Do we need Universal Express for a weekend in February?

Universal Orlando: Is it possible to know if a particular weekend is going to be slow/busy?

From Uday Maripalli
Posted January 3, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Is it possible to know if a particular weekend is going to be slow/busy? We are a group of 6 adults planning to visit Universal Studios and IOA for 2 days on Feb 15th and 16th (Friday and Saturday). Do we need to buy express pass for both days? How much crowd can we expect on Friday? We don't mind spending the money for a two day express pass but we would rather save that money for something else if we don't need it on Friday.

Also, we are in Orlando only for the weekend and after doing some research we decided that we would need 1.5 to 2 days to cover both Universal Studios and IOA. Are we correct in estimating this time frame? Can we finish both in one day (so that we can hot some other park on the second day)?

Any advice/suggestions are highly appreciated.


From Rob Pastor
Posted January 3, 2013 at 2:43 PM
That weekend is President's Day weekend, which is traditionally one of the most crowded weeks of the year for theme parks. Universal also has it's Mardi Gras Celebration on the 16th. Orlando Informer rates the Universal crowd levels as Moderate on the 15th & Busy on the 16th. With those kinds of crowds you will need two days to "enjoy" the parks, unless you want to just hit the headliners & skip the secondary attractions. Without "Express" expect long lines. And you will need to stay at a on site hotel or a partner hotel to get into Harry Potter early. Otherwise expect very long lines for the entire Harry Potter experience after the early opening, though the crowds let up somewhat in the late evening. On site hotels come with free Express. Since there are a limited amount of Express passes the lines are never long. But Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey (correction) and RRRC are "NOT" express pass eligible.

From Dominick D
Posted January 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM
I never knew Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets was in the park, Rob. I'll have to ride it next time I'm there!

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 3, 2013 at 2:27 PM
Dom: My bad. Just a brain cramp. The LOTR excitement dazzled my mind. Correction, Forbidden Journey.

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