Tag: Guide

Your Guide to the Details Harry Potter Fans Will Appreciate About Hogwarts Castle

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

One of the best parts about riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is getting to walk through the queue inside Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is by far my favorite themed queue of all time because of the amazing relics with unique stories and incredible details. So I grabbed my robe, wand, and reporter’s hat to bring you the stories behind the most famous relics found in Hogwarts castle at Universal Orlando Resort.

COURTYARD:

The Two Guardian Boar Statues at the Gates

At the entrance of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the first things we come face-to-face with are the two boar statues. Right below the guardian boars, you will see the name of the attraction lit up in small lights that cascade from top to bottom.

GREENHOUSES:

Mandrakes

Sitting at the top of the greenhouses we find Mandrakes — a tufty little plant that can be quite dangerous. If de-earthed, a fully matured Mandrake’s cry can be fatal to those who hear it. So, let’s leave them planted, shall we?

House Points

Another relic you will find is the hourglass-like cylinders displaying the standings of the house points. Triumphs during students’ time at Hogwarts will earn the house points, while any rule-breaking by students will lose house points. As a non-biased Hufflepuff, I think Hufflepuff should be in the lead, but who do you think should be on top?

DUNGEONS:

Potions Classroom Door

As you leave the dungeons, don’t miss the door on your left titled “Potions Classroom”. If you listen closely, you can hear what’s going on inside, as well as some familiar voices.

One-Eyed Witch Statue

Continuing along, you’ll pass a statue of a humpbacked, one-eyed witch. Harry first encountered the Marauder’s Map near a one-eyed witch statue just like this one. Mischief Managed!

Professor Severus Snape’s Office Door

As entrancing as the one-eyed witch statue may be, keep your eyes peeled for a door labeled for the infamous Potions master. If you angle yourself just right, you can see it toward the left. This is — in my opinion — one of the coolest things to see.

Mirror of Erised

We’ll also encounter the Mirror of Erised. The attention to detail is stunning, complete with the “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi” inscription in beautiful gold lining. Take a moment to stand and gaze into the mirror to discover your deepest desire!

Griffin Entry to Office

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you know all about the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. The Griffin statue requires a password to gain entry, and knowing Dumbledore’s favorite sweet treat has proven helpful in the past. Of course, after this can only come…

DUMBLEDORE’S OFFICE:

Dumbledore’s Pensieve

Nestled safety in Dumbledore’s office is the Pensieve -a very unique enchanted item where one can deposit their thoughts or memories. The Pensieve was a very important element of Harry’s journey and is destined to become an exciting sight in yours!

Sword of Gryffindor

The sword of Godric Gryffindor, one of the Hogwarts founders, was made a thousand years ago and is known to appear to true Gryffindors who are in need of it. You can find the ornate sword displayed hugging the wall opposite of Dumbledore in his office. Look up so you don’t miss it!

DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS CLASSROOM:

Dragon Skeleton

Finally, we’re here. This is my favorite room because there are lots of interesting things in it. Here you will find a relevant artifact from every Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, serving almost as a trophy area from teachers who have come and gone.

GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM:

Fat Lady Portrait

Never a dull moment near the entrance to the Gryffindor common room — the Fat Lady never stops talking. She even mentioned she would go to the Quidditch match if someone could just lift her up and take her but don’t look at me. Any volunteers?

Quidditch Board Game

The board is set for people to play a board game of Quidditch, but you won’t find any of the pieces except for the stands. There is only one visible Quidditch board game in the castle and it’s spiritedly themed with the four Hogwarts house colors.

Wizard’s Wireless

Looking much like the radios of yesteryear, is a wizard’s wirelesss. We can almost imagine the Gryffindor students gathered around listening to Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees on the Wizarding Wireless Network. If you get really really close you’ll hear… nothing, sorry.

Sorting Hat

The last thing you’ll see before you hop on for the ride of a lifetime on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Say hello and goodbye to the familiar face of this incredible hat and get ready for quite the adventure with Harry, Ron, and Hermione!

