Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

Top 12 Best Thrill Rides at Universal Orlando Resort

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Thrill seekers, it’s time to seize the day on your next vacation. Below are the top thrill rides at Universal that will make your heart rate spike during your visit to Universal Orlando Resort.

1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Let’s start this list with a Hulk Smash. The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’sIslands of Adventure has an intense launch and multiple exhilarating loops. This is a thrill seeker’s dream roller coaster and a cannot miss.

2. Krakatau Aqua Coaster

Krakatau Aqua Coaster at Universal’s Volcano Bay is an incredible technological achievement. This 4 person canoe slides through mists and will take you through Krakatau, the mighty fire and water Volcano.

3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Yes, you can choose your favorite song. However, it’s all about the 90-degree climb into the sky on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. I rode this ride at Universal Studios Floridamultiple times to write this list, you know, for research purposes.

4. Jurassic Park River Adventure

“Hold on to your butts” because Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure has a T-rex, raptors, and an 85 ft evacuation drop.

5. Ko’okiri Body Plunge

Have you ever dropped straight down from a Volcano? This is your chance. Ko’okiri Body Plunge at Volcano Bay features a 70-degree angle descent via trap door. This is a real test of courage.

6. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

One enormous drop for man, one giant launch to the sky for mankind. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall at Islands of Adventure is a glorious treasure. Not only is it fun, but the view from the top—185ft high, to be exact—is enough to make any thrill seeker’s must do list.

7. Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Body Drop Slides

This drop slide at Volcano Bay does not disappoint when you are an adrenaline junkie. I recommend you don’t miss Ohno (purple) which is a higher drop then Ohyah.

8. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Now, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida has a tilt drop that will test your ability to not yell in fear, so this ride makes the list.

9. Honu of the Honu Ika Moana

Honu means Sea Turtle (blue slide) but don’t let that fool you—this ride at Volcano Bay is a rush. This is a multi-person raft so get a few of your friends and get terrified together.

10. Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor coaster at Universal Studios Florida and is a fan favorite for a reason. You’ll encounter mummies, beetles, fire, and a curse (which, of course, is real)

11. Tai Nui of Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

This body slide at Volcano Bay is the definition of a rush. This drop slide seats atop of the volcano sending you down fast before reaching the bottom for a glorious splash. Just remember Tai Nui (green) is my recommendation for anyone seeking extra excitement. The anticipation before you drop is what thrills are made of.

12. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

I know what you’re thinking, is Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls in Islands of Adventure thrilling? Well, one: “danger, dynamite.” Two: you WILL wet your pants.

So now it’s time for you to live your most thrilling life at Universal Orlando Resort.

Are you still reading? What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Interactive Wand Guide

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

So, you’re planning your trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

You have your robe…

Butterbeer…

and your interactive wand…

Wait, what do you mean you don’t have a wand? You don’t know where to get them? You know what they do though? What?! Okay, come with me and I will guide you along your journey.

What do the interactive wands look like?

Let’s start off simple, there are 22 interactive wands in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter inspired by the wands of your favorite characters from the Harry Potter film series.

Pretty awesome, right? And (in case you needed even more options) there are also interactive wands that are not based on a character and are instead unique to the witch or wizard’s personality.

Now that you are torn between 2 or 3 different wands, let me show you where you can find them in our parks.

Where do you go to find the wands?

In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, you can find interactive wands at Ollivanders

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

as well as Wands by Gregorovitch.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, you can find interactive wands at Ollivanders

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

as well as the wand cart on the path to Hogwarts castle.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

If you have the time, we recommend visiting the wand keeper in Ollivanders so you can witness the magic of a wand choosing its witch or wizard.

Wands can also be found at the Universal Store in front of Universal Studios Floridaand at CityWalk.

What do the wands even do?

Now that you have your interactive wand, you are now ready to cast spells all along your journey!

In total, there are 16 spells you can cast in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and 9 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

Inside your interactive wand box is a double-sided map that comes with the details of all the spell casting locations.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

At the location, a gold medallion shows wizards and witches where to stand as well as the correct wand movement for the spell.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

With some practice, you’ll be creating magic in no time. Here’s a quick glimpse of Reparo, one of the many spells you can cast. This charm fixes something that has been broken.

