Anyone want to make a touring plan?

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by mtrib, Feb 13, 2018 at 11:18 AM.

  1. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    My brain hurts. Haven't been to Universal in 8 years. Only have one day this Sunday with big crowds. Have park to park tickets and universal express pass and early entry to IOA thanks to advice on here to get a room onsite. Family is me, hubby, 13 yo daughter who is a little ride timid and 16 yo son who definitely is not. Me and DS are big Potter fans. DH and DD are Marvel fanatics.

    Starting with IOA 8AM early entry. Would like to do:
    -Obv the HP attractions and some time to wander and take it in
    -Spider man
    -Hulk for son. Maybe hubby
    -Jurassic Park (is it really that smelly?)
    -Kong
    -?Bilge-Rat barges?

    USF:
    -more HP
    -MIB
    -Minions
    -Rip Ride Rockit for DS and maybe the rest of us
    -?Simpsons?
    -Mummy for DS and hubby
    -Transformers

    It's Mardi Gras so we are going to the parade at 7:45 and then I think we should head back to IOA away from the concert crowd to see nighttime lights at Hogwarts?

    Would like to eat at least one meal in a HP venue.

    It's gonna be hot so there might be a 3-4pm dip in the pool.

    Did I miss anything important?

    Anyone want to take that on?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. TommyJK

    TommyJK DIS Veteran

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    Based on location of attractions, I would do in the following order. Skip any of the attractions if someone doesn't want to do it. Since you have express pass things should go smoothly

    • Early entry, Start in IOA Hogsmeade and do Forbidden Journey. Then check out shops for a bit
    • Then for park open, hop onto Hogwarts express to head over to UO.
    • Diagon Alley - do Escape from Gringotts and then check out some of the shops/area
    • The Mummy
    • Fallon Race through New York
    • Rip Ride Rockit
    • Minions
    • Transformers
    • Simpsons Ride (and check out Springfield
    • MIB
    • Then back into Diagon Alley for Lunch at Leaky Cauldron
    • Then Hogwarts express back to Hogsmead
    • Down to Jurassic Park
    • Kong
    • Toon Lagoon (Bilge Rat Barges and Dudley Do-right)
    • down to Marvel Land for Spiderman, Dr, Doom, and Hulk
    That is essentially the full loop of both parks in logical order, gets you on Hogwarts express in both direction (since it's different both way), and having your lunch at Leaky Cauldron (better HP restaurant venue IMO)

    Then depending on timing you could repeat anything you liked.

    I would wrap up the day by getting back to Diagon Alley in the dark because it's beautiful (dare I say Magical) that time of night and one more Hogwarts express to Hogsmead for the night show (if it's running)
     
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  4. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    Wow! You're a pro at this! Only wrinkle is I need to be in UO at 7:45 for that Mardi Gras parade. Unless you think it's not worth it? Kids have never seen anything Mardi Gras like but hubby and I may have had some adventures in our younger days. ;)
     
  5. TommyJK

    TommyJK DIS Veteran

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    I think you can still pull that off. I wager with express pass you'd be done the last steps in Marvel land by 6:00 pm (all depending on your pace, and how much time you spend in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley just exporing). Then head over to UO via the main gates and you're still ahead of time.

    Let's throw some times into the above to see what it might look like.

    • Early entry, Start in IOA Hogsmeade and do Forbidden Journey. Then check out shops for a bit 8:00 - 9:00 am
    • Then for park open, hop onto Hogwarts express to head over to UO.
    • Diagon Alley - do Escape from Gringotts and then check out some of the shops/area 9:15 - 10:30 am
    • The Mummy 10:30 - 10:50
    • Fallon Race through New York 10:50 - 11:10
    • Rip Ride Rockit 11:10 - 11:30
    • Minions 11:30 - 11:50
    • Transformers 11:50 - 12:10
    • Simpsons Ride (and check out Springfield) 12:10 - 1:00
    • MIB 1:00 - 1:20
    • Then back into Diagon Alley for Lunch at Leaky Cauldron 1:20 - 2:00 (late lunch)
    • Then Hogwarts express back to Hogsmead 2:00 - 2:15
    • Down to Jurassic Park 2:15 - 2:35
    • Kong 2:35 - 2:55
    • Toon Lagoon (Bilge Rat Barges and Dudley Do-right) 2:55 - 3:35
    • down to Marvel Land for Spiderman, Dr, Doom, and Hulk 3:35 - 4:35
    Things aren't miles apart and for most I've thrown in 20 minutes for walking, Express Pass queuing, and Riding, but even if you were to bump that up to 30 min each on average, it takes you to before 7:30 pm but a good margin.

    give or take......
     
  6. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much! That looks perfect. You are such a big help. I kept looking at the maps and reading about attractions and trying to plan it out and just got overwhelmed. I have a Touring Plan subscription but I don't like how they break the two parks up into separate plans. I have to keep readjusting times and going back and forth. I appreciate your sharing your knowledge and brain power. Now - off to pack!
     