So, did I blow your mind? Did you learn something new? Let me know in the comments below and share your favorites on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #WizardingWorldOrlando

Daniel Pacchioni
Daniel Pacchioni

Content Strategist and Professional Curious Person at Universal Orlando Resort. “Curious George ain’t got nothin on him” – Denzel Washington. Loves made up quotes, Koala Bears, the Arts, and Matcha Tea.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Your Travel Guide to Theme Parks

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

For Millennials, theme parks top the list of attractions interested in visiting on vacation. This is according to MMGY Global’s 2018-2019 Portrait of American Travelers, which also shows strong interest in this regard among Gen Xers. It’s no surprise then that new thrill rides based on such generational icons as the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies series are among the hottest tickets around.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will become Universal Orlando Resort’s first “story coaster” when it debuts June 13 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The ride’s thrills include seven launches, dropping nearly 17 feet unexpectedly, a free-fall vertical drop and being catapulted 65 feet in the air and then immediately dropping backward in one movement. Measuring nearly a mile in length, the long roller coaster will ascend above the nearby trees, accelerate through ruins and speed forward and backward, while guests ride in a motorcycle or in its adjacent sidecar.

Guests will enter through ruins in the Forbidden Forest, which were imagined and brought to life by Universal’s creative team in collaboration with the Harry Potter films’ production designer, Stuart Craig, and art director Alan Gilmore.

As they go to the motorbikes, guests will see materials from Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class, including dragon eggs on the verge of hatching and a nursery where Hagrid kept his blast-ended Skrewts, a creature that appears to be a cross between an elongated crab and a scorpion, with no discernible head. Guests will also encounter characters from the Harry Potter films, including Arthur Weasley, Hagrid, and his dog, Fang, through a pre-show experience brought to life with digital projections and special effects. During the show, guests learn about their impending trip into the Forbidden Forest as part of their lesson for the day.

Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened May 31 at Disneyland Resort in Southern California and will debut on August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Advise clients to arrive early; access to the park, land and experiences may be restricted or unavailable depending on guest demand and other factors.

Guests hop aboard the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride to “jump into hyperspace” and engage in missions, games and in-queue experiences. They can also build their own custom lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop; design, assemble and activate their own mechanical creations at Droid Depot; dine at Oga’s Cantina, Kat Saka’s Kettle and other Star Wars-themed food outlets; and shop at the Black Spire Outpost and Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.

Advise clients that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will not be available during Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning at Disneyland Park and that Disney FASTPASS service and Disney MaxPass are unavailable for Edge’s attractions. The Disney Parks will launch Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, later this year.

Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth — billed as the world’s tallest pendulum ride — is the newest thrill ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Riders on floorless seats spin around while swinging to and from at speeds of up to 75 mph, 172 feet above the  ground. Jackson is about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia and less than two hours from New York City.

Coming this summer, Steelers Country is a collaboration between Kennywood Park and the Pittsburgh Steelers that celebrates the hard-hitting heroics of the players, putting the fans at the center of the action. The centerpiece will be The Steel Curtain, a 220-foot-high roller coaster that will speed riders through 4,000 feet of track at 75 miles per hour while navigating nine inversions — the most in North America. One, at 197 feet above the ground, claims the world record for tallest inversion. Kennywood is in West Mifflin, PA, about 12 miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh.

Not a theme park in the traditional sense, but New York’s Liberty Island and its iconic 151-foot-tall torch-bearing resident has been thrilling people for 133 years. Now, the brand new, 26,000-square-foot Statue of Liberty Museum has opened with three gallery spaces and the opportunity for an up-close view of Lady Liberty’s original torch. The museum also affords visitors panoramic views of Lady Liberty, lower Manhattan, and all of New York Harbor. Access to the museum is free of charge with the purchase of a Statue Cruises ferry ticket to Liberty and Ellis islands. The new museum is part of a $100 million Liberty Island-wide beautification effort.

Jungala water park is landscaped with walls of rock, sky-high tree formations and water sprouting from natural pergolas and “lost ruins.”

Just in time for summer, Mexico’s Riviera Maya has a new, luxury boutique water park: Jungala. Created by tourism developer Grupo Vidanta, the new park is open to guests staying at Vidanta Riviera Maya resort, as well as the public, seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Designed to call to mind a mystical voyage through the jungle, the park is landscaped with walls of rock, sky-high tree formations and water sprouting from natural pergolas and “lost ruins.” Guests will also have the chance to spot native animals and birds as they explore caves, waterfalls and bridges.

