A. 7 Tips To Make The Most Out Of Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando
I recently returned from a trip to Universal Studios Orlando and I want to tell you that the excitement and excitement is still there! Universal’s parks, hotels and CityWalk welcome guests with open arms, and I was delighted to be back again. While there are definitely some new safety protocols and measures in place, you should be aware that these are only created with the health and safety of staff and guests in mind. The attractions are still there and just as exciting, the food (and butterbeer) is still there and so delicious, and the atmosphere was still full of fun and excitement. Here are my tips on how to get the most out of your visit to Universal Studios Orlando.
1. Make sure you bring these items with you.
A lightweight, comfortable face shield for long-term use. My suggestion is to even bring several in case you want to change them up (rain or water attractions). Face coverings are mandatory and will be applied.
Hand Sanitizer – Although a staff member will personally pump sanitizer into your hand before each attraction, and sanitizing stations are available, it is still a good idea to bring a small bottle for you.
A Neck Fan – A neck fan can be a lifesaver on a hot day!
Water – you need to stay hydrated throughout the day.
2. Use the Universal Orlando Resort app
Definitely make sure you have downloaded the Universal Orlando Resort app before heading out to the parks. The app came in very handy on my trip. There are so many features available including:
- Mobile food and drink orders at selected locations
- An interactive map of the park
- Subscribe to the virtual line for selected attractions
- Virtual wallet for parking tickets
- Timeout notifications for attraction timeouts
3. Skip line with virtual line function
Can you imagine stepping straight into the motorcycle adventure of Hagrid’s magical creatures? Well, with virtual leadership, you can! It is so easy! Open the app, select “Virtual Line Experience” and set your time to return to the attraction you are currently viewing. This is a great way to beat the crowds and ensure physical distance.
4. If necessary, interrupt face coverage in the designated U quiet areas
There are now designated U-Rest areas throughout the Universal Studios Resort where you can remove your face covering and cool off with a snack or drink. Here you will find underground rest areas
- Universal CityWalk – In front of the Hard Rock by the water
- Universal Studios Florida – Live Theater Fear Factor and Central Park on the Lagoon
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure – The eighth journey of Sindbad stunt show and harbor landing by the sea
5. Get a frozen drink
Nothing refreshes you like a cold drink on a hot Florida day. Grab a frozen drink and sit down to cool off. I went for the amazing frozen butterbeer!
6. Plan your day in advance
I definitely recommend having a game plan for the day to cut down on walking and use up your time. Plan what attractions are required and take advantage of the virtual line experience when you can. Be sure to plan breaks and meals.
7. If possible, use mobile food ordering
Once again, the universal app will be your best friend! Simply click on “Order food and drinks” in the menu, select the location and your food. The best part about it is reducing the 3D waiting time and minimizing personal contact. This function is available at many quick pick-up locations and in quick service restaurants. You can also take advantage of your Premiere or Preferred Passholder discount when using your mobile phone.
A. Universal Studios Tips Perfect For Your First Visit
Since Universal Orlando Resort is one of the best theme parks in the world, it is very important to understand the tips and tricks you need to maximize your visit and get the most out of your experience. You will be excited to explore these Universal Studios tips and secrets as you prepare for the family vacation of a lifetime!
1. Tips for Universal Studios Orlando
In case you’re confused, like me, Universal Orlando Resort is made up of 3 parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay Waterpark.
Our Universal Studios Orlando tips are divided into the following categories that contain tips for:
- Planning your visit
- Ticket purchase
- Parking and arrival
- Tour tips
- Tours and shows
- Food & drinks
- Tips from the magical world of Harry Potter
- Universal Orlando on-site hotel benefits
2. Universal Studios Tips: Plan Your Visit
- Study the best times to visit. The rush is greatest during the school holidays (ie spring break and Christmas). Find out how to brave the heat in June, July or August as the temperatures can be unbearable. Visit September through January (fewer bank holidays) to see the least crowds and the best prices.
- Look out for ticket promotions and special offers. Universal Studios Orlando ticket prices go up and down depending on the season and demand, so it’s best to buy them a few months in advance. Also, consider checking the availability of discounted tickets to Universal Orlando and asking a travel agent about special discounts or promotions.
