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Thread: Any suggestions/recommendations for Universal/Harry Potter?

  1. #1

    Any suggestions/recommendations for Universal/Harry Potter?

    Thinking of a family trip late winter/early spring.

    Anyone have any suggestions/advice where to stay (or not stay) ?

    DeacOnCapeCod
    now fletcher, nc

  2. #2
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    There are a bunch of tips on the Disney thread. I can answer any questions you have. Stay on property if you can. You get an Express Pass for staying at the three Premiere hotels that are closest to the parks. That's a great deal in itself and the hotels are nice and a 10-15 minute walk away.


    https://www.ogboards.com/forums/show...80#post3551580

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    There are a bunch of tips on the Disney thread. I can answer any questions you have. Stay on property if you can. You get an Express Pass for staying at the three Premiere hotels that are closest to the parks. That's a great deal in itself and the hotels are nice and a 10-15 minute walk away.


    https://www.ogboards.com/forums/show...80#post3551580

    This, we did the same thing…could hear the Hulk roller coaster from room, but not in a bad way. Express pass is a must, will save you a lot of time.

  4. #4
    We stayed at the Italian place. Portofino? Anyway it was great and I agree with the advice above.

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    The Portofino is great. First time we stayed there was on Valentine’s Day weekend which completely escaped me and my wife. They were willing to get us a last second table at one of the fancy restaurants. They did put us in a room with a balcony and a view of the parks so we saw the fireworks from the balcony. The best thing about Universal resorts is that they are all hotels with decent size rooms not like the small room motels at Disney.

    I’ll use this thread to give updates on Epic Universe which is slated to open in 2025. I think it’s going to completely change the game in Orlando. The last new major theme park (not amusement park like Six Flags or Cedar Fair) to open was Animal King. Epic Universe should be a huge step forward for the industry.

    Here’s an article with a summary of the rides expected in the five main areas of the park: Central Hub, Super Nintendo World, Universal Monsters, Harry Potter, and How To Train Your Dragon. Each land is completely separate from the others.

    https://themeparkshark.com/universal...-epic-universe

  6. #6
    maybe one of you guys can remember, it has been a number of years, but wasn't the Harry Potter stuff divided into two parks?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by warak View Post
    maybe one of you guys can remember, it has been a number of years, but wasn't the Harry Potter stuff divided into two parks?
    They built more HP stuff in Universal Studios (the old/first park), so yes there is now content across both the parks. Universal has gringotts ride + diagon alley theme, while the original HP section at IoA has the hogwarts ride + flight of the hippogriff (jr coaster) + a really sweet new hagrid coaster they just replaced dueling dragons with, and it's more hogsmeade themed.

    There's also a harry potter themed train/ride (really just some videos that play on screens/other effects while you move) that connects the two parks so you can take that if you have a park-hopper ticket to get back and forth.

  8. #8

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wakephan09 View Post
    RIP dueling dragons
    Where did it go? That coaster was p cool.

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    Dueling Dragons had an interesting history. Disney's Animal Kingdom and Universal's Islands of Adventure were being built at the same time. AK was originally going to have a Beastly Kingdom section but the plans got scrapped when the park went overbudget. The Beastly Kingdom Imagineers got hired by Universal and adapted their plans into the Dueling Dragons and kiddie coaster. Then those rides got absorbed into Harry Potter. Somebody died and somebody lost an eye on the ride. Eventually, it was torn down to build the Hagrid's coaster which is incredible.

    Epic Universe will have a dueling/racing coaster. Here's a mock up of it here:



    You can see it in the concept art:


  11. #11
    Honestly I was pretty sad about losing dueling dragons too (even though it hasn't dueled properly in ages), until I rode the replacement coaster, which is just a great ride and 100% worth losing DD for.

  12. #12
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    I doubt there’s a better one-two punch as close to each other as Hagrid’s and VelociCoaster.

  13. #13
    Universal has added some pretty great rides over the last ten years or so. And it's cheaper and less of a hassle than Disney World. As others have mentioned, getting an express pass is key. We like staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, which is a short walk to the parks and includes unlimited express passes and early admission. Some advice:

    -If your kids are going to get wands, do Olivander's early. The line moves pretty slowly once it builds up.
    -Mythos is as good as any Disney World in-park restaurant and it's pretty easy to get in.
    -The Jimmy Fallon ride might be the worst ride in Central Florida.
    -ET is easy to miss since it's tucked away in the kids' section, but it's fun, especially if you're a nostalgic middle aged type.
    -Universal tends to be pretty strict about enforcing their "no bags on rides" policy. You have to check any bags or other items you're carrying in lockers near the entrance to the ride. Some of the locker rooms are crowded and not very user friendly. We've actually had to wait in line to get into a locker room before we even got in line for the ride itself. I know it's almost impossible if your kids are young, but if you can get away with not carrying a bag, it makes things much easier.

  14. #14
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    Universal figured out the bag and locker situation with VelociCoaster. The lockers are in the line and they’re two sided. You drop them off when you get close to the ride and pick them up on the other side when you leave.

  15. #15
    if you think jimmy fallon is the worst ride you never did the fast and furious one. that was pure trash.

    also underrated is the workers at universal are far and away better than anyone you encounter at disney. the cliental at universal was more polite as well. we did universal, animal kingdom and another disney over a few days back in january.

  16. #16
    I’m honestly surprised that Universal still has the ET ride, it felt super dated and neglected when I rode it a decade ago.
    Draxx them sklounst

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by deaconson View Post
    if you think jimmy fallon is the worst ride you never did the fast and furious one. that was pure trash.

    also underrated is the workers at universal are far and away better than anyone you encounter at disney. the cliental at universal was more polite as well. we did universal, animal kingdom and another disney over a few days back in january.
    Good point. We did the fast and furious at Universal Hollywood and didn't see any reason to try it at Universal Orlando. It's easily the worst part of the tram ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by myDeaconmyhand View Post
    I’m honestly surprised that Universal still has the ET ride, it felt super dated and neglected when I rode it a decade ago.
    I think you mean a "classic."

    Before we started going to Universal two years ago, I only went once back in like 2007 with my wife. We had fun but decided not to get passes. ET was one of my favorite memories of that trip.

    The rumor that I've heard is that Steven Spielberg loves the ride so much that he threatened to break ties with Universal if they get rid of the ride. I think it's the only opening day attraction that's still around. That's plenty of reason to keep it.

  19. #19
    At universal, We avoid doing express pass and just do “single rider” lines. It doesn’t always work, as in sometimes the single rider line is just as long as the regular line, and some rides they don’t have the option. But it’ll save you lots of time on the Gringotts ride, the fantastic journey ride, the hulk, etc. my kids are teenagers so sending them on the Gringotts ride on their own is fine, it would not work very well with young’s kids.
    Birds are real.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    I think you mean a "classic."

    Before we started going to Universal two years ago, I only went once back in like 2007 with my wife. We had fun but decided not to get passes. ET was one of my favorite memories of that trip.

    The rumor that I've heard is that Steven Spielberg loves the ride so much that he threatened to break ties with Universal if they get rid of the ride. I think it's the only opening day attraction that's still around. That's plenty of reason to keep it.
    That et ride is some kind of bad acid trip. The second half is so weird.
    Birds are real.

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