Universal Orlando™ in four fun days

By Eloise Barker

Photography by Universal Orlando Resort

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You’ve arrived at Universal Orlando Resort™. Exhausted? Overwhelmed? Good thing the staff are so attentive. That’s American service for you. You’ve checked in at one of the five (soon to be six) on-site hotels and you’re making the most of your own hotel tonight by dining in. Good thing it’s all delicious. Download The Official Universal Orlando Resort App for live queue times and interactive maps, ready to take full advantage of your Universal Orlando Explorer Ticket.

Day 1 – Universal Studios Florida™

Morning – Whizz over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™

08:00 – Wake up to sunshine! It’s sunny nearly every day. You have Early Park Admission†

to beat the crowds to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™. Be the first to try Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

09:00 – It’s early enough for the rest of the best rides: head to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem™ and visit Krustyland where Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie will join you to experience the wild, fun-filled The Simpsons Ride™.

12:00 – For lunch, you deserve the catch of the day. Lombard’s Seafood Grille™ will delight every girl and boy with whatever takes your fancy, whether fancy or simple: lobster roll, calamari, fish tacos… plus burgers too.

Download The Official Universal Orlando Resort™ App for live queue times and interactive maps, ready for the parks.

Afternoon – Drop a new track

14:00 – Ease back into the swing of things with Shrek 4-D or E.T. Adventure™ for the kids. Then go all out at TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, where you pick your soundtrack whilst you ride the track. Sadly, they don’t have ‘Life is a Rollercoaster’.

16:00 – Then hit the shops. Whether you’re buying or browsing, the shops in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ stock the unexpected. If you buy an Interactive Wand you can actually cast spells around Diagon Alley™ and Hogsmeade™. At Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes buy and name your own Pygmy Puff.

17:00 – It’s been a long day, so refresh. Butterbeer™ is even more delicious when it’s frozen. Before heading back to your room, hop on the Hogwarts™ Express at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Hogsmeade Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and exit the parks.

Evening – Rock, chocolate and margaritas

19:00 – Dinner follows at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen™. It’s got monumental milkshakes so make sure you save room for dessert.

21:00 – For themed evening experiences, plan to visit the different hotels. Let the Hard Rock Hotel® woo you with Velvet Sessions⁵- live music and smooth cocktails, or go to Loews Sapphire Falls Resort for their Strong Water Tavern tapas. Or sip a margarita at a waterfront tiki bar at Universal CityWalk™, play a round of sci-fi-themed of mini golf, or peruse the shops at your leisure (you’ve earned it!).

  • Butterbeer™ at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™

    Secret recipe

    Cool down with a frothy mug of Butterbeer™ at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Book your Universal Orlando™ Explorer Ticket today.

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  • Dinner time at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
  • Night-time at Universal's Islands of Adventure

    Beat the crowds

    Visiting during peak season? Take advantage of the longer hours by heading to the parks later in the day. You can usually expect shorter wait times for headline attractions, as well as cooler temperatures.

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Day 2 - Universal’s Islands of Adventure™

Morning – Magical animals, heroic lunches

08:00 – Harry Potter makes your morning again with Early Park Admission†. At Hogsmeade launch straight into the stories with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and learn to approach the magical creature in the Flight of the Hippogriff.

09:00 – Next, explore the colossal kingdom of Skull Island: Reign of Kong™, then scuttle over to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®.

12:00 – Lunch where heroes lunch: the award-winning Mythos Restaurant serves Greek-style appetizers, hearty mains and sandwiches out of a legendary rock cavern.

Afternoon – You’ve got to be soaking

14:00 – Kids won’t want to miss and adults might reminisce at The Cat in the Hat. The Incredible Hulk Coaster® is furiously fun and then there’s the relaxing tour of Jurassic Park River Adventure™ by raft – until the dinosaurs escape and ruin everything.

16:00 – Tactically, you should leave the water rides ’til the end of the day to cool off. Cool off? You’ll get soaked on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®. And we don’t fancy your chances on Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®, either.

17:00 – Write home and tell them you’ve decided to live here instead with a postcard from Owl Post™ & Owlery –  with authentic Hogsmeade postmarks. Then ride the Hogwarts™ Express⁴ on the way home from Hogsmeade Station to complete the full experience – it takes you on a surprisingly unexpected journey in this direction to King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida.

Evening – A musical interlude

19:00 – Pick an excellent soundtrack for your second evening by eating at the Hard Rock Cafe® Orlando. Tuck into a several-storey-high legendary burger, served with a side order of seasoned fries and music history.

21:00 – Your evening’s just tuning up. Catch Bob Marley – A Tribute To Freedom℠ in a reproduction of Kingston, Jamaica, authentic right down to the reggae beats. (Age restrictions apply to both venues).

  • Character breakfasts at select on-site hotels

    Don't forget to...

    Organise a character breakfast as a special treat for the kids. You can meet your favourite characters on Tuesday at Hard Rock Hotel® or Sunday at Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

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Day 3 – Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water theme park

Morning – Get on island time

08:00 – Get up sharpish and take advantage of Early Park Admission†; it’s time to explore. There are four areas in the park, with 18 attractions between them – and the mighty Krakatau™ volcano at its heart.

10:00 – Make the most of all that Volcano Bay™ has to offer. Thrill-seekers can free-fall 125ft on Ko'okiri Body Plunge™, or change the pace and relax on Waturi Beach.

Afternoon – Look on the bright slide

14:00 – After lunch, the Ohno Drop Slide ends with an exhilarating 6-foot freefall. Runamukka Reef gives younger kids a serious splash zone with interactive fun.

17:00 – You’ve definitely swum up an appetite. Stay into the evening to watch the sun dip behind the volcano and eat at your choice of restaurants. Beyond Volcano Bay’s Pacific island theme there’s world cuisine, and something for everyone.

Evening – Have a singalong

21:00 – Continue your evening at Universal CityWalk™. Treat everyone to a karaoke experience with your own backing singers and band at CityWalk’s Rising Star. Stage fright? Request a song from the New Orlean’s style duelling piano bar Pat O’Brien’s® and you’ll probably sing along anyway. Discerning over 21s can order a couple of Beaufort-breaking Hurricane® cocktails and the unwise can have three.

Day 4 – Relax on-resort

Morning – A breakfast with character

09:00 – You’ve been woken up early all week, time to enjoy a more relaxed morning. Have a character breakfast – where you can meet your favourite Universal stars like the Minions over pancakes on a Tuesday at Hard Rock Hotel® or Sunday at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. On other days, focus on the food- Italians do it best, so go to the piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.

10:00 – Stay at your hotel pool this morning. You’ve earned that sun lounger.

Afternoon – Choose your pool

14:00 – Explore the other hotels. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a lazy river whilst the Villa Pool at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel provides a tranquil escape. Lunch can be poolside too - snack on an enviable portion of nachos at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

15:00 – In the afternoon, Universal CityWalk has crazy golf, Universal Studios Store™ has the best souvenirs and you can have afternoon margaritas at Jimmy Buffett’s® Margaritaville®. Because, why not?

Evening – The final curtain

19:00  If you buy before you fly, you can get an excellent deal on Blue Man Group – see the early performance of this popular phenomenon and watch them make music colourful and colour musical. You’ll have plenty of time afterwards for homemade pasta just the way your Mama makes it at VIVO Italian Kitchen™. You’ve had a blinder of a time at Universal Orlando Resort.

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