In terms of rides, thrill-seekers will be able to enjoy attractions such as the Aqua Drop, Aqua Loop, Flatline Loop, and Whizzard, while families may opt for the family slides or children’s areas, including the Kids Waterslide Complex and Aqua Play Rain Fortress, which Grupo Vidanta says is the largest interactive play structure in the world. There will also be a lazy river — billed as the longest in Latin America, with a length a little over half a mile — as well as a Wave Pool, which will incorporate natural sand.

There are several on-site bar and dining options, as well as boutiques and stores, and visitors can rent amenity-laden VIP cabanas. Group buyouts are also available, with special benefits available for groups of 15 tickets or more. Travel agents booking a group can block out a private area or even the entire venue, which can hold up to 2,000 guests. Customizable group packages are available.

Related Stories

Now Open: Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland

Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Debut New “Story Coaster”

Taking the Kids — What’s New at Theme Parks This Summer

Jungala: A New Luxury Waterpark in the Riviera Maya

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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A Local’s Guide to Your First Time Visit to Universal Orlando Resort | Discover Universal Blog

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

Universal Orlando Resort is a place that allows you to explore the streets of Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit a real-life Raptor Encounter to meet Blue the Raptor, float down the Kopiko Wai Winding River at Volcano Bay, and finish with a cold beverage high in the sky at Bar 17 Bistro on top of Universal’s Aventura Hotel all in one day.

With so much to see and do, how can you get the most out of it during your first-time visit? Here’s a few first timer tips to get the most out of your upcoming visit.

WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Have you ever watched a movie and said “I wish I could experience that movie in real life.” Well, we have some good news for you. Check out these must-do experiences straight from the movies: 

  • Must-Do Attractions:
  • Experience: Follow in Harry Potter’s footsteps as you enter into Diagon Alley – watch out for the fire breathing dragon
  • Character Meet & Greet: Meet Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron
  • Show: Swing over to see Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration with an incredible array of dazzling projections on colossal dancing fountains
  • Parade: See Universal’s Superstar Parade featuring with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Diego, The Secret Life of Pets characters and more
  • Shopping: Find all things Universal and more at the Universal Studios Store
  • Bonus: Journey from King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida to Hogsmeade Station in Islands of Adventure aboard the Hogwarts Express (only available with a Park-to-Park admission ticket)

Here are some resources to help plan your day:

 

LOCAL TIP | Start at the back of the park and work your way counter-clockwise to the front to stay ahead of fellow guests and take full advantage of ride lines.

 


WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

Get ready to encounter dinosaurs, fly high above city streets with a famous web slinger, visit a secret school of witchcraft and wizardry, come face-to-face with a colossal ape and more. Check out these must do experiences that give you a sense of adventure:

  • Must-Do Attractions:
  • Character Meet & Greet: Take photos with your favorite Marvel characters – Spider-Man, Captain America, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and Rogue along with classic villains like Dr. Doom and The Green Goblin in Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Show: Brighten your night with The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle where you can embrace your Hogwarts pride as the four houses are celebrated in stunning light and sound (only available during select seasons)
  • Shopping: Witness a wand choose its wizard or witch at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade

Here are some resources to help plan your day:

LOCAL TIP

  • Start your day off in Hogsmeade and work your way clockwise around the park to take advantage of wait times and attractions.

WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT UNIVERSAL’S VOLCANO BAY


Words can’t describe what it feels like the moment you take that first step inside Volcano Bay and immediately feel like you’re in a tropical paradise thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean. Check out these must-do experiences that are filled with relaxation and thrills:

Here are some resources to help plan your day:

LOCAL TIPS

  • First, plan to arrive early to Volcano Bay and secure that perfect beach chair with that incredible view. TapuTapu will also make your day easy. This wearable device that holds your place in lines, activates interactive surprises, makes cash-free payments and more.
  • Stay at a Universal hotel and enjoy early park admission to Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required).

WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT UNIVERSAL CITYWALK

Get ready to indulge in some of the most mouthwatering food with refreshing drinks, shop until you drop and dance the night away at Universal CityWalk. Check out these must-do experiences for a day or night out:

Here are some resources to help plan your visit:

LOCAL TIPS

  • Take advantage of the FREE self-parking after 6PM!(Not valid during Halloween Horror Nights. Additional restrictions may apply and are subject to change without notice)
  • Free parking available with a purchase of two (2) Universal CityWalk Matinee tickets.

