When you think of a Universal Orlando Resort vacation, you probably think of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or some amazing roller coasters. But, what about for families with little ones? There is plenty to do with a baby at Universal, from rides to shows to meeting characters and more! Plus, mom and dad can still find time to do the things they want to do, too.
Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure is so much fun to explore with little ones. They can ride a couple of the rides, meet characters, and watch a show. The bright colors and fun surroundings also help to keep them entertained.
- Caro-Seuss-el: All kids love carousels, right? Toddlers can sit by themselves while mom and dad stand next to them while we go around and around. Baby not ready to ride solo? There’s a carriage option that you can sit in, too.
- Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear!: This daily show features your favorite Dr. Seuss characters: The Cat in the Hat™ with Thing One™ and Thing Two™, Sam-I-am (of Green Eggs and Ham fame), The Grinch™, and the Lorax—all dancing to musical “tellings” of the good doctor’s best-loved stories. Your kids will be all smiles watching the characters dance and sing. Afterwards, you may even get to meet the Lorax!
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: This is one of our favorite books to read, and the ride is just as fun. Look out — you may get splashed.
Kidzone is an area inside of Universal Studios Florida with tons of play areas, splash pads, and one of the most classic rides, E.T. Adventure. It offers a great mix for babies, toddlers, and older kids, including:
- A Day in the Park with Barney: Those of us who grew up watching Barney can now take our kids to see him and his friends. The show is so much fun with singing, dancing, and even being able to meet the characters afterward in a fun play area.
- Hogwarts Express: It’s pretty awesome to say your baby’s first train ride is the Hogwarts Express in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And what a great way to get from one park to the other with a stroller in tow.
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: Although we weren’t able to experience the actual ride vehicle (the ride height requirement is 40”), there is a stationary seat option at the front where you can sit with your baby. My daughter loves the Minions and after the ride you can meet one!
- Universal’s Superstar Parade: Speaking of the Minions, watch them and other characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and the Secret Life of Pets dance and sing in Universal Studios.
One of the best things to do with a baby at Universal is meet all the characters. You can find them throughout the parks, and your baby will love interacting — and in many cases — staring in awe at them while trying to capture a photo.
Best Character Moments at Universal for Little Ones
- Having fun with SpongeBob SquarePants and friends from Bikini Bottom
- Meeting the Lorax and other Seuss characters
- Chatting with the Hogwarts Express Train Conductor
- Staring up at wonder with Dad at the Transformers
- Dancing with our favorite Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me
Take All the Photos
Okay, so this activity is more for the parents, but you’ll be able to capture so many great memories. Besides the photos you’ll get from meeting characters and taking on certain rides and shows, there are also a ton of fun areas where you can snap a pic of your munchkin. How fun will it be for them to recreate that same pic later when they’re all grown up!
Best Photo Spots
- Getting that iconic family vacation photo in front of the Universal Globe
- Repping future house colors in front of Hogwarts castle
- Welcoming everyone to Jurassic Park
- Catching a wave on the Quiet Flight surfboard in Universal CityWalk
- Acting silly at all of the fun Toon Lagoon photo ops (there are so many!)
Splish, Splashin’ Water Fun
It seems like almost every little one loves some water fun. There are a ton of places for baby to splish and splash in all three theme parks, at Universal Orlando’s hotels, and even in CityWalk.
Universal’s Volcano Bay
First and foremost, there’s an entire theme park where water is life. Universal’s Volcano Bay is the perfect choice and even has a special area for babies called Tot Tiki Reef, complete with a mini volcano! You can also have fun playing in the sand of Waturi Beach, exploring the caverns inside the volcano, and even trying a nibble of Waturi Fusion Ice Cream.
There are splash pads throughout the parks that are fun to take a minute and cool off with. You can find them over in Toon Lagoon, in CityWalk, and over in the ultimate splash area Curious George Goes to Town. The hardest part will be trying to get your little one to leave!
