Park hopping in “slow” season

Crazed4DisneyinSC

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Aug 21, 2019
Do you think it’s doable to hit all the big attractions at both parks in one day without express pass? Has anyone done this? The day we’ll be there is Tuesday, Nov 30. Parks will be open less hours I’m sure. TIA!
 

georgina

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Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Do you think it’s doable to hit all the big attractions at both parks in one day without express pass? Has anyone done this? The day we’ll be there is Tuesday, Nov 30. Parks will be open less hours I’m sure. TIA!
All the big attractions? Possibly, I’ve never tried. Sounds a bit stressful. I really enjoy slowing down and enjoying the atmosphere, especially all the themed areas of IOA and Diagon Alley. There is a LOT of detail for Potter fans. What is the makeup of your group and are you willing to do some single rider lines? Any chance you will have early entry from a Universal hotel stay (I’m guessing not if it’s only 1 day)

It will also depend on what you consider big attractions. IOA - Hagrid’s, Velocicoaster, Forbidden Journey, Hulk, Kong? Hogwarts Express? US - Rip Ride Rocket, Mummy, Gringotts? There are a lot of fun other rides - I would make a list of your priorities and just go from there.
 

Crazed4DisneyinSC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
All the big attractions? Possibly, I’ve never tried. Sounds a bit stressful. I really enjoy slowing down and enjoying the atmosphere, especially all the themed areas of IOA and Diagon Alley. There is a LOT of detail for Potter fans. What is the makeup of your group and are you willing to do some single rider lines? Any chance you will have early entry from a Universal hotel stay (I’m guessing not if it’s only 1 day)

It will also depend on what you consider big attractions. IOA - Hagrid’s, Velocicoaster, Forbidden Journey, Hulk, Kong? Hogwarts Express? US - Rip Ride Rocket, Mummy, Gringotts? There are a lot of fun other rides - I would make a list of your priorities and just go from there.
Thanks! It’s been such a long time since we’ve been to universal (10 years). We are all adults, so will be skipping all kiddy stuff. Interested in all the mains - velocicoaster, hagrids, kong, forbidden journey, eat at three broomsticks, etc. We could probably do some single rider. I tend to think maybe we should just spend the day at IOA over universal, since they have more new rides we’ve never seen. I just wonder if waits are so low, it would be a shame to get done with all rides at IOA super early and have a few hours in which we could’ve crammed in some Studios stuff too. Our travel party is very much into fitting as much in the day as possible, going from open to close, etc. We aren’t really the sit back and relax and go slow types!
 

georgina

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Joined
Apr 21, 2003
IOA is my favorite park, and Hagrids and Velocicoaster my current favorite rides. When I was there a few weeks ago, US was the early entry park so it was easy to rope drop those 2 and be done before 10. I have a feeling the EE will be IOA in Nov which means the resort folks will have an hour jump on you and the lines may be longer for those. They might be shorter in the evening. Single rider for those 2 can save some time if they are open. Single rider for Forbidden Journey can save a lot of time but you miss the entire castle which is fantastic.

If IOA is the EE park, it might be best to start at US, do RRR, Mummy, Gringotts (anything else you want) and take the train to IOA for the rest of the day. The SR lines for Mummy and Men in Black are usually fast, maybe also quick for RRR and Gringotts early on. To me, Jimmy Fallon, Fast and Furious, Transformers, are all skippable
 
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Crazed4DisneyinSC

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Joined
Aug 21, 2019
IOA is my favorite park, and Hagrids and Velocicoaster my current favorite rides. When I was there a few weeks ago, US was the early entry park so it was easy to rope drop those 2 and be done before 10. I have a feeling the EE will be IOA in Nov which means the resort folks will have an hour jump on you and the lines may be longer for those. They might be shorter in the evening. Single rider for those 2 can save some time if they are open. Single rider for Forbidden Journey can save a lot of time but you miss the entire castle which is fantastic.

