The new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride is a must!
Hop on the Hogwarts Express and head over to Hogsmeade station into Universal’s Islands of Adventure park to experience what was the most anticipated and intense theme-park ride of the year. Join Hagrid on your motorbike as he leads you into the Forbidden Forest. It’s a thrilling coaster with speeds up to 50mph that twists, turns and drops. It’s intense!
Good to know: Due to the popularity and high demand of the ride, waits can top 5+ hours (yep, you read that right!) so Universal suggests using the virtual line system in their app to help plan your day. Riders must meet the height restriction of a minimum of 48-inches.
There’s actually a quiet time to visit
Head to Universal Orlando Resort the last two weeks of January and you’ll be more likely to experience a less-stressed trip. Score shorter lines, reduced wait times and a more relaxed pace with smaller crowds resulting in happier campers within your crew. The park’s also a little quieter the week after Thanksgiving which makes it a good time to go, too.
Good to know: The craziest time of the year in the park is between Christmas and New year, so if nutty crowds aren’t your thing (or your tantrum-prone toddlers) avoid that week at all costs.
The whole of Universal Studios is ADH-friendly
VIP tours and customized help is available for families with children with special needs. The Attractions Assistance Pass is geared to guests whose disabilities prevent them from being able to withstand a typical wait line environment. Simply contact guest services at either of the parks’ entrances and staff will work with you based upon your family’s needs. Kids in wheelchairs may not need an attraction assistance pass, but staff will work with you to create a day at the park that helps ensure they have the best time possible.
Good to know: Planning includes assigning times for rides so no-one has to wait in line.
Dinnertime is way less crowded than lunchtime
Dining out Diagon Alley style in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must during your trip to Universal Orlando Resort but save if for dinner (same goes for the Three Broomsticks). Feast on Fisherman’s Pie, Toad in the Hole or Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew with some Butterbeer or Gillywater in the evening when most families head to City Walk to grab a bite.
Fun to know: If you look closely at the sign outside the Leaky Cauldron you’ll see it really leaks!
Seuss Landing was designed for the little ones on purpose
Stroll around Seuss Landing and you’ll notice the music is a smidge quieter than other areas within Universal Orlando Resort. No tech-glitches here, it’s all intentional as are the placement of the speakers dotted along the walkways. They’re situated 3-feet from the ground to meet preschoolers and kiddos in strollers at their level giving them the best Seuss experience ever.
Good to know: The One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish song that loops during the ride is actually giving you directions on how not to get wet!
There’s more than meets the eye in Marvel Super Hero Island
If you’ve got Spidey, Avengers or other Marvel superhero fans in the fam, then it’s a safe bet you’ll check out rides like the Incredible Hulk Coaster or Doctor Doom’s Fearfall as well as hit up a character dinner or scour a legit Comic Book Shop for collectibles, but did you know that Adam Kubert, the comic book artist who created the superhero artwork adorning the store fronts secretly signed his name on each character? Give the kids a challenge and see how many they can find.
Good to know: There are plenty of photo ops to snap a pic with your fave Marvel heroes, but keep an eye out for villains like Doctor Doom, too. They’ll gladly pose with you and are usually found skulking around the corner, especially the mischievous Green Goblin.
Camp Jurassic was designed so parents can take a break
This multi-level playground located by the Pteranodon Flyers ride is a prehistoric-themed rec area that kids can explore while the grown ups take the weight off their feet. Designed with safety in mind, adults can grab a seat by the entrance (also the only exit) and relax with peace of mind knowing that the kids can run wild without running off. Featuring dark caves, suspension bridges, climbing nets, water canons and the Thunder Lizard Trail, this playzone will keep them occupied while you recoup.
Good to know: Pteranodon Flyers is basically a kids-only ride. Anyone taller than 56-inches can’t jump on unless accompanied by a rider meeting the 36-inch height requirement.
Legit filming still happens at Universal Studios
Since its opening in 1988, feature films, television programs, commercials, music videos and more have been produced here. There are six fully-operational sound stages and two event stages, with the capability for live audience tapings such as The Steve Harvey Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Television shows such as Fear Factor, Drop The Mic and Impractical Jokers plus more family faves have been shot here, too.
Fun fact: 30 episodes of CNBC’s Deal, or No Deal were shot on Sound Stage 21 in 2018.