Now you’re all set! You’ve got your robe, Butterbeer, and an interactive wand! Which wand is YOUR favorite all throughout #WizardingWorldOrlando? Tell us on TwitterInstagramFacebook or in the comments below!

Your Complete Guide to Meeting All of the Characters at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Advertising b-roll shoot. Despicable Me Interiors/Exteriors with characters.

One of the best parts of a Universal Orlando Resort vacation is never knowing who you might run into while roaming the streets. This complete guide to all of the characters at Universal Orlando Resort will help you know exactly where to find your favorite friends. Just think about how great your Instagram will look with all of these famous faces!

Discover the comprehensive guide to character meet-and-greets at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure below, plus some bonus character dining opportunities!

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Minions

The most mischievous guests you’ll find in Universal Studios Florida come to us straight from Illumination’s blockbuster Despicable Me franchise.

Pro tip: Minions love dance parties as much as they love mayhem!

Location: The exit of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem inside the Super Silly Stuff store

Welcome to Despicable Me Family!

Don’t miss out! Gru and his adorable three girls –Margo, Edith and Agnes—are here to join you for the most despicably delightful photo of your visit.

Location: Superstar Parade

Meet Vector

Gru’s archnemesis Vector wants to meet you (well, that and take his place as the world’s greatest super-villain…)

Location: Superstar Parade

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

The Simpson Family: Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie 

We KNOW you’re ready for a run-in with America’s favorite family from the longest-running primetime scripted show in television history.

Location: Springfield, U.S.A. near The Simpsons Ride

Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob

Meet the mischievious clown and his sidekick… straight from The Simpsons television show, one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world.

Location: Springfield, U.S.A. near The Simpsons Ride

Knight Bus Conductor

Next to the Knight Bus, which stranded witches and wizards use for emergency transport, you can chat with the bus conductor and the talkative shrunken head hanging over the steering wheel.

Location: Next to the Knight Bus in London near The Wizarding World of Harry Potter –Diagon Alley

Gringotts Goblin

Before trading in your cash for Gringotts bank notes, ask him a question and see what he has to say.

Location: Diagon Alley inside Gringotts Money Exchange

Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron

One at a time, these stars of the Transformers movies will come out and actually talk to you.

Location: Production Central near the exit of TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D

Hashtag the Panda

Jimmy Fallon’s pal is here and ready to mingle.

Location: Inside Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, and Squidward Tentacles

They live under the sea, but they’re here to celebrate with you.

Location: SpongeBob StorePants in Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone; Superstar Parade

Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and the Gang

Come find this crew whenever you need a mystery solved or a bad guy unmasked.

Location: Hollywood Blvd. near Brown Derby Hat Shop

Doc Brown

It’s time to go Back to the Future with this eccentric inventor.

Location: The entrance of Springfield, U.S.A. near the DeLorean, and Hollywood Blvd.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey

SomeBODY once told me this was the best place to say hi to Duloc’s finest.

Location: Production Central near Shrek 4-D

Lucille Ball

Tell Lucy just how much you love her.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.

Marilyn

Snap a photo with this starlet in her iconic white dress.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.; New York after the Marilyn and Diamond Bellas show

Beetlejuice

You don’t have to say his name three times, this guy just loves hanging out here anyway.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.near Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show

Betty Boop

You might also spot this classic cartoon bombshell.

Location: Hollywood Blvd.

Hello Kitty

You can never have too many friends! And she cant wait to meet all of you!

Location: Hollywood Blvd. near Hello Kitty Store

Mummy Guards

These tall performers serve up serious looks all day long.

Location: New York near Revenge of the Mummy

Penguins of Madagascar

These schemers are ready for their close up.

Location: Hollywood Blvd. near Garden of Allah

Dora, Diego, Boots, and Baby Jaguar

This crew from the popular kids’ show Dora the Explorer is always up for adventure.

Location: Superstar Parade

Barney and Friends

Come meet and sing-along with your favorite purple dinosaur.

Location: Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone near A Day in the Park with Barney

Cabby

There to welcome you into the park, this guy also takes photos in front of his bright yellow taxi.

Location: Universal Studios Florida entrance

Bonus: Universal’s Superstar Parade

One of the easiest ways to catch a ton of Universal characters is at Universal Studios Florida’s Superstar Parade. Every day, the streets of the park are transformed into a giant stage for interactive experiences with all of your favorites: SpongeBob SquarePants, Max and Duke from The Secret Life of Pets, Gru and the Minions, Dora and Diego, and more! Check your park map for times.

ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

Hogwarts Express Conductor

The amiable conductor of Hogwarts’ famous train is here to greet you.

Location: Next to the Hogwarts Express right inside the entrance to Hogsmeade

Students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

The Triwizard Spirit Rally gives you a chance to meet these visitors from other wizarding schools.

Location: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade near Flight of the Hippogriff

Marvel Super Heroes: Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue

Who doesn’t want to hang out with these heroes?

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Marvel Super Villains: Green Goblin, Dr. Doom

When the heroes are away, the villains come out to play.

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Jurassic Park Raptors 

Experience Raptor Encounter! But be careful… these beauties bite.

Location: Jurassic Park

Po

Kung Fu Panda’s affable title character will show you some kung fu moves.

Location: Port of Entry

Puss in Boots

A friend of Shrek and Donkey’s, this swash-buckling kitten is ready for his close-up.

Location: Port of Entry

Alex the Lion

From the Madagascar films, Alex is a showman who will most certainly pose with you.

Location: Port of Entry

Betty Boop

You can also find this classic cartoon bombshell on this side of the Universe.

Location: Toon Lagoon near The Betty Boop Store

Popeye and Olive Oyl

Bring on the spinach. The sailor man and his sweetheart can pack a punch.

Location: Toon Lagoon

Dr. Seuss Characters: The Grinch, Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, and The Lorax

Spend some time with Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters.

Location: Seuss Landing, after the Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear show

CHARACTER DINING

Want to do some extra schmoozing with your favorites? Or maybe you just want to ensure you get to meet the character of your dreams. Share a meal with Universal characters at one of the following dining events.

In-Park and Seasonal Character Dining require reservations.

In-Park Character Dining:

  • Marvel Character Dining
    Characters: Captain America. Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Rogue
    Dinner Thursdays – Sundays (5:00 – 7:00pm)
    Location: Cafe 4 in Islands of Adventure

Hotel Character Dining:

Put a little mayhem in your meal! No reservations required, but dining tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance.

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort
    Characters from Despicable Me 
    Saturday Seating at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am
    Location:The Tahitian room

Seasonal Character Dining:

And please note: appearance of characters listed is subject to change without notice, and not all characters listed are guaranteed to appear at the same time, or on the same day.

That’s it! All you need to know about the endearing cast of characters at Universal Orlando Resort. Who are you most looking forward to meeting on your next trip?

Top 14 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

There are too many must-do experiences at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that simply can’t be covered in a brief blog post. It’s one of those things in life that you truly have to immerse yourself in and experience for yourself.

There is so much to see and do that we have highlighted the top 14 must-do Harry Potter experiences for you to enjoy on your next visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

And trust me, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been dreaming of these must-do experiences since you first read the book!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

1. Entering Diagon Alley.

There is something about that moment you first step foot into Diagon Alley and stand there in awe at something that can only truly be described as out of this world. When this moment happens, take your time, soak it in, and get your camera ready when you hear the Dragon on top of Gringotts Bank begin to rumble!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

2. Have a wand choose you at Ollivanders

Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC. The wand that chose me was a 11″ holly, phoenix feather core, relatively supple.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

3. Get fitted with house robes at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.

Change out of those Muggle clothes and into some authentic wizardwear.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

4. Find a furry—or non furry—creature companion at Magical Menagerie.

Toad, owl, or cat? You can choose whichever you fancy.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

5. Stop by Quality Quidditch Supplies to pick up some house gear.

Whether on the field or in the stands, Quality Quidditch Supplies has everything you are looking for including brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, house sweaters, and more!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

6. Stock up on pranks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.

Do you have a mischevious sibling that pranks you every chance they get? Well, you can pick up some pretty great pranks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes to help even the score.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

7 .Exchange your Muggle money for wizarding currency at the Gringotts Money Exchange.

A REAL exchange with a goblin for some Gringotts™ bank notes. Easy enough, right?

