Did someone say concrete jungle where dreams are made of? Well, if you dream about touring the set of a movie only to find it’s actually cursed, or racing through New York and being thrown to the moon by a giant panda, or maybe even eating Irish food or delicious pizza while taking a stroll through Central Park or dancing along to the catchy tunes of several street shows… then we’ve got just the place for you.
New York is one of my favorite areas in Universal Studios Florida. Not only is it home to really fun rides and great entertainment, but it holds a special place in my heart because I got to be on the opening team for one of its main attractions, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. I also love how the area is transformed for each of our marquee events — from the giant Christmas Tree during Universal Holidays (be sure to look out for Earl the Squirrel), to the new food offerings and street entertainment during Universal’s Mardi Gras, and of course, to the haunted houses and scare zone during Halloween Horror Nights. No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something fun happening here!
Follow along for a complete guide to Universal Studios Florida’s New York area and learn everything you need to know to get the full experience.
Let’s get right into the fun and start off with the two attractions you shouldn’t miss:
Explore the set of the movie and prepare to forfeit your souls to Imhotep. Be sure to hold on tight as you’ll rush forward and back through fog, fire, twists and turns on this indoor dark roller coaster while trying to escape the curse (remember, not even the Medjai can save you).
FUN FACT: There is a hidden Kong statue in the treasure room. See if you can spot it next time you ride.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Watch great moments of The Tonight Show, jam out to barbershop-style popular songs performed by the Ragtime Gals, and meet Hashtag the Panda. Make sure to keep an eye out during this 3-D simulator ride for several of the beloved characters from the show such as The Roots, Higgins, and Sara (with no H because Hs are EW!). And of course, we can’t forget about the iconic New York City landmarks that serve as the course for this wild race.
FUN FACT: You can find all kinds of Tonight Show memorabilia honoring all of the show’s past and present hosts when you first enter the queue. Also, while on the ride, look out for Jimmy’s wife and his two daughters who are on the left-hand side when you run into Sara and Gary.
PRO TIP: You can ask the Team Members at both of these attractions for a Production Tour (at Revenge of the Mummy) or a Studio Tour (at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon) for a super cool behind-the-scenes look and some fun facts about each attraction. *Note: Tours are subject to availability.
The fun doesn’t end with the rides though, this area also has incredible street entertainment because it wouldn’t be the full New York experience without it. So, make sure to check the official Universal Orlando Resort Mobile App for show times to plan out your day.
- Jam with the Beat Builders at a construction site turned into a high energy percussion show (this show is an absolute MUST and I promise you will love it).
- Dance along with the ¡Vamos! – Báilalo performers who fill the main street of New York with choreographed dance numbers and Latin flair.
- Get your groove on with The Blues Brothers on Delancey Street as they perform a medley of songs with Mabel the waitress and her sax-playing partner, Jazz.
- Share the silver screen with Marilyn as she and the Diamond Bellas perform her classic songs. And you can even have a meet-and-greet with them after the show.
- Sing along with the Universal City Tones as they have an a cappella vocal battle to popular songs we all know and love.
And for an extra bit of fun and some friendly competition with your family, you can play classic arcade games at the Palace Theater Arcade located next to Revenge of the Mummy.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna need some food a few hours into your adventure. And you’re in luck because you can find some awesome options within this area, so you don’t have to get too far from all the fun.
In the mood for something savory or sweet? Well, at Central Park Crêpes you can have either (or both!). For these French made-to-order pastries, just walk up to the window and order your favorite option — from the sweet Strawberry Hazelnut, to the guest-favorite Smoked Brisket, to the Vegan Berry.
PRO TIP: Grab your crêpe and find a seat on one of the benches in Central Park for a great view of the theme park.
Try food and drinks from a traditional Irish-American pub at this full-service restaurant and bar where you can find authentic dishes like Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness Beef Stew and so much more. I recommend the Finnegan’s Potato & Onion Webb — it’s delicious and also a perfect vegetarian option.
Delight in Italian-favorite dishes and enjoy the New York vibe at this quick service restaurant where you can enjoy several options like pizza, pasta, and meatball subs. I usually go for a classic Jumbo Pepperoni Slice. You can also try creamy gelato right outside the restaurant at Guido’s Gelato — the Raspberry Sorbet is amazing for those hot Florida days.
If you’re more into the quick snacks to grab on the go, you can also find Starbucks for a nice pick-me-up, Häagen-Dazs for a cool-down treat, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels for a savory snack (I recommend the Pizza Pretzel), or even the usual theme park snacks like popcorn, churros, and hot dogs at food and beverage carts around the area.
Of course, you can’t go home without a souvenir, so check out several of the shops available to find themed merchandise that will help you remember your trip.
- Pick up some #hashtag worthy souvenirs from Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at The Tonight Shop. You’ll find themed mugs, apparel, gifts and more from The Tonight Show and NBC.
- Discover a bazaar of treasures including Mummy-themed clothing, toys, jewelry, gifts, and more at Sahara Traders.
- Visit Rosie’s Irish Shop to honor your Irish heritage (or your love for St. Patrick’s Day) with quirky tees, ball caps, barware, as well as traditional Claddagh rings, family crests, and decor.
- Take a trip down memory lane at The Film Vault for a treasure trove of motion picture memorabilia. You’ll find all kinds of cinematic keepsakes, including decor, apparel, and souvenirs inspired by some of Universal’s most loved films, rides, and attractions.
- Experience a New York Christmas year round in the Park Plaza Holiday Shop filled with all the holiday cheer you can imagine.
- If you’re in luck you can explore the current season’s Tribute Store next to Revenge of the Mummy to marvel at the ever-changing displays and themed merchandise. It’s not always open, so timing’s everything.
THE PHOTO SPOTS
Did you really visit Universal if you didn’t take pictures? I think not. No worries though, here are some of the many iconic photo spots you can find in the New York area, so you can show just how much fun you’re having on social media (and make sure to tag us if you do).
- Central Park
- Subway Station
- Sting Alley
- Metropolis Tribune
- Gramercy Park
FUN FACT: Many of the buildings and facades are modeled after sets of famous movies or TV shows, and the New York area has served as a backdrop for some productions.
Now that you’re an expert in all things New York at Universal Studios Florida, you’re ready to have a fun-filled day exploring everything this area has to offer. Be sure to let us know what your favorite thing about this area is in the comments or share with us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.