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The Best Things to do at Universal Orlando Resort

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Visiting all three Universal Orlando theme parks in two daya is an incredible way to experience the wide range of attractions available in the area. From Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, to Volcano Bay – you’ll be able to enjoy thrilling rides, interactive experiences, and more!

Entrance to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

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On my recent trip to Universal Orlando Resort, I was lucky enough to explore all the amazing attractions – Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay!

This was my first time at Universal Orlando and I had a fantastic time thanks to Get Away Today who showed me how to make the most of my visit.

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Universal Orlando Ticket Sale! Buy 3 days and get 2 days FREE when you purchase tickets from Get Away Today. Get a quote for a Universal Orlando vacation package here.

Staying at a Universal Resort hotel gives you free transportation and early park admission, so you can hit the attractions with little wait in the morning. Universal Premiere hotels even give you a free express pass!

Join me and let’s explore what this world-class vacation destination has to offer!

Universal Orlando Video:

YouTube Thumbnail for a video about Universal Orlando Resort.

Express Pass & VIP Tour

If you want an even smoother experience, splurge on a Universal Express Pass which will cut your wait times in half.

For a little bit more, you can purchase a VIP Experience that will give you priority access to all attractions, including the most popular attractions, to avoid long lines and also includes express passes, a continental breakfast, and lunch.

To book your own trip, get a free Universal Orlando vacation quote from Get Away Today here and tell them that Mommy Mouse Clubhouse sent you, and let’s get started with our tour of the parks!

A ticket for the VIP Experience at Universal Orlando.

Hogwarts Express

The first thing we did was to ride Hogwarts Express, which takes you back and forth between Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

In order to ride this train, you will need to have a Park-to-Park ticket that includes admission to both theme parks in one day.

Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios Orlando.

Hogsmeade & Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

When we arrived in Hogsmeade we headed straight for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This roller coaster is such a blast and features a total of 7 launches, which is more than any other roller coaster in the world! The height requirement for Hagrid’s is 48 inches.

Entrance to Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

After riding Hagrid’s we headed over to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is an amazing 3D ride, but just be aware that it can aggravate motion sickness, if that is something that bothers you.

Then it was time to grab a cup of Frozen Butterbeer, and it was delicious! The height requirement is 48 inches.

A cup of frozen butterbeer at Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure.


Our next stop was Jurassic World VelociCoaster which is themed for the Jurassic World franchise and features two launches and speeds up to 70 miles per hour, one of the fastest roller coasters in the area.

If you love thrill rides, this is the coaster for you! The height requirement is 51 inches.

Entrance to VelociCoaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Hogwarts Express

We then headed back to Universal Studios Florida on the Hogwarts Express to grab some lunch.

Hogwarts Express train station at Universal Studios Orlando.

Finnegan’s Bar & Grill

Lunch was provided for us at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill. I had a salad, but the appetizers stole the show, especially the loaded fries.

Loaded Fries from Finnegan's Bar & Grill at Universal Studios Florida.

E.T. Adventure

After lunch, we rode E.T. Adventure, which is a dark ride that takes you through the story of E.T. The height requirement is 34 inches.

Entrance to E.T. Adventure at Universal Orlando.

Men In Black Alien Attack

After E.T. it was time for some more alien fun at Men in Black Alien Attack. If you have been to Disney World or Disneyland, I would compare this ride to the Buzz Lightyear rides.

Our tour guide (team member) did give us some tips to get the highest score. Here is what she told us: First, find an alien to shoot and continue to hit the same target as long as you can. Second, the aliens in the top windows are worth more points. Third, once you press the trigger, hold it down while pointing at the target. The height requirement is 42 inches.

Entrance to Men in Black Alien Attack at Universal Orlando.

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!

Then we headed back to Islands of Adventure to Seuss Landing to ride The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. This is a super cute ride that gives you great views of the parks and is perfect for younger children. The height requirement is 36 inches.

Entrance to Seuss Landing at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringott’s

Back in Diagon Alley, we saw the fire-breathing dragon and then rode Harry Potter and the Escape from Grigott’s. This is an indoor roller coaster that includes 3-D projections and was one of my favorite rides at Universal Studios Orlando. The height requirement is 42 inches.

Fire-breathing dragon outside Gringott's Bank at Diagon Alley in Universal Orlando.

Dinner at Leaky Cauldron & Cinematic Celebration Show

We finished up our night by having dinner at Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. I recommend the warm butter beer and the butter beer ice cream for every Harry Potter fan.

Then we headed outside to watch the Cinematic Celebration Show.

Entree from the Leaky Cauldron at Universal Orlando.

Volcano Bay

Bright and early the next morning, we took advantage of Early Entry for Universal Hotel guests at Volcano Bay. We stayed at Cabana Bay Beach Resort that has it’s own dedicated entrance to the water park. Early entry is the best time to take advantage of the water rides with little to no wait.

Volcano Bay water park at Universal Orlando Resort.

After going through security, we picked up our Tapu Tapu bands that are available to all guests, and help hold your spot in a virtual queue for certain water slides so that you aren’t wasting time waiting in line.

Tapu Tapu bands at Volcano Bay.

We set our belongings down at Watrui Beach and headed to the water slides! If you are worried about leaving your items out, there are lockers available to rent.

Lockers at Volcano Bay.

Water Slides

There are tons of amazing water slides at Volcano Bay. Some of the slides are body slides and some require a tube. My favorite was the Aqua Coaster. Everything was so much fun, I have already started planning a trip to bring my family back here so they can experience this water park.

Water Slides at Volcano Bay.

Kids Water Playground

There is a dedicated area just for little ones that features a splash pad, waterfalls, and slides for all thrill levels.

Kids water playground at Volcano Bay.

TeAwa The Fearless River

This river was definitely not a lazy river. To experience this, you will put on a life vest and the fast-moving water will push you around the river. This was probably the best part of the day for me!

Fast moving river at Volcano Bay.

Volcano Walk Through

Another fun thing to do at Volcano Bay is to walk through the Volcano. It’s fun to see out to the wave pool from inside the volcano.

Volcano walk-through at Volcano Bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Universal cheaper than Disney?

Universal Orlando offers great value compared to other theme parks, including Disney. Universal tickets are typically cheaper than Disney and Universal often offers discounts for Florida Residents. You can compare prices for both parks here.

Can I bring my own food into the park?

Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks into the park as long as they do not contain alcohol or glass.

What are the 3 parks at Universal Studios Orlando?

The three parks at Universal Orlando Resort are Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.

Is it cheaper to buy Universal tickets at the park?

It is usually cheaper to buy tickets to Universal Orlando ahead of time. There are generally ticket specials available that can help you save even more!

Is Universal Studios Orlando worth 2 days?

That’s a tough question to answer – it depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation! From my experience, I would say that two days is enough time to experience most of what Universal Studios Orlando has to offer and its best attractions. However, if you’re looking to take your time and really savor the experience, you may want to consider staying longer to take advantage of the top things on your list. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your travel companions to decide how much time you want to spend at Universal Studios Orlando!

A ticket to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Florida.

Discount Tickets & Final Thoughts

What an incredible visit to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay! I was amazed at all the activities we could do in such a short amount of time.

If you’d like to make a trip to Universal Orlando for yourself, I have some good news for you! You can get a free quote from my friends at Get Away Today here or give them a call at 855-GET-AWAY and tell them Mommy Mouse Clubhouse sent you!

You can also check Universal Orlando discount ticket prices here.

For more Disney tips and recipes, be sure check out the menu bar at the top of this post and don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for even more fun!

An image to get a Universal Orlando Vacation Quote.

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