WHERE TO STAY
AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT


There’s a Universal Orlando hotel for every family style and budget. Take a look at all the amazing places you can stay so close to the parks:

Premier Hotels – $$$$


Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Relax in surroundings inspired by the beauty, romance and charm of the picturesque seaside village of Portofino, Italy.

  • Experience: Treat yourself to a day at the Mandara Spa
  • Feature: Spend an enchanted evening with live music and traditional opera as you sip wine and sample gourmet fare during Harbor Nights. Additionally, enjoy nightly festive melodies with Musica Della Notte, a unique blend of classic opera, festive melodies, and “popera” favorites
  • Dining: Feel like you’re part of the family at Mama Della’s Ristorante with authentic Italian cooking and strolling musicians
  • Benefits: Free Universal Express Unlimited, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, priority seating at restaurants and more

Learn more about Loews Portofino Bay Hotel


Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

Live like a rock star and savor the perks of rock ‘n’ roll royalty with impeccable surroundings, laid-back style and show-stopping service.

  • Experience: Attend a monthly award-winning “Velvet Sessions” with an up-close and personal rock concert. Past performers include Bret Michaels, Eddie Money, Joan Jett, and more
  • Feature: Take a self-guided Music Memorabilia tour and discover Elvis’ pajamas, John Lennon’s suit, Paul McCartney’s guitar, Lady GaGa’s leather outfit, Rihanna’s bodysuit and more
  • Feature: Discover The Sound of Your Stay™ program with A-list perks. tracks.®, lets you stream a celebrity-curated playlists to amplify your stay. picks® allows you to choose from a menu of 20 different Fender® guitars that can be delivered to your room (down payment and loan agreement required)
  • Dining: Stop by The Kitchen and dig into their famous mac and cheese. But don’t forget the encore – they’ve got some of the most jaw-dropping desserts you’ve ever seen
  • Benefits: Free Universal Express Unlimited, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, priority seating at restaurants and more

Learn more about the Hard Rock Hotel


Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Get swept away in an exotic south seas paradise with tropical wonders, exotic foods, and carefree fun.

  • Experience: Have breakfast with your favorite characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me
  • Feature: Experience weekly Wantilan Luau firsthand with an evening of authentic Polynesian food and entertainment at this exciting dinner show
  • Dining: Visit Jake’s American Bar where you can try fabled South Seas explorer Jake McNally themed favorites including island cocktails, Jake’s American Red Lager and the B-1 Bomber Burger
  • Benefits: Free Universal Express Unlimited, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, priority seating at restaurants and more

Learn more about Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Preferred Hotel – $$$


Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Escape to the feeling of being in paradise with the calming sounds of steel drums, swaying palm trees, scenic views, and blue cascading waterfalls.

  • Experience: Take in the incredible 16,000-square-foot pool with a sand beach, hot tub, water slide and more
  • Feature: Join a weekly dinner celebration filled with Caribbean flair at the Caribbean Carnaval Dinner Show
  • Dining: Try Caribbean-inspired cuisine at Amatista Cookhouse or stop by the Strong Water Tavern for rare vintage rums and tapas-style dining options
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Volcano Bay, free transportation & Universal’s Volcano Bay, located steps away from Volcano Bay, and more


Learn more about Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

 

Prime Value Hotels – $$


Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Universal's Aventura Hotel

It’s your chill zone, your party place, your hangout, your refuge. And the best part, it’s perfectly priced.

  • Experience: Check out the hotel’s Virtual Reality game room for an experience unlike any other
  • Feature: Enjoy a drink with a view high in the sky at Bar 17 Bistro
  • Dining: Have a chef cook up a custom wok dish right in front of you at the Urban Pantry
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, steps away from Volcano Bay, and more

Learn more about Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Enjoy vibrant, retro-style with rooms and suites brilliantly designed for fun and affordability.

  • Experience: Take on a friend at Galaxy Bowl and when you’re finished, head over to the Ace The Arcade for an overtime match of timeless arcade favorites
  • Feature: Have a relaxing day floating down Cabana Bay’s lazy river while you soak up that warm Florida sunshine
  • Dining: Try a wide variety of food stations including deli items, pizzas, burgers, salads and desserts at the Bayliner Diner
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, steps away from Volcano Bay, and more

Learn more about Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  

Value Hotel – $


Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites

Step into the extra affordable surf lifestyle with beach-themed standard rooms, spacious two-bedroom suites, and more.

