I was provided complimentary tickets to Universal Studios Orlando in exchange for posting our experience. All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own and our own adventures.
I’ve been talking and talking about our recent trip to Orlando, FL… to y’all [in just about every post I've written since we got back] to anyone who will listen in real life. Why? Because we literally had the best time ever and I want to go back like
I was so excited when I found out that we were going to get a few BIG Orlando attractions and the one that I was most excited about was definitely Universal Studios Orlando. I went when I was a child, about 12 or so, and absolutely loved it. Then, I went on a girls’ trip with my Mom and a couple of family members about 5 years ago and Mom and I went back to Universal Studios and loved it even more. I couldn’t wait to experience the two Universal parks with my family!
And let me tell you, they did not disappoint!
We visited Universal Studios the day before we left Orlando [saved the best for last, perhaps?] Just a few years ago, Universal Studios added a second park, Islands of Adventure. The parks are adjacent to one another [soooo nice!] and there are tickets available so you can go to both parks on the same day, which is easy since they’re so close – which is what we did!
To get to both parks, you walk through Universal’s CityWalk. CityWalk is a super fun area, which totally comes to life at night, with restaurants, shops, and so much to see and do!
We ate dinner in CityWalk that night, but more on that later! Let’s start with Universal Studios, the original park. One thing that I did before we actually went to the park was planned our day. I did this in our hotel room the day before our trip. Universal has a new Interactive Online Vacation Planner that made planning what we wanted to do a total breeze!
I simply put in how many of us were going, our date of travel, and what we wanted to do. I used most of the suggestions and looked at the website for a few extras that we wanted to make sure and see.
One thing that stood out to me years ago on our trip to Universal Studios, and still stands out to me today, is the scenery. The buildings, the atmosphere. It really does feel like you’re standing in a movie scene on a studio lot… and you are!
We had focused on the girls pretty much the entire trip so I told Rob that I wanted to do a few things for us on this day. I wanted each of us to ride some adult rides, in addition to letting the girls ride and have fun.
I totally and completely fell in love with the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem adventure while Rob really enjoyed a turn TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D. We both took turns on the Revenge of the Mummy ride by taking advantage of Universal’s Parent Swap program where we all wait in line together, then one parent can ride while the other stays at the front of the line with the kids, then the other parent rides without having to go back through the line – this was SO convenient for us!
We were also able to take advantage of a ticket upgrade that included the Universal Express Pass which was a line for riders that was considerably shorter than the longer lines of regular ticket holders. It was really necessary as we went in January and the lines were pretty short, but if I was traveling in the Summer, it would be an upgrade I would DEFINITELY purchase.
We caught sight of a few characters while walking around Universal Studios – including Homer and Marge and Spongebob! After we did some adult rides, we let the girls have a few turns to ride. I was really surprised and impressed with the amount of rides and activities for small children to do in Universal Studios. I didn’t remember those things on my previous trip, because I didn’t have kids then!
Fievel’s Playland and Curious George Goes to Town were two play areas that the girls just LOVED! They climbed, ran around, got wet and had a ball!
Sophia also got to experience 2 of her biggest rides yet at Universal parks. Here we are riding the Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster! She LOVED it and is going to be my little roller coaster buddy, I do believe!
Since Moreaya didn’t get to ride as much during our whole trip, we made sure to squeeze in something super special for her [although Sophia enjoyed it just as much!]. We made sure to make it to the live show “A Day in the Park with Barney” and the girls just loved singing along and seeing Barney for real.
The Barney show was the only one we were able to fit in to our day, although we had really hoped to catch Fear Factor Live and Animal Actors on Location. Guess it just means we need to go back, right?
Since we were splitting our day between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, we didn’t get to experience every thing we wanted to, although we did see and ride a lot. I would definitely recommend doing each of the parks on separate days OR adding more days to your vacation! There is just so much to see, ride, watch, and enjoy at the Universal Studios parks for just 1 day!