- Check the ride height requirements. Before you travel, find out which attractions are right for you and your family. Prep your younger kids for the rides they are and they won’t be big enough not to collapse when they get there.
- Don’t stress yourself because you don’t have a car. Single ($ 18) and double ($ 28) carts are available for rent when entering Universal Theme Parks, or you can bring your own. Tag your stroller to identify it and leave it in the stroller parking lot while you drive.
- Check out the Harry Potter film series before you go. Buy the 8 Harry Potter Movie Collection (like us!) And see the entire series before you go. An understanding of all things Harry Potter makes the experience so much better!
3. Universal Studios Tips: Buy Tickets
- Know your ticket options. If you only want to visit 1 park for 1 day, you will get the basic (cheaper) 1 parking ticket. If you want to take the Hogwarts Express between Hogsmeade Station and King’s Cross Station, you will need a park-to-park ticket. Visiting multiple brands for several days will give you multi-park, park-to-park tickets.
- Buy your tickets in advance. When the park opens, the queues at the ticket office are long. Pre-order your tickets online to save money and avoid queues at the counter.
- Children under 3 years are free. Please note that there is no entry fee for children under 3 years of age. Children’s prices apply to children between 3 and 9 years of age and adult prices apply to guests over 10 years of age.
- Buy a string. You want the convenience of keeping your parking tickets (for park-to-park access) and Express Passes (which are scanned every time you drive) on a lanyard. They are not provided by Universal Studios or Universal Hotels. While they can be bought on-site, they are cheaper online in advance.
4. Arrival and parking
- Download the Universal Resort Orlando app. Make sure to download the free Universal Resort App from the App Store and Google Play before heading to the park. You can use it for mobile orders, virtual line reservations, waiting time notifications and an interactive parking map. (Don’t forget to bring a portable charger as you will be using your phone a lot.)
- Check the theme park schedules in advance. Universal does not publish its daily theme park schedule until approximately 1 month before a certain date. The opening times vary depending on the month and day. Therefore, find out more before visiting the website.
- Find out if you qualify for early entry to the park. Universal Park Early Admission gives all Universal Orlando Resort guests and Annual Pass holders a one-hour advance entry to Universal Studios or Universal’s Islands of Adventure and a 30-minute advance booking entry to Volcano Bay.
- Arrive early. If you do not qualify for early park entry, go to the turnstiles 45-60 minutes before the park is announced to open. Arriving earlier means shorter queues and more travel! (Even with early park admission, arrive at the gates 30-40 minutes before opening. That means, with early admission, arrive at the gates from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at the latest.)
- Allow at least 30 minutes for general parking and security. Once parked, escalators and moving walks take you to the traffic junction. Here you will find security checkpoints, toilets, vending machines and souvenirs. It is a 15-minute walk from the city center to the entrance to one of the theme parks.
- Make a note of where you parked. Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay share the same two huge covered parking garages. Take a photo with the name and number of your parking space as well as the level and line. It’s easy to forget.
5. Universal Studios tour tips
- Bring your AAA card. Many restaurants in the Universal area offer a 10% discount when you show your card at dinner.
- WLAN is free at Universal. Make sure you switch to the free network immediately at the park entrance to save on your data plan.
- Make a game plan in advance. To maximize your time in the park, I strongly recommend that you study the park layout and get a general idea of the order in which you would like to take the rides and attractions. Both our Universal Studios tour schedule and the Adventure Islands tour schedule describe exactly how we will tour the parks when we are there.
- Understand Universal Studios Lockers. Unlike visiting Disney theme parks, most Universal Attractions do not allow you to bring personal items (including backpacks) to the attractions. This is due to its high intensity.
- Pack a modest, universal day bag. If you want to save money, just bring a backpack or belt pouch that will fit in your free lockers. Here is exactly what we put in our Universal Studios backpack, that’s just enough but not too much.
6. Universal Studios Tips: Tours and Shows
- Check the game times. Use the Universal App to check your daily playing times and find out how to fit them into your daily routine. Also, check out which tours have the Virtual Line option for that day and make your reservations. Virtual line reservations can only be made once you are physically in the park.
