The COVID-19 pandemic has mostly created a stir in everyone’s life. We got so used to the staying- in that going out feels special and the icing on the cake is when you can travel with your kids and family after the overwhelming lockdown. If you’re planning a 2023-2023 trip to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, we have planning tips and tricks to help you save money on hotel stay, avoid crowds, pick where to eat, and fully plan your Universal Orlando vacation.
In Orlando, you will find 2 Universal parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. If you are a magic-loving Harry Potter fan you might spend the entire day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which spans both parks – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
This is a guide that contains everything you’ll need to know about spending 1-3 days at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure: dining, attractions, resorts, and more. Our most recent visit to the parks was in mid-November 2023 and has updated this with some new post-reopening advice, strategies, and tips.
Everything is available online and you can get it as long as you want. Getting tickets for a theme park isn’t an exception. Therefore, if you want to make your trip successful and trouble-free, book your tickets in advance. Thus, you won’t have to wait for anything after you arrive at your destination. Everything will be prepared for you in advance.
You have to plan the vacation ahead of time. This includes the number of days that you are going to stay there and the places you plan to visit. Of course, you won’t be going to the theme park only. There are a lot of fun places in Florida. You can go to eat at the best restaurants if you do a little bit of research beforehand.
Tickets for Universal Studios
There are two types of tickets you can buy for Universal. A Base Ticket grants admission to Universal Studios Florida or Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The Park-to-Park ticket gives entry to both. I recommend the Park-to-Park Ticket so you can visit both parks in one or two days. Also, if you plan to visit, over the weekend then buy tickets online as that would be saving you a lot of time and queue.
Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay have now all reopened to the general public as have CityWalk and selected hotels. Almost all of the health safety procedures, temporary rules, liability disclaimer warnings, and temporary policies are applicable:
- If you’re on the net about visiting the parks and certain policies would be helpful for you, I’d strongly encourage reading that-
- Face masks are required for all guests and employees at Universal Orlando.
- If you have a disability that prevents you from wearing a face-covering you will be referred to guest services.
- If you do not have a face covering, it’s available for purchase.
- Also, per CDC guidelines, children under the age of two are not required to wear facial coverings.
Precautionary measures at different places
At Volcano Bay Water Park, face coverings are recommended when guests cannot socially distance. Masks are not permitted on slides and in pools, which means guests also will not be wearing them to/from or in those lines. In other words, social distancing at Volcano Bay is key.
When it comes to restaurants in all three parks and CityWalk, Universal has arranged tables and seating so that guests can remove their face coverings while they eat. You need to wear masks at all other times. On our most recent visits, the CityWalk was completely packed with tourists. Thus, the huge crowd made socially distancing very difficult.
When is the right time to visit the theme park?
Due to a surge of locals on weekends, I strongly recommend avoiding Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure on Saturdays and Sundays. Mondays through Thursdays are the best days to visit, with much lower crowds then. We most recently visited on a
Wednesday which was manageable, much better than the weekend.
Moreover, this month offers pleasant weather in many parts of the country and there are great spots to visit in November. While some regions might experience cooler temperatures, it generally provides comfortable conditions for outdoor activities without the extreme heat of summer. This milder climate makes strolling through theme parks and exploring their various rides and attractions even more enjoyable.
Additionally, November in the USA is synonymous with Thanksgiving, a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month. This holiday brings a festive atmosphere and special events to many theme parks, including parades, fireworks, and themed shows. Visitors can partake in the holiday spirit while immersing themselves in the excitement of the parks, adding an extra layer of fun and entertainment to their experience.
Therefore, if you’re wondering when the right time to visit the theme park is, November stands out as an advantageous month with lower crowds, pleasant weather, and the added allure of Thanksgiving festivities.
The top attractions at the Universal Studios
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the new roller coaster in Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- A bunch of other new stuff is now open including attraction: “Fast and the Furious: Supercharged”.
- You can also take your children for the “Race through New York starring Jimmy Fallon”. Kids do love it.
- The universal Studios also offer a 3D ride called “Transformers”.
- Or if your children are adventure-loving, you can go to “Skull Island: Reign of Kong”.
- For Minion lovers, Universal Studios has the “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem”.
Where to Eat
With lots of new dining at CityWalk, such as Big fire, Voodoo Doughnut, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar.
Some hangout places- VIVO Italian Kitchen are great places to hangout.
For milkshakes- If you are with your under 15 kids, they would crave for milkshakes.
Therefore, you can go to Toothsome, which is a fan-favorite for it’s over the top milkshakes and dessert brews, and Voodoo Doughnut is a must-do (if you have a sweet-tooth).
Hotels and resorts with connected suites are an ideal option if you’re traveling with younger children, allowing parents to enjoy some alone, so this is one of the best hotels in Orlando.
We had the most comfortable stay with our kids at OYO Townhouse & Suites – Orlando. The place offers total assistance and premier comforts in the heart of Orlando. Orlando International Airport is the nearest airport to this hotel at just 8.6 miles. Being established in the hub of the city, all major attractions can be easily accessed from the hotel.
This hotel is situated 4.3 miles away from the Holy Land experience and 5.5 miles away from The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando. And also only 12 minutes’ drive from Universal Studios. Therefore, it remains a popular name for cozy accommodation.
Services they offer:
The OYO hotel gives perks such as;
- 24×7 Accessible Kitchen
- Kitchen and room Service
- Free Wifi
- Iron facility
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Laundry service
- Parking Facility
- Daily Housekeeping
- Bath Tub
- Attached Bathroom
- Card Payment
- First Aid
- CCTV Cameras around the premises
The amazing thing is, most of the famous theme parks in Orlando are at a close distance to the hotels.