2 days in Orlando - HP World and Magic Kingdom

Edited: September 18, 2016, 10:15 PM

Hey all. I'll be spending only 2 and a half days in Orlando.
I arrive at noon and plan to visit Downtown Disney the same evening. The next day I plan to visit Harry Potter World - I have a park hopper ticket for both the Universal Studios Parks. I visited Universal Studios in LA in 2007 so this visit to the Orlando Park is mainly cos Im a huge HP fan. Day 2 I'm dedicating to Magic Kingdom and I catch my bus back home the same evening.

So any tips and tricks for a lone traveller.I love roller coasters and the big rides in general and wish to pack in as much as possible. But then, I'm not used to the sun and heat so I doubt I'd be able to do a lot. Need your expertise.

Replies (9)

September 19, 2016, 9:53 AM

Magic Kingdom has no big rides but still a nice park, gets too overcrowded at times.

Hulk just reopened AT IOA plus the Dueling dragons are fun coasters. Rip Ride rocket is OK but throws you around a bit.

Harry Potter is so perfect on both sides of Universal. 1 day is not enough to see all of Universal’s both parks. But if you limit yourself to just The Harry Potter stuff you have plenty of time..

I love the Jurassic River Adventure ride also… Plus Skull island now open and you may want to see it… Along with Hulk and The Mummy… Since your time will be limited, you might want the Fastpass ticket..


Downtown Disney is now called Disney Springs. Not that it matters, I just do not want TH Creative to get upset..

Edited: September 19, 2016, 11:13 AM

Where are you staying? Assuming that you are not staying at a hotel that gives you early access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Universal Express access, I would plan to arrive early at Universal Studios Florida to maximize your time there, as the park closes early many days in September and October for Halloween Horror Nights. Do Diagon Alley and the stuff you didn't see at USH in 2007 (MIB and Transformers would be the top two others - Rip, Ride, Rockit can be rough and isn't that great a ride), then ride the Hogwarts Express to IOA and spend the rest of the day there, starting with the Potter rides and then hitting up the rest. Don't miss Spidey and Hulk.

September 19, 2016, 5:03 PM

Thank you Brian and Robert.

I am staying at a non-Disney/Universal hotel and will definitely arrive early at the park. Going by your suggestion will do Diagon Alley and then Hogsmeade. Suppose I concentrate solely on Harry Potter world - do u suggest going back and forth between parks seeing as how it would look different after dark?

Edited: September 20, 2016, 7:05 AM

Yes, the parks look amazingly different at night… The tone\attitude of the parks also change.

You might want to hang out for bit in Diagon Alley where they have a few free shows. There is the Singing Sorceress - Madam Celestina Warbeck and the tales of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. There are some stairs and a small stage where these take place. Look on line to find out when there shows happen or grab a schedule when you enter Universal.

Plus, make sure you check out the park hours – they change seasonally on what day each park is open to. Especially during Halloween, you need an extra ticket to get into Horror Nights events.

Have a Great vacation. And come back to give us some details on the vacation...

September 23, 2016, 8:40 AM

So I just returned from my trip and it was awesome.

So I arrived early at Universal and headed straight to Islands of Adventure - Hogsmeade and got lovely photos of the place with barely any people milling around. I did two rides then - Forbidden Journey and Dragon Challenge (I rode the red dragon first). At this time of the day I only had about a 5-10 minute wait for each of the ridea. I then got on the Hogwarts Expresa to Diagon Alley. This was a interesting ride too. I got there around 10:30-11. The London Front was pretty empty at that time and I got to interact with Stan and the shrunken head uninterrupted. Then I walked into Diagon Alley. At this time of the day, there were quite a few people there and I was not able to get as good photos as at Hogsmeade. I also just missed the dragon breathing fire. (Tip:The Gringotts dragon grunts and groans before she breathes fire. So when you hear a deep throated growl and groan, be ready with your camera). I rode the 'Escape from Gringotts' with a 15 minute wait time (11:30 am) After this, I just explored Diagon Alley - the window displays are amazing. I caught a show - Madam Celestina Warbeck. Rde back to Hogsmeade after lunch. I rode the blue dragon on the dragon challenge with a 20 minute wait time (2:30pm). Watched the show - Frog Choir.

I limited myself to just the Harry Potter worlds. The wait times at the other rides - Hulk, Minions, Kong all had between 45 -60 minute wait times and I decided I'd rather spend my time drinking Butterbeer and imagining my life as a witch, than waiting in line under the hot Florida sun.

The parks closed at 7 (in preparation for Halloween Horror Nights). This meant that I didn't get my pic of Gringotts under the night sky :(

September 23, 2016, 10:03 AM

The next day, I headed out to the Magic Kingdom. I was so tired out from the previous day that I couldnt get myself out of the hotel to be in time for opening. I only managed to get there at 10am -a whole hour after the official opening and I couldnt get good, clean shots of the Castle. I headed straight to Tomorrowland and rode Space Mountain with a 15 minute wait time. The lines snake around inside the 'mountain' which is much cooler than standing outside in the Florida sun. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was under refurbishment. So I did Splash Mountain. At around 11:30 am, it had a 30 minute wait time. I stuck to rides like Stitch's Great Escape, Haunted Mansion and Pirates where the lines were inside the buldings and I'd be out of the sun. I also rode the Disney Railroad a couple of times - a good way to get between the different areas of the park while giving your feet a much needed rest.

September 23, 2016, 10:22 AM

Great time for you!!!!.....
Thanks for coming back and posting an update..


September 23, 2016, 11:04 PM

Sounds like a pretty great time, although you didn't take Robert's advice to hit up Universal Studios early - you went to IoA. But what does Robert Niles know, anyway? Lol. :P

I would have recommended taking in Cirque Du Soleil the first night while at Disney Springs. La Nouba is the only one of their shows I've seen, but it's pretty spectacular, and you might as well.

What did you do at Disney Springs? Did you buy anything? Did you have dinner? If so, where? What were your impressions of the place, now that it's pretty much finished?

Edited: September 26, 2016, 2:33 PM

Hey Gabriel,The first night I was actually thinking of spending time at Disney Springs first and then heading up to the Boardwalk - I'd heard you could see some of the fireworks from there. But then, I couldn't do much at Disney Springs - it started pouring about half an hour after I got there and it just wouldn't stop. But there seemed to be some pretty interesting things there.I wanted to check out The Boathouse -they have these little amphibious cars that you can take out into the water. The rains literally washed out those plans. I ended up spending the longest time at Raglan Road -it's this Irish pub. They had live music and step dancing. The place was so much fun! I don't remember what I ate(I was drinking quite a bit) but I know that they especially spiced up their potato fries for me.

I couldn't shop either. However, when it started to rain, I took cover in this establishment called Joffrey's Tea Trader Cafe and ended up having the most amazing conversation with the servers there. I bought some tea from them. From someone who only drinks Assam Chai, I felt they had some pretty unique mixes.


About going to IoA first, that was a split second decision when I got to the park. I don't really know why I did it - I just stopped overthinking it.

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