We reached at 8:30am. We asked for Regular Parking (20$) but the lady at the counter suggested that we go for preferred parking (25$) as it means less to walk. We paid for preferred parking, it was near the entrance and saved us a lot of time both in the morning and in the evening while leaving the park.
The park is located in the form of a circle. When you walk in from the parking, you have an option of going Left to Island of Adventures or going left towards Universal Studios. The day we visited, Universal Studios was set to close at 7:00pm and Island of Adventures at 8:00pm. We started with Universal Studios.
There is a Train – Hogwarts Express to go between the parks.
I was visiting Tampa for a weekend and I wished to visit Harry Potter World at Universal. After a lot of online research and landing up on fake sites, I decided to chuck it and got my tickets from the official universal site.
- $147 for One Day Park to Park Ticket
- $70 for One Day park to Park Express Pass
- $14 Taxes
- $14 for FedEx Delivery
*(I spent 465$ for tickets for 2 people).Use the Print at Home option and save 14$ for yourself.
The Express Pass can be bought in the Park at one of several kiosks. There was absolutely no rush on the day we went. But I would still suggest getting it beforehand to save you some time.
Once you have the tickets, walk straight to the entrance turnstiles. If you used print at home option, you would need an id card as well. Get an ID-Tag holder with you. You need to present this ticket\print out at every ride and pulling it out of the pockets can get pretty irritating.
Express Pass: We saved 10minutes at couple of rides and more at couple more. While this is a Nice to Have, I don’t think it is a must have. However, if I had to go again, I would buy an express pass.
Not All Rides need Lockers. Most of them allow you to take things along and you can place the bags near your foot. The lockers are very easy to operate.
- Walk to any of the locker screens and touch the screen. Click on “I wish to rent a locker”. It would be free for first 1 one hour of the ride. The machine asks for your fingerprint and after recording it, a locker would open and the number would flash on the screen.
- Remember the locker number. Stuff all your loose items inside, close the door tight and press the small green button next to it to lock the door.
- When you want to get your stuff back, head to the same monitor in locker room, click on ‘I wish to reopen a locker’. It would ask for locker number and your finger print for authentication. The locker would have to be emptied when you reopen it.
- If you have forgotten to add something to your locker, rent a new locker instead of trying to reopen an existing locker.
FOOD and REFRESHMENTS
Based on prior blogs, I expected the food to be wildly expensive. But I was pleasantly surprised.
- We had Lunch at 11:00am at ‘Louie’s Italian Restaurant’ at Universal Studios. I had Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with salad. My Husband had a Chicken Alfredo Pasta with salad and my friend had a Slice of Pizza. Since we are not Soda people, we asked for a cup of water each. The cost came up to 30$ for all of us.
- (*The chicken Parmesan was the best one I ever had in my life)
- The butterbeer beckoned to us at the Diagon Alley section for Harry Potter. We had a butterbeer ice cream and butterbeer slushie for 10$. We also had a box of Cotton Candy from one of the shops for 6$.
- For Dinner, we had Chicken Fry\Gyro\Chicken Stinger and a Hot Chocolate from Fire Eaters Grill. The Bill came to around 30$ again. The food was decent though not extraordinary. (We walked past Mythos after eating here, else we would have given it a shot)
*All Information is as of 14 November 2015.
*For More Details on the Rides, Read the Part II