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  1. #1

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    Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    I'm heading to Orlando the week before Easter, and I have one day to see as much of Universal as possible with a wife who's begrudgingly going along with this, and two teens who somehow didn't inherit my theme park commando gene.

    I have a couple of questions.

    If you stay onsite for one night, do you get the Universal Express pass for the day you check in - or the day you check out?

    Is this even doable? If so, what order would you do the parks in?

    Does anyone know if Universal is at all good with gluten-free dining - or should we bring a cooler?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    Hi,

    I can answer both of those questions.

    1. From what I understand, you get it for both days. If you're going commando style and have the pass, here's what I'd do:

    -Go to Universal first. Hit HRRR at rope drop, as the passes may or may not be valid for this new attraction yet. From there, hit the Mummy, then over to MiB and Simpsons. Take in any shows that interest you, eat if you're hungry, then go to IoA. Go through it clockwise, hit the Hulk (skip Storm Force - really, it's the teacups) and Spiderman. Dr Doom is a miss for me - but some people like it. If you're in the mood to get soaked to the bone, hit both Dudley Doright and Popeye. Ride Jurassic park and don't pass up the Camp Jurassic area - if you're already wet, might as well hit each other with water guns. If Dueling Dragons is up and not under refurb to be transformed for Harry Potter, hit those, then whatever you like in Seuss land.

    Can you tell I have an annual pass?

    2. Not nearly to the level of Disney, but there are options. Citywalk has good options, especially Margaritaville - they have a wonderful gluten free bun for their burgers. Inside the parks, you're a bit more limited, but any of the "sit down" places have gluten free options. (Finnegans inside Universal, Mythos and Confiscos in IOA) Counter service is trickier - I've found the Thunder Falls Terrace has gluten free options if you ask. Just be sure to talk to Guest Services when you arrive to make sure nothing's changed.
    Last edited by SkittleKicks; 02-09-2010 at 08:00 AM. Reason: edited for my commando plan

  3. #3

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    It's "doable", especially with the Express Pass, but you won't be able to fully take them in. You should be ok though.

    As for where to begin, I'm assuming both parks open at the same time I would start at Islands of Adventure.

    I would start with Spiderman. With the express pass I would try and get at least 2-3 rides on it before the park get's busy. It's THAT good. After Spidey, take a spin on Hulk. If you like it you can get another ride on it before leaving the park (as well as Spidey).

    I would then head over to Seuss Landing and ride Cat in the hat, the Carousuessel and the train if you want.

    Head over to "Harry Potter" land (which may or may not be open) and do Dueling Dragons, Flying Unicorn and any of the other potter stuff that may be open at that time, although I don't think much will be open.

    Not sure if you are in SoCal, but Jurassic Park is pretty much the same as the USH version, but if you haven't ridden the one here, it's worth riding. It's fun.

    If you like water rides, Dudley Do-Rights is fun, but you get REALLY wet. If you don't like to get wet you can complete your loop around to Superhero Island and get more rides on Spidey or Hulk if wanted.

    I would then head over to the Studios park and first hit Mummy. With the express pass you should be able to get multiple rides, and you will want them. It's a GREAT ride and LOTS better than the one in Hollywood.

    Other must-rides are Men in Black, Simpsons (if you haven't done the one at USH, it's the same), E.T.., Jaws and one of the funnest attractions ever, Jimmy Neutron. Even if your not a fan of the nick-toons, the thing is FUN and is worth checking out.

    Rides you will want multiple rides on are Mummy and Men In Black.


  4. #4

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    We'll be there about the same time, most likely the Sunday before Easter. Its been about 18 months since our last visit, which came the weekend before Thanksgiving. With a purchased Express Pass (one time use per attraction only) we were through IOA by lunch time. We were the first guests through the turnstile that morning, and ended up with a solid 6 rides on Dueling Dragons, and 3 each on Hulk and Spiderman.

    Although we hadn't planned on visiting the Studios, with so much time on our hands we headed over after a lunch at Margaritaville. By then there were lines, but they weren't too bad. We hit all the highlights, then left around 6 for dinner at Emeril's. It was a great day, but even with low crowd levels we couldn't have done nearly as much without the Express Passes.

    I don't expect to do nearly as well on this upcoming trip. We're coaster people first and foremost, so although we'd prefer to start at IOA we'll head to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Uni instead.

    Skittlekicks, given spring break crowd levels, if we go next to Mummy, then Men in Black and Simpsons, how long do you figure it should take first thing in the morning? Because we might not make it to Florida again any time soon, we'll pay for the pricey Express Passes again, but ideally I'd hope to use them for re-rides. During spring break, how soon do the lines build up?

    Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    I forgot about the new coaster at the Studios park. You may want to start there then.


  6. #6

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    Quote Originally Posted by PAL View Post

    Skittlekicks, given spring break crowd levels, if we go next to Mummy, then Men in Black and Simpsons, how long do you figure it should take first thing in the morning? Because we might not make it to Florida again any time soon, we'll pay for the pricey Express Passes again, but ideally I'd hope to use them for re-rides. During spring break, how soon do the lines build up?

    Thanks!
    Spring break is touch and go - the colleges around here seem to have spring break early this year (March 8 - 13 for UCF), but the grade schools are butting right up to Easter. I'd say if you hit rope drop, and basically run, don't walk to each attraction in that order (HRRR, Mummy, MiB, Simpsons) you should be able to save your passes for re-rides instead of burning them right away.

  7. #7

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    ^Thanks. Any chance you can forecast crowds at Sea World and Busch Tampa that week? We might spring for Quick Queue so we can get our fill of Manta. It looks fantastic. Sheikra too.

  8. #8

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    Re: Universal - 1 day + 2 parks + spring break = insanity

    You'll certainly get your money's worth out of Quick Queue at Busch Gardens, but I'd wait until day of at Sea World. The major crowd suckers there are shows, where the Quick Queue doesn't really matter.

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