Why I Love Universal Orlando

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are discussing theme parks that would be perfect for your next family adventure. Welcome aboard!


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Universal Orlando started out as just a single theme park that was called Universal Studios in Florida in 1990. Universal’s second theme park called Island’s of Adventure opened in 1999. And Universal Orlando Resort has since then expanded to have a night-time complex and four hotels. Although I was a Disney World fan first, I love going to Universal Orlando as well and will sometimes split my trips so I can enjoy both Disney and Universal in one trip. So whether you are a die-hard Disney fan or just curious about Universal Orlando, here are some of my reasons why I love Universal Orlando and why I think you will love it too!

An animatronic Stegosaurus on Jurassic Park River Adventure
An animatronic Stegosaurus on Jurassic Park River Adventure

Rides- While I am not much of a coaster rider, some of my favorite rides are at Universal Orlando. (Note that my last trip down there was before the latest edition of Diagon Alley so this list will probably change.) Currently my favorite rides are Transformers:The Ride, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and Jurassic Park River Adventure. Both Transformers and Spiderman are 3-D simulator rides, which combines a moving vehicle with 3-D film sequences and special effects. They are both amazing rides that give you then sense of adventure and thrills without the harshness of a roller coaster. I also love water rides so when I found out the Jurassic Park ride was a water ride I was thrilled! Not only does it have cool animatronic dinosaurs that surround you as you float along, there is a thrilling drop at the end that will definitely get you wet! While Universal doesn’t have as many shows as Disney does, they make up for it by having more unique thrill rides that give you a full experience of being involved with a show or movie, which is why I love their rides.

Hogwarts castle at Islands of Adventure
Hogwarts castle at Islands of Adventure

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- I’ll have to admit that even though I personally loved Universal Studio for the simple fact that I’m a movie buff, it did need something else to draw in the crowds to continue to grow. And on June 18th, 2010, Islands of Adventures gloriously opened Phase One of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and muggles everywhere cheered! Phase Two followed by opening at Universal Studios in 2014. This new addition to both parks finally let Potterheads could go to Olivanders to get their wands and experience the sweetness of a Butterbeer for the first time and all was right with the world! The amount of detail put into every shop and ride and all of the new unique experiences makes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter worth the trip even for the non-Harry Potter fans (gasp) in your group.

City Walk advertisement in 1997
City Walk advertisement in 1997
City Walk and Islands of Adventure today
City Walk and Islands of Adventure today

Value- Since Universal Orlando only has two theme parks verses the four theme parks of Disney, their ticket prices logically are much cheaper. Along with the two theme parks, there is also City Walk which is an entertainment complex that has all sorts of dining, entertainment and shopping options. So there is plenty to do to keep everyone entertained on vacation. Both parks are right next to each other so it is a better value it get the Park-To-Park tickets and go back and forth as much as you want. HINT* You will also need a Park-To-Park pass to ride the Hogwarts Express between both Harry Potter sections. Universal also purchased Wet ‘N Wild,and is now turning it into a brand new water park called Volcano Bay to be added to Universal Orlando’s expanding entertainment in 2017. Staying at Universal Orlando hotels will add value and save you time on your trip. When you stay onsite, you get benefits such as free transportation by water taxi or a shuttle bus and early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (which will save you a ton of time since those sections stay crowded for most of the day!). If you stay in the premiere or preferred hotels you can get Universal Express passes for FREE! These passes will allow you to skip the lines all day and would be a separate purchase for those staying off property or those staying at the value hotel Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Me and my Dad at the globe in 1998
Me and my Dad at the globe in 1998
My Mom and I meeting the Marx brothers on our first trip to Universal Studios
My Mom and I meeting the Marx brothers on our first trip to Universal Studios

Nostalgia and Constant Growth- Lastly my final reason for why I love Universal Orlando is the fact that I have so many fond memories being there with my parents. Now that I am a parent, I get to have new experiences with my son and my niece. In order to stay in competition with Disney, Universal Orlando has to continue to grow and create new experiences for their guests. Universal Orlando has entertainment for all ages. Although most of the rides are for older children and adults, there are great sections in both parks for the little ones such as Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone in Universal Studios and Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure. With all the new changes that have happened to Universal Orlando in the last few years, I’m always excited to see what Universal has to offer in the future and will always continue to bring my family back for more!

jaws2013

Have you been to Universal Orlando? If so do you love it as much as I do? For more information or to book a trip check out the Universal Orlando site.


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12 thoughts on “Why I Love Universal Orlando

  1. We love Universal. i have 2 teenage boys and they still enjoy going to Disney but Universal has more to offer these speed demons right now. If you are a fan of Harry Potter then Universal is a must. I felt like I had been transported right into the books.

  2. You are right about getting wet!! I have to say Universal does not kid around with their water rides. Between Jurassic Park and the Dudley-Do Right ride there was not an inch of me dry. Loved it!!!

  3. My husband and I took my teenage son this year. Talk about lifelong fans. We had a fantastic time, they enjoyed the coasters while I liked more tame rides like Despicable Me 3D. The food was great but pricey and our on site hotel was a treat. I especially liked the park shuttles. The staff was all around super friendly. We are going back next with a large family group.

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