Plan a Trip to Universal Orlando With This Ultimate Guide

Here at Lau Family Travels we like to think that we are Universal experts.  We went to Universal Orlando for the first time in the Spring of 2017 and have been 5 times since!  Are there people MORE qualified to call themselves Universal experts?  Sure!  However, we do have some REALLY great content that we hope with help you plan a trip to Universal Orlando as stress free as possible!

Universal Orlando is growing and changing.  I mean…  they do need to keep up with that OTHER park, right?  In August 2019 Universal announced that they will be building their FOURTH theme park in Orlando (Volcano Bay is considered their third park) EPIC UNIVERSE!  We are really excited for all of the changes, but we already love Universal the way it is.  You may not need as much time to plan a Universal vacation, but if you want to get the most out of your time (and money) this guide will help you.

Are you ready to plan a trip to Universal Orlando?

Okay, so let’s be honest.  The true Universal Orlando Guide online is going to be the Official Universal Orlando page!  However, I find some of the information to be confusing, mostly because there is just SO much of it!  The website is a little hard to navigate.

I wanted to create this post to be constantly evolving and changing with new posts, attractions, news, etc.  There are a lot of changes coming to Universal Orlando!  I’m not sure what this page will turn into yet – but so far this is what I’ve got!

Universal Orlando Globe

Universal Orlando Parks & Attractions

Universal Orlando currently has three parks:  Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay (it’s water theme park).  The great thing about Universal Orlando is that everything is SO close!  You can get from park to park within minutes which makes park hopping easy (and fun)!

Volcano Bay Universal Orlando

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Inside Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure you will find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  If you are a Harry Potter fan this is a MUST do, however even if you aren’t you will still find much to enjoy.  This is so much more than a theme park!

Did you know that I created a 15 Tips & Tricks Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  You can grab your copy here for free! Just click on the image above!

Universal Orlando Resorts

We absolutely LOVE staying at Universal Orlando Resorts!  The beds are Universal are SO comfortable and we really just like the convenience of being so close to the parks.  If you stay at a Universal Resort you also get an extra hour in the parks each day (check the parks guide for which park is open early that day).

Universal’s CityWalk

Universal’s CityWalk is the shopping and dining epicenter to Universal.  This area is free to the public (you do not need theme park admission), although if you drive you will have parking fees.  CityWalk has so many different options for dining and we almost always end up eating here numerous times throughout our trips.  There are restaurants available for any budget!  Some of our favorites are The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, the Hard Rock Cafe, & CowFish!

CityWalk also has multiple stores to buy merchandise, mini-golf, a movie theater, and clubs!  This place REALLY is bustling at night!

This is also where the hub is for the Water Taxi.  You can take a Water Taxi from CityWalk to four of the Universal Resorts (Sapphire Falls, Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, & Portofino).

Universal Water Taxi Map

Dining Reviews

We have eaten at A LOT of restaurants at Universal Orlando but I haven’t gotten around to writing a lot of review posts yet.  I’ll definitely be updating this section soon!

Get more perks with American Express!

You can get even more perks if you have an American Express card!  Don’t have one?  Use this link to sign up and receive 10,000 reward points (plus I’ll receive 7,500 reward points):  Sign Up HERE

Some perks include:

  • Reserved Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Area
  • 10% off Universal Dining Plan & Souvenir Cup
  • Merchandise Savings
  • My Universal Photos Deal
  • Access to the American Express Lounge

Plan a Trip to Universal Orlando

I hope you like the Lau Family Travels’ Universal Orlando Guide! 

Comment below with what information you’d like to see added!

Plan a trip to Universal Orlando Pinterest Image

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. The Mouselets

    This is so helpful! There isn’t always great and up to date Universal info online – definitely bookmarking this for a later trip!

    1. Taryn

      I’m so glad you found it useful! Let me know if you have any specific questions I could help you with!

  2. Kerry

    This takes ride style to a whole new level, I like the way how you show the beauty and nature of that place.

  3. Sarah L

    We really feel like we’ve missed out this year with the whole Covid thing forcing us to abandon our trip to Orlando. Hopefully we’ll get another chance next year 🙁

    1. Taryn

      I know! Us too! We haven’t been to Universal in so long and we miss it. 🙁 I’m so sorry you had to miss your trip.

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