Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

Eight Universal Orlando Vacation Upgrades Worth Every Penny

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

It can make such a difference in the lives of you and your loved ones to take a break, have some fun, and make memories. But we all know that going on vacation can also be expensive, so you want to do it right. Feeling good about the time, money, and effort you put in is important.

Before heading on your Universal Orlando Resort adventure, we’ve got some insider tips to help you choose which Universal Orlando vacation upgrades are the best value.

1. Park-to-Park Tickets: You might think you can do one park at a time, but upgrading your tickets will be the best thing you do all vacation. For $55 more per day, you can have the flexibility to roam all three Universal Orlando theme parks whenever you’d like, making planning so much easier. Not to mention, the only way to board the Hogwarts Express and journey between the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is with a Park-to-Park ticket.

2. Hotels that Offer Free Express Passes: For perhaps the most surprising value at Universal Orlando, turn to our Premier hotels. They might cost a bit more than the Preferred and Prime Value hotels, but Loews Portofino Bay HotelLoews Royal Pacific Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel all offer free Universal Express Unlimited. This benefit lets you skip the regular lines at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You can save up to $129.99 per person and get more time to ride your favorite attractions.

3. My Universal Photos Package: My Universal Photos lets you focus on having fun—we’ll document the memories for you. A one-day pass is $69.99, but you get unlimited digital downloads of photos from your rides and character meet-and-greets. This is especially valuable if you have little ones and don’t want to deal with the hassle of digging out your phone and missing that special moment. And on-ride photos are normally $19.95, so if you plan to go home with more than a couple of those, this package will help.

4. Volcano Bay Premium Seating: If you don’t want to spring for an entire cabana at Volcano Bay, a great option is Premium Seating. Beach chairs can go fast and lockers cost money. But with this upgrade, you get a pair of reserved padded loungers with an adjustable shade canopy and a built-in storage lockbox for only $29.99. Plus, you can enjoy the services of an area attendant who’ll see to your food and drink orders, delivering them right to your seats. It is so worth it to make your chill day the chillest.

5. Refillable Cups and Buckets: Drink water or soda all day long when you purchase a refillable Coca-Cola freestyle cup. Machines are located throughout the parks, and for $14.99, you’ll never go thirsty in the Florida heat. You can also keep the snacking going when you purchase a $5.99 popcorn bucket with the option of $1.29 refills. Just ask for either at the nearest beverage counter, quick service restaurant, or full-service restaurant.

6. Shutterbutton’s DVD Photo Album: You should definitely consider the Shutterbutton’s experience in Diagon Alley if you’ve got fans of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in your party. You’ll be guided through 12 scenes taken from iconic locations, you’ll choose your outfits, and after a bit of acting, you’ll create a portrait of yourself that actually moves. DVD photo albums are an amazing keepsake! The whole afternoon will be memorable enough to warrant the cost.

7. Blue Man Group Tickets: When it comes to entertainment, you can’t get much better than this fusion of comedy, theater, rock concert, and dance party. It’s a Broadway-caliber production right here at Universal Orlando. With tickets starting at $60 for adults, you won’t regret spending a night taking in a show you won’t forget.

8. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Cabana Rentals: When it’s time to take a break from the parks, cabana rentals can be a great option for groups staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Up to six people can enjoy amenities like an LCD TV, an in-house telephone to order delivery pizza, an armoire, table, cushioned lounge chairs, and a refrigerator. You can spend a full day recharging with everything your family will need within arms reach. Prices may vary, but they start around $50/day.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Top Ten Must Do’s at Universal Studios Florida

You’re at Universal Orlando’s Universal Studios Florida. What do you need to do that will leave everyone at home wishing they were you? Here are the top ten must do’s at Universal Studios Florida:

1. Join Your Favorite Wizards on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Plunge into the depths of Diagon Alley’s famed Gringotts bank as you encounter dragons, trolls, and Voldemort himself.

2. Practice Performing Spells at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Witches and wizards can practice their spell casting throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Haven’t had a wand choose you yet? Be sure to check out Ollivanders or Wands by Gregorovitch when you arrive.

