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North America > United States of America > Florida > Central Florida > East Central Florida > Orange County (Florida) > Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando

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Universal Orlando Resort is a theme park resort in Orlando, Florida, containing two action packed theme parks, an entertainment district with non-stop nightlife and extraordinary restaurants, a waterpark, and four world class Loews hotels. Many visitors describe it as a place of fun, action, magic, excitement, humor, wonder, fantasy and attention to detail.

When guests exit the parking garage, they are first welcomed into the Universal CityWalk Orlando entertainment district. Then guests can see the two theme parks Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Universal Orlando's waterpark, nearby, is Volcano Bay.

Understand

Universal CityWalk Orlando opened in 1999. Guests arriving at the resort park in one of two multi-story parking structures, then travel via covered moving sidewalks over Universal Boulevard and into CityWalk. From there, guests can proceed into either of the theme parks, Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure. CityWalk features shopping, nightclubs, and dining venues, and AMC Movie Theater. Universal Store has all the merchandise from both parks and Margaritaville has a gift shop. There are many night clubs at CityWalk most popular is the Groove, which has recently taken away 80s night. Red Coconut Club is the first club up the stairs on the right. Bob Marley-A Tribute to Freedom is both a night club and dining, Live Reggae & Jamaican Cuisine. Some notable locations are Hard Rock Cafe, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Emeril's, NBA City, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Antojitos, The Cowfish and Red Oven Pizza Bakery. There are also casual dining places at CityWalk: Moe's Southwest Grill, Burger King Whopper Bar, Panda express, Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar. CityWalk also features a Blue Man Group show at the Sharp Aquos Theater.

Universal Studios Florida is a movie and TV based theme park where there are an array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions. Visitors also enjoy themed dining and shopping, a variety of special events throughout the year, and you might even catch a real film crew at work on the backlot. Universal Studios Florida, opened on June 7, 1990, is a theme park that lets visitors "Ride the Movies." The themes of Universal Studio's are targeted at making guests feel like they are in a movie set with rides, shows, and attractions that are inspired by popular film, television, and music productions. The park consists of eight themed areas – Hollywood, Production Central, New York, San Francisco, World Expo, Springfield, Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.

Islands of Adventure, opened May 28, 1999, is a theme park composed of seven distinct "islands" that are themed to various forms of adventures. Visitors start off in the Port of Entry and make their way through the various islands – Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the popular Harry Potter franchise, is the only island added after the park opened; it opened to the public on June 18, 2010

Volcano Bay is a water-park opened in May 2017 as a replacement for Wet 'n Wild (itself founded in 1977 by SeaWorld founder George Millay). The park is themed around a 200-foot-tall (61m) volcano named "Krakatau" (see Krakatoa for information on the real Krakatau). Volcano Bay's attractions are located in four themed areas, each inspired by various Polynesian islands and cultures

Universal Orlando's on-site hotels include: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, and Cabana Bay Beach Resort. All four hotels are located in close proximity to the Universal Orlando theme parks. The hotels offer guests free water taxi or shuttle bus service to the Universal Orlando theme parks. Another benefit is that for all hotels but the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the guest room can get you "Express Pass" at a kiosk near the ticket desk in the hotels. Theme park guests who are not staying at the Universal official hotels are able to purchase "Express Passes" at an additional cost.

Climate

Like all of Central Florida, the climate at Universal Orlando is humid and subtropical. Summer (May–October) is hot and sticky and winter (November–April) is mild and drier. Visitors from higher latitudes are often surprised by the sheer intensity of the summer sun in Florida, which can rise to within a few degrees of straight overhead in June and July. In June through September, late afternoon thundershowers are very common; plan accordingly.

Inclement weather can often lead to the temporary closure of outdoor rides and live performances. In the case of rides, they will re-open after the weather improves. Live performances may be either delayed or canceled outright. On the other hand, inclement weather could work to your advantage, as it drives some visitors away from outdoor areas, or out of the parks entirely.

When to visit

There used to be some times of year when the parks were relatively deserted, but not so much anymore. Now they just vary from "moderately busy" to "completely insane". Still, deciding when to go remains a game of trade-offs: you must decide whether to favor lower crowds or longer park hours, and decide whether you prefer scorching days or chilly nights.

