How many days at universal?

eac578

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
2 adults, 2 tween/teen kids, how many days to get a good experience at universal including a lot of time with Harry Potter? Both kids are very into HP, one child also very into thrill rides/roller coasters. The other child has autism and will not be an "all day in the park" endurance kind of kid. He will probably qualify for the disability pass but will likely not want top ride all the rides his brother would want to, so I think we will want to splurge on the Express pass.

We are hoping to tack on to a 7 night/4 park day trip to Disney, hoping for POP century with free dining late Aug 2020. Trying to decide whether it would be better to stay all in one spot and drive over for one day with Express pass, or if we're likely going to want two days perhaps better to book the hotel on site that includes it?

Thanks!
 

bchbetha

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
I think 3 is ideal for a leisurely pace and being able to really explore the nooks and crannies of HP.
 

eac578

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Would that be 3 with or without the Express pass? Any insight on crowds (end of Aug - about the 20th-30th in there)
 
  • eac578

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2019
    One of my ideas was 3 days for dad & roller coaster kid, 2 for myself and 'more downtime needed' kid, so they could go do all the big non-HP rides on one day while I stay back and have a quiet pool/resort day with my son.
     

    anierodzik

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2009
    I would book the hotel onsite- that way it is easy to get back with you and your 'more downtime needed" kid. That worked well for us in the past. We have 3 kids and have been going since they were late elementary age- 4 days is a perfect amount of time for us- parks, downtime, water rides all at once, then back to change, extra Harry Potter soak-it-in time. (Love Disney, but once we stepped on Universal property we were hooked, and haven't been back- it's a better fit for our family.) We are planning to go 4 days at Thanksgiving this year.
     

    CPanther95

    Mummyketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2000
    See if you can tack on the Universal days at the end of your Disney trip, instead of at the beginning, especially if you stay on site with Express access. It will spoil you. You don't want to spend your time at Disney thinking about why you didn't stay longer at Universal -- and with all the standing around in line at Disney, there's plenty of time to think.
     

    AJA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2008
    Since you’ll be doing Disney too I think 3-4 days would be ideal. If you went with 4 days you would have more of a leisurely schedule.
     
  • Darcy03231

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    Well, since I can spend a full week at US/IOA, I'm probably not the best person to ask, but to see/do everything I would say three days. I agree with a PP that the best way would be to tack the days on to the end of your trip. The first time we went I put them at the beginning. We stayed at the Hard Rock and had the unlimited express pass. When we transferred over to WDW my children were not happy with standing in lines (even though they weren't that long) and kept complaining that the rides were "lame" and wanted to go back to US/IOA. After that I learned to do US/IOA at the end of the trip.
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    Well, since I can spend a full week at US/IOA, I'm probably not the best person to ask, but to see/do everything I would say three days. I agree with a PP that the best way would be to tack the days on to the end of your trip. The first time we went I put them at the beginning. We stayed at the Hard Rock and had the unlimited express pass. When we transferred over to WDW my children were not happy with standing in lines (even though they weren't that long) and kept complaining that the rides were "lame" and wanted to go back to US/IOA. After that I learned to do US/IOA at the end of the trip.
    Universal is much cheaper and a much better value. I’d skip WDW when going to FL. I only do Disney in CA. It’s a much better value out west.
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    Three days with express pass is plenty. It probably will be more cost effective for you to stay at a resort where express pass is included. That will also be nice when your second kid needs a break because they are easiest to get to.
     

    eac578

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2019
    Thanks!
    Looking at late Aug and hoping for free dining & also travelling with family so that may affect whether we can do universal before or after Disney. I totally get the reasoning for Disney first but my ASD kiddo is less likely to enjoy universal (if for no other reason than that it's 'different' lol) and he may be more able to handle that at the beginning vs the end of a trip.

    Hoping for 2 nights/3 days - one day HP, one day maybe volcano bay, one day of rest for ODS while YDS & DH do bigger rides.
     
  • gharter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2004
    We had express passes with our stay. 2 days was enough to do and see everything we wanted to as many times as we wanted. The Express Pass made things really easy and no stress.
     

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