In another forum I was given a great idea on how to move a course from one moodle site to a new one. Create an admin course (perhaps named backup and restore) with admins having access to it. When you want to restore a course from another moodle instance back it up there then copy the zip file to the backupdata folder of the new backup course. You can restore all you need to from there without creating a ton of courses first - it was easy!
I also discovered that the new gallery module (at least if not totally set up) will break the backup and restore functions at the second screen. This was a huge issue for me.