The peak periods for attendance are late December, mid-June to mid-August, and mid-February to mid-April. Why? That's when kids are on break from school. If you have kids, you may have no choice but to go during these peak times. The bad news is that you'll be packed like sardines next to 50,000 of your new closest friends, you'll wait two hours to go on rides like Forbidden Journey, Rip Ride Rockit, and Transformers, and you'll be paying a premium for the privilege. In the summer, you also get to listen to the kids complain about the heat. On the bright side, you'll have plenty of company, the parks are guaranteed to be open late, and almost every ride will be up and running.

If your schedule allows any flexibility at all, you should avoid these peak periods. Attendance is lowest in October, November (pre-Thanksgiving), December (pre-Christmas), and January. These can be very good times to go; crowds are low and prices are too, but keep in mind that you may find that several rides are shut down for maintenance, and the parks have shorter operating hours. In the winter, it's often too cold to go to the water parks, and you'll need a jacket at night.

The weeks between Easter and Memorial Day are another slow period, as well as the months of August and September; both periods provide a good balance of price, crowds, temperature, and operating hours, but you may need to take the kids out of school if you're bringing them along.

Of course, you may want to coordinate your trip with a special event such as Halloween Horror Nights.

Which Day of the Week

If your vacation dates are flexible, plan to arrive to the Orlando area on Thursday. Both Friday and Saturday are transition days for park visitors and less crowded, especially in the summer months. Saturdays do draw in more Annual Pass holders to the park, but that is the major day that people either arrive or leave the area. This causes attendance figures to be down, making it a perfect day to visit the parks. If you are planning to have a day of rest in your vacation, by arriving on Thursday you can enjoy two days of parks with reduced crowds and then use Sunday to rest.

To fill this unused capacity, Universal Orlando holds crowd-drawing special events on some weekends (Fr-Sa-Su). The above advice is not good for these event weekends. Consult a crowd calendar for your planning.

Get in

By plane

Most visitors fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO IATA), +1 407-825-2001. It's served by every major US airline and a wide variety of international carriers. Once there, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or order a limo or town car. If you're staying at an on-site Universal hotel, another option is Universal's Superstar Shuttle, a free bus service from the airport to all six resort hotels. Prior reservations are required. If driving yourself, Florida State Road 528 links the airport with Interstate 4, and heading northbound on that highway leads directly to Universal.

Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB IATA) is a bit farther from Universal than Orlando International. Aside from domestic flights on Allegiant Air, the airport primarily handles flights from the United Kingdom and Iceland, and Universal's Superstar Shuttle is not available here. Florida State Road 417 connects the airport to Interstate 4.

By car

Interstate 4 is the most direct driving route to Universal Orlando, passing just south of the resort. Depending on your point of origin, Florida's Turnpike can be quite useful, particularly if you're driving north from the Miami area. If you're coming from a cruise at Port Canaveral, Florida State Road 528 gets you to I-4, with Orlando International Airport and the Turnpike en route.

By train

Amtrak's Silver Service MiamiNew York City routes serve Orlando four times daily, with two trains in either direction. Northbound trains from Miami arrive at the Orlando station at 1:43 PM and 7:08 PM; southbound trains from NYC arrive at 10:17 AM and 12:55 PM. The Auto Train, which can carry both passengers and automobiles, serves nearby Sanford non-stop from Lorton, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.).

If you are coming from Volusia, Seminole, or northern Osceola counties on a weekday and want to avoid I-4 traffic, your best option is SunRail, which runs between DeBary and Poinciana. There is no service on weekends and some federal holidays (for example, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), and the trains run every 30 minutes during rush hour periods, and every 2 hours during off peak periods. The closest station to Universal is at Sand Lake Road in Orlando, however, a taxi or ridesharing service will be needed to complete the journey. For convenience, take the train to Lynx Central Station in downtown Orlando and take Lynx bus routes 21 or 40 to Universal. You may also disembark at the Orlando Health/Orlando Amtrak station and board Lynx bus route 40 from there.

By bus

Universal's Superstar Shuttle is a very popular option for guests staying at Universal resort hotels; it provides free transportation to and from the airport. Be sure to book service ahead of time!

If you're not staying at a Universal resort, or aren't coming in via Orlando International, you do have some other choices. Mears Transportation is the main player in the region; they have a fleet of shuttle buses and town cars that can take you to any of the local attractions or hotels.

