Our family of three is planning our first trip to Universal Orlando and we’re aiming for lower crowd sizes and plan to go in early (after New Year's) - mid-January, 2022. Our teenage daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan, and we know she'll have the best time!
Is Universal limiting park capacity numbers now? Is it likely we'd be turned away for January dates because the parks reach full capacity and we'd be staying off-site? That would make for a sad day!
If park capacity is being limited, is there a general rule of thumb for gate arrival times in January?
Besides having to drive back and forth each day to Universal, as there will be no shuttle, and having to pay the daily parking fees, what are the cons of staying offsite? We aren’t early risers, so we won’t be arriving at the parks for early admission anyway.
We are considering staying offsite at a VRBO condo, like Vista Cay for example. Our trip will be for 7-10 nights, and we will have our car. We would like 2 separate bedrooms, a full kitchen, more space, and a washer/dryer, so a VRBO is the most economical choice for us.
We also want to visit some FL state parks to see manatees and make a day trip to Clearwater, so we're allowing some extra days for those side trips.
Thank you for any advice and suggestions!