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

8. You know at some point you’ll need to visit the vaults in Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts…

…but be careful, I’ve heard escaping is impossible.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

9. Pass through the brick wall to Platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express.

Get ready to journey to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express! Certainly the ideal way to transport yourself from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade and back again.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

10. Honeydukes is a surefire way to cure your sweet tooth!

Honeydukes is an ideal first stop in Hogsmeade. Not sure which colorful sweet to try first? I highly suggest you try the delicious Chocolate Frogs, each box also includes a special card celebrating a famous witch or wizard.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

11. Pick up some letter writing supplies at the Owl Post.

Don’t forget to pen your friend back home – they’re sure to appreciate a letter, especially one with a special Hogsmeade postmark!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

12. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts castle as you enter and experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Wander around the halls of the castle like a true Hogwarts student. Look carefully, there may be some hidden gems only a true fan would notice!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

13. Missing anything? Head to Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.

Filch is always sticking his nose in Hogwarts students’ business. But hey, by raiding his confiscated goods you can find some really great items.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

14. My ideal way to end a magical day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Butterbeer at Three Broomsticks.

Personally, I love a mug of cold Butterbeer at the end of a long day. Did you know there are 6 Butterbeer treats in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Make sure to share your The Wizarding World of Harry Potter must-do’s on TwitterFacebook or Instagram with #WizardingWorldOrlando.

Top 7 Reasons to Visit Mardi Gras 2019 at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

If you love catching countless beads from vibrant parade floats, eating delicious authentic N’awlins style food and listening to some of the biggest names in music then Mardi Gras 2019 at Universal Orlando is the place for you.

The best part Florida Residents? You don’t have to fly to New Orleans to have that authentic Mardi Gras celebration because it’s right in your backyard.

1. Live Concerts with Some Of The Biggest Names In Music

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

First and foremost, on select nights, you can watch some of the biggest names in music take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios Florida for unforgettable performances including…

  • February 9 – BUSH
  • February 16 – Gavin DeGraw
  • February 17 – Dan + Shay
  • February 23 – Macklemore
  • March 2 – Sabrina Carpenter
  • March 9 – Becky G
  • March 10 – Sean Paul
  • March 16 – Steve Miller Band
  • March 17 – Ziggy Marley
  • March 23 – NF
  • March 24 – Pitbull
  • March 30 – Bazzi
  • March 31 – To be announced

*Blockout dates apply for Seasonal Passholders on all concert event nights at Universal Studios Florida. You will still receive access to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Insider TipHead over to the Music Plaza stage early to get up close and find a nice spot in the grass for the nightly concert. Visiting with a group? Take turns grabbing your fill of N’awlins inspired food & spirits for the best picnic ever.

2. Universal Mardi Gras Parade

Get ready to unleash your wild side with this year’s parade theme –– Party Animals! You will experience returning fan-favorites and new vibrant floats with lively characters decorated in animals from around the world including the jungle, arctic, swamp and more.

Passholders can also enjoy the parade from a special viewing area in front of Mel’s Drive-In™. Don’t worry! No matter where you’re viewing the parade from, be prepared to catch beads by the handful.

Interested in riding and tossing beads from the Mardi Gras parade floats? Passholders can sign up for a chance to be a Mardi Gras float rider with up to five guests! Visit the sign-up page here

Insider Tip: Love catching and collecting Mardi Gras beads from the parade floats? Make your way towards the Horror Makeup Show to catch both the beginning and the end of the parade.

3. Dig Into N’awlins Style Delicious Food

Make your way to the French Quarter Courtyard located in the New York area, loosen up your belt and get ready to try a wide variety of mouthwatering bite-sized Cajun favorites including jambalaya, shrimp gumbo, Andouille sausage, sugary-sweet beignets, and more!

Visit the Mardi Gras Food Guide for more mouthwatering details.

4. Refreshing Mardi Gras Drinks

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Quench your thirst with our refreshing Mardi Gras themed specialty beverages, featuring slushies, a wide variety of craft beer selections and delicious cocktails including the Ragin Rumbalaya, Carnival Cocktail and Vicious VooDoo. 

Stay tuned for more mouthwatering details.

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.

5. Live Entertainment and Performers

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Visit the French Quarter Courtyard and join in the Mardi Gras celebration as you encounter stilt walkers, dancers, colorful parade characters and more wandering the streets.

Don’t forget, not only do the Mardi Gras characters carry extra beads, they love to interact with you and take photos. So make sure your camera is handy and don’t be shy to ask for a photo.

6. Big Easy Tunes in the French Quarter

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Now that you have a full stomach and a drink in hand, stick around the French Quarter to hear the signature sounds of these authentic Big Easy bands.

  • February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

7. Have The Time Of Your Life!

Whether you’re coming for a day of family-friendly fun, or to wild out with friends, start the countdown now and for a limited time, take advantage of great Universal Orlando Annual Pass Deals to help throw the party and get up to 6 months FREE.

Get ready to find your inner party-animal with us at Mardi Gras!

Tell us about some of your favorite experiences at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2019 in the comments below. And make sure to share your Mardi Gras 2019 moments on TwitterFacebook or Instagram with #UniversalMardiGras.

How to Use My Universal Photos at Universal Orlando Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There are two ways most people go about taking photos on vacation: having someone in your party not be in the photo or asking a stranger to take the photo for you. However, at Universal Orlando Resort, you have an ideal third option—My Universal Photos.

My Universal Photos takes the stress out of your vacation by helping you capture your unforgettable experiences here and share them with friends and family. With all of the awesome photo opportunities throughout the parks, we’ve got you covered—whether you’re screaming your face off on one of our high-speed coasters or coming face-to-face with spectacular, cinematic icons.

Here’s how it works:

1. Purchase Your Preferred Package

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

My Universal Photos has three different packages to make sure you’re properly set up for your day (or days) of play:

  • 1-Day Photo Package: This package gives you one full day of photos at any of our three parks with exclusive pricing on park photo prints and unlimited digital downloads. It also includes a My Universal Photos themed lanyard and card, discounts on photo gift products, as well as one 4×6 and one 5×7 photo print at time of purchase.
  • 3-Day Photo Package: This option allows up to three consecutive days of photos in the parks beginning on the day you pick up your My Universal Photos lanyard and card. You also receive one free 5×7 print in a folder and one free 4×6 print valid in-park or online, plus a few other exclusive discounts.
  • 1-Day Photo Package at Volcano Bay: If you’re just looking for a slice of Waturi paradise, this package is for you. With your one day of photos at Universal’s Volcano Bay (as with all packages), you get unlimited digital downloads and the ability to view and share your photos forever.

2. Time to Have Some Fun!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Once you’ve ordered your package, show your confirmation email at a merchandise location where Universal Express Pass is sold or at the My Universal Photos stores in the parks. A Team Member will give you your photo card and then you’re all set! There are three different ways to capture your vacation memories:

  • Have one of our professional photographers scan your card before taking a photo.
  • Scan it yourself at one of our selfie stations.
  • Scan it at a kiosk at the end of any participating rides.

The photos automatically show up on your My Universal Photos account, which you’ll be emailed a password and link to.

3. Photos at Your Fingertips

Make your friends jealous by sharing your adventures with the Amazing Pictures Mobile App. Download the app and log in with your email address and the password you were given. The photos you take during your day will be uploaded automatically. Once you see them, share them to your heart’s content. Click on a photo and send it via text, post it on social media, or even just download it to your camera roll. It’s super easy to share the fun.

4. Memories that Last a Lifetime

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Relive your fun-filled moments and choose which ones you want to keep forever. When you’re in the park, head to a standalone photo store or a ride photo location to get an individual print. You can also order prints of your favorite pics from home or print them on items like mugs, Christmas ornaments and more. There are tons of products to choose from.

It’s as simple as that. With over 30 locations to smile or scream, all you need to worry about is deciding which ride to go on next. Say cheese!

Macklemore, Pitbull, and More Coming to Universal’s Mardi Gras 2019

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

The start of a new year is upon us. Time to set those New Year’s resolutions, start planning out your year, and most importantly, get ready for Universal’s Mardi Gras 2019. This year’s event returns Feb. 9 – April 4 to Universal Studios Florida with nightly parades, live concerts on select nights, Cajun food and drinks and beads, beads and more beads!

Let’s dive into the star-studded concert lineup with new and returning fan-favorites. Catch these live performances on select nights at the Music Plaza Stage.

