Also, the "butter bear" sounds really interesting...
After lunch you will have seen every inch on WWoHP and then you should make your way back to Seuss Landing - stopping at Poseidon's Fury. Hit the Seuss Trolley for some good photo ops of the whole park. Check out Cat in the Hat and then cross over to Marvel. The Hulk will be fun, even though it is a coaster. Do not miss Spiderman. Play it by ear through Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. I would then stop back into WWoHP for shopping. Since you are staying onsite, there is the ship to your room option but because you are checking out the next day, you should just carry your purchases back at the end of day 1. Go back to your hotel and relax and then maybe head over to CityWalk (you will get in the clubs for free) and enjoy Rising Star (live band karaoke) and Pat O'Brien's (dueling piano's). Being solo, you will feel comfortable in both of these places.
The park map is the same for both parks so you will be able to take a look at it the day before to decide what you want to see. Again, if you get an early start, you WILL be able to see everything you want to this time of year. In addition to the most popular rides, the Horror Make-up Show should not be missed. Enjoy yourself!
Get there early and head directly to WWOHP. Take your time and just take in the experience. Walk through the shops first before they get busy.(Honeydukes, Zonkos, Olivander's, ect.) Then go and ride the Forbidden Journey. Don't take the single rider's line first because you will miss a lot! When you exit the ride you come out through another shop so take a look around there as well. Then since you aren't big on roller coasters, you should head to Marvel Island and ride Spider Man. I've heard that the Hulk is a great coaster but I've never been on it so you would have to make the choice yourself based on what you see. From there go to Seuss Landing and ride The Cat in The Hat and the Seuss Trolley. Then check the show times for the 8th Voyage of Sinbad and Poseidon's Fury and depending on what time it is, either go to the Lost Continent and try those out or head to Toon Lagoon. At Toon Lagoon you must ride Popeye's Bilge Rat Barges: Caution you will get SOAKED!!! If you are up for one big drop head to Ripsaw Falls (you will get wet there too so don't worry about drying off after Popeye). If not head to Jurassic Park River Adventure. This is another big drop but it's less intense than Ripsaw Falls and the theme is better too so I recommend this for sure. You will also get wet but after this ride you can dry off for the day! Then depending on if you did it before or not, check out the Lost Continent and the 2 shows there. After that hit any of you favorite rides again and then end the day at WWOHP. In the 2 visits I've made this year, WWOHP seemed to be the least busy in the morning and in the last 2 hours or so before park close. Also in Day 1 if you can, eat dinner at Mythos Restaurant. It was really good!
If you have a Park-to-Park ticket, start the day early again at WWOHP. (The early admission is only good for IOA) This will be your last time at WWOHP so enjoy it! Then a little after 9am, walk to the Studios side. You will have to make another decision whether or not to ride Rip Ride Rockit. Again I was to chicken to go on that as well. After that try Shrek 4-D and Twister if the lines aren't very long. The Revenge of the Mummy is a must do coaster! The theme on this is well worth the drops! After Mummy, just keep following the park to the right and hit Disaster, Jaws, MIB, Simpsons, and ET. Check the show times for Terminator 2 3D and make sure you catch that. Then you should have hit all of the major rides. So depending on time, either go back on some of your favorites or head to the airport. The food tip for Studios is to stop at Richter's Burger Co. (it's by Disaster) for a soda. They have 100+ flavors!
You should be able to do quite a bit with the early admission and the Express Pass and where that doesn't work take advantage of the single rider's line! Sorry about the short novel but I hope this helps!
I was surprised athow good the Jaws ride was. I remember riding it a long time ago, and it was out-dated etc. I didn't even want to bother with it this time, but was really glad I did! It was more exciting than I remembered and the technology seemed revamped, there were a lot of suspensful moments too! I recommend sitting on the left of the boat towards the back.
Eating in Amityville was also fun as there were a few affordable choices and a nice place to sit in the shade by the water. There was a good buzz about the place.
If you are going to do any coaster at all I would second the Mummy recommendation. The coaster part is quite short and along with the ofther effects you'll experience it's well worth braving it! It's a one-of-a-kind attraction, very impressive.
If you were going to miss anything in the Studios I would miss the Simpsons, unless there's no queue. Also I wouldn't worry about hitting the Graveyard Revue as it's a long show and a bit tedious.
If you have time, it's definiately worth getting a shake in Mels Diner...they are delicious and it's nice to browse the gorgeous classic cars outside.
As for IofA, HP world is amazing, and like eveyone says, get there early to explore the shops and ride Forbidden Journey. You'll have to store any bags in the locker, but make sure to keep you camera in your pocket as there's lots of good photos ops in the castle.
Dragon Challenge never seems to have a queue, but if you're not a big fan of coasters, this might be one to miss (the themeing isn't that amazing and it's quite an intense ride. For the same reasons I would give the Hulk and the Fearfall a miss.)
I recommend stopping to chat to the train driver who hangs around the Hogwarts Express, and also exploring the rear area of the shops on the left as you approach the castle from Lost Continent. If you go through Honeydukes and exit the other side (by the checkouts) you will find a back lane. If you stop to listen by the opposite shop front you will hear the crockery washing itself!
Jurrasic Park is one not to miss, as it's only one drop and the themeing is superb! (we rode it twice on the trot and on the second time got the operator to increase the speed of the drop so we got even wetter! we were the only ones riding it!) Must do Spidey also as this is a classic!
Enjoy your time there! Let us know what you decided to do!
