We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
TripAdvisor
Orlando
Post
Inbox
Search

Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure

Level Contributor
3 posts
45 reviews
22 helpful votes
Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

We are a family with an 8 y.o. girl, 12 y.o. boy and a 16 y.o girl. We plan to spend 1 full day in Universal Studios Orlando. They ALL enjoy fast roller-coasters and extreme rides and we would like to do as much of universal studios as we can in one day. Should we spend the whole day Universal Studios or should we go to Universal Island of Adventure as well,.... or what should we do? Am I crazy thinking we can do everything in 1 day and still not be too rushed. Please help! Thanx!

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
7 reviews
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

It depends when your visiting really, if the queues are nice and short I recon you could box off Universal Studios quickly if you keep riding. But if your after roller coasters, IOA is the one in my opinion, there are more thrilling rides in there, quite a few coasters and some decent water rides.

We love thrill rides too but tbh would probably prefer the studios as the themeing is amazing, espeically Diagon Alley.

You can do both though, and use the Hogwarts Express as your transfer straight to IOA, a nice way of doing things. One thing I would say though is, if your planning on doing both, maybe come back to the Studios for the finale show, Cinematic Spectactular as its amazing and will be a brilliant end to you day.

So, id say, its definitely worth visiting both parks, although you may have to compromise on some rides to get it all done in a day.

Metro Orlando
Destination Expert
for Daytona Beach
Level Contributor
4,815 posts
111 reviews
40 helpful votes
2. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

And, much as I loath Universal's Express Pass system, it can help you get to way more things in a single day. For an extra amount of money, or if you stay at one of their "luxury" on-site hotels, they'll give you an additional ticket that lets you get in a much shorter line. So, instead of waiting an hour for one of the more popular rides you might only wait a few minutes. Not all the popular rides have it, but many do.

If you go the on-site luxury hotel route (all except Cabana Bay), they'll let you get the Express Pass the morning you're going to check in and it's good until the day you check out. And, they'll let you in the park an hour early so even on top of the pass you can jump on a number of rides with little or nothing for lines.

Of course saying all this, you might want to pace the kids when it comes to riding roller coasters. I'm older and good for 3 or 4 coasters in a day before I start getting a little dizzy. I had a 15 year old nephew who went around the Dragon Challenge something like 8 times in quick succession and was starting to have trouble walking.

Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
2,082 posts
106 reviews
37 helpful votes
3. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

IOA has more thrill rides. US has a few but not nearly as many as IOA. If you can do a two day, two park pass, that is your best bet to see and do just about everything. Depending on when you go you can get everything into one day but if you plan to go during the summer or any holiday, plan to pre-purchase Express Passes to skip the lines if you want any chance. EPs sell out during the busiest times of year so don't wait until you get to the park to buy it if you're visiting during the summer or any holiday.

Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
21,602 posts
72 reviews
40 helpful votes
4. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

Please try to spend two days and see both parks, lots to do in both. As mentioned if you can book one night at Hard Rock, Portofino or Royal Pacific you'll get two full days of express pass and early entry. Sounds like you would enjoy both parks :)

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Grand Baie
Level Contributor
26,022 posts
2,840 reviews
2,521 helpful votes
5. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

If you have only one day then spend it on IOA.

York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
306 posts
103 reviews
36 helpful votes
6. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

I agree with princess, try and do 2 days...we only had one day, with park to park tickets, and it was not enough time. We are going back for 3 days next year because we enjoyed it so much, but we also missed half of what we wanted to do.

Level Contributor
3 posts
45 reviews
22 helpful votes
7. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

Thanks for the responses everybody. What if we use a express pass. Does that change anything?

Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
21,602 posts
72 reviews
40 helpful votes
8. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

We had express pass (stayed 6 nights at Hard Rock), spent 5 days in and out of the two parks (during Sept. a quiet time) and could have used another day :)

aurora, co
Level Contributor
6,049 posts
5 reviews
1 helpful vote
9. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

Express passes are almost a must for busy times of year and a tight schedule. Universal doesn't have a set price for express passes but charges more during busy times (Spring break, summer and Christmas break especially). That's why checking into one of Universal's pricier hotels can be worth it for the express passes.

Level Contributor
3 posts
45 reviews
22 helpful votes
10. Re: Universal studios vs. Universal islands of Adventure
Save

Thanks everybody. We spent 1 night in hard rock hotel and we got Full express passes fro 2 days. The first day we went to Universal Studios and spent the whole day there. Hollywood Rip Ride and Revenge of the Mummy were amazing. The next day we got into Universal Studios an hour earlier than everybody else (very helpful). We did Harry Potter World, had lunch in an amazing but busy Harry Potter restaurant, took the train over into Island of Adventure, did Hogsmeade and then we had had a day to do the rest. We enjoyed the Hulk ride a lot. If it wasn't for all you, we wouldn't have found out that express tickets are free with the hotel. Thanks!