Universal Studios Orlando: One Day, Two Parks.

As we had a chance to spend one day at Orlando’s Universal Studios, we want to share our experience and tips, keeping it on a budget.

Universal Studios | By: Eva Garro

🚗 Parking

  • Regular: $25
  • Prime: $35
  • After 6pm: free
  • There is also a designated area for drop-off if you go by Uber or Bus.

🎟 Tickets
There are many options of tickets and packages. Make sure to check them all out to find what best suits you. In this case, we chose 1 day, park to park ticket.
We totally recommend visiting these 2 parks to get the full experience. Of course you won’t have time to see and ride everything, but it is way better than doing only 1 park since they are very different.

Prices are:

  • 3 parks-2 days: $340
  • 3 parks-3 days: $300
  • 2 parks-2 days: $285
  • 2 parks-3days: $245
  • 2 parks-1day: $170  (the one we bought)
  • 1 park-1day: $115

📝NOTE: Florida Residents save $50 at the gate price on multi-day tickets to Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ when you buy online.

💎TIP: Save up to $20 off the gate price on multi-day tickets when you buy online.

Check tickets info here.

💡 Recommendations:

  1. Go really early: weather you’re staying there one night before or getting there the same day. Plan your day and wake up extra early. Being there by the park’s opening time will save you a lot of queuing and sunburn time. Only entering the park, takes about 15 min because of the walking, security, and crowd.
  2. As we mentioned before, buy tickets online: This will save you time and money.  
  3. Wear comfy shoes and clothes since you will be walking a lot.
  4. If you can, stay one night before, the night after or both. This can save you a lot of time as well as not having to drive tired at night after the visit. Our best recommendation would be Airbnb, but you can also stay on site which will give you extra benefits as early entry, fast pass, etc (but of course, it will be more expensive).
  5. What to visit first: if you buy 2 parks, 1day, first go to Studios and then to Island of Adventures. There are better rides and cooler things to see at Island, so we did all Studios first and spent the rest of the day at Island.
  6. Avoid eating at typical lunch/dinner hours: restaurants are always busy but especially at those times.
  7. American Express is the official card of Universal: if you buy your tickets with AMEX, you’ll have access to the AMEX lounge inside the park. It is a nice cool place to chill for a bit but it had limited in space. Mostly, you can use it to get free water and snacks.
  8. Stay hydrated:  Take your own water bottles to save money or ask for some at restaurants for free. If you buy it, it will be $3.
  9. If you can, stay until the parks close: if you do, you’ll get to see the light show at Harry Potter’s castle and the dancing fountains as you’re walking out! Very cool way to end your day.

🕒 Our itinerary:

Universal Studios Florida™

  1. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit: the best ride in the Studios. Waiting time ~1 hour, but really worth the wait! You can choose your own music while you ride, from Country to Metal.
  2. Eating: we ate at Krusty Burger inside the Simpson’s area. Cheap and good burgers with fries. There are also pizza, seafood, Duff beer, etc inside the same restaurant.
  3. Fast and Furious cars exhibition.
  4. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: it’s a must. Very cool ride where you will totally feel like in a Harry Potter movie! Waiting time ~30 min which is full of amazing decoration and visual effects so you won’t even feel the wait.
  5. Diagon Alley: walk along, it is an amazing way to experience Harry Potter’s world! Here you can visit Borgin and Burkes to see Dark Arts objects, The Leaky Cauldron, Ollivanders (buy your own wand and use it!), and many more.
    💎TIP: Watch out for the Ukranian Ironbelly dragon on top of Gringotts. It blows real fire. Ask any nearby wizard when the dragon will blow next.
  6. Take the Hogwarts Express train to the other park at platform 9 3/4 King’s Cross. Waiting time ~40 min.
    💎 TIP: Don’t miss the coolest special effect. You’ll see a solid brick wall a bit before the entrance of the tunnel leading to the train, where you will disappear just like the movie!
Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross | By: Eva Garro

Universal’s Islands of Adventure™

  1. Arrive at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – you will arrive right around the corner of Hogsmeade. Have a walk and look around!
    💎TIP: Try butter beer, it’s delicious!  (price: $8)

    • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – a total must! First of all, you don’t even feel the wait since the whole way is full of amazing realistic Harry Potter’s  decoration and interactive stuff. It is a 3D experience where you’ll need to wear special glasses. Our waiting time was ~50 minutes.
      😂Funny story: the ride stopped working towards the end so we stayed in the air for about 5 minutes. Then we were offered a second round in order to compensate.Hogsmeade.png
  2. Dragon Challenge – High speed roller coaster with a drop of 35 and 5 inversions. One of our favorites with a waiting time of ~1 hour.
  3. Flight of the Hippogriff – this one is very small, more for kids. But it’s fun. We would recommend taking it at the end of the day since the lines are really short. We waited only ~10 min.
  4. Jurassic Park River Adventure – It is a water ride. At the beginning we didn’t know what to expect, but as it goes, it starts getting more interesting. You can see the main dinosaurs and they look very realistic. Especially when you get to the the T-Rex drop, it will make you scream at least a bit. We widely recommend it.
    💎TIP: We would totally recommend to do this ride after 4 pm since there is literally NO line. Of course you will take more time to dry, but take a hoodie or sweater with you and you’ll be totally fine.
  5. Seuss Landing: very colorful and nice area just to walk by. It is pretty much for families and kids but it is worth a quick view.
  6. The Incredible Hulk: Definitely the best ride. Waiting time is big, around ~1.5 hour but it is definitely worth it! We loved it.
    The Incredible Hulk Ride | By: Lukas Owens

We hope you find this guide useful for your next visit to the parks.

With love,

Eva & Tautvy – #nomadfaces 👫

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