Universal Orlando Resort: Universal Studios-Where The Movies, TV and Entertainment Comes To Life!

Do you like movies??  How about TV?

Universal Studios Orlando puts the “theme” in theme park, and it is all about the movies and TV we love!  Do you want to ride your bike across the night sky with E.T.?  Maybe you considered joining the super-secret Men In Black.  How about helping the Autobots save the planet from Decepticons in Transformers, not to mention the boy who lived!

At Universal Studios Orlando, similar to Universal Studios Hollywood on the west coast, you will explore all of these movies and more. Meanwhile, here on the east coast, Universal Studios is 1 of 2 theme parks and part of the Universal Orlando Resort in-you guessed it- Orlando, Fl. 

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They have more at Universal Orlando!

In addition, Universal Orlando Resort is home to a water park and CityWalk, a dining, shopping, and entertainment district.  This article is the 2nd of a 4-part series breaking down each location.  This time we focus on Universal Studios theme park.

If you would like to know more on how to get the most out of this vacation destination, please check out:

Universal Orlando Resort: Why CityWalk Can’t Be Ignored.

Universal Orlando Resort: Islands of Adventure-Where Imagination is Reality

The Heavy Hitters at Universal Studios theme park

Universal Studios theme park is home to thrill rides and attractions based on very popular movie franchises and offers guest the opportunity to get INSIDE those films and experience the excitement, even the MAGIC!

Some of the most popular rides at the park include:

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  • Transformers: The Ride 3D Optimus Prime and the Autobots are counting on you to help defeat the Decipticons in a 3D dark ride
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: Help Gru, become a minion and enjoy a ride the chaos and humor.  This one may make you CRY?!
  • E.T. Adventure: You will be personally recruited by Steven Spielberg to help E.T. get home to his home planet
  • Revenge of The Mummy: Enclosed roller coaster
  • Fast and Furious Supercharged: Be part of the crew and take a crazy ride in a street chase
  • The Simpson Ride: A simulator ride where you take a wild jaunt through Springfield with the Simpsons and Side Show Bob
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For the small ones at the theme park

This park has a lot to offer the youngest members of your group too.  The Woody Woodpecker Kid Zone is just for them.  In the spirit of total honesty, the character theme maybe a bit outdated, but the fun for kids is NOT. 

Young ones can test out their first rollercoaster ride on Woody’s Nuthouse roller coaster without worrying about a height requirement.  There is a play zone, characters, shows even a dance party here and there.  Let them run around and be kids.  That’s what we want to do!

BUT…then you have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley!! 

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Tucked away behind the streets of London, through a magical wall, you will wander into the secret world of Harry Potter!  This land can’t be seen from any other part of the park.  After all, we are muggles. 

Or are we?  If you have ever wondered if you could be a wizard read, Are You a Wizard or a Muggle to see how you can find out your status! 

Diagon Alley is where you will shop for robes, your wand, your quidditch supplies, and your mythical animal.  You can also exchange your muggle money for wizarding money and use it ANYWHERE in the parks.  Fact is, there is no way I could do this place justice by simply describing it to you. The experience is far more inspiring than my words.

Did I mention there is a fire breathing dragon? 

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You will also have the chance to tour Gringotts bank at the top of the street and ride: Escape from Gringotts.  This fast paced combination simulator and indoor rollercoaster will have you racing through the depths of Gringotts in a mine cart escaping the clutches of Voldemort himself.

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Lastly, from this part of the park is where you can board the Hogwarts Train at platform 9 ¾ inside of a flawless recreation of Kings Cross Station.  This train ride will require a Park-to-Park ticket because ultimately you enter Islands of Adventure (theme park #2) and Hogwarts Castle!

Characters at Universal Studios

At Universal Studios Theme Park prepare to have FUN!  Your favorite characters (live and animated) will find you as you stroll from land to land.  I was recently surprised by Beetlejuice attempting to steal my beer! 

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Other favorites you might run into:

  • Scooby and the gang
  • The Simpsons
  • Shrek
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And many many more…

Live Performances and Parades

The Blues Brothers perform on the streets of New York.  The Beat Builders stop construction and use buckets, scaffolding, etc. to put on an amazing percussion performance.  Catch the Universal superstar parade daily with Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, The secret Life of Pets, and Despicable Me among others.  Don’t forget to also check out:

  • The Horror and Make-Up Show
  • Celestina and The Banshees at Diagon Alley
  • Tales of Beedle the Bard at Diagon Alley
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Have you eaten yet?

Let’s tackle the food!  Universal Studios theme park is a great place to find burgers and chicken nuggets.  It’s true!  You will find popular theme park fair, but you will also find craft beers made specifically for some of the lands you visit, along with traditional English food at The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley and Jacket Potatoes (stuffed baked potatoes) in London. Try a specialty sandwich at the Today Show café open for breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

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This is NOT a full summary of all your options, but just some suggestions!

Special Ticketed Events at Universal Studios

Universal Studios Theme Park is the place where all the special ticketed events happen.

That means Halloween Horror Nights.  This Fall exclusive “party” is a walk through the theme park that includes haunted “houses” themed to some of the most popular horror movies of all time.  Seriously…it’s terrifying!! 

Photo: Universal Parks and Resorts

If you like being scared, DO IT!  HHN also includes special shows, treats, food, and drinks to cap off your experience.

You can also enjoy the Holiday Season at Universal Orlando Resort which includes a full Macy’s Holiday Parade complete with parade balloons.  The holiday season is celebrated resort wide with decorations, meet and greets, treats and snacks exclusive to the holidays.  To learn more about the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort this year, Dates Announced for Universal Orlando Resorts 2022 Holiday Celebration will give you all the details.  

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Last thing I promise!

Universal Orland Resort packs quite a punch when it comes to having a great vacation.  This is just ONE of the parks!  Want to know more?  Be sure to read the other highlights in this blog series and 3 Reasons To Stay Longer At Universal Resort

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