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Universal tickets

(48 Posts)
Bugsy73 Thu 11-Oct-18 15:03:16

We have booked a holiday to Florida next August. Staying at a Disney resort as primarily we just want to do Disney! However, now I'm wondering about missing out on Universal. Only really because my 9yr old is a big Harry Potter fan.
Not quite sure what to do now. Has anyone just rocked up and brought a ticket on the day? Is that a ridiculous thing to do? Don't really want to do more than a day, particularly as we have the Disney dining plan so don't want to waste it. Is the Hogwarts express worth the ride or can we get away with just doing Universal Studios?
My other 2 DC are going to be 14 and 12, but neither of them are huge fans of fast rides, and I think the Disney parks will be sufficient from that point of view. Sorry if all that sounds a bit jumbled!

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PoptartPoptart Thu 11-Oct-18 18:31:22

If you have a big HP fan then you have to go to Universal AND Islands of Adventure!
Honestly, it is just amazing.
You’ll need a park hopper ticket to enable you to go on the Hogwarts Express as the train goes between the two parks and they check your tickets before they allow you on.

At Universal you have Diagon Alley, Kings Cross station, Grimmuld Place, the Knight bus etc and IOA has Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade village etc.

PoptartPoptart Thu 11-Oct-18 18:38:04

Meant to say, the Hogwarts Express isn’t just a train journey.... it’s an attraction with a different experience each way!

Bugsy73 Thu 11-Oct-18 18:47:15

That's fabulous, thankyou. Am I better to buy the tickets before we go? Should I buy them from an American site? Most of the sellers here seem to be for the 14day passes.

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SofiaAmes Thu 11-Oct-18 18:49:07

Just don't buy them from scalpers as they are almost always fake. I don't think there is a difference in price buying in advance.

Bugsy73 Thu 11-Oct-18 21:58:19

Ok, so have had a look and now I'm even more confused! Booking one day park to park hopper ticket through a UK company is approx. £700, whereas booking one night in a Universal hotel, with the same ticket but also early access and express, is 1,278 dollars, which is actually not that much more (about £950?). Arghhhh, what to do!

OP’s posts: |
PoptartPoptart Thu 11-Oct-18 22:42:43

The one day tickets are always extortionate.

You’d be better off getting 14 day passes as it’s better value - you can then go in and out of the parks as much as you like for the duration of the two weeks. I think the 14 day passes also allow you access into Volcano Bay waterpark (but do check that first).

Or, as you said, you could book a night in one of the premier Universal hotels (Hard Rock for example) and get the early access and fast pass queue access.

Maybe contact a couple of UK travel agents to enquire about options and prices. Kenwood Travel were helpful and very knowledgable when we booked last year. Or try Virgin Holidays.

Whatever you decide, I’d recommend booking the tickets before you travel, just for ease and peace of mind.

bloated1977 Thu 11-Oct-18 22:55:05

We stayed for 1 night at universal and then got 2 days fast passes included otherwise there's no way we'd have got on any of the rides.

Bugsy73 Fri 12-Oct-18 06:37:09

Thanks. I'll have another look at it all.

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Fantastiqueangel Fri 12-Oct-18 06:43:53

Universal is brilliant. I think it's better than Disney, so I'm sure you'd enjoy it if you get the tickets.

whoareyou123 Fri 12-Oct-18 06:49:16

We stayed for 1 night at universal and then got 2 days fast passes included otherwise there's no way we'd have got on any of the rides.

Any of the rides? If you are there for only one day you definitely want fast passes if you can get them, but even if you didn't you would still manage to get on some rides.

bloated1977 Fri 12-Oct-18 06:58:20

whoareyou we went in mid August and ALL the rides had massive queues. Even with the fast passes we waited 30+ mins to get on some rides. Kong, Minions, Harry Potter, Simpson's, Mummy, Hulk all had up to 2hr waits so yes we wouldn't have got on anything!

rookiemere Fri 12-Oct-18 07:14:28

Staying a night at the Universal hotel sounds like a fabulous idea. We went when DS was 7 and actually had a fab time at Universal as apart from Harry Potter there weren't huge queues at the rides for younger visitors

whoareyou123 Fri 12-Oct-18 07:28:18

bloated1977 funnily enough we were also there in mid August and went on basically all the rides (did HP and the forbidden journey 4 times) and never queued for more than an hour.

SofiaAmes Fri 12-Oct-18 17:09:00

August in Orlando is unbearably hot and humid and is their low season.

