First Universal Trip - Help Me Plan Please!

SaphiraSage

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 14, 2018
We done Disneyworld enough times I feel comfortable with planning that portion of our trip. We've decided to add on a couple extra days to our trip and spend some time at Universal. Our planned dates are 10/9/20-10/18/20. Flying in on Friday evening most likely. I'm having a hard time deciding when to do our Universal days. We plan on booking either Royal Pacific or HRH for our time there to take advantage of the included Express Pass. For those that have done both before would you start with Universal or end with Universal? Option 1: Fly in to Orlando on 10/9/20 and then switch to Disney on Monday, 10/12. Option 2: Start with Disney and switch to Universal on Friday, 10/16. Option 3: Something else I haven't thought of. Our kids will be 9 and 12 at the time of the trip and we will not be doing HHN. I am aware that US will close early on the nights we will be there due to HHN.

Any other advice - I am definitely open to it :)
 

Cuchman

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 16, 2003
My family has done both the start with and end with Universal options. Both have advantages.
For our first mixed trip (and first Universal trip) we started with UO. I think the family had some skepticism about whether they would like UO. They were VERY wrong :-) We loved it. On that trip, it was nice to have the unknown first so we knew we would be at Disney after and have a (predictably) wonderful time there.
But - since then, we have all agreed that UO is better as the end part of a trip. It is SO much easier to manage and it is far more relaxing for us. Fewer planning challenges, much easier transportation, significantly shorter walking distances, and generally shorter waits (especially with express pass). Since we are very active "go for it" Disney people, it is nice to slow down and chill at UO after.

As an aside - after our first UO trip - we have had several Orlando trips that were ONLY Universal. In fact, we have one in about a week. That is how much we all love it! :-)
 

SaphiraSage

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 14, 2018
My family has done both the start with and end with Universal options. Both have advantages.
For our first mixed trip (and first Universal trip) we started with UO. I think the family had some skepticism about whether they would like UO. They were VERY wrong :-) We loved it. On that trip, it was nice to have the unknown first so we knew we would be at Disney after and have a (predictably) wonderful time there.
But - since then, we have all agreed that UO is better as the end part of a trip. It is SO much easier to manage and it is far more relaxing for us. Fewer planning challenges, much easier transportation, significantly shorter walking distances, and generally shorter waits (especially with express pass). Since we are very active "go for it" Disney people, it is nice to slow down and chill at UO after.

As an aside - after our first UO trip - we have had several Orlando trips that were ONLY Universal. In fact, we have one in about a week. That is how much we all love it! :-)
We are definitely go, go, go at Disney. I'm wondering if putting Universal at the end might be a good idea because of the shorter walking distances and we will probably be a little tired. I've heard weekends at UO are busy in October but with the Columbus Day weekend at the beginning of our trip I wonder if it will be even worse. We know what to expect for Disney busy crowds :)
 
  • damo

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2001
    You don't need to worry about crowds with Express Pass. I'd be more concerned about WDW.
     

    Cuchman

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2003
    We are definitely go, go, go at Disney. I'm wondering if putting Universal at the end might be a good idea because of the shorter walking distances and we will probably be a little tired. I've heard weekends at UO are busy in October but with the Columbus Day weekend at the beginning of our trip I wonder if it will be even worse. We know what to expect for Disney busy crowds :)
    Keep in mind Express pass is a game changer as far as crowds vs rides. But crowded parks still a concern, yes.
     

    disneyseniors

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2014
    We've done the middle of the stay at Disney several times. Works for us. It gives us a break after 4 or 5 days straight of WDW and is fun to do something else after we have done everything twice or more:) When we get back to WDW, we are ready to do what we really want to repeat or something entirely new! It's just a nice break in our vacation, but we usually go for 9 to 10 days a trip. We don't have smart phones (gasp), so I can't do Uber. We just use a cab and it works fine. It might cost a little more but the whole vacation is expensive, so...………….. I think it depends on how long you are staying at Disney. hope this helped!
     

    SaphiraSage

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 14, 2018
    We've done the middle of the stay at Disney several times. Works for us. It gives us a break after 4 or 5 days straight of WDW and is fun to do something else after we have done everything twice or more:) When we get back to WDW, we are ready to do what we really want to repeat or something entirely new! It's just a nice break in our vacation, but we usually go for 9 to 10 days a trip. We don't have smart phones (gasp), so I can't do Uber. We just use a cab and it works fine. It might cost a little more but the whole vacation is expensive, so...………….. I think it depends on how long you are staying at Disney. hope this helped!
    So do you do a split stay at Disney or just stay at the Disney hotel for the whole trip and drive over to UO every day?
     
  • GoofyDad_4427

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2017
    Schedule Disney on the days that will be the least crowded, since you will have EP at Universal the days you will be there wont matter.
     

    disneyseniors

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2014
    So do you do a split stay at Disney or just stay at the Disney hotel for the whole trip and drive over to UO every day?
    We usually stay for 9 days, so a trip to Universal is fit into that. We just leave for overnight in the middle of the trip, use a taxi, stay at RPR, and have a ball. Then taxi back to WDW and continue on....
    I think that if you do a split stay between the two, you would lose your ME, which we depend on. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but it works for us this way. I hope you do it. Universal is wonderful. If I can convince my husband to do only Universal, I would do it!
     

    gharter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2004
    We have done both.
    With Express Pass, you really don't need to plan anything, except maybe meals. We were there in May, with Express Pass, we walked to the front of the line for every ride. In 2 days, we rode everything, as many times as we wanted to.
    I suspect the new harry Potter coaster isn't part of Express Pass (so you may need to plan for that), but all the other HP rides were.
     

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