Long-distance bus company Greyhound serves Orlando at their Orlando Terminal, +1 407 292-3424.

LYNX is the public bus service of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Four LYNX routes provide service between Universal Orlando and the surrounding area. All pick-up and drop-off from the Universal Orlando Parking Garage bus stop, next to the guest drop-off loop on the walkway between the parking garages and CityWalk.

  • Regular routes:
    • Route 21, from Universal inbound to Lynx Central Station in downtown Orlando and outbound to Sand Lake Commons. This is the one of two connectors to SunRail at Lynx Central Station.
    • Route 37, from Universal northbound to Park Promenade Plaza near and southbound to the Florida Mall.
    • Route 40, from Universal inbound to Lynx Central Station. This is the other connector to SunRail. (The outbound route for this line only goes one stop further, to the Universal Employee Center; make sure you don't go to this stop!)
    • Route 303, is a commuter route with very limited service, running from Universal to different locations throughout Orlando and Walt Disney World, specifically servicing Disney Springs.

Tickets

A Universal vacation is an expensive proposition, but with some planning you can determine just how expensive. Tickets are sold in options ranging from one to five days. While single-day tickets are very costly, buying multiple-day tickets makes for a much lower price per-day.

En route to Hogwarts

The Hogwarts Express is an immersive train ride that connects the Hogsmeade section of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure with the Diagon Alley section in Universal Studios Florida. As it links both theme parks, a 2-Park ticket is required to ride the train, and guests with just a single-park ticket will be turned away!

Two kinds of tickets are offered: One Park tickets and Park-to-Park tickets. Park-to-Park tickets are split further into two different kinds: the 2-Park option, covering Universal Studios Florida and Island of Adventure, and the 3-Park option, which adds in the Volcano Bay water park. Make note that the 3-Park option is only available with the 2-day tickets or more. To visit Volcano Bay with a One Park ticket, you'll need to buy 3 days or more.

As the two theme parks at Universal are so close (within easy walking distance!), the Park-to-Park tickets are a great deal if you're interested in, for example, spending a morning in one park and then having dinner in the other, and then going back to the first to check out a nighttime show. If you're interested in riding the Hogwarts Express train ride, you'll also need a Park-to-Park ticket.

Buying online through the Universal Orlando website can save you $20 off the price of tickets bought at the gate.

Another add-on option for your tickets is the My Universal Photos package, which allows unlimited downloads of all photos and videos taken at participating locations in both theme parks and the water park as well as one 4x6 and one 5x7 photo print. Also included is a themed lanyard and a card that enables photographers to group your photos together in the online system. Exclusive pricing at on select in-park photo prints rounds out the amenities. One and three-day packages are offered, at $70 or $90 per card. If you're just visiting Volcano Bay, a separate water park-only package is sold for $40 per card.

The CityWalk Party Pass ticket enables unlimited club-to-club access on one night, and runs $12 per pass, or $15 if you want to include a movie at the AMC Cineplex.

Multiple-day tickets do not have to be used on consecutive days, however, these tickets will expire 6 days after they are first used (7 days total), so be sure to use all the days purchased prior to that. Unused tickets expire 12 months from the order date.

Children under age three are admitted for free. The prices below were accurate as of July 2018 (6.5% Florida sales tax not included):

Universal Orlando Ticket Prices
One Park tickets Park-to-Park tickets (2 parks) Park-to-Park tickets (3 parks)
Days ages 3-9 ages 10+ Days ages 3-9 ages 10+ Days ages 3-9 ages 10+
Total Per Day Total Per Day Total Per Day Total Per Day Total Per Day Total Per Day
1 $110 $110 $115 $115 1 $165 $165 $170 $170 1 N/A
2 $195 $98 $205 $103 2 $255 $128 $265 $133 2 $310 $155 $320 $160
3 $215 $72 $225 $75 3 $275 $92 $285 $95 3 $330 $110 $340 $114
4 $225 $56 $235 $59 4 $290 $73 $300 $75 4 $355 $89 $365 $92
5 $235 $47 $245 $49 5 $305 $61 $315 $63 5 $380 $76 $390 $78
For Volcano Bay, add $55 to the 3-day tickets,

add $65 to the 4-day tickets,

add $75 to the 5-day tickets.

