Talk to me about Universal!

chaysmom

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Our family is traveling to CA next month. We will do 3 days at Disneyland and 1 Day (Friday, 10/18) at Universal. We have done Universal Studios Orlando twice, the last time in 2014 before they did the Harry Potter expansion. My kids are 11 and 9, so they have some memories but they are limited.

We are planners, and I'm not as familiar with Universal so would love some insight! Not planning on doing any VIP or front of the line since we are going on a Friday, and we are only going for the day and will not be doing HHN. I have a few specific questions, but open to any additional tips or insight as well. We are staying at a hotel within walking distance of DL since that is where we are spending most of our time.

  • What is the best way to get to Universal? Uber/Lyft?? And if so, what is the approximate cost?
  • Best place to get tickets?
  • Park is open 10-6 that day. What time should we be there to be at rope drop?
  • We definitely plan on hitting Harry Potter and the new Jurassic World. DH and I are fans of Walking Dead but will probably skip that with the kids. Want to take them on the backlot tour, but any other thoughts of must-do attractions?
  • Thoughts on best places to dine for lunch and dinner?
  • Any other thoughts or feedback to consider???
 
Last edited:

StageTek

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
  • Ride Share is a great way to get to Universal. From the Disney area figure about $60 each way.
  • Best place to get tickets is on line at the Universal website.
  • Get there about 9:30.
  • Minion Mayhem and WaterWorld
  • Three Broomsticks for lunch. Head out to CityWalk for dinner. Lots to choose from.
  • Consider the Special Effects Show. Often overlooked, really fun. Go on the Tour later in the day when the lines are short.
 


GoingSince1990

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
We found the removal of the 3D to have been a major downgrade to Minion Mayhem. With the 3D it used to feel like you were in there, but now it’s more like watching a movie. Very disappointing.
 
  • Rose77

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2015
    We saved a little over $10 per ticket by buying through Undercover Tourist. USH no longer offers early entry if you buy directly from them, so I decided to go with UT and save $50 (on 4 tickets). I go them via email just a few minutes after purchasing.
     

    StageTek

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2007
    We found the removal of the 3D to have been a major downgrade to Minion Mayhem. With the 3D it used to feel like you were in there, but now it’s more like watching a movie. Very disappointing.
    If someone has never seen it do you recommend not seeing now that the 3D has been removed?
     

    GoingSince1990

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2018
    If someone has never seen it do you recommend not seeing now that the 3D has been removed?
    It’s still cute and fun, so still see it. Never having seen the 3D version you will probably enjoy it more. Much less of a “must do” than it used to be, though.
     

    StageTek

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2007
    Since there are only 4 "rides" and 2 attractions (not counting the 3 shows) on the Upper Lot it's a "must do" for me.
     
  • Prof Drake

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 26, 2016
    For my 10yo, a definite must-do is spending an hour (or more) going around Hogsmeade and casting spells. This requires buying one of the “interactive” wands from Ollivanders, but for her (and her 5yo brother, I was surprised to find out) it’s totally worth it. We haven’t been in months and they still talk about doing magic at USH.
     

    StageTek

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2007
    I took my friend and her nephew when he turned 11. Got him the interactive wand and didn't see him for an hour and a half.

    I had taken her a couple of years earlier (the week it opened in Hollywood) and didn't see her for over an hour. She was 30...
     

    chaysmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2014
    We found the removal of the 3D to have been a major downgrade to Minion Mayhem. With the 3D it used to feel like you were in there, but now it’s more like watching a movie. Very disappointing.
    Good to know...we did see it in Florida, but that has been 5 years and I don't know that the kids remember it. Something to keep in mind though.
     

    chaysmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2014
    For my 10yo, a definite must-do is spending an hour (or more) going around Hogsmeade and casting spells. This requires buying one of the “interactive” wands from Ollivanders, but for her (and her 5yo brother, I was surprised to find out) it’s totally worth it. We haven’t been in months and they still talk about doing magic at USH.
    Will definitely check this out! My kids will love it. Do you recommend doing this later in the day???
     
  • Prof Drake

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 26, 2016
    Will definitely check this out! My kids will love it. Do you recommend doing this later in the day???
    Yes. The first time we went, we bought wands in the morning but did most of our spell casting in the afternoon. The second time we went to Ollivanders quite late in the day, when there was literally no line, and my 10yo was the only child and got chosen for the wand pairing (which was great for her). Some of the spells probably benefit from daylight, but other than that I think later in the day is better in every way!
     

    UrsulaTime

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2015
    Just found this thread and I'm relieved to have finally found some insight into how things work at Universal's Harry Potter! We'll be there Saturday 2/29 - myself, my sister, and my 10-year-old cousin. My sister is a dedicated Harry Potter fan and has never been to the WW. But I'm the trip planner so...okay, we'll plan on Ollivander's in the morning and using the wands later in the day. I wasn't sure that our cousin would WANT a wand (or if it would be worth it to buy one for her), but it sounds like yes it would. Eating at Three Broomsticks at some point. I think my sister will want to soak in the details of the land before going to the rides, but...I'm assuming it's advisable to rush to the most popular ride first thing in the morning.

    Has anyone been on a Saturday? Are the lines for Harry Potter crazy long?
     

    Prof Drake

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 26, 2016
    The advice I’ve heard is to get there before opening, head to FJ at rope drop, then do the wand shop next, then the Hippogriff ride, then start soaking in the atmosphere and casting spells :)

    One of our trips was on a weekend day, and this advice seemed pretty good.
     





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