The last time I had visited Universal Orlando for more than an hour was nearly 20 years ago. Long before it was Universal Orlando Resort, back when it was Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure had just opened. So my memories of my visit are a little hazy. But what I do remember is that at that time, we were able to do it all in one day. Which I quickly found out is not the case anymore. Universal Orlando has earned that Resort tacked on to the end of its name and there really is so much to that it can easily be a 4-5 day vacation.
When we got home from our vacation I had a lot of friends asking about our experience and even one friend, who thought Universal was part of another Orlando theme park. So I thought it best to share my FAQs about Universal Orlando Resort
FAQs about Universal Orlando Resort
What is Universal Orlando Resort?
Universal Orlando Resort consists of 2 theme parks (Universal and Islands of Adventure), 1 water park (Volcano Bay) and 5 resorts (with the 6th resort under construction and expected to open soon).
Is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter its own theme park?
No, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is 2 lands, Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Orlando.
What Type of Park Ticket do I need to Visit Universal Orlando Resort?
If you want to experience all that Universal Orlando Resort has to offer then you should get a 3 park multi-day pass, which starts at $74 per day for a 4-day ticket. This will get you into Universal, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay. This is a good deal when you compare that a one day ticket to Volcano Bay on its own is $67.00. When buying park tickets there is always value in adding more days and more parks.
I’ve Heard About Express Pass, what is it?
Express Pass is your ticket to getting to cutting the line at Universal Orlando. How it works is you scan your Express Pass at rides that feature Express pass and you get to cut ahead of the line, significantly cutting your wait time and increasing the number of attractions you will enjoy each day.
There are two types of Express Pass. The Universal Express Pass allows you to skip the line one time per ride that has Express Pass. The Universal Unlimited Express Pass allows you to skip the line on any Express Pass Ride as many times as you want.
What Rides offer Universal Express Pass?
Express Pass is offered for most rides at Universal Orlando, and now includes the rides in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Should I Stay on Property at Universal Orlando Resort?
Absolutely! I’m always a fan of staying on property at theme parks because it really makes it feel like a vacation and immerses you in the experience.
Staying on property offers you a lot of benefits like being able to walk to Universal, Islands of Adventure and City Walk. At this time there is not a walking path to Volcano Bay. There is also transportation to each resort by boat or bus.
Staying on property also gets you early admission into Volcano Bay and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. That in itself is worth it. If you stay at Loews Portofino Bay, Loews Royal Pacific Resort or Hard Rock Hotel you get Unlimited Express Passes with your stay.
Other advantages to staying on property at Universal Orlando Resort include preferred seating at select resort restaurants, complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased at the resort to your resort room, club to club access to select City Walk clubs and character experience.
Make sure to check the Universal Orlando Resort website for up to date information on these perks and to ensure that your hotel is included as some perks only apply to certain hotels.
Is Staying on Property Expensive?
Universal Orlando Resort offers hotels at all price points, there really is something for every family.
We really enjoyed our stay at Universal Orlando Resort, having not been there for so long my husband and I were surprised by how much it has changed and grown. It was really like we were experiencing the park for the first time. Staying on the property was an amazing convenience, one night our son was hungry and tired, so we hopped in a pedicab at city walk and were at our hotel sitting in a restaurant with cocktails in minutes. In our family, we call that a vacation win. My son is already asking when we can go back.
My family visited Universal Orlando Resort as a part of Family Forward a family retreat by Mom It Forward, at a discounted rate.
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