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uziel5000

Port Canaveral 1PM Arrival Can we do Harry Potter?

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So we are booked on Oasis of the Seas. We have Port Canaveral on Day 3 and has a 1pm arrival time and a 10pm departure. It's a 1 hour trip to Universal Studios...

 

Can it be done?

 

Our priority is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter so we would get the multi-pass so we can do both sides (Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal). We would do anything else in the parks if there was a chance but the main thing is Mr. Potter for sure. This sounds insane for sure but this is a family who drove 10 hours because we were "close" to Niagara Falls! (and it was totally worth it too.) Advice and experiences will be greatly appreciated.

Edited by uziel5000

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Maybe.  When is your cruise?   Park hours vary, currently, both parks are open until 9pm.  When we went in April, they were only open until 7pm.  Keep in mind it is an hour from the port to the park.   Wait times for the rides will vary but you would be getting there at a peak time so I would expect at least 20-30 min per ride but possibly longer.

 

For me, it would not be worth it.😂

 

Sherri🙂

Edited by sjb317

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Ah.. got it - port of call, not disembarkation & flight scenario.

 

Doable then, but rushed.

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Sorry. Didn't explain . The departure port is New Jersey. We arrive in Port Canaveral on the third day of the cruise.

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Just now, uziel5000 said:

Sorry. Didn't explain . The departure port is New Jersey. We arrive in Port Canaveral on the third day of the cruise.

You explained it well enough; or maybe I am looking at a similar sailing and know the itinerary 😝!

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I am assuming this is a port stop. What are your travel plans to and from the parks?  If the ship docks at 1:00, figure a 1/2 hour to debark and then transport.  Driving time is about 1 hour, but if you are planning to rent a car, it will be quite a time getting the car, and you will need to plan time to return the rental.  If you plan to take RCCL transfers to the park, they usually wait for the bus to fill.  So all in all you might have from 2:30-3:00 (at the earliest) until about 8:00 pm (at the latest) in the parks.  I've done it, but with  9:00 am arrival with a 10 pm departure using RCCL transfers. A fun day for sure, but I personally would be watching the time all afternoon so as not to miss the ship departure.

Good luck whatever you choose.

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I LOVE Harry Potter and have gone to Universal for that reason. I honestly think its doable but go in with some realistic expectations. The walk into the park from bus drop off/uber/parking is very long. It is another considerable walk to the areas in each park that are Harry Potter themed. If this is the only time you ever get there then you might find it worth while but you will not get everything done even in the Harry Potter portions. If you could swing this as a different trip it might be better saved.

 

On another note, if you decide to do it. The train ride between the two parks is different each way so make sure you ride it in both directions.

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Your whole plan is entirely possible.

 

But like others have said, your going to be running around like crazy.

 

And you will be spending a lot of $$$ for a couple rides,.

 

If Universal is that important, plan a trip to Orlando...

 

 

Edited by matj2000

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I've done this off a cruise ship.  Here's my question to you.  Are you willing to spend a lot of money on this?

 

If i remember correctly, a two park costs like 170 bucks per person for one day.  To get the best bang for your buck you should rent a car.  Depending on when your cruise is, you may be there during peak times. 

 

I did this twice. 

 

Once, in December in 2012 and there were no lines...there was also no harry potter in Universal Studios at the time.  I only had a 1 park pass then.

The second time, I went in 2015 off of a cruise ship in September.  We got the serious hookup because I had a friend who worked at the park, who got us (6 of us) 2 park tickets at 105/person with fast passes.  There was way more people and if i didn't have the fast pass, we would not have been able to do what we wanted in the time available.

 

Personally, I do not think its worth the aggravation and cost.  You will be rushing through everything and everything will take a long time because of the lines.  For us, we started early at opening, but you will be right in the middle of the busiest part of the day.

If you don't mind the expense and are willing to miss some things, then go for it, otherwise, I'd choose something else.

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My thought is you are not going to get the full experience of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I think you will be rushed.  If you rent a car, by the time you disembark and get there and parked it could very easily be 2:30-3:00.  You would want to leave no later than 8pm to return the car and get back on board on time.  That just feels very rushed.  If you are okay just seeing some of it, ok.  Just keep in mind that this part of Universal is the most popular and lines will be long especially mid afternoon.  At least by dinner time, they will die down, but you have to eat too.  Just a lot to think about.

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Use Uber or Lyft, a little over $100 each way.  The ship shuttle bus waits for everyone to arrive in the morning and leaves the park 3 hours or so before all aboard.  If you will be a first time user of Lyft you can download a coupon for a first ride discount. We used the ship shuttle for a round trip to Disney world on our Symphony cruise and only spent 3 hours in the park, it was so awful that everyone on our bus got a OBC for the shuttle and park admission. happy cruising

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1 hour ago, lswilmot said:

I am assuming this is a port stop. What are your travel plans to and from the parks?  If the ship docks at 1:00, figure a 1/2 hour to debark and then transport.  Driving time is about 1 hour, but if you are planning to rent a car, it will be quite a time getting the car, and you will need to plan time to return the rental.  If you plan to take RCCL transfers to the park, they usually wait for the bus to fill.  So all in all you might have from 2:30-3:00 (at the earliest) until about 8:00 pm (at the latest) in the parks.  I've done it, but with  9:00 am arrival with a 10 pm departure using RCCL transfers. A fun day for sure, but I personally would be watching the time all afternoon so as not to miss the ship departure.

Good luck whatever you choose.