At IoA, I would ride Forbidden Journey as early as possible to avoid waiting later. The queue line detail/theming is absurd (in a good way). Yes, the shops may get busier then but that's the trade off. Definitely check out Poseidon's Fury, Sinbad's show, Spider-Man, and Jurassic River Adventure as well.
Walk through the queue of dragon challenge if it seems abandoned. There are great artifacts fro. The fourth movie.
Jurassic Park River adventure: you'll be disappointed if you are expecting to be scared, but the theming on this ride takes you right back to sets from the movie. I think it is worth the ride. PS midday crowd on this ride is HUGE.
The gem of Jurassic Park is the interactive area inside the compound area,may be worth peeking into if you have the time.
Dudley Do-Right: look at the wait time, then add an hour to it (really) if it's a hot day. The express passers will tie this ride up big time. Caution! This could eat a lot of time off of your
day, but the ride is cute, and the jokes are groaners.
Popeye and Bluto's river tours: it's a raft ride, not much more. Up to you.
There are lots of nice trails around comics land that are filled with little hidden prizes if you look for them, like Plymouth rock, which is a giant car shaped rock.
Spiderman: A must do.
Dr. Doom: skip it
Storm Force: tea cup ride: probably skip it
Hulk: it's a coaster
Seuss land has great theming all around. All of the ride instructions are in verse. I would say do cat in the hat for the theming. Nothing else is really worth the wait.
Poseidon Adventure is a very unique attraction, I would do it.
Sindbad is a stunt show
Shreck 3-D: theming is good, would still skip it.
Twister: I spent the whole time wondering what happened to BillPaxton and Helen Hunt. This is a robotic SFX show, but it is a bit drawn out.
The Mummy: Definitely!
Disaster: I want to say it is worth it for the holographic projections alone, but it takes a while to get through the whole thing: toss up. Judge the line length.
Skip monster review
Take some time to scrutinize the environments in New York and San Francisco.
Amityville is a good place to eat. Jaws is the luck of the draw with your skipper.
Men In Black: good ride, great theming. Bit of a wait.
Simpsons: Time eater, although you won't notice until the video loops while you are In the queue. Skip it.
ET: A classic. Must do!
Terminator: skip it
Lucile Ball museum: I love Lucy, but the artifacts seem randomly placed in this two room museum.
The grammar police need to relax a bit in here. You guys hijacked an entire thread going back and forth with this nonsense. Not very nice...
The poor guy comes here to offer advice and you make him feel inferior? What is that all about?
Why didn't you slam KJ for not using paragraphs in the initial thread? I know why I didn't. It is because I have more important things to do......
See what I did there? :p
Thank you all for the great tips- they helped make my short trip the best it could be! Forbidden Journey- simply amazing. Better than I could have imagined.
The extra cost to stay overnight onsite was worth its weight in gold. Having early entry to WWoHP was perfect- by the time the time the land started filling up, I was just about ready to move on.
One thing I did not like- and maybe this was just because it was low season- was how the whole park didn't open up at opening time. I had early entry, so spent 8 to 9 in WWoHP. At 9, I was ready to move on, but as I walked, I quickly discovered that most of the rest of the park wasn't actually open until 10. Even though gates opened at 9, most areas stayed shuttered- leaving me to basically waste an hour, walking through empty, closed up lands.
It was very, very cold during my visit (the kind of cold that makes people buy $55 sweatshirts at the gift shop!), so I was reluctant to go on rides that would soak me. I saw too many people dripping wet and shivering, lips turning blue...
I loved the walkability- it reminded me of Disneyland and DCA, and emphasized just how much time we waste at WDW, shuttling between parks. I loved being able to just hop over back and forth whenever I wanted, and also be a quick walk back to the hotel.
I never realized just how simulator-heavy these parks are. I felt like practically every ride was some kind of motion simulator. Oh, and Dominick- sorry buddy, as much as I love The Simpsons, their ride made me a bit TOO queasy. I missed quite a bit of detail because I had to keep closing my eyes, something I usually don't do.
I couldn't help comparing the TMs to their CM counterparts at Disney. For me, there was really no comparison. I did not encounter any TMs who who stood out in any way, or who made any effort to make me feel like I was their guest. Only very few even acted in a friendly way. One or two TMs throughout my visit may have given an extra smile or friendly comment, but that's it. A few even seemed a bit rude. The only ones who seemed into their jobs were a few that I interacted with in WWoHP. The TMs I encountered at The Simpsons and at Disaster actually seemed not to have a system down- too many people were let into the ride at both places, with not enough seats or places to put them. The TMs seemed all confused and couldn't get their acts together to make things go more smoothly for the guests. I know sometimes mistakes happen, but I couldn't help saying to myself, "This would never be happening at WDW...", on more than one occassion. I tried to be unbiased, but I couldn't help it after a while.
Overall- lots of fun, great parks, and I'd like to return with the rest of the family (but only after I get my next dose of WDW!).
Thanks again for all of your advice!
Cheap filler, Skipper? You are reaching for any reason to dislike anything USF / IOA.... I am also wondering how a person who works at Disney would make a statement that they have stayed on-site at both Disney and Universal...
Did you just say "screw going home tonight... I think I'll stay on-site at a competing park"?
It just doesn't sound right to me....
I don't stretch to find things I don't like. I love a lot about Universal, but I seriously think that the screen sections are cheap filler between sparse scenes featuring the far more impressive, and expensive physical effects. It would be like using a screen in between parts of PoTC, or better, between scenes in Dinsosaur, or the Indy ride at DLR. I do like integrated scenes such as Spiderman uses, mixing both screen and visual effects is cool.
And yes, I stay at Disney hotels often too.