What time do parks actually open for Early park Admission? And Volcano Bay questions

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by bellarinah, Jun 18, 2017 at 11:00 AM.

  1. bellarinah

    bellarinah Earning My Ears

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    My family will be at Universal Orlando from July 15 to 23, staying at Cabana bay. During my trip, both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have Early Park Admission at 8am. I have a few questions.
    1. What time do they actually let the on-site guests in? Do they do it earlier or right at 8am?
    2. What time should I be at the Cabana Bay bus stop to get there before EPA.

    Our last trip to Universal was in May 2015 and we stayed at Portofino. It's been a while and they might have changed some opening procedures since. Plus, we didn't have to deal with the bus then.

    I'm still on the fence if we should do Volcano Bay. We all have preferred AP. We will need to get 1-day VB tickets (I have no problem with that). On one hand, I'd like to wait to do it on one of our future trips (October 2017, December 2017, and July 2018) so the kinks will hopefully be all worked out. But on the other hand, it's so exciting to be able to visit a brand new park NOW. Any weighing in is greatly welcome!!

    Also, has anyone been to VB at night? How is the park during nighttime? It's open till 10pm in July. I was thinking, if we go at all, we can be there for EPA and leave around noon to go rest in our room at CB. And maybe going back in again in the evening, just like touring regular, non-water parks. Since we'll have only 1-day tickets, I want to get the most out of it. It seems like the park is closed for capacity early everyday now. Does anyone know if they open it back up later in the day?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017 at 1:23 PM
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  2. bobbie68

    bobbie68 DIS Veteran

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    Hi we are going at the end of July staying at CBBR and doing VB two days. Good questions!
     
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  4. Steve S

    Steve S Earning My Ears

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    We stayed at Cabana Bay in April/May this year. We found that the turnstiles opened maybe 10 minutes before the listed early admission time.
    If your admission time is 8am then I'd get the Cabana Bay bus between 7.15 and 7.30. There are plenty of buses and the journey time is 5 to 10 minutes. You get dropped at the Universal parking garage and then go through security.
    Alternatively there is a garden pathway from Cabana Bay, taking you round Sapphire Falls and Royal Pacific to Citywalk close to Islands of Adventure. We did this quite often as it only took 20 minutes and we could go through a much quieter security checkpoint.
    Another alternative is to take the garden pathway to Sapphire Falls and take the water taxi to Citywalk, again with a quieter security checkpoint and it drops you at Citywalk between the 2 parks.
    I hope this is helpful.
     
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  5. anricat

    anricat DIS Veteran

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    We went to Volcano Bay the week after opening and we had a fantastic time. We went for early admission at 8 AM, pretty much rode everything with minimal wait (around 5-10 minutes per ride). We rope dropped the aqua coaster and it was fantastic. We rode everything we wanted to, some things multiple times. We were really impressed with all the rides. Around 10:00-10:30 things really started getting busy. We were waiting more like 15-20 minutes. By 10:30, we made a final visit to the lazy river and wave pool and then headed out at 11. People wear streaming in by that point. I think you plan is solid, though I can't speak to the evening part. We didn't feel like we needed to go back. We did everything we wanted to in the morning and had a blast.

    We went back to the room, showered and had a rest and then a late lunch at Toothsome. We spent the evening in the HP areas of the parks. It was a really good day. I think it was actually DH's favorite day of the trip!
     
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  6. bellarinah

    bellarinah Earning My Ears

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    Thank you, Steve, for the info!!! I will try the garden pathway to CityWalk. I really like the idea not having to deal with the bus and the major security check point. Taking the water taxi from Sapphire Falls seems really appealing too. I heard I need to double back to the boat dock if I take the garden pathway. Some people recommended going up from the road instead.
     
  7. bellarinah

    bellarinah Earning My Ears

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    I did read your trip report!!! It sounded amazing! I've been going back and forth on VB. Your trip report was actually one of the few positive ones I've read. Thank you for taking the time to help me out and also for the trip report!! By the way, your daughter looked so cute in Hogwarts robe!
     
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  8. RalphinSC

    RalphinSC Daft Brotherhood of the Ubiquitous Mugshare

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    From our observations this past week:

    IOA seemed to be opening 5-10 minutes early for early entry. We were out of our room at Cabana Bay at about 7:00 each morning and always ended up at the tapstiles by 7:20 and right near the front. No further than four or five people back.

    Volcano Bay was opening about ten minutes early for early entry. We would walk out of our room at Cabana Bay at 7:00 and be through security and sitting at a tapstile by 7:10. We were always at the very front to get in (we would spread our party out to be the first person in multiple lines)

    Cabana Bay is an absolute ace card as far as Volcano Bay entry. You can always be in the front if you go early enough because it seemed the buses from the other resorts did not start arriving until about 7:20am. And you are literally a five minute walk from almost anywhere in the resort to the Volcano Bay tapstiles. That's closer than either Royal Pacific or Hard Rock is to the main parks. Cabana is literally right on top of the park.

    My advice is to go ahead an get the AP upgrade to three park and enjoy your Volcano Bay early entry to the max. We even did one day for early entry to Volcano Bay, rode everything before lunch, and then hit all the top rides in the other two parks after lunch. It was a epic day.
     
  9. bellarinah

    bellarinah Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for your detailed response!!! I would love to upgrade my 2-park Preferred AP to a 3-park Premier AP so I can go to VB anytime I want (Our trip is in July). But the 3-park Premier AP costs almost twice as much as the 2-park Preferred AP so I will have to settle on a 1-day VB ticket for now. I will definitely do EPA for VB and will try to get there as early as I can!!
     
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