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Old 11-05-2017, 05:05 PM   #1
noreen99
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Default Universal VIP tour pros and cons?

Not sure if this is the right place to ask.

So I promised my son I would give him a make-up day at universal studios-. Our last trip to Disney/Universal (January 2015) was a disaster. He wound up in the emergency room with a severe case of MONO. He was down for most of the trip, and he wants to see Harry Potter and is a tremendous Simpson's fan. His primary goal is to get a flaming moe.

I am considering the Non-private VIP tour for a couple of reasons and am looking for some input from those who have done it recently.

Here is the deal we will be a party of 3, my son, my fiance, and myself.
We are NOT early risers and will be staying at Disney with our vehicle.
We are new to DVC and plan on just exploring the resorts @ Disney most of the trip. We only have solid plans for 1 day out of 3 possible park days. This experience cannot be moved as it only happens once a week.
This crowd calendars list the Friday as 3/10 Saturday as 8/10 with shortened hours on Friday night.
When we went in 2015 Universal lines were a nightmare on what was expected to be a relatively slow day.
Keith and I don't do thrill rides at all-but we both would like to see Diagon Alley etc...and I love the backstage type experiences.
Griff would not be likely to go single rider on his own for long waits- so express pass might encourage him.
I have read that Universal should be done over 2-days.
When I run the costs for the 1 day VIP for all of us vs. 2-Day 2park tickets for all 3 of us to both parks plus an express pass for griff, parking fees and lunch minimum both days. At first glance, it seems to make sense.
Did anyone find the experience worthwhile as far as actually seeing both parks in one day?
How did they handle odd numbered riders in the group?
Did anyone in your party hang back from any experiences and if so how'd that work out?
Had anyone done this with mobility issues? Scared I won't be able to keep up with the tour?
If we go this route on the low crowd friday is it worth it?
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:02 PM   #2
MMC1
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I have never done the VIP Tours but the reviews are positive. You are trying to make this special due to illness during the last trip. Makes me think it would be very memorable for your family and possibly worth it. i did notice a VIP Call Center # for specific questions : 866-346-9350
I hope they can provide more assistance.
Do they assign different tour times ? What happens if you are late due to traffic/parking, etc?
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MMC1 View Post
I have never done the VIP Tours but the reviews are positive. You are trying to make this special due to illness during the last trip. Makes me think it would be very memorable for your family and possibly worth it. i did notice a VIP Call Center # for specific questions : 866-346-9350
I hope they can provide more assistance.
Do they assign different tour times ? What happens if you are late due to traffic/parking, etc?
Its 1100 am start and VIP parking is included so no issues parking ( I hope I am pretty particular about my MINI.)

The call center was pretty helpful with questions concerning availability and pricing but not much else, example -counter service lunch is included. No idea where or what that entails and VIP guest services repeated counter service lunch is included.

Hoping someone here has done it before.
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:22 PM   #4
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If your primary emphasis is going to be on WWoHP and Simpsons Land, I doubt you'll need the VIP, especially with the EP. If you eliminate most of the thrill rides, you'll be able to accomplish a lot on just that Friday without the VIP.

Counter service lunch, is exactly as it sounds. You will get a meal - entree and drink - at one of the restaurants where you order at a counter. If you want to eat in one of the HP places, I'd suggest the dining plan. You'll get an entree, 2 drinks, and a snack. Butterbeer can be the snack, and Pumpkin Juice can count as the drinks, so you'd come out ahead.

I've not done the VIP tour, but I go to Universal as much as Disney (more this year due to unforseen circumstances) and know all of the ins and outs to answer your questions.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:48 PM   #5
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If your primary emphasis is going to be on WWoHP and Simpsons Land, I doubt you'll need the VIP, especially with the EP. If you eliminate most of the thrill rides, you'll be able to accomplish a lot on just that Friday without the VIP.

Counter service lunch, is exactly as it sounds. You will get a meal - entree and drink - at one of the restaurants where you order at a counter. If you want to eat in one of the HP places, I'd suggest the dining plan. You'll get an entree, 2 drinks, and a snack. Butterbeer can be the snack, and Pumpkin Juice can count as the drinks, so you'd come out ahead.