- Small children? Exchange children. Each tour has a family room where one member of your group can wait with the little ones while the rest of the group drives. When you’re done, switch places so the hiker can stay with the kids and the adults who were outside can ride with them.
- Take advantage of the single rider line. Single rider lines are always shorter and move faster than normal lines. If you don’t mind getting separated from your group or want to quickly repeat a ride, join the single rider queue.
- Be prepared for seasickness. Similar to the best tours in Islands of Adventure, tours at Universal involve turns, twists and turns, and intense motion simulation. I strongly recommend bringing doses of seasickness medication for adults and children (or taking them beforehand) to prevent seasickness.
7. Universal Studios Tips: Eating and Drinking
- Eat in Universal’s restaurants and CityWalk. Fun and unique food and drink options at Universal Studios are part of the experience! Make sure to buy a VooDoo donut or check out Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, two of the best restaurants in CityWalk. Also be sure to purchase a Flaming Moe (orange lemonade with dry ice) at Simpson’s Springfield fast food section of the park.
- Consider whether a universal nutrition plan is worthwhile. Quick and comprehensive meal plans are available from Universal. The cost per day does not include tips and only includes food from participating locations. Personally, we don’t buy a meal plan and we never regret it.
8. Tips from the magical world of Harry Potter
- Go to Diagon Alley first or last. Harry Potter’s Magic World – Diagon Alley is by far the busiest part of the park. Go there first thing in the morning or later in the evening after 4 p.m. to see the smaller crowds. (We spent the entire Early Park Admission hour enjoying Diagon Alley with little or no crowds; it was the highlight of our trip!)
- Watch the dragon breathing fire. Stay close. The big dragon on Gringotts Bank growls and fires every 10-15 minutes.
- Exchange money at Gringotts Money Exchange. The best part of getting started on the Gringotts Stock Exchange is listening to the excited goblin banker being “fed”. Here you can exchange money for “witch currency” to get food and souvenirs etc. through the magical world of Harry Potter. Unused banknotes can be converted back into normal cash at the guest service.
- Browse stores and storefronts. If you are a Harry Potter fan, browsing the shops on Diagon Alley will be a big highlight of your visit! The decoration in the shops and shop windows will make you feel like you are in the books and movies. They also contain unique Harry Potter items that cannot be found anywhere else.
- Be sure to stop by the Olive Wand Shop. If you don’t want to queue up to see a wand customization demo, just go to Ollivander and the team will help you choose a wand. When purchasing a wand, opt for the “interactive” wand, which costs $ 10 more than a “learner” wand. The interactive wand comes with a map showing 34 marked places to cast spells in the parks.
- I will repeat. You MUST try the Butterbeer. Go to The Fountain of Fair Fortune or Hopping Pot on Diagon Alley for Butterbeer. This caramel goodness is a must-have at Universal Studios.
- Watch a show. There are different types of shows throughout the day in the Carkitt Market section of Diagon Alley. Check the game times in the Universal app. Celestina and the banshees are our favorites.
9. Universal Orlando on-site hotel benefits
- Early entry to the park. Staying at a local hotel gives you early access to the park for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter 1 hour before the park opens and 30 minutes before Volcano Bay opens. (It is worth it!)
- Universal Express Pass. The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort offer resort guests free Universal Express Unlimited. Your room key serves as an express pass to show you access to the tours. (It’s worth it in our opinion!)
- Free shipping. Take advantage of free transport to the theme parks at any of the hotels, either by water taxi or bus. Cabana Bay and Aventura Hotel can only be reached by bus transfer. (Well worth it, although you still have to pay for hotel parking, $ 28 / night.)
- Preferred seating in restaurants. Guests at the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel, Lowes Royal Pacific Hotel, and Hard Rock Hotel receive preferential seating in select restaurants. Show your room key to reception and check if preferred seating is available.
- Delivery of the package. Free delivery of goods from Universal stores and deliveries to any Universal hotel.
- Loading privileges. Withdraw from your room key for purchases across the Universal Orlando Resort when staying at a Universal hotel.