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:
- Universal Islands of Adventure
- Universal Studios Florida
Tickets purchased here: https://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Park-Tickets/General-Admission.aspx
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
- 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
- Go to Islands of Adventure first - it's the more Harry Potter of the two
- Ride the Hogwarts Ride
- Get a Wand at the Wand shop
- Do some stuff
- Maybe ride the smaller roller coaster
- Take the Hogwarts Express to the other Park
- Check out Diagon Alley
- Maybe ride Gringotts ride if you can
- Wander around and get some lunch at Universal Studios in Simpsons area - has lots of food options
- 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)
- Do Jurassic Park Ride
- Do King Kong Skull Island (I hear good things - Updated 2017)
- Do the Spider Man Ride
- Do Hulk Coaster if you can
- Doctor Seus ride is a trip - do it
- There's a ride that goes above all of Seus Land - it's fun do it too.
- There is some water ride too - it's cool
- Doom Drop is meh - but if no wait - good
- Go back to Harry potter area - enjoy it
- Maybe ride the larger Dragon Coaster
- Head to Universal Studios
- Go to Gringotts Ride right away
- Enjoy diagon Alley
- Get some lunch and do some rides
- ET is a trip
- Simpsons ride is fun
- Men in Black is okay
- Rip Ride Rocket Music Coaster thing - AMAZING
- Transformers is cool
- The Mummy Ride was excellent
- Wander around - maybe go over to other park
- Maybe just hang out.
- Wander around Diagon Alley and check out Nocturne Alley
- Hang out and watch shows in the evening
- Maybe do Jimmy Fallon? Haven't done it yet (Updated 2017)
Crowd Calendar is helpful for Universal Studios: https://www.undercovertourist.