Universal’s Mardi Gras 2019 Concert Lineup

  • February 9 – BUSH
  • February 16 – Gavin DeGraw
  • February 17 – Dan + Shay
  • February 23 – Macklemore
  • March 2 – To be announced
  • March 9 – Becky G
  • March 10 – Sean Paul
  • March 16 – Steve Miller Band
  • March 17 – Ziggy Marley
  • March 23 – NF
  • March 24 – Pitbull
  • March 30 – To be announced
  • March 31 – To be announced

New Nighttime Parade Theme

The nightly parade returns with 12 floats, beads, colorful dancers and stilt performers. This year’s new theme is one of my all-time favorites – Party Animals! You’ll see floats and performers dressed as their spirit animals from all over the world like the arctic, jungle, ocean, swamp and more.

French Quarter Food and Drinks

The French Quarter Courtyard is getting a new culinary twist this year. All food and drinks will be served in tasting sizes. You’ll now be able to enjoy a variety of the New Orleans dishes during your visit.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

To add to the excitement, our culinary team has whipped up new and returning fan-favorite food and drink options. We’re talking beignets, frog legs, crab etouffee, and crawfish! Plus, we’re going to have a signature Mardi Gras cocktail, craft beer and more. Stay tuned to the blog for more mouthwatering details.

French Quarter Entertainment Lineup

You can’t have the French Quarter Courtyard without the beats of the Big Easy. Catch these authentic New Orleans bands performing daily in the French Quarter.

  • February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

Special Ticket and Annual Pass Offers

Publicity Mardi Gras Parade Floats Universal Studios Florida USF Entertainment Beads

This spring we’ve got the perfect way for Florida residents to experience ANY day of Mardi Gras and Universal Orlando thrills and excitement. For a limited time get 3 days for just $159.99 plus tax with a valid promo code from Coca-Cola or Coke Zero Sugar now through April 4, 2019. You can use your three days anytime now through June 30, 2019. That means no blockout dates and you can use them non-consecutively. 

OR you can upgrade to an Annual Pass* to enjoy the parks all year long and our special events like Mardi Gras. Right now – April 4, you get up to six months free with the purchase of any Annual Pass. That’s a whole year now and up to half a year free! 

Plus, Passholders get awesome perks during Mardi Gras like an exclusive parade viewing area, float riding opportunities and more.

*Blockout dates apply for Seasonal Passholders on all concert event nights at Universal Studios Florida. You will still receive access to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Grab your tickets and get ready to party with us at Mardi Gras 2019! Don’t forget to share with #UniversalMardiGras on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Top 10 Things to Do with Kids at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

At Universal Orlando Resort there is fun for the whole family, which means there is no shortage of activities for the little ones!

Check out these 10 things to do with kids at Universal Orlando Resort:

1. Breakfast at Voodoo Doughnut

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

When you’re on vacation, it’s ok to eat sweets for breakfast, right? Then start your day of fun with a stop by Voodoo Doughnuts at Universal CityWalk. There you’ll find the most delicious doughnuts ever – with all the flavors you can think of!

2. A Day of Fun at Universal’s Volcano Bay

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you want a place to have fun with kids and also relax while they burn some energy, Volcano Bay is the place to be. The park offers a lot of play areas, like Runamukka Reef, where kids of any age can have fun.

3. Flying on a Bike at E.T. Adventure

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

This is your chance to show your kids a little bit of your childhood memories! Who hasn’t dreamed of flying through the sky on a bike with E.T.? In this attraction, you get to make that happen with your whole family. And keep an eye on the end of the ride – he has a surprise for you.

4. Dance with Characters at Superstar Parade

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

A break during the day for a little fun and dance? Yes, please! See your favorite characters up close in the Superstar Parade, including the cute puppies and cats from The Secret Life of Pets.

5. Burn Some Energy at Fievel’s Playland

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

This themed playground inspired by the mouse Fievel Mousekewitz, from An American Tale, is the perfect place for the little ones to burn some extra energy during the day! Here they can run, jump and climb as much as they want.

6. Meet a Dinosaur

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Do you remember the first time you saw a dinosaur? Your kids will definitely never forget! At Raptor Encounter you come face-to-face with the velociraptor Blue, from the Jurassic World movies. We guarantee this encounter will result in awesome selfies.

7. Fly Over the Park on a Pteranodon

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Still talking about prehistoric creatures, how about taking your little adventurers for a ride on a Pteranodon? The Pteranodon Flyers ride will take you on a flight under the wings of a dinosaur with a great view from the park as a bonus.

