“Vacation Like You Mean It”.
That’s the tag line for Universal Orlando Resort and boy, do they mean it!
If you are visiting Orlando and have at least an extra day to spare, it is worth your while to spend it at Universal Studios Orlando. You won’t able to see and do everything in one day but you can certainly pick and choose which attractions you want to do to maximize your experience. The more days you spend there, the more cheaper the per day cost so if you have 2 days to spare, that would be perfect!
- Universal Studios Florida
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure
If you are planning on visiting Universal Studios JUST for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there are two different areas, Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley, one located in each park and connected by the Hogwarts Express.
If you only have one day to visit Universal Studios, you have the option to purchase a one day park ticket where you choose either park to visit for the day. You can also choose a 1 day park-to-park ticket, which would give you access to both parks on the same day. If you are looking to ride on the Hogwarts Express, you will need a park-to-park ticket to ride this attraction (and they check your admission tickets at the both King’s Cross Station, and Hogsmeade Station before you board.)
Other upgrades to your tickets include the Express Pass, which permits you Front of the Line Access to most of the attractions once. This is a great option if you are short on time and want to experience as much as you can during your visit. Skip to the front of the line and you don’t need to waste valuable time waiting in line. Or, if you want to experience an attraction more than once, you can upgrade to the Unlimited Express Pass which grants you Front of the Line Access to most of the attraction with unlimited access to skip to the front of the line! Ride each attraction over and over as many times as you like!
Please note that the attractions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are not eligible for the Express Pass services. All guests must wait in regular lines to access the rides. If you stay onsite and book a Universal Studios Vacation Package, onsite guests receive Early Admission one hour before the park opens to the public so guests can visit the park early and experience the attractions with minimal wait times in the morning.
Can’t decide which park to visit? They are both very good and you will be happy with either one! But here are a few highlights from each park to help you decide which one might be better for you! Please note that there are minimum height requirements for some rides so you want to make sure your kids will be tall enough to ride certain attractions.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (minimum 42”)
Transformers: The Ride 3D (minimum 40”)
Terminator 2: 3D
Revenge of the Mummy (minimum 48”) - this was the fastest roller coaster I have ever been on and it’s all in the dark!! If I had known what the ride was going to be ahead of time, I probably would not have gone on it!
Men in Black Alien Attack (minimum 42”)
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (minimum 51”) - too rich for my blood! But you have to watch Jimmy Fallon’s hilarious experience with this ride!
If you have younger kids, you won’t want to miss these rides that cater to the young ones so there is fun for them too:
A Day in the Park with Barney
Curious George Goes to Town
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster (minimum 36”)
For the thrills, you don’t want to miss the newest attraction.....
Skull Island: Reign of Kong (just opened summer 2016) - this was an awesome ride! Even with Express Passes where we could skip to the Front of the Line, we still had a 20 minute wait before we boarded the ride but it was worth it!
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (minimum 40”)
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall (minimum 52”)
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (minimum 44”, under 48” must be accompanied by an adult) - When we saw people loading into the logs with ponchos, we chuckled to ourselves. But….we later realized why. You will GET SOAKED. I have never been on any water ride where you get soaked. Not just wet. Not just a little wet. SOAKED. Through everything….puddles of water in your log…SOAKED. You have been warned.
Jurassic Park River Adventure (minimum 42”) - you may get wet on this ride. But compared to Ripsaw Falls, it’s nothing.
The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster (minimum 54”)
Dragon Challenge (minimum 54”)
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Comic Strip Lane
Jurassic Park Discovery Adventure
Flight of the Hippogriff (minimum 36”)
Storm Force Acceleration
Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (minimum 42”, under 48” must be accompanied by adult)
The Cat in the Hat (Under 48” must be accompanied by adult)
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
If I Ran the Zoo
Me Ship, The Olive
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (Under 48” must be accompanied by adult)
Pteranodon Flyers (minimm 36”, under 56” must be accompanied by adult)
I found the three days we spent at Universal were awesome, but exhausting. The rides are definitely more thrilling, more adventurous and exciting but I couldn’t wait to go back to Disney World for a more relaxing few days to wind down from Universal Studios! I know, right??!! Disney relaxing?? Yep.
Taken in Comic Strip Lane in Universal's Islands of Adventure, this photo perfectly describes the Universal Studios Florida experience!