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Three Days - how to split up the time

Universal Orlando: Family with young children ... which park to spend two days.

From Rob Moore
Posted May 14, 2010 at 8:32 AM
We (2 adults, kids 9, 9 and 7) will have three days to spend at the Universal Orlando parks. This is our first visit.

Which park should we spend two days vs. one at the other (I'm too cheap to pay for park-to-park)? We'll be staying at the Pacific resort, if that makes a difference (perhaps with respect to easier access to one or the other).

My kids aren't Harry Potter fans ... yet, but my wife and I are. I don't think the HP area will be a strong determining factor. I'm more interested in which park will provide the more "magical" experience for the family.

Thanks for your advice.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Pyra Dong
Posted May 14, 2010 at 9:53 AM
(Takes out souvenir Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure map) Hmm, this is a toughie-- I think both those parks have an equal number of attractions and shows for kids that age to do.

By a tiny margin, I say give the 2nd day to IOA. Reason? There's more theming "photo ops" that i'm sure two parents would LOVE to throw their kids at. AND more opportunities to be "interactive"-- exploring Camp Jurassic and the Discovery Center, cooling off in the water at Toon Lagoon, etc. Plus Harry Potter lines might cause you to miss some things.

From Rob Moore
Posted May 14, 2010 at 10:13 AM
Thanks. Do you recall how far it is to go from one park to the other? Is it worth it to get the park-to-park pass or would we spend too much time walking between the two?

From Nick Markham
Posted May 14, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Your staying at the Royal Pacific Resort makes a HUGE difference.

Basically, you do not have to decide which one for the second day. Just whichever you enjoy most in the first two days, as you hotel room card works as a Universal Express Pass for free, and, guests staying at the resort get into Islands of Adventure 1 hour early to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter before the park opens!

Also, each park is within about a minute or two walking distance!

Also, don't forget you have free ferry transportation to the parks!

From April C
Posted May 14, 2010 at 12:49 PM
I'd say it would probably take you more like 5 minutes to get in between the parks unless you're speed walking.

I'd do as the others said. Do both parks and then make your decision.

From Bob Miller
Posted May 14, 2010 at 12:50 PM
Rob, I agree with Nick, go with the park you liked best in the first two days.

When my 11 year old grandson and I were there, we chose Studio over Islands simply because he was not big enough to get on the coasters at Islands.

We also did the water rides first thing and even though it was cool, we changed clothes after getting soaked. With you staying close, it may not make a difference.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 14, 2010 at 6:04 PM
I still think each should get their own day and then splurge for the park hopper for the last day.

Its tough to know which would be better. I would say USO, just because there are very few attractions the smaller kids can't go on!

From Kathryn Leigh
Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:24 AM
I'd suggest Universal Studios for kids that young- there's simply more for them to do there. Plus, with everyone flocking to WWoHP, I'd imagine Universal will be quite empty?

From Neil Reece
Posted June 6, 2010 at 3:27 PM
Also, try to fit in a showing of The Blue Man Group while you're there. The kids will love it--you will too, but bring earplugs. :)

From Tony Duda
Posted June 7, 2010 at 6:36 PM
Studios sometimes had fireworks at closing time. Check to see if your days have them. You may want to double up at Studios just for that.

From Tony Duda
Posted June 8, 2010 at 10:08 PM
There will be laser light show and fireworks at Universal Studios this summer from July 4 to August 8 at 9 pm.

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