It’s my first trip to Universal this Friday

mitchk

Newcomer
Oct 17, 2018
18
New Jersey
Hello my name is Mitch, I am going to Universal Studios and Islands of adventure for the first time on Friday with my wife and child. I have never been there before, I go to Disney World about twice a year, but now that my daughter is a bit older I figured I would give Universal a shot (plus I love the simpsons). It would be great if some of you veterans of universal would be kind enough to give me some tips to make my trip more enjoyable. My family and I would greatly appreciate it. I am going to be staying at Cabanna Bay volcano view room from October 19 till the 23rd. I have a four day three park ticket that includes universal express pass +for every day. I think I’m going to go to Islands of adventure the first day and then go to Universal Studios first thing in the morning on Saturday. Any tips on what rides to hit first or great places to grab something to eat would be greatly appreciated ( I also have the dining plan).

Thank you in advance, I look forward to enjoying this wonderful forum!
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
17,387
Pittsburgh area
Welcome to the Forums. If you have Express Pass, you can really tour IOA & Studios at your leisure. Rarely is an Express line more than 5 or 10 minutes. Take your time & enjoy. Make sure you budget enough time to adequately explore Diagon Alley/Knockturn Alley. There's so much to see and experience that you need to tour that area extra slow. And catch the night Hogwart's show. It's short but excellent.....Food is good at Mythos, Finnegan's, Leaky Cauldron, Three Broomsticks.....or any of the CitiWalk Restaurants that are so close they may as well as be considered part of the parks. Toothsome is especially good with a unique atmosphere, good food, reasonable prices and fairly large portions.
 

mitchk

Newcomer
Oct 17, 2018
18
New Jersey
Welcome to the Forums. If you have Express Pass, you can really tour IOA & Studios at your leisure. Rarely is an Express line more than 5 or 10 minutes. Take your time & enjoy. Make sure you budget enough time to adequately explore Diagon Alley/Knockturn Alley. There's so much to see and experience that you need to tour that area extra slow. And catch the night Hogwart's show. It's short but excellent.

Thank you so much for the quick response and the tips,have a wonderful day, thank you!!
 
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mitchk

Newcomer
Oct 17, 2018
18
New Jersey
Excited for you buddy, be sure to come back and tell us how you got on :thumbsup:

You got it my friend. I’m also very big behind the scenes fan of things under construction and what not. Is there any pictures I should try to snap to maybe put on the forums? I’m a member of WDW magic and every time I’m at Disney I always make sure to get some construction photos as closest behind the scenes that I can get LOL
 
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Apr 4, 2017
105
You got it my friend. I’m also very big behind the scenes fan of things under construction and what not. Is there any pictures I should try to snap to maybe put on the forums? I’m a member of WDW magic and every time I’m at Disney I always make sure to get some construction photos as closest behind the scenes that I can get LOL
Pictures of the construction of the Harry Potter Rollercoaster are always appreciated.
 
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Apr 4, 2017
105
No problem, that is the work on the retheaming of the old dueling dragons roller coaster correct ?
It's not a re-theme (it's completely different in every way, and looks like it'll be one of the best rides in Orlando), but yes, its the one being built where Dueling Dragons used to be.
 
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Joel

Premium Member
Apr 14, 2016
2,336
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Early Park Access is to Harry Potter lands in both parks so use EPA to hit whatever park has it for the day and as @Mad Dog says, explore! If you have some extra spending cash you can get a wand for your kid (and yourself! I'm 28 and have 2) and perform some spells around each of the Harry Potter lands.

While you're at Universal Studios, you can ask for the "behind the scenes" tour for MiB and the Mummy, for MiB you get to meet the aliens in the control center and for the Mummy you get to go under the track! Usually middle of the day is your best bet for them having enough team members to take you but it's not guaranteed. (For MiB you ask RIGHT when you get off the ride)

Water rides in IoA are a blast, we always hit them right before we're planning to go back to the hotel so we're not soaked the rest of the day.