3. Become an actual Minion on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Gru is recruiting Minions for his latest scheme, and good news: it looks like you’re the perfect candidate.

4. Head to Studio 6B for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Visit the famed Studio 6B for a unique tour of the Big Apple. Don’t forget to stop and smell the pizza.

5. Jam out on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Select a song and prepare to rock on this coaster that takes you up a 90-degree angle before dropping you back down at 65 mph.

6. Help Optimus Prime and Bumblebee save mankind on Transformers: The Ride 3-D

It’s time for someone to take down Megatron and the Decepticons, and that someone could be you.

7. Dare to Eat an Entire Lard Lad Donut in The Simpsons’ Springfield, U.S.A.

Giant pink-iced donuts, Brain Freezin’ D’oh-Nut Sundaes, delectable cupcakes… Need we say more?

8. Flee From the Evil Imhotep on Revenge of the Mummy

Forwards or backwards – you’ll barely be able to tell which way you’re moving on this dark coaster. All you’ll care about is avoiding the swarm of insects, mummies, fire…

9. Boogie down with popular characters in the Superstar Parade

Seriously. Where else can you dance with Gru and the Minions, Dora and Diego, plus the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants?

10. Wipe out the scum of the universe on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

Aliens have taken over New York and we’re arming you with a blaster to zap them into oblivion. Rack up points and get ready for a lifetime of bragging rights.

What are your favorite must do’s at Universal Studios Florida 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. 

Top 12 Best Universal Orlando Resort Hotel Rooms

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

All of the resort hotel rooms at Universal Orlando Resort are absolutely amazing. Whatever your style is, you can find the perfect hotel and room for you, but these 12 Universal Orlando Resort hotel rooms are what dreams are made of and I’d be more than happy moving into any one of them right this minute.

1. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort 2-Bedroom Suites

Volcano. Views. Enough said. These two-bedroom suites can sleep up to EIGHT people. So grab all your friends or family and get to it. How cool would it be to hang out together in the living room area with a backdrop of a beautiful volcano?

2. Loews Royal Pacific Resort Jurassic World Kids’ Suite

The new Jurassic World Kids’ Suites will make your little ones feel as if they’ve stepped onto the island of Isla Nublar from Jurassic World. They even get to sleep inside their very own gyrospheres! Learn all about these kids’ suites here.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

3. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Despicable Me Kids’ Suite

Aren’t these just the cutest?! These Kids’ Suites let your little ones experience the playfulness of Gru’s laboratory. Kids get the opportunity to sleep in missile beds just like Edith, Margo and Agnes! The suites feature one King bed and two Twin beds. This room, like the other Kids’ Suites, has a connecting room that opens only to the King room.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

4. Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Graceland Suite

The Graceland Suite is the ultimate way to live like a king at Hard Rock Hotel. It includes an oversized tub (with an unbelievable view of the parks), walk-in closet, personal gym and a baby grand piano. It even has a glass fireplace in it that separates the bedroom from the bathroom.

5. Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Future Rock Star Suite

Do you have a future rock star in your family? This suite is for them! The Future Rock Star Suite features a King bedroom and an attached themed room for your little rock star. This gives you plenty of space to rent a guitar from the front desk and rock out on the stage in the room.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

6. Loews Royal Pacific Resort Presidential Suite

These sophisticated South Seas-inspired suites are enough to make you feel like you’ve been transported to a true island oasis. I’d be more than happy just moving into the bathroom in this suite! It’s basically like having your own private spa.

7. Loews Royal Pacific Resort Hospitality Parlor Suite

The Hospitality Parlor Suite is the perfect place for entertaining! If you book the connecting King room and the connecting Queen room, this room could sleep up to 10 people! The decor in this suite is very island chic. The parlor is between the King and Queen rooms making the parlor the perfect meeting ground, hangout spot as they start getting ready for dinner and a relaxing space after a day at the parks before everyone’s ready to hit the hay. Speaking of dinner, it has an incredible kitchen giving you plenty of space to fix up all your favorite dishes.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

8. Loews Sapphire Falls Sapphire Suite

This suite is gorgeous and spacious! It even has a perfect view of Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The decor makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to a beautiful island oasis.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

9. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Presidential Suite

Can we just take a moment and talk about how beautiful this suite is? All I need is a faux bear skin rug, chandeliers and sunset views and I’m set for life! Oh and did I mention, this suite even has a personal Peloton bike in it? Well, it does. You can spin and take in amazing views.

10. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Kids Suite

These Kids’ Suites are just so perfect. The octopus design from the wall to the floor gives the room so much life. These Kids’ Suites, like the others, have a connecting room that only opens to the room with a King room, giving parents peace of mind and a little privacy.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

11. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Family Suite

The Family Suites at Cabana Bay are perfect for larger families who aren’t looking to break the bank! These rooms sleep up to six people and feature a pullout sofa to give you plenty of space to hang out with your friends and family during the day and space for everyone to sleep. This suite features a sliding partition that allows those that are sleeping on the pull out a bit of privacy from those sleeping on the Queen beds. The kids can be napping while mom and dad are having a few moments of R&R watching TV (or planning the next day at the parks).

12. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Presidente Suite

This suite is not only big on the inside. It also has the ultimate view of the Harbor Piazza from a balcony and a separate terrace. It is the perfect place to watch the sun go down, enjoy a glass of wine, snack on the finest cheeses and listen to the beautiful Musica della Notte opera singers at sunset…#goals.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog

Top Five Ways to Stay Fit at Universal Orlando Resort’s Hotels

Universal Orlando’s fourth on-site hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is now open! The retro-inspired hotel features incredible amenities for endless family fun including a 10,000 sq. ft. zero-entry pool with iconic dive tower waterslide, 10-lane bowling alley, the Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio, family suites that sleep up to six and much more. This summer, guests will be able to enjoy even more family fun, including a second 8,000-square-foot zero entry pool, Universal Orlando’s first lazy river at an on-site hotel, The Hideaway Bar & Grill, and additional moderately-priced family suites and value-priced standard guest rooms. © Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved.

Vacations are the perfect way to unwind, forget your worries and relax. What better way to relax than dedicating some of this newly acquired free time to your personal and mental health.

Here are some ways to keep up with your fitness goals while enjoying your vacation so you can stay fit at Universal Orlando Resort:

1. Fuel Your Body with Healthy Dishes

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Being on vacation doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice eating healthy. Universal Orlando offers healthy eating options throughout the entire destination.

Some of the most popular choices throughout the destination include:

Click here to explore all of the dining options at Universal Orlando Resort.

BONUS: All of Universal’s restaurant menus identify vegan and gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.

2. Pump Some Iron at Our Fitness Facilities

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal Orlando Resort’s on-site hotels offer amazing amenities, from complimentary transportation across the destination to Early Park Admission. Yet, the best amenity for guests looking to sneak in a workout is the complimentary fitness facilities.

Universal’s fitness centers offer a wide range of exercise equipment including strength training equipment, treadmills, exercise bikes, stair masters, elliptical machines and many more. Each on-site hotel includes a fitness facility so you can break a sweat no matter where you choose to stay.

3. Enjoy Universal’s Swimming Pools while Mastering Water Aerobics

Swimming is a great way to work out your entire body while on vacation. Each of Universal’s on-site hotels have swimming pools where you can work out while working on your tan.

Choose between white sand lagoons at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, or exploring the 16,000-square-foot pool at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, or any of the other hotels. Because when you say on-site, you’re welcome at all the hotel pools, so pick your favorite and dive in.

4. Travel by Foot to the Attractions While Taking in the Scenery

Many of Universal’s attractions are accessible by foot when staying at one of their on-site hotels. You can enjoy the lush tropical landscape while walking to Universal CityWalk from Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, traveling from Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort to Universal’s Volcano Bay, or just enjoying a stroll on the walking paths.

