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Crowds in May: Questions about senior trips, field trips, express passes

pff6192

Newcomer
Feb 23, 2020
11
Hi! I am coming from NJ in May. We are staying at a Disney resort from May 16-20 (Saturday-Weds) planning for one day at Universal to park hop and 4 days at Disney. Universal is my all my time favorite and I want to get done as much as possible. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago (Feb 1st-5th) but came down with the flu and I am bummed because I know the crowds would have been different in Feb than when I am going in May.

Question 1: We are planning to go to Universal/IOA with a park hopper on the 19th (Tuesday of that week), my question is: on the Orlando Informer crowd calendar, it shows Sunday being slower crowds and Tuesday being moderate crowds. I am curious why this is? Or if anyone disagrees? This time frame is right before Memorial Day Weekend, however, in my research, I found that most Florida schools don't get out until the Friday after I leave to go home to NJ (May 22nd). Will there be school trips on that Tuesday? Is that why it says moderate? That is late in May, so I imagined field trips would be over? What is your predictions on crowds for that time frame, especially the 19th that I plan to go to Universal/IOA?

Question 2: Additionally, I did not want to spend the extra money on Express Pass if I didn't have to, but what are people's thoughts if I want to do most attractions (rides) in both parks. I will be able to single ride Rip Ride Rockit because my boyfriend is a chicken, and we may skip things like Fast and Furious & Seuss, but for the most part, I want to do most things. Is it doable without Express Pass during this time as I plan to spend the entire day from open-close at the park (9AM-9PM)?

Thanks so much!!!
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
19,359
Pittsburgh area
I go in mid May every year. Short of a few crowded Saturdays, and Memorial Day weekend/week, you can easily get by without Express passes. Plus most of Universal's D/E ticket attractions have 'Single Line', and the way Universal operates, their single lines are much faster than Disney's single line. The only times you'll probably get any, and there won't be many, long lines will be between noon and 4 PM. Universal generally is not crowded in the mornings. Get there early for rope drop and you should get plenty of rides in. I think Touring Plans crowd calendar on Universal is more accurate than OI's crowd calendar. They're basically showing the same size crowd on Tuesday (level 3) as Sunday (level 4). That's on the low/moderate end of a 1-10 TP crowd calendar, with 10 being the highest. ...and even with single rider, you both stand in line together.....but sometimes you miss most of the great queues.......and the sweet spot for Hagrid's is the opposite of most rides, namely noon to 3 Pm, so don't waste morning time standing in a long line for Hagrid's, when you can knock off a ton of rides before the park gets a bit busy instead.
 
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pff6192

Newcomer
Feb 23, 2020
11
Thank you for your response! I'll be there the week before Memorial Day Weekend starts. I'm leaving the 20th and MDW starts the 22nd (Friday). I will definitely do single rider for a few rides, but we will not want to do all single rider. Do you know think we'll be able to get through most without the single rider (besides those randoms like Dr. Seuss and a few others) without Express Pass during that week with Touring Plans predicting 3? (Ty for that by the way. I knew it seemed weird a Sunday being lower than a Tuesday)

We plan to get there early! Planning on doing IOA first. I heard it's not the best idea to rope drop Hagrid's. Hear its better to go around lunch, so will definitely do that.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
19,359
Pittsburgh area
Thank you for your response! I'll be there the week before Memorial Day Weekend starts. I'm leaving the 20th and MDW starts the 22nd (Friday). I will definitely do single rider for a few rides, but we will not want to do all single rider. Do you know think we'll be able to get through most without the single rider (besides those randoms like Dr. Seuss and a few others) without Express Pass during that week with Touring Plans predicting 3? (Ty for that by the way. I knew it seemed weird a Sunday being lower than a Tuesday)