If IOA is the EE park, it might be best to start at US, do RRR, Mummy, Gringotts (anything else you want) and take the train to IOA for the rest of the day. The SR lines for Mummy and Men in Black are usually fast, maybe also quick for RRR and Gringotts early on. To me, Jimmy Fallon, Fast and Furious, Transformers, are all skippable
This is awesome, thanks so much! You are a wealth of info! I can plan a Disney day no problem, but Universal seems so foreign to me, and there’s not many touring plans out there to reference. This info is so helpful ❤
 

maverik85

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Joined
Jul 27, 2016
If everyone is an adult use the single rider lines for any rides that offer them. You won’t ride beside each other but it will save you a lot of time.
This was how I've done it myself. Hagrid's and Velocicoaster weren't open yet when I did it, but had dueling dragon's still Never a long line for it but a decent walk and two separate tracks. I was able to ride all the main rides at both parks by around noon on my last day when I went the summer Forbidden Journey opened. If it's slower they might not have single rider open but would take it if it's an option. Its generally faster than standby. It was busier at that time so they were all open allowing me to pretty much walk onto Spider-man, Doctor Doom, Dudley Do Right, Bluto's, and Mib. Short waits on other ones that offered it
 
  • Crazed4DisneyinSC

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    Aug 21, 2019
    This was how I've done it myself. Hagrid's and Velocicoaster weren't open yet when I did it, but had dueling dragon's still Never a long line for it but a decent walk and two separate tracks. I was able to ride all the main rides at both parks by around noon on my last day when I went the summer Forbidden Journey opened. If it's slower they might not have single rider open but would take it if it's an option. Its generally faster than standby. It was busier at that time so they were all open allowing me to pretty much walk onto Spider-man, Doctor Doom, Dudley Do Right, Bluto's, and Mib. Short waits on other ones that offered it
    Wow! All rides before noon?? Show me your ways! haha. But really, that is amazing!
     

    ClapYourHands

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    Mar 2, 2018
    If everyone is an adult use the single rider lines for any rides that offer them. You won’t ride beside each other but it will save you a lot of time.
    Velicoaster is the exception. We were there in August and September, and single rider moved very slowly. You won't save that much time, if any, by splitting up. It's a pretty fast-loading ride, so the main line moves pretty well.

    Also, keep in mind that on Hagrid's almost everyone wants to ride the bike, so if you go through in single-rider, you're most likely going to be in the side car. It's still fun, but the bike is better and the queue is cool.
     

    Crazed4DisneyinSC

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    Aug 21, 2019
    Velicoaster is the exception. We were there in August and September, and single rider moved very slowly. You won't save that much time, if any, by splitting up. It's a pretty fast-loading ride, so the main line moves pretty well.

    Also, keep in mind that on Hagrid's almost everyone wants to ride the bike, so if you go through in single-rider, you're most likely going to be in the side car. It's still fun, but the bike is better and the queue is cool.
    Thanks!! I, like everyone else, do want to ride the bike so I guess we’ll probably just do that in regular line. And probably Velocicoaster too. We’ve decided we’ll likely just focus the day in IOA only, since there’s only 3 rides at USO that we’re interested in anyways. Now my main concern is the EE and how that may screw up our day. I’m guessing everyone goes to the 2 rides above, so if we do those late morning or after lunch, maybe the waits will be shorter. I’m hoping.
     

    cschaaf

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    Oct 19, 2013
    Thanks!! I, like everyone else, do want to ride the bike so I guess we’ll probably just do that in regular line. And probably Velocicoaster too. We’ve decided we’ll likely just focus the day in IOA only, since there’s only 3 rides at USO that we’re interested in anyways. Now my main concern is the EE and how that may screw up our day. I’m guessing everyone goes to the 2 rides above, so if we do those late morning or after lunch, maybe the waits will be shorter. I’m hoping.
    Thrill-data shows that, on average, there is a very small dip in the Hagrid's waits around noon, then waits clime back up through the afternoon. IMO, the earliest you can get to Hagrid's, the better.

    Velocicoaster starts with low waits, then quickly jumps up and remains pretty steady most of the day.
     
  • ClapYourHands

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    Mar 2, 2018
    Thrill-data shows that, on average, there is a very small dip in the Hagrid's waits around noon, then waits clime back up through the afternoon. IMO, the earliest you can get to Hagrid's, the better.

    Velocicoaster starts with low waits, then quickly jumps up and remains pretty steady most of the day.
    I agree. The sooner the better. Hagrid’s also can go down, so if it’s running first thing, get on it. I found that the wait for Hagrid’s got longer faster than the line for Velocicoaster. So if you can rope drop at the front of the pack for Hagrid’s and then hoof it over to Velocicoaster, that will be your best bet.