The walking paths at the on-site hotels are perfect for a jog and marked with mile markers so you can easily keep track of your progress. Here’s a map of the jogging trails that you can download for your upcoming visit.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Once in the parks, you can keep burning those calories while making your way to your favorite attractions. It’s estimated that the average theme-park-goer walks more than five miles per day.

5. Decompress with a Spa Day

Staying physically fit is important, but vacations are the perfect opportunity to work on your mental health as well. A day at the spa promises blissful renewal, so come and unwind at the Mandara Spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.

Indulge in pampering skin care, wraps, body treatments, massages, nail care and hair care. Each of our on-site hotels also has sauna facilities to destress after a workout. Enjoy this tranquil retreat and leave the rest of the world behind.

While you’re planning your next trip to Universal Orlando Resort, let us know in the comments your best tips for staying healthy and fit while on vacation.

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. 

Top Three Reasons Your Teenager Will Love Volcano Bay at Universal

Top Three Reasons Your Teenager Will Love Volcano Bay at Universal

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Top Three Reasons Your Teenager Will Love Volcano Bay at Universal

Grab your swimsuit and suntan lotion! Universal Orlando’s new water theme park, Volcano Bay, has an abundance of thrills and spills. From relaxing and roaring rivers to the heart-pounding Krakatau Aqua Coaster, there’s something for every teenager.

Get cozy, grab a snack, and keep reading for the top three reasons your teenager will love Volcano Bay, including the attractions, food and atmosphere.

 Attractions

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There are 18 fun-filled attractions to cross off your bucket list. When you first walk into Volcano Bay, you’ll be greeted by Krakatau: a spectacular, 200-foot-tall volcano at the center of the park. The volcano not only showcases fantastical views of Orlando, but also offers four different rides that travel through the volcano. These include Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Ko’okiri Body Plunge, and Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides.

One ride you can’t miss is Honu, one of the two waterslides at the Honu Ika Moanaattraction. Honu is a multi-passenger waterslide on the more exciting side and is perfect for experiencing alongside friends or family members.

Even if your teens love stomach-dropping thrills, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and de-stress when you’re on vacation. Kopiko Wai Winding River is the perfect break from the fun, intense waterslides and aqua coaster. The river leads you on a scenic float through River Village and will give your family a much-needed rest from the exhilarating plunges and splashes at Volcano Bay.

If you’re looking for something a little more thrilling, TeAwa the Fearless River might be a better match for you. With periodic choppy waves flowing through the not-so-lazy river, it adds a little adventure to the relaxing float.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

 

Food

When it comes to dining, there’s no shortage of options. There’s everything from food carts and quick-service stands for when you’re in a hurry, to fast and casual restaurants for when you have a little extra time to sit back and enjoy your meal with leisure.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal’s executive chef, Steve Jayson, recommends the Jerked Mahi Sandwich for seafood aficionados, “If you’re a fish lover, you can’t go wrong with that.” Chef Jayson also recommended the Coconut Crusted Fried Chicken and said it was one of his personal favorites. As for beverages, Jayson said that POG is obligatory. “If you come to Volcano Bay, you’ve got to try POG,” he says. “Passion fruit, orange, and guava – all together in a frozen drink. It’s very refreshing!” It is the perfect cool-down on a sunny Orlando day.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

And of course, you can’t forget dessert! Get ready to indulge yourself… after all, calories don’t count on vacation! Waturi Fusion, or “the rainbow ice cream”, will probably be the most colorful, creative dessert you’ve ever had!

Atmosphere

You’re transported into a tropical paradise as soon as you enter the park! We recommend starting off your day at Waturi Beach, a lush oasis in front of the famous volcano. As you sit with your feet in the sand, listening to the dancing waterfalls, you’ll probably feel like you could spend days at Volcano Bay. There’s a perfect balance between relaxation and adventure.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The atmosphere was also enhanced by the Volcano Bay staff. Every single Team Member is friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Your kids will be greeted at the entrance of every ride and whenever they have a question or need directions, the team members are enthusiastic to help.

Staying on-property in a Universal Orlando on-site hotel will make your experience at Volcano Bay even better. Hotel guests are able to enter the park one hour earlier than the general public, which definitely helps beat the crowds. For teens with an ambitious agenda for the day, having the early access will be super helpful.

When you stay at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel, another way you can save time is by taking Universal’s transportation to and from Volcano Bay.

Pro tipUniversal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is located right next to Volcano Bay. There is a walking path dedicated to Cabana Bay guests. If you’re debating on which hotel to stay at, this might help you with your decision!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

When it comes to theme parks, long lines always seem to be the culprit of fun. At Volcano Bay, TapuTapu comes to the rescue! TapuTapu is a waterproof, wearable device that has a plethora of features, such as exclusive photo ops, cash-free purchases (simply connect a credit card online), and most importantly: lines. Instead of standing hours in a long line, you can choose which attractions you would like to ride for the day.

You simply check-in to the attraction you wish to go on, and the TapuTapu wristband will notify you when it’s your ride time.

Are you convinced by these reasons your teenager will love Volcano Bay?

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. 

Three Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

With 2018 fading quickly in the rearview mirror, it’s time to consider where you want to be when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve 2018.

Across Universal Orlando Resort, there will be some amazing celebrations. From midnight toasts to confetti showers, the festivities across our parks and hotels will make this a night you won’t forget.

Here are three ways you can ring in the new year at Universal Orlando:

1. Party It Up at Universal Studios Florida

Make your way to Universal Studios Florida as the Music Plaza Stage and Central Park areas transform into rockin’ party zones. You’ll enjoy live music, appearances by some of your favorite Universal Orlando characters and – of course – essential New Year’s Eve party favors. Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration will light up the night just before amazing pyrotechnic displays and showers of confetti mark the start of a new year. The best part is New Year’s Eve celebrations at Universal Studios Florida are included with your theme park admission or Annual Pass, which are now available with up to six months free.

2. Experience EVE at Universal CityWalk

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Looking for an upscale New Year’s Eve party? Check out EVE at Universal CityWalk. Designed for guests 21 and up, this separately-ticketed event includes unlimited gourmet cuisine, live bands and DJs – including a performance by DJ M-Squared – access to six CityWalk clubs, plus Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor. The only time you won’t be dancing is at midnight, when we’ll pause for a champagne toast and a breathtaking pyrotechnic display. Tickets for EVE are now on sale – learn more and purchase your tickets before December 15 for $30 off!

3. Celebrate at Our On-Site Hotels

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Some of Universal’s on-site hotels also join in the fun, providing a mix of unique dining options, live entertainment, midnight toasts and even balloon drops. Highlights include Hard Rock Hotel’s “Rock-In 2018!” event (where we’ll tune in via satellite to watch the Times Square Ball Drop) and Jake’s “Best of 2018” Beer Dinner at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Click here for details on hotel events and special ticket offers.

Whether you prefer to dance the night away or mark the occasion with a fine dining experience, your ideal New Year’s countdown celebration is bound to be at Universal Orlando.

21 New Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort You Can’t Miss

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you haven’t noticed, Universal Orlando Resort has gone through a lot of changes. Whether it’s ride upgrades, new attractions, or even an entirely new theme park, there’s a lot that’s waiting for you. As you plan your trip, here are 21 new experiences at Universal you MUST experience during your next visit.

1. Catch the Ragtime Gals at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon in Universal Studios Florida

Insider Tip: There are two different Ragtime Gals performances you can experience.

2. Chill with the Carnictis at the Skull Island: Reign of Kong Queue in Universal’s Islands of Adventure

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t bite.

3. Sink Your Toes into the Sand of Waturi Beach at Universal’s Volcano Bay

BYOS: Bring Your Own Sunscreen

4. Get Your Rum on with Over 70 Different Rums at Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Insider Tip: There’s an official Strong Water Tavern rum that’s low-key legit.

5. Gear Up for a High-Octane Experience at Fast & Furious – Supercharged in Universal Studios

Gotta live life a quarter mile at a time.

6. (Attempt to) Finish a Shake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in Universal CityWalk

It’s more of a feat of will than anything.

7. Explore the Interactive Desks While You Wait to Race Jimmy Fallon

The games are pretty addicting tbh.

8. Two Words: Butterbeer Fudge at Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Yep. It really does exist.

9. Get Hulk-a-fied on the Newly Renovated The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Islands of Adventure

It’s legit amazing.

10. Find All of the Tapu-Tapu Activations Throughout Volcano Bay

I’d give you a hint but where’s the fun in that?

11. Relax at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort’s 16,000-Square-Foot Pool.

They’ve got poolside activities, hot tubs, a waterslide and more.

12. Brunch it up at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen

You can thank me later.

13. Compare Your Strength with the All-New Marquee at The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Hulk’s probably got you beat.

14. Meet Hashtag the Panda at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

You can almost feel the rhythm standing next to him.

15. Look Out for the Locals Within Skull Island: Reign of Kong

They’re not too welcoming to tourists.

16. Check Out the Unique Merchandise and Treats at the Hello Kitty Store

Insider Tip: Some of their merchandise has cute nods to Universal characters.

17. Quench Your Thirst with Volcano Bay’s Exclusive Drinks

Try. The. POG.

18. Meet Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome – The Woman Behind the Restaurant

Don’t forget about her robot friend, Jacques.

19. Experience the wonder of The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

My jaw seriously dropped when I saw this.

20. Take a Musical Journey into the Caribbean with Caribbean Carnival at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Get ready to limbo.

21. Amp Up Your Style with Some Fast & Furious – Supercharged Merchandise.

Game of cards, anyone?

You can check out ALL there is to do here.

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.

Start Planning your 2018 Holiday Vacation at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There’s no better way to beat the heat of summer than to dream of cooler weather and start planning a 2018 holiday vacation. Here are 6 reasons why it’s never too early to plan for the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, November 17-January 6.

1. Christmas Cheer and Hot Butterbeer

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

During the summer, nothing beats a cold or frozen Butterbeer. But during the holidays, hot Butterbeer is a seasonal favorite for witches, wizards and Muggles alike. Grab a cup and cozy up as you watch special holiday-themed shows from the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Admire the festive window dressings as you stroll through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. When the sun sets, witness The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle – a wonderous nighttime projection light show in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

2. Balloons That Make Anyone Feel Merry

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s brings out the child in all of us. Gaze upon larger-than-life balloons and incredibly detailed floats as more than 100 choreographed performers take part in this family-favorite parade. Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me, fairytale characters from Shrek, and wild animals of Madagascar come together for this celebration of epic proportions.

3. Steal Christmas and Your Family’s Heart

Who-liday joy is all around during Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The centerpiece of the celebration is the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” – a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” You can even meet some of the Whos and snap a photo with the Grinch himself. For breakfast with a side of malarkey, make reservations to attend a character breakfast with The Grinch at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous.

4. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock

What’s Christmastime without music? Performing on select nights, Mannheim Steamroller takes over the Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios Florida to fill the air with the sounds of the season. With their modern take on classic holiday hits, you’ll get into the holiday spirit in no time.

5. Home Away from Home for the Holidays

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The on-site resort hotels at Universal Orlando pull out all the stops for the holidays with festive décor, tree lightings, yummy treats and holiday activities. From cookie decorating and carolers to visits with Santa, there is seasonal fun for the entire family to enjoy.

6. The Best Party of this Year—and Next

The celebration continues into the new year. Dance the night away on Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor with a live DJ as you party your way into 2019 during EVE at Universal CityWalk. Enjoy signature cocktails and unlimited cuisine as you rock out to live music at some of Universal CityWalk’s six party zones and lively clubs. The evening culminates with dazzling fireworks and a champagne toast at midnight. Note that this is a separately ticketed event for guests ages 21 and older.

