Tag Archives: Universal Orlando

Universal Mardi Gras 2024 Celebration at Universal Orlando Resort

Embark on a captivating journey as Universal Orlando Resort transforms into a celebration like no other—Universal Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval! From February 3 to April 7, 2024, let the good times roll with a vibrant Mardi Gras party featuring a global feast of sweet, savory, and spicy dishes inspired by New Orleans and iconic Carnaval flavors. Enjoy a dazzling Mardi Gras parade with new, detailed floats, and savor live concerts on select nights by top music artists like DJ Khaled, Ava Max, Luis Fonsi, and more. The best part? You can revel in all the excitement with your regular theme park admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Get ready for an unforgettable concert series this year with ten live performances from chart-topping artists spanning various music genres! Groove to the beats of GRAMMY-winning sensation DJ Khaled, the talent behind the chart-topping hit “Sweet but Psycho” – Ava Max, and the five-time Latin GRAMMY-winning artist Luis Fonsi. Join us on select nights after the Mardi Gras parade at the Music Plaza stage, right in front of the exhilarating Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster. Check out the complete concert lineup below!

February 3Walker Hayes
February 10The All-American Rejects
February 17Elle King
February 24Barenaked Ladies
March 2DJ Khaled
March 9Ava Max
March 10Queen Latifah
March 16Luis Fonsi
March 17Zedd

Immerse yourself in the magic of this year’s Mardi Gras parade as it comes to life with a captivating theme celebrating the elements – Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, the Sun, and the Moon. Experience the enchantment with six new, intricately designed parade floats that complement Universal’s classic New Orleans-inspired lineup. Join the celebration with high-energy music, a myriad of performers adorned in stunning costumes, and an abundance of beads for an unforgettable parade experience!

Embark on a global gastronomic adventure at Mardi Gras, where you can indulge in over 60 delectable tasting-sized items inspired by Carnaval celebrations worldwide. Traverse the park-wide celebration to discover kiosks offering mouthwatering culinary delights from New Orleans to Spain to China and beyond. Delight your taste buds with classics like the Fried Green Tomato Po’boy and irresistible Beignets, savor Chicken Schnitzel from Germany, indulge in Chilaquiles Verdes from Mexico, and explore a diverse array of flavors that promise a festival of international tastes.

Immerse yourself in the full splendor of Universal Mardi Gras by choosing to stay at one of Universal’s eight extraordinary hotels. Guests are treated to exclusive benefits, including Early Park Admission and complimentary transportation to the theme parks. Elevate your stay with unique Mardi Gras offerings at all Universal Orlando hotels, featuring delectable treats like Crawfish and Andouille Sausage Egg Roll at Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Mardi Gras Empanadas at Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Jambalaya at Beach Break Café at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, and more.

Unlock the magic of Universal Mardi Gras with your regular theme park admission to Universal Studios Florida. For an even more enchanting experience, you can seize one of these extraordinary offers to revel in Universal Mardi Gras and explore all the wonders of Universal Orlando’s theme parks:

  • Indulge in two additional days of free admission to Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure by purchasing a 2-Park, 2-Day ticket or 3-Park, 2-Day ticket, giving you a total of four days of theme park excitement
  • Make the most of your vacation time with the 25% discount on a 3-Park, 5-Night Vacation Package. This package includes a 5-night stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, or Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, along with a 3-Park, 5-Day Park-to-Park ticket for visits to Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure, and Universal Volcano Bay

Are you ready to experience Universal Mardi Gras? Call or email Siera today at siera@spreadingmagic.com to book your Universal Orlando Resort vacation!

11 Tips for Visiting Universal Orlando Resort This Summer

11 Tips for Visiting Universal Orlando Resort This Summer

11 Tips for Visiting Universal Orlando Resort This Summer
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The parks, hotels, and CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort are open and starting to welcome guests back. Things may look a little different in the parks from your last visit with new operational guidelines, but it’s still the same Universal that you know and love. You will find fun, new ways to experience the parks. The rides are just as thrilling, the pools just as relaxing, the characters just as entertaining, and the food just as good. Here are 11 tips for visiting Universal Orlando Resort this summer, including how to make your visit easier and more convenient.

1. Download and Use the Universal Orlando Resort App

Photo; Universal Orlando Resort

Take a minute (if you haven’t already) to download the Universal Orlando Resort app. It will help you navigate around the crowds, trim down your time waiting in queues, minimize physical interactions, and so much more! Here are the top features of the Universal Orlando Resort app:

  • Virtual Line experience for attractions
  • Mobile food and drink ordering for select restaurants
  • Interactive park map
  • Virtual wallet where you can purchase and house your park tickets, Express passes, and also set up your TapuTapu for your visit to Volcano Bay
  • Wait time alerts that you can set for when the times drop

Download it for FREE from the App Store and Google Play. Data and other charges may apply; check with your wireless provider’s rate plan for details.

2. Avoid Crowds with the Virtual Line Experience

Want to avoid crowds AND get a place in line faster on your favorite rides? The Virtual Line experience is the answer and it’s now available for even more attractions than before. You can access it via the app under “Virtual Line Experience” in the menu or per attraction on the interactive map. You then select your “Return Time”, show up, and ride. It’s that easy! The Virtual Line experience for attractions open throughout the day, so make sure to check the app often to see what is available. And while you’re waiting, you have free time to experience other rides, shows, or grab a bite to eat. Heads up, you have to be in-park to access the Virtual Line experience feature on the app.

3. Order Your Food Ahead of Time with Mobile Order

If you haven’t tried mobile order, prepare to have your theme park life changed. When your stomach is rumbling, jump on the app and select “Order Food and Drinks” from the menu. Then you select the venue and order your food. You can either do this for a quick pick-up and go, or for a quick-service restaurant where you will be seated in a special section for mobile orders.

Click here to get a step-by-step guide to mobile ordering on the Universal Orlando Resort app.

4. Make a Game Plan Beforehand

This is always one of my top recommendations for visiting the parks. Do your research and create a must-do list with all of the attractions, shops, shows, etc. you definitely want to do. Planning out where to start and using the app to navigate wait times and the Virtual Line experience will help you to do everything you are looking to do during your visit.

5. Get a More Personalized Experience With Social Distancing

Social distancing may slow down the queue for wait times temporarily, but it may make the rides and show elements even more special. For example, not having people right next to you in the queue may actually allow you to enjoy better conversations with your party as you wait. The spaced seating on the ride vehicle makes it feel like you have the ride to yourselves. Smaller groups and spaced standing through Poseidon’s Fury allows for a more intimate show. And having more space around character meet and greets allowed for no unexpected-guest photobombs in the background.

6. Take a Break in the U-Rest Areas

In addition to planning out what you want to do, make sure to slot in time to take breaks. There are new U-Rest areas sprinkled throughout the parks and CityWalk, where you can recharge with a drink or snack with your face covering off. You can find them in the following locations:

7. Take All the Photos!

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

One thing you may find yourself doing more than usual at the parks is taking an exponentially large amount of photos. We’ve all missed the parks so much, and you’ll probably want to capture it all and share it with friends and family. Plus, it is pretty fun to take pictures in this new social distancing world. With more time saved with the Virtual Line experience and plenty of people-free space around you, you can capture some really great memories!

8. Early Park Admission Means More Time and Fewer Crowds

A huge benefit of staying at one of Universal Orlando Resort’s hotels is Early Park Admission into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This magical experience holds even more meaning and value today. Here’s what it is: if you stay at one of Universal’s hotels, you get exclusive access to the parks one hour before normal guest park hours with little to no crowds. Um, sign me up. Plus, when staying at the hotels, you don’t have to go through the check-in process at the entrance of CityWalk. You get a special wristband that shows you already had your temperature check and can go directly to the parks.