I highly recommend staying at one of Universal’s hotels during your vacation to take advantage of not only easy access to the parks, but also the pools! Take a relaxing dip with baby in the morning or afternoon with the ability to go back to the room and take a nap any time you want to.
Tips and Tricks for Visiting Universal with a Baby
EATING IN THE PARKS
As any parent knows, you have to be flexible when it comes to a baby’s meals on the go. However, having certain amenities and a level of comfortability sure makes things easier for everyone. Here are a few tips to make your day even easier:
- Bring Your Meal: You can pack snacks, baby food, water, and formula to bring into the parks. There are nursing stations located in each park, as well as high chairs available at each restaurant.
- Stay Cool: It can get warm in Florida, but there are plenty of sit-down restaurants with A/C to cool off in. If you’re going the quick-service route outside, there are still plenty of shaded areas to sit. Remember to drink plenty of water!
- Get Comfy: Park your stroller outside to free up space and ask a Team Member for a spot that’s comfortable for a high chair.
WHAT TO BRING & WEAR
One of the thoughts that haunts me when traveling with our baby is how much we have to bring with us. For such a tiny human being, they tend to require a lot of stuff! Here’s what we found necessary to bring (outside of the usual baby essentials) and some recommendations on what to wear, too.
- Stroller: If you’re going to bring a stroller, I suggest bringing a smaller, more nimble one to navigate through the crowds. One of those baby-carrying packs is pretty awesome, too. You can also rent a stroller at the parks if you want to save some space when traveling. Just remember, you have to park your stroller outside of each attraction.
- Food & Drinks: As I mentioned above, you can bring in your own food and drinks, so make sure to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Hat & Sunscreen: Pack baby a hat and sunscreen to protect them from the Florida sun. Make sure to bring some for you, too!
- Stroller Fan: I found a stroller fan to be a great addition to keep the baby cool as we walked through the parks.
- Change of Clothes: We all know babies can have accidents or get messy while having fun. Bring a change of clothes in case you need them. There are changing spaces in every restroom, including family restrooms, which I prefer.
- Light Jacket or Blanket: Going from the hot outside into cold A/C can be jarring for baby. Bring a light jacket or blanket in case baby needs to warm up a little bit inside, especially when waiting in Child Swap.
- Baby Headphones: The parks, and some of the shows and rides, can get really loud. Bringing a pair of baby headphones can protect their little ears while also making them stylish.
- Rechargeable Mobile Battery: You’ll find yourself taking tons of pictures of your little one, which will drain your battery.
Make a Game Plan
When traveling with a baby, you will likely find yourself moving at a slower pace. The same is true when you’re trying to do the parks. My best piece of advice is to plan for multiple days at Universal Orlando Resort to make sure you can check everything off your must-do list.
Speaking of, research and plan ahead before your visit to create your must-do list. What attractions you want to ride, what shows to see, what restaurants you have to eat at, etc. I would also recommend staying at one of Universal’s hotels to make things even easier. Transportation is a breeze with shuttles or water taxis from the hotels to the parks (no getting baby in and out of a car seat!), and you can take advantage of Early Park Admission, which gives you more time in the parks with fewer crowds. It’s also great to have a place nearby where you can take the little one back for a nap, and each hotel has cribs available upon request. Let’s be honest, you’ll probably need some rest midday, too!
Take Advantage of Child Swap
This is probably one of the best things that has ever existed in the history of theme parks. Here’s how it works: Your party waits in the queue and when you get close to boarding the ride, a Team Member will direct a member of your party to wait in the designated Child Swap area with the baby. Once the rest of your group is off the ride, you can swap places and ride. This can be a great time to give your child a snack or a drink. There’s even a changing station, too, in case you need it. Some child swap locations also have great views for people watching, movies or music playing, and interactive play sets.
Visiting the theme parks with a baby will definitely change your overall experience around certain rides, shows, and more, but I personally think it makes it even more fun. You will find yourself doing new things you may not have thought of doing, while creating priceless memories with your family.
What are you looking forward to doing with your baby at Universal Orlando Resort during your vacation? Share with me in the comments below.