Haven't been to Universal since the 90's... What do I need to know?

COrunner

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Backstory:
Have always been an on property WDW person and the last 4 years have enjoyed a fun short trip for MNSSHP and plan on doing it again in 2019.

THE DIFFERENCE:
-In 2019 we are going to just go to MK for the party and that is it. Our other 2 days will be staying at the Double Tree next to Universal Studios as we want to check out Harry Potter World and see what has changed at Universal (Which is damn near everything as the only ride I remember from my trip to Universal was Kongfrontation, Backdraft, Back to the Future and ET)

MY QUESTIONS:
-What do I need to know about tickets / rides?
-Timing of our trip as we will most likely be there Sept/Oct when horror nights are going on but are days normal?
-Uber'ing from Universal to WDW?
-Is there seriously a prop shop where you can buy film props at Universal?
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
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I can't speak to Universal crowds on Horror nights, but in general I've found those parks to be less busy than Disney parks. The crowd patterns are different as well. Where the Magic Kingdom, for example, tends to be consistently busy from open to close, it's not unusual at Universal to see hour plus waits early on for something like Forbidden Journey, only to be able to walk on later in the day. With that in mind, I say that if you encounter a wait time at Universal you feel is too high, consider doing that attraction later.

Uber to/from Universal is simple. It was in the $10-15 range from WDW when I did it early 2017. There's a drop off area shared by buses and taxis. It's a short walk from there to join guests coming from the parking garages. Everyone goes through a metal detector. Security is pretty efficient.

You must buy a park-to-park ticket at Universal if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express between the two parks. It's not much of an "attraction", so unless you're a Harry Potter fanatic you may not want to spend the extra money.

Universal attractions are varied but generally more adult orientated. They use more screens, 3D screens, and motion simulators compared to Disney.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Backstory:
Have always been an on property WDW person and the last 4 years have enjoyed a fun short trip for MNSSHP and plan on doing it again in 2019.

THE DIFFERENCE:
-In 2019 we are going to just go to MK for the party and that is it. Our other 2 days will be staying at the Double Tree next to Universal Studios as we want to check out Harry Potter World and see what has changed at Universal (Which is damn near everything as the only ride I remember from my trip to Universal was Kongfrontation, Backdraft, Back to the Future and ET)

MY QUESTIONS:
-What do I need to know about tickets / rides?
-Timing of our trip as we will most likely be there Sept/Oct when horror nights are going on but are days normal?
-Uber'ing from Universal to WDW?
-Is there seriously a prop shop where you can buy film props at Universal?
More info here than you can shake a Mickey Bar at. They have Universal covered.
https://orlandoinformer.com/
 

GabeP

Active Member
My recent trip to Orlando in late Sept included 3 sep days (and one HHN) in UNi and 3 nights and 4 days at Disney. Crowds at both were minimal. Longest wait at Uni was maybe 15 min for Transformers, Gringotts and Mummy and at IOA for Kong and Spidey. If you're doing HHN, Tuesdays are your best bet, crowd-wise, followed by Thursdays in Sept. My HHN experience was good, but I did end up buying an HHN express pass, since the big haunts still had hour plus waits. I ubered each day to Uni and was dropped off right in front of the escalator leading to/from the parking garage to security and onwards into Citywalk. Easy, quick and no hassle! Prices were closer to $15 each time.
 

Corey P

Well-Known Member
Unless you are a huge Potter fan don't get the park to park tickets. One day per park is about right. I see no need to run back forth to each park.

Back to the future is still but it's the Simpsons ride now. I enjoy it BTW.

You don't really need to plan anything, some of the rides do fill up at certain times of the day but you can actually go do something else and come back looking for fewer people in line. Unlike Disney. Potter does seem to fill up in the early hours and not so much towards the late afternoon. I've stayed in an Express pass hotel and at ones that aren't, there really isn't that huge of a difference the time of year you are going. The express pass is useful if you want to hit a ride 4 or 5 times in a row like my kids. We hit The Hulk 4 times in a row one night and the express pass did make that possible in maybe an hour? Don't really remember but it was quick to get back on. Did that with the Rip Rocket one night as well. That's the way the kids like to finish off the night with a coaster fest.

Go see the horror show BTW. As far as props I'm not sure about that?
 

BrerJon

Well-Known Member
Yes there is a shop, Williams of Hollywood, that sells old props - it's tucked away in the Hollywood area. It's mostly things from the parks though - old shop window items, ride signage, that sort of thing - rather than real film props.
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
My first trip to FL was a business trip to Orlando and I stayed at the Doubletree for the week. It was my first FL park experience and I was immediately hooked. I remember the entrance right across from the Doubletree where the old Hard Rock was. This was around 1993. ET is the only remaining attraction from that time. Ghostbusters is gone, as well as Kong (as you knew it), Back to the Future, etc. But you will get to experience the new attractions in their place which I think are exceptional.
As far as your trip timing, it doesn't matter much anymore. The 20 minute wait times are gone. Crowds are always dense, but much more dense around the holidays. I suggest you find a Wednesday night where Horror Nights is scheduled and do that night. We've done that for the past two years and walked through every house in about 3.5 hours. We also bought the Express pass which really helps. We've never Ubered, but I have seen Uber vehicles dropping off people at WDW & Universal.
Have a great trip !
 

Edward Jackson

Well-Known Member
I would recommend staying at a Universal property. Depending on where you stay there are benefits that make it more than
worth it, such as early park entrance, (which includes Harry Potter), and express pass. Ubering from Universal to WDW is a piece
of cake. The cost was about $25.00 each way, in May. I went from the Portofino to Animal Kingdom, then back from Epcot.
Sorry, I can't be all sunshine and roses, but I wasn't really impressed by the prop shop. It is definitely worth the look, but I didn't
see anything that I wanted to buy. (Not buying was a personal choice though. Take a look. You may find something you have
been waiting your whole life to find.) Have fun!
 

Frankie The Beer

Well-Known Member
Why don't you just go and fly by the seat of your pants? No one here will accurately tell you what to expect, you need to experience it yourself and formulate your our opinion.
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
If you haven't been since the 1990s, then you probably only remember Universal Studios and not Islands of Adventure. Take a two-day base ticket and do each park. Don't bother with a hopper, they are more expensive. Everything is new to you with Islands of Adventure which opened up in 1999. King Kong, Spiderman, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and Hulk are your best rides. You'll want to do some of them twice. Don't forget to hang around places like the Marvel section or Toon Lagoon. Just very immersive and Disneyesque in their theming. Universal is very underrated when it comes to this, I think they do a fine job of it. If you ride the water rides which are Ripsaw Falls and Pluto's Barges you will get soaked. There is no avoiding it. So be prepared.

Universal Studios has changed since you last saw it. E.T. is there, but that's about it. Jaws is gone Kongfrontation is gone although King Kong on the other side is better overall. Lucy is gone too, Terminator, etc. It's a different park and yet still the same in some ways. The line ups are never as bad as at the Magic Kingdom. Race to the back of the park at the beginning of the day and go forwards. It never fails.
 
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