We plan to get there early! Planning on doing IOA first. I heard it's not the best idea to rope drop Hagrid's. Hear its better to go around lunch, so will definitely do that.
.....No trouble without Express, just try to avoid mid afternoon with some of the heavy hitter rides, unless you single rider them. If it was me,I'd turn left when entering IOA and do the Hulk, SpiderMan, Kong , and FJ, then turn around and backtrack to JPRA and then decide if you want to do the other water rides. Depending on time do CITH. If not enough time for CITH, go straight to Hagrids if it's past noon, or one by then. .Try to do Kong early in the morning. Lines get longer as the day progresses, and there's no single rider. SpiderMan should be short lines in the morning. CITH will be a walk on all day just about. FJ lines are doable in the morning. Popeye & Dudley are OK in the morning. In the afternoon line length depends on how hot the weather is. JPRA should be fairly short most of the day. Hulk is up and down on times so you have to watch it. You should really be able to get a good dent in IOA in the morning. I like Poseidon's Fury, but if you're on a one day achedule, it takes too long to fit in.....By the time you get over to USF , Gringotts will be in the 20 to 45 minute range, so you might want to single rider that. Same with Transformers. MIB, Mummy and Simpsons should be doable with stand by. Skip Minion Mayhem since it's a ruined experience on that small screen without 3D. ET shouldn't be bad on time. Get a virtual time for Fallon as soon as you get over to USF. It's actually a pretty good overall experience. Only do F&F if it's a walk on, or single rider is open. RRR will probably be a bit on the medium long line when you get over to USF. You should end up having some extra time to explore Diagon, and maybe a street show or Horror Make Up show. . Plus Bourne should be open by then. The Cinemagic Night Show is very good, Disney night show quality, so stay for that at the close of the evening.
 
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pff6192

Newcomer
Feb 23, 2020
11
.....No trouble without Express, just try to avoid mid afternoon with some of the heavy hitter rides, unless you single rider them. .Try to do Kong early in the morning. Lines get longer as the day progresses, and there's no single rider. SpiderMan should be short lines in the morning. CITH will be a walk on all day just about. FJ lines are doable in the morning. Popeye & Dudley are OK in the morning. In the afternoon line length depends on how hot the weather is. JPRA should be fairly short most of the day. Hulk is up and down on times so you have to watch it. You should really be able to get a good dent in IOA in the morning.....By the time you get over to USF , Gringotts will be in the 20 to 45 minute range, so you might want to single rider that. Same with Transformers. MIB, Mummy and Simpsons should be doable with stand by. Skip Minion Mayhem since it's a ruined experience on that small screen without 3D. ET shouldn't be bad on time. Get a virtual time for Fallon as soon as you get over to USF. It's actually a pretty good overall experience. Only do F&F if it's a walk on, or single rider is open. RRR will probably be a bit on the medium long line when you get over to USF. You should have time for some repeat rides and/or some of the lesser attractions.
I am SO appreciative of this info. We plan to go on Tuesday, we will be home back in NJ by Friday. Thinking we'll start with FJ then head over to Kong and Spiderman as you said. Great idea. Will go back for Hagrid's around lunch before heading over to USF (hope it's running at that time lol!!) This was extremely helpful, thank you! I'll be doing Hulk & RRR single rider bc the person I'll be with won't ride, so everything else sounds manageable. Thanks again!!!
 
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pff6192

Newcomer
Feb 23, 2020
11
There was just a thread on a Universal Studios Orlando Facebook group about this time in May being bad because of field trips!!! I'm bugging out a little LOL. How can I find out about day trips to the park for schools and when they are???!
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
19,359
Pittsburgh area
There was just a thread on a Universal Studios Orlando Facebook group about this time in May being bad because of field trips!!! I'm bugging out a little LOL. How can I find out about day trips to the park for schools and when they are???!
I wouldn't worry about that. I've never really seen much in the way of student groups in May. A few here and there, but not enough to affect the overall attendance. Just don't go on an attraction if you see a large group lining up for it.
 
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pff6192

Newcomer
Feb 23, 2020
11
I wouldn't worry about that. I've never really seen much in the way of student groups in May. A few here and there, but not enough to affect the overall attendance. Just don't go on an attraction if you see a large group lining up for it.
Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I know they have the Gradventure and Gradbash, but I am not going on any of those days, and I think those events are at night. Hopefully not many school field trips the time I'm there. Thanks!
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
19,359
Pittsburgh area
Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I know they have the Gradventure and Gradbash, but I am not going on any of those days, and I think those events are at night. Hopefully not many school field trips the time I'm there. Thanks!
We ran into a few but they weren't ever dominant in the park. Like I said, if they're in a bunch going towards a ride, just avoid that ride for a bit, like you would when the Brazilian tour groups cluster....Grad stuff is usually Friday nights and they close both parks at 6PM for them.
 
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pff6192

Newcomer
Feb 23, 2020
11
We ran into a few but they weren't ever dominant in the park. Like I said, if they're in a bunch going towards a ride, just avoid that ride for a bit, like you would when the Brazilian tour groups cluster....Grad stuff is usually Friday nights and they close both parks at 6PM for them.
Great, thanks so much for your info!! Much appreciated
 
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