    Also, if you rope drop, Velocicoaster might not even be open right away. Usually rope drop people are let in a little early, and Hagrid’s is almost always running (unless there’s a glitch and it’s down), but I have experienced rope dropping Velocicoaster and not being allowed into the queue space until the actual park opening time,
     

    Crazed4DisneyinSC

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    Aug 21, 2019
    Thrill-data shows that, on average, there is a very small dip in the Hagrid's waits around noon, then waits clime back up through the afternoon. IMO, the earliest you can get to Hagrid's, the better.

    Velocicoaster starts with low waits, then quickly jumps up and remains pretty steady most of the day.
    I agree. The sooner the better. Hagrid’s also can go down, so if it’s running first thing, get on it. I found that the wait for Hagrid’s got longer faster than the line for Velocicoaster. So if you can rope drop at the front of the pack for Hagrid’s and then hoof it over to Velocicoaster, that will be your best bet.

    Also, if you rope drop, Velocicoaster might not even be open right away. Usually rope drop people are let in a little early, and Hagrid’s is almost always running (unless there’s a glitch and it’s down), but I have experienced rope dropping Velocicoaster and not being allowed into the queue space until the actual park opening time,
    Even with EE happening (which we won't have), should we try to go to Hagrids first? I figured the line may be long because of EE first thing, so that's why I was thinking we should wait.
     

    cschaaf

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    Oct 19, 2013
    Even with EE happening (which we won't have), should we try to go to Hagrids first? I figured the line may be long because of EE first thing, so that's why I was thinking we should wait.
    We don't know which park with have EE yet - but it's likely it will be IOA.

    With what you are trying to accomplish, maybe not. You'll get the shortest waits on Hagrid's either riding it first or last. First hour or last hour.

    If you ride it first, it could put you behind in trying to get everything else done. If you save it for last, you can get a jump on the crowds at the other rides, but risk the ride going down.

    I can see two different plans depending on which park you want to hit first. Also depends on park hours, which we don't know yet. My thoughts were to include all of the 'big' rides and avoid a lot of time wasting by limiting backtracking and walking between parks rather than riding the Hogwart's Express.

    1. USF first: Go back to front - ride Gringott's, MIB, Mummy, Transformers, and Rip Ride. Walk to IOA. Tour clockwise. Ride Hulk, Spiderman, Kong, Velocicoaster, Forbidden Journey, Hagrid's.

    2. IOA first: back to front, counter clockwise - Hagrid's, FJ, Velocicoaster, Kong, Spiderman, Hulk. Walk to IOA and work front to back - Rip Ride, Transformers, Mummy, MIB, Gringott's.

    Pros/Cons:
    Plan 1 helps avoid the EE park in the morning.
    Plan 1 gives you the best opportunity to ride the 'best' rides (Hagrid's (assuming it's open and you get one ride), Velocicoaster, FJ) multiple times
    Plan 2 may put you near an HP area at lunch. Plan 1 would not
    Plan 2 gets the 'most likely to have downtime' rides out of the way early (Hagrid's and Velocicoaster).

    Use Single Rider where possible. I'd use Standby for any of the 2-seat rides (Hulk, Velocicoaster, Hagrid's, Rip Ride). To me, those are always a gamble.
     

    Crazed4DisneyinSC

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    Aug 21, 2019
    Coming back to report on our day and success with park hopping! We went yesterday, Nov 30. Touring Plans had this as a 3 for crowd levels. We did not have EE, so we entered the park at 8:45 (for 9am opening). Did not have express pass either.
    We rode everything we wanted to (every big ride, and almost all of the small ones too!) at both parks with time to spare. Rode Velocicoaster twice even. Started out at IOA, worked our way clockwise, took train to Studios, and worked our way clockwise there too from Diagon Alley. Watched a show (Bourne Stuntacular), watched the Macy’s parade, and watched the Cinematic water show when park closed at 7. Ate at three broomsticks. All in all, super productive day. We didn’t do the two water rides at IOA because it wasn’t warm enough in our opinion, and the only ride at Studios we didn’t do was Men in black because it broke down while we were in line.
    There were even a few bits of magic in our day! At Kong, the cast member at the front of the line loved my sweatshirt, and gave us express entry and restricted express passes to use on our next ride as well! (I wound up using one on Escape from Gringotts, and one on mummy, as they couldn’t be used on Hagrids or Velocicoaster). Then at three broomsticks, DH and I ordered frozen butterbeer, but the worker gave us regular by mistake. So she then gave us the frozen and let us keep the other also. So we each got to try both!
     

