Are you a Disney fanatic planning a trip to Universal Orlando? Here are 9 Universal Orlando Tips For Disney fans, and 1st time Universal Orlando visitors! Learn from these 9 tips how to start planning your Universal Orlando vacation now.
1. Less Planning Than Disney World
Universal, much like a trip to Disneyland Resort, requires less planning than a trip to Disney World. Universal has 2 parks (Universal Studios Florida & Universal’s Islands of Adventure), a Water Park (Volcano Bay) and Universal CityWalk (a shopping and dining area). Unlike Disney World where you can spend a week and not see everything, most agree not as much time is needed for Universal Orlando. You can spend as little as a day per park or up to a week enjoying your favorites a few times.
2. Download The App
Much like My Disney Experience, for Universal guests should download The Official Universal Orlando Resort App. This will show guests a map, plus show times, wait times on rides, you can also get in a virtual cue for a few rides, and more. The app works with the free WiFi provided throughout the parks, as well as Universal CityWalk.
3. Rides At Universal Orlando
Unlike Disney World where most of the classics the whole family can enjoy, Universal has more thrilling rides. This comes with more minimum height requirements. Minion fans will have to be at least 40″ to ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure there are more options for little ones such as Cat in the Hat with a minimum height of 36″ needed. Therefore, look into the height requirements before planning a trip to Universal if you have little ones.
A tip for visiting during busy times is to look into Express Pass, to save time in line on most rides. Or stay at one of the the hotels that give free Express Pass to guests.
4. Park-To-Park Access
Park-To-Park Access is recommended (much like Park Hopper At Disney World allowing entry into more than one park per day), it allows access to both parks in one day. Plus it is the only way to ride the Hogwarts Express which connects both parks. This alone makes it worth it for your trip, especially if its your only trip or a short one, or have a Harry Potter fan. Furthermore, unlike Disney World it is less time consuming to go back and forth between parks.
5. Hotel Upgrade Is Worth The Cost
Staying on-site for your Universal vacation is recommended, just as it is for Disney. However, at Universal Orlando stay at one of the 3 Premier properties and get a worthwhile perk. Guests who stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort or Hard Rock Hotel and get a Free Universal Express Unlimited pass per person, per day. This allows guests to skip regular lines at selects attractions and up to $129 per day value. All 3 of these Hotels come highly recommended and are AAA Four Diamond Award winners.
6. Savings Tips
Tips to save on tickets for Universal Orlando include checking Groupon for deals. Another retailer to check, this one in-store, is Costco and other Warehouse membership club stores. Another way to save on tickets is to simply purchase in advance and savings are sometimes offered, directly through Universal. By far hands down the best way to save on tickets is to buy a vacation package. Much like Disney World better deals are offered for bundling your vacation and staying on property.
7. Insider Tip, Arrive Early
Get to the parks before park opening, ideally 30 minutes prior to park opening, as sometimes they let people in early. This is not guaranteed, however they have been known to open up park gates up to 15 minutes early. Then enjoy being among the first in and pick your first attraction with little to no wait. If staying at a Universal owned property you can get into one of the parks an hour before opening time. Check with the hotel for more details. Different days different parks open early.
8. Budget For A Wand Or 2
Visitors can purchase an interactive wand at Ollivander’s in each park, Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, or Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure. You can also purchase one prior to your trip. Cost for an interactive wand starts at $52 each. These interactive wands add magical experiences to your vacation. Use the wands to cast spells,unlocking unique experiences in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. This is a recommended souvenir as it adds to your vacation and children and adults alike love it.
9. Try the Butter Beer
Try the Butterbeer or Frozen butterbeer, available at both parks. Much like the Dole Whip at Disney, the Butterbeer is a must try at Universal. Butterbeer is a sweet non-alcoholic drink, topped with froth. It has cream soda and butterscotch flavors.
Where to find Butterbeer:
- Leaky Cauldron (Universal Orlando)
- The Hopping Pot (Universal Orlando)
- Fountain of Fair Fortune (Universal Orlando)
- Three Broomsticks (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
- Hogs Head Tavern (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
- Also look for outdoor carts serving Butterbeer in Hogsmeade (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
Learn more tips and tricks for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Destinations in Florida can also help you add tips and tricks to your next vacation.