3/12/2015

What You Need to Know Before You Visit Harry Potter World - Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios - Itinerary Included




Getting to the park early applies here big time. It's a hike to get in and the parking entrance can be really nightmarish.
Get there 30-45 minutes ahead of time. If the park opens at 9 be there at 8:15 and include travel and park time. Seems brutal but worth it.
Tickets can be printed at home and you need to bring them to the park every day. Each ticket is tied to a person with a fingerprint. Get this correct or wait in line a long time.

If you bring a backpack - you can't bring it on any ride. You need to make sure the backpack is modest in size and fits in a square locker. Every ride that requires this has a locker you can use for a window of time before paying. All the lockers require you remember the locker number and use a fingerprint. Make sure and wipe the lens clean before making a print and wipe it clean to get your stuff out.

Universal is going to be all about seeing Harry Potter stuff and perhaps a few of the Superhero and other rides. It's more laid back but the lines can be long etc. All of the Universal Rides are a little more teen to tween.

There are two parks and you can buy a 2 day 3rd day free ticket:
  1. Universal Islands of Adventure
  2. Universal Studios Florida

The HOGWARTS Express train near the Dragon Challenge Coaster or Near San Francisco takes you between the two parks and is also a ride. I will put a schedule of when to do it below.

Hogsmeade and Hogwarts is located in the Universal Studio Islands of Adventure park:
  • Features the wand shop Olivanders do this early. Why? The entire set of Harry Potter worlds have interactive windows you use the wands for and the kids love it
  • Features the Hogwarts Ride - kinda awesome and scary
  • Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster
  • Butter Beer - delish - DJ Delish actually
  • Lots of shops and things to see
  • Smaller Coaster
Diagon Alley is located in the Universal Studios park:
  • Features Gringotts Ride - my favorite
  • Features more wand stuff
  • Amazing to just walk around and enjoy - it's hidden so you don't see the rest of the park
So DAY 1 since you have a 2 day park ticket:
  1. Go to Islands of Adventure first - it's the more Harry Potter of the two
  2. Ride the Hogwarts Ride
  3. Get a Wand at the Wand shop
  4. Do some stuff
  5. Maybe ride the smaller roller coaster
  6. Take the Hogwarts Express to the other Park
  7. Check out Diagon Alley
  8. Maybe ride Gringotts ride if you can
  9. Wander around and get some lunch at Universal Studios in Simpsons area - has lots of food options
  10. Head back to Islands of Adventure to use the Hogwarts Train again and see a different ride on the train (you'll understand after you do it)
  11. Do Jurassic Park Ride
  12. Do the Spider Man Ride
  13. Do Hulk Coaster if you can
  14. Doctor Seus ride is a trip - do it
  15. There is some water ride too - it's cool
  16. Doom Drop is meh - but if no wait - good
  17. Go back to Harry potter area - enjoy it
  18. Maybe ride the larger Dragon Coaster
Day 2:
  1. Head to Universal Studios
  2. Go to Gringotts Ride right away
  3. Enjoy diagon Alley
  4. Get some lunch and do some rides
  5. ET is a trip
  6. Simpsons ride is fun
  7. Men in Black is okay
  8. Rip Ride Rocket Music Coaster thing - AMAZING
  9. Transformers is cool
  10. The Mummy Ride was excellent
  11. Wander around - maybe go over to other park
  12. Maybe just hang out.
  13. Wander around Diagon Alley and check out Nocturne Alley
  14. Hang out and watch shows in the evening
You should check these for height requirements:
https://www.universalorlando.com/Rides/Universal-Studios-Florida.aspx
https://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Parks/Islands-of-Adventure.aspx

Crowd Calendar is helpful for Universal Studios: https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/

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