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Universal Studios Touring Plan – The Gotta Do It All Family

by Jamie Rumph

Universal Studios Orlando is a fantastic vacation for theme park lovers of all ages!  Harry Potter fans, you definitely don’t want to miss it!  But where do you start?

Right here, with this touring plan of course!

This Touring Plan is for families that gotta cover it all with 2 days to play in the parks.

Universal Studios Touring Plan

This touring plan will help guide you through all there is to do for families that “gotta do it all”!

2-Parks 2-Days: Fun for the “gotta do it all” type of family!

If traveling with small children ask the ride attendants about child switch. This will eliminate the need to
stand in line twice so that all the adults can ride.

Express Pass is suggested as the crowds continue to increase at Universal Studios Orlando.  This can be prepurchased with your ticket or in the park when available.  They do sell out!

For the best value, you can have Unlimited Express Pass for free with specific resort stays!

Day 1:

Start at Universal Studios with Early Park Admission (select tickets and/or resort stay required for Early Park Admission)

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
    • Utilize Early Park Admission
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Revenge of the Mummy
    • Enjoy The Blues Brother Show if it’s showing when you exit the attraction otherwise march
      on solider, you have N.E.S.T. training.
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D
  • E.T. Adventure Ride
  •  Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-up Show
    • Check the Universal App for showtimes on your travel date
  • Central Park Crepes – part of our 5 Treats You Can’t-Miss
    • Grab a crepe for a snack and keep on hustling
  • Hogwart’s Express: King Cross Station
    • Check the Universal App for wait times, if over 30 minutes walk to Islands of Adventure instead.
    • The Park to Park option is needed to ride the Hogwarts Express.

Islands of Adventure

If you took the train to Islands of Adventure stop at the Butterbeer Cart.

    • Grab a frozen Butterbeer for your walk to Marvel Superhero IslandUnviersal Orlando Touring Plan butterbeer

If you did not ride the Hogwarts Express, start here:

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Pteranodon Flyers
    • Adults must be accompanied by a child between 36” and 48” to enjoy this attraction.
  •  Jurassic Park River Adventure
    • You may get wet
    • There are no complimentary lockers for the three wet rides. Stop in Jurassic Outfitters and request a large merchandise bag to put your things in before your ride to keep them dry or leave with a non-rider.
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
    • You will definitely get wet
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges
    • You are soakedUniversal Orlando Touring Plans
  • Return to the hotel to change before dinner.

I suggest eating at your resort today, you have been busy! Don’t want to stay in? There are so many dining options to choose from at City Walk!

Day 2:

Universal Orlando touring plans Islands of Adventure

Start your day at Islands of Adventure

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (a must!)
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  •  Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Lunch at the Three Broomsticks
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
  •  The Cat in the Hat
  • Take the Hogwart’s Express: Hogsmeade Station to Universal Studios
    • The Park to Park option is needed to ride the train.

Universal Studios Touring Plan Hogwarts Express via HogsmeadeUniversal Studios

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • The Bourne Stuntacular
    • Check the Universal Orlando app for showtimes
    • Walk back to Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure

  • Dinner at Mythos or ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure one more time and
    eat in CityWalk  (reservations recommended to eat at Mythos)

To complete this touring plan it is recommended that you utilize the Express Pass system.

Express Pass is included when staying at some Universal Resorts or can be purchased in advance from your travel agent.

Virtual Queue:

Some attractions are currently utilizing Virtual Queue depending on park attendance/crowds. The Universal Orlando app is required to access the Virtual Queue.

  • Please download the app before your vacation.

To access the Virtual Queue:

1. Launch the Universal Orlando app
2. Click the list menu (three lines at the top left)
3. Click Virtual Line Experience
4. Click the Virtual Line Venues tab
5. Choose the desired attraction from the list
6. Click Virtual Line Pass Reserve
7. Use the slider to select the number of people in your party
8. Choose an available time
9. Click Reserve Virtual Line Pass
10. Take a screenshot or your QR code just in case

Troubleshooting Tips:

Make sure that your location services are turned on.

You will not be able to make Virtual Queue reservations until you arrive on Universal property.

  • Each login can have two Virtual Line reservations at a time but they cannot be at the same time or for the same attraction.
  • Attractions can turn the option for Virtual Queue on an off as needed throughout the day so it is advised to check back frequently.
  • If you cannot get a reservation because it says they are all gone check back frequently (like every 30 minutes) as additional space is released throughout the day.
  • Rides that can utilize Virtual Queue:
    • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
    • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
    • Revenge of the Mummy
    • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
    • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
    • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
    • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

BONUS: If you have Express Pass you will only need to make Virtual Line Reservations for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Lockers & Storage

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure provide small lockers for guests to store their belongings on attractions that do not allow you to bring them on.

  • Small lockers are free for the duration of the ride and queue, times adjust based on queue length.
  • Large lockers have a nominal fee.

Rides that require items to be stowed:

  • Men In Black,
  • Escape from Gringotts,
  • Rip Ride Rockit,
  • Hulk,
  • Forbidden Journey,
  • Hagrid’s.
  • Dr. Doom’s Fearfall does not have lockers but does have bins when you load to store all loose

Rip Ride Rockit and The Incredible Hulk attractions require guests to go through a metal detector to ensure all items are stored in lockers.

For Five Universal Orlando Treats you can’t miss while visiting, see this post.

Written by Dana Johnson, Love of the Magic Vacations


Ready to plan your Universal Studios Orlando vacation?  Request a free no-obligation vacation quote from Dana@LOTMV.com

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