The Good and Bad of Changes in Early Park Admission to Universal Orlando

(Photo Credit: Old Soul)

Early Park Admission to Universal Orlando provides guests the chance to experience the parks before most of crowd arrives. Universal on-site guests, vacation package participants, some passholders, and holders of ticket media from some travel agents receive early park admission to at least one of the land theme parks each day. Also, on-site hotel guests receive at least a half hour early park admission to Volcano Bay waterpark. Recently, a schedule update for early park admission at Universal Orlando appeared on their website.

Universal Orlando releases early park admission schedule usually within a month or so before. The good news is that in late December 2021, they released schedules for all of January and February 2022. Some noticed that releasing two months ahead was unusual. However, one other change will lead guests to adjust their plans for getting around the park.

Starting January 3rd, 2022, Islands of Adventure will be the only designated land theme park opening for early park admission. The only exception will be weekend of Rock the Universe (January 28-29, 2022) in which Universal Studios Florida will be open for early park admission also. There will be no change to pattern for hotel guests for Volcano Bay waterpark.

Now, guests visiting Islands of Adventure starting on Jan 3rd, 2022, should be aware that one attraction has been removed from list of those open during early park admission. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Ollivander’s, Flight of Hippogriff, and Jurassic World Velocicoaster will remain open for early park admission at Islands of Adventure. Yet, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will open with official park opening.

For guests with early park admission privileges, this change creates bad news. The Hagrid coaster develops very long waits. Even during early park admission, the queue wait could develop to 30 or more minutes. Most guests head straight for the Hagrid coaster at park opening. This pattern happens also during early park admission.

(Photo Credit: Universal)

If you go to visit Universal Orlando in January and February 2022, how should you use early park admission if available to you?

This question depends on your type of group. If you are thrill seekers, Velocicoaster will develop a longer queue as morning continues. You would do well to wake yourself up with some time enjoying the raptors. If thrill rides are not your thing, you should go enjoy all the attractions in Hogsmeade that are open. You could even enjoy the wands spots before those get busy. Most of all if your goal involves riding the Hagrid coaster, you could just get in the queue early. Since Hagrid coaster lacks reliability, you could find yourself waiting in vain.

(Photo Credit: Universal)

It will be interesting to see what happens to wait times with this new early park admission procedure. We shall hope this gives Universal Orlando more overnight time to prepare the coaster to run more reliably.

Early park admission offers guests a full hour of extra time. If you have this privilege, you should use it at least once per vacation trip whether Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is open or not.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.