Realistically, how many days are needed if using Unlimited EP?

peacefrogdog

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
Planning a trip in March 2020 and hoping to stay in a deluxe to get Unlimited EP. traveling with 3 teens who are all about doing the rides (not interested in shows like Olivandees nor looking at small details). We have been to USO before (last in 2012) so we know our way around.

Bearing in mind we have the passes, and are generally quick moving, realistically how many days will we need to spend in the two main parks (so not including Volcano Bay)? My kids will be most interested in doing the HP rides Including the train, transformers, Spider-Man, Hulk, Jurassic Park, Kong, mummy, rip ride rocket, Simpsons, the water rides.
 

macraven

Proud Redhead
Moderator
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Usually 3 days would do it but don’t know if you are going during spring break

The only time I went in spring break has been ages ago...

If you go then, the ep lines will be a lot less waits than the standard lines
 

DisneyMom93

DisneyMom
Joined
Jul 2, 2012
3 days should be plenty of time. We did one day at each park and split the last day between the two parks.
 
  • gharter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2004
    We really saw and rode every ride and show as many times as we wanted in 2 days. We only did Universal and IoA. If you add the water park, you may need another day.
    With Express Pass, it doesn't really matter how busy the park is. When we were there in May, everything was part of it. I suspect the new HP Rollercoaster is not.
     

    marcais

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2018
    2 days has been enough for us to get everything done the two times we've been to Universal, and that includes doing the kids favourites multiple times.

    I think I've read here that if you're staying at the deluxe hotels you get EP for check in and check out day, so a 1-night stay could be all you need if you are happy enough to drive to the hotel early on day 1.
     

    luvsJack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2007
    It was really crowded last week. We had unlimited express and Dd and sil rode every ride, some twice or more. Dh and I did all we wanted to. I would have liked to have one more day to have to have time to see all the shows—like Blues Brothers, The Frog Choir, etc. we caught a few but not all. And so that we could have just slowed down a little more.

    For us and any combination of our adult kids we will go with from now on, 3 days will be the magic number for us.

    Oh, and the pp is correct. We checked in to RPR early Friday morning and checked out Saturday. We had EE and express pass for Friday and Saturday. We booked through one of the online travel sites (travelocity or the like). Saved quite a bit over buying the express pass.
     

    PantherPete

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 13, 2015
    Really tough to say. 1 day at each park is more than enough time to just ride everything. But if you want to really experience everything that the parks have to offer, I'd go with at least 1 day at each park plus at least 1 more day to hop and re-ride things that you really enjoyed, see a few shows, eat at sit down or one of the really popular counter services (Fast Food Blvd and the HP ones in particular will take you as long as most sit downs by the time you wait in line, order, and eat). I have 2 boys likely around the same age range as yours (16 & 12), so trust me, you will want to allot for some extra time to go back and ride many of them again. We go for 7 days, but only spend 2 full days in the parks. The rest of our trip is spent hanging at the City Walk and our pool (at the HRH). But we do head to the parks for partial days to catch shows and ride our favorites, sometimes multiple times in a row. Hulk, HRRR and MIB are great for that. Have fun!
     
  • Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2016
    I'd vote for three days, one for each park, then an extra day for both parks for anything you want to re-ride, or in case there was something by some chance you didn't cover the day you were at either park.

    Also, I want to warn that if you plan on going during spring break, while the EP is significantly shorter, depending on what ride and time it is, it is possible that the EP line might be a little longer of a wait then it typically is (but still should be much shorter than the regular queue). I warn this as while it's extremely rare, I've seen on occasion complaining of how they had to wait longer than they expected for the EP ride during peak seasons.

    It's just something to think about, because if you're expecting to be waiting less then five minutes for every line no matter what time of day it is and how busy it is you'll be highly disappointed.
     

    Beer Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2014
    3 days is enough. However, we found our recent 3 day trip felt rushed which I attribute to burning a few hours to ride Hagrid twice. It really cut down our time for pool and rest and we ended the trip exhausted.

    I wouldn’t have minded a fourth day just to slow everything down and take more breaks.
     

    hhoope01

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2015
    I know you mentioned "shows" aren't really a priority, but what about things like Fear Factor Live? My son and daughter had to enter it (and they ended up being the final two.) They both thoroughly enjoyed participating in it. I do believe that you have to be 18 to enter though. That can take a good chunk of a day just doing that. While the Blue Man's group is a "show", if you get on the front row, it can be a bit interactive (or at least messy.) ;) And the RPR Luau can be interactive, very entertaining and comes with a lot of good food.

    As someone already asked, will you want to visit Volcano Bay? If they like water rides, they won't get bored there. My kids now like to hit Volcano Bay twice when we go to give them a chance to really do everything there (a few times.) So there is another day or 2 as well. Also, with EP, my kids like to spend one whole morning going back and forth between Bluto's Barges and Ripsaw Falls (and they liked to also throw in the Jurassic Park River Adventure too.) Do that for a couple of hours and not only will you be soaked, but you will have worked up an appetite. :) For the afternoon, we usually lounge around the hotel pool to relax a bit. So that is yet another day.

