We just got back from an amazing trip to Florida where we spent almost three weeks taking in all of the sites we could fit in. We visited LEGOLAND, went to a dinner show at Medieval Times and many other activities we can’t wait to share with you. Of those 19 days we were in Florida, 5 were spent at Universal Studios Orlando and we loved every minute of them.
Before we left to come home, the kids asked (more than once) if we could go back for just one more day. It was THAT fun! There is so much to do between the three parks (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay), and CityWalk with the Blue Man Group shows. We learned a lot during our time there through our own adventures as well as on the V.I.P. Tour that we went on and we are excited to share it all. There are more things than this and I will add them as I think of them, but I wanted to share this to get started. Of everything we did on our trip, the Universal Orlando Resort was truly our favorite part, and we will come back just to visit it again!
You will want to plan on at least 4 days – 3 days minimum for your visit. One day for each park, and then an extra day to re-do or do things you missed during the first visit. One day at Volcano Bay, one day at each Universal Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure and then one more day to bounce between those two and do anything you missed the first time round. Be sure to invest in the Express Unlimited pass – this will cut your wait times down by at least half and will give you more time to enjoy everything in the park.
Today I want to share our top 25 must-do things to experience at Universal Studios Orlando so you can have a spectacular vacation:
- Go on a Universal Orlando V.I.P. Experience guided tour – This was a great way to get to know about the parks and experience all of the rides without any wait time. The guides were awesome, knowledgeable, and we even got a delicious lunch.
- Get an Unlimited Express Pass (wait times will be about half as long with this)
- Get the Coca-Cola Freestyle mugs for free refills all day (the more you buy, the cheaper they are)
- Use the Universal Orlando App – we were able to plan our day out based on wait times, use the map to locate places we wanted to find, and more.
- Take advantage of the free lockers to store items while you are on rides. They are located by the rides that require you to store items in order to ride like MIB, The Mummy, Escape from Gringotts, The Hulk, and a few others.
- Buy your souvenirs and have them delivered – If you are staying at an on-site hotel, you can have your purchases sent to your hotel room straight from the shop/store inside Universal Orlando (not valid on day you are checking out)
- Buy or bring your Harry Potter interactive wands and test out your magical abilities in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley
- Watch the Fire Breathing Dragon in Diagon Alley (it goes off on the 10’s)
- Ride both water rides (Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (be sure to have flip flops to wear on these so your shoes don’t get soaked)
- Buy a My Universal Photos to capture all of your photos during your stay
- Watch the Universal’s Superstar Parade
- Have a Butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (esp. The Frozen one – its my fav.)
- Eat a Pink or Chocolate Donut from Lard Lad (Simpsons)
- Take advantage of Early Park Entry if staying on-site (get into the park an hour before it opens for on-site guests)
- Spend a day at Universal’s Volcano Bay – all new SPECTACULAR water park
- Ride on the Water Ferry to the park from the on-site hotels
- Eat a meal on CityWalk (we enjoyed an amazing meal at Antojitos)
- Enjoy all of the fun photo ops around the park
- Eat at The Three Broomsticks or The Leaky Cauldron for an immersive Harry Potter Experience
- Go into the Wand Choosing Ceremony in Hogsmeade
- Get a lanyard with a plastic protective case to put your tickets in
- Have an umbrella or ponchos (it rains pretty much every day)
- Play and explore the Discovery Center in Jurrasic Park
- See the Blue Man Group Show
- Ride every ride at least once – with so many rides in all of the parks, this would be quite a thing to undertake but do as many as you can and re-ride your favorites.
There is so much to do between both parks that you will not be lacking for things to do. Through Family Forward, we were able to have an incredible experience at the parks and the LOEWS Sapphire Falls Hotel. I am happy to answer any questions you have! Please ask away below.