EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog was originally published in June of 2020 and then underwent extensive updates and editing in August of 2023 to remain current and relevant.
There’s nothing like a tropical vacation to put you in ultimate relaxation mode. While swaying palm trees, tropical feasts, and an island breeze sound like a dream, they don’t have to be, because you can experience all this with a sprinkle of roller coaster screams at Universal Orlando Resort.
Below you’ll find our itinerary for the ultimate three-day tropical vacation at Universal Orlando Resort. Don’t worry, you can trust us — we’re two Florida natives who live and breathe tropical thrills and all things Universal Orlando.
DAY 1: A Day of Adventure at Universal Islands of Adventure + Universal Studios Florida
Any vacation to Universal Orlando needs an adventure day, so let’s start there! Where does tropical getaway meet adventure? Islands of Adventure, of course! From a journey through the jungles of Skull Island, to a river tour with prehistoric beasts, Islands of Adventure brings the epic to your tropical vacation.
What To Do at Islands of Adventure
- Grab some fun-day fuel (aka breakfast and coffee) in Port of Entry
- Ride Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Jurassic Park River Adventure (Don’t forget a poncho!)
- Boost your adrenaline on Jurassic World VelociCoaster
- Get up close and personal with a dinosaur at Raptor Encounter
- Coast around Marvel Super Hero Island at speeds of up to 67 mph on The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Overlook the park’s inland sea with lunch at Mythos
Hope you didn’t think only Islands has all the fun. You can keep the tropical vibes going at Universal Studios Florida with plenty of treats and thrills.
What To Do at Universal Studios Florida
- Enjoy a refreshment at Chez Alcatraz
- We recommend the Shark Attack!
- Snap a pic inside the jaws of the great white shark hanging out on the dock
- Try to escape the curse on Revenge of the Mummy
- Indulge in a seafood dinner at Lombard’s Seafood Grille
Pro Tip: For a fun picture by the water at Islands of Adventure, you can snap a shot on the walkway behind Mythos with an Incredible *wink wink* view.
DAY 2: Relax at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort & Explore Universal CityWalk
Relaxation awaits at all of Universal Orlando Resort’s hotels — Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is even walking distance from Universal Volcano Bay — but for the ultimate in tropical bliss, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is our top choice. The blue waterfalls, sand between your toes, and palm tree-lined pool at this dreamy paradise create a vision straight out of your greatest Caribbean daydreams.
What To Do at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
- Kick off the day with the breakfast buffet at Amatista Cookhouse
- OR hit snooze and order room service while taking in your room view of the sparkling lagoon
- Experience the tropical landscape with a jog around the resort’s jogging paths
- Bury your toes in the sand and soak up some sun at the two sand beaches
- Make a splash at the pool or sit a spell in the hot tub
- Enjoy a tropical poolside lunch at the Drhum Club Kantine
- The Grilled Jerk Shrimp Bao and the Piña Colada Catch of the Day Sandwich are our favorites!
- Keep up the fun with a ping pong tournament or relax by the fire pit
- Check out Strong Water Tavern and enjoy a rum tasting experience led by a literal Rum Captain
What To Do at Universal’s CityWalk
- Take a water taxi to Universal’s CityWalk for a tropical meal at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
- OR head to Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food and go for the tableside guacamole and chips!
- Snap a gnarly photo on the Quiet Flight Surf Shop wave
- Stick the landing at Lone Palm Airport and enjoy a signature frozen margarita
DAY 3: A Day of Thrills and Chills at Universal Volcano Bay
Of course we saved the most tropical for last! To cap off your three-day tropical getaway, head to Volcano Bay for an experience like no other. From the thrills of water slides (and even an aqua coaster!) to the relaxing shores of Waturi Beach, there’s something for everyone at this slice of paradise.
What To Do at Volcano Bay
- Start things off with a trip down Kopiko Wai Winding River
- OR if you’re feeling brave, take on TeAwa The Fearless River
- Kick back and relax in the sand or surf of Waturi Beach
- Book yourself a private cabana with concierge service and cozy seating for a shaded snooze
- Take a relaxing stroll through Wave Village
- Stop at Dancing Dragon’s Boat Bar to unwind with a tropical cocktail
- Enjoy a taste of the tropics at Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
- The Jerked Mahi Sandwich is our favorite!
- Experience the power of a volcano on Krakatau Aqua Coaster
- OR if you have little ones, let them run amuck at Runamukka Reef
- Keep the thrills going with a spin on Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides and Taniwha Tubes
- Treat yourself to an edible rainbow with a Waturi Fusion cone from Koka Poroka
- End the day by braving the Ko’okiri Body Plunge
Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for TapuTapu symbols throughout the park, and be sure to tap your wearable to them for fun surprise! You can even use it to talk to Vol, the fiery spirit trapped inside of Krakatau.
And there you have it! We hope this guide helps you plan for the tropical getaway of your dreams at Universal Orlando Resort. Be sure to tag us in your best vacation photos on Twitter and Instagram for a chance to be featured on our channels!
Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.