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Universal Studios in Orlando; The First-Timers Guide

Jul 24, 2022 | Florida | 0 comments

Visiting Universal Studios in Orlando for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. With so much to see and do, it’s hard to know where to start. This guide will help you make the most of your visit, based on what I have learned from my personal experiences.

There are Three Universal Studios Parks in Orlando

An entire park takes about a day to complete, if you are lucky.

I’m always asked, “which one has Harry Potter”? The answer is both.

Next, question is “which Harry Potter land is better?” Well that is subjective because everyone has their favorite.

What lands are at each park?

Universal Studios Orlando – Simpsons, Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, & Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Island of Adventures– Jurassic Park, Marvel, Dr. Seuss, King Kong, Toon Lagoon, & Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Volcano Bay– Waterpark

The Island of Adventures is my personal favorite.

Stay at Universal Studios Hotel in Orlando

I highly suggest spending the extra money and staying at one of these hotels:

Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay, Loews Royal Pacific, Aventura Hotel , Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Endless Summer Resort, Dockside Inn and Suites, and Seaside Inn and Suites.

While staying at one of the Universal hotels, you’ll be able to visit both parks in close proximity. You can even enter a park 1-hour before it opens up to regular visitors. Imagine the possibilities! There’s an entire hour to run around and ride all of your favorite attractions with no lines.

Also, I suggest going to the rides listed below first because you CAN NOT use an express pass for these rides, and once the park opens the wait times can get up to 2 hours.

Island of Adventures: Hulk & Velocicoaster

Universal Studios: Hagrids & Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket

Get a Universal Express Pass

I am not a fan of the Disney Genie passes (aka the new fast passes). However, I am a huge fan of the Universal Express Passes. These passes are 100% worth it and you can use them on a majority of the rides. You can finish the park in half the time, and you pretty much just run through the lines while other visitors are waiting hours to get on a ride. I personally think it is the only way to do Universal.

You can purchase your Express Passes or you can get them free! The three Universal resorts that offer free Express Passes included with your stay are Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay, and Royal Pacific!

Eat this not That at Universal Studios in Orlando

Stay away from the flavorless pretzels and stale churros at all the food stands. The look and smell may be tempting, but it is a trap. If you’re looking for something that will truly wow your taste buds, go with the crepe. Not only does it have a delicious and unique flavor, but also includes fresh ingredients like strawberries and whipped cream! My favorite has Oreos, whipped cream, cholate sauce, and cholate chips. It is delicious. Now, this is worth the calories!

Free Water at the Fountains

There are so many fountains in this park! You can get free small cups of water from them, too. Also, you can bring your own bottle of water, but be prepared to carry it around with you.

Wear a Fanny Pack

The rides at this Universal Studios are not like those at Disney World. You can’t take backpacks on the ride, but you’re allowed to wear a fanny pack. I like the idea of wearing a fanny pack so you don’t have to hunt for lockers before each ride. No one has time for that!

Buy an Interactive Wand

Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are both bustlings with spells. The interactive wands allow you to cast your very own magical experiences throughout these two locations, making it the perfect place for any wizarding fan. This is the place where an adult can act like a kid and no one cares!

Free Wand Repair at Universal Studios in Orlando

If you’re having trouble with your wand, try visiting one of these repair shops. They will fix it for free at Universal Studios.

We’ve noticed that when our youngest daughter carries her wand around, she always scratches the tip at least twice during our trip and we have to go to the repair shop. This is a store we are guaranteed to visit on each trip. Do not freak out if your wand stops working because it is an easy fix.

Hogwarts Express. worth it?

First of all, you must have park-to-park tickets to ride the Hogwarts train. We are not park hoppers, so I have been reluctant to purchase park-to-park tickets just to ride a train. However, if you are a Harry Potter fan then the train ride is 100% worth it. It was actually really cool! You need to do this at least once.

Dress Up

Don’t be afraid to dress up! You can find many cute ways of doing it without breaking the bank. I found this cute tie and headband on Amazon. This is your chance to be creative on a budget.

Have Fun

Last but not least, have fun!

This is why you are here after all! Let Glam Escapes book your next trip and you can be sure to enjoy every minute of it. We know how to show you a good time, so leave the planning to us. Thanks for reading! Click the Glam Escapes link above.

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Hi, I’m Misty! Welcome to Glam Journey, where you’ll find travel-related content, itineraries and booking services for the adventurous mom who is living her version of a glamorous life.

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