I think we can all agree that these past couple of years have been tough and taken a toll on many people in many different ways. Change can be challenging and even disrupt the very things that usually relieve our stress. It’s time to hit reset, let loose, let out a few screams, get in some good laughs, and smile. What better place to do that than an epic destination like Universal Orlando Resort?
Self-care looks different for everyone. Whether you need a solo staycation or an escape for the whole family, Universal Orlando Resort’s attractions, entertainment, dining, and hotel accommodations are more than just an adrenaline rush. Below, I’ve curated three different itineraries for a relaxation-centric trip! Let’s go!
POV: Your favorite candle is on its last flame and the show you’ve been binge-streaming is on its last episode. When everyday comfort tools run out, perhaps it’s time to seek relief outside of the house.
I’m not saying a good scream and a good massage will fix all of your problems, but I am saying we all have to start somewhere. Gather a group of your closest friends or make it a solo expedition — either way, get ready for a complete mental detox.
Hotel Suggestion: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel or Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will place you in the heart of relaxation. At Portofino Bay you can treat yourself to a variety of treatments at the on-site spa, Mandara Spa, while Sapphire Falls serves up views and vibes like no other.
Sweat it out and kick up those serotonin levels with an early morning jog around the running trails. Whether you’re a runner, a jogger, or a walker, this path is perfect for you! Stop by the concierge desk on your arrival and pick up a map showing the .45, 1.3 and 3- mile loop.
Next stop Mandara Spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Facials and massages are a must.
If you’ve got tickets for Volcano Bay (and I recommend you do as its chill vibes are off the chart) you can head straight to Waturi Beach after your time at the spa. Soak up the Vitamin D from the comfort of a cabana rental.
Pro-Tip: Mandara Spa Group Packages are available for guests of 10 or more — perfect for that girls trip you’ve been thinking about!
When in pursuit of total inner peace, it’s only right that your gut reaches complete zen too! Check out Jake’s American Bar at Loews Royal Pacific or Amatista Cookhouse at Sapphire Falls for a fresh yet fulfilling lunch. Both will provide all the flavors alongside a relaxing ambiance and wholesome menu items that won’t weigh you down.
This is a great time to head into the parks on a scenic Water Taxi ride. Mid-transit breathing exercises are optional (We won’t judge).
Be sure to go on rides that will give you a nice big stress-relieving scream like Jurassic World VelociCoaster and The Incredible Hulk Coaster inside of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, or Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts in Universal Studios Florida.
Pro-Tip: If you’re staying at Volcano Bay for the day, check out Ko’okiri Body Plunge at Volcano Bay.
When it comes to selecting a location for dinner, you’ll want to select restaurants that keep you in a peaceful state. Check out the award-winning eatery Mythos Restaurant in Islands of Adventure! The menu is outstanding and the ambiance — let’s just say you’ll feel like you stepped into a cave with mythical water features surrounding you.
Who says color therapy only exists in a med-spa? Tantalize your eyes and mentally escape in Universal Studios Florida while watching Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration show. Bright lights will surround you. You’ll laugh, you may cry, and you’ll end the night under the stars — what could be more relaxing than that?
POV: You spent months locked in the house with individuals that can now only be described as little monsters — but you love those monsters. It’s time to get some fresh air, make new memories, bond over comfort food, and laugh again.
Hotel Suggestion: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has the perfect amenities for every relaxation-seeking family. From an on-site bowling alley to room pizza delivery, staying here will be the ultimate upgrade to your favorite comforts!
Family bonding starts with shared experiences. Rides like Krakatau Aqua Coaster and ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana at Volcano Bay are perfect for most ages and height varieties. Exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is a magical, life-bucket list-worthy experience for everyone in the family, of all ages!
Another great way to start the day is to rejuvenate with family spa time. Mandara Spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offers a variety of services that can get the whole family de-stressed. Teen acne and homework angst may not be solved in one session, but a facial can jumpstart a whole new positive outlook (and win points for parents).
Cabana Bay Beah Resort features a lazy river, pool (with slide), and Galaxy Bowl. Feel free to spend a full day at the hotel, as there’s plenty to do before you even head over to the parks!
One of the most stressful moments on any family vacation is mealtime. We’ve solved it. Lunch at Bayliner Diner is stress-free. Everyone in the family can find their favorites from a variety of different food counters showcasing different cuisines. The kids can grab a slice of pizza while the adults gravitate toward a pressed panini, salad, or even pasta!
Food can be a source of comfort and there are many indulgent creations to be found throughout the parks, hotels, and Universal CityWalk. I suggest closing out the night with comforting classics like Pork Belly Mac & Cheese from BigFire or a giant Milkshake from the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
Wind down around a fire pit at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and purchase a Smores Kit from Bayliner Diner. Family bonding can be as simple as the conversation around a fire. You’d be surprised at how far walls come down after a day of laughs and screaming.
POV: Music is your love language. In times of stress, music can help you heal both emotionally and physically. Why not tie what you love into every aspect of your vacation?
Hotel Suggestion: Hard Rock Hotel — but was there really any other choice?
Morning to Afternoon
Stroll around Hard Rock Hotel to view all the memorabilia. A walk down memory lane with your favorite icons can be a very fulfilling start to your day. What’s more relaxing than geeking out over nostalgia?
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit in Universal Studios is a must-ride if music is your reset button. I suggest riding it frequently, multiple times a day, throughout your trip. You know that feeling when you scream-sing to your favorite song in your car with the windows down? Yea, it’s like that times 1,000! This ride features the ability for each rider to select a song to listen to while riding. There is an entire playlist with songs from every genre ready to speak to your every mood! Very cathartic.
PRO TIP: Sometimes relaxation is in the details. Arrive to the parks early and start at the back to avoid crowds and longer wait times.
If music is the medicine that you seek, be sure to experience each of the nightlife spots in CityWalk.
Themed venues like Bob Marley’s will carry you to the Carribbean while Pat O’Brien’s Dueling Pianos show will take you straight to New Orleans. What’s most unique about these experiences is that the music is paired with authentic cuisine, adult beverages, and dancing! Why just listen to music when you can live in it for the night?
CityWalk’s Rising Star is a must visit for karaoke. Depending on your group’s vocal skills, it can either give you the much needed laughs or a giant boost of confidence. Either way, belting out your favorite lyrics is sure to leave a smile on your face!
Check out the lineup of concerts at the Hard Rock Live music venue in CityWalk! When you love music, nothing beats losing yourself in a crowd with your favorite artist on stage.
PRO TIP: Add even more concert to your visit with Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions! These mini lobby concerts feature big talent — keep an eye on our current lineup here.
DID YOU KNOW: If you’re staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, you can order a guitar for your room. Through the Sound of Your Stay® program, the hotel will hook you up with free downloadable music, a Fender® guitar to jam on, or even a Crosley turntable with your choice of 10 iconic records to listen to during your stay! This means at the end of a long day, you can quite literally gather around your bed and sing “Kumbaya” — it doesn’t get more healing than that!
Between all three parks, eight hotels, and the many stops in Universal CityWalk, we have only just scratched the surface of the many ways that one can find peace and relaxation at Universal Orlando Resort. Don’t forget to take time for yourself to recharge, Your vacation can be whatever you want it to be and should be whatever your soul needs.
Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.