Volcano Bay water park has a different single-day, one-park admission price: $80 ($75 for ages 3–9).

Florida residents who provide proof of residence get discounts of varying degrees with some blockout dates, and they can't purchase beyond a 4-day ticket. Annual passes are also available for frequent visitors or residents.

Universal Express

Universal Studios Florida allow guests to utilize the "Universal Express Plus" Pass on selected attractions. This pass admits users to a separate line for the attraction, which is given priority status when boarding. Guests of Universal's three on-site resorts may show their room keys for unlimited uses of the faster line for each ride.

Universal Express is not included in park admission. There are a limited number of passes available each day and they are often sold out in advance. The cost of the pass varies based on what parks are selected and even what day is selected, with higher prices charged on peak operating days during the year.

If staying at on-site hotels, Portofino Bay, Royal Pacific Resort or the Hard Rock Hotel then free Universal Express is available at kiosk in the lobby with your room key.

Get around

While everything at Universal Orlando is within a fairly short walking distance from any point in the resort, there are some additional options for getting to and from the on-site resort hotels. You can take a free water taxi boat or a rickshaw to get to all resorts except for the Cabana Bay Beach Resort; for the latter you can take one of their specially-themed buses that run between CityWalk and the hotel.


Talk

As in most places in the United States, English is the default language throughout the Universal Orlando Resort. However, many team members throughout the property are bi- or tri-lingual, and they can be identified by language signs on their name tags, representing the languages they speak. Spanish is very common in Florida, and the US as a whole. Spanish speakers will not have any problems navigating the resort.

Guest Services locations are near the entrance of all the theme parks, water parks, and resort hotels. Team members, who usually are multilingual, will also be available there to answer any questions you may have.

For hearing-impaired guests, assistive listening devices and captioning (handheld, reflective, or video) are available for selected attractions. Cast Members with knowledge of American Sign Language can be identified by the appropriate symbol on their name tags, and interpreters are available by appointment.


Do

Universal Studios Florida

The archway entrance to the theme park.

Universal Studios Florida features seven themed areas, all situated around a large lagoon. Clockwise from the entrance, they are Production Central, New York, San Francisco, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, World Expo, Springfield: Home of the Simpsons, Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone and Hollywood. Each area features a combination of rides, shows, attractions, character appearances, dining outlets and merchandise stores.

Production Central

The main entryway, with a stately movie studio arch standing as grand entrance to the central area of the park. Stores line the pathway in the front half of the land, while large-scale motion simulator and "4-D" multisensory rides dominate the back half.

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. On this 4-D motion simulator ride, step into Gru's mansion as you prepare to become one of his Minions. Of course, things go wrong and a madcap adventure through his super villain lair ensues with Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes at your side.
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Pick your own song to listen to as your soar through the air on this heart-stopping roller coaster, featuring a 90-degree lift and top speeds of 65mph. At the end of the ride, take home a memory of your experience as a photo or music video.
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D. Step aboard your motion simulator vehicle and race through this dark ride that puts you right in the middle of a battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Don't worry, only the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.
  • Shrek 4-D. A 4-D original mini movie that takes place between the events of Shrek and Shrek 2, with all of your favorite characters returning (and featuring the original voice cast!).

New York

An extremely detailed "backlot" replica of New York City circa 1940. Wander the streets and alleyways of this neon-covered land and peer in the shop windows to find interesting surprises. The Blues Brothers arrive in the iconic "Bluesmobile" and perform multiple times a day from their stage on one of the land's streets.

  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC's Tonight Show, leads this race through New York in specialized "Tonight Rider" vehicles. A new ride, it features a state-of-the-art "Virtual Line" system where instead of waiting in a long queue to ride, the line is virtual and alerts guests as their time to ride nears.
  • Revenge of The Mummy. Starting out as a spooky dark ride through the ancient Egyptian tomb of the 1999 "Mummy" starring Brendan Frasier, you'll come face to face with the namesake Imohtep, before catapulting away from his curses as the ride turns into a full-throttle roller coaster!

San Francisco

A small waterfront area that captures the feel of San Francisco's Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf. Marvel at the full-sized lighted replica of the city's iconic Ghirardelli factory and rooftop sign. Unfortunately, there's no chocolate within!