You can walk across the street to Sapphire Falls resort and take the boats into city walk isntead of taking the bus (when I stay at Cabana I ALWAYS do this). They ask that you use the river walk bridge to cross the street but if you're feeling adventurous / make sure your kid is holding your hand you can just walk right across.

I don't know if your express gets you express in Volcano Bay but they do have Express there and it's once per slide (vs. unlimited in the dry parks). Highly recommend it, especially on the weekends. Don't use it until later in the day though, if you go when the park opens you can easily hit every slide with close to no waits!

I'm leaving work now but if I think of anything else I'll let you know!
 

mitchk

Newcomer
Oct 17, 2018
18
New Jersey
Early Park Access is to Harry Potter lands in both parks so use EPA to hit whatever park has it for the day and as @Mad Dog says, explore! If you have some extra spending cash you can get a wand for your kid (and yourself! I'm 28 and have 2) and perform some spells around each of the Harry Potter lands.

While you're at Universal Studios, you can ask for the "behind the scenes" tour for MiB and the Mummy, for MiB you get to meet the aliens in the control center and for the Mummy you get to go under the track! Usually middle of the day is your best bet for them having enough team members to take you but it's not guaranteed. (For MiB you ask RIGHT when you get off the ride)

Water rides in IoA are a blast, we always hit them right before we're planning to go back to the hotel so we're not soaked the rest of the day.

You can walk across the street to Sapphire Falls resort and take the boats into city walk isntead of taking the bus (when I stay at Cabana I ALWAYS do this). They ask that you use the river walk bridge to cross the street but if you're feeling adventurous / make sure your kid is holding your hand you can just walk right across.

I don't know if your express gets you express in Volcano Bay but they do have Express there and it's once per slide (vs. unlimited in the dry parks). Highly recommend it, especially on the weekends. Don't use it until later in the day though, if you go when the park opens you can easily hit every slide with close to no waits!

I'm leaving work now but if I think of anything else I'll let you know!

Thank you so much for all the info, I truly appreciate it. I’m definitely going to try to check out the men in black and mummy stuff, that is what I truly love, behind the scenes stuff !

Thank U again and have a wonderful night
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
4,704
Ever Lurking
Hello my name is Mitch, I am going to Universal Studios and Islands of adventure for the first time on Friday with my wife and child. I have never been there before, I go to Disney World about twice a year, but now that my daughter is a bit older I figured I would give Universal a shot (plus I love the simpsons). It would be great if some of you veterans of universal would be kind enough to give me some tips to make my trip more enjoyable. My family and I would greatly appreciate it. I am going to be staying at Cabanna Bay volcano view room from October 19 till the 23rd. I have a four day three park ticket that includes universal express pass +for every day. I think I’m going to go to Islands of adventure the first day and then go to Universal Studios first thing in the morning on Saturday. Any tips on what rides to hit first or great places to grab something to eat would be greatly appreciated ( I also have the dining plan).

Thank you in advance, I look forward to enjoying this wonderful forum!
Just to be sure you are aware.
The studios is running HHN currently so the park will close to day guests at 5 or 5:30. It does have early entry to Diagon Alley/Gringotts and Minions so take advantage of that. IoA will open at normal opening time and close at 7 or 8 pm.
 
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mitchk

Newcomer
Oct 17, 2018
18
New Jersey
Just to be sure you are aware.
The studios is running HHN currently so the park will close to day guests at 5 or 5:30. It does have early entry to Diagon Alley/Gringotts and Minions so take advantage of that. IoA will open at normal opening time and close at 7 or 8 pm.

Thank you! I was aware of the early closures, I have a buddy of mine who moved out there years ago, he is a stunt man, and used to work the Sinbad show till it’s clouser. He told me he could get me into the horror nights for free. I hear it’s really cool but I couldn’t bring my seven-year-old daughter there.

Thanks again!
 
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darkridelover

Premium Member
May 5, 2012
1,555
Take some time to hangout on the waterfront behind the Discovery Center in Jurassic Park. It's a hidden gem. A good way to take a quick break from the crowds.
 
