1 day park to park universal

Beckyjthomas

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Hello! We are staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek before heading on a cruise in November. We want to do Universal (we haven’t been before) and a couple days at Disney. In my initial planning we’d be at Universal Monday November 4th - crossing my fingers it’s a quieter time. My question is can we do both parks in one day without the express pass? We’re early risers and have a rest day planned after so I figured we’d go open to close if needed. Thoughts? Thanks so much for your help.
 

CAPSLOCK

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Pick your priorities and know you can't do "everything" - but you can enjoy a lot. If appropriate for your group, single rider lines are super helpful. Plan to be at the gate with tickets in hand a bit before official opening, have lunch as a mid-day break, and eat dinner after parks close to maximize your park time.
 

TommyJK

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Early November tends to be a lot slower. HHN will have just wrapped up (Nov. 2nd is the last day this upcoming year) so I think you'll see much lower crowds and can get a lot done. CAPSLOCK's suggestions above are on point.

Just have a look at the attractions list and plan what is a must vs. what to skip.

If it were me (a thrill ride loving family) and I only had a day, I'd break it down to:

Would Do (from most important to least):
  • All Potter stuff
  • Spiderman
  • Hulk
  • Mummy
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure (water ride but usually just get a splash as opposed to soaked)
  • Transformers
  • Rip Ride Rockit
  • MIB
  • Kong
  • Simpsons
  • Minions (ALWAYS a long wait due to capacity. If this is a MUST for you, get to it at rope drop, it's the first attraction you'll see when entering USF)
Would Skip:
  • Fallon
  • Fast and Furious
  • ET
  • Water rides at Toon Lagoon - you will likely get soaked on these two rides
  • Seuss Landing (my kids have outgrown it all)
  • Kidzone (same as above)
  • Storm Force
One a slower day , doing rope drop and using single-rider where you can, my "Would do" list is do-able pending how much time you spend in the Harry Potter lands (i.e. how much time exploring the shops, watching the shows etc.).
 
  • Beckyjthomas

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2019
    Early November tends to be a lot slower. HHN will have just wrapped up (Nov. 2nd is the last day this upcoming year) so I think you'll see much lower crowds and can get a lot done. CAPSLOCK's suggestions above are on point.

    Just have a look at the attractions list and plan what is a must vs. what to skip.

    If it were me (a thrill ride loving family) and I only had a day, I'd break it down to:

    Would Do (from most important to least):
    • All Potter stuff
    • Spiderman
    • Hulk
    • Mummy
    • Jurassic Park River Adventure (water ride but usually just get a splash as opposed to soaked)
    • Transformers
    • Rip Ride Rockit
    • MIB
    • Kong
    • Simpsons
    • Minions (ALWAYS a long wait due to capacity. If this is a MUST for you, get to it at rope drop, it's the first attraction you'll see when entering USF)
    Would Skip:
    • Fallon
    • Fast and Furious
    • ET
    • Water rides at Toon Lagoon - you will likely get soaked on these two rides
    • Seuss Landing (my kids have outgrown it all)
    • Kidzone (same as above)
    • Storm Force
    One a slower day , doing rope drop and using single-rider where you can, my "Would do" list is do-able pending how much time you spend in the Harry Potter lands (i.e. how much time exploring the shops, watching the shows etc.).

    Thank you! This is really helpful. We’ll have a 7 and 11 year told. We’ll have to judge how much thrill they’ll be ready for. My 7 hates dark rides. So mummy might be out :) appreciate your help!
     

    Beckyjthomas

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2019
    Also, download the Universal App for ride wait times.
    App downloaded! Thank you for your help with this. Feeling like a rest day is a bigger priority than seeing everything. Guess I’ll have to check out previews of each ride and go from there.
     
  • bchbetha

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    App downloaded! Thank you for your help with this. Feeling like a rest day is a bigger priority than seeing everything. Guess I’ll have to check out previews of each ride and go from there.
    With the app, it’s a huge battery killer. Put it in airplane mode when you don’t need the app or make sure location services are set to “when using the app” vs all the time.
    Don’t try the Mummy with your 7yo. Too scary! Mine bailed in line and that was good because the ride would have scared him to death! Great for the rest of us though! The rider swap at Universal trumps Disney in that it’s not limited to just those that can’t ride but open I those who just don’t want to. You all wait in line together then swap. The Mummy doesn’t often have a huge line so if your kiddo balks at the line, you won’t lose AE a lot of time skipping the swap and just waiting in line twice.
     

    meclark3

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2019
    I see this thread is old, however, my husband and I are ditching the kids to do an adults only WDW trip this December and are adding a day at US on the first day of our trip (Wednesday the 4th). We will have a 1 day park to park ticket. My question is should we start in US or IOA? We definitely want to do the new Hagrid coaster and I've seen where it's been opening late. We've been several times (last in 2014) and don't mind missing a few rides throughout the parks.
     

    Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2016
    I'd say start in Universal simply, because as someone who does SR a lot and someone who's been used to doing a lot of half days in the parks. It's easier to get a lot more done faster first thing in USF than IoA. I've always tend to get 5-6 attractions in (occasional re-rides) by 12-1 without EE. Where as with IoA you kind of do one, or two attractions and then have to walk awhile to your next attraction depending on what you want and what your motives are. For example, if you're wanting to do let's say SM and/or Hulk, but not interested in Seuss, or Toon Lagoon, you have a lot of ground you have to walk through depending on if you want to then go on Skull Island, or Hogsmeade.
     