    We also try to hit City Walk one day with a movie and putt-putt golf and some shopping. That is yet another day. And when you add it to the 3 days walking around IOA and US, we already have 6 or 7 days easy. Or if there is a concert at the Hard Rock restaurant, the kids have been known to want to do that as well. Also, if you go during Mardi Gras time, sign up to participate in the parade. You get to ride on one of the floats and throw beads out to people. It is a completely different view of the parade.

    We go for 7 nights twice a year (usually late January/early February and late September/early October). And even though the parks aren't usually as crowded, we still stay in either RPR or Portofino (we didn't like HRH quite as much) for the EPs and the club lounge.
     

    smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    I think 2 days is enough if you really don't want to worry about shows or looking around and if you are talking about a group of teens. Also, if the teens are willing to get there early, even with express the lines build in the afternoon/evening. (People have definitely completed the challenge of all rides in one day...but that didn't include re-rides and Hagrid's)

    I would recommend a 3rd day to re-ride favorites, catch a few shows/parades, enjoy Mardi Gras offerings (it would probably still be going on), enjoy the resort pool, etc.

    We spent 6 nights over spring break (4 park days, 1 pool day, 2 travel days), and the only shows we saw were Ollivanders, Mardi Gras parade, and Cinematic Spectacular. We also didn't ride Hulk or RRR (of F&F or Fallon). [We are doing 7 nights our next trip.] Anyhow, I am saying that I don't think 3 (or more) would be too many, even though you could do it in 2, but a lot of people just add on 1-2 days in Universal from a Disney trip.
     
  • MDH

    The Dude
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2016
    OUr family did 3 days in the exact same situation. Only difference is we also wanted to see the shows and spend time casting spells in wizarding world. We rode EVERYTHING and multiple times. I'm talking 8 times on the hulk, 5 on rip rock it, 5 for forbidden journey, 5 for gringotts, spiderman 3 times, mummy 3 times, on and on. The only rides we only rode once were the water rides, it was quite cold. This all took place during the festival of Harry Potter as well, so it was fairly busy at the parks.

    So, 3 days you will have a TONNE of time to do it all. I would do 3, but if time is a constraint, you should not have any fears that you won't get a tonne done in 2. you'll still ride everyting multiple times in 2 days.
     

    luvsJack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2007
    Are your teens Harry Potter fans? If so, you may want to rethink the not caring about shows or just slowing down to look at stuff. There is a lot of stuff that is DO NOT miss for HP fans.
     
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    MDH

    The Dude
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2016
    Are your teens Harry Potter fans? If so, you may want to rethink the not caring about shows or just slowing down to look at stuff. There is a lot of stuff that is DO NOT miss for HP fans.
    I agree completely with this. Don't skip it prematurely.
     

    skylock

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2010
    If you are trying to keep it down, I say 2 days will get it done.

    You can assume 20 min per ride. It can be less, but that should be a good starting point for the wait and the ride at each ride.

    It has been a while since you were there and there has been lots of new things added.

    HP areas can be a day in themselves, or can be hit it and move on.

    We usually spend one day mostly just on the wet rides, but my group rides them until people start saying I don't want to ride anymore.

    We usually go for 4 days. Frankly, when we leave, everybody in fully satisfied they have done all the riding they can stand. Nobody goes home wishing they had rode anything one more time.
     

    peacefrogdog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2000
    I agree completely with this. Don't skip it prematurely.
    My kids like the movies - but I wouldn’t describe them as fans. We explored the HP parts of Ioa when last there in 2012 but Diagon Alley had yet to be built then. If we do spend time exploring it would be there.

    My kids have no interest in any show, whether it is a show-based attraction like Fear factor nor a smaller show like the frog choir. They are all about thrill rides (and water rides)
     

    RamblingMad

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    Two days should be plenty. I’d prefer three half days. Hit the parks when they open. Ride rides until lunch. Eat a nice lunch. Then hit the water parks or do something else in the afternoon. Come back in the evening and hit rides again until they close. You’ll miss most of the crowds.
     

    Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2016
    My kids like the movies - but I wouldn’t describe them as fans. We explored the HP parts of Ioa when last there in 2012 but Diagon Alley had yet to be built then. If we do spend time exploring it would be there.

    My kids have no interest in any show, whether it is a show-based attraction like Fear factor nor a smaller show like the frog choir. They are all about thrill rides (and water rides)
    Diagon Alley has a lot more to see and explore than Hogsmeade. While I know they want to focus on the rides and everything there is a lot to be seen in Diagon Alley. Not only the area in general is bigger, but unlike Hogsmeade, almost all the store fronts are in fact shops you can see and enjoy. There is Knockturn Alley as well, just past the Leaky Cauldron which is a cool place to relax.

    Also, I do not know if they're into props, I mention this since you said they love the films, but the most props you'll see at WWoHP is at Borgin and Burkes. Most of the stuff on the very top shelf that you cannot get to, or buy, are random extra props from the films. Also, the Vanishing cabinet is next to the cash register and not only you can hear a "bird" in there, but you can touch it and feel as if something is in there, and is supposedly the cabinet from the film.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    DH and I always have unlimited EPs and we always do 3 park days. I agree with a PP that two days is really enough, but 3 days gives you added flexibility and there's less pressure to do as much each day.
     

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