Things To Do

Top Can’t-Miss Moments at Universal Orlando Resort

February 6, 2019
Can't Miss Moments at Universal Orlando

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog was originally published in February of 2019 and then underwent extensive updates and editing in the fall of 2020 to remain current and relevant.

I personally think you should see it all when you come to Universal Orlando Resort. But knowing there’s SO much to do, these are my top suggestions for unforgettable moments you definitely won’t want to miss.

That moment when you realize you’re going to Hogwarts castle

Hogwarts Castle

Location: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

When I first stepped into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, my heart skipped a beat. The land is absolutely beautiful! Then I turned the corner and Hogwarts castle was revealed, I definitely shed a tear. It’s truly an amazing sight.

That moment when you catch some serious air on Jurassic World VelociCoaster


The newest attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has several exhilirating moments, but going over that 155ft tall “Top Hat” is one you’ll never forget.

That moment when Optimus Prime says Greetings…

Optimus Prime

Location: Universal Studios Florida

What’s cooler than seeing your favorite Transformer give you a warm welcome as you step up to pose for a photo? Next to TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D is a photo opportunity to meet Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron.

That moment when you meet a Raptor

Raptor Encounter

Location: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

One of the absolute must-get photo ops at Universal Orlando is meeting Blue or one of the other Raptors from Jurassic World at Raptor Encounter. Here you’ll get to learn some interesting Raptor facts about this clever girl and if you’re brave enough, you can even grab a quick photo with her.

PRO TIP FOR DINOSAUR LOVERS: Book a room at Lowes Royal Pacific Resort and the kids can even sleep in their very own gyrosphere bed in our Jurassic World Kids’ Suites.

That moment when you fly up in the air 185 feetDr Doom FearFall

Location: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall will have you screaming way more words than you even knew you had in your vocabulary. No fear of heights? This attraction was built for you. Fear of heights? Buckle up because this launch uses more thrust than a 747 jet.

That moment when your flying motorbike goes into a 17-foot vertical free fall

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

It’s hard enough trying to choose between all the can’t miss moments you’ll experience on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. But this was the first coaster in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop and I think that’s pretty rad. You won’t even know it’s coming, but when it happens, grip that handlebar tight and enjoy the ride.

That moment when you take an 85-foot plunge to escape a large T. rex

Jurassic Park River AdventureLocation: Universal’s Islands of Adventure 

Jurassic Park River Adventure takes you on a lovely scenic water cruise where you come across some nice herbivore dinosaurs. All of a sudden, you’re taken off course and end up staring down the massive jaws of a HUGE T.rex before plunging 85 feet. It’s so awesome!

That moment when you see a volcano through your hotel window

Cabana Bay Volcano View

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Picture this… You walk into your room at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for the first time and open the blinds to discover one of the most breathtaking views on property. Our Volcano Side Rooms give a bird’s eye view into Universal’s Volcano Bay. Let me tell you, these views are absolutely out of this world. Plus, being a hotel guest gives you access to Volcano Bay an hour before the park opens with Early Park Admission.

That moment when you come face-to-face with Kong  

Skull Island Reign of KongLocation: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Are you brave enough to step foot into this mysterious island at Skull Island: Reign of Kong? Inside, you’ll encounter a few frightening creatures and prehistoric predators. But at the end of your journey, you’ll come face to face with the mighty Kong himself. This moment is definitely worth the trek.

That moment when you step inside the tube at Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

Kala and Tai Nui

Universal’s Volcano Bay

These body slides at Universal’s Volcano Bay are sure to make your jaw drop when the floor disappears, sending you plummeting down intertwining tubes through the Krakatau Volcano.

That moment when your wand actually does magic

Interactive Wand

Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure

One of the most unique experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is enjoying the Interactive Wand spots. With the flick of your wrist, your Interactive Wand can bring to life magical moments throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. The wands are available in both lands or online.

That moment when you climb 90 degrees straight up on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida

In my opinion, the most intense part of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is the moment you’re 90 degrees looking straight up at the sky, your stomach turning from anticipation. At least you have some music playing to ease your nerves.

That moment when you realize it’s time for a tasty snackBig Pink Donut

Universal Studios Florida 

This. Donut. Is. Amazing! Find this delicious giant pink-iced sprinkled donut in Springfield, U.S.A. at Lard Lad Donuts.

That moment when you eat a sushi roll that’s actually a burger


Universal CityWalk

Two of my favorite meals are sushi and a good burger. At The Cowfish, my two favorite meals collide. You can literally eat what they call Burgushi. It’s either a burger made with sushi or sushi that’s actually a burger. It is all SO good!

That moment when you Hulk outThe Incredible Hulk Coaster

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Shooting out of the tunnel and racing up to 67 miles per hour on The Incredible Hulk Coaster is INTENSE. And so much fun! This roller coaster has a total of seven inversions and will make you want to come back for more.

