Guides and Tips

Spring Guide to Universal Orlando Resort

March 20, 2023
A view of a stone-like brick balcony with three arches over a body of water with rocks scattered throughout it, and plants and trees on either side. The building the balcony is connected to has windows behind the balcony's white fences. There is a reflection of the sun against the balcony.

If I had to pick my favorite season, it would absolutely be spring. Allergies notwithstanding, there is so much to love about those three vibrant, festive months. The days are longer; the leaves are greener; and the temperatures are warmer but not yet sweltering. It’s the perfect time for new outdoor experiences, and no place offers more in the way of springtime adventures than Universal Orlando Resort. From luxurious hotels to scrumptious food and all the incredible activities in between, this is your guide to the sights, sounds and flavors of spring at Universal Orlando.

WHERE TO STAY | WHAT TO DO | WHERE TO EAT

WHERE TO STAY

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

A man in a colorfully designed, dark gray, button-up, long-sleeved shirt and white shorts and a woman in an orange dress and beige hat, holding a beige bag, walk by stone fountains made to look like people pouring buckets of water on top of stone platforms. There are windows behind them, and a table with a pot of white flowers with green stems to the woman's left.

While you can’t go wrong with any of the Universal Orlando hotels, one that feels evocative of spring to me is Loews Royal Pacific Resort. From the second you cross the bridge over the verdant greenery in front, you feel like you’ve been transported to a quiet island in the South Seas.

Must-Have Experiences:

  • Enjoy the beauty of spring from your Garden View Room. Whether you’re observing the foliage just outside your window or relaxing under the colorful orchids and hibiscus on the walls, it’s like your hotel room is quietly but constantly whispering, “Spring is here.”
  • Relax on the white sand beach by the lagoon-style pool. Enjoy the shade of palm trees as you soak in one of two hot tubs. There are even family-friendly poolside activities.
  • Get tickets for the Wantilan Luau, an all-you-can-eat and drink dinner show complete with captivating hula and fire dancers that’ll leave you enchanted by the stories of the South Seas.
  • Get The Wok Experience at Islands Dining Room. Available only on weekends, this all-you-care-to-eat experience lets you create your own Pan-Asian stir-fry bowl. This is a perfect option for people like me who love great food and are also very indecisive.
  • Sit outside at Jake’s American Bar and take in the scenic lagoon with a crystal-clear waterfall, rich plant life and a seaplane. There’s also live entertainment on select nights.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

A girl sliding down at the bottom of a turquoise waterslide, into a pool. The girl is wearing a multicolored, striped bathing suit, and her hands are out in front of her in diagonals. She is smiling. The waterslide is surrounded by rock structures on all sides but the front, which goes into the pool, and on one of the rock structures behind it sit a couple plants. Behind the rocks are various trees and bushes. To the slide's left, on top of the rocks, is a stone building with multi-colored text that is cut-off. In front of that is a green bush with red flowers. The sky is blue with several white clouds.

I’m a huge fan of the gorgeous landscaping that comes with spring, particularly around the grounds of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. With the lush palm trees, blue waterfalls, and huge crystal-clear pool, every scenic view here would make an ideal screensaver.

Must-Have Experiences:

  • Take advantage of the 16,000-square-foot pool, complete with a sand beach, water slide, hot tub, fire pit, and private cabanas available for rental.
  • Watch water taxis from the outdoor seating at Amatista Cookhouse while feasting on an all-you-can-eat Breakfast Buffet. Build your own omelet or try their original creations.
  • While it does have a full bar, Strong Water Tavern is an absolute must for fans of rum. Enjoy tastings with a specialist who will help you select from their wall of vintage rums. With the weather not too hot or cold, spring is the perfect time to share some tapas on their patio as you take in the picturesque lagoon at dusk.

WHAT TO DO

A family walking toward the beige arches at the entrance to Universal Studios Florida. From left to right: a man in a bright green shirt, gray shorts, and sneakers in various shades of blue with a white lining; an older man in a gray shirt, green shorts, and blue sneakers with a white lining, with a gray-ish-blue backpack; a woman wearing a light purple shirt, jeans, gray sneakers, and a white wristband on her left wrist; a girl with pigtails wearing a gray shirt and pink shorts. The outer arches are shorter than the one in the center, which has a gray center and the globe logo with text "Universal Studios" in silver and "Florida" in orange, with a line in between. All of the arches have a ridge-patterned straight line at their tops. On either side of the arches are plants, including palm trees, and there is a brown fence on the arches' right. Pieces of buildings are visible behind the arches. The sky is blue with a couple clouds.

There are so many events to discover, thrills to share and foods to taste around Universal Orlando in spring, it might be difficult to know just where to begin. Keeping this in mind, I have broken up the following experiences by location. Some activities, though, do apply to more than one place.

Universal Studios Florida

Selecting a favorite Universal Orlando theme park is like having to pick your favorite child. So I am starting with Universal Studios Florida because… it’s my favorite. Also, my favorite child is Matt Jr. Sorry.