"We have Port Canaveral on Day 3 "

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You don't say when your visit will be, and that could make a big difference in wait times,  but I agree with other posters:  you're talking about an extremely expensive day and most of it spent in transit or waiting in line. Wait times for the HP attractions can be hours. I live in the area and have an AP. I waited 2-1/2 hours the other day for the new Hagrid coaster (totally worth it, it's awesome) and that was a "short" wait. The other HP attractions could be anything between 30-120 minutes. If you purchase the Express pass, or are willing to do single rider lines, your wait may be shorter. Honestly, if you can manage it you'd be much better off planning a vacation at the park. There is so much to enjoy at Universal, it'd be a shame to miss most of it b/c of the limited time you'd have as a cruise port stop.

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Expensive, but doable. And you’re going to miss a lot. And expensive. And rushed. Did I mention expensive?

 

Honestly, I’d plan a separate trip to Orlando and stay onsite so you get the extra perks, including free Express pass. Our family spent 3 days at Universal Orlando several years ago and definitely did not feel like it was too long. 

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You're probably at a best case scenario of 5 hours in the park. If you want to do everything HP you'd need to buy the Express pass unless you happened to be going on a low attendance day (and even then you prob need a pass). I'm not sure if they've added hagrid to the pass yet so that could easily take half your time there if they haven't.

Edited by smplybcause

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I would never do anything other than Seaworld or Kennedy Space Center on a cruise. And Seaworld would be if you want to do all shows OR all rides. Not both.

 

If you are going to Universal Studios, get the Express Pass: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/express-passes

 

Like everyone else has said... This is going to be expensive and short-lived. Plan an Orlando trip instead.

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The Harry Potter areas of the parks are still extremely popular which equals long lines and crowds. You will be waiting longer than 20-30 minutes for those rides. Plan at least an hour each, up to two hours on peak times of the year. Expect 2-3 hours for the Hagrid ride. 

 

Can you do it? Yes. 

Is it a big waste of money and time to only see a few things? Yes. 

 

Just the walk from the parking area to the potter sections is going to take some time. You will be so rushed and have little time to do anything except watch the clock. And as someone else mentioned the parks don’t stay open late year round. A closing time of 7-8pm is common. 

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19 minutes ago, BeachChik said:

Just the walk from the parking area to the potter sections is going to take some time.

 

Especially since they now search everyone before getting to citywalk! I'd say 30 minutes easy from exiting vehicle to park entrance. 

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As many others have said, technically it's doable but certainly not advisable or enjoyable. I live in Orlando and go to universal at least once a month. 

Assume ship arrives on time and you are one of first off ship. You're outside and waiting for an uber by 1:30. Dont even think about renting a car because it would take up time and cost another $25 for parking. With no traffic at all, it's an hour away. The walk from drop off to security and entrance is 20 minutes. Assume you have tickets and no lines to get in. You're at 3pm. Unless you get super lucky, the wait time for the ride will be anywhere from 60-90 minutes. That puts you at 4 pm after just one ride. You would then have time for one more ride and possibly some looking around. Also, unless it's summertime, the park will close early. And if it's anytime btwn Sept 1st and Oct 31st, they will close by 6pm for Halloween horror nights. 

If ship leaves at 10, you'd have to be back by 930. It will take at least 30 minutes to exit the park and get an uber. Another hour to get to port. You'd have to leave park by 730 at latest. 

Add to the time hassle, the cost for a 2 park ticket with tax is just under $200. For a family of 4, that's $800 to "enjoy" 4 hours and 2 rides in the park. Add another $200 for an uber (approx $100 each way). 

You know your family better than anyone but $1000 to see Harry potter and rush through the day doesn't seem like the bgest idea. 

Good luck and have fun whatever you choose to do. 

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I replied in depth earlier but forgot to add

See if universal is offered as an excursion. If it is, then you'd only have to worry about getting back to the bus on time. Even if a little pricier than doing on your own, it's a much better option than worrying about missing the ship. 

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Just came back Monday from Port Canaveral. There is a long causeway that takes you from the island to the parks. There was a ton of construction on the roadway to the parks. The 2 lane road was reduced to one.  I would say it took 40 mins to do what would normally take 5-10.. I don’t know of any other way you could go to get to Universal.  I know I would really have been stressed if I was trying to get to Universal. I don’t agree with getting a rental car or Uber because of all the things that could make that one hr drive much longer. I would use the ships transportation just in case.  I am sure there is a reason they leave the park 3 hrs before boarding time. With really only one express road between the ship and the parks so many things can happen.  

 

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One thing not mentioned is the day of the week you will be there and is it during school vacation time.  Could be quieter if it is on a school day.

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4 hours ago, uziel5000 said:

So we are booked on Oasis of the Seas. We have Port Canaveral on Day 3 and has a 1pm arrival time and a 10pm departure. It's a 1 hour trip to Universal Studios...

 

Can it be done?

 

Our priority is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter so we would get the multi-pass so we can do both sides (Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal). We would do anything else in the parks if there was a chance but the main thing is Mr. Potter for sure. This sounds insane for sure but this is a family who drove 10 hours because we were "close" to Niagara Falls! (and it was totally worth it too.) Advice and experiences will be greatly appreciated.

 

When is your cruise? The time of year has a big affect on the wait times. 

 

Also, during the summer months, rides like Escape from Gringotts @ Universal and Forbidden Journey & Flight of the Hippogriff @ IOA typically have wait times of 60-90+ minutes and the new Hagrid's Motorbike roller coaster is typically 3+ hour wait. Hogwart's Express train is usually a 30 minute or so wait. These wait times numbers would be lower in the fall. 

 

Does RCI still have an excursion to Universal for PC port stops? If so that may be an option...

 

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