  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged. Plunge into the middle of the action alongside Dom, Letty, and Hobbs. Check out the cars from the long-running movie series and escape from the bad guys as you race through the city streets.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

The second land of Universal's explosively popular Harry Potter themed areas, Diagon Alley captures the excitement of the secret London neighborhood where wizards escape the city to shop, drink, and discuss the news and matters of the day. Just as in the films, the alley is hidden behind the apartments of shops of London, and can only be accessed by traveling through a magical brick wall!

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
  • Hogwarts Express: King's Cross Station.

World Expo

A mini land containing a single ride, lightly themed to the 1964 World's Fair at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, which was also the setting of the climactic final battle of the Men in Black film.

  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack.

Springfield: Home of the Simpsons

Step inside the town from the long-running Fox animated series and visit the restaurants and stores that have become part of American pop culture. You might even see members of this famous yellow family strolling about! D'oh!

  • Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl.
  • The Simpsons Ride.

Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone

  • E.T. Adventure.
  • Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster.

Hollywood

Themed to classic Hollywood, this land is without any rides following the closure of TERMINATOR 2: 3-D in 2017. A new ride for this area is in the works!

Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure features nine distinctly themed "islands" circling a central lagoon. The islands, going in clockwise order from the Port of Entry through which guests enter, consist Marvel Superhero Island, Toon Lagoon, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Jurassic Park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.

Port of Entry

Marvel Superhero Island

  • Doctor Doom's Fearfall.
  • Storm Force Accelatron.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster.

Toon Lagoon

  • Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls.
  • Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

Jurassic Park

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure.
  • Pteranodon Flyers.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

  • Flight of the Hippogriff.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
  • Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station.

The Lost Continent

  • Poseidon's Fury.

Seuss Landing

  • Caro-Seuss-el.
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
  • The Cat in the Hat.
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!.

CityWalk

  • Hollywood Dive-in Mini Golf is a 50s drive-in-movie-themed mini golf facility containing two mini golf courses.
  • The Blue Man Group a live show with daily performances

See

Universal Studios Florida

Concerts

The Universal Music Plaza Stage live concerts:

  • Rock the Universe is the park's Christian music festival, featuring two days in September of concerts with leading contemporary Christian, Christian rock, and Christian rap artists live at The Universal Music Plaza Stage in the Production Central.
  • Summer Concert Series occurs annually and features a variety of popular music acts performing live at The Universal Music Plaza Stage in the Production Central.

Parades

  • Macy's Holiday Parade brings some authentic balloons from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to Orlando in a month-long event in December that highlights the Christmas celebrations at the park.
  • Mardi Gras Generally in February through to April, a parade and concert series inspired by New Orleans' Fat Tuesday party is held at the park.
  • Universal's Superstar Parade is a daily parade at Universal Studios Florida; it features a lot of kid-friendly characters such as SpongeBob, Dora, Minions, etc.

Halloween

Halloween Horror Nights turns the park into a giant haunted playground, including scare zones, numerous haunted houses and special themed shows. The event is run annually in late September and October.

Characters

Seen in Hollywood
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Betty Boop
  • Lucy and Ricky Ricardo
  • Scooby-Doo and Shaggy
  • Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble
Seen in Production Central
  • Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, Minions, and Vector.
  • Shrek, Princess Fiona, and Donkey
  • Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!|Diego
  • Alex and the Madagascar Penguins
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Optimus Prime and Bumblebee
Seen in Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone
  • Woody and Winnie Woodpecker
  • Curious George and Ted
  • Barney, B.J., and Baby Bop
  • Rugrats: Tommy, Chuckie, and Angelica
  • Crash Bandicoot
Seen in World Expo
  • Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa Simpson
  • Doc Brown and Marty Mcfly
Seen in New York
  • The Blues Brothers band
  • Mummy stiltwalkers
Seen in San Fransisco
  • Beetlejuice
  • Bill and Ted

Islands of Adventure

Universal CityWalk

Buy

Universal Studios Florida

Production Central:

  • Universal Studios Store
  • Studio Sweets
  • It's a Wrap!
  • Super Silly Stuff
  • Shrek's Ye Olde Souvenir Shoppe

New York:

  • Sahara Traders
  • Aftermath
  • Rosie's Irish Shop

Springfield:

  • Kwik-E-Mart

World Expo:

  • MIB Gear

Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone:

  • The Barney Store
  • E.T.'s Toy Closet
  • SpongeBob StorePants

Hollywood:

  • Cyber Image
  • Theatre Magic

Islands of Adventure

Eat

The phone number for all Universal Dining is +1 (407)-224-2690.

