If you’ve got a Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, or superhero fan in your house, then you may just be planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort this summer.
The problem with planning any vacation is just that, planning. Figuring out how you want to get there, where you want to stay (and what are the best or cheapest options), and how to best navigate a theme park once you arrive. It’s a lot to research and try to decipher during those precious few hours each night after the kids go to bed. Not to mention trying to get you and your wife on the same page.
Universal Orlando Resort is a top summer destination for good reason. It gives you the flexibility of two rockin’ theme parks, four themed on-site hotels; including the Hard Rock hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Portofino Bay hotel and the newest edition, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Not to mention the Universal CityWalk and much more.
While the CityWalk may not be packed with thrill rides, it’s a destination itself. With over 20 restaurants, ranging between quick pit stops to sit-down dining, you’ll find something even your pickiest eater will love. Then of course there’s the entertainment, nightlife, and awesome vibe that will have you staying out way past your bedtime.
Oh, and dads. Don’t forget to visit Springfield. Yep, that Springfield. Home to Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Stop by the Duff Brewery and Moe’s Tavern for a tasty drink to beat the heat, and slide into Krusty Burger for a snack, all after riding The Simpsons Ride. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
With so many options to consider, I reached out to our friends at Universal Orlando and twisted their arm to get a few insider tricks you can use to plan the ultimate summer break vacation! By arming yourself with a little extra info, you can book your perfect trip and give the kids a vacation they’ll be thanking you for until Christmas.
8 Secrets To Visiting Universal Orlando:
1. Get online: Your first stop should be to visit universalorlando.com and check out the online family vacation planner. There you’re able to completely customize your vacation and access experiential videos, travel tips, sample itineraries, vacation packages and more. Not to mention you can find complete lists of hotels, restaurants, upcoming shows, and much, much more.
2. Glide Between Parks: With two parks at your disposal, there’s nothing better than being able to seamlessly move between the two. Utilizing the park-to-park ticket allows you to do just that. Your legs may get tired, but it’ll be worth it with so much to see and do at Universal Orlando. The best way to experience it all is with a multi-day, park-to-park ticket which gives you access to experience both theme parks anytime you want.
3. Stay Steps Away: There are lots of hotel options in Orlando. But you can ditch the commute and stay on-site to get out the door and having fun faster. Not to mention you get to enjoy some great perks by staying at one of our four on-site hotels. When staying amid the fun and excitement at one of the four on-site hotels, you’re within walking distance to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. There’s also Wet ‘n Wild Water Park nearby. Bonus tip – you get special exclusive theme park benefits including early-park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens (with valid park admission), complimentary transportation to/from CityWalk, poolside movies and more!
4. Express Ride: Use the Universal Express Pass to maximize your fun and bypass regular lines at participating rides and attractions in both theme parks. And if you stay on-site at one of Universal Orlando’s deluxe hotels – mentioned above – you’ll receive complimentary Express access for the duration of your stay!
5. Child Swap: Don’t worry, you won’t be stuck with someone else’s cranky kids. Here’s how it works, if your kids are too small or unwilling to go on a particular ride you want to experience, take advantage of the “child swap” program. Each ride and attraction has a child swap area where one member of your party can wait with the little ones while the rest of your party rides. Once they are off the ride, swap places and whoever rode can stay with the kids while the adult(s) who sat out get the opportunity to enjoy the ride right away. (No lines!!)
6. Get Your Grub On: When planning your trip to Universal Orlando, you can pre-purchase one of four dining options. Um, hello stress free meal planning. You’re on vacation, who wants to worry about making dinner or how much everything is going to cost. Picking a Universal Dining Plan you can enjoy the convenience, savings and selection from more than 100 dining locations in both theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
7. Beat the Heat: It’s Florida in summer, yeah it can get a little warm. But don’t worry you can cool off and get drenched with ease! A great way to cool off during the hot Orlando days is experiencing Universal Orlando’s exciting water rides. From Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw to Jurassic Park River Adventure to water-filled fun in Kidzone, cooling off can be a fun adventure all on its own.
8. Go Mobile: Who doesn’t have an app these days? Wait, Dads Who Diaper doesn’t, guess we need to get cracking. But fortunately Universal Orlando has one at your fingertips! You can easily navigate both theme parks and check out parade show times, character meet & greets with some of your favorite Universal characters, attraction wait times and more! There are also several others you can download that share wait times, maps, guides, and more. Check them all out to see which works best for you.
Planning a vacation with kids can often feel like, well, not really a vacation. Anyone else ever think, “now I need an adult vacation after that vacation with my kids?” Yeah, we feel ya. But with these tips and tricks you can ace your time away and have a vacation the kiddos will be remembering for years to come.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
So those are ours, what are your tips for traveling with the family? Share below!