Monday, 16 July 2018

A Guide to Universal Stuidos Orlando


So, I went to Florida…

I was so lucky to be jetting off with my best friend, her family and my fiancé to Florida for 2 wonderful weeks. It was my first time in the USA and it was everything I expected/hoped it to be. We stayed in a beautiful 5 bedroom villa in Clermont which was fairly close to all of the places we wanted to visit. We did so many things during our visit however the main highlight for me has to be Universal Studios.


I’ve always been a huge fan of theme parks, but this one in particular tops all of the theme parks I’ve ever visited. It can seem a little daunting at first because the park is massive, I kind of felt a bit like ‘so where the hell do I start?!’ Luckily, I like to think that I have accumulated a few tips and tricks along the way that will hopefully help you out if you were to visit yourself.

Allow yourself at least 3 days here

Something that I didn’t quite expect was how HUGE the parks were and yes, I say parks because there’s two of them (something else I didn’t quite realise). You have the Universal Studios Park and Islands of Adventures, for me it seemed simply impossible to get everything done in just one day therefore I applaud you if you have managed that. We did Island of Adventures in one day and then spent 2 days in Universal Studios which I found to be the bigger park. If you can, try to avoid 1 day tickets and get the multiple day tickets so you can experience more. 


Arrive early

Both parks open at 9am and I’d highly suggest to get there as early as you can. Universal is one of the main tourist attractions so prepare for it to be busy. On the 3rd day we visited, we arrived right on 9am and managed to get on the main rides with a 5 minute waiting time. The queues in the morning I find are a lot smaller than during the afternoon – I noticed it seemed to get a lot busier at around 1/2pm and most of the rides went up to over an hour wait.

You could get an express pass to skip the queues if you’re not a fan of waiting. We personally didn’t think it was worth it for us, but if you’re only visiting for the day and want to pack as much in as possible then definitely consider it. You can buy express passes online or even at the main entrance of the park.

Top Tip: Download the Universal App and take advantage of the Virtual Line. Some rides in the park allow you to book a time slot of when you want to ride, once you’ve booked a slot you can go off, eat, have fun, do whatever and when you arrive back you simply skip the queue and get straight onto the ride. We did this for the new Fast and Furious Ride.


Rides with the biggest queues: Hulk Coaster, Rip-Ride Rock it, Despicable Me, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Transformers 3D, Kong Skull Island, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey. 




Wear something comfortable

I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory but it’s important. The first day there, I wore a cute jumpsuit thinking I’ll be completely fine. A few water rides later I was an absolute mess and the material of my jumpsuit was tight and horrible and didn’t seem to dry off properly.

Let’s just say, I ended up wearing the most comfortable baggy top and stretchy jeans the time after that. I would also recommend wearing the comfiest pair of shoes you own because let me tell you – your feet will ache like a bitch. 



Invest in the refillable cups and rain ponchos

We went to Florida during storm season which meant it would be boiling hot throughout the entire day and then we would get a very sudden storm almost once a day. We paid $10 for a waterproof poncho which really came in handy when Mother Nature decided to bless us with thunder and lightning. I would also recommend the ponchos for the water rides (something we didn’t do). I don’t think I realised how soaked I was going to get on them.


Refillable cups was also a great idea. We paid around $14 for unlimited refills which we ended up using a hell of a lot considering it was 31 degrees outside. Plus the prices for a regular bottle of coke or water was quite overpriced. 





Try to avoid bringing bags

I understand that this is something that is sometimes unavoidable but if you can then try not to bring bags along with you. Most of the rides have a very strict no bag policy which meant that we had to spend the time trying to find a locker to put our stuff in each time before a ride. Although the lockers are free whilst you ride, it’s just less hassle overall. We spent a while before one of the rides waiting for a locker to become available and by the time we found one, the queue waiting time went up by another 15 minutes. Of course it weren’t the end of the world but I think it’ll save you a lot more time. 





Have you visited Universal Studios or even just America in general? If you have, what are your top places? 
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