Planning a trip to Universal Orlando Florida theme parks? As locals, we’ve spent a lot of time at the parks and we’re sharing 5 things not to miss at Universal Orlando Resort. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best of the best at the Universal Orlando theme parks! A big thanks to our Universal Annual Passholder friends who contributed to this list too.
This is a partnered post. All opinions are my own.
5 Things Not to Miss at Universal Orlando Florida!
Before you begin your day, we strongly recommend purchasing a Coca-Cola freestyle® Souvenir Cup. You can find them at a kiosk or restaurant. This can be a lifesaver because we all know how hot Florida can be. Choose from unlimited refills at the many Coca-Cola freestyle machines throughout the parks, or a kid favorite: Slurpees! One of the best spots for a variety of Slurpee flavors is outside the Men in Black ride or at Dr. Seuss Landing.
Also, splurge on the Universal Express™ Pass it’s worth every penny to save you time and allow you to experience all the best rides at the parks!
Stop 1 – Thrills
Start your day at Universal Studios on Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket! Pick your favorite tune and get ready for an adrenaline-pumping ride as you climb straight to the sky at a 90-degree angle then tear through the track at 65 mph!
Stop 2 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Next, head over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley to walk the streets of London. Stop into Ollivanders™ wand shop, then spend some time perfecting your spellbinding skills at the different window shops. It’s truly magical!
Then, take a ride on the Escape from Gringotts™ ride! Just look for the firebreathing dragon and you’ve found the spot. Head inside the bank’s grand marble lobby before heading underground for a mind-blowing simulated rollercoaster.
Before leaving the area, make a stop at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor for tantalizing treats. This a must-visit spot! We highly recommend the Chocolate Chili and Butterbeer™ ice cream flavors. You won’t be disappointed.
**If intense rides are not your thing, we suggest crossing the bridge for a quick stop at the Men in Black Alien Attack ride. It’s a family favorite! Challenge your opponents and try to zap the most aliens to get a high score. Pay attention to the directions just before the largest monster of all – you’ll have a chance to gain 100,000 bonus points if you press the red button at the exact right time!
Stop 3 – Curious George Goes to Town
Don’t let this mischevious monkey fool you! This playground is overflowing with fun! Bring the kids swimsuits and gear up for a splashingly good time in this water play area. Don’t have suits? No problem. Follow a path to stay dry and head to this hidden treasure behind the water area: The Ball Factory – where you can throw, blast, and launch thousands of soft foam balls at family and friends. My boys can spend HOURS in here!
The Universal Orlando Florida Guide Continues
It’s time for park number 2! All aboard Hogwarts™ Express! (2-park admission is required) Wind your way through the urban outskirts of London into the British countryside aboard a passenger train to Hogsmeade™ Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure™. This is a one-of-a-kind experience and must do!
Stop 4 – All About the Superheroes!
Make your way to another thrilling ride – The Incredible Hulk Coaster! You will be catapulted out with the force of a fighter jet. And with Hulk-like power it will propel you upside down into a weightless zero-gravity roll, racing faster and faster down the track. You won’t want to miss this incredible ride!
Afterward, keep your eyes peeled for superheroes as you stroll the streets. There will be plenty of opportunities to snap photos with them. Make sure to head over to Marvel® Alterniverse Store® for a special meet-and-greet with Spider-Man himself! Plus soak up that a/c while you can!
The Amazing Aventures of Spider-Man is a tamer ride in the area if your family isn’t up for the coaster. This 3-D simulated ride makes you feel like you’re part of the action!
Stop 5 – Jurassic Park
Meet a real dinosaur! Well, she looks real at least. 😉 The Raptor Encounter offers guests the opportunity to meet the newest addition to the park’s raptor pack – Blue! Are you brave enough to approach her for a picture?
Next, make your way to Camp Jurassic where your family can explore dark caves and mysterious amber mines, climb dinosaur capture nets, play on themed slides and more! Parents can take a break while kids run and play in this contained area. Afterward, catch an amazing view of the theme park with a soaring ride on the Pteranodon Flyers™ when you take flight beneath the 10-foot wings of a Pteranodon!
At Island’s of Adventure, Backwater Bar comes highly recommended. It’s located near the front entrance and on the way to Dr. Seuss Landing. This tropical watering hole offers outdoor patio and indoor tables where you can relax and watch the game on the flat screen TV. Happy Hour is daily 4-7pm and we recommend trying the Sangria along with a tasty appetizer or burger.
At Universal Studios Florida, Finnegan’s Bar and Grill is a traditional Irish-American pub located just past Transformers. This indoor dining restaurant (hallelujah for a/c!) offers plenty of seating along with tasty dishes like soup, salad, steak, and of course Irish fish and chips!
Follow this Universal Orlando Florida guide for the best time at the parks!