Be sure to get your tickets in advance, as well, through the Universal website.
Traditionally, Monday and Tuesday have been the most crowded days at the Magic Kingdom, as most Orlando visitors head to that park first during their visit. However, we don't know yet how Harry Potter will affect traffic patterns. The week of your visit will be the first full week that the Harry Potter ride and land are open to the public, so I expect huge crowds at Universal throughout the week.
So staying at one of the 3 onsite Universal hotels provides better access to WWOHP? We wouldn't be able to stay offsite and purchase an Express Plus ticket?
Thanks very much for any advice!
However, Express Plus will not work with the new Harry Potter Forbidden Journey attraction. Not yet anyway (nor does it work with Rip, Ride, Rockit at Studios - unless that policy has recently changed). However, the pass should work with the other HP rethemed attractions (formerly Dueling Dragons and the Flying Unicorn), so there would be some benefit.
I think you should just accept that the new Harry Potter ride is going to be extremely crowded (and experience quite a bit of downtime due to the newness of the technology) and deal with it. IOA is a big park with lots to do, so while everyone else is waiting in line at Potter, you should have great access to everything else!
If you do all the Disney parks that should take all the days you have.. Next year Universal will be less crowed and the bugs worked out of the rides.
ps: there always sea world and bush gardens for a lot less $$..
have fun no matter the plan..
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort