My 4-Day Itinerary To A Universal Orlando Resort Vacation (With Downloadable Park Itineraries!)

May 8, 2018
Experiencing All Three Parks at Universal Orlando Resort

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Daydreaming about your next vacation is easy, but sometimes planning it can be daunting. Fear not, as I share with you all of my tips and experiences in creating the dream Universal Orlando Resort vacation.

Below you will find the play-by-play of my recent trip, as well as some downloadable itineraries to help you plan the perfect theme park and resort vacation.

Complete Four-Day Itinerary


Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Whether you’re traveling to Universal Orlando from across town or from across the globe, I’m a firm believer that your first day of vacation should be spent relaxing and getting adjusted to your new home-away-from-home.

My hotel of choice is Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort; the 50’s vibes and volcano views are straight out of a daydream. You can learn more about choosing your hotel here.

What I Did On Day One

  • Sipped my morning coffee in bed while admiring the surreal view
  • Grabbed breakfast at Bayliner Diner
  • Relaxed by the pool and went for a swim
  • Grabbed a refreshing drink from Atomic Tonic
    • I tried the Froze’, and it did not disappoint!
  • Took a bus over to CityWalk
    • Depending on which hotel you stay at, you can travel to CityWalk and the parks by water-taxi or bus.
  • Enjoyed a nice meal and milkshake from The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen (pictured below)

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at Universal CityWalk

Pro Tip: When you stay on-site, you have access to every pool on property so make sure you carve out time to pool-hop! From the Caribbean setting at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to the underwater music rocking Hard Rock Hotel, they are ALL worth the visit.

See my starter CABANA BAY BEACH RESORT itinerary below to start your vacation off right.


Universal Studios Florida

It’s day two and time to jump into the theme park action of your favorite movies, make some famous friends, and squeeze in some thrills. Now that is what dreams are made of, folks.

What I Did On Day Two

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

Pro Tip: If you’re traveling solo, there is a single rider line for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Revenge of the Mummy, and TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D.

See my starter UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA theme park itinerary below to start your personalized journey.


Universal's Islands of Adventure

You know day three is sure to be an adventure when it consists of hungry raptors, a school of witchcraft and wizardry, and a coaster that travels at speeds up to 67 mph—just to name a few.

What I Did On Day Three

Having Fun in Universal's Islands of Adventure

Pro Tip: If you stay on-site, you get Early Park Admission, which allows you to enter the parks an hour before anyone else. Take advantage of this for short waits at some of the more popular attractions!

See my starter ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE theme park itinerary below to start your amazing experience.


Spending a Day at Universal's Volcano Bay

It’s day four. You may need some rest and relaxation after two theme park days, and Universal Volcano Bay water theme park is calling your name. Volcano Bay is the newest addition to Universal Orlando Resort, and describing it as paradise would be an understatement. Confession: I am completely obsessed with this place.

What I Did On Day Four

  • Walked over to Volcano Bay from Cabana Bay Beach Resort
    • It was especially nice staying at an on-site hotel because we were able to enter the park an hour and a half early.
  • Tapped our TapuTapu on the totem outside of Krakatau Aqua Coaster
    • You can learn more about TapuTapu and how the virtual line experiences work here
  • Virtually waited in line for Honu while eating a Waturi Fusion Ice Cream cone
  • Relaxed in the Kopiko Wai Winding River
  • Watched the sunset at Waturi Beach, because there is certainly no better way to cap off your trip

Universal's Volcano Bay Water Theme Park

Pro Tip: Make sure you explore inside the volcano, Krakatau, because you may get to talk with Vol—the interactive Spirit of the Volcano!

Check out my starter VOLCANO BAY theme park itinerary below to set the tone for your relaxing and fun-filled day.

And, that’s a wrap! I hope this guide helps you plan your perfect trip and create your own adventure of a lifetime.

Any Pro Tips or itinerary must-haves? Let me know in the comments below. And while you’re vacationing with us, be sure to share your best photos with #ReadyForUniversal on Twitter and Instagram, and they could be featured on our channels.


To start your vacation off with some initial ideas…

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Itinerary


For your enjoyment…

Universal Studios Florida Itinerary


Go explore!

Universal's Islands of Adventure Itinerary


Relax and have fun!

Universal's Volcano Bay Itinerary

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  • Reply Karen K Hoffmier June 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Like to know how much for 5 people . For one week . For to 2 room for 5 people. Thank you

  • Reply zandria mayweather June 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm


  • Reply Diane D June 21, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Great article and tips. I’m currently planning a 2019 trip to Cabana Bay and had no idea about some of these places. Can’t wait to check out the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium!

    • Reply Elizabeth Nickerson August 20, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      Toothsome desserts are amazing. Food is good but desserts are by far the best.

  • Reply Will June 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I have tried the shared pool concept and room keys do not open other pool gates. Tried Hard Rock and Cabanna bay while staying at Sapphire.

  • Reply Cesar July 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    3 adults 1 child Aug-16-check out Aug 20th.. price place with parks

  • Reply MICHAEL WILSON September 18, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Great article, everything looks so fun! We will be going this Christmas!

  • Reply NICOLE Hanson August 20, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    I would like to know how much it would be for 2 adults and 7kids? What place would be best to stay? How much for a place to stay and park tickets? Thinking next year around end of July. Thank you!

  • Reply Joshua August 20, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    I am ready to come back I sure need a nice vacation. How safe is it? That’s all I need to know.

  • Avatar photo
    Reply Social Media Team August 20, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Joshua! Visit our website for our current Safety Guidelines:

  • Reply Linda Poveromo August 22, 2020 at 11:12 am

    What is the newest hotel in the Orlando resort

    • Avatar photo
      Reply Social Media Team August 22, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Hello Linda! You can find information about our hotels here:

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