    I've never taken in snacks to the parks but I don't think granola bars or packaged drinks will be a problem. The tote will be fine- the only thing that isn't are hard-sided coolers.

    If you're really exhausted, just take a break at the quiet spots around the lagoon or in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.
  5. gules

    gules Crazy for my hero

    Will package pick-up also send things like the mugs to the front? They're pretty bulky but they don't come from one of the regular store fronts.

    Also, are rental lockers inside or outside the park? In other words, do I technically leave to stash stuff inside or get anything out?

    Thank you for the advice and also for the tips!
  6. macraven

    macraven <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><marquee><font co

    if you shop in one of the stores, ask the TM to stick your mug in that bag and have it set up for the package pick up system.

    (i'm assuming you bought the bb w/mug and don't want to carry that mug with you all day)

    have the TM put the mug in a bag and stick that bag in the other bag is what i mean.

    the TM will staple the main bag shut and attack the required paperwork to it.
  7. gules

    gules Crazy for my hero

    Sweet! Thank you so much!

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