  • Experience: Kick back in the surfboard-shaped pool and soak in the sunshine
  • Feature: Check out the spacious, two-bedroom suites that sleep up to six
  • Dining: Stop by the food court for a wide variety of great food options or have a fresh-made pizza pie delivered directly to your room
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation and more

Learn More about Surfside Inn and Suites

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

Opening March 2020
Inspired by sand, sea and breathtaking sunsets, this extra affordable retreat features two-bedroom suites, two large pools and more.

  • Experience: Soak in the sunshine at one of the two large pools with a beautiful sandy beach – how cool
  • Feature: Check out the spacious, two-bedroom suites that sleep up to six
  • Dining: Stop by the food court for a wide variety of flavorful food for every palate. On the go? No problem. There are plenty of grab-and-go options available
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation and more

Learn More about Dockside Inn and Suites


THINGS TO KNOW

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

You might know about all the amazing experiences you’d like to try at Universal Orlando, but now let’s take a look at few ways you can get the most out of your first time trip with a few local planning tips.

Express Pass – Get to the Fun Faster

Want to get the most out of your visit? Check out a few of the Express Pass options available so you can skip the regular lines at most of your favorite rides and attractions to get the most out of your day at the parks.

Did you know you the Express Pass is included FREE when you stay at a Universal Premier category hotel? Check out the details here.

Plan Your Entire Trip with Ease Using the Official Universal Mobile App

 The Universal Orlando Resort Mobile App

Imagine having your own travel guide to give you every bit of important information you need to get the most out of your first-time visit. That is what the official Universal Orlando Resort App provides!

What can the Universal Orlando Resort mobile app do?

  • The app can become your Virtual Wallet
  • You can find everything you need including ride wait times, showtimes, dining venue hours and more
  • Create your own personal “to-do” list of favorites
  • Always be in the know with the latest park updates
  • Order meals on the go with ease
  • What else can you do with the App? Find out here

WHAT TO BRING

Let’s dive into a few tips to help you decide what to bring during your first-time visit to the parks.

Backpacks and Shoulder Bags

Can you bring a bag or backpack to Universal Orlando Resort? Absolutely! A small, soft-sided bag is perfect for toting your essentials around while exploring the parks.

Potential Items To Add To Bag Include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Rain poncho or jacket
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunglasses

Check out the What To Pack For A Day At Universal Orlando Resort for more great tips on what to bring to the parks.


TAKING PHOTOS AT THE PARKS

Dr. Doom Character Meet and Greet

Can you bring a camera to Universal Orlando Resort? Of course! You are about to have some of the best times of your life and what better way to remember those moments than incredible photos to take home with you.

Here are a few great photo opportunities at the parks to keep in mind:

LOCAL TIP | Since it’s your first time visiting the parks, check out the My Universal Photos options, so you can focus on the fun while they focus on capturing your best moments.


WHAT TO WEAR

Universal Studios Florida

Florida is a tricky place when it comes to weather. Most of the time it’s warm and sunny, but there are those occasional days that cause us to break out our coats. Regardless, it’s good to be prepared. 

  • Check the Weather: Take a moment to check the weather forecast before heading to the parks
  • Fashion or Comfort: Of course you want to look fashionable in all of the Instagram photos you are planning on taking, but keep in mind to be comfortable as your day may include lots of walking and standing in the heat
  • Which Shoes to Wear: Try to wear a shoe that is breathable and comfortable

Check out the full list of Frequently Asked Questions on what to bring to the parks.

Did we miss anything? Tell us about some of your theme park first-timer tips in the comments below! And make sure to share your tips on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #ReadyForUniversal or ask for help with #AskUniversal.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

Source link
All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

A Local’s Guide To Your First Time Visit to Universal Orlando Resort

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

Universal Orlando Resort is a place that allows you to explore the streets of Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit a real-life Raptor Encounter to meet Blue the Raptor, float down the Kopiko Wai Winding River at Volcano Bay, and finish with a cold beverage high in the sky at Bar 17 Bistro on top of Universal’s Aventura Hotel all in one day.

