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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip) in the Ask The Experts forums; Having just got back from Universal a week ago, I can help. As others have mentioned, if you are a AAA member, show your AAA card whenever you purchase food ...
  1. #16
    Macy Mouse's Avatar
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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Having just got back from Universal a week ago, I can help.

    As others have mentioned, if you are a AAA member, show your AAA card whenever you purchase food or souvenirs and you get 10% off

    Meal plans are a great bargain here so take advantage and purchase it!

    As for Harry Potter....

    IT'S AMAZING!!!

    Downside to Harry Potter? The wait times. My friend works at Universal and they are not expecting the crowds to die down til at least next year.

    We arrived at Islands of Adventure the minute they opened (9 am) and headed straight to Harry Potter. The line was already all the way back by Toon Lagoon. So you stand in a long line and a guy comes around passing out tickets and once he runs out of tickets, that means they are at max capacity and no one else is getting in. By 10:30 am, HP was at max capacity.

    The wait times were as follows:
    1 hour and a half to get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
    1 hour and a half to get onto the forbidden journey ride.
    45 minutes each for dragon challenge and flight of the hippogriff.
    close to 2 hours to get into EACH of the stores and the three broomsticks restaurant.
    30 minutes for butterbeer. (get it frozen!!! so YUMMY!)
    I'm his CheesyBabyDinosaur! Rawr!




  2. #17
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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Quote Originally Posted by Macy Mouse View Post
    Having just got back from Universal a week ago, I can help.

    As others have mentioned, if you are a AAA member, show your AAA card whenever you purchase food or souvenirs and you get 10% off

    Meal plans are a great bargain here so take advantage and purchase it!

    As for Harry Potter....

    IT'S AMAZING!!!

    Downside to Harry Potter? The wait times. My friend works at Universal and they are not expecting the crowds to die down til at least next year.

    We arrived at Islands of Adventure the minute they opened (9 am) and headed straight to Harry Potter. The line was already all the way back by Toon Lagoon. So you stand in a long line and a guy comes around passing out tickets and once he runs out of tickets, that means they are at max capacity and no one else is getting in. By 10:30 am, HP was at max capacity.

    The wait times were as follows:
    1 hour and a half to get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
    1 hour and a half to get onto the forbidden journey ride.
    45 minutes each for dragon challenge and flight of the hippogriff.
    close to 2 hours to get into EACH of the stores and the three broomsticks restaurant.
    30 minutes for butterbeer. (get it frozen!!! so YUMMY!)
    That's good to know about the AAA card! In Canada we have CAA, which is the same thing (same company) and I've never had a problem using it in the US for car troubles or hotel deals, so it will most likely get me the discount as well.

    Did you visit WWoHP at night at all? I've been told to not even go over there until like 4pm and that the crowd stays in the thousands until about 3 or 4 and after that it drops to about hundreds. Less lines, and no standing in the direct sun in the evening/night. We're going to try that the first day we go (do the rest of the park first), and if it doesn't work we'll go to HP first thing in the morning on our second day at the park.

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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    We left HP after 3 and they still weren't letting anyone else in. It was still all blocked off. It seemed once people got in, they did not want to get out (there's a rest area and people were standing under it, packed like sardines).

    I would say if you're spending one day at Islands of Adventure or if this is like a trip you take every few years, then head to HP in the morning right when the park opens. That way you'll pretty much be guaranteed to get in. If you go to Orlando every year or doing more than one day at IOA, then try to go later in the day. Maybe you'll have some luck and get in with shorter waits. If not, then there's always next year

    Also, if you're taking any bags to IOA, leave them in the lockers. You can't take your bags on the forbidden journey and lockers are limited. After riding the forbidden journey, my boyfriend and I went to go get our bags and found people crowding the lockers. Apparently all lockers were in use and so anyone with a bag wasn't allowed to go in the ride queue til they found a place for their bag. So put your bags in lockers anywhere other than the HP ones
    I'm his CheesyBabyDinosaur! Rawr!




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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Hm thanks for the info.

    We do have two scheduled days for IoA so we figured the first day we would try for the evening and then if that doesn't work we'll go first thing in the morning the second day. I have heard that most people leave between 3 and 5 (like you did) and that later its not so bad... I saw lots of pictures of the area with it being pretty crowd-free in the evening, but I'm not sure how long it takes for people to leave. Of course, now that Universal is asking people to come back later in the day, it may be that too many people are coming later in the day? Also, while I will have the opportunity to return most likely one day, my boyfriends mom is the one that wants to go SO BADLY and is a huge HP fan, and this is kind of a once in a lifetime trip for her.... so we WILL wait in the lines if we need to, but we'll try the evening the first day I guess.

    Also, thats one thing I hate hate HATED about Universal... you can't bring stuff on the rides! There isn't a single ride at Disney World where I haven't been able to bring ALL my stuff on. Sure, if you have a stroller and kids and tons of stuff then maybe not, but I've never had a problem. The lockers at Universal are always crazy busy and I remember waiting for ages for an empty locker (and this was years ago, and during a very non-busy time when there was little to no wait times). Disney really has a one-up on Universal for that one, I'm already trying to figure out how to manage bringing all my camera stuff, and what if I want to bring a tripod to take night pictures? Yeesh.

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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    i usually clip my camera on my hip.. do i have to leave that in a locker too? and what about phone cases? my hubby wears his on hip belt?
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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    macy mouse you have any pics?
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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy&Tayen View Post
    i usually clip my camera on my hip.. do i have to leave that in a locker too? and what about phone cases? my hubby wears his on hip belt?
    no, you and your hubby would be fine. my boyfriend took his cellphone and i took my glasses case.

    as for pictures, i'll show you guys once i upload them to my computer.
    I'm his CheesyBabyDinosaur! Rawr!




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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Oh, your camera is probably fine. I have an SLR and multiple lenses... I have a whole backpack for my camera stuff, it wouldn't be allowed and I'm not comfortable leaving my camera around my neck for a ride like forbidden journey.

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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Oh and the lockers are free, they're located by most rides or at least areas and are accessed by finger scan.

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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    cool i just wanna take pics.. and dont wanna have my cam with me then have to find some place to put it
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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    Me neither
    I've never had a problem bringing ALL my stuff including my tripod on every single ride at Disney... even Space Mountain where there's not a lot of room. I'm almost considering not bringing mine, but I bring my camera EVERYWHERE with me!

  12. #27
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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    After much consideration, we booked a mid-October trip today. While speaking with the agent (I can't bring myself to call them cast members), we found out that they do offer round trip "greet and transportation" service to and from MCO airport. The cost is $35 per person and I did not see this advertised anywhere on the Universal website. At any rate, I appreciate all the extra information everyone has provided.

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    Re: The Unthinkable (need info and advice on Universal Orlando trip)

    i didnt know they offered that service... but hey disneys is free.. and the food is free so were stayn at disney and getting mears to universals, because i bought a ticket for universals with free mears..lol
    All Star Sports July 2006
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