Bugsy73 Fri 12-Oct-18 17:56:52

Has anyone booked with undercover tourist? Or direct with Universal? I'm being thick now, but can I just book with my debit card if its not in this country? I've never done it before so not sure how that works. Would there be charges?

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christravelwizard Sun 14-Oct-18 18:37:52

Hi, there are lots of legitimate ticket sellers in the US but there are also a few where they will give / sell you low priced tickets in return for you attending a high pressure timeshare event. It's safer to get them here in the UK through a reputable agent. I work for Travel Counsellors and we use one of two established agencies for all our attractions / excursions. For Universal there is a 3 park or a 2 park ticket that costs £276 for adults and £266 for children aged 3-9. Details below:
Universal Orlando 3 Park Explorer Ticket - 3 parks for the price of 2!

With the Universal Orlando™ 3 Park Explorer Ticket4 enjoy fourteen (14) consecutive days of unlimited park to park access to Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water theme park, and select live entertainment venues of Universal CityWalk™. This ticket is not available at any park’s entrance.

*3 parks for the price of 2 is valid for admission up to and including 31 December 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

4The Universal Orlando™ 3 Park Explorer Ticket entitles one (1) guest admission to Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, Universal’s Volcano Bay™ Water Theme Park, and select live entertainment venues of Universal CityWalk™ (“CityWalk”) on all days during a fourteen (14) consecutive calendar day period which includes the first day any portion of the ticket is used. To receive the full fourteen (14) consecutive calendar days of admission, the ticket must be used by the first use date printed on the ticket. The ticket will expire in full on the expiration date printed on ticket. Unused days shall be forfeited.

The above Admission Media is non-refundable, non-transferable, and must be used by the same person on all days. Valid only during normal operating hours. Parks, attractions, or entertainment may: close due to refurbishing, capacity, weather or special events; change operating hours; and otherwise change or be discontinued without notice and without liability to the owners of Universal Orlando Resort™ (“Universal”). Unless otherwise stated, does not include admission to separately ticketed events at any of the Universal theme parks or within any of the CityWalk™ venues, AMC® Universal Cineplex 20 with IMAX®, the Blue Man Group show, or Hollywood Drive-In Golf™, and parking or discounts on food or merchandise. Some CityWalk™ venues require ages 21 or older for admission. Valid Photo ID required. Additional restrictions may apply and benefits are subject to change without notice.
Let me know if you need any help with any details but please book through a reputable agent. smile

christravelwizard Sun 14-Oct-18 18:42:06

Sorry, I also forgot to mention that you can also get a one day one park pass for $115 (around £92).
The 2 park one day pass costs $170 (£136).
Any more questions, please ask!

Bugsy73 Sun 14-Oct-18 21:43:16

Thankyou christravelwizard, it would be the one day park to park ticket we would be after. Do you have a website?

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HermioneWeasley Sun 14-Oct-18 21:49:24

Harry Potter stuff is spread across the two universal parks with Diagin Alley in studios and Hogsmeade and Hogwarts in islands. If your son is a fan you’ll want to do both.

If you stay one night in a certain grade if Universal hotel you get free express passes and early park entry for the day you arrive and the next day which will allow you to do all the HP stuff. This doesn’t normally include the park entry tickets, so check carefully. If you can cancel a night at Disney it is well worth doing.

Most ticket sellers will sell a 14 day Disney park hopper and a 14 day universal pass as a bundle.

You will want a card with my foreign currency charges when you are out there. I always use a Halifax clarity card. Their exchange rate is always fair too.

If you re asked whether you prefer to pay in local currency or pounds sterling, always choose local (otherwise the retailer sets the exchange rate).

Bugsy73 Sun 14-Oct-18 21:51:46

I haven't heard of travel counsellors before.

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MarthasGinYard Sun 14-Oct-18 21:54:35

'If you have a big HP fan then you have to go to Universal AND Islands of Adventure!'

Yes yes yes

cloudtree Sun 14-Oct-18 21:56:55

You need express passes if you are only going for one day. The cost of these varies but for 3 people you could be looking at around £280 just for the express pass. It is always better to stay on site at universal for the free express passes. Loews Royal Pacific is the cheapest option. Hotel isn't great but its nice enough.

Without express passes you'll spend most of the day in queues.

Bugsy73 Sun 14-Oct-18 22:01:31

We are definitely going to stay at a universal hotel for a night to get the express passes. Best price I have found is undercover tourist but I feel nervous booking with a none UK company! I don't know why.

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TheWiseWomansFear Sun 14-Oct-18 22:05:14

We managed to do both parks in one day in May.. barely any queues all day except for the Hulk and maybe 20mins for Rock It

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