  • meclark3

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2019
    I'd say start in Universal simply, because as someone who does SR a lot and someone who's been used to doing a lot of half days in the parks. It's easier to get a lot more done faster first thing in USF than IoA. I've always tend to get 5-6 attractions in (occasional re-rides) by 12-1 without EE. Where as with IoA you kind of do one, or two attractions and then have to walk awhile to your next attraction depending on what you want and what your motives are. For example, if you're wanting to do let's say SM and/or Hulk, but not interested in Seuss, or Toon Lagoon, you have a lot of ground you have to walk through depending on if you want to then go on Skull Island, or Hogsmeade.
    Thank you! I was leaning toward doing it this way. I appreciate it!
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    Would Skip:
    • Fallon
    • Fast and Furious
    • ET
    • Water rides at Toon Lagoon - you will likely get soaked on these two rides
    • Seuss Landing (my kids have outgrown it all)
    • Kidzone (same as above)
    • Storm Force
    I know this is subjective, but I would respectfully disagree with skipping ET. It's a classic, unique, and the kids I've been with have loved it. Fallon I would do if time permits, we think its cute. The rest I'd agree skipping.

    OP, I agree with PP's suggestion to start at Universal. Universal always takes us longer so you'll want the slower part of the day in the morning to accomplish more there. The thrill rides at IOA will have the fastest building lines so by the time you hop over there, those waits shouldn't matter if you're skipping those with the kids. I also agree that it should be a slower crowd day, but it does coincide with the start of Jersey Week, which is usually more impactful at WDW. You can always purchase EPs when you're there if you find lines are longer than anticipated.
     

    Beckyjthomas

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2019
    On
    I know this is subjective, but I would respectfully disagree with skipping ET. It's a classic, unique, and the kids I've been with have loved it. Fallon I would do if time permits, we think its cute. The rest I'd agree skipping.

    OP, I agree with PP's suggestion to start at Universal. Universal always takes us longer so you'll want the slower part of the day in the morning to accomplish more there. The thrill rides at IOA will have the fastest building lines so by the time you hop over there, those waits shouldn't matter if you're skipping those with the kids. I also agree that it should be a slower crowd day, but it does coincide with the start of Jersey Week, which is usually more impactful at WDW. You can always purchase EPs when you're there if you find lines are longer than anticipated.
    Question to both of you above . . . if you get in early to one park - should you start there and then move over? I can't remember which park early entry is when we go, but I'm thinking IOA.
     

    Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2016
    Question to both of you above . . . if you get in early to one park - should you start there and then move over? I can't remember which park early entry is when we go, but I'm thinking IOA.
    It seems EE is always Universal. It hasn't been IoA in ages. Typically, I do all that I want to do in Universal, then take the take HE to Hogsmeade, or if it seems about the same amount of time it would be to walk / wait for the train (like if it was a 45 minute wait) then it would be to walk to IoA, I'd just start walking over to IoA, especially if I have the intention of eventually getting on Spiderman. However, for a non-APH that might be a different circumstance, as you'd want to experience HE obviously as it's park of the HP experience and an attraction, not just transportation, especially since HE is different both ways.

    Also, general note for anyone, even if you do not have EE you can always get there prior to it opening and gain access into the park. Non-EE waits in the Hollywood area. Then once it's open, you can start walking to your attractions. That way you saved time by already scanning your ticket and getting entry into the park once they officially let you go. It's been a couple of years for me, but they also would let you in 5-10 minutes into the park depending on the season / day, but that is a possibility, it is not guaranteed.
     
    Last edited:

    gharter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2004
    Agree, it really depends how much you want to do in one day.
    If you want to ride most of the rides, tis difficult without Express Pass unless you pick a really slow time.
     

    bumbershoot

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2007
    That week (November 4-8) is also Jersey Week! So, it may be more crowded than some other weeks.
    If only someone had noticed that for the OP back in January. Ouch.


    I wanted to add, for the non-summertime visits, that the parks don’t stay open anywhere near as late as Disney does.

    Makes one day park blitzes harder!!
     

    Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2016
    I wanted to add, for the non-summertime visits, that the parks don’t stay open anywhere near as late as Disney does.

    Makes one day park blitzes harder!!
    That's true! Good thing to bring up.

    Times are not posted yet, but average closing time might be around 7, 8 at the most during non-peak / non-holiday related times.
     

    Grog

    Semper Gumby
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2000
    If only someone had noticed that for the OP back in January. Ouch.


    I wanted to add, for the non-summertime visits, that the parks don’t stay open anywhere near as late as Disney does.

    Makes one day park blitzes harder!!
    Actually the hours at that time of year are what made me choose Universal. I'm going to have one day on November 11th before a conference I'll be in town for starts on the 12th. I originally though about doing MK, but I found out that they'll be kicking all the peasants out at 6:00 for Mickey's Christmas Boogaloo Party or whatever it's called. Friends who have been there for it advised that MK will start getting crowded around 4:00. Both Universal parks are showing as being open until 7:00 and I'm guessing it being Veteran's Day won't be too big a factor as Universal has it listed as a value day. Seems like I'll get more for my money that day by going to Universal.
     

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