8. Meet Your Favorite Characters

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

See your favorite characters come to life at Universal Orlando. Your kids will surely never forget the time they met Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob SquarePants in person.

9. Watch Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

This nighttime water and light show will amaze travelers of all ages, especially kids! You will live amazing and fun moments inspired by some of your favorite characters, all coming to life at the Universal Studios Florida lagoon.

10. Chill at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Down time during vacation is just as important. Stay with your family at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and enjoy all the comfort and play areas available. We guarantee your kids will love the pool and the awesome view of Volcano Bay water theme park.

What are your favorite things to do with kids at Universal Orlando? Share in the comments!

How to Add a Day at Universal to Your Disney World Vacation

Many guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels or Orlando area hotels want to spend a day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Orlando Resort. Disney does not provide transportation to Universal Studios from any of the Disney Hotels, so how do you add a day at Universal without a car? The most convenient and affordable way to add a day at Universal to a Disney World vacation is by purchasing a Universal ticket that includes a round-trip shuttle!

We offer a one or two day park to park ticket that includes roundtrip shuttle transfers from any of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. The shuttle transfers are through Quick Transportation. It is an easy process. After you book your ticket, you call at least 24 hours before you are visiting Universal Studios to schedule your pickup time. Then, you are picked up from your hotel for your day at Universal Studios.

Once you are done playing at Universal Studios, you call the same number to schedule your pickup time to head back to your Disney Hotel. The shuttle can run until 2 AM, which means that you can stay and play at CityWalk after your day at Universal Studios and then take the shuttle back to your resort.

The shuttle transfers saves you from $90 on transportation from Disney to Universal Studios. Plus, this ticket is also saving you $10 per person off the regular gates prices.  One more HUGE perk, you do not have to wait in line at the ticket windows.  You walk right up to the electronic kiosks to pick up your tickets.  This can easily save you 30 minutes!

We can even add Universal’s unlimited Express Pass to these tickets to help you enjoy as much as possible during your day at Universal by skipping the line at most attractions! Plus, if you book your tickets by March 14, 2019, you’ll get two days FREE with the purchase of a two day ticket!

Call Siera today at 734-771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com to book your day (or two) at Universal Orlando Resort so you can experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Top Ten Things You Must Do at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Top Ten Things You Must Do at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando

Universal’s Islands of Adventure really is the “choose your own adventure” of theme parks. With so many options, what attractions would you regret skipping? Here are ten things that we think that you must do at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort:

1. Soar above Hogwarts on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Make your way through iconic locations inside Hogwarts castle before boarding this exciting attraction. Then join Harry as you come face-to-face with an array of magical creatures.

2. Get up close and personal with a prehistoric predator at Raptor Encounter

If you’re brave enough to step up to this electrified paddock, you’ll find a wild raptor inside for a truly unique photo op.

3. Rage out at 67 mph on The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Volunteer to be a test subject for Dr. Bruce Banner’s research and your Hulk-like powers will propel you faster and faster on this thrill ride.

4. Blast into action on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Swing above the streets, scale skyscrapers, and battle the Sinister Syndicate with Spidey.

5. Indulge in a delicious Butterbeer at Hog’s Head

It’s easy to love this classic treat, enjoyed by Harry and his friends in the films. The Hog’s Head pub provides the perfect cozy spot for sipping and relaxing.

6. Take an 85-foot plunge on Jurassic Park River Adventure

There’s only one way out of trouble when a hungry T. rex stares you down.

7. Learn who rules the jungle on Skull Island: Reign of Kong

This mysterious island contains many treacherous creatures – who is friend and who is foe?

8. Meet Dr. Seuss’s beloved storybook characters at Seuss Landing

The Grinch, Thing One and Thing Two, The Cat in the Hat, and others can be found here surrounded by whimsical scenery.

9. Get soaked on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Slosh your way through twists and turns – and a 65-foot drop.

10. Experience the otherworldly cuisine of Mythos

The Lost Continent’s award-winning, full-service restaurant offers modern cuisine with Mediterranean, Asian, and American-inspired dishes.

What are your favorite things that you must do at Islands of Adventure experiences? Tell us in the comments below!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote.