Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

10 Best Themed Hotel Rooms in Orlando

Are you planning an Orlando vacation and looking for a little extra fun in your hotel accommodations? Don’t miss the ten best themed hotel rooms in Orlando! With incredible rooms available at both the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort in addition to Legoland Florida Resort, there are accommodations to fit every style and budget.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

You’ll be surrounded in the artistry, enchantment and magic of Disney and Pixar movies when you stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. This Disney Resort hotel invites you to explore the storybook landscapes seen in such classics as Finding NemoCarsThe Lion King and The Little Mermaid. From delightfully themed family suites to wondrously detailed courtyards, Disney’s Art of Animation “draws” you and your family in to become a part of some of your animated favorites.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a value resort so they offer some of the most affordable accommodations at the Walt Disney World Resort. Some of the other benefits of this resort include the Disney Skyliner, the new gondola system offering a bird’s-eye view as it whisks you and your family away to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in addition to the largest resort pool in Walt Disney World Resort.

Finding Nemo Family Suites

Venture into the “Big Blue” in the Finding Nemo section of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. You can hang ten with Crush or just keep swimming with Dory. Most centrally located at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, the Finding Nemo family suites can accommodate up to six guests through a bedroom with one queen-size bed; one double-size convertible TableBed; one double-size sleeper sofa; living room; 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette.

Cars Family Suites

Photo: DoubleYourWDW

Venture into Radiator Springs with life size models of Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and more friends from the Disney-Pixar “Cars” franchise. The Cars family suites can accommodate up to six guests through a bedroom with one queen-size bed; one double-size convertible TableBed; one double-size sleeper sofa; living room; 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette.

Photo: DoubleYourWDW
Photo: DoubleYourWDW

Lion King Family Suites

Explore Pride Rock and remember “Hakuna Matata” means “no worries” in the Lion King section of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The Lion King family suites can accommodate up to six guests through a bedroom with one queen-size bed; one double-size convertible TableBed; one double-size sleeper sofa; living room; 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette.

Little Mermaid Standard Rooms

You’ll feel like you’ve gone under the sea in the Little Mermaid section of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The Little Mermaid standard rooms can sleep up to four guests in either two queen beds or one king bed.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside

Your little princes and princesses will truly feel like royalty in the royal guest rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside. These rooms feature fun regal touches from Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and Tiana’s princess pals, including a special fireworks display headboard, Aladdin’s magic carpet, and golden bathroom fixtures. Royal guest rooms can sleep up to four guests with two queen beds.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Are you ready to put on your supersuit and feel like a superhero with “The Incredibles?” The rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort were recently refurbished to include a new “Incredibles” theme. These rooms blend a sleek Monorail motif with some of our favorite characters from Pixar Animation Studios’ Incredibles films, including Jack-Jack, Frozone and Edna Mode. The custom artwork you’ll find in guest rooms and along guest corridors is modern, futuristic and oh so stylish, dahling, complementing the resort’s architecture while putting the Supers’ powers on display.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Can you feel that Pacific breeze blowing? That’s because we just stepped into one of the newly refurbished Moana themed rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! These reimagined spaces feature a new color palette inspired by the Pacific Ocean and its many islands, including details, patterns and textures from the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Moana” – look closely and you might even spot some characters from the story! You’ll also see all-new furnishings and fixtures in these rooms. In the bathrooms, for example, Disney Imagineers took inspiration from the sandy ocean floor for the tiles and carved details in the vanity. The colorful patterns found throughout the room bring a whole new energy to the space, evoking undulating ocean waves and tropical flowers.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Your kids will love sleeping and playing among the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Kids Suite at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. There’s plenty of space for up to 5 guests in this 670-square-foot 2-bedroom suite featuring a standard king bedroom for two adults, plus a separate connecting room for the kids.

When your kids lay down in bed, they’ll feel as if they’ve stepped right into their very own gyrosphere ride, maneuvering through the jungle terrain. The kids’ room only opens into the adults’ room, connected via a door modeled after the dinosaur enclosure that can be opened or closed to contain your little wild things. Of course, the kids aren’t the only ones who can get in on the fun of the Jurassic World™ themed rooms. Mom and dad can have a little privacy in the master bedroom.

Plus, at this tranquil South Seas retreat, you can leave the rest of the world behind and unwind with all the benefits of being a Universal Orlando hotel guest, including free Universal Express Unlimited to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (valid theme park admission required).

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Despicable Me Kids’ Suites at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offer the children a place their own space to play and unwind while parents relax in a beautiful master bedroom. Your children will love the view and the appointments in these minions themed suites. These suites can sleep up to five guests with a rollaway (king bed in one room and two twin beds in the other) with 650 square feet of space.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Guests of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel also enjoy exclusive Universal Orlando Resort benefits, including free Universal Express Unlimited to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (valid theme park admission required).

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Pirate Island Hotel at Legoland Florida Resort

Ahoy Mateys! You can vacation like a pirate at the LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel, situated just 130 kid-steps from the LEGOLAND Park front gates in Florida! This hotel will transform your family vacation into a unique pirate adventure with immersive themed rooms, a resort pool, and a boat-load of interactive activities and live entertainment for the young bucs (and ol’ sea dogs) to experience during their stay.

Some of our favorite features include a welcome treasure hunt with a LEGO prize, LEGO bricks to build with during your stay, nightly pirate entertainment and so much more. Arrgh… you ready?!

Are you ready to book one of these themed hotel rooms in Orlando? Call Siera today at (734) 771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com to check pricing and availability on the room of your choice.

Top 10 Unique Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you are looking for picturesque views, phenomenal dining options, pools that will transport you and your family to full vacation mode, and oh yeah some Universal Orlando Resort theme park perks, too? Well, you’re in luck because half the fun of a Universal Orlando vacation can be found at the eight unique and impeccably-themed Universal Orlando Resort hotels. So, today, we are sharing ten unique experiences at Universal Orlando Resort hotels you won’t want to miss!

1. Embark on a Rum-Tasting Journey at Strong Water Tavern.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This experience at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is an educational blast — you’ll be paired with a Rum Captain (coolest job title ever) who will host a tasting of several different rums and teach you about their flavor nuances. Even if you’re not a rum-fan, I recommend trying this out or just sitting at the bar and enjoying one of the other great signature cocktails.

2. Bowl a strike at Galaxy Bowl.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Well, at least try to bowl a strike. How many hotels have a literal bowling alley in them? Let alone one as cool as you’ll find at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Whether you’re staying at this hotel or not you should definitely plan a bowling excursion during your Universal trip.

3. Make a splash at your hotel pool.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

What’s a vacation to Florida without a day spent at the pool? Each of the hotels deliver their own great pool experience (Cabana Bay Beach Resort even has a lazy river)! Be sure to check out our guide to the pools here and don’t forget your sunscreen.

