It’s almost time for one of the busiest and most popular times of year at Universal Orlando: spring break! Visiting during a busy time of year like spring break can be overwhelming, but not if you plan for it. Here are my top Universal Orlando spring break tips.
Get your tickets in advance
First of all, make it easier on yourself by getting your theme park admission in advance. The longest lines at the front of the park are for the ticket window, whereas the automatic will call stations frequently have much lower wait times. This saves you the time of having to wait in line before you even enter the park.
If you’re staying at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels with a vacation package, you can also skip that arrival procedure entirely by picking up your tickets at the kiosks in your hotel, and have all your theme park tickets ready to go before you head to the parks.
Make dining reservations
In general, Universal Orlando does not have the same kind of demand for dining reservations as you’ll see at some other Orlando theme parks. But, it is worth it to make reservations if you know you’ll want a table-service meal during your trip. This is especially true in the theme parks, as there are only a few table-service locations in the parks, and more popular ones like Mythos Restaurant and Finnegan’s can be very busy at mealtimes.
An add-on guests should consider when visiting Universal Orlando during spring break is Express Pass. This gives guests special access to most major attractions in the parks, allowing them to bypass the stand-by line via a dedicated Express Pass line with a shorter, or non-existent, wait to ride. During busier times of year, having Express Pass can make it a lot less stressful to visit the parks.
Express Pass is an additional cost, and the cost can vary. There are a couple of types of Express Pass – the regular version and Unlimited. The former can be used at each participating attraction once per day, and the other gives unlimited access to all participating attractions. The latter is logically more expensive. Express Passes are also date-specific (they need to be used on their designated date), and cost varies by day. Dates that are expected to be busier will have more expensive Express Passes.
This is a good idea in general, but it’s one of my top Universal Orlando spring break tips. Staying at an on-site hotel gives you access to complimentary transportation to the theme parks, access to picking up your tickets at your hotel, the closest location to the theme parks, and access to Early Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It makes visiting the theme parks much less stressful and more accessible, especially when visiting during a high-crowd time of year.
Also, remember our discussion of Express Pass? When you stay at select on-site hotels – Portofino Bay Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort, or Hard Rock Hotel – you’ll get complimentary Unlimited Express Pass for the duration of your stay for every person in your party. If you’re visiting the park for multiple days, especially during peak time when Express Passes are more expensive to buy individually, it is often a better value to stay at one of these hotels to take advantage of the complimentary Unlimited Express Pass.
Arriving early is a mainstay of theme park planning wisdom, and another one of my Universal Orlando spring break tips. For fans of the Wizarding World in particular, you’ll want to take advantage of Early Admission. This privilege is available to guests staying at on-site hotels and allows you to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before regular park opening. You’ll be able to get a head start on some of the park’s most popular attractions and explore the Wizarding World before the largest crowds arrive later in the day. Note that Early Admission is not always available at both parks, so be sure to check Early Admission hours before planning your itinerary.
Have a good plan
With or without Express Pass, and with or without Early Admission, you’ll want to have a plan for your day. Arrive early to the theme parks, and visit high-demand attractions first. Afternoons can often be a great time to take a break back at your hotel, since that is when wait times are highest. Wait times will often decrease late in the evening, so the last couple of hours before park closing are also a great time to visit popular rides.
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