With so much to see and do, how can you get the most out of it during your first-time visit? Here’s a few first timer tips to get the most out of your upcoming visit.

 


WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Have you ever watched a movie and said “I wish I could experience that movie in real life.” Well, we have some good news for you. Check out these must-do experiences straight from the movies: 

  • Must-Do Attractions:
  • Experience: Follow in Harry Potter’s footsteps as you enter into Diagon Alley – watch out for the fire breathing dragon
  • Character Meet & Greet: Meet Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron
  • Show: Swing over to see Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration with an incredible array of dazzling projections on colossal dancing fountains
  • Parade: See Universal’s Superstar Parade featuring with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Diego, The Secret Life of Pets characters and more
  • Shopping: Find all things Universal and more at the Universal Studios Store
  • Bonus: Journey from King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida to Hogsmeade Station in Islands of Adventure aboard the Hogwarts Express (only available with a Park-to-Park admission ticket)

Great Places to Eat at Universal Studios Florida

  • Quick Service: “Hey Hey, Kids!” Visit Springfield, U.S.A. and stop by Krusty Burger for a fun atmosphere and great meal.
  • Best View: Try an off-the-charts meal and take in an incredible view of the lagoon at Richter’s Burger Co.
  • Best Atmosphere: Get your fill of Bangers and Mash, Fisherman’s Pie, Toad in the Hole and more at the Leaky Cauldron
  • Romantic: Try Lombard’s Fresh Catch at Lombard’s Seafood Grille while you take in the nautical atmosphere on the docks of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Sweet Treats: Try a Dole Whip Pineapple Sorbet at Schwab’s Pharmacy

View a complete list of Universal Studios Florida rides, attractions, dining and more at universalorlando.com.

Here are some resources to help plan your day:

 

LOCAL TIP | Start at the back of the park and work your way counter-clockwise to the front to stay ahead of fellow guests and take full advantage of ride lines.

Back To Top

 


WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

Get ready to encounter dinosaurs, fly high above city streets with a famous web slinger, visit a secret school of witchcraft and wizardry, come face-to-face with a colossal ape and more. Check out these must do experiences that give you a sense of adventure:

  • Must-Do Attractions:
  • Character Meet & Greet: Take photos with your favorite Marvel characters – Spider-Man, Captain America, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and Rogue along with classic villains like Dr. Doom and The Green Goblin in Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Show: Brighten your night with The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle where you can embrace your Hogwarts pride as the four houses are celebrated in stunning light and sound (only available during select seasons)
  • Shopping: Witness a wand choose its wizard or witch at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade

Great Places to Eat at Islands of Adventure

  • Quick Service: Enjoy a delicious meal at Three Broomsticks
  • Best View: Eat while you watch daring riders get drenched at Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park
  • Best Atmosphere: Dine with Super Heroes at Marvel’s Character Dinner at Marvel Super Hero Island in Islands of Adventure
  • Romantic: Take in the spectacular view of the park’s inland sea and colorful lands from the award-winning Mythos Restaurant
  • Sweet Treats: Pick up a delicious Butterbeer from Hog’s Head

View a complete list of Islands of Adventure rides, attractions, dining and more at universalorlando.com.

Here’s some resources to help plan your day:

LOCAL TIP

  • Start your day off in Hogsmeade and work your way clockwise around the park to take advantage of wait times and attractions.

Back To Top

 


WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT UNIVERSAL’S VOLCANO BAY


Words can’t describe what it feels like the moment you take that first step inside Volcano Bay and immediately feel like you’re in a tropical paradise thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean. Check out these must-do experiences that are filled with relaxation and thrills:

Great Places to Eat at Volcano Bay

View a complete list of Volcano Bay rides, dining and more at UniversalOrlando.com

Here’s some resources to help plan your day:

 

LOCAL TIPS

  • First, plan to arrive early to Volcano Bay and secure that perfect beach chair with that incredible view. TapuTapu will also make your day easy. This wearable device that holds your place in lines, activates interactive surprises, makes cash-free payments and more.
  • Stay at a Universal hotel and enjoy early park admission to Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required).

