How Many Days to Spend at Universal?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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How Many Days to Spend at Universal?

Cadac mentioned in a trip planning post that he would be spending several days at Universal for his upcoming trip. I was curious how many days you though was the right amount to spend at Universal? Other than rides is there much to do there? How's the shopping and the eating?

Vettelover's picture
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Spending three days at US would cause me to go bananas as well as a few other terms. I bought a two days ticket last year and spent two mornings and by early afternoon I was trying to find my way back to Disney. To me the exits to US parking garage is very easy to get INTO, but a nightmare to find the way to our destination(WDW). Both times I had to resort to our GPS in our Android phone after 20 minutes of not knowing where in the blue blazes we were. I could not find ANY directional signs when leaving US.

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isabellemarie's picture
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I think 1 day for IoA and half a day for Universal is fine. You can deff get everything done.

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RobynPrincess's picture
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if time were no option i would spend at least 2 days in each park. On our next trip we are doing a day and a half at each i think, possibly 2 in IOA.

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Jessi5989's picture
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I could do both parks in 1 day total. There's just not that much for me to do. After I ride everything once...maybe twice...I'm done.

finngirl's picture
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I'm not a big fan of US. One day, maybe a day and half, that's it. To me it was a sea of hot concrete, and not all that interesting. There weren't very many rides I would have done more than once, whereas at Disney we are always riding our favourites multiple times.

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senseicj's picture
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we went in 2010 only because we won a 4 day stay with passes. Ehhh it was ok. We set aside time for two days at each park and after the first two days we were done with both. Not the same magical atmosphere as disney, kinda boring actually, for me anyway, they had some really cool rides, but nothing to hold my interest inbetween waiting for rides. And the food was ok not as good as disney for me but not bad there downtown area has some cool places to eat, theme places, etc.

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Tony's picture
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We usually manage to fill a day in each park and ride almost everything. Another half day allows us to pick up anything we've missed and re-ride a few favourites.

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emmaanne's picture
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none??

haha... I didn't care for it when we went. We had 1 day to do both parks, so we got there right when it opened. By 10:30 half the rides STILL weren't open and we couldn't find anything to eat (we were planning on grabbing something like we would at Disney)... ended up getting a bag of chips from a cart. haha.

anyway, we did both parks and were done by 2pm.

I dont care to go back. For one, the admission price is too much for a 1 days ticket (I know its the same way with Disney). Also, the employees there are just not as nice as Disney Cast Members..

anyway, just my personal opinion. But if you go at a slow time of year, you can TOTALLY do both parks in a day!

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isabellemarie's picture
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I went to US for the 1st time about 6 mths ago (I always go to IoA) and I was not impressed. We did the whole thing in a few hrs. I love IoA because of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - without that, it's ok, but definately not nearly as fun! I've gone a few times to IoA with my dad where I just leave my house at 2 pm (I live an hr away) and just enjoy the evening just in the Harry Potter part so we can really soak it up. You can ride the Forbidden Journey a few times as well as Dragon Challenge, browse all the shops thoroughly, and enjoy a nice butterbeer while the sun goes down. It's really nice. Then you can go to Citywalk and get a yummy dinner and enjoy the pretty lights! Now that I'm thinking about it, I want to go haha! biggrin

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2 day was enough for us to do both sides. The first time we went, we had purchased 2-day tickets, and by 3:00 on Day 1, we had done everything at least once. WE did the Dueling Dragons about 4 times in a row, with no wait and pretty much with the whole ride to ourselves. We kept switching sides between fire and water or ice or whatever it was. The crowd level was so low, a worker told us we were there on Dead Thursday. Ha!

The next time, we went, it was in the Spring and we knew we were in trouble when busload after busload of kids on senior trips and class trips kept rolling in. It was a crowded disaster. That was the last time we were there, and it was enough. Again, 1 day was enough to do everything we wanted.

And I'm with emmaanne, the employees just are not as nice, and it's not anywhere close to magical or even all that special for me. I don't think we'll pay the higher admission price just for the chance to do the Harry Potter ride.

Tony's picture
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I'll agree that the staff at US and IoA are not as good as the Disney Cast Members, but they are no worse than staff at any other theme park I've been to. If you can do both parks in a day, then you must be missing lots of stuff.

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Well as mentioned in the pre trip report we decided that three days at both would enable us to get most things done.

After reading the opinions here and also on other sites it's clear that dependant on the time of the year it is possile to do these parks in two days. We've got a 2day bonus which is effectively a 14day pass (which was the same price as a two day pass) so it doesn't really matter if we do a day less.

Looking forward to reading some more opinions on this.

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Melissa W's picture
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I would say 2 full days would be more than enough to experience everything. I wouldn't want to do more than that.

RobynPrincess's picture
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Tony wrote:
I'll agree that the staff at US and IoA are not as good as the Disney Cast Members, but they are no worse than staff at any other theme park I've been to. If you can do both parks in a day, then you must be missing lots of stuff.

See I've seen it mentioned on here before that US/IOA is 1 day for both parks and always thought there must be a lot missed out, we get FOTL passes and still need a day per park in low season! We dont go on everything either!

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

Ollie's picture
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We spent half a day and the place droves us MAD! So I am recommending a half day!

Then go get lunch at Downtown Disney! mickey

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Allie's picture
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We're planning on a full day for each park (with the Park Hopper option so if we get done early with one we can head over to the other) and I'm praying that that will be enough! DH has never been to Universal and we're both big thrill ride people! Plus I haven't been there since HP World opened so I'm looking forward to taking my time exploring that area. I can't imagine fitting both parks comfortably into one day!

ChipnDaleFan's picture
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2 days was enough for us to do both parks and ride harry potter twice. After 2 days I was itching to get out and get to Disney!

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Mase's picture
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See.... im pricing it out and I can't for the life of me pay that much for two days at Universal. And we weren't looking into the Park Hopper option. Its like id rather spend that money at Disney......

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