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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
- 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.
- If air-conditioned seating is more your speed, take in one of the park’s three crowd-pleasing spectacles: Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show, The Bourne Stuntacular and Animal Actors on Location!
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.
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).
- 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.
- Warmer temperatures make spring a perfect time to enjoy one of the park’s three water rides. There’s Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges for the kids. For the kids at heart, Jurassic Park River Adventure is a must.
- Head to the colorful Seuss Landing with several outdoor rides, shows and eateries based on the works of Dr. Seuss. The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! is so much fun, it gets an exclamation point.
- 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.
At Universal Volcano Bay, every season is swimsuit season.
- 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.
- Get a taste of paradise with Hawaiian Ribs or Coconut Crusted Fried Chicken at Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club, followed by my spring go-to, Waturi Fusion ice cream.
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 Orlando Resort and spring break go together like hot dogs and apple pie, both of which you can find at Universal CityWalk (at Hot Dog Hall of Fame and Bigfire respectively). If nighttime is the right time for your springtime, experience live reggae at Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom or karaoke with a live band at CityWalk’s Rising Star.
- 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.
- Get your green on by riding The Incredible Hulk Coaster!
- 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.
- 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.
- I mentioned Waturi Fusion ice cream, but it bears repeating. This Volcano Bay exclusive would totally be my desert island (dessert island?) ice cream. The colorful soft-serve treat is an irresistible mix of banana, blue raspberry, orange, and strawberry flavors.
- You didn’t think we’d get through this without my mentioning The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, did you? Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley has delighted wizards and Muggles for years with unique flavors like Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili and, of course, Butterbeer. The Chocolate Chili is pure ice cream magic.
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.