I've not done the VIP tour, but I go to Universal as much as Disney (more this year due to unforseen circumstances) and know all of the ins and outs to answer your questions.
Thank you for your response.

The last time I went to Universal was 2002 and you could experience both parks in a tremendously long day...

I am told this is no longer the case...2 days? express pass vs Ubot thing?

Last edited by noreen99; 11-07-2017 at 04:49 PM. Reason: under caffeinated !
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:00 PM   #6
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Thank you for your response.

The last time I went to Universal was 2002 and you could experience both parks in a tremendously long day...

I am told this is no longer the case...2 days? express pass vs Ubot thing?
Honestly it depends on how much you want to do. Can you ride every ride in both parks, plus have time for meals, shows, rests, etc? Likely not. It might be possible if you all had EPs, and it was a particularly slow day (when the EPs would make everything a walk-on). But on a "normal" day, some waits are going to span into the 25-30 minute range and limit how many things you can do. This is especially true if you go during an off-peak time when the parks close earlier (IoA sometimes even as early as 5 or 6)

Can you get on the major things, especially all the ones you really want to do? Absolutely, especially at an off-peak time.

So it really will come down to value and worth rather than capability. I do think that you can certainly get enough done in one day during a slower time to make it worthwhile, and not have to spend any more money to finish the rest. When are you going? Universal tends to be busier on Saturdays and Mondays for some reason. So if you can go on that Friday, and it's not over the summer, or during Easter/Xmas, I think one day will be fine. The only caveat I can see is the new HP Holiday content messing with the typical crowd trends. But even that may mean longer park hours which will offset itself.

I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to ride all of the following in one day, plus some others, especially with an EP and a slow time:

Forbidden journey
Gringott's
Olivander's
Hogwarts Express
Simpson's
MiB
Spiderman
Mummy
Transformers
Fallon
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:02 PM   #7
noreen99
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Originally Posted by PSULion22 View Post
Honestly it depends on how much you want to do. Can you ride every ride in both parks, plus have time for meals, shows, rests, etc? Likely not. It might be possible if you all had EPs, and it was a particularly slow day (when the EPs would make everything a walk-on). But on a "normal" day, some waits are going to span into the 25-30 minute range and limit how many things you can do. This is especially true if you go during an off-peak time when the parks close earlier (IoA sometimes even as early as 5 or 6)

Can you get on the major things, especially all the ones you really want to do? Absolutely, especially at an off-peak time.

So it really will come down to value and worth rather than capability. I do think that you can certainly get enough done in one day during a slower time to make it worthwhile, and not have to spend any more money to finish the rest. When are you going? Universal tends to be busier on Saturdays and Mondays for some reason. So if you can go on that Friday, and it's not over the summer, or during Easter/Xmas, I think one day will be fine. The only caveat I can see is the new HP Holiday content messing with the typical crowd trends. But even that may mean longer park hours which will offset itself.

I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to ride all of the following in one day, plus some others, especially with an EP and a slow time:

Forbidden journey
Gringott's
Olivander's
Hogwarts Express
Simpson's
MiB
Spiderman
Mummy
Transformers
Fallon
We will be at down from 1/10-1/14. We will Try Friday than.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:43 PM   #8
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What you also can do is plan for Friday only and then if you find there is more you want to do then upgrade the tickets to 2 days before you leave. I agree that a lot can be done in one day but you're not stuck if you end up having more you want to go back for.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:29 PM   #9
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What you also can do is plan for Friday only and then if you find there is more you want to do then upgrade the tickets to 2 days before you leave. I agree that a lot can be done in one day but you're not stuck if you end up having more you want to go back for.
Wow had no idea universal does ticket upgrades.

Even from brokers? Ticketsatwork.com prices seem to beat out every one else so far.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:48 PM   #10
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Wow had no idea universal does ticket upgrades.

Even from brokers? Ticketsatwork.com prices seem to beat out every one else so far.
Not certain about the tickets at work but we've done it with tickets from UCT. I don't recall that they bridge but it was awhile ago so maybe. At least it should give you an option to add another day. Like Disney, Universal wants to keep you there as long as they can.
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