Universal Orlando Florida Tips
Planning a vacation to Universal Orlando Florida for the first time is one of those trips that is guaranteed to be a really fun adventure for the whole family. Around every corner, there is something for everyone just waiting to be discovered and explored.
Families plan trips each year to spend their days on thrilling attractions, enjoying amazing food and sharing in amazing moments only found at Universal Orlando Resort.
I was invited by Universal Orlando to visit their parks. All opinions are mine.
What is the key to having a great time and making certain that you are spending the majority of your time enjoying everything that Universal Orlando has to offer? Being prepared ahead of time for your visit, of course!
7 Tips When Visiting Universal Orlando For The First Time
No matter what, your trip to Universal is going to be amazing, here are just a few tips to take your trip from “good” to “great”!
Here are our 7 best tips to consider when visiting Universal Orlando Resort.
Tip #1: Don’t visit Universal Orlando during peak seasons
If you are trying to avoid the crowds, choosing an off-season time is a great way to accomplish that. Typically, crowds are less during September as many people are just getting back into the swing of school and aren’t traveling as much. We also tend to see lower crowds in January and up until Presidents Day weekend in February.
Weekdays also are slower, so if you can take a trip during the week, you’ll be able to roam the park pretty freely.
Avoid major holidays, Spring Break and weekends if you can, to minimize the crowd levels.
Tip #2: Buying a Universal Express Pass is a must!
No one likes to wait in line for rides, and with the Universal Express Pass, you don’t have to. It’s a great add-on to purchase because it allows you, and anyone in your family who has one as well, to skip the regular lines for most rides unlimited, for the entire time that you’re at the park.
If you and your family have a favorite ride and you have the Universal Express Pass, you can literally ride it over and over again, without standing in long lines.
Tip #3: Don’t forget to take in your water bottle!
You and your crew will be walking a ton at Universal Orlando, and the Florida sun can make you work up quite a sweat.
This is also a huge money saver and a great way to ensure that everyone in your family stays hydrated.
Tip #4: Plan out the main attractions and Universal Orlando rides that you want to visit in advance.
It may seem a little silly to be that prepared to have the attractions and rides planned out, but once you enter Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you’ll want to have a plan.
There’s so much to do and see that if you don’t stay on schedule, you may not have enough time to enjoy all of the attractions.
Be sure to download the Universal Orlando Resort app before you arrive. This will show you wait times, and show times as well as any attractions that are not open.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an absolute do not miss in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Even if you aren’t a huge Potterhead, you will be in awe. The books truly come off the pages and are brought to life.
In Diagon Alley be sure to ride Escape From Gingotts, as this is unlike any family coaster we have ever experienced before.
And don’t miss the live show featuring Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
Once you have explored all of Diagon Alley, take The Hogwarts Express across the parks into Hogsmeade Village.
Here you will come close up with Hogwarts Castle, dine at Three Broomsticks and enjoy a few of Hagrid’s Magical Adventures.
Did you really visit The Wizarding World without a butterbeer? Don’t forget to eat ALL of the sweets, just like Ron Weasley.
Universal Studios Hollywood
After you have spent some time in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will want to take the Hogwarts Expres over to Universal Studios Hollywood.
From the moment you arrive at Universal Studios, you’re literally transported and feel as though you’re actually “inside” the movie…It’s an experience that you can’t afford to miss!
One other aspect that’s really great about Universal Studios, is that there are a ton of 3D and motion rides instead of just roller coasters.
Being able to step into another “world” and explore our favorite movies and television shows was so much fun.
Keep in mind that if you get motion sickness easily, the 3D and motion simulation rides may not be the best for you.
- Transformers: The Ride 3-D
- Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
- The Simpsons Ride
- Fast and Furious Supercharged
- Men In Black Alien Attack
- Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon
- E.T. Adventure
- The Bourne Stuntacular
If coasters are more your speed then you will not want to miss Rip Ride RockIt! In our opinion it’s the best coaster in the parks.
Another surprising coaster is Revenge of the Mummy, don’t miss either one if you are a thrill seeker.
The little ones in your family can enjoy Woody Woodpecker’s KidsZone featuring attractions and shows just for them.
Here they can meet Spongebob, or play in Feivel’s Playground, and for some soaking good times Curious George Goes To Town is a fun interactive play area.
Universal Islands of Adventure
Adventures from your favorite stories await you. The rides are stellar and the magic and ambiance are electrifying.
There is so much excitement and energy pumping through this area of the park that you’ll be amazed at how the time just flies.
This park is based on the written word,so here you will see comics, novels and more come to life.
From superheroes to mythical creatures, there’s always a surprise element or fun ride just waiting for you to discover!
There’s a reason that TripAdvisor has awarded the Universal Islands of Adventure the #1 Amusement Park in the World for the past five years! (2015-2020)
Channel your inner strength and courage and make certain that you don’t miss out on riding The Incredible Hulk Coaster!
If high speed thrills aren’t for you take a tour on Jurassic Park River Adventure, or get soaked on Dudley Do-Rights Rip Saw Falls.
The little ones in your family will love Seuss Landing, as their favorite stories come to life in front of them.
The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster
Tip #5: Splurge on Butterbeer.
Despite the name, Butterbeer doesn’t actually contain any alcohol so it’s kid-friendly and safe for the whole family to sip away on. If you aren’t familiar with Butterbeer, it’s a beverage that is referenced in the Harry Potter books and is a must try when you visit.
Enjoy ordering one or two and sitting down with your family to give those feet a rest! The taste is sweet, with a hint of butterscotch and can be ordered frozen as well.
Tip #6: Stay On-Site At one of Universal Orlando’s Resorts
Universal Orlando has several on-site hotels and they work for any budget. From value priced accommodations to deluxe resorts, there is something for every family.
When you stay at one of the on-site resorts, you will receive exclusive benefits such as early-park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and free park transportation.
Plus, if you are staying at one of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels on-site, there’s a good chance that a Express Pass may be included with your room stay! Package your Universal Orlando Resort vacation by adding one of these resorts and you will save even more!
Related: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Review
Tip #7: Enjoy delicious dining options during your trip to Universal Orlando.
Rest easy knowing that if you and your family get hungry at Universal, there are plenty of food options to fill your bellies.
Some of the top places to consider dining at would be:
- Bubba Gump – Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. offers up delicious seafood options and a great menu for lunch or dinner.
- Toothsome Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen – All day brunch, anyone? Plus amazing steaks and of course, anything and everything chocolate you can imagine!
- NBC Sports Grill and Brew – Good family atmosphere, fun ambiance, and an expansive menu certain to hit everyone’s food requests.
- Voodoo Donuts – Everyone loves donuts, right? At Universal, they do because the line seems to seriously always be out the door. With over 50 different types of donuts, you know that the taste and options are going to be great.
These 7 Universal Orlando Insider Tips will help to ensure that you and your family have a wonderful time at Universal Orlando!
Most of all, be prepared to have fun, ride some amazing rides, enjoy some delicious food and explore every nook and cranny that the parks have to offer.
You’ll have such a blast that you’ll already be planning your next vacation back before you’re even done with this one!