Reading all this... you're definitely used to Disney World, aren't you?Hi,
We are planning our first Universal vacation for December, We will be staying on Hard Rock Hotel or Royal Pacific Resort. We already purchased a 5 days park to park tickets and will start using them on Monday 16 to Friday 20, in what should be a very busy time. We don’t mind showing up at 6:00 am to beat the crowds.
We want to do Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure at least one time per day during those 5 days, So what should the strategy be?
1- Ignore our early park admission hour that comes by staying at the hotel, since we have the unlimited express pass, and try to be the first every morning at the gates of Island of Adventure, so we can ride the Hagrid and start our day that way?
2- Do early park admission at Universal Studios and wait till the queue are lower during the day or night and try to do the Hagrid?
We were told that Universal could change the early park admission at any point to Island of Adventure. So we booked both hotels and are planning to keep them both until we are around a month away, in case we decide to go with strategy number two, we can be staying at the hotel that is closer to the park with the early park admission at that time.
We are discarding using the boats to arrive at the parks because we want to beat the crowds. So walking will be our approach.
So far this is what we know. So please correct me if I got something wrong.
There are 3 security checkpoints that start letting people through at 6:30 am:
So in case we go for strategy number one. We will be staying at the Royal Pacific Resort, because even though RPR and HRH are about the same distance to IOA, RPR security checkpoint is right beside IOA and therefore should be the first crowds to arrive at IOA.
- City walk for the people that are driving in, or are being driven on a bus from the other hotels.
- The bridge right before island of adventure, where the walking path ends for the guests at the Royal Pacific Resort and other guests from the other Universal’s hotels that shared the same walking path.
- Right beside the entrance of Universal Studios for guests from the Hard Rock Hotel and Portofino Bay.
Maybe there is a 3rd strategy I haven’t thought of.
Sorry for the long post but I’m so confused with all of these and I hope you guys can help me come up with the best strategy.
Thanks a lot
we call that the enlightenment periodThanks 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, left trying to find then things to do, 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
Here you go: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!"
Thanks Andysol, I just read through it. I guess everything will be covered with Christmas decorations.Here you go:
Universal Orlando Resort™ | Your Orlando Vacation Destination
And here was last year's info:
Previewing the 2018 Holiday Season at Universal Orlando | Inside Universal
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.
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.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
Thanks Mad Dog I'm feeling relax already lol, I was totally over planning this.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.
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.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.
Plus, most of them are very reasonably priced for sit down restaurants.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.