Back To Top


WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
AT UNIVERSAL CITYWALK

Get ready to indulge in some of the most mouthwatering food with refreshing drinks, shop until you drop and dance the night away at Universal CityWalk. Check out these must-do experiences for a day or night out:

 

Great Places to Eat at Universal CityWalk

View full list of entertainment, shopping and dining options at Universal CityWalk

Here’s some resources to help plan your visit:

LOCAL TIPS

  • Take advantage of the FREE self-parking after 6PM!(Not valid during Halloween Horror Nights. Additional restrictions may apply and are subject to change without notice)
  • Free parking available with a purchase of two (2) Universal CityWalk Matinee tickets.

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WHERE TO STAY
AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT


There’s a Universal Orlando hotel for every family style and budget. Take a look at all the amazing places you can stay so close to the parks:

Premier Hotels – $$$$


Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Relax in surroundings inspired by the beauty, romance and charm of the picturesque seaside village of Portofino, Italy.

  • Experience: Treat yourself to a day at the Mandara Spa
  • Feature: Spend an enchanted evening with live music and traditional opera as you sip wine and sample gourmet fare during Harbor Nights. Additionally, enjoy nightly festive melodies with Musica Della Notte, a unique blend of classic opera, festive melodies, and “popera” favorites
  • Dining: Feel like you’re part of the family at Mama Della’s Ristorante with authentic Italian cooking and strolling musicians
  • Benefits: Free Universal Express Unlimited, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, priority seating at restaurants and more

Learn more about Loews Portofino Bay Hotel


Hard Rock Hotel

Live like a rock star and savor the perks of rock ‘n’ roll royalty with impeccable surroundings, laid-back style and show-stopping service.

  • Experience: Attend a monthly award-winning “Velvet Sessions” with an up-close and personal rock concert. Past performers include Bret Michaels, Eddie Money, Joan Jett, and more
  • Feature: Take a self-guided Music Memorabilia tour and discover Elvis’ pajamas, John Lennon’s suit, Paul McCartney’s guitar, Lady GaGa’s leather outfit, Rihanna’s bodysuit and more
  • Feature: Discover The Sound of Your Stay™ program with A-list perks. tracks.®, lets you stream a celebrity-curated playlists to amplify your stay. picks® allows you to choose from a menu of 20 different Fender® guitars that can be delivered to your room (down payment and loan agreement required)
  • Dining: Stop by The Kitchen and dig into their famous mac and cheese. But don’t forget the encore – they’ve got some of the most jaw-dropping desserts you’ve ever seen
  • Benefits: Free Universal Express Unlimited, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, priority seating at restaurants and more

Learn more about the Hard Rock Hotel


Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Get swept away in an exotic south seas paradise with tropical wonders, exotic foods, and carefree fun.

  • Experience: Have breakfast with your favorite characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me
  • Feature: Experience weekly Wantilan Luau firsthand with an evening of authentic Polynesian food and entertainment at this exciting dinner show
  • Dining: Visit Jake’s American Bar where you can try fabled South Seas explorer Jake McNally themed favorites including island cocktails, Jake’s American Red Lager and the B-1 Bomber Burger
  • Benefits: Free Universal Express Unlimited, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, priority seating at restaurants and more

Learn more about Loews Royal Pacific Resort

 

Preferred Hotel – $$$


Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Escape to the feeling of being in paradise with the calming sounds of steel drums, swaying palm trees, scenic views, and blue cascading waterfalls.

  • Experience: Take in the incredible 16,000-square-foot pool with a sand beach, hot tub, water slide and more
  • Feature: Join a weekly dinner celebration filled with Caribbean flair at the Caribbean Carnaval Dinner Show
  • Dining: Try Caribbean-inspired cuisine at Amatista Cookhouse or stop by the Strong Water Tavern for rare vintage rums and tapas-style dining options
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Volcano Bay, free transportation & Universal’s Volcano Bay, located steps away from Volcano Bay, and more


Learn more about Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

 

Prime Value Hotels – $$


Universal’s Aventura Hotel

It’s your chill zone, your party place, your hangout, your refuge. And the best part, it’s perfectly priced.

  • Experience: Check out the hotel’s Virtual Reality game room for an experience unlike any other
  • Feature: Enjoy a drink with a view high in the sky at Bar 17 Bistro
  • Dining: Have a chef cook up a custom wok dish right in front of you at the Urban Pantry
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, steps away from Volcano Bay, and more

Learn more about Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Enjoy vibrant, retro-style with rooms and suites brilliantly designed for fun and affordability.

