Newbie planning first trip, 5for3 AP upgrade and other questions...

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by Happysahd, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Happysahd

    Happysahd Earning My Ears

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    Hey folks,

    So we've done three very successful Disney trips thanks to a lot of good advice from this board, and this year we're going to try out Universal.

    Myself, wife and daughters 8 and 9 Y/O. (52 and 55")

    Here's the stuff we can't change first, we're going June 9-17, staying offsite at a timeshare nearer Disney for a family reunion, and we have "Get five days for the price of three" 2 park-to park tickets already the wife got though work. The tickets aren't marked "cmp" or any other variation of complimentary, but are marked "promo, five for three".

    First question is am I right those can be upgraded to APs? Second question is what value will they have for the upgrade (I'm assuming $285 since that's what they cost on the website?) and then whether getting one preferred pass for the parking and merch discounts and the rest seasonal passes is a good plan and anything else I should know about how that works. We're about 6 hours away so we could make a few more trips this year if the kids like it and we can upgrade to APs.

    We've got a lot of time so I don't want to spend the money for express, just how busy is it likely to be that week? I'm expecting to spend Sun-Thurs at the parks, looks like lvl. 5-6 crowd days but I have no idea what that translates to in terms of standby waits, we almost never had to wait standby on headliners at Disney.

    I'd like to eat at Three Broomsticks, Fire eaters grill for Gyros, Cowfish, Mythos, and that leaves at least one more meal unless we burn out early. It seems everyone else is doing Disney AND Universal this trip but we're happy to just get maximum value out of Universal since we've spent nearly a month at Disney in the last few years.

    I know Universal isn't nearly as planning-dependent as Disney but let me know what I should consider.

    TIA.
     
  2. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    The garage parking can take up some of your time so try to be there around 8:00
    Might take a bit of time for parking

    Security at the front of city walk is quick

    Probably a ten minute walk from there to the park area

    The parks open at 9 to the general public
    There have been times outside ticket lines are let in early (8:50)

    If you can do an early start for a couple of your days, you can cover a lot in the parks
    The last few days you have for uo you can take your time at a slower pace
     
  3. prairiesarah

    prairiesarah Mouseketeer

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    I don't think you'll have any problem upgrading those tickets if they are regular tickets - you should get the value of the 5 day tickets towards the upgrade which looks like it is the same price for a 5 day ticket vrs a seasonal pass (at least on a two park ticket) so would be a straight trade then you'd just be paying the upgrade fee for the one preferred pass. One thing I was told was to make sure you use the pass to enter the park first before you upgrade as it will activate the pass to the full value for promo tickets like that - so then you will get credit for a 5 day ticket.

    I know you said that you are staying at a timeshare this trip, but to note that there are pretty good Annual Pass Holder rates on the hotels so if you upgrade and are planning return trips, it is something to consider.
     
  4. Happysahd

    Happysahd Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the replies.

    We've got about a 30 minute drive so we'll try to get going by 7:30, we've always done rope-drop before. If EE is only at one park we'll start at the other one I guess.

    I'm pretty excited about the idea of getting APs, I think it will actually save us money this trip and any future trips will be a bonus, I'd like to stay at one of the on-site hotels sometime w/express, we're close enough we can drive down for a couple days, makes for long days for me but everyone else sleeps in the car. Just have to see how the kids like it, we're all Potter fans so I expect that will carry it, my eldest loves coasters too.

    I think we've decided on Cowfish, Mythos, 3broomsticks, Leaky Cauldron, and Fireeaters grille for our meals, although the kids aren't excited about the fireeater menu so we'll save that for last or maybe try something else.
     
  5. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Some years back I always ate the gyros at Fireeaters Grille

    Not so much anymore

    The gyros are still decent but not as large as years back

    Seatiing in that area not as plentiful as some other eateries

    When I go solo, I have no one to “hold” a table for me
    So I only eat there during off times and available seating in the shade

    You won’t have that issue as you have family members to hold seats while you order food
     

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