Knowing that Disney is packed beyond imagination between Christmas and New Years, how do the Universal Orlando parks compare? Are they more bearable, or just as crowded?
Anyone ever do Universal that week and have intel to share?
Yes, busy. Too many bowl games in FL, and every University sends about 10 million support staff and fans to the games.
Unless it is cold and/or wet, then you can have the park to yourself...
That being said, the quietest of the Disney parks will still be twice as crowded as the busiest non-Disney park.
I went to Universal during Christmas week before the Harry Potter area opened at IOA and we just went to the Studios park. It was very crowded. We had purchased Express pass (at the time it was $25 a person) and was well worth it because the lines were horrible. Shrek 4D and Men In Black had posted wait times of 150 minutes, Jimmy Neutron was 120 minutes. ET was 90 minutes. Even Twister was 60 minutes. With Express we didn't wait more than 10 - 15 minutes for anything.
I know last year and probably the last couple of years before that IOA reached capacity and there were reports that even those in the park had to get a return time ticket just to enter the Harry Potter area and then still have to wait in long lines once they were allowed in the area.
I went to Sea World that week in 2004 and it was just as bad. You had to get to shows 45+ minutes early just to be able to get any seat and the walkways were so crowded they were gridlocked at times. I wasn't into major coasters at the time so I'm not sure how long Kraken's line was and Journey To Atlantis had a short wait since it was cold out (mid 50s).
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