How do you handle peak days? | Inside Universal Forums
  • Signing up for a Premium Membership is a donation to help Inside Universal maintain costs and offers an ad-free experience on the forum. Learn more about it here.

How do you handle peak days?

Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
Seeing how Universal saw its busiest day in quite a while yesterday, I was wondering how our members handle peak days.

Do you just avoid the park altogether or do you plan accordingly? Could you ever wait two hours for the Studio Tour? Transformers?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Miss Betty Juice

Contributing Member
I go early during peak season, do it all in the morning, and point and laugh at people who got there late when the lines are brutal. I avoid weekends and try to go on Tuesdays or Thursdays. I get cranky when I have to wait more than 20 minutes for a ride because I'm used to being there when it isn't crowded. Single rider is my best friend for Transformers and Mummy on busier days (I can't ride JP alone, I freak out). 
 

Smartone666

Newcomer
Feb 27, 2013
17
On peak days I get there in the morning go to the lower lot get on transformers first wait no longer than 25 minutes then get on jp skip mummy and come back to it later. Go to the upper lot do the studio tour. After that go see which ever show is going to start soon and grab some doc browns chicken at lunch. Transformers and the studio tour I would wait two hours for studio tour line moves pretty quick anyway. If anything I can't imagine waiting an hour for Simpsons if that's the case I avoid that ride completely or sometimes wait till it gets close to closing when the wait times go down. But best thing about transformers on busy days single ride.
 
U

UniversalFan

What I do is get the Guest Assistance Pass and do my day with it. But of course I'll get a return time for long lines over 30 minutes.
 
Last edited:

Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
I also try to hit it in the morning or get a Guest Assistance Card if it's too nuts. Or single rider. I have the star pass, so I don't worry about the line for Studio Tour. Also, for Transformers, I always try to find out what the "code" is for that day if it's too long of a wait :)

Slightly off topic, but once we get Despicable Me AND especially Harry Potter, I feel that Universal will always be in it's peek season, kinda like how Disney is always packed now.

The Forbidden Journey ride isn't exactly a people eater in terms of efficiency, right? If you were in charge, to help cope with the crowds, where would you put ONE more ride to help cope with future Potter crowds (based on the expansion plan, of course)

For me, I'd put it in Special Effects Stage or I'd sacrifice House of Horrors for a ride. House of Horrors takes up a good chunk of land, could be used better IMO.
 
U

UniversalFan

What is this guest assistance pass of which you speak? It sounds like it's awesome.
The Guest Assistance pass is pretty much like a front of a line pass, for free! You get it at Guest Relations and you ask for it, if you ask for it, the staff may want to know what is the problem, but most of the time, they just give it to you. If an attraction has a line of 30 min+, you will get a return time for 30 minutes after you show the pass at an attraction. Like if you go there at 2pm and Jurassic Park has a wait of 30 min, you will need to come back to the attraction at 2:30pm. For shows, you just show it, you go in the Gate A line, this applies to all attractions.
 
U

UniversalFan

I also try to hit it in the morning or get a Guest Assistance Card if it's too nuts. Or single rider. I have the star pass, so I don't worry about the line for Studio Tour. Also, for Transformers, I always try to find out what the "code" is for that day if it's too long of a wait :)

Slightly off topic, but once we get Despicable Me AND especially Harry Potter, I feel that Universal will always be in it's peek season, kinda like how Disney is always packed now.

The Forbidden Journey ride isn't exactly a people eater in terms of efficiency, right? If you were in charge, to help cope with the crowds, where would you put ONE more ride to help cope with future Potter crowds (based on the expansion plan, of course)

For me, I'd put it in Special Effects Stage or I'd sacrifice House of Horrors for a ride. House of Horrors takes up a good chunk of land, could be used better IMO.
Allen, just to tell you, the staff at TF will NEVER tell you the passcode of the day, for me, I have friends that are NEST Crew members, they tell me the passcode using Facebook Messenger, so that the staff member doesn't get in trouble.
 

Miss Betty Juice

Contributing Member
This. The only way to get the password is if you're lucky enough to be there when it breaks down.

Also: a common misconception is that passwords are reused. This is 100% false. New passwords are used everyday, so don't approach NEST crew and yell at them "Bonecrusher!" ...you uh, won't get in.
But it would be hilarious to see people randomly shouting words related to the films at employees. Like going to jp and yelling "VELOCIRAPTOR!"
 
  • Like
Reactions: BernardMesa
U

UniversalFan

This. The only way to get the password is if you're lucky enough to be there when it breaks down.