4. Get adventurous with the sushi at Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Sushi with a view is the most succinct way I can articulate the magic that is this restaurant in Loews Royal Pacific Resort. The sushi menu is vibrant and inventive, the cocktail offerings are one-of-a-kind, and you’ll be enjoying it all with a view worthy of the word “paradise” as the restaurant overlooks the lush and tropical vibes at Royal Pacific..

5. Attempt the Kitchen Sink Challenge at The Kitchen in Hard Rock Hotel.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Think you have what it takes to eat a burger, side of fries, one fried pickle, and a giant slice of The Kitchen Sink Cake in thirty minutes? Even if you can’t, I can bet it’ll be a delicious experience trying.

6. Enjoy gelato on the harbor.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Get yourself a cup of gelato from the Gelateria and soak in the relaxing ambience of the harbor at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. You may even end up having to pinch yourself to come back to reality and remind yourself you’re not actually in Italy.

7. Grab a rooftop drink and bite to eat at Bar 17 Bistro.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Take in one of the best views throughout all of Universal Orlando Resort at Bar 17 Bistro, located at the top of Aventura Hotel. Sipping on a Volcano View with a view of Volcano Bay is an unmatched experience.

8. Level up your vacation with one of our themed kids’ suites.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Whether the kids in your group are into dinosaurs, Minions, or music, there’s a kids-suite for them! The different kids’ suites throughout Universal hotels will really  have you sleeping where the action is with the Future Rock Star Suites at Hard Rock Hotel, Despicable Me Kids Suites at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and Jurassic World Kids Suites at Royal Pacific Resort.

9. Sample all of the exclusive drinks the hotels have to offer.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you’re at Universal Orlando Resort’s newest hotel, Dockside Inn and Suites, grab some of the Wet n’ Wild-inspired specialty cocktails by the pool. More of a beer drinker? Enjoy the specialty craft beers at Sunset Lounge in Dockside or head to Jake’s American Bar at Royal Pacific Resort to try out their menu of specialty beers. Pro-tip for your time at Jake’s — all of the Team Members have made-up names there! Be sure to ask your server why they picked theirs.

10. Treat yourself to some pampering at Mandara Spa.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You deserve it! This spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has a ton of options for you to relax and bring your vacation to another level of pure joy and bliss. Besides, after all that roller coaster riding you’ve been doing in the theme parks, you’ve earned yourself a massage.

Let me know in the comments below your favorite experiences at Universal Orlando Resort hotels.

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Top 10 Things to Do at Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort

If you’re coming to vacation at Universal Orlando Resort, you’re most likely going to find yourself passing through Universal CityWalk. Whether you’re staying at one of the fabulous Universal Orlando resort hotels and riding a water taxi over or parking in one of the massive parking garages, you’ll find yourself walking through CityWalk on your way to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. CityWalk is the perfect place to grab lunch, dinner, or a quick snack, and there is a lot of fun entertainment to check out after you wrap up a day in the theme parks. Here are the top 10 things to do at Universal CityWalk during your next Universal Orlando Resort vacation!

1. Indulge in a Fantastical Milkshake from The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen

If you went to Universal and didn’t get a Toothsome milkshake, did you even go? These milkshakes are the must-get treat during your vacation for not only the deliciousness, but also the photo that will have everyone wishing they were in your shoes.

2. Try the Epic Fusion of Burgers and Sushi at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Is it sushi? Is it a burger? It’s both! Burgushi combines the best of both worlds into unique dishes you can only find at The Cowfish. While you’re there, I recommend trying one of their exotic cocktails or spiked milkshakes.

TIP: CityWalk’s restaurants are pretty busy during lunch and dinner times (especially during peak seasons). Click here to guarantee yourself a table by making a reservation ahead of time.

3. Play a Round, or Two, of Miniature Golf at Hollywood Drive-In Golf

Not many can say they’ve golfed through a space worm or a haunted house during their vacation… but you can! These two mini-golf courses are themed to the classic sci-fi and horror flicks of the 1950s.

4. Stop By Voodoo Doughnut for a Big Pink Box of… Doughnuts!

Voodoo Doll. Grape Ape. Portland Cream. No, these aren’t band names, they’re doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnut. Choose from traditional or whimsical flavors and make sure to ask if they have any specialty doughnuts. They also have vegan options like the ODB, which is so good, like borderline flawless, absolutely delicious.

TIP: Skip the line and order your box of doughnuts ahead of time by mobile ordering through the Universal Orlando Resort app.

5. Get the Ultimate Sports Fan Experience at NBC Sports Grill & Brew

You don’t have to miss the game just because you’re on vacation. Catch any league game here while enjoying good food (like a giant soft pretzel) and a cold one from a selection of over 100 beers. There are also foosball tables. Literally, a table where you can eat and also play foosball!

6. Sing Your Heart Out at Rising Star with a Live Karaoke Band

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a singer, Rising Star makes that dream reality. Take the stage with backup singers and a live band (on select nights) and belt out your favorite songs in this rockin’ karaoke experience.

7. End Your Day Roasting S’mores and Savoring Smoky Spirits at Bigfire

Open fire cooking? Check. S’mores tableside? Check. An extensive list of whiskey and bourbon? Check. Bigfire is where you go to have summer vacation vibes year round with smoky flavors reminiscent of camping and backyard barbeques.

8. Pick Out the Perfect Gift or Souvenir from the Universal Studios Store

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You won’t want to miss stopping by this big — and I’m talking BIG — store jam-packed with all the Universal themed gifts and souvenirs you could ever want. 

TIP: Don’t feel like carrying around bags all day in the theme parks? You can have your purchases delivered here for you to pick up as you’re heading out.

9. Enjoy a Stone-Baked Pizza from Red Oven Pizza Bakery

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Dang, this is some good pizza. These made-to-order pies are baked in a stone-lined oven with a variety of both blanco and rosso pizzas. Grab one to go and sit by the CityWalk lagoon for a great view or enjoy outside seating at the restaurant while getting some great people watching in.

10. Spend the Evening Listening to Your Choice of Live Music

End your busy day at the theme parks by unwinding with live music from one CityWalk’s many venues.  From reggae jams to full-blown rock concerts, here are a few of my favorite spots.

(Just remember that like all restaurants and concert venues, these performances are subject to change. Luckily, there is always something to do in CityWalk!)

Got any recommendations for first-time visitors? Share your favorite things to do at CityWalk in the comments below.

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Looking for the perfect outfit for your daughter to wear to Universal Orlando Resort? Check out DotDotSmile or join DotDotSmile by Siera!

Everything You Need to Know About TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D at Universal Studios Florida

There are several reasons why TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D in Universal Studios Florida is one of the best rides at Universal Orlando Resort. The action is non-stop from the moment the ride begins, which is then only elevated by the special effects and 3-D elements. Because of the constant action and story turns, the ride feels like it lasts a long time! Lastly, for fans of the franchise who grew up watching the 1980’s animated television series or the more recent live-action movies, this ride gives you the chance to become a part of the long-lasting war between the Autobots and Decepticons — your classic good versus evil scenario.

Not only did TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D bring a new hit attraction to the parks, it introduced one of the coolest character meet-and-greets. And just check out that giant Optimus Prime statue at the ride entrance! Here’s everything you need to know about one of the must-do rides in Universal Studios.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

THE STORY

The battle between the Autobots and Decepticons (two factions of an alien robot species called Transformers) has come to Earth, and you’ve been recruited by the Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (N.E.S.T.) to help defend mankind. Your objective: keep the AllSpark — a powerful object capable of creating new life — out of the Decepticon’s possession. Of course, the mission goes haywire as Decepticons descend on the N.E.S.T. base and an explosive battle begins…

THE QUEUE

As you enter the ride building, you’re entering N.E.S.T. headquarters, where you’ll receive debriefing on your mission from N.E.S.T. and the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. Throughout the queue, you’ll encounter the AllSpark fragment that you’re tasked with protecting, as well as other Transformer artifacts and weaponry.

THE RIDE

Immediately after boarding your ride vehicle, which happens to be your Autobot partner Evac, you encounter your first Decepticon stealing the AllSpark until Bumblebee intervenes… but you’re not in the clear yet. Decepticons surround you at every turn as Evac attempts to evade the onslaught from Bonecrusher, Starscream, and more. During the struggle, you find yourself in the middle of Optimus Prime battling the evil Megatron. Do you and the Autobots defeat the Decepticons? I’ll leave that for you to discover.

The ride experience is motion simulation based with a ride vehicle that moves along a track (NOT a roller coaster) and combines 3-D visual and 4-D physical effects. The Transformers will appear larger-than-life with your 3-D glasses on, and you’ll feel the raging effects of battle around you like strong winds and heat.

Ride Details:
– Minimum height requirement of 40″ (101.6 cm) to ride
– Universal Express Pass is accepted
– You can take your bags on this ride (woot!)
– Child Swap is available upon request

MEET THE TRANSFORMERS

Whenever my friends or family come to the parks for vacation, one of my favorite things I tell them they have to do is meet the TRANSFORMERS characters. I remember the first time I stood next to them — I was in awe (and still am to this day)of how big and incredibly detailed they were, a feeling which only grew when next thing I knew they spoke to me!

You can meet three TRANSFORMERS daily right next to the ride building, kiddy-corner from the Supply Vault store. Optimus Prime (leader of the Autobots), Bumblebee (spunky Autobot lieutenant), and Megatron (leader of the Decepticons).

Download the Universal Orlando Resort App to see the daily meet-and-greet times for the TRANSFORMERS.

SUPPLY VAULT

You’ll need to gear up on N.E.S.T. essentials now that you’ve been recruited to join the battle. Stop by the Supply Vault store (near the exit of the ride) for all things TRANSFORMERS merchandise.

  • Deck yourself out in N.E.S.T. T-shirts, cadet hats, and bags, or show your support for either Autobots or Decepticons with themed apparel, car decals, magnets, mugs, and more. 
  • We can’t talk TRANSFORMERS without mentioning the toys and collectibles (which for some of us are the same thing).

Check out more TRANSFORMERS merchandise before your trip on our online merch store.

FUN FACTS

  • The Orlando ride is the third installation of the TRANSFORMERS ride at a Universal theme park, the first is at Universal Studios Singapore and the second at Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Evac, the Transformer who is your ride vehicle, was created and designed exclusively for the Universal ride.
  • During the ride, see if you can spot the famous yellow Volkswagen Beetle that was Bumblebee’s alter ego in the original comic and TV series.
  • Besides Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron, there are 13 other Autobots and Decepticons you encounter throughout the ride.
  • When working with big transforming robots, everything is going to be giant in scale. The ride is no exception with 34 custom built screens that tower at heights of over 80 feet tall.

Are you ready to keep the AllSpark safe? Autobots, roll out!

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5 Fun Facts About Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

19-39228 Surfside Pre-Open Shoot 062219, Loews Hotels, Exterior, Lifestyle, Pool, Poolside, Endless Summer, Bus

If you know anything about Universal Orlando Resort Hotels, you know the teams behind them leave no detail untouched and no space unthemed. That is as true as ever in regards to the destination’s newest property and first extra-affordable value hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Here are five fun facts about Universal’s Endless Summer Resort- Surfside Inn and Suites…

1. Half of the hotel is made up of suites.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

And the suites are pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. If you hear “value” and start picturing anything less than a spacious room with very, VERY comfy beds, a picnic table for meals, storage space, immaculately clean areas, and a surfboard coat-hanger — welp, you’re just not thinking about Surfside!

2. The hotel pool is in the shape of a surfboard.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Of course the pool at Surfside Inn and Suites is shaped like a surfboard; I told you that the theming at this place has left nothing untouched! This surfboard-shaped pool would take more than 1,191 regular surfboards to fill the total square footage. So, yeah, the pool is huge, there are plenty of spots to sit by it, and the Sand Bar (which is, if it isn’t obvious, a bar) is right by the pool so you’re never too far from your next drink.

3. Speaking of drinks, all food and drink options throughout the hotel are below $12.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

That means whether you’re craving a Breakfast Pizza in the morning or a Pipeline Burger with Bacon Jam in the evening — or if you’re craving both right now just from reading this — you’re eating real good and saving money while you do so.

4. The Shuttle Bus from the hotel to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk takes less than ten minutes.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Ten minutes away from Hollywood Rip Ride RockitToothsome Chocolate Emporium milkshakes, and all the other incredible thrills at Universal Orlando Resort? OK, I’m in. Staying with Universal at Surfside Inn and Suites means you don’t have to pay for transportation to the parks and you get to ride in style with your fellow vacationers racing for the first row on all the coasters. PLUS! You get into the park before regular park guests with your access to Early Park Admission. That is a full hour before the parks officially open for you to experience.

5. There are more than 1,435 surfboards around the hotel.

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Each of these surfboards were made special by Quiet Flight and fit perfectly with the beachy vibes and tones throughout the hotel. Can you find all 1,435?

What are your favorite facts about Universal’s Endless Summer Resort? How many did you know?

Book your Universal Orlando Resort vacation today to check out Surfside Inn and Suites for yourself and let us know in the comments what you’re most excited about during your vacation!

Looking for the perfect outfit for your daughter to wear to Universal Orlando Resort? Check out DotDotSmile or join DotDotSmile by Siera!

Everything You Need to Know About Wizarding World of Harry Potter Merchandise

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

One of the most memorable moments from the Harry Potter films and books is when Harry is shopping with Hagrid for all the supplies he’ll need at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can also experience the fun of shopping for Wizarding World of Harry Potter merchandise at Universal Orlando Resort as you choose a delightful creature companion, try on school robes, or stock up on quills and parchment.

There are two lands with a number of themed shops for you to explore — Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Each shop offers unique items for purchase that are inspired by the films and books, as well as incredible theming and details that make you feel as if you’re stepping right into the story. Whether you’re a long-time fan, or if it’s your first introduction to the wizarding world, you’re bound to find a magical keepsake to take home.

Here’s the full list of shops you can experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with some of my favorite items to keep an eye out for and tips on how to get the best experience during your visit.

DIAGON ALLEY

Quality Quidditch Supplies

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Quidditch is a very popular wizarding sport and now you can get all the gear to rep your favorite house. Pick up house team apparel, pennants, and accessories, as well as everything you need to play, like Quaffles, Golden Snitches, and more.

Quidditch Jerseys: Are you the new Seeker or Keeper on your Hogwarts house team? You can now get your very own jersey personalized with your name.

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You can’t miss this whimsical shop run by the pranksters Fred and George Weasley. The bright, orange shop immediately catches your eye and lures you inside to check out its shelves piled high with magical jokes and toys. Adopt a Pygmy Puff or stock up on pranks and tricks like the Decoy Detonator or an Extendable Ear.

Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

There’s only one place you can fill out your wizarding wardrobe. Madam Malkin’s offers the best in wizarding fashion, including unique replicas of Hermoine’s Yule Ball Gown and all kinds of Hogwarts house apparel.

Robes and Scarves: Stock up on everything you’ll need for Hogwarts with your house robes, scarves, sweaters, accessories, jewelry, and more.

Borgin and Burkes

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you muster the courage to wander into Knockturn Alley, get a taste of the Dark Arts inside Borgin and Burkes (my favorite shop) with items like Dark Mark tattoos, Deathly Hallow jewelry, skulls, and Death Eater masks.

Ollivanders Wand Shop

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

After you experience a wand choosing a wizard at Ollivanders, stop in the wand shop to browse the wide selection of wands. You’ll find shelves stacked high with wands from your favorite characters and interactive wands.

Interactive Wands: Practice casting your favorite spells throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley with an interactive wand.

Magical Menagerie

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

One of my favorite moments in the Harry Potter films is when Harry finds Hedwig, his beloved owl companion. Now, you too can find your very own creature companion in Magical Menagerie from owls and cats to frogs and rats (all cuddly plushes, of course).

Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Known for its stock of magical instruments, Wiseacre’s is the blue shop located right next to Gringotts bank. Inside you’ll find wares like apparel and mugs, along with Butterbeer items perfect for fans of the frothy beverage and toys to challenge the mind like a Diagon Alley puzzle.

Butterbeer Tee: No matter which type of Butterbeer is your favorite (the drink is available in cold, frozen, and even hot during the winter months), show your love for all things Butterbeer with this comfy tee.

Gringotts Money Exchange

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Here’s your opportunity to speak with a goblin, although you may only get a word or two and a glare from him. Afterward, exchange your U.S. currency for Gringotts bank notes, which you can use to shop in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. You can also pick up some bags of chocolate Gringotts coins.

Scribbulus

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Scribbulus has all your wizarding-writing needs with quills and ink, Hogwarts house notebooks (another item you can get personalized), stationery, and backpacks to carry it all in.

Howler Recordable Card: Fans may remember when Ron Weasley received a Howler from his mom for flying the family car to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This recordable card allows you to send your very own Howler.

Wands by Gregorovitch

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

There’s another wand shop you will want to check out right across from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Gregorovitch is a rival wandmaker of Ollivanders and you can find character wands, interactive wands, and wand stands at his shop.

Globus Mundi

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You may be on vacation when you visit this shop, but it’s never too early to prepare for your next one. Globus Mundi is the official travel agency of the wizarding world and offers everything you need for your next trip like passport holders, travel apparel, mugs, and more.

Hogwarts Express Line: Travel in style with items sporting designs inspired by the iconic red locomotive, the Hogwarts Express, like a leather stainless tumbler or a collectible foil ticket set.

Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Before you leave Diagon Alley grab some treats to go from Sugarplum’s. This pink, sweet shop offers the finest in wizarding confections like Fizzing Whizbees, different flavors of fudge (including Butterbeer!), pumpkin pasties, Ginger Newt cookies, and more.

Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans: Challenge your friends to try a box of these beans and get ready to capture their reactions. The name says it all with flavors that range from enjoyable like lemon and cherry to the more, uh, unique flavors of grass and earwax.

After you’re done exploring the shops in Diagon Alley, head over to King’s Cross Station to catch the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade (remember, you’ll need a park-to-park ticket to hop aboard the train).

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Before you go, make sure to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter merchandise cart in London right outside of King’s Cross Station. You can find some of my favorite themed apparel here like the Knight Bus merchandise and the Grimmauld Place T-shirt.

HOGSMEADE

Honeydukes

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You’ve arrived in Hogsmeade and the first shop you’ll come upon is the colorful sweet shop Honeydukes. Here, you’ll find all of the famous wizarding treats like Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizbees, Cauldron Cakes, Exploding Bonbons, and more.

Chocolate Frog: You won’t want to miss out on this favorite wizarding world treat. Not only are they delicious, but each Chocolate Frog comes with a collectible wizard card celebrating a famous witch or wizard.

Dervish and Banges

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This is your one-stop shop for all your wizarding needs. Grab all of your Hogwarts house gear like robes, scarves, shirts, and drinkware. And don’t forget to check out the assortment of magical items such as wands, brooms, Sneakoscopes, and Quidditch supplies.

Owl Post

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Owl Post is one of my favorite shops to stop in. It has everyone’s favorite owl plush companions (including Hedwig!) and every writing implement you need from quills to stationery and notebooks. You can also mail letters with a Hogsmeade postmark. For those of you who become inspired to read the books or see the movies during your visit, you can pick up both here, too!

Hogwarts House Stationery: Show your house pride with stationery that you can get personalized at the Owl Post cart located right outside the shop.

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You can’t visit Hogwarts without stopping here. Rummage through the confiscated trinkets and treasures the school caretaker, Argus Filch, has seized from students such as Hogwarts Crest items, a Marauder’s Map toy, and even movie-replica props like the Hufflepuff Cup or the Sword of Gryffindor.

Hogsmeade Carts

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

As you’re wrapping up your day, stop by the carts throughout Hogsmeade for any final finds like wands, wand stands, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure items like Pixie and Fluffy plushies, Hogwarts castle name keychains, and more.

Fluffy Plush Puppet: Little ones love this three-headed pooch puppet. It’s a great souvenir until they are tall enough to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and meet Fluffy face-to-face!

Shopping Tips for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • For the ultimate wizarding world experience, explore getting an interactive wand first when you arrive so you can practice your spellcasting throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
  • The shops are true to the films with narrow corridors and packed from floor to ceiling with whimsical oddities and magical supplies. Get a start on exploring the shops before the daytime guests with Early Park Admission. This perk is available to guests who stay at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel and gives you access to the parks one hour before everyone else.
  • Another perk for our hotel guests is being able to request to have your merchandise sent back to your hotel. Or, you can have the merchandise held near the park exit so you can pick it up at the end of the day. Just ask a Team Member at the shop and free up those arms from carrying bags for more spellcasting.
  • You can find select The Wizarding World of Harry Potter merchandise in the Universal Studios Stores located in the parks, CityWalk, and hotels. You can also find it before or after your trip on Universal’s online merch store. However, there are certain, exclusive items that can only be found in the lands.
  • Keep your eye out for the unexpected. You never know what you may find!

What’s at the top of your shopping list for Wizarding World of Harry Potter merchandise? Share your favorite finds in the comments below and on Twitter and Instagram using #WizardingWorldOrlando.

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Complete Guide to Dining in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The immersive experiences within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter bring you as close as you can get to actually living out the fantasy. And one of the most tantalizing ways to immerse your senses is tasting some of the famous treats and flavorful beverages available in Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Today, we are sharing the complete guide to dining in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

BREAKFAST

As the saying goes at Universal Orlando Resort: early to rise, early to ride. This is why staying on property and taking advantage of Early Park Admission can be your best friend, especially with early access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Plus, arriving early means in-park breakfast and I highly recommend you make time to enjoy a pleasant sit-down morning meal at one of the two remarkably themed restaurants in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley before setting off on your journey. 

Leaky Cauldron – Diagon Alley

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: To fully immerse yourself in the wizarding world you’ve got to go all in, which is why I highly recommend choosing one of the more adventurous breakfast plates like the delicious Egg, Leek and Mushroom Pasty.

Breakfast Menu

Three Broomsticks – Hogsmeade

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations:  The Traditional English Breakfast is the star of the show here, but when I’m in the mood for an old reliable I usually opt for the American Breakfast.

Breakfast Menu – Currently Unavailable

Check the Universal Orlando App for availability and mobile ordering during your visit. 


LUNCH/DINNER

If there’s one word to describe the majority of meals you will find at seated dining locations throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter it is hearty. The menus at the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks are loaded with wholesome dishes offering a feast of familiar and even some unfamiliar British fare. This, in addition to extraordinary theming and lively ambiance, makes the entire dining experience an attraction unto itself. 

Leaky Cauldron – Diagon Alley

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: I can’t stress enough how good the Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew really is, but I also dig the Mini Pie Combination.

Lunch/Dinner Menu

Three Broomsticks – Hogsmeade

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: Fish & Chips is my choice, but if you want something a bit more eclectic try the Great Feast.

Lunch/Dinner Menu

Both the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks have kids menu options as well if you’re traveling with young ones.

Short on time? There’s a variety of grab-and-go food options throughout both lands so you can keep exploring and make use of every last valuable minute in the wizarding world.

London Taxi Cart – Diagon Alley

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: LoadedJacket Potato


BEVERAGES

When it comes to drinks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Butterbeer is a must-try. However, choices abound beyond just that sweet butterscotch concoction, including a number of other favorite drinks from the stories. Though, if you do opt for Butterbeer, the decision you’ll have to make is…which kind? 

Where to get Butterbeer…

Diagon Alley – Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune

Hogsmeade – Three Broomsticks, Hog’s Head, Street Carts

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendation: Frozen Butterbeer is my personal favorite, but cold Butterbeer and hot Butterbeer are also worth a try. Keep in mind hot Butterbeer is a seasonal beverage available only during the winter time.

Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment – Carkitt Market in Diagon Alley

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: Sample the lot!CombineFire Protection Potion, Babbling Beverage, Draught of Peace, or Elixir to Induce Euphoria with a bottle of Gillywater for a flavorful treat.

Other Beverages…

Hogsmeade – Three Broomsticks

Diagon Alley – Leaky Cauldron, Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Hopping Pot

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: Pumpkin Juice is the classic, but Fishy Green Ale and Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice are the more adventurous choices. 

Adult Beverages…

Hogsmeade – Three Broomsticks, Hog’s Head 

Diagon Alley – Leaky Cauldron, Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Hopping Pot

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: Try the exclusive Hog’s Head Brew or other domestic and imported beers.

Check each location for availability of specific beverages. *Must be 21 years or older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages. 


TREATS

Butterbeer isn’t the only sweet treat to be found in the wizarding world. Both lands feature their own whimsically-themed candy shops with shelves and glass cases of popular treats from the stories and some originals you won’t find anywhere else, too. 

Honeydukes – Hogsmeade

Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop – Diagon Alley

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

Recommendations: Too many to name… but I’ll try. Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Exploding Bonbons, Fizzing Whizbees, Fudge Flies, Butterbeer Fudge (yes, this exists and yes, it is absolutely delicious).

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour – Diagon Alley

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendations: If you have to choose just one, I highly recommend Butterbeer ice-cream, but save room to try the Earl Grey & Lavender, Chocolate Chili and Sticky Toffee Pudding if you can.

Ice Cream Menu


HEALTHY EATING

And if you’re looking for options for healthy eating or special dietary needs, we got you covered with some delicious options. If you or another guest have food allergies or intolerances, we offer a number of dining options throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where our chefs and culinary staff can accommodate your dietary needs. Just be sure to ask your server or attending Team Member for options at your specific dining location. 

Leaky Cauldron – Diagon Alley

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendation: The Ploughman’s is enough food for two and it features an array of a feast of English cheese, crusty bread, field green salad, roasted tomatoes, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, branston pickle & scotch eggs. Wow, that’s literally a mouthful!

Lunch/Dinner Menu

Three Broomsticks – Hogsmeade

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Recommendation: Rotisserie Smoked Chicken Salad is a nice light way to graze and save room for other delights.

Lunch/Dinner Menu

I hope this guide to dining in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort helped you plan all of the yummy details of your next visit. If I missed any of your favorites, please recommend them in the comments below.

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

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9 Tips for a Rainy Day at Universal Orlando Resort

Any Floridian will tell you it’s just good sense to prepare yourself for rain when planning a day at a theme park. Here in the Sunshine State, we are all too familiar with those afternoon showers that come along during the later spring and summer months. As someone who has spent plenty of afternoons refreshing my weather app and trying to figure out where I can wait out the storm, I’m here to give you my best tips for a rainy day at Universal Orlando Resort so that you’re all set the next time the clouds start forming.

TIP #1: Stay at a Universal Orlando hotel.

The closer you stay to the theme parks, the easier it will be for you to decide to head back to the hotel, dry off, and come right back to the thrills once the storm has passed. And trust me, it will. Probably in like an hour or two. Plus with Early Park Admission (one of the MANY benefits of staying at a Universal hotel), you’ll be able to get a head start on your day if rain is in the forecast.