  • Experience: Take on a friend at Galaxy Bowl and when you’re finished, head over to the Ace The Arcade for an overtime match of timeless arcade favorites
  • Feature: Have a relaxing day floating down Cabana Bay’s lazy river while you soak up that warm Florida sunshine
  • Dining: Try a wide variety of food stations including deli items, pizzas, burgers, salads and desserts at the Bayliner Diner
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation, steps away from Volcano Bay, and more

Learn more about Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  

Value Hotel – $


Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

Opening June 27th, 2019
Step into the extra affordable surf lifestyle with beach-themed standard rooms, spacious two-bedroom suites, and more.

  • Experience: Kick back in the surfboard-shaped pool and soak in the sunshine
  • Feature: Check out the spacious, two-bedroom suites that sleep up to six
  • Dining: Stop by the food court for a wide variety of great food options or have a fresh-made pizza pie delivered directly to your room
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation and more

Learn More about Surfside Inn and Suites

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites
Opening March 2020
Inspired by sand, sea and breathtaking sunsets, this extra affordable retreat features two-bedroom suites, two large pools and more.

  • Experience: Soak in the sunshine at one of the two large pools with a beautiful sandy beach – how cool
  • Feature: Check out the spacious, two-bedroom suites that sleep up to six
  • Dining: Stop by the food court for a wide variety of flavorful food for every palate. On the go? No problem. There are plenty of grab-and-go options available
  • Benefits: Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Universal’s Volcano Bay, free transportation and more

Learn More about Dockside Inn and Suites

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THINGS TO KNOW

You might know about all the amazing experiences you’d like to try at Universal Orlando, but now let’s take a look at few ways you can get the most out of your first time trip with a few local planning tips.

Express Pass – Get to the Fun Faster

Want to get the most out of your visit? Check out a few of the Express Pass options available so you can skip the regular lines at most of your favorite rides and attractions to get the most out of your day at the parks.

Did you know you the Express Pass is included FREE when you stay at a Universal Premier category hotel? Check out the details here.

Plan Your Entire Trip with Ease Using the Official Universal Mobile App

Imagine having your own travel guide to give you every bit of important information you need to get the most out of your first-time visit. That is what the official Universal Orlando Resort App provides!

What can the Universal Orlando Resort mobile app do?

  • The app can become your Virtual Wallet
  • You can find everything you need including ride wait times, showtimes, dining venue hours and more
  • Create your own personal “to-do” list of favorites
  • Always be in the know with the latest park updates
  • Order meals on the go with ease
  • What else can you do with the App? Find out here

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WHAT TO BRING

Let’s dive into a few tips to help you decide what to bring during your first-time visit to the parks.

Backpacks and Shoulder Bags

Can you bring a bag or backpack to Universal Orlando Resort? Absolutely! A small, soft-sided bag is perfect for toting your essentials around while exploring the parks.

Potential Items To Add To Bag Include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Rain poncho or jacket
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunglasses

Check out the What To Pack For A Day At Universal Orlando Resort for more great tips on what to bring to the parks.


TAKING PHOTOS AT THE PARKS

Can you bring a camera to Universal Orlando Resort? Of course! You are about to have some of the best times of your life and what better way to remember those moments than incredible photos to take home with you.

Here are a few great photo opportunities at the parks to keep in mind:

LOCAL TIP | Since it’s your first time visiting the parks, check out the My Universal Photo options, so you can focus on the fun while they focus on capturing your best moments.


WHAT TO WEAR

Florida is a tricky place when it comes to weather. Most of the time it’s warm and sunny, but there are those occasional days that cause us to break out our coats. Regardless, it’s good to be prepared. 

  • Check the Weather: Take a moment to check the weather forecast before heading to the parks
  • Fashion or Comfort: Of course you want to look fashionable in all of the Instagram photos you are planning on taking, but keep in mind to be comfortable as your day may include lots of walking and standing in the heat
  • Which Shoes to Wear: Try to wear a shoe that is breathable and comfortable

Check out the full list of Frequently Asked Questions on what to bring to the parks.

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Did we miss anything? Tell us about some of your theme park first-timer tips in the comments below! And make sure to share your tips on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #ReadyForUniversal or ask for help with #AskUniversal.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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