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Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure vs Early Park Admission

Discussion in 'Trip Reports, Planning, & Questions' started by qbacreative, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Thanks a lot Joel, you guys are amazing, so much knowledge and so much patience to deal with people like me that are so clueless about the matter
     
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  2. Joel

    Joel Premium Member

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    no worries, a big part of the forums are for things just like this.
     
  3. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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  4. Andysol

    Andysol Veteran Member

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    Reading all this... you're definitely used to Disney World, aren't you? ;)

    This is not Disney World. In fact, with express; very very little planning is necessary. Hagrid's might have express by December also, so this whole post could be a moot point. If it isn't express yet, @Skold gave amazing advice.

    Personally, I'd wait until early December to start planning. Yes, you don't have to plan 180 days out (crazy, right?) That way you'll have all the schedules for Holidays as well as which parks have early entry. HRH or RP hotels don't matter. Either are fine and the walk is insignificant for either. I'd pick RP just because it's less $ and closer to Islands. Even though it's December, consider a Volcano Bay day in there. It's an amazing place and December will yield fewer crowds.
     
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  5. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Thanks Andysol, for your reality check lol

    After doing a lot of research, especially with this helpful forum, is starting to sink in the fact that I'm treating these parks with a Disney like meticulous planning approach.

    I was saying to my self today, imaging having unlimited fast passes at every Disney park during our past Disney trip? I wouldn't have the need to create all of that planning.

    At Universal there are less crowds, we intentonally are coming the week before the heavy crowds are coming, December 20 is our checkout date, plus we have a 5 days ticket lol.

    I'm realizing that if I take on these two parks with the Disney intensity, I will unnecessarily wake up the kids at 6am, be done each day with the parks by lunch time, be left trying to find things to do for the rest of each day, on top of adding a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress to our day.

    Thanks I'll show this to my wife I'm sure she'll thank you too :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  6. Joel

    Joel Premium Member

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    we call that the enlightenment period :ears:

    there are holiday season activities/entertainment to explore as well!
     
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  7. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Thank Joel, enlightenment period is a good way of putting it lol

    Can you please elaborate more on ?
    "there are holiday season activities/entertainment to explore as well!"
     
  8. Andysol

    Andysol Veteran Member

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  9. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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  10. Andysol

    Andysol Veteran Member

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    "Nov. 16–Jan. 5"
     
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  11. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Seuss Landing is the most immersive Christmas decorated area and it's loaded with streetmosphere Grinchmas actors during most times of the day. It's like stepping into the Grinch movies or TV show. Hogsmeade decorations are tasteful but not overwhelming, same with Diagon. The NYC area of USF is also decorated heavily, with a huge Christmas tree. and Christmas music playing most of the time. Port of Entry is tastefully decorated at IOA. All of the resort hotels have their own unique trees and decorations. It's worth it to take a water taxi ride to the various hotels to see their lobby trees.
     
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  12. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Thanks Andysol and Mad Dog, I guess is great that we have the 5 days to take it easy and go in and out of the parks, what a refreshing alternative to Disney this is.

    At the end of the day, we were so tired at Disney by waking up so early, that we didn't have the desire or the energy to look at the other hotels.

    We have no plans to go to the parks on our first day at the hotel, so going to other hotels to look at their decorations sounds like an excellent and relaxing idea.

    When we went to Disney we knew that it wasn't going to be relaxing, enjoyable yes, relaxing no, that we booked a week at Miami beach to relax and have a real relaxing vacation, this time thinking it was going to be the same, we booked a week at clearwater beach, so now I'm thinking it wasn't necessary but there is nothing we can do, because the airfare is none refundable, oh well too much relaxation is not a bad thing to complain about :)
     
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  13. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Universal is the epitome of relaxation and leisure for a vacation.I change my plans umpteen times every day, and it doesn't make any difference on wait times. Do 'what you want' . 'when you feel like it'.....and make sure you take a water taxi ride over to Portofino at dusk to listen to the Italian singers sing Christmas songs and Italian songs from the Piazza balcony, with a 40 ft. Christmas tree next to your seating. Get a bottle of wine and a pizza from Sal's, sit at a Piazza table, and your wife will never forget that romantic setting on the Portofino Bay.
     
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  14. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Thanks Mad Dog I'm feeling relax already lol, I was totally over planning this.

    I showed my wife your post and she said "oh how enjoyable that sounds" :)

    Now we just need slowly to start researching for a few places to eat around the area, we have a rental during our whole vacation, so driving outside of the Universal Studio's bubble, to taste the local cuisine is part of the plan.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  15. Skold

    Skold Rookie

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    Do explore the restaurants at CityWalk - they are all quite good. We usually go back to the hotel for pool and relaxing after lunch and head back before dinner, usually catching dinner at CityWalk or another hotel on the way. :) :toast:
     
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  16. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Plus, most of them are very reasonably priced for sit down restaurants.
     
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  17. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Thanks Guys! Your help has been unavailable!
     
  18. Andysol

    Andysol Veteran Member

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    That’s what we’re here for. The friendliest theme parks forum in existence. Right @Mad Dog ;)

    Note: I second what @Skold said, just stick to CityWalk for dinner for most cases. Antojitos is great Mexican and Vivo is solid Italian as well. And toothsome has a phenomenal atmosphere. Big fire grill just opened but I haven’t eaten there.

    Also, small tip: if you have 5 day tickets, consider upgrading to a seasonal annual pass on your last day (do it at the end of your last day so you can still go to USF when concerts). It might only be $50-70 for your entire family to upgrade. That way you can go again in a year, say around November, and not even pay for park tickets.
     
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  19. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Wow Andysol I didn't know that! 50$ to 70$ f0r the entire family to upgrade?

    That is a big tip, where do I check this?

    Not sure if is going to be that inexpensive though because we got these tickets on the cheap, we got the buy two days park to park get 3 extra days free deal.

    We can only travel when the kids are on vacation and I think those are called blockout days for season pass holders right?

    Plus our next trip is Europe but if is under $200 bucks I'll do it just for the crazy reason that we may find a supper cheap fly in march break or something.

    My kids are only 8 and 11 but we are finding out that when it comes to rides they are thrill seekers. They were pretty bored with the majority of the Disney rides and we had never done rollercoasters before that trip. Don't get me wrong they liked the story that some of the rides were telling, but overall the rides that we repeated and some of them up to 4 times, where Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Fly of Passage, Expedition Everest and Mission: Space, even Test Track they found it wasn't worth repeating. We never did Hollywood Studios because apart from two rides everything else looked boring for our kids.

    Well now thanks to the Disney experience we got a season pass to our local amusement park and our crazy kids got the wife and I doing some of the tallest and fastest rollercoasters in the world almost every weekend, so Universal for now seems like the right theme park for us :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  20. qbacreative

    qbacreative Newcomer

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    Andysol I just get off the phone with universal, I need to wait to be at the hotel to know how much is going to cost us, to upgrade because they can't check the value of my tickets from Expedia.

    According to the person I was talking to I will need to buy the preferred annual pass, because we can only come when the kids are on vacation and the preferred pass doesn't have those blockout days.

    It says on the universal site that preferred annual pass has blockout dates for early morning entrance, but since we will always be staying at a universal hotel that offers unlimited express pass, that will come with extra morning hours for the guest and as a result it will overwrite this limitation right?
     

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