There are also plenty of indoor activities you can do at your hotel! Bowl at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, enjoy some sushi at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, or go on a rum tasting journey at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Plus each of the hotels have a game room, just in case your crew is looking for some friendly competition.

TIP #2: Be prepared.

Here’s the deal — it isn’t completely unreasonable to assume that at some point during your day at Universal Orlando it may rain. Plan accordingly and throw a poncho or a light rain jacket into your bag to bring on your trip. Also plan to wear clothes and shoes that you won’t mind getting wet, just in case. Like I said, it’s just good sense to go ahead and be ready for a potentially rainy afternoon here in Florida!

There are also ponchos available for purchase throughout the parks, so if you find yourself needing one, check the official Universal Orlando Resort app for the nearest store.

TIP #3: Head to Universal’s Islands of Adventure first.

If rain is in the forecast, plan to start your day in Islands of Adventure. It has far more outside attractions that will be impacted by the rain, so you’ll want to make sure you get to fit those in first thing. 

Head to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade to start your day on a thrilling adventure through the Forbidden Forest.

TIP #4: Enjoy some indoor attractions.

I love roller coasters as much as the next theme park fan, but some of my favorite rides at Universal are indoor attractions. Check the list below for where you can head during a rainy day at Universal!

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA INDOOR RIDES:

ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE INDOOR RIDES:

TIP #5: Sit back and watch a show.

Don’t let the rain damper your good time; catch a phenomenal indoor live action stunt show at Universal Studios Florida — The Bourne Stuntacular. Or head over to The Horror Make-Up Show to fit some laughs into your day. They’re close to each other in the Hollywood area of the park so you can start with one and then head to the other without getting too wet!

Definitely download the official Universal Orlando Resort app to check for showtimes and other helpful features like Universal Pay, a map of the parks, and access to the Virtual Line experience.

TIP #6: Head to Universal CityWalk.

Take a break during your rainy day at Universal for a leisurely meal at any of the fantastic sit-down restaurants in CityWalkThe Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is my go-to because me and my crew love all of the different course-options: Bread (the warm chocolate almond bread is a must-order), Appetizer, Libation, Salad, Entree, and Milkshake. I also highly recommend asking if there’s seating upstairs! Watch the storm come and go with a great view.

You can also take the time to sit out the rain by catching a movie at Universal Cinemark.

TIP #7: Ride a water ride.

I mean, you’re already wet, right? If the storm has passed (or if it’s just some light rain), embrace your current state of damp and at least make the experience a fun one! Enjoy the three water rides in Islands of Adventure — Jurassic Park River Adventure , Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls , and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.

VOLCANO BAY TIP: The rides at Volcano Bay only close during inclement weather, so as long as there’s no thunder or lightning, you should be good to go on the rides. If the storm is still going, I’d say wait out the storm and go ahead and use your TapuTapu to join the Virtual Lines for the rides and hunker down at Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club or one of the boat bars.

TIP #8: Ride a roller coaster to dry off.

When the rain has stopped there is no more thrilling way to dry off than riding one of the high-speed roller coasters at Universal. If you’re in Universal Studios, head to Hollywood Rip Ride Rock-It. If you’re in Islands of Adventure, take a ride on The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Jurassic World VelociCoaster. You’ll be dry in no time!

TIP #9: You tell me!

These are my best tips for what to do on a rainy day at Universal Orlando Resort, but I’d love to hear yours! Share them in the comments below!

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Top 5 Reasons to Love Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

When traveling with your family, finding relaxing accommodations to stay at while not breaking the budget is key. All of Universal Orlando Resort’s uniquely-themed hotels offer an incredible array of benefits and amenities, but none meet the extra-affordable value and levels of relaxation needed for larger families quite like Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. This resort features Dockside Inn and Suites and Surfside Inn and Suites, both of which give you the surf culture and beach life vibes you’re looking for on a Florida vacation. There really is no comparison in Orlando when you look at the price value and pair it with amenities designed with families in mind and theme park perks exclusive to Universal hotel guests.

If you’re hooked and want to know more, we are sharing the top five reasons we think you’ll love staying at Dockside Inn and Suites for your family’s next Universal Orlando Resort vacation.

1. Exclusive Food and Drinks (Most Under $12!)

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

By far my favorite thing about Dockside Inn and Suites is the food and drinks. There are a plethora of unique options for the whole family like the Pier 8 Egg Muffin, Dockworker Wrap, or the Chicken and Waffles bucket. Don’t miss the fun Wet n’ Wild inspired cocktails you can get poolside (Wet n’ Wild was the longtime water park that was previously located where Universal’s Endless Summer Resort is now). And for craft beer drinkers, there is the Sunset Blonde, which is a Mango Blonde Ale brewed exclusively for the resort.

2. More Than Half of the Hotel is 2-Bedroom Suites

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

During vacation, your hotel is your home away from home. You want to be able to relax when you get back to your room after a day in the theme parks. Having a 2-bedroom suite gives you much-needed space to recharge for tomorrow. The kids can spread out and have their space, while mom and dad can get some privacy, too. You don’t even need to spend the extra cash for connecting rooms. Also, talk about spacious — these suites sleep up to six and have a kitchenette, picnic table for meals, double vanity, and plenty of suitcase storage. 

3. A Huge Hotel Calls for Two HUGE Pools

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

When I’m looking at hotels for an upcoming vacation, one of the deciding factors is the pool because I know we’re going to spend a full day relaxing poolside. Dockside Inn and Suites makes it an easy choice for the sole fact that it has not one, but two massive pools. Plus, there’s a fun splash pad area for kids to run around in, and for mom and dad, two large pool bars to grab an umbrella drink.

4. There are More Than 1,000 Longboards Around the Hotel

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort was designed by the same creative teams who bring the theme parks to life, so you know it’s going to be incredible with every detail. It’s inspired by surf culture and you see it come to life through every aspect of your stay, especially the design elements. Dockside Inn and Suites hooks into the chill and relaxing side of shore life with driftwood details, photorealistic artwork, overall color palette, and longboards. Each room has a custom-made longboard made by Quiet Flight just for Dockside, resulting in 1,024 longboards in total around the hotel!

5. It’s a Short Ride to the Theme Parks and an Even Shorter Walk to Surfside Inn and Suites

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Any chance you can save time on commuting during vacation is a plus. Staying at Dockside Inn and Suites gives you a direct ride to Universal CityWalk and the theme parks with just a short 5-10 minute ride on the shuttles that come every 15 minutes. Plus, after your short shuttle ride, you can get into the theme parks before regular day guests because of Early Park Admission. The extra bonus is you can take a short walk over to Surfside Inn and Suites right next door if you want to check out the surfboard-shaped pool or a different dining option. (Surfside Inn and Suites is temporarily suspending operations. Please click here for more information.)

These are just a few of my favorite things about Dockside Inn and Suites. Get all the details hereand share below what you’re looking forward to doing during your next vacation with us.

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

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Everything You Need to Know About Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Picture This: You’re driving down the interstate. The construction is never-ending and the traffic is forever-maddening. You’ve got 6-37 different obligations in your life that demand your attention every day and between the podcast you’re trying to focus on, the meals you’re preparing for your family in your head, and the story your daughter is telling you from the backseat — you’ve got a lot going on. And then, like a beacon of hope, you see it. A volcano appears before you and suddenly all you can think about is relaxing on the beach with a tropical beverage in your hand, planning which raft ride you’ll adventure on next… This dream can be your reality at Universal’s water theme park, Volcano Bay!

The beauty of a visit to Volcano Bay is that you really shouldn’t feel the need to plan TOO much. This is your chance to sit back and relax as the island vibes whisk your worries away. So, consider this less a guide to planning and more a good friend taking you by the metaphorical hand and guiding you through Volcano Bay with my tried-and-true tips and recommendations.

WHERE TO STAY

If you are planning to include Volcano Bay in your vacation to Universal Orlando Resort, I cannot recommend enough staying at one of Universal’s hotels. You’ve got so many incredible options to choose from (and whichever you go with you’ll be avoiding sand getting in your car, which is the real dream here). Here are my thoughts to help you narrow it down a little…

  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort | Staying at Cabana Bay is the number one best piece of advice I can give you for a visit to Volcano Bay. First off, Cabana Bay and Volcano Bay are incredibly close to each other — you can even  book a standard room or family suite with a view of Volcano Bay. When you’re ready to get up and get going, you have access to a scenic walking-path that will lead you right from Cabana Bay to the park. Plus, your whole experience at Cabana Bay will transport you to a 1950’s beachside resort with Volcano Bay in your backyard!
  • Universal’s Aventura Hotel or Loews Sapphire Falls Resort | Both Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort are also super close to Volcano Bay (you can even catch the volcano light up and erupt at night from Aventura’s rooftop bar, Bar 17 Bistro). They also have access to the walking path that leads right into Volcano Bay. EDITOR’S NOTE: These hotels are temporarily suspending operations. However, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn & Suites are currently open. Details for our other hotels will be announced at a later time.

Another perk of staying at a Universal hotel is Early Park Admission into Volcano Bay, which will give you all the freedom in the world to pick the perfect beach chair, grab breakfast at Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club and relax, or get first dibs on your favorite ride before everyone else.

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE…

TapuTapu

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

TapuTapu has totally changed the game of water theme park experiences! You’ll be given a wearable to use for the day upon arrival at Volcano Bay and can use it to make cashless purchases with TapTu Pay and for fun interactive experiences throughout the park.

Head here for more in-depth details on TapuTapu before you arrive.

Lockers

There are multiple sizes of lockers available for rent in five different locations throughout Volcano Bay. Each one has a kiosk that will walk you through how to pay for your locker and get it synced up with your TapuTapu for ease throughout the day. There are also private lockers when you book a private cabana or premium seating option.

Upgrades

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Securing either a private cabana or premium seatingis well worth it when I think of all the perks that come along with them. I can honestly tell you that every time I visit Volcano Bay for the day, I go ahead and get premium seating — I love the ease it adds. 13/10 recommend.

Learn more and call ahead to add one to your visit.

The main way you’ll use your TapuTapu, though, is for the virtual line experience for the rides. Just head to the attraction you’re interested in, tap your TapuTapu, explore other areas of the park while you wait, and then your TapuTapu will vibrate to let you know when it’s time to return and ride.

Map

Keep an eye out around the park for maps of Volcano Bay and be sure to check your Official Universal Orlando Resort app for the map as well. You can even go ahead and peruse it some before you arrive, too. Volcano Bay is split into three different villages — Wave Village (where you enter into), Rainforest Village (near the back of the park), and River Village (to the right of the volcano). Plus there is the Volcano itself which has its own attractions! Each village has everything you’ll need — lockers, restrooms, beach chairs, restaurants, sunshine, etc.

Transportation

The best option if you’re looking for quick transportation to Volcano Bay is staying at Cabana Bay, Sapphire Falls, or Aventura Hotel (helloooo walking path). There are also shuttles to Volcano Bay from the other Universal Orlando hotel properties. One of my favorite things about Universal Orlando Resort is how close everything is, so when we talk about shuttle rides, those shuttle rides are quick and easy.

If you are not staying at a Universal hotel, just drive yourself to the usual Universal Orlando parking garages and follow the signage for Volcano Bay parking. From there, you’ll be led to a quick shuttle to Volcano Bay.

TIP: Stay at a Universal hotel! Not only will you get Early Park Admission to Volcano Bay, but you’ll end up saving time and money by taking a shuttle to Volcano Bay rather than parking in the garage.

What to Bring

I definitely recommend bringing a towel (there are some available to rent, but for ease I’d say bring your own), wearing a swimsuit with some sort of cover-up, and wearing shoes that can get wet. Other than that, I’d say travel light with the same necessities you’d pack for a day at the beach — refillable water-bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, etc. Just remember whatever you bring needs to easily fit into a locker or be left behind at your beach chair when you ride the rides.

And don’t forget your face-covering!

Read more here for our tips when you’re packing for a Universal Orlando Resort vacation.

Backstory

Read the backstory of Volcano Bay to fully appreciate your experience while in the park!

Coloring pages

Ask and you shall receive. Here are some fun Volcano bay coloring pages you can have the kids do in preparation of your visit!

Read through this know-before-you-go blog for the top 10 insider tips to Volcano Bay.

WHAT TO DO

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

There is a lot to see and do at Volcano Bay — it’s an incredibly cool and immersive experience that provides the perfect blend of thrill and chill. I say you explore some and plan to take on all Volcano Bay has to offer!

Attractions

Honu ika Moana
Location: River Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Looking to ease into your day with a nice raft ride with your group? Jump in the Virtual Line Experience for the green slide and you’re all set. Itching for a bit more thrill? Go for the blue and enjoy the long, twisting, multi-passenger raft ride that is not at all for the faint-of heart. This option is more intense than its counterpart ika Moana, but I honestly suggest trying both! It’s good to know your threshold.

Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides
Location: Rainforest Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Climb to the top of the volcano and enter one of two clear tubes with a drop door to be plummeted down into the water below. These slides intertwined, twist, turn, and delightfully thrill. And if you’re ready to up your game and find even more thrill…

Ko’okiri Body Plunge 
Location: Wave Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You’re in luck. In my opinion, this is the thrilliest ride in the park. It’s kind of like the body slides (climb to the top of a volcano, get into a clear tube, wait for the bottom to fall out), but about 100,000 times more terrifying. Those few seconds that you’re in the enclosure waiting for the door to open? Make your peace with Vol (the volcano spirit) then ‘cause this ride is NO joke.

