We LOVE Universal Orlando. Of all the places we could pick for spring break, Universal Orlando was unanimous. Seriously, with three teenagers, that is pretty amazing. But, what makes it so amazing? On this episode of Travel Talk, Allison gives the three top reasons why Universal Orlando is so amazing!
Make sure you read to the end of this article because I also share my number one packing tip for first-timers. You won’t want to miss it!
Universal Express Unlimited
Let’s face it. A theme park will have lines, especially when it comes to spring break. Although I do love a VIP tour, it doesn’t always fit our budget and they sell out. This is where Universal Express Unlimited comes in. I LOVE this service. Just show your express pass and off you go into the express pass line, all day, as much as you want.
You don’t have to pick your time, wait for your window, or wonder if you will get one for your favorite ride. Express Pass is available on almost every ride in the park. (For Velocicoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure, take advantage of Early Park Admission when available).
There are two ways to get the Express Unlimited Pass.
Stay at Universal’s Premium Onsite Resorts
My favorite way is to include a stay at one of Universal’s Premium onsite resorts: Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay, or Loews Royal Pacific. Although I think Portofino Bay has the best beds, we are staying at Hard Rock this trip. I love how convenient it is since it’s the closest to Universal Orlando. Really! Just a short walk away from the entrance. We have some great tricks up our sleeve that will help you take advantage of this incredible benefit.
Buy the Pass as an Add-on to Your Ticket
The second way to get a Universal Express Unlimited pass is to buy it as an add-on to your ticket. You can add it on for every day or just specific days if you want. Maybe you want to have a highlight day where you hit all your favorites and do it for one day or maybe you want it for the length of stay. There are some customizable options, but if you want to have it for more than one day, you should talk to an agent about how to make one of the premium hotels work. If you are going to Universal for one day though, a one day park to park ticket with Universal Express Unlimited is a must!
Small But MIGHTY!
The Universal property in Orlando has two dry parks, one water park, City Walk, and many hotels. It is an amazing area, but it is compact. This is one of the things we love. It is so easy to head back to the hotel to swim and then go back to the parks again. Park hopping is a breeze with a short walk (as long as you don’t get distracted by a dessert at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium).
Early Park admission is awesome, but what is even more awesome? Being just 10 minutes from the entrance when you want to get there early in the morning. Since the property is so compact, you can go through security as you leave your hotel (depending on where you stay) and you are in the bubble. You can go between both dry parks and City Walk without having to go through security again. This makes moving around even easier.
Don’t let the size fool you. We have some great ideas for a 4-day Universal itinerary, but this is just a starting point. There is so much to do, see, eat, and experience! You will have a blast!
I’m not sure I have to explain this, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is incredible. I would even say it doesn’t matter too much if you are a fan of Harry Potter or not. You will still love it. Hogsmead in Islands of Adventure was the original area and then Diagon Alley was added at Universal Studios.
You can travel between them on the Hogwarts Express right from Platform 9 ¾. Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure is so fun. It’s a very unique experience and if you have the chance, choose to sit on the motorbike versus the sidecar. I think it’s better.
There really is so much detail in these areas and you can hit the rides or take the time to explore all the nooks and crannies. For more information, check out the 4-day Universal itinerary with lots of great tips and details for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
So, do you have your spring break and summer plans decided yet? Still looking for ideas? Want to have a magical vacation and make lots of family memories? Take a look at Universal Orlando and let us know how we can help!
Now for that packing tip I promised. With all the amazing rides at Universal, there are many that do not allow you to bring anything on the ride with you. To accommodate this, they have complimentary lockers at the rides for you. You use your park ticket to open the locker. You will get the hang of it in no time.
Although the lockers are free, they are not big. Make sure you pack light at Universal. We recommend a fanny pack, cross carry bag, or drawstring bag. Since everyone can get a locker, it may make sense for a few people to have a small bag instead of one larger bag. They do have larger lockers that are a couple of dollars if you really need it. But if you plan ahead, you should be able to be sure you have a smaller bag that makes the lockers super easy!