Guides and Tips

8 Ways to Maximize Your Time at Universal Orlando Resort

August 15, 2018

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If you’ve ever seen our Instagram feed, you already know—The Jet Sisters spend a lot of time at Universal Orlando Resort. What started as a family vacation destination when we were kids helped grow our love for travel. Universal Orlando is the place we always come back to, even as we explore the rest of the world. Like a home away from home… with magic, mummies and monsters!

Having visited dozens and dozens of times together, my sister and I have our special traditions, favorite attractions and shortcuts that help us maximize our time in the parks. We’re excited to share those tips with you now, so take a look.

1. Stay at a Universal Hotel

Universal Orlando has unique hotels with awesome benefits, so it just makes sense to stay on property. When you do, you get free transportation to and from the parks and Early Park Admission. Some resorts also include free Universal Express Unlimited passes for every guest on the reservation. Who doesn’t want shorter wait times? Hello! That’s such a bargain!

2. Prioritize Ride Queues 

The Universal Creative design team does an amazing job making the queues as exciting as the ride, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on the most unique ones. For rides like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, you’ll want to walk through the entire line because part of the story is in the queue.

3. Use Single Rider Line

For rides like Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida or The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can take the single riders line to get on the ride faster.

4. Meet a Jurassic Raptor

If you’re brave enough, you can meet a velociraptor in Jurassic Park! It’s one of the most heart-pounding, thrilling adventures in the parks, but so many people don’t know it’s there. Visit early—the raptors are known to get hungry in the afternoon.

5. Board the Hogwarts Express

Climb aboard the magnificent Hogwarts Express to journey between King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You’ll stay immersed in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and experience a different story each way. To ride the Hogwarts Express, make sure you have a park-to-park admission.

6. Grab an Interactive Wand

With an Interactive Wand, the correct spell and the proper wand gesture, you can see the magic unfold as you cast spells throughout both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These wands can be purchased from Ollivanders in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. You’ll also get a map that marks the locations where you can put your new wand to use.

7. Plan Lunch Strategically 

Grab lunch later in the day to skip the rush. It’ll also let you take advantage of shorter ride lines while everyone else is eating. Some of our favorites spots to eat are Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park (love seeing the splashdown!), Mythos in Islands of Adventure, and Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

8. Beat Your Sister’s High Score on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack 

If you want a high score on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, there are a few tips you should know. Aim for the aliens in the windows and the trees and shoot the subatomic thermal disruptor. The small hidden aliens will give you tons of points, too. And don’t forget to “push the red button!”

Bonus Tip — End Your Day with Confetti

We like to watch Universal’s Superstar Parade near Revenge of the Mummy, because there’s nothing more delightful than a confetti shower in the afternoon. It makes us feel special to wrap up a fun day with a dance session and some glitter. Plus, when it’s over, you can hop on Revenge of the Mummy one more time.

We hope these tips help you make the most out of your time at Universal Orlando Resort. Share with us your tips and tricks in the comments, and we’ll see you in the parks!

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