Kopiko Wai Winding River
Location: River Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

A winding river is a staple in any good water park. But at Volcano Bay, the art of the winding river is perfected as Kopiko Wai takes you through a volcano during a relaxing float through the park.

Ohno & Ohyah of the Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides 
Location: Rainforest Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Slide for 20 or so seconds and then JUST LIKE THAT you’re flying through the air four to six feet above a pool of water. Definitely recommend conquering Ohyah and then leveling up to Ohno. You got this.

Krakatau Aqua Coaster 
Location: River Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This coaster is a feat of technology, in my opinion. It’s powered by magnets and is a unique water coaster that you’ll scream, laugh, and get wet on. Ride it once for the initial marvel of it all (a water ride that goes down AND up??) and then again to try and figure out how it all works (but HOW?!). And then again and again and again ‘cause it’s just incredibly fun!

Tonga and Raki of Taniwha Tubes
Location: Rainforest Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Part tube ride, part an opportunity for mischievous tiki statues to splash you with jets of water, this attraction has several different slide and tube options for you to try out. And all of them are a twisty good time.

TeAwa The Fearless River 
Location: Rainforest Village

This is not your grandma’s lazy river. It’s fast, it’s got a few surprises, and it is overall a silly good time. Throw on a life jacket and let the choppy waves and churning rapids take you on a ride!

Maku and Puihi of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides
Location: Rainforest Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

I know it’s not good to play favorites, but the Maku and Puihi Round Raft Rides are tied for first for me. No spoilers, but I love the eruptive way that Maku ends and the weightless moment Puihi delivers. Just don’t ask me to pick a favorite between the two.

Punga Racers
Location: Rainforest Village

For anyone visiting Volcano Bay with siblings, Punga Racers is a MUST. This body slide will pin you against your fellow riders and give the winner bragging rights for the rest of the day.

If you already know you’re looking to hit all the thrill rides, we’ve compiled them here for you.

Pool Experiences

Waturi Beach
Location: Wave Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Waturi Beach is pretty hard to miss — just head to the base of Krakatau (the volcano)! Wade into the wave pool for a dip or just enjoy the view with your toes in the sand.

Puka Uli Lagoon
Location: Rainforest Village

I love thrill rides and body slides as much as anyone, but sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy in a leisure pool. Puka Uli Lagoon gives you exactly that opportunity — and with some fun bongo drums to play, too.

The Reef
Location: Wave Village

Another leisure pool like Puka Uli Lagoon, only this one comes with its own private waterfall and the benefit to beat all benefits: From The Reef you get a front-row seat to the riders braving the Ko’okiri Body Plunge.

For the Little Ones

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Runamukka Reef
Location: River Village

If you’re visiting Volcano Bay with kiddos, take them by Runamukka Reef to explore this children’s play area! Plenty of water slides and water-spraying sea creatures for them to enjoy.

Tot Tiki Reef
Location: River Village

Tot Tiki is also a children’s play area, though it is more geared toward toddler-aged children. Plus there’s a mini-volcano and a mini-anything is worth seeing!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Whenever you need more tips on visiting Universal Orlando Resort with young children, check out our Guide for Infants blog and Things to do With Your Kids at Universal blog.

FOOD AND DRINK

Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
Location: Wave Village

Photo; Universal Orlando Resort

Island food is my kind of food and if there’s a chance to eat coconut-encrusted anything at the foot of a volcano, I’m in. This is an airy, beach location that you can grab a bite from or if you have a private cabana or premium seating, sit back and order your tropical favorites right to you.

FAVORITES: I’m a big fan of the Coconut Curry Chicken (I’m also a sucker for sweet plantains on the side of anything) or the Jerked Mahi Sandwich.

Whakawaiwai Eats 
Location: River Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

A perfect spot for the combination of island-atmosphere and pizza-eating. There are also plenty of healthy options here if you’re suddenly remembering you need to be in a swimsuit for the rest of the day! 

FAVORITES: Island BBQ Chicken Pizza is a top choice if you’re in the mood for pizza (it’s one of my favorite pizzas at Universal Orlando Resort!). But I’m also a sucker for a well-crafted Caesar Salad and the one at Whakawaiwai is great!

Bambu
Location: Rainforest Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Swing by Bambu for plenty of yummy burger, sandwich, and salad options.

FAVORITES: The Quinoa Edamame Burger is easily one of the best burgers I’ve ever had — including meat options. It is seriously delicious and typing this right now is making me crave it. Grab a Chocolate Pineapple Upside Down Cake to complete the meal.

The Feasting Frog
Location: Rainforest Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

I mean where else are you going to find an eatery shaped like a frog? Another great food spot and this one has TACOS.

FAVORITES: Hard for me to choose between the Chicken Tacos and the Poke Poke Bowl, so how about I order one, you order the other, and we can split?

Koka Poroka Ice Cream Kona
Location: Wave Village

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

What’s a water theme park day without ice cream? I don’t even want to know. I just so happen to think ice cream tastes best after a warm day splashing around and soaking up the sun. And the ice cream at Koka Poroka is proving my point with its deliciousness.

FAVORITES: I mean, I gotta go with Waturi Fusion — a combination of banana, blue raspberry, orange, and strawberry. Bonus, it looks beautiful in pictures if you can wait long enough before taking a bite!

Kunuku and Dancing Dragons Boat Bars
Location: Rainforest Village (Kunuku) and Wave Village (Dancing Dragons)

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Your relaxing island day wouldn’t be complete without a stop by one of Volcano Bay’s Boat Bars!

Looking for more food and beverage details at Volcano Bay? Check out this foodie’s guide.

SHOPPING

Krakatoa Katy’s & Waturi Marketplace
Location: Wave Village

Whether you forgot to pack a beach necessity like sunglasses or sunscreen, or you’re in the market for some Volcano Bay souvenirs, check out the two merchandise locations in Volcano Bay. Waturi Marketplace is practically a boutique for women with some of their stylish options, and a great spot for beach apparel for the kids.

HIDDEN GEMS

Waterfall Cove

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you can find this spot within the volcano, you will feel like you’ve stumbled on your own private oasis. We won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

Vol, The Spirit of Krakatau
Wander into the volcano itself to speak to Vol. Trust me, you’ve never experienced this kind of interactive magic at a water park.

TapTu Play
Keep an eye out for spots throughout the park where you can use your TapuTapu to splash other guests!

Selfie Stations
There are also plenty of spots where you can tap your TapuTapu, snap a pose, and get a unique shot of you in picturesque locations throughout Volcano Bay.

OK, now that you know everything Volcano Bay has to offer, what are you most excited to try? Or if you’re a Volcano Bay pro already, let me know in the comments below your own tips and tricks!

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!