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Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

We are planning a trip with no kids, currently looking at the middle of November before Thanksgiving, as our goal is to go when the crowds are low. Planning to stay at Disney and visit all of those parks, but the attractions we will need to see and probably spend the most time at are the Harry Potter attractions at Universal.

Will we be okay taking a rental car over to Universal and back for two days? Or do we need the extra benefits of staying at Universal to see everything in two days? Reading about the crowds at Harry Potter make me nervous that we won't be able to do everything. We won't be riding every ride in both parks but want to see everything involved with both Harry Potter attractions, plus Simpsons, Transformers and Spider man.

Is the middle of November dead enough that we can just show up early and expect to see all of Harry Potter without waiting in hour+ lines? Crowd calendars are showing 1s and 2s in the middle of the week we plan to go.

Orlando, FL
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1. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

The existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter is really just a small section inside Islands of Adventure which shouldn't take more than a couple of hours tops. A full day at each of the Universal parks is sufficient to see everything without the Express pass in my opinion at that time of year. And notable that the signature Harry Potter ride is not included in Express anyway. Of course, the new section in Universal Studios is set to open later this year. Not much to do about lines for that as people will flock to check out the new attractions so 1+ hour for those new rides is a distinct possibility even in slow times. I'd think that would still leave you with half the day to enjoy the rest of the park. You can always purchase the Express if you feel you need it. Or, the park to park option, and do some of both parks on each day. Perhaps one day devoted to Harry Potter and one day to the rest in both parks avoiding those areas on that day. Or an IOA day followed by some of the stuff in US when you are done and then a day starting out with the new stuff at US followed by whatever you have time left for.

Orlando, FL
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2. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

Some additional thoughts...

You'll need the park to park anyway in order to enjoy the Hogwarts Express which will connect the two Harry Potter sections of the two park. You can walk between the two parks as well via CityWalk.

Two adults with no kids might like to stay at Universal. You could just as easily stay there and do day trips to Disney. Really, it's all in what you prefer. Where will you spend the most time? No harm switching and doing both either if you don't mind taking the time to check out check in and maybe you'd be more comfortable with that if you are worried about crowds. You'll get the Express which you can use on the other attractions. And like I said, for adults, it's nice to have CityWalk on hand. But I was answering the question do you "need to". And the answer is no you don't. You'll be able to get through the two parks in two days if you decide just to drive over.

Kenosha, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

Thanks for the responses. I had considered moving over to Universal for two days, but want to be able to use the Disney airport shuttle, don't want to rent a car for the week. If we drove to Universal we would pick up a car at Disney for those 2 days. So staying at Universal and Disney for us would require 3 separate reservations and I'm not sure I want to lose that much time checking in and out, but completely opposed to it if we needed to in order to see everything we wanted without long waits.

Considered staying at Universal for the whole week as well, but it would most likely cost more for us as we would have to rent the car for the whole week and we are planning on renting DVC points at Disney for a cheaper stay.

Hearing that we will be able to get through the parks in 2 days we will probably go that direction. We will just buy the 2 park 2 day tickets and hope the crowds are low. Thanks.

Orlando, FL
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4. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

Well you wouldn't have to move twice if you did want to stay at both, just weigh up a Universal hotel versus a couple of nights less at a Disney one with a $45-$50 cab ride to the hotel and about the same to get you back to the airport versus the cost of staying at Disney plus the price of a rental car plus the $16 daily parking. From Disney you can also look at some of the ticket resellers I believe some offer a package with shuttle transportation which may be more favorable than the car rental plus parking fee.

Charlotte, North...
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5. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

Stay on Universal Property! It is totally worth it! Especially because Diagon Alley will be open then! So this is huge!

You will get early access to the parks and the express pass! So worth it…. Our favorite is the Royal Pacific Resort! So friendly!

pa
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6. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

We pop over for a Day and find it is plenty of time to get round both Parks, I wouldn't bother moving. We get the ticket and transport option, works well, they pick you up right at your Disney Resort

www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/universal/

Valley Stream, NY
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7. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

You definitely need 2 days at us/ioa :)

8. Re: Do you need to stay at Universal to experience everything?

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