How long are the waits with FOTL on Saturday during Mardi Gras?Is it so crowded that you need to go back to hotel? We plan to get to Universal around 11 on 3/20 (our flight gets in at 9:30). We had planned to go ahead and start our 5 day pass on Sat. but if it's too crowded maybe we'll just buy a Mardi gras ticket for that night and start our pass on Sunday. What do you think?
Here's what happens essmom. The major crowd arrives at 11am. They sleep in, wake up late, and wait for the park to open. What are they thinking?
I've been to IOA many times where I get there at opening, take a lap, and I'm walking out the exit at 11am, and the crowd arriving is massive. At 11am, the line just to get a ticket is half an hour. The crowds on the moving sidewalks are solid.
If arriving around 11:00am, take your time getting to HRH. Have the driver stop at a grocery store, like Publix. They know where to go, there's one 1 mile north of USF on the west side of Kirkman Road. Get a cheap styrophone cooler, buy beer, juice, snacks, all that stuff. Try to check in, your room may be ready. If not, go to lunch at an HRH restaurant. By now it will be 2pm or so. Your room should be ready, check in. Get your magic keys and go to USF, will probably be 4pm or so.
You'll get on all the rides fast because the express pass machines will be sold out and shut off. The regular crowd will have used their express passes, they'll be tired, and leaving. Then you can go to the concert. When you get back to your room, you'll have a cooler of drinks and snacks.
Thanks Robvia- so do you think i should start my 5 day pass that late in the day or wait til Sunday and just buy a Mardi Gras pass.Also, my neighbors are coming Sunday night leaving Thursday. Do they check names on 5 day passes? She will have 1 day left on passes. I was wondering b/c we could use them on Thursday if they don't check names on them then we could use our 5 day pass beginning Sat and ending on Wednesday.Sorry about the confusion.
They check the names on the passes by making you sign it each day.
You will have seen everything by Wednesday. Start your pass on Saturday afternoon, you'll be at USF around 4pm, you'll get some rides, see the parade, then you can catch the concert.
On Thursday, you can visit SWF if you want one more park to visit.
Oh, and you can get subs at the Publix deli when you arrive. That will be your lunch instead of going to an HRH restaurant, which will save you some money. If your room isn't ready, have them hold your luggage, change cloths in a bathroom, go out to the pool, put your cooler down next to your chair, and start drinking. You can get ice at the hotel.