Must-Have Experiences:

A stage with a beige arch around it in front of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, a red-and-silver roller coaster that drops then loops, at night. Five beams of seemingly blue light, appearing to come from behind the stage, shoot up, next to each other in an almost arch-like shape. The hill up to the roller coaster's drop has a black strip down the front with pale, yellow shapes, notably one circle with two black triangles, acting as arrows pointing to the coaster's left, and text below it that is hard to make out, but says "Hollywood" in small, yellow font, "Rip Ride" in small red font below it, and "Rockit" in larger red font, also below "Hollywood." The stage is illuminated in mostly pink, with some orange too. The figures onstage, too small to make out, are playing instruments. There is one screen to the right of the stage and one to the left, both of which have a glare making the displays too difficult to make out. In front of the archway, which is illuminated in patterned light and has three columns, is a lighting platform, with a speaker hanging from the top on each side of the stage. On the left side of the stage, past the screen, is more of the roller coaster, as well as what appears to be its entrance and queue, and a couple palm trees. On the right of the stage, past the screen and in front of the roller coaster loop, are more palm trees. There is a packed crowd of people looking toward the stage, with some holding up their phones, seemingly to film.
  • Mardi Gras is the ultimate spring event at Universal Orlando. Decked out in purple, gold and green, the park is home to the greatest Mardi Gras party this side of the bayou. Celebrate Carnaval with international cuisine, refreshing libation, concerts on select nights, and parade complete with beads.
  • With the cool breeze of spring in the air, it’s the perfect time for outdoor rides like Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. This thrilling coaster lets you select your own soundtrack as you brave a 17-story drop.
  • Grab crepes at Central Park Crêpes and have your own picnic on the grass by the lagoon.

Pro Tip: These shows also make a fun, entertaining way to pass the time when it rains. Yes, even The Sunshine State does get short bursts of rain from time to time.

Universal Islands of Adventure

When you consider that Universal Islands of Adventure originally opened on May 28, 1999, it was kind of literally made for spring (though it’s incredibly fun year-round).

Jurassic Park with Flowers
@themeparkverse

Must-Have Experiences:

  • From the greens of the jungle-like foliage to the wind blowing through your hair at 70 miles per hour on Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Jurassic Park offers springtime fun for thrill-seekers and chill-seekers alike.
Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls Ride Drop
@sandykneo
  • Speaking of all things Seuss, I like my ham and eggs like I like my spring plants: green! Whether in a box or with a fox, you will love eating Green Eggs & Ham Tots outside at Green Eggs & Ham Cafe.

Universal Volcano Bay

At Universal Volcano Bay, every season is swimsuit season.

Volcano Bay's Volcano

Must-Have Experiences:

  • How thrilling is it to ride a waterslide down the edge of a volcano? If you’ve been on Ko’okiri Body Plunge, you know… and if you don’t, spring is the perfect time to find out.
  • Go from thrill to chill with some quiet time relaxing on Waturi Beach.
  • Any description I try to give of the stunning vegetation here will not do it justice. This park is so beautiful that I recommend it to people who don’t even love waterslides. Just walking around enjoying the orchids, hibiscus and bamboo offers its own kind of thrill.

Universal CityWalk

With more than 40 dining, shopping, and entertainment options located right in the middle of the two main parks, there is a reason Universal CityWalk is called the Epicenter of Awesome. Technically, I guess there are forty-something reasons.

Universal's CityWalk in the evening

Must-Have Experiences:

  • Does anything shout “spring has sprung” like outdoor miniature golf? After playing one of the two 18-hole courses at Hollywood Drive-In Golf, you will totally want to give this unique experience a golf clap… even if it’s a mini one.

WHERE TO EAT

If I tried writing about all the mouthwatering cuisine at Universal Orlando, we’d still be here two springs from now. Instead, I decided to focus on my four favorite aspects of spring eats: St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, outdoor dining, and ice cream.

St. Patrick’s Day

  • The luck of the Irish is truly on your side when you get the chance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill. Here you can enjoy traditional Irish delicacies like Bangers and Mash and Shepherd’s Pie and wash it all down with your favorite pint.
  • Head over to Pat O’Brien’s in Universal CityWalk. Guests 21 and over can celebrate the holiday and the season with live dueling pianos while sipping on specialty green drinks on their patio.

Cinco De Mayo

  • It’s always a good time for Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food in Universal CityWalk, but there’s no better occasion than Cinco De Mayo. Indulge in made-from-scratch street fare, a specialty margarita, and their signature guacamole, made tableside to your specifications. I like mine nose-runningly spicy, but they go as mild or wild as you prefer.
  • When you think Cinco De Mayo, Jimmy Buffett may not immediately come to mind. He should, though, as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Universal CityWalk serves up over a dozen different kinds of margaritas. My favorite is the frozen Tropical Fruit Margarita, but this is an entire ‘Ville of margaritas, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Outdoor Dining

Outdoor tables at Mythos restaurant, overlooking a body of water, on which stands The Incredible Hulk Coaster. The tables visible all have four seats, a plate and folded red napkin at each spot. Various brown rock formations, as well as a fence, line the edge between the seating and the water.
  • Take in one of the most breathtaking views in the resort from the patio at Mythos Restaurant in Universal Islands of Adventure. The ambiance makes it a great date option, and the cuisine will forever change the way you think about theme park food.
  • I’m not really a raw fish enthusiast but, thanks to The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, I no longer decline when my friends want to get sushi. This place has something for everyone, especially for fans of outdoor seating on a breezy spring night.

Ice Cream

Waturi Fusion Ice Cream on cone with Volcano as backdrop
@alyssaontherocks

Dairy-free Butterbeer is now available at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Well, this is my favorite way to do spring at Universal! Did I miss anything? What’s your favorite thing to do during the season? Share with us on social media or in the comments below.

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