    georgina

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    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Coming back to report on our day and success with park hopping! We went yesterday, Nov 30. Touring Plans had this as a 3 for crowd levels. We did not have EE, so we entered the park at 8:45 (for 9am opening). Did not have express pass either.
    We rode everything we wanted to (every big ride, and almost all of the small ones too!) at both parks with time to spare. Rode Velocicoaster twice even. Started out at IOA, worked our way clockwise, took train to Studios, and worked our way clockwise there too from Diagon Alley. Watched a show (Bourne Stuntacular), watched the Macy’s parade, and watched the Cinematic water show when park closed at 7. Ate at three broomsticks. All in all, super productive day. We didn’t do the two water rides at IOA because it wasn’t warm enough in our opinion, and the only ride at Studios we didn’t do was Men in black because it broke down while we were in line.
    There were even a few bits of magic in our day! At Kong, the cast member at the front of the line loved my sweatshirt, and gave us express entry and restricted express passes to use on our next ride as well! (I wound up using one on Escape from Gringotts, and one on mummy, as they couldn’t be used on Hagrids or Velocicoaster). Then at three broomsticks, DH and I ordered frozen butterbeer, but the worker gave us regular by mistake. So she then gave us the frozen and let us keep the other also. So we each got to try both!
    Thanks for the report. Curious how long your Hagrid's line was?
     

    PrincessWithABlaster

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    Jan 1, 2016
    Coming back to report on our day and success with park hopping! We went yesterday, Nov 30. Touring Plans had this as a 3 for crowd levels. We did not have EE, so we entered the park at 8:45 (for 9am opening). Did not have express pass either.
    We rode everything we wanted to (every big ride, and almost all of the small ones too!) at both parks with time to spare. Rode Velocicoaster twice even. Started out at IOA, worked our way clockwise, took train to Studios, and worked our way clockwise there too from Diagon Alley. Watched a show (Bourne Stuntacular), watched the Macy’s parade, and watched the Cinematic water show when park closed at 7. Ate at three broomsticks. All in all, super productive day. We didn’t do the two water rides at IOA because it wasn’t warm enough in our opinion, and the only ride at Studios we didn’t do was Men in black because it broke down while we were in line.
    There were even a few bits of magic in our day! At Kong, the cast member at the front of the line loved my sweatshirt, and gave us express entry and restricted express passes to use on our next ride as well! (I wound up using one on Escape from Gringotts, and one on mummy, as they couldn’t be used on Hagrids or Velocicoaster). Then at three broomsticks, DH and I ordered frozen butterbeer, but the worker gave us regular by mistake. So she then gave us the frozen and let us keep the other also. So we each got to try both!
    I’m curious how accurate wait times were yesterday. The wait times in the app seemed really nice (15 - 20 mins for FJ and Hulk in the middle of the day). Just wondering if that was what you experienced.
     

    Crazed4DisneyinSC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2019
    Thanks for the report. Curious how long your Hagrid's line was?
    60 min was posted when I entered, which was around 12:30. I wound up waiting 50. When I exited the posted wait time was only 35! So it did seem to dip right after lunch, in line with what others have reported.
    I’m curious how accurate wait times were yesterday. The wait times in the app seemed really nice (15 - 20 mins for FJ and Hulk in the middle of the day). Just wondering if that was what you experienced.
    Times posted were pretty accurate yesterday! If anything, they were estimating a little high on some rides. There were a few that showed 15-20 and we waited only 5-10! And hagrids and velocicoaster we waited around 10 min less than what was posted as well. It was a great lower crowd level, and wait times were so reasonable to hit everything, even with shorter seasonal hours!
     

    PrincessWithABlaster

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    Jan 1, 2016
    60 min was posted when I entered, which was around 12:30. I wound up waiting 50. When I exited the posted wait time was only 35! So it did seem to dip right after lunch, in line with what others have reported.

    Times posted were pretty accurate yesterday! If anything, they were estimating a little high on some rides. There were a few that showed 15-20 and we waited only 5-10! And hagrids and velocicoaster we waited around 10 min less than what was posted as well. It was a great lower crowd level, and wait times were so reasonable to hit everything, even with shorter seasonal hours!
    That's great! Some of my days have EP prices the same as they are now so I'm hoping for a similar experience. Thanks!
     


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