  7. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

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    I'm going to disagree with some of the previous posters. IMHO, if you are a Harry Potter fan (or have a split family as you appear to be), trying to do everything just isn't worth it and is setting yourselves up to be frustrated. The details in HP are too immersive and tying yourself to a "we need to get here, we need to do this that and the other" plan will mean missing out on a lot of the little things.

    My recommendations:
    - Pick a few "must do" things and hit those first
    - Consider splitting up as appropriate
    - Don't do a lot of backtracking. Both parks have a circular layout and with the EP there isn't a huge advantage to not doing things as you come upon them.
    - Make sure you get to Early Entry before 8 a.m. If you are parking in the garage, there may be quite a line at the security check and then a long walk to IOA and then another long walk to Hogsmeade. Boat transport is slightly better (you get dropped off closer to the parks and do security before boarding the boat), but still leave plenty of time
    - I'm not sure how the Mardi Gras parade works, but I was there for the Christmas parade and HP light show. Both nights the wait time for the Hogwarts Express shot up to 45-60 minutes immediately after the parade. So if you want to do both, you might want to consider viewing the parade from the front of the park and then walk through City Walk to IOA as the faster option.

    And most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! Don't worry so much about "doing it all," rather enjoy the time that you have and the things that you do get to do.
     
  8. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for your thoughts! I like to start with a good plan and then shed attractions as we go if we're enjoying a particular activity or just need to take a break. I think the post from TommyJK is going to give me my framework and we'll adjust as we go if it's too ambitious. My family already expects we will have to split up at least for awhile. My daughter and husband just won't tolerate my puttering around HP. The biggest issue is my son who loves coasters and is a huge HP fan. He's going to have to prioritize a little. (And 16 year olds are soooo good at that!)

    We are staying at Royal Pacific so will either take the boat or walk over in the morning (is one better than the other?).

    I was wondering about Hogwarts Express after the parade. I'm hoping it won't be too bad because the Mardi Gras concert is in USF that night and I'm hoping it will draw the crowds away from Hogwarts. We'll see. But, good thought to consider walking over instead. We're hoping to take advantage of the AmEx viewing area but I'll have to see where that puts us. Might be a better plan to be near the entrance instead.

    Thanks again for your help. So awesome to be able to pick people's brains on the boards!
     
  9. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

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    Again, I'm not sure about the Mardi Gras parades, but for the Christmas one, the viewing was pretty much "walk up at the last minute and you can get a good spot." In fact, one night I did precisely that. I am an AP holder and originally was planning on using that viewing area, but it turned out not to be worth it.
     
  10. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    Good to know. Thanks! Then that will be our plan and we'll watch from near the entrance so we can walk back to IOA. Last time we were there (8 years ago) I'm not sure I was even aware of a parade. I think I count as a total newbie since it's been so long and that was my only trip.
     
  11. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    With a one day trip there is zero chance I would do that. Save the pool until the day is done.

    Go on the water rides instead, but being extra clothes (down to undergarments and socks) in ziptop bags. :)

    I almost always walk.

    We are rarely in the tower that has the path that takes us right past the noat dock. So checking for a boat takes us backwards from the park.

    And even if we catch the boat (which we will do if we naturally walk by and the boat is actively loading and there is room), it docks in the middle of citywalk on the opposite side of the water from the parks. So you get off the boat and have to walk up from the dock area then to a bridge.

    IF coming from RP and going to Studios then a boat can be worth it if there’s no wait, because you would be walking that way anyway, past the boat landing.

    But when going to IOA you have to go back a bit towards RP to cross the bridge, and that makes me bonkers. :)
     
  12. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    Thanks! I talk a big game about the mid day break. Truth is, on our three trips to Disney we've never been able to bring ourselves to leave the park when we're having fun. I'll keep telling my daughter we're going to do that but I'm sure it won't happen.

    And thanks for boat info. Sounds like we'll just walk as we'll be heading to IOA for early admission. I'll be dragging two teenagers so it should be a pleasant early morning walko_O
     
  13. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    We always walk. It is such a beautiful walk and takes about the same length of time as the boat. We never do early admission and we never make dining reservations and we never make a touring plan. SOOOOOOOO RELAXING!!!!!

    Don't stress too much about it. I know you only have one day but you should be able to do all the major things.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018 at 9:40 AM
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  14. JaxDad

    JaxDad DIS Veteran

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    @mtrib , heed this advice! You will get wet on the water rides. Bilge Rat Barges in particular will soak you, as may Dudley Do-right. We bring swimsuits and towels for these rides, then head back to the hotel or bring dry clothes for changing.
     
  15. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    Thanks! I have been in Disney planning mode for a month (2 days there before Universal). Everything I read says I can be more relaxed about Universal but it's hard to do.
     
  16. mtrib

    mtrib Earning My Ears

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    I just packed four giant ziplocks for everyone's extra clothes. My kids rolled their eyes but we'll see how they feel when I'm the only one with access to dry undies!
     

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