You could probably write a whole book on Universal Studios, one of Orlando’s flagship theme parks, and could easily spend a week there without getting bored. However, if you only have a few days — or even less — look no further than this guide to Universal Studios Orlando.
If you’re a roller coaster aficionado, you won’t want to miss the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, a musical adventure that allows you to select the tunes, or the chilling Revenge of the Mummy. We could (and have) dedicated an entire article to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but you’ll certainly want to take a spin on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
The fun doesn’t stop on the wacky Simpsons Ride, a family-friendly spin through the fictional cartoon town of Springfield. Kids of all ages will jump at the chance to save Princess Fiona from Lord Farquaad on Shrek 4-D, and sci-fi buffs can help guard against an extra-terrestrial invasion on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack.
For the younger set, Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone promises a day of fun, with a Barney singalong, a show that stars animal actors from iconic films, and a kid-friendly coaster.
Universal Studios Orlando is home to its own Blues Brothers show, and the creepy, crawly, crazy Fear Factor Live, which is based on the freaky show of the same name. Don’t miss the Cinematic Spectacular at the end of the night, which pays tribute to the last century of cinema by playing iconic movie clips over the lake. There’s also the daily Superstar Parade, featuring all of your favorite Universal characters.
Food, Drinks, and Nightlife
There are more than a dozen places to eat and drink all around the park, catering to almost every palate. Head to the Beverly Hills Boulangerie for breakfast, Mel’s Drive-In or the Simpsons-inspired Krusty Burger for a quick lunch, and Lombard’s Seafood Grille to wind down with an upscale dinner.
Just looking for a sweet treat? The San Francisco Pastry Company or Ben & Jerry’s should satisfy your cravings. Before you go, make sure you grab an authentic British pub meal at the Leaky Cauldron (and a Butterbeer) over in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Much like Disney World, there are a wealth of lodging options both on-site at Universal, and in the area as well. There’s Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel, as well as three Loews properties on the premises: Portofino Bay, Sapphire Falls, and Royal Pacific Resorts.
If you’re looking for a great deal, you’ll want to look off-property. You’ll still be conveniently close to the parks and International Drive, and lots of hotels have free shuttles to the theme park so you don’t have to pay for parking. Here are just a few nearby Universal Studios hotel deals: