Introduction to Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort opened as Universal Studios Florida in 1990. Since then it has developed into a multi-day attraction with 2 Theme Parks (Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure), a new water-park in 2017 (Volcano Bay), City Walk a nighttime district & 5 hotels.

Woody Woodpecker Universal Studios Florida
Meeting Woody Woodpecker

Whilst Universal Orlando Resort remains smaller than Walt Disney World it has undergone massive expansion in recent years. The introduction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has made Universal Orlando top of many guests must do list when visiting Orlando.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Orlando Resort Universal Studios Islands of adventure
Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando is loud, flamboyant & bold in comparison to Walt Disney World. Whilst the are less attractions the majority are big E-Ticket experiences.

Universal Orlando will appeal more to families with teens & young adults. Whilst Disney World probably offers better experiences for families with young children and older guests. However; the is enough for people of all ages to enjoy a couple of days if time allows in your trip.

Marvel Super Hero Island
Marvel Super Hero Island

Universal Orlando will take guests usually 2-3 days to experience both theme parks. However; the parks are growing and in busy periods you will struggle to complete both parks.

Unlike Disney World the is no free Fastpass. Guests instead have the option to purchase Universal Express which provides access to quicker line attractions. Universal Express is a free benefit for guests staying at some of the Universal Resort Hotels.

Cat in the Hat Islands of Adventure
Meeting Cat in the Hat

In our opinion Universal Orlando Resort has improved massively in recent years. We feel staff are much friendlier, attractions & food are better and the whole ambience has improved.  If you would like to find out more why we think this watch our vlogs from our latest visit

If you would like to learn a bit more about the theme parks continue below:

Universal Studios Florida

This section will be expanded further in coming months after our July 2017 trip.

The park welcomes around 10 million guests a year and opened on June 7, 1990.  The theme is the entertainment industry, in particular movies and television.

Simpsons in Universal Studios Florida Universal Orlando Resort
Simpsons in Universal Studios Florida

Current attractions include Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, Simpsons the Ride, Revenge of the Mummy & Transformers the Ride 3D.

Transformers the Ride Universal Orlando
Transformers the Ride

In July 2014  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opened in Universal Studios. It features 2 rides Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express connecting it to the first half in Islands of Adventure. To ride the Hogwarts Express you must have a theme park ticket that allows admission to both parks.

Diagon Alley Universal Studios Florida universal orlando resort
Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley Universal Studios Florida
Diagon Alley

The newest attraction in Universal Studios is Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. This is a 3D motion-simulator attraction which opened in April 2017.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Orlando Resort
Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Islands of Adventure

This section will be expanded further in coming months after our July 2017 trip.

Islands of Adventure opened on May 28, 1999 along with CityWalk. Following the expansion the name Universal Orlando Resort was also introduced. The park’s theme is a journey of exploration across themed islands.

Seuss Landing Universal Islands of Adventure
Seuss Landing

When the park opened the was 6 islands. The 1st part of Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 created a 7th. The latest Skull Island opened in 2016.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Orlando Resort Universal Studios Islands of adventure
Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Attractions in Islands of Adventure include Jurassic Park River Adventure, Incredible Hulk, Skull Island: Reign of Kong & Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey.

Incredible Hulk Islands of Adventure
Incredible Hulk

Read more updates to this article in coming months as we expand our Introduction to Universal Orlando Resort.

Learn More

Planning on going to Orlando? Read our Guide to Walt Disney World.

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