Which park to start? What to do first!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by Disney fan 345, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Disney fan 345

    Disney fan 345 Earning My Ears

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    Hi! I’ve been reading different articles and posts and I can’t decide where to start.
    We go the week after next.
    We have the park to park one day ticket with the universal express pass.
    It’ll be me my husband and an almost 8 year old and a two year old.

    We definitely want to check out Harry Potter land and rides and all the other rides. We will skip the hulk and the other coaster at universal studios.
    We will probably do the water rides later in the day. Hoping for decent weather!
    We will be using rider swap and once my daughter is over the waiting we will probably separate and I’ll take her to the kid play lands.

    Any suggestions on which park to start in?
    We would probably head to the castle first if we do ioa and if we do studios we will head to diagon alley.
    Is there one you suggest starting at over the other? Any other suggestions or ideas?

    Thanks so much!!
     
  2. TommyJK

    TommyJK DIS Veteran

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    If you have Express Pass then it kind of doesn't matter which one you start with.

    Some people who are super Harry Potter fans like to re-create Harry's "Journey" So they start with Diagon Alley, explore the shops that Harry would have when he first went there (but don't ride Gringotts yet), then go across to IOA via the Hogwarts Express. Do everything there in Hogsmeade, then go back to Diagon Alley via Hogwarts Express (the experience is different both ways) and finally do Escape from Gringotts.

    But otherwise I don't see any strategic advantage to starting in IOA vs. USF if you have express passes as you don't need to plan things from a line wait perspective.
     
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  4. Disxuni

    Disxuni DIS Veteran

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    I second this motion.

    Hosgmeade can get quite crowded easily due to how narrow it is, so it can fill up rather quickly, however if you want to have "Harry's Journey", this would definitely be the best route to go. If anything, you can take a gander for a brief moment before going to King's Cross and get over to Hogsmeade before it feels too claustrophobic. Besides, FJ and Flight of the Hippogriff, there are only a few things to do compared to DA, so once you're done with that you can hop on Hogsmeade Station and go back to DA to really take it all in, as well as do Gringotts.
     
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  5. Disney fan 345

    Disney fan 345 Earning My Ears

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    Thank you! That sounds like a good plan!
    Can we carry a backpack with us while in line for fj if we do the rider swap?
     
  6. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Yes

    When you have a rider swap have them take the backpack

    Easy solution and no lost time
     
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  7. Disney fan 345

    Disney fan 345 Earning My Ears

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    Thank you!
     
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  8. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

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    Last time we went (4yrs ago) we used the 3 day touring plan from Orlando Informer web site. It worked well for us.
     
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  9. Disneyfan754321

    Disneyfan754321 Mouseketeer

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    We start in islands cause the parade we want is on the other side at night. I dont know when you are going look at what's going on on the days you are there. Fireworks are also on the other side

    https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/hours-information/show-times/index.html
     
  10. imprint

    imprint Mouseketeer

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    Since you have one-day tickets, that will be the limiting factor. Usually one doesn't have to plan too much, but that is assuming multiple days. Express will absoltely, definitely help a lot. I suggest you review the ride/show/playground options and get a plan together. It still shouldn't be as hectic as a WDW one-day, but a loose plan will help a lot. I'd find out what each family member considers a "must do" ride or show in each park. Then look at the playground options in each park. You'll need to snack and/or eat meals too. if you can take advantage of early entry, that will help immensely. Check to see if the 8-year old is tall enough for Forbidden Journey and Gringotts (and the child's desire to ride), because that will greatly affect your plan. Both parks have kiddo and big-kid attractions. If you have to cut some attractions, I'd like you to know that some rides are similar: Spider-Man and Transformers; Despicable Me, Simpsons, and Fallon; Kong and Fast and Furious. The water rides are all in IoA, so if you want to finish there, that should affect your touring plan. For end of day, there is a projection show on the Hogwarts castle at dusk, and there is a movie showcase on the lagoon in the Studios. Those may or may not be something you want to plan for. If it was me (but I admit I'm a ride freak), I'd focus not the rides that everyone wants to experience, and make a plan from that.
     

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