That moment when you see the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon breathe fireCan't Miss Moments at Universal Orlando

Universal Studios Florida

Sitting on top of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, at the far end of Diagon Alley, is a massive fire-breathing dragon. One of my favorite moments is stepping into Diagon Alley and catching the dragon growl and blast fire out of its mouth.

Fun Fact: The fire out of the dragon’s mouth reaches temperatures of 3,560°F!

That moment when you take in the view from a rooftop bar

Aventura Rooftop Bar

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

You’ll definitely want to check out Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel. This is the first rooftop bar at Universal Orlando Resort, and these views (and bao buns) are absolutely incredible.

What’s your favorite moment when you visit Universal Orlando Resort? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Reply Stacie Field March 30, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Can’t wait! I’ll be there in six weeks!

  • Reply Sharon Hamilton March 30, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you for the heads up on things to see and do. Keep sending updates.

    • Reply Social Media Team March 31, 2019 at 12:00 am

      Hi Sharon! Thank you for your kind words.

  • Reply estella graves March 31, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    excited will be there in august. thanks for keeping me up to date with the latest happening.

  • Reply Lorraine Gordon March 31, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    I know this is probably not the right way to do this, but we have just returned to England after two glorious weeks in Florida. We visited universal studios and found it to be exceptional. The working staff there were the nicest, kindest and most helpful and couldn’t fault them in any way. However, the queues for the rides were horrendous. Some of them were almost two hours wait. We were with my daughter, son-in-law and 18 month old grandson, so we couldn’t go on rides together, one couple having to babysit. I know that’s not your problem but perhaps it would be a good idea to pre-book times for rides. I hear they do that in Euro Disney and works well. Also perhaps a reduced rate for people not going on rides. I just thought someone should know our feelings regarding this problem.

    Regards Lorraine Gordon

    • Reply Social Media Team March 31, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Lorraine, thank you for providing us with feedback regarding your experience. We are very sorry we did not fully meet your expectations. We will be documenting your feedback and if you would like to provide further information, please give us a call at 407-224-4233 option 4 or send us an email at We hope you will come visit us again soon.

  • Reply Donna May 9, 2019 at 10:41 am

    We will be there in December. Excited to see it all! Staying at the new Surfside which is opening soon. My grand daughter is so excited to see Harry Potter World. Been watching all the videos on YouTube. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Lois Bushman May 24, 2019 at 7:00 am

    I would love to see a pedestrian bridge crossing from the newer buildings at Cabana to the Adventura. I’m certain that Adventura and Sapphire guests would love a better way to get to Volcano Bay, and the bridge that crosses from Cabana to Sapphire is a long walk for those of us staying in the southern buildings. Other than the prohibitive walking distance to get places, we loved our stay. The two bedroom suite was perfect for us and our two grown children. It gave us a quiet place to meet together in the living room area to discuss the day’s events, and private corners to escape from each other to unwind after a long day of ride lines and massive crowds. I bought cereal, milk, and juice each night to put into the refrigerator so that we could get up early and catch a quick breakfast before going to the parks. The beds were comfortable and we did have good views from each of the windows.

    • Reply Social Media Team May 24, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Lois!

      Thank you for taking the time to leave us feedback. We are glad you enjoyed certain aspects of your visit, and we will be sure to document your concerns. We look forward to your next visit.

  • Reply Geraldo Gutierrez May 25, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Not only the parks are a lot of fun but so is the staff they are great also and very accommodating.

  • Reply Kaitlyn Alaina Reynolds May 31, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I am here nearly every year. You guys are LITERALLY my favorite vacation!

    • Reply Social Media Team May 31, 2019 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Kaitlyn!

      WOW! Thank you so much! We will see you on your next visit.

  • Reply Michelle Vince-Johnston June 10, 2019 at 9:29 am

    We just returned home from Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure today.
    It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t think I would be riding any rides but
    ended up pretty much on all of them with my 13 yr old.

    And we had one little issue and when I mentioned it to one of the gift shop areas,
    the employees told me to please go let Customer Service know.
    I reluctantly went and left out of there very satisfied with how they made it right.

    We are already planning on coming back June 2020.

    • Reply Social Media Team June 10, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Hello Michelle, thank you for this feedback, it’s great to see that you were able to enjoy our attractions and that our Guest Service Team was able to accommodate. We are very excited to welcome you back to our resort!

  • Reply judy huvos February 20, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    We’ve just returned from our 4th trip to Universal, and this time the highlight was surely Hagrid’s motorbike. We used the Universal app to alert us when the wait was not too terrible, and then totally lucked into the first car. What a thrill, with many surprises. This year was our first time at Volcano Bay, which was also tremendous fun. I wish the parks would adopt the tapu-tapu wrist watch/virtual queue. It was smartly done.

    • Reply Social Media Team February 20, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Judy!
      Thank you for the kind words, and we are thrilled to hear you had a great time. Hope to see you again soon!

  • Reply Cassia De Conto March 10, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Os parques da Universal são maravilhosos, muito bem organizados, as montanhas russas sensacionais, equipe de funcionários muito cordial, amei tudo, voltarei em breve. Super indico

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