6 Reasons Why #UniversalSZN is the BEST Season

6 Reasons Why #UniversalSZN is the BEST Season

6 Reasons Why #UniversalSZN is the BEST Season

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There is no better feeling than standing comfortably in Universal Studios Florida, stretching your arms out to soak in the perfect #UniversalSZN weather and smiling as you notice the low wait times for your favorite rides.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the best time of the year to visit Universal Orlando Resort and here are the top 6 reasons why…

volcano bay universal orlando resort couples vacation

1. The Gorgeous Weather!

Florida is known for its beautiful weather year round, but #UniversalSZN is particularly great because you still get all the benefits of the amazing weather – it is STILL summer and not too hot plus you can leave the SPF 80 sunscreen at home. And if you’re looking for a miniature tropical getaway, be sure escape to Volcano Bay!

Here is what you can expect at night and during the day while visiting the parks in the #UniversalSZN.

GIF floating on lazy river at volcano bay
  • During the Day: Throw on that bathing suit you thought you were putting away until next summer and spend the day floating around on the Kopiko Wai Winding River at Volcano Bay.Local Tip: Lookout for entrance signage that reads “Ride Now!” You’ll be able to tap right into those rides without losing your place in the Virtual Line for another attraction.
GIF The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle gif
  • Nighttime: The #UniversalSZN weather is perfect for you to break out your Gryffindor sweater or scarf (or Slytherin if you’re like me) and find your way over to experience The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle!

Also, be sure not to miss the all new Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration that takes you into the movies like never before.

Local Tip: Plan to arrive early so you can get a prime spot to view these incredible shows.

transformers ride at universal orlando resort

2. Fewer Crowds

Prefer not feeling like you’re performing an awkward new dance as you weave in and out of crowds? What’s great about the #UniversalSZN season is that there is just the right amount of room to be comfortable and strut your stuff as you make your way to your favorite ride!

Local Tip: Check out the Insider Tips Blog to get the most out of your visit to the parks.

drinks at volcano bay in universal orlando resort

3. Premium Pool Seating

Lounging in a beach chair anywhere at Universal Orlando, of course, is amazing, but having the best view in the park to go along with it is priceless.

fist tacos at volcano bay

4. Dinner Reservation Availability

Whether it’s having breakfast with the Grinch or dinner at the award-winning Mythos, the #UniversalSZN season is the perfect time to try that Universal Orlando restaurant you have always wanted to dig into.

Local Tip: Visit your choice restaurant at the start of your park journey to secure the best reservation time or conveniently book your reservation online.

girl diagon alley at wizarding world of harry potter Universal orlando resort

5. Take Epic Photos!

Love filling up your Instagram page with epic Universal Orlando photos? Me too! Take advantage of the lower crowds to get that epic fire-breathing dragon photo in Diagon Alley you have always been dreaming of!

Local Tip: Check out a few of our Top Instagram Worthy #WallsOfUniversal for great photo spots hidden around the park.

GIF roller coaster

6. Shorter Wait Lines

No need to feel rushed as you make your way through the park to your favorite ride to get a prime spot in line. You can actually take your time! Stop off for a cold drink at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill and still get a prime spot in line.

Local Tip: Do you have a preference for sitting in the front or back of a ride? Simply let the ride attendant know your preferred position and there may be an opportunity for them to assist you on some attractions.

What are you looking forward to most this season? Anything we missed?

Don’t forget to share all of your Universal Orlando Resort experiences with #UniversalSZN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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6 Reasons Why #UniversalSZN is the BEST Season


Disney Minnie Vans now available for trips to and from Orlando International Airport

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World recently, then you’ve seen the red and white polka dot vehicles driving all around property. These are Disney’s Minnie Vans. They’re Disney’s cast member driven version of popular rideshare services like Uber and Lyft available to guests staying at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Minnie Vans are primarily for transportation within the resort, but a limited test for rides to and from the Orlando International Airport has now expanded to every Disney resort.

Normally ordered via the Lyft app, Disney’s Minnie Vans all cost a flat fee of $25 per trip, per vehicle for destinations on Walt Disney World property between the hours of 6:30am and 12:30am daily.

The new airport shuttle service to Orlando International Airport requires a reservation (made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY) and costs $150 each trip, gratuity is not included. The shuttle runs from 7am to 10pm, which means you can use it for flights departing between the hours of 9am and 12 midnight.

Know that each Minnie Van can hold up to six passengers and between six to eight medium-sized suitcases. Disney can also provide car seats and ADA accessible vehicles upon request when you make your reservation.

Since Minnie Vans debuted last summer, the service has grown in utility and ease of access for guests. Mickey’s Magical Express airport bus is still available to every guest, but if maximizing your time is important, you may find the cost of a Minnie Van airport shuttle a good deal.

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8 Ways to Maximize Your Time at Universal Orlando Resort

8 Ways to Maximize Your Time at Universal Orlando Resort

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If you’ve ever seen our Instagram feed, you already know—The Jet Sisters spend a lot of time at Universal Orlando Resort. What started as a family vacation destination when we were kids helped grow our love for travel. Universal Orlando is the place we always come back to, even as we explore the rest of the world. Like a home away from home… with magic, mummies and monsters!

Having visited dozens and dozens of times together, my sister and I have our special traditions, favorite attractions and shortcuts that help us maximize our time in the parks. We’re excited to share those tips with you now, so take a look.

1. Stay at an On-Site Hotel

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Universal Orlando has five (soon to be six!) on-site hotels with awesome benefits, so it just makes sense to stay on property. When you do, you get free transportation to and from the parks and Early Park Admission. Some resorts also include free Universal Express Unlimited passes for every guest on the reservation. Who doesn’t want shorter wait times? Hello! That’s such a bargain!

2. Prioritize Ride Queues 

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The Universal Creative design team does an amazing job making the queues as exciting as the ride, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on the most unique ones. For rides like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, you’ll want to walk through the entire line because part of the story is in the queue.

3. Use Single Rider Line

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For rides like Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida or The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can take the single riders line to get on the ride faster.

4. Meet a Jurassic Raptor

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If you’re brave enough, you can meet a velociraptor in Jurassic Park! It’s one of the most heart-pounding, thrilling adventures in the parks, but so many people don’t know it’s there. Visit early—the raptors are known to get hungry in the afternoon.

5. Board the Hogwarts Express

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Climb aboard the magnificent Hogwarts Express to journey between King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You’ll stay immersed in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and experience a different story each way. To ride the Hogwarts Express, make sure you have a park-to-park admission.

6. Grab an Interactive Wand

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With an Interactive Wand, the correct spell and the proper wand gesture, you can see the magic unfold as you cast spells throughout both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These wands can be purchased from Ollivanders in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. You’ll also get a map that marks the locations where you can put your new wand to use.

7. Plan Lunch Strategically 

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Grab lunch later in the day to skip the rush. It’ll also let you take advantage of shorter ride lines while everyone else is eating. Some of our favorites spots to eat are Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park (love seeing the splashdown!), Mythos in Islands of Adventure, and Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

8. Beat Your Sister’s High Score on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack 

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If you want a high score on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, there are a few tips you should know. Aim for the aliens in the windows and the trees and shoot the subatomic thermal disruptor. The small hidden aliens will give you tons of points, too. And don’t forget to “push the red button!”

Bonus Tip — End Your Day with Confetti

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We like to watch Universal’s Superstar Parade near Revenge of the Mummy, because there’s nothing more delightful than a confetti shower in the afternoon. It makes us feel special to wrap up a fun day with a dance session and some glitter. Plus, when it’s over, you can hop on Revenge of the Mummy one more time.

We hope these tips help you make the most out of your time at Universal Orlando Resort. Share with us your tips and tricks in the comments, and we’ll see you in the parks!

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8 Ways to Maximize Your Time at Universal Orlando Resort


Vacation Hack: Early Park Admission

Vacation Hack: Early Park Admission

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Stop—don’t hit that snooze button! You’ve got an epic day ahead of you. One of the coolest benefits of staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel is getting a head start to your day with Early Park Admission. This resort benefit gets you into the parks a whole hour before the general public to take advantage of short waits at some of the more popular attractions.

With all that extra time, here are a just a few of the things you could get done in a day.

Watch the Sunrise

Grab yourself a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise as you cruise on over to the parks on a Water Taxi. Watching the sun come up over our parks is absolutely stunning.

GIF Early Park Admission at Universal Orlando

Be Among the First to Step Foot into the Park

Imagine being one of the first to stick your toes into the sand and grab the best spot on Waturi Beach. You can also be one of the first in line at your favorite rides…

GIF Universal's Volcano Bay Early Park Admission

Get Most of Your To-Do List Checked Off Before Lunch Time

Being one of the first in lines gives you the chance to check off your to-list quicker! You’ll be crossing off your to-do list faster than you can say Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit!

GIF Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Reflection

Get Back to the Pool

Our pools are amazing and we know you want to enjoy some time in them. Taking advantage of Early Park Admission gets you back to your hotel with plenty of time to hop back into the pool after an awesome day in the parks.

GIF Universal Orlando On-Site Hotel Pools

What else can you do with the time you save taking advantage of Early Park Admission? Click here to find out more reasons why you need to stay at a Universal Orlando resort hotel.

And click here to see what time Early Park Admission is during your stay.

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Vacation Hack: Early Park Admission


Top Tips for Staying Healthy at Universal Orlando Resort

Top Tips for Staying Healthy at Universal Orlando Resort

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I always think about the sweets and decadent food choices when we start talking about our next vacation, and particularly when we know we’re heading back to Universal Orlando Resort. But then the second I start to feel like we’ll just be throwing our fitness goals away, I remember how easy staying healthy at Universal Orlando actually is.

That might sound a little ridiculous when you start thinking about all the dessert you’re going to consume, but just go with me for a minute. Staying healthy on vacation is a breeze with a couple of simple choices that will give you the energy to have fun.

1. Getting Your Steps In

I’m just going to start here because it’s the most simple thing you can do and you won’t even realize it’s happening. If you’re a person that uses apps and equipment to track your steps throughout the day, or if you have activity goals, you’ll almost immediately meet them. Just look at our step tracking. We weren’t even thinking about it and we were killin’ it!

Staying Healthy at Universal Orlando Resort - Get Your Steps In 2

Staying Healthy at Universal Orlando Resort - Get Your Steps In 3

You’ll cover more ground than a Autobot chasing down a Decepticon if you stay on your feet and actively seek out your next moment of excitement,. You’ll earn that delicious cheeseburger trekking from the back of the parks to The Cowfish in Universal CityWalk.

Best Ideas for Extra Steps

Either start or end your day by walking back to your hotel instead of using the provided shuttle bus or water taxi.

Get Your Steps In at Universal Orlando Resort

Plan to walk all of the way around the lagoon of CityWalk to cover a little more ground. And the same goes for getting between the hotels and parks: you either walk or you take a complimentary shuttle.

And you can’t forget that Universal’s Volcano Bay can be a part of your Universal Orlando vacation. Get in your extra steps and really work the glutes by climbing the volcano to do the drop slides. The slides aren’t the only way to get your heart rate up!

Get Your Steps in at Universal's Volcano Bay

Have you ever gone on a vacation with the family and snuck out of the hotel room early to do a workout, even just a short one? We try to do this whenever and wherever we’re traveling and being at Universal it’s easy.

One of the benefits of staying in a large, beautiful hotel is that you’re guaranteed a few key amenities. Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels are no exception as each hotel has a fitness center.

And seriously, starting the day with just a short, dedicated workout does really make a difference in the day. You’re more alert, have a little extra energy (surprisingly), and you’ve had some time alone to clear your mind.

Jack Lalane Fitness Center at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Tip: Start this early workout habit while you’re traveling and you’ll be inclined to do it more at home too. At home you’ll be able to do your exercises or go for a jog and remember that you started this awesome habit while you were on vacay.

Rock Om: Hard Rock Hotel Yoga Program

If you’re staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, you’re in for an extra special treat. I love practicing yoga, whether in a class or out in the world. Hard Rock Hotel has the perfect system in place to support a continued yoga practice while at Universal.

Rock Om - Hard Rock Hotel Yoga Program

Rock Om is available through the in-room television and is so simple. Here’s how you enjoy the quality yoga instruction from the comfort of your room:

  1. Request the Rock Om yoga kit from guest services
  2. Turn on the television and select your in-room programming
  3. Choose which of the yoga sessions you’d prefer depending on time and skill level

From gentle poses for relaxation and stretching to a full series of vinyasa flow, you’ll be able to pick and choose the pieces you need for a complete (or quick) yoga practice. Love this program!

Rock Om - Hard Rock Hotel Yoga Program 2

3. Universal Running Routes

Many people either don’t know about it or just forget to ask, but many hotels have running route cards available through the front desk. Universal Orlando’s hotels have these at the ready. When you first check in, or once you know you’re ready to go, check with the front desk for a running route. They’ll be able to provide a small map with clear instructions directing you on a three mile loop around Universal Orlando.

Tip: Even when you’re using a running route map that’s provided, always be aware of vehicles and pedestrian rules. Safety first, always.

Universal Orlando Jogging Trail Map

If the guest services desk at your hotel doesn’t have the running route maps available, ask for assistance planning out your route. Universal Orlando maps are available online or on paper nearly anywhere on property.

4. Stress-Free Dining Choices

So you don’t want to think about the active side of staying healthy while at Universal Orlando – that’s totally okay. All you have to do to keep health in mind is elect to make a few smart choices at meals and snack times. Luckily for anybody who wants to make some health-conscious dining decisions in advance, Universal Orlando has their dining locations’ menus online, including info about food allergies. This is a great way to evaluate which lunch choices will fit the fun food requirements of the kids and the healthier choices for anybody looking for them.

Tip: One of the most delicious and healthiest options we found at Universal Orlando was actually the Steak Salad at the restaurant inside Galaxy Bowl at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Fresh greens and hearty protein in a fun atmosphere. And I mean, bowling while eating salad just sounds healthy.

Eating Healthy at Lombard's Seafood Restaurant

Something to consider when you’re plotting out your family’s dining options is that sit-down restaurants will typically have a wider variety of health-conscious choices than a quick service restaurant will. Taking the time to sit together and enjoy a meal instead of eating on-the-go will provide a chance to relax, connect about the fun you’ve all been having, and have some great menu items for all tastes.

Tip: Restaurants such as Mythos (Universal’s Islands of Adventure) or Lombard’s Seafood Grille (Universal Studios Florida) take reservations. If there are shows you want to catch or if your party is splitting up during the day, having a reservation will help to keep you on point for the experiences you want to have.

5. Be a Kid: The More Fun the Better

Be a Kid Again at Universal Orlando Resort

This goes without saying, but laughing and having fun burns calories like there’s no tomorrow. There are plenty of thrills and big-kid attractions all around Universal Orlando, but take time to act like a little kid too. Be crazy and get soaked at Curious George Goes to Town. Do the ropes course with the kids in Camp Jurassic. Climb the stairs to all of the tallest slides at Volcano Bay.

Be a Kid Again at Curious George Goes to Town

Basically, say yes to having all the fun. The happiness hormones start to flow and you feel better and more alert as you let go. Dopamine and oxytocin make you alert and energetic. Serotonin helps you get a good night’s sleep. Put the fun together with your body’s physiological response and you have no reason to not act like a kid.

Be a Kid Again at Camp Jurassic

6. Best use of Calories at Universal Orlando

Planning on just going for the gusto since you’re going to be on vacation? Awesome! That’s what we do, and we still feel like we’ve done a good job staying healthy. Our favorite caloric investments—meaning that we just enjoy them no matter how unhealthy we know they are—are still pretty smart choices (except for some obvious indulgences):

Chicken Wrap from Atomic Tonic at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Doesn’t it feel great knowing that staying healthy at Universal Orlando Resort isn’t difficult?! Spending time at Universal Orlando has proven to be, time and again, an active family experience… and we come home in better shape than when we arrived!

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Top Tips for Staying Healthy at Universal Orlando Resort


Upcoming Events

  1. 2018 Fall Family Festival

    October 12 @ 3:00 pm - November 14 @ 1:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  3. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  4. SpaKitty Dinner

    November 14 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  5. The Festival of Trees

    November 15 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  6. FIU’s 32nd Festival of the Trees

    November 15 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  7. School Day at the 2018 Florida Tiny House MUSIC Festival

    November 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  8. 10th Annual OrlandoJobs.com Job Fair and Career Expo

    November 16 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0
  9. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  10. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0

Upcoming Events

  1. 2018 Fall Family Festival

    October 12 @ 3:00 pm - November 14 @ 1:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  3. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  4. SpaKitty Dinner

    November 14 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  5. The Festival of Trees

    November 15 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  6. FIU’s 32nd Festival of the Trees

    November 15 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  7. School Day at the 2018 Florida Tiny House MUSIC Festival

    November 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  8. 10th Annual OrlandoJobs.com Job Fair and Career Expo

    November 16 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0
  9. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  10. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0

Join our Fun Network

  1. 2018 Fall Family Festival

    October 12 @ 3:00 pm - November 14 @ 1:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  3. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  4. SpaKitty Dinner

    November 14 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  5. The Festival of Trees

    November