Universal Orlando Tickets

June 29, 2017, 5:45 AM

Tickets for Universal Orlando - am trying to decide between 2 day base tickets (I've seen for $199) or 2 day park to park tickets (Which I've seen for $244).

So in effect we would be paying $45 more just to experience the Hogwarts Express (aside from that we would normally only do 1 park per day). My question - I'm not a major HP fan, though obviously appreciate the theming, rides & concept etc. Is the Hogwarts Express that good? is it worth $45?

(we may leave volcano bay this time, as it still seems to be getting negative reviews)

Replies (6)

June 29, 2017, 6:38 AM

We usually buy the One park per day. The train ride is a nice part of WWOHP but it is not necessary.

Plus if you change your mind you can upgrade in the Park on that day..

We also found the Universal App very helpful for wait times and the Jimmy Fallon ride where you have to have a reserved time..

Oh BTW have a Blast!!!!!

Edited: June 29, 2017, 8:24 AM

Is the Hogwart's Express worth $45? No, but having the flexibility to experience both parks in the same day is. I'll probably get trolled for this, but IOA has become a 3/4 day park, and even less if you have Universal Express. Unless you're re-riding a bunch of stuff at IOA, it's worth having the flexibility to hop over to USF after you've made the complete loop at IOA. Also note that the Hogwart's Express is different each way, so it's technically 2 different rides (though still not worth $45 if park hopping flexibility was not considered), which could turn IOA into a half-day park.

I'd say it also depends on when you're planning on going, because park hours may play a role of whether it's worth hopping between the two parks in a single day. It also depends on whether you're staying at one of the 3 deluxe resorts that include free Universal Express.

Edited: June 29, 2017, 8:54 AM

Russell - how dare you.. hahahahah

IOA is not a 3/4 day park. There is so much to do there:
First go to the right - hit the kids rides, Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two fish, Caroseuss, Trolley in the Sky.....

And this is just One area..... Not to mention (well I am actually mentioning) all of the Adult attractions...

Hulk Smash your 3/4 day Words......

June 29, 2017, 10:33 AM

Yeah yeah yeah....But, my point is more that if you're there on a slower day, and don't have the need to re-ride stuff dozens of times (or have Universal Express), there's not a whole lot of time consuming stuff. The only "shows" are Poseidon's Fury (on days when it actually runs), Sinbad, and Olivander's, which you can similarly do over at Diagon Alley. Everything else, aside from the walk-thrus, are quick rides. The last time we were at IOA (in October 2014), we were able to see everything at IOA (including riding every attraction except Bluto's Bilge Barges (closed for refurbishment) and Skull Island (didn't exist yet)) in about 6.5 hours, which included dinner at Mythos and watching both Poseidon and Sinbad. I would note that we used the single rider line/parent swap for Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and Hulk, but we did spend almost 30 minutes in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center and another 30-45 minutes playing with our wand in Hogsmeade.

Maybe we were there on a really light crowd day, but I was really happy that we were able to hop over to Diagon Alley late in the day, not just for the Hogwart's Express, but to also have an extra hour or so to explore what was a brand new land for us at the time. I would agree that for a first time visitor, IOA can easily fill a full day, but for repeat guests, you can strategically see just about everything in this park in less than 8 hours.

June 29, 2017, 11:04 AM

Sure Russ - but a lot has changed since Oct 2014, And Oct is a slower month.
Heck, Skull Island has a 60 minute average wait daily.

We just went in May where we had 4 days at Universal and the first Two days were Full days. The second days, we went later in the day to see the night time show, and the last day we went early at 9:00 am as still there were lines for everything...

Universal attendance has been going up every year. Even on slower days, one will still need Full days...

But we digress....
So save the monies and do one park per day...

Edited: June 29, 2017, 5:41 PM

I would think that since it's your the first time, just splurge and spend the money. It's not everyday that you get to ride Hogwarts Express. You made it all the way, you might just want to enjoy both sides on the same day. I would. In fact, I would probably do Diagon Alley and Hogwarts in the same order as the movie for the first time.

1. Diagon Alley
2. Visit the Wand store
3. Take Hogwarts Express to Hogmeade
4. Do Forbidden Journey and other attractions
5. Take Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley
6. Go on Escape from Gringotts

That's day one.

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