Universal Studios Florida

Snacks and Drinks

  • Ben & Jerry's.
  • Beverly Hills Boulangerie (Production Central).
  • Bone Chillin'.
  • Duff Brewery (Springfield).
  • Eternelle's Elixir of Refreshment (Wizarding World - Diagon Alley).
  • Flaming Moe's (Springfield).
  • Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour.
  • The Fountain of Fair Fortune.
  • The Hopping Pot.
  • Lard Lad Donuts.
  • Lisa's Teahouse of Horror.
  • Moe's Tavern.
  • San Francisco Pastry Company.
  • Schwab's Pharmacy.
  • Starbucks. Su-Th 7am-midnight, Fr-Sa 7am-1am. The premier global Seattle-based coffeehouse, offering a wide range of coffee beverages, smoothies, teas, and breakfast and lunch options.

Quick Service

  • Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck.
  • Chez Alcatraz.
  • Cletus' Chicken Shack.
  • The Frying Dutchman.
  • KidZone Pizza Company.
  • Krusty Burger.
  • Leaky Cauldron.
  • Louie's Italian Restaurant.
  • Luigi's Pizza.
  • Mel's Drive-In.
  • Richter's Burger Co..
  • Universal Studios' Classic Monsters Cafe.

Full Service

  • Finnegan's Bar & Grill.
  • Lombard's Seafood Grille.
  • Cafe La Bamba.

Character Dining

  • Halloween Horror Nights Scareactor Dining Experience.

Islands of Adventure

Snacks and Drinks

  • Backwater Bar.
  • Cathy's Ice Cream.
  • Chill Ice Cream.
  • Cinnabon. Su-Th 7:30am-midnight, Fr-Sa 7:30am-1am. Classic chain bakery serving up hot cinnamon rolls, "Cinnabon Stix", and other treats all day.
  • Croissant Moon Bakery.
  • Hog's Head.
  • Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop.
  • Moose Juice, Goose Juice.
  • Starbucks. Su-Th 7am-midnight, Fr-Sa 7am-1am. The premier global Seattle-based coffeehouse, offering a wide range of coffee beverages, smoothies, teas, and breakfast and lunch options.
  • The Watering Hole.

Quick Service

  • Blondie's.
  • The Burger Digs.
  • Cafe 4.
  • Captain America Diner.
  • Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous.
  • Comic Strip Cafe.
  • Fire Eater's Grill.
  • Green Eggs and Ham Cafe.
  • Pizza Predattoria.
  • Three Broomsticks.
  • Thunder Falls Terrace.
  • Whimpy's.

Full Service

  • Confisco Grille.
  • Mythos Restaurant.

Character Dining

  • The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast.
  • Marvel Character Dinner.

CityWalk

Snacks and Drinks

  • Cinnabon. Su-Th 7:30am-midnight, Fr-Sa 7:30am-1am. Classic chain bakery serving up hot cinnamon rolls, "Cinnabon Stix", and other treats all day.
  • Cold Stone Creamery. Su-Th 10am-midnight, Fr-Sa 10am-1:30am. Spot for ice cream, smoothies, and shakes with a variety of toppings mixed in on, yes, cold stone slabs.
  • Fat Tuesday. Daily 3pm-1:45am. From Bourbon Street direct to Orlando, frozen daiquiris and other drinks are crafted at this walk-up counter in a rainbow of colors and flavors.
  • Lone Palm Airport. Su-Sa 10:30am-1am. Set under the wings of Jimmy Buffett's seaplane, this tiki bar set beside the lake serves up margaritas and frozen drinks, and also offers a menu of small bites.
  • Menchie's frozen yogurt. Su-Th 11am-midnight, Fr-Sa 11am-1am. A great spot to fill your bowl with a wide array of frozen yogurt flavors and countless toppings.
  • Starbucks. Su-Th 7am-midnight, Fr-Sa 7am-1am. The premier global Seattle-based coffeehouse, offering a wide range of coffee beverages, smoothies, teas, and breakfast and lunch options.
  • Voodoo Doughnut. Su-Th 7am-midnight, Fr-Sa 7am-1am. This Oregon-born gourmet donut chain's first East Coast outpost features the delicious deserts that grew a cult following at the original spot.

Quick Service

  • Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches. Su-Th 10:30am-midnight, Fr-Sa 10:30am-1am. Classic deli sandwiches and hot melts are served up alongside soups, salads, and desserts. $8-$15.
  • Burger King Whopper Bar. Su-Th 9am-11pm, Fr-Sa 9am-midnight. The famous Whoppers are assembled in front of you with a choice of over 20 different toppings at this concept joint from BK.
  • Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar. Su-Th 11am-midnight, Fr-Sa 11am-2am. Counter offering made-to-order fresh Japanese fusion dishes including sushi, bento boxes, dumplings, and beef skewers. Pick up a fruit-infused sake to complete the meal!
  • Hot Dog Hall of Fame. Su-Th 11am-12am, Fr-Sa 11am-1am. A unique array of iconic hot dogs from around the country, including the New York dogs with sauerkraut and authentic Milwaukee bratwurst. Seating is stadium-style and the place even has artificial turf to complete the baseball-themed experience!
  • Moe's Southwest Grill. Su-Th 10:30am-12am, Fr-Sa 10:30am-1am. Inventive Tex-Mex dishes are made in front of your eyes at this counter-serve joint.
  • Panda Express. Su-Th 11am-11pm, Fr-Sa 11am-12am. The classic fast good Chinese restaurant, with all of the traditional dishes, including their famous Orange Chicken.
  • Red Oven Pizza Bakery. Su-Th 10:30am-1am, Fr-Sa 10:30am-1:30am. Build your own personalized pie and watch as chefs toss it into a piping hot stone oven to cook it in just around 90 seconds!

Full Service

  • Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food. Su-Th 3pm-12am, Fr-Sa 3pm-1am. Mexican street fare is offered up at this large, lively, and colorful restaurant. Sit in comfort as live Mariachi music serenades diners on select nights.
  • Bob Marley–A Tribute to Freedom. Daily 3pm-2am. Sit inside a lovingly-constructed replica of Bob Marley's home in Kingston, Jamaica as you chow down on Jamaican food including oxtail stew, jerk chicken, and yucca fries. The open-air courtyard also contains artifacts and photos of Marley as video clips play on TVs.
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market. Daily 11am-12am. Shrimp is served in countless varieties, just like Bubba explained in the seminal film "Forrest Gump". Southern fare and seafood is the name of the game here, along with memorabilia from the movie.
  • Hard Rock Cafe Orlando.
  • Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.
  • NBC Sports Grill & Brew. Su-Sa 10:30am-1am. A cavernous sports bar with nearly 100 HD screens covering everything from football to volleyball, along with an elevated menu of American food and bottles and drafts ranging from local stars to unique imports.
  • Pat O'Brien's. Su-Sa 4pm-2am. This New Orleans import serves classic Cajun cuisine and the famed Hurricane drinks straight from Bourbon Street. After 5pm, musicians take the stage and perform tunes on the iconic dueling pianos. $10-$18, $7 cover after 10pm (must be age 21+).
  • The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar.
  • The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
  • VIVO Italian Kitchen. Su-Sa 3pm-midnight. Stylish, modern restaurant serving up classic Italian recipes from pizza to pasta out of an open kitchen. A wide variety of vintage wines, Italian-influenced cocktails are also offered by the full bar.

Drink

CityWalk

  • CityWalk's Rising Star. Su-Sa 8pm-2am. Bar and karaoke club that features backup singers and even a live band! A nightly host keeps the crowd energized. (Pre-recorded music only is offered Sunday and Monday.) Su-Th ages 18+, Fr-Sa ages 21+. $7 cover, no charge to sing.
  • Fat Tuesday. Daily 3pm-1:45am. From Bourbon Street to Orlando, frozen daiquiris and other drinks are crafted at this walk-up counter in a rainbow of colors and flavors.
  • the groove. Su-Sa 9pm-2am. Multi-level state of the art dance club featuring various unique themed bars and an outdoor terrace overlooking CityWalk. VIP seating and table service is available. $7 cover after 10pm (must be ages 21+).
  • Lone Palm Airport. Su-Sa 10:30am-1am. Set under the winds of Jimmy Buffett's seaplane, this tiki bar alongside the lake serves up margaritas and frozen drinks, and also offers a menu of small bites.
  • Pat O'Brien's. Su-Sa 4pm-2am. This New Orleans import serves classic Cajun cuisine and the famed Hurricane drinks straight from Bourbon Street. After 5pm, musicians take the stage and perform tunes on the iconic dueling pianos. $10-$18, $7 cover after 10pm (must be age 21+).
  • Red Coconut Club.

Sleep

One of the best perks to staying on site is that shuttles and ferries to and from Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures, and Universal's CityWalk are available free of charge! And another great perk of staying on the grounds is that you receive Universal Express Unlimited, which allows you to skip the lines (great for when you have little ones), and early park admission (so you can get on the rides before the parks open to the rest of the public).

Universal Orlando Resort offers five on site hotels, with three more opening over the next three years. They are split into categories ranging from Value to Premier.

Budget

Universal classifies these hotels as Prime Value resorts. All fairly new and lightly themed, these options are great for families and guests who want less of a full resort atmosphere and more of a convenient place to relax and sleep after a long day in the theme parks.

  • 1 Universal's Aventura Hotel. Opening August 2018
  • 2 Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, 6550 Adventure Way, toll-free: +1 (888) 273-1311. The Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opened in 2014, is a retro-themed resort offering both motel-style family suites and standard interior-entrance rooms. Despite the low price point, it offers some unique elements like a bowling alley, a special Jack LaLanne fitness center, and a lazy river! The resort features two large zero-entry pools, both offering the namesake cabanas. The main building also has a large cafeteria-style restaurant named Bayliner Diner, as well as a Starbucks, the Swizzle Lounge bar, and a Universal Studios Store. Each pool also has a bar. $116 and up.
  • A third budget resort, consisting of two unique hotels in a new lower category termed Value, is under construction across Interstate 4 from the main Universal Orlando Resort property. Connected by shuttle, this resort will be named Universal's Endless Summer Resort. The first phase to open, the Surfside Inn and Suites hotel, will begin accepting guests in the summer of 2019. The second, the Dockside Inn and Suites hotel, will open in 2020.

    Mid-range

    Universal's mid-range hotels are called Preferred resorts. Providing more extensive amenities and dining options, these resorts are ideal for those looking to kick back and unwind after enjoying the parks.

    • 3 Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
    • 4 Loews Royal Pacific Resort, 6300 Hollywood Way, toll-free: +1 (888) 273-1311. The Royal Pacific Resort is another dynamite resort on the Universal Studios grounds. One thing to not miss out on while staying at The Royal Pacific offers is the chance to experience authentic Polynesian cuisine and entertainment at Wantilan Luau. Unlike the Portofino Bay, the Royal Pacific Resort only offers one pool, but as an on-site guest you can travel to any of the other on-site hotels and are allowed pool access. The fan favorite pool... the one located at the Hard Rock Resort (it plays music under water!). $220 and up.

    Splurge

    Universal's highest level of hotels are termed Premier resorts. These large hotels offer a wide range of amenities, including high-end dining, massive pools, extensive theming and luxurious rooms.

    • 5 Hard Rock Hotel, 5800 Universal Blvd Orlando, Florida, 32819, toll-free: +1-888-430-4999. The Hard Rock Hotel is the third of Universal Orlando's upscale resorts, featuring theming that makes it resemble a sprawling mansion of a rock star in Hollywood. There is a hip, music-oriented theme inside; at the pool, you can actually listen to music underwater. $$$.
    • 6 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, 5601 Universal Blvd Orlando, Florida, 32819, toll-free: +1-888-430-4999. Portofino Bay is a beautiful Italian style-hotel, however it can be a bit pricey, depending on the season. Out of the places to eat at this hotel, a particularly good option is Mama Della's Ristorante. The eatery offers great food and great service; however beware of the dim lighting, so you may need your reading glasses to get a look at the delicious menu. Don't fret about getting there before check-in, they allow guests to pre-register as soon as they arrive, and will even activate the Universal Express feature before you check-in so you can get the most out of your vacation. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando (Q6666630) on Wikidata Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando on Wikipedia

    Go next

    • For the quintessential American vacation resort and main competitor to Universal Orlando, visit Walt Disney World and its four theme parks, 20 minutes south on Interstate 4.
    This city travel guide to Universal Orlando is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.