Click here to read up on the operational guidelines at Universal’s resort hotels.

9. Cool Off This Summer at Volcano Bay

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

I don’t know about you but I’m craving a relaxing day at the beach, but preferably with minimal crowds of people right next to me. Look no further than Universal’s Volcano Bay. They have the same new and helpful operational guidelines in place at the water theme park. Now, you may be asking yourself, “How do they expect us to wear face masks at Volcano Bay?” Good question, because I had the same one. I discovered you don’t have to wear a mask while you’re in the pools, slides, or eating/drinking. However, they should be worn when not doing these activities. Catch me poolside this summer with a Waturi Fusion ice cream and working on that stylish new trend of face-covering tan lines.

10. New Guidelines Aren’t the Only Things That Are New

The parks may have been closed for a couple of months, but select Team Members have been hard at work creating new experiences for you to come back to. There are new “Love is Universal” and anniversary merchandise to snatch up (have you seen the themed face masks!?); new food and beverage offerings that will be rolled out soon (there’s a new anniversary Voodoo Doughnut!?); and even new entertainment attractions with The Bourne Stuntacular and the new Raptor Encounter (the baby raptor Sierra is the cutest, am I right!?).

11. Here’s What to Bring

With my many years of going to theme parks, I’ve tried to perfect the essentials on what to bring. Now, with our current situation and operational guidelines, I found myself faced with a new challenge: what all to bring along to minimize physical contact but still have everything I need for a comfortable visit. Here are my recommendations:

  • A face covering with a light and breathable fabric. This isn’t just my recommendation, it’s a requirement when visiting the parks, CityWalk, and hotels. Major kudos to those with fun themes and designs. You’ll look awesome as you’re rocking out on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (yes, they’re required to be worn on rides, too). The good news is if you forgot your face covering, you can ask a Team Member for a replacement.
  • Your own personal hand sanitizer on a keychain. There are also hand sanitizer stations when you first enter through CityWalk, when you’re about to board a ride, and at restaurant entrances.
  • This has always remained true, but bring water to stay hydrated! You may find yourself being especially thirsty when wearing your face covering, so make sure to bring a water bottle with you.
  • Bring a small bag or carry a lanyard for your belongings. You’re still going to need to put items in lockers for certain attractions that require them. Team Members check the locker queues for social distancing and regularly clean them, but try to only bring the essentials if you want to minimize using them and save time.

Are you planning to visit Universal Orlando Resort this summer? We hope you enjoy these tips for visiting Universal Orlando Resort this summer!

Click here for details on our current operational guidelines when visiting Universal Orlando Resort.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

5 Exciting Things Planned for Universal Orlando Resort in 2020

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The last few years have brought a lot of growth and change to Universal Orlando Resort. From new ground-breaking attractions and entertainment to new restaurants that are elevating theme-park dining, the parks keep getting bigger and better. Not to mention the opening of new hotels and big game-changers to the theme park industry like Universal’s Volcano Bay and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And, best of all, there’s still so much to look forward to at Universal Orlando Resort in 2020!

The Bourne Stuntacular – New!

Opening Spring 2020

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

It’s all there in the name, folks. STUNTS. And I’m not just talking your typical flying-through-a-glass-door stunt. This live-action show is putting you right smack dab in the middle of the action you’ve seen from Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne films. I recently got a download on the details and from what I’ve heard and seen glances of, this show is going to make you say things like, “Wait! How’d they do that?” Read more here and stay tuned for more details.

Running Universal – New!

5K & 10K – Feb. 1 & 2, 2020

Does your ultimate exercise routine involve running alongside a Minion? Then get ready for Universal’s first-ever Epic Character Race 5K and 10K. You’ll run through the parks with your favorite characters and finish with a really cool medal and bragging rights. Bananas are encouraged. Register now!

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites – New!

Opening March 17, 2020

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

No need to fret about where to stay for your upcoming Orlando vacay. I’ve got the perfect place for you and your family. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites is bringing a relaxing shore vibe to Universal Orlando this spring, complete with 2-Bedroom suites at a value that fits your family budget. Book your stay today.

Universal’s Mardi Gras – 25 Years of Partying

Every Night Feb. 1 – April 2, 2020

Twenty-five years of Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida makes for one heck of a bead collection. We’re celebrating with live performances by chart-topping artists, a nightly parade themed to Treasures of the Deep, new Cajun dishes, live entertainment in the French Quarter Courtyard, and — of course — BEADS!

Halloween Horror Nights – 30 Years of Horror

Select Nights Sept. 10 – Nov. 1, 2020

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Ah, Halloween Horror Nights. Just when we think you can’t get any better, you prove us wrong.The horror, scares, and fear you inflict on both your diehard fans and unsuspecting first-time victims grows on a more grand scale with every passing year. 2020 marks the 30 years of the world’s premier Halloween event, and I can’t wait to see what — or who’s — lurking in the shadows.

What’s Ahead…

Wow! Let’s all take a minute and absorb those celebrations and new experiences to check out at Universal Orlando Resort in 2020. It’s going to be a busy year. BUT I’m not stopping there and neither is Universal Orlando! There’s even more in store for you like:

We’ll see you at Universal Orlando Resort in 2020!

Top 5 Reasons to Add a Day at Universal to a Disney World Vacation

There are so many exciting things to see and do in Orlando that it can be hard find to do them all during one vacation! Although you may not need to spend a week exploring Universal Orlando Resort, it’s a great add on to a Disney World vacation! You can add a day at Universal to your Disney vacation to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, minions, Transformers, and more!

Here are the top five reasons why you should add a day at Universal Orlando Resort (or maybe a few) to your Disney World vacation:

  1. Harry Potter: The biggest draw for most families to visit Universal Orlando Resort is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is the ultimate experience for any Harry Potter fan. You can walk the streets of London, ride Hogwarts Express, drink butterbeer at Three Broomsticks, fly with Harry, and so much more.
  2. Super Heroes, Dinosaurs, Minions, and More: Visit with all of your favorite super heroes at Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure, try the new Marvel Character Dinner, and feel the gamma rush on the Incredible Hulk coaster. You can explore Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure to get up close and personal with Blue at Raptor Encounter, watch a dinosaur egg hatch, and embark on a daring raft ride. You can become a minion on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem or enjoy breakfast with Gru, the girls, and minions. The Simpsons and SpongeBob Squarepants can also be found at Universal Orlando Resort!
  3. Volcano Bay: Universal’s new water theme park is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. From a relaxing beach to adventurous water rides, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and somewhere for everyone to cool off. The TapuTapu wearable allows you to even enjoy other attractions and activities in the park while you wait for your turn to ride!
  4. Thrill Rides: Universal Orlando Resort is full of thrill rides in all three of their parks! You can feel the rush of adrenaline on The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Krakatau Aqua Coaster, and more.
  5. Seasonal Events: Universal Orlando Resort hosts a number of seasonal events throughout the year, many of which are included with general park admission. You can celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal, Florida’s biggest party every February and March. Or, Rock the Universe with contemporary Christian artists in early February. Universal also hosts the nation’s premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights. And, the whole family will love the holidays at Universal featuring Grinchmas, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuing Macy’s, Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and more.

We can help you add a day at Universal Orlando Resort to your Disney World vacation without the hassle of renting a car. You can learn more about our exclusive shuttle to Universal from any of the Disney World hotels here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Things to Eat for Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort’s Hotels


Top 10 Things to Eat for Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort’s Hotels

From the theme parks to the pools and everything in between, there is so much to do at Universal Orlando Resort. One thing is for sure, a great breakfast is essential to checking everything off your to-do list. So before you set sail on the water taxi, or clock in some steps by walking to the theme parks, check out these delicious breakfast options.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Trattoria Del Porto

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has a twist on the traditional breakfast with an Italian atmosphere. Take in the beautiful views of the Piazza while enjoying a full breakfast buffet or some of their delicious a la carte options! Two of the stand-out dishes at Trattoria Del Porto are the Breakfast Quesadilla and Eggs Beneditto.


Breakfast Quesadilla – Spinach, Sweet Potato, Onion, Diced Tomato, and Aged Cheddar stuffed in a Tortilla shell. Top it off with two Poached Eggs, Tomato Hollandaise and your choice of Bacon or Sausage.


Eggs Beneditto – Poached eggs, prosciutto, arugula, ciabatta, tomato hollandaise and potato hash make for one scrumptious dish.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Amatista Cookhouse

Breakfast with a view and Caribbean vibes is what you’ll find at Amatista Cookhouse. You have the option of a lavish breakfast buffet or scrumptious and unique a la carte options. The Latin flair stands out in the Caribbean French Toast and the Egg White and Smoked Turkey Arepa.


Egg White and Smoked Turkey Arepa – Complete with baby spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.


Caribbean French Toast – Caramelized pineapple and toasted coconut for those of you who have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Islands Dining Room

The Polynesian vibes of Royal Pacific are echoed in both the décor of Islands Dining Room as well as many of their dishes. Indulge in a full breakfast buffet or delight in their mouthwatering a la carte options. Whether you believe that calories don’t count on vacation and go with the Tahitian French Toast, or are trying to stick to a healthy meal plan and choose the Paleo Smoked Brisket Hash, you are sure to be delighted!


Tahitian French Toast a L’Orange – Caramelized bananas with a sweet cinnamon butter (can’t get much better than this!)


Paleo Smoked Brisket Hash – Slowly smoked beef brisket, sweet potato, onion and peppers, two sunny side up eggs and a side of avocado and tomato-arugula salad.

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando – The Kitchen

Eat like the rock star you truly are at The Kitchen. Feast on a seemingly endless breakfast buffet, complete with guitar waffles, or select from one of the many delectable a la carte options. You can’t go wrong with a dish named after The King himself in “The Elvis” French Toast or go with the tried and true breakfast sandwich, The Remedy.


“The Elvis” French Toast – Start with baguette slices and smother with a caramel sauce, peanut butter and bananas.


“The Remedy” – Fuel up with a butter toasted kaiser roll, two eggs over hard, applewood smoked bacon and American cheese.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Bayliner Diner

Whether you’re looking to grab a croissant to go or sit and enjoy the retro commercials while dining on delicious breakfast fare, Bayliner Diner has something for everyone. Bayliner has the breakfast classics down; the Poached Eggs or a Bacon-Egg-Cheese Croissant are just what you need for a jam packed day!


Poached Eggs on Gouda Swirl – Baby spinach, hollandaise sauce and breakfast potatoes round it out for a hearty dish.


Bacon-Egg-Cheese Croissant – Add a side of breakfast potatoes for a brunch classic.

The delectable dishes you see here are just a small peek into the bountiful breakfast choices at Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels. Whether you’re looking to indulge in a leisurely breakfast, fit for a king or queen, or to just grab something quick and delicious before heading to the theme parks, we have something for everyone.

*Breakfast at Universal’s on-site hotels is available from 7am – 11am weekly and from 7am-12pm Saturday and Sunday.

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. 

5 Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Universal Orlando Vacation


5 Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Universal Orlando Vacation

Often when planning a big family/friend vacation to theme parks like Universal Orlando Resort, you want to maximize your trip to see and do everything that is possible.

But sometimes you only have a couple of days, and doing it all too quickly can lead to exhaustion if you don’t plan appropriately. Here are some of the best tips from someone who has experienced it first hand, on how to maximize your Universal Orlando trip.

1. Arrive At Least One Day Ahead

Depending on where you’re flying or driving in from, always try to arrive at least one day ahead. That way you give yourself time to acclimatize, catch up on sleep and keep you at your very best for when it’s time to hit the parks. It also allows you to adjust to the time zone change if there is one.

If your flight arrives late at night, I highly recommend giving yourself a buffer day the next day before going to the parks as well. The more time for adjustment and to relax the better—after all, you’re on vacation!


2. Stay On-Site At One Of Universal Orlando’s Five Hotels

One of the best things about staying at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels is it gives you early access into the parks. That gives you one whole extra hour for exploring.

At Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal Express access is included in your stay. This is another great benefit of staying on-site.

All of the hotels are also connected by water, shuttle or walking path to the main gates of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure through Universal CityWalk. You can use the complimentary water taxi, shuttle service or walking path as transportation to the parks each day so you don’t have to worry about your car.


3. Have A Park Map And Plan Out Your Day

Before you arrive, have everyone check out the Universal Orlando website and blog to see which rides and attractions interest them the most. Once you have everyone’s “must sees” and “must do’s,” plan out a mini itinerary for the order of which rides you’ll hit first, which park when, etc.

If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, I definitely recommend visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade first thing in the morning. This will be when they’re the least busy and the ride times will be shortest.

You can also download the official Universal Orlando Mobile app for real-time attraction wait times and as a guide to find your way around the parks and Universal CityWalk. It includes a detailed, interactive map that makes navigating around the parks even easier.


4. Eat Your Breakfast

Start your day off right with a full belly. Eating before you hit the parks means less time searching for food once you arrive there in the morning. Also, it gives you energy to start your day off right and puts everyone in a good mood!

If you prefer to hit the parks first and like a later breakfast, there are several places in each park and Universal CityWalk to grab an early morning bite. There is a Starbucks in both parks and in Universal CityWalk that have great breakfast snacks. Or you can swing by the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley or Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade for a full, sit-down breakfast. Visit Springfield U.S.A and don’t miss The Simpsons themed food and drinks – the only place where you can grab a Homer-sized helping of donuts at Lard Lad. There are also other great spots throughout the parks to fill up before you start the fun.

You can also start your day off right in an even more exciting way with a Character Breakfast. You’ll dine on an awesome breakfast buffet alongside the Minions and characters from Despicable Me, SpongeBob SquarePants and more. To find out the dates, times and locations for the character breakfasts click here.


5. Snack And Drink Lots Of Water

Drinking lots of water throughout the day is so important, especially on a hot sunny day. It’ll keep you from getting too tired and cranky as well. If you’re sweating a lot, you might even want to have some sports drinks to help replenish your electrolytes.

To keep you energized, have a couple snacks to enjoy while waiting in line for a ride. There are plenty of refreshing options such as fruit cups, ice cream and maybe even a famous Universal turkey leg—whatever floats your boat.

By following these simple tips, you’ll have the best time at Universal Orlando Resort. If you have any tips to share that help you maximize your time at Universal Orlando, please share them 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. 

Treat Yourself to These Gourmet Candy Apples at Universal Orlando Resort


Treat Yourselves to These Gourmet Candy Apples at Universal Orlando Resort

One of my favorite fruits to snack on is a crisp apple. So naturally, candy apples rank pretty high on my all-time favorite sweet treats list.

I set out one beautiful, fall day to hunt down the best gourmet candy apples throughout Universal Orlando Resort. Here are my top picks and where to find them:


Hello Kitty and Friends

These guys are almost too cute to eat! There are seven different apples you can choose from, including Keroppi and Chococat. The other five differ from chocolate coating, sprinkles, chocolate chips or cookie crumbles. But they all sport the iconic Hello Kitty bow.

You can find these apples in the Hello Kitty Shop located outside the streets of Hollywood Boulevard in Universal Studios Florida.


Despicable Me Minion

I went bananas for this Minion apple when I saw him. He’s our featured character apple with a delicious chocolate coating. You can find this little guy in either the Universal Studios Store or in the San Francisco Candy Shop in Universal Studios.


Flavors Galore

From unique flavors like Apple Pie to the classics, you can find a variety of flavors that every member of the family will enjoy. Featured above from left to right are the Rocky Road, Apple Pie and Heath apples. I have a deep love for all things marshmallow and chocolate, so the Rocky Road was the perfect one for me.


Like your apple covered with different toppings? Then you got to try one of below. From left to right you have Cookies and Cream, Milk Chocolate with M&M’s and the classic Caramel with Peanuts.

You can find all these different flavors and more at the sweet shops in both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.


The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen

Yes, these do exist and aren’t a figment of your imagination. The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium in Universal CityWalk has created the most decadent gourmet apples – perfect for the chocolate lover at heart. You’ve got four to choose from, or if you’re like me, you can indulge in all of them.

Here’s the breakdown for each one (from left to right):

  • The Ultimate Sundae: Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate topped with cherries
  • The Cookies R’ Us: Taking cookies and cream to the next level
  • Ooey Gooey Apple: A cookies and peanut butter party for your mouth
  • The Decadent Apple: Keep it classy with a beautiful mix of chocolate and caramel

Is your sweet tooth tingling yet? As you plan your next visit to Universal Orlando Resort, make sure to add these to your “must-do” list. You won’t be disappointed.

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. 

Halloween Horror Nights 27 Vacation Package On Sale Now


Halloween Horror Nights 27 Vacation Package On Sale Now

I know — it’s only February. But I’m already mentally preparing myself for a record 34 nights of scares from September 15 – November 4, 2017 at Universal Orlando Resort. That’s right, it’s Halloween Horror Nights time.

You can now book your visit to experience Universal Orlando’s ultimate Halloween event. Trust me when I say that this year’s brand new content will leave you panic-stricken. Universal’s award-winning Entertainment team has been working year round to bring you multiple scare zones, incredibly detailed haunted houses and captivating live shows that are sure to frighten any and all.

Publicity Celebrity VIP Alessandra Ambrosio Halloween Horror Nights XXII HHN 22 soundstage #20

Brace yourself to be immersed into the world of iconic horror films, terrifying hit TV shows and haunting original stories. Beware of “scareactors” who will lurk in the dark and jump at you when you least expect it. And when you need a break from the screams, enjoy some of Universal Studios Florida’s many popular rides and attractions.

Event Dates:

  • Sept. 15-17, 21-24, 29-30
  • Oct. 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-31
  • Nov. 3-4

You can book our new vacation package which combines the nighttime terror of Halloween Horror Nights with daytime thrills of Universal Orlando Resort. You’ll get admission to two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Plus, for a limited time, you can upgrade to add Universal’s Volcano Bay. Volcano Bay is a revolutionary new water theme park filled with incredible thrills and perfected relaxation that opens May 25.

Halloween Horror Nights 27 Hotel & Ticket Package
Starts at $225 per adult, per night, tax inclusive — Book by April 19 for travel from Sept. 15 – Nov. 4.

  • 3-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
  • 2-Park, 3-Day, Park-to-Park Ticket to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
    • LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE upgrade to a 3-Park, Park-to-Park ticket, which includes admission to Universal’s Volcano Bay when staying at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel (Offer valid on packages booked by April 19)
  • 1-Night Admission to Halloween Horror Nights (excluding Saturdays)
  • Early Park Admission one hour before the theme park opens to one (1) Universal Orlando theme park as determined by Universal Orlando
  • Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk
  • Complimentary transportation to Universal’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk
  • Special access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights entry gate each event night until 8 p.m.

The Halloween Horror Flex Ticket is also now available for purchase. This ticket allows you to add Halloween Horror Nights admission to your Universal Orlando visit. Options include:

  • Sunday – Friday Flex Ticket ($69.99 per adult + tax): Entitles one (1) guest admission to one (1) 2017 Halloween Horror Nights Event night on any Sunday – Friday event date that is valid for the ticket type.
  • Sunday – Saturday Flex Ticket ($80.99 per adult + tax): Entitles one (1) guest admission to one (1) 2017 Halloween Horror Nights Event night on any Sunday – Saturday event date that is valid for the ticket type.

Here’s a look back at last year’s event to get your adrenaline pumping.

We can help you plan your Universal vacation to experience all the thrills and chills of Halloween Horror Nights. Contact us today!

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. 

New Annual Pass Program at Universal Orlando Offers More Benefits and Flexibility


Universal Orlando Resort’s annual passholders are some of their most loyal fans so they’re always looking for ways to revamp the UOAP program for them. Universal recently began rolling out a new Annual Pass program at Universal Orlando Resort that includes more benefits, a new pricing structure and an all-new pass.


There are now even more benefits for Power, Preferred and Premier annual passholders to enjoy:

Premier and Preferred annual passholders now have Early Park Admission to enjoy access to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure one hour before the park opens to the public.

And, they have removed summer blockout dates for Power annual passholders – so now you can access both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure ALL SUMMER LONG.


Universal also introduced a new pass option, the Seasonal Pass, to the UOAP program that grants access to the parks seasonally throughout the year.  They’ve added it to their lineup to give you more options so you can choose the best Universal Orlando Resort pass for you. Now there is a pass to suit every need – whether you want to visit the parks just a few times throughout the year or every single day.

Here’s a quick overview of each of Universal’s Annual Passes and the new Seasonal Pass:

ALL-NEW! Seasonal Pass

  • One year of park-to-park admission (blockout dates apply)
  • Discounts on Universal Orlando’s separately-ticketed events – Halloween Horror Nights and Rock the Universe
  • Discounts on Blue Man Group tickets, on-site hotel stays, multi-day theme park tickets purchased at the Front Gate, and more

Power Annual Pass

  • One year of park-to-park admission with fewer blockout dates and access to concerts at Universal Studios Florida
    • NEW! Blockout dates have been removed for summer dates – so you can access both theme parks all summer long!
  • NEW! $10 self-parking – that’s 50% off the regular price
  • Discounts on Universal Orlando’s separately-ticketed events – Halloween Horror Nights and Rock the Universe
  • Discounts on Blue Man Group tickets, on-site hotel stays, multi-day theme park tickets purchased at the Front Gate, and more

Preferred Annual Pass

  • One year of park-to-park admission with NO blockout dates
  • NEW! Early Park Admission to enjoy the parks one hour before opening (blockout dates apply)
  • Free self-parking; $10 preferred parking
  • Discounts on Universal Orlando’s separately-ticketed events – Halloween Horror Nights and Rock the Universe
  • Discounts on merchandise, restaurants, Blue Man Group tickets, on-site hotel stays, multi-day theme park tickets purchased at the Front Gate, and more

Premier Annual Pass

  • One year of park-to-park admission with NO blockout dates
  • NEW! Early Park Admission to enjoy the parks one hour before opening  all year long – no blockout dates
  • Complimentary valet and preferred parking
  • Universal Express access to bypass the regular lines at participating rides and attractions after 4 p.m.
  • Free Halloween Horror Nights ticket on select event nights
  • Discounts on Universal Orlando’s separately-ticketed events – Halloween Horror Nights and Rock the Universe
  • Discounts on merchandise, restaurants, Blue Man Group tickets, on-site hotel stays, multi-day theme park tickets purchased at the Front Gate, and more

Visit the Annual Pass page for more information and pricing for each pass and to see the complete list of benefits and entitlements. And stay tuned to the Universal Orlando blog for the scoop on more updates coming to the UOAP program.

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.