Also: a common misconception is that passwords are reused. This is 100% false. New passwords are used everyday, so don't approach NEST crew and yell at them "Bonecrusher!" ...you uh, won't get in.
Totally agree with you! That is what my friend told me. Passwords ALWAYS change everyday. At least I have friends that are amazing that tell me the passcode.
 
U

UniversalFan

But it would be hilarious to see people randomly shouting words related to the films at employees. Like going to jp and yelling "VELOCIRAPTOR!"
LOL. I actually saw people shouting related words to the movie. One day, the ride broke down and the passcode of the day was "roar". Another one was "fluffy"
 

Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
The Guest Assistance pass is pretty much like a front of a line pass, for free! You get it at Guest Relations and you ask for it, if you ask for it, the staff may want to know what is the problem, but most of the time, they just give it to you. If an attraction has a line of 30 min+, you will get a return time for 30 minutes after you show the pass at an attraction. Like if you go there at 2pm and Jurassic Park has a wait of 30 min, you will need to come back to the attraction at 2:30pm. For shows, you just show it, you go in the Gate A line, this applies to all attractions.
Sounds interesting. I don't think I'd ever use it, but I guess it's a good thing to have in mind. I really hope it doesn't get abused though, since it seems like something many people can take advantage of.
How did you catch wind of this pass? Is it listed on their official website?
 

Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
UniversalFan and Bob Dylan, I'm well aware how the password system works, I have my ways I get the password and I have my in park sources as well....thanks anyway ;)

And yes, it's very similar to Disney's disability system, except its extremely overused at Disney recently, so they've become more strict regarding what they ask you, etc. Legally USH and Disney have to offer it, ADA laws I believe. Also, they can't ask you for documentation, you just have to know what to say.

Luckily, it's not overused at Universal. For both Disney and Universal, there's no mention of this program in any handbook online or anywhere. If you require it, you need to go to guest relations. It's quite helpful if you really need it. It's been around since I wanna say the 90s for both parks, although they've slightly changed. There's a different Guest Assistance Pass for different needs. I have a picture I took at the Mummy Gate A entrance that shows all levels of the pass.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
I've not seen it listed on the website and I've gone through the ADA handbook pdf on the site as well. No mention of it turned up. I just really hope people don't over-use it, I wouldn't want people who truly need the pass to lose their access to it.
Agreed. If a day is truly busy, I'd probably skip the park altogether and head in at another time. If I have a party, I'll follow some of the tips you all have outlined above, but if it's myself or a group that I know that has been the park many times - no need for Guest Assistance passes.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

nesboy43

Newcomer
Jan 13, 2013
22
Its not worth going to any parks on peak days. As someone who has worked at a theme park (I know Im not the only one on this forum) I was able to understand what days are best to visit the parks. Go on a Sunday during off-season or take off school/work and go on a week day during off-season. From the beginning of January to the middle of March it is nice and relaxed besides the few Holiday weekends. between middle of April and end of May it is also relaxed. Going to a park when it's busy is never worth the effort for me. Just avoid times close to Spring Break, Summer, Christmas, Haloween, Thanksgiving, and any other holiday weekends and it will be worry free. 

Luckily Universal has always been excellent about keeping ride times as short as possible and has boards showing wait times, while Disney only has one board on main street which is adjusted manually. The fact that people wait so long for rides always puzzle me, some rides at all the SoCal parks can get upwards of 2 hour queues which is just crazy. If I was a visitor I would understand but as a resident I would never wait more than 20 minutes for a ride at any of the parks.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
Luckily Universal has always been excellent about keeping ride times as short as possible and has boards showing wait times, while Disney only has one board on main street which is adjusted manually. The fact that people wait so long for rides always puzzle me, some rides at all the SoCal parks can get upwards of 2 hour queues which is just crazy. If I was a visitor I would understand but as a resident I would never wait more than 20 minutes for a ride at any of the parks.
I think Hollywood has always been excellent in this regard. Florida and Singapore have similar systems in place, but Hollywood's consistent time boards across the park is something to be praised.

Seriously. I'm still surprised Disney is still resorting to those old, static signs. You would think they would have something more advanced.
 

Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
^ I totally agree. Fans were expecting DCA to get a digital waiting board after the grand reopening, but instead we got a similar analog static wait time board like Disneyland. We can't always count on the mobile website for the wait times, service isn't always the best. And if I'm walking, for example, from paradise pier to hollywoodland to ride the tower of terror, I have no way of knowing what the wait time is, yet alone if it's even open! Nothing is worse than walking all the way across the park to ride an attraction and it's closed. Universal never has this problem, so kudos to Universal.