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Joel

Premium Member
Apr 14, 2016
2,336
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Thank you! I was aware of the early closures, I have a buddy of mine who moved out there years ago, he is a stunt man, and used to work the Sinbad show till it’s clouser. He told me he could get me into the horror nights for free. I hear it’s really cool but I couldn’t bring my seven-year-old daughter there.

Thanks again!
If you can leave your daughter with your wife for 1-2 hours and run through 5-6 houses using Stay and Scream, it's totally worth it.

Also mini golfing at night in city walk is a lot of fun (although can be busy on the weekend so go not on a friday or saturday). There are two courses, both fun.

Also, staying onsite gives you access to any of the other resort pools.

The action river "Fearless River" at Volcano Bay is our favorite thing at VB. Be careful wearing sunglasses in the river though, the waves are pretty intense when they get let go and it's easy to lose your glasses.
 
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mitchk

Newcomer
Oct 17, 2018
18
New Jersey
If you can leave your daughter with your wife for 1-2 hours and run through 5-6 houses using Stay and Scream, it's totally worth it.

Also mini golfing at night in city walk is a lot of fun (although can be busy on the weekend so go not on a friday or saturday). There are two courses, both fun.

Also, staying onsite gives you access to any of the other resort pools.

The action river "Fearless River" at Volcano Bay is our favorite thing at VB. Be careful wearing sunglasses in the river though, the waves are pretty intense when they get let go and it's easy to lose your glasses.
That was my first plan to leave my kid with my wife, but then I thought that might be a little rude, so I decided to not go. The good news is my wife just text me, and said go with Adam to the Halloween night thing. So now Im going!. Are there any haunted houses that are particularly special? Also, I can’t wait to hit Vocalno Bay, apparently the hotel has its own entrance into the park. How rough are the water rides? My daughter loved crush n gusher at tyhploon lagoon, are they any rougher than that, it’s a water coaster.

Thank you so much, all this info is great, and truly means a lot, and is greatly appreciated
 
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Joel

Premium Member
Apr 14, 2016
2,336
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
That was my first plan to leave my kid with my wife, but then I thought that might be a little rude, so I decided to not go. The good news is my wife just text me, and said go with Adam to the Halloween night thing. So now Im going!. Are there any haunted houses that are particularly special? Also, I can’t wait to hit Vocalno Bay, apparently the hotel has its own entrance into the park. How rough are the water rides? My daughter loved crush n gusher at tyhploon lagoon, are they any rougher than that, it’s a water coaster.

Thank you so much, all this info is great, and truly means a lot, and is greatly appreciated
It's always cool seeing houses that based on IP's (movies/TV shows) that you've seen before. Stranger Things is a really cool house this year, as well as Poltergeist and Trick 'r Treat. My favorite is Dead Exposure (an original house) which is straight up frightening. Make sure you do Stay and Scream in order to hit as many houses as possible (unless you get express pass).

The slides range in intensity from kiddy slides (in their play area) all the way up to the 3 drop-slides at the top of the volcano. Two are twisty (blue/green) and are incredibly intense, some of the ppl in our annual pass friend group won't do those slides because of their intensity. The straight-down drop slide (red one) isn't as intense, but is still pretty scary for the younger ones (I love all of them). I wouldn't call anything else "intense", just fun.

Krakatau is the water coaster and it's incredibly fun for all ages, I always highly recommend it. If you arrive at park opening, you can usually go on it a few times while it's still Ride Now. Are you familiar with Tapu-Tapu yet?

And yes, there is a dedicated Cabana Bay entrance all the way to the south-east side of the property (just follow the signs).
 
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Joel

Premium Member
Apr 14, 2016
2,336
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Also - I have the annual pass picture package but you can buy one for your stay which gets you pictures from every ride that has one (most), and every slide that has them. Here are a few from our recent trip:

(with the package you get every picture available as a digital download and you never lose access as long as you use the same email)

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