1. Make sure to buy a park hopper pass. Harry Potter Land is broken into two parts between the parks, so you need to be able to get onto Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. We bought a three day park hopper pass.
2. Use your thumb at the park. When you enter, they scan a fingerprint and you use that finger to enter/switch parks. I went first and used my index finger, but Jess, Ky and Josh all used their thumb and it makes it easier.
3. Go in the middle of the week. Trust me.
4. Go early. We entered the park right as it opened and got to ride our favorites several times.
5. Keep an early schedule. We ate breakfast at our AirBnb around 6:30, so by 11 we were ready for lunch. There was no wait at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, and the fish and chips were delicious!
6. On that note, eat at the Harry Potter parts. Josh and I paid like $33 for a butterbeer (like a milkshake, and the most expensive part at $6.50), a bottle of water, and two plates of fish and chips, which each came with three big pieces of delicious fish and some fries. The next day, we paid $41 for a pizza and two sodas. Yeah.
7. Go for the frozen Butterbeer!
8. The Dragon Challenge and the Mummy Returns never had too long of a wait, and they were two of our favorites.
9. Be prepared to stuff your bags, etc in a locker for most rides. Luckily, most are free and again, rely on the fingerprint.
10. Plan for a break around 2:00. The parks are busy and it's hot and miserable. Our first day, we saw a movie, and the air conditioner and comfy seats for two hours was a lifesaver. Then we went back in refreshed!
11. Remember you can enter and leave the park as much as you want. This includes park hopping.
12. Bring water and snacks. There are fountains all over the park, so we didn't buy water often. It saved us a bunch of money.
1. Don't forget to wear sunscreen.
2. Don't mess with too much in your bag beyond the essentials. For me, this included my phone, sunglasses, ID, credit card, spray sunscreen. Optional other things include deodorant, wet wipes (I love those), lip balm, and a camera.
3. Don't worry too much about following a schedule. We did the best when we made quick, spontaneous decisions, which led to our life-saving movie, taking the express to the other park at 10:00 am (so empty!), and riding the dragon coaster three times in a row because it was only a 10 minute wait.
4. Don't forget snacks. Ky brought Kind Bars since she eats on a regular schedule, and they were great for her!
5. Don't eat at noon or seven. The lines are out the door.
6. Don't forget to bring money for souvenirs! I bought sweatpants, a Ravenclaw quidditch shirt, a wand, a passport cover, a Hogwarts Express ornament, and Josh found random Avenger swim trunks.
7. Don't be scared to take a water ride in the afternoon. It's hot. Get wet, and save yourself the afternoon of sweating. We dried pretty fast anyway.
Some other advice would be to ride everything at least once. Even our least favorite rides were fun. Also, we liked the Islands of Adventure part more. If we went back, I don't know if we'd even go to the other side again. It was great, but nothing compared to the other side! Also, if you eat at the Leaky Cauldron, eat the trifle tart. It's like bread pudding, and so so amazing.
That's it! Enjoy your trip!