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Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

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Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Old 10-22-18, 10:33 AM
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Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

I unexpectedly can take some time off this week (I had a trial continued at the last minute). I want to go to Universal Studios in Orlando with the wife, but she needs to be back by Saturday to work. So I have to pull this together right the fuck now. Plan to leave tomorrow afternoon, spend Wed/Thu in the park and return home Friday.

I've never been to that park. I need help from people who have. Where should I stay (ideally in the park)? What type of tickets should I get? I'm willing to spend a bit extra for convenience and to maximize the experience.
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Old 10-22-18, 10:43 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

First off, be aware that Halloween Horror Nights is going on, so the park itself closes earlier than normal and you need a separate ticket to get into the scare zones. Living in Orlando and being involved in the theatre community, I can't walk 20 feet at HHN without running into a friend who's performing.
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Old 10-22-18, 10:45 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

How early does it close?
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Old 10-22-18, 11:19 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

If Orlando is like California tickets are going to be expensive. Typically if you buy them 7 days in advance there is a savings.
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Old 10-22-18, 11:29 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
How early does it close?
On the days you're looking at, the main park closes at 5PM. Islands of Adventure is open until 8PM.
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Old 10-22-18, 11:42 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

We did it earlier this summer. We did went for 2 days. It was somewhat crowded when we were there, so our strategy was to pay for the ExpressPass the first day and ride everything we wanted to, and then linger around the 2nd day to "see stuff" and do the Harry Potter things.

You don't have to get the ExpressPass ahead of time, you can go in and judge how long the wait times are and decide for yourself if you need one, they sell them in the gift shops.

It is damn expensive.

We didn't stay at the park, but if you do they have some bundles with the tickets and passes that might save you a bit.
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Old 10-22-18, 11:42 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

We stayed at Loews Royal Pacific Resort which included in our price front of the line passes and early hours for Harry Potter. Also, it was a short boat ride to the park.
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Old 10-22-18, 11:59 AM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

^^ We've done this twice. I recommend it.
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Old 10-22-18, 12:35 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

OK, I just booked our trip. We go down tomorrow. Staying at the Leow's Sapphire Falls report. We got the 2-park pass (we don't care about Volcano Bay) with the express unlimited option, and got tickets for the Halloween Horror Nights for Wed night. Really looking forward to this. Now I have to study the park maps to figure out strategy for what to see first, etc. Probably going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first (we get early admission for that).
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Old 10-22-18, 12:49 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

So tell me what rides/attractions we should absolutely not miss.
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Old 10-22-18, 01:21 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

All Harry Potter is great and the Hulk roller coaster is fun as hell. It's insanely fast.

We never miss big pink donuts and Duff beer in Simpson's Land either
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Old 10-22-18, 01:29 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Awesome. I can't wait.
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Old 10-22-18, 01:34 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Rip Ride Rockit is also a great coaster.
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Old 10-22-18, 01:49 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

All of Potter world, of course. King Kong and the Mummy ride.
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Old 10-22-18, 02:07 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
So tell me what rides/attractions we should absolutely not miss.

Pretty much everything at both parks is worth doing at least once. But in our experience some things still take quite a bit of time even with the Express option and are worth doing earlier in the day. That includes the Forbidden Journey and Gringots rides in the Potter areas, including taking the "train" back and forth to experience both trips (the show is different going each way). And the Express line for the Rockit coaster can get pretty lengthy, so do that early if you want to ride more than once.

Given the Universal Studios side closes earlier I would do as much as possible there and do the rest of the IOA side (everything not Potter) after the Studios closes.
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Old 10-22-18, 02:17 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Flight of the Hippogriff is kind of lame, but if you're planning on riding it, you should ride it first. It has a very low rider throughput, so the line builds up faster than normal. The other two Harry Potter rides move people in and out quickly so the lines take longer to grow.
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Old 10-22-18, 02:43 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
Pretty much everything at both parks is worth doing at least once. But in our experience some things still take quite a bit of time even with the Express option and are worth doing earlier in the day. That includes the Forbidden Journey and Gringots rides in the Potter areas, including taking the "train" back and forth to experience both trips (the show is different going each way). And the Express line for the Rockit coaster can get pretty lengthy, so do that early if you want to ride more than once.

Given the Universal Studios side closes earlier I would do as much as possible there and do the rest of the IOA side (everything not Potter) after the Studios closes.
Great advice, thanks.
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Old 10-22-18, 05:08 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

We went three days. One in each park, then the third day we went on our favorite rides between the two.
Hogwarts, the Mummy, Spider-Man and the Simpsons are all can't miss. I didn't feel like getting soaked, so we skipped Jurassic Park.
It's expensive, but it's a really good time. Oh yeah make sure you try butter beer.
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Old 10-22-18, 05:49 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Will do.
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Old 10-22-18, 05:52 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Don't forget to reserve extra accommodations for your prodigious privates.
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Old 10-22-18, 08:36 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume View Post
Don't forget to reserve extra accommodations for your prodigious privates.
Of course - I ordered an extra cot.

Thanks for all the advice, we're really looking forward to this. I'll provide a report - and pics - when we return.
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Old 10-22-18, 08:47 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

If it exists, buy a fast pass. You're guranateed to ride everything more than once and won't feel like you wasted your day standing in lines.
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Old 10-22-18, 08:52 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit ... “Unexpectedly have some time”? Bando won the lottery and now he’s trying to duck out on us! That dirty SOB ...
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Old 10-22-18, 09:12 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

Originally Posted by Lipid View Post
If it exists, buy a fast pass. You're guranateed to ride everything more than once and won't feel like you wasted your day standing in lines.
Got it already.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit ... “Unexpectedly have some time”? Bando won the lottery and now he’s trying to duck out on us! That dirty SOB ...
$1.6B baby. I'm gonna buy this forum and it will be the best, most inclusive, most sexy forum ever!
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Old 10-22-18, 10:37 PM
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Re: Help Bando Pull Together A Vacation on Short Notice - Universal Studios, Orlando

I went to HHN last Sunday and it was insane, apparently Florida schools had off Monday and it was packed with high schoolers. I think a Wednesday should be less crowded, but if your funds permit, I cannot recommend buying the express pass for HHN enough, or a RIP tour. We spent $130 PP but it was the BEST money I spent the entire trip. You need a separate express pass for HHN, the daytime ones with the hotel will NOT work for HHN. I think it is cheaper if you buy ahead of time.

With the express you can enter each house once in separate lines. It is really the only way to visit all ten houses in one night. For example when we went to the Stranger Things house it showed 135 minutes (it hit 180) we waited 9 minutes. Now some houses we waited longer but no more that 25 minutes.

If you decide against the HHN express, just skip the Blumhouse one, and the patient zero. Poltergeist and the Scary Tales were my favorite.

Another tip for HHN, since you have day passes, you can stay in the park at holding areas when they set up. Get to one early and sit at a bar or order dinner. They will let you out before the rest of the park can get in so you can bang out a couple houses first. It seriously took us an hour from when they opened the park for us to get in, the line was that crazy.They close the park I think at 4 (maybe 5) and reopens at 630.
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