Planning to spend the holidays with us? Be sure to check out the Holiday Stay and Play Package, which includes $100 savings on travel from November 17-January 6, plus:

  • 5-Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 3-Park, 5-Day Base Ticket to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure AND Universal’s Volcano Bay
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required)
  • Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk

Click here for full details and restrictions.

Come celebrate the holidays with your favorite characters and create special memories that will last a lifetime. Start planning now for a #HolidayLikeThis to give your family the gift of holiday magic.

15 Halloween Horror Nights Tips So You Experience It Like a Pro

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights will probably be unlike anything you have ever experienced. It’s so fun and terrifying at the same time. Since this limited time event goes so quickly, we hope these 15 Halloween Horror Nights tips will help you make the most of your time in the park.

BEFORE YOU GO…

1. Have a Game Plan

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There’s a lot to see and do at Halloween Horror Nights, so it helps to plan ahead. What are the haunted houses you really want to experience? Which scare zones must you hit? Which attractions do you want to ride to take a break from the screams? Check out the event map, talk it out with your friends and come up with a list of the must-dos.

2. Make Sure You’re Well Rested

Halloween Horror Nights kicks off at 6:30p on event nights and closes in the wee hours of the morning. You don’t want your fatigue to be the reason you head home early! Take a nice afternoon nap, grab a coffee, or whatever it takes to help you feel rejuvenated for the event.

3. Dress Comfortably (And Check Your Footwear)

I can’t stress this enough. Remember, Halloween Horror Nights is a very intense event, and we all react differently to being scared (some run, some crouch, some freeze and some flail). Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for whatever your coping mechanism may be.

And wear comfortable shoes. The only thing worse than being stalked by a horrifying chainsaw clown is trying to escape them in a pair of shoes you regret wearing.

4. Be Mindful of Your Hair Style

This may seem kind of random, but this ties to tip #3. You’re going to be pretty active during your visit, so make sure you’re rocking a hair style that works for you in the horror environment. Sometimes, I wear my hair away from my face so I can see everything that’s happening (and it keeps me cooler).

5. Try to Carry as Little as Possible

If you can, try to carry only the essentials with you during your visit, like your car keys, wallets, diaper (if you’re really that scared). You won’t want to lug a huge bag around all night. This will also help you move a little quicker through the Security line.

WHILE YOU’RE HERE…

6. Take a Picture of Where You Parked

Because your memory is going to be jam-packed with all of the frights you experienced—and it’s really important to find your car at the end of the night.

7. Visit the Park During the Day

If you visit Universal Studios Florida during the day and have an admission ticket for Halloween Horror Nights that evening, you’ll have a huge advantage over guests who are only attending the event. When the park closes for daytime operation and begins the switchover to Halloween Horror Nights, you’ll actually be held in a designated area in park until the event opens. Then, once it starts, you’ll be released into the event – so you’re already in park while others are just starting to enter the front gate. This will help you get to those haunted houses a little bit quicker.

8. Arrive Early

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you choose not to visit the park during the day, I highly recommend you arrive early. Give yourself time to park, go through Security and venture through Universal CityWalk to Universal Studios. You can knock out some of the haunted houses pretty quickly if you’re one of the first inside the event.

9. Go Against the Grain

Halloween Horror Nights is sensory overload and often times, guests stop at the first haunted house or scare zone they see. Don’t be afraid to do the opposite. Once you get into the park, consider going straight to the back and to the furthest house. There’s a good chance that the wait times are going to be shorter.

10. Enjoy the Scare Zones

A lot of people rush through the scare zones – and I get it. You’re being stalked by scareactors and you’re just trying to make it to the other side. But try to find a spot where you can just watch the action in the streets. Sometimes, there are special show moments in the scare zones that you may miss if you just rush through. Plus, it’s SO entertaining to watch other folks get scared.

11. Take Time to Ride the Rides

People come to Halloween Horror Nights for the scares…but make sure you take a moment to experience some of the attractions as well. The wait times are often shorter during the event than they are during the day. Plus, the rides will provide you a nice break from the screams.

12. Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Remember the coping mechanisms mentioned earlier? Well, one we see pretty often is people covering their eyes. If you can, try not to do this. There are a ton of details and easter eggs you’ll miss if you aren’t looking. Trust me – no matter how scared you are, try (your best) to keep your eyes open. Besides, who wouldn’t WANT to get a good look at the scareactors that are preying upon them? Okay, maybe not…

13. Stay Hydrated and Grab Food

You’re going to scream…a lot! And screaming takes a ton of energy. Make sure you drink water (or whatever your beverage of choice is…I won’t judge!) throughout the night to stay hydrated. And grab food—you don’t want to be hangry. You can either grab dinner prior to your visit or take advantage of all of the eateries in the park. To really amp up your night, consider a Scareactor Dining experience.

14. Play a Game While You’re Waiting in the Queues

One way to make time go by a little faster while you’re waiting in a queue is to play a mobile game. Check out the new TERROR TRIVIA game in The Official Universal Orlando Resort App. You can test your knowledge on this year’s haunted houses and all things Halloween Horror Nights.

15. Take Photos

If you didn’t post about it, did it really happen? Make sure to capture the moments and take selfies and photos throughout the event. The visuals help when you’re recounting your experience with your friends. And they make great profile pics. Make sure you tag us with #HHN28!

There you have it, fifteen Halloween Horror Nights tips to get the most out of your Halloween Horror Nights visit. Any tips you would add? Let me know in the comments below.

If you haven’t already, choose an event night now through Nov. 3.

Explore Unique Dishes and Delicious Drinks at Confisco Grille at Islands of Adventure

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Behind every dining destination at Universal Orlando Resort is a gem of a story lurking in the background. As you walk into Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Confisco Grille and Backwater Bar is one of the first restaurants in sight. But fable has it was the first structure completed on the corner of the Inland Sea, built by Mugahal Explorers into what was once an old watchtower….

The Story of Confisco Grille

After its time as a watchtower, Confisco Grille was a trading base where ships would be cleared to dock at the Port of Entry. Rumor has the words “Custom House” can still be seen above the main entrance as an indication of its prior use. Years later, it was seized by a strange sea cook named Noli-Man, who turned it into a restaurant.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

When Noli-Man’s life was through, the restaurant was passed down to his children. Eventually, a Malaysian Tunku (prince) won the building in a not-so-honorable game of cards. He expanded it, using remains from ships to create rooms for his family to stay in. The rooms would later be converted into more dining space for the rapidly growing restaurant.

But the Tunku was not the last person to own Confisco’s. It was finally taken over by a Tibetan pirate captain who captured it in an intense battle. The captain would go on to build a tiered tower called a pagoda on the top of the structure.

Today, Confisco Grille is the restaurant we know and love. But simply look up, and you’ll be transported back to the past as artifacts left behind by the many sailors, merchants and pirates can be seen scattered across the makeshift walls and ancient ceilings.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Story of the Backwater Bar

The founding of the Backwater Bar is but another tale. It begins with a crated French boutique from Victorian times. This abandoned structure was found at the dock of the Centre Sea. Polynesians looking to make a profit placed the soon-to-be bar next to the watchtower, completing their business with a straw roof and false front. Walls were eventually added and it became an expansion of the restaurant. Now, the bar is a great place to kick back and relax on your vacation.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Food and Drinks to Fuel Your Adventure

The Backwater Bar serves up a variety of tropical beverages to quench your thirst. Drinks like the Lynchburg Lemonde, Confisco’s Magarita, or the Navigator’s Bloody Mary will have you thanking the long gone Polynesian founders.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Confisco Grille takes inspiration from the many explorers to cross its path. The tales and tastes of all the adventurers who owned the restaurant are transcribed with dishes like Chicken Curry Chakra, the “Walk the Plank” Burger or the House Specialty Pad Thai.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Confisco Grille and Backwater Bar is one of my favorite places at Universal Orlando Resort because of its creative story and all around amazing dining options. I love finding new treasures left behind while I sit and eat.

Comment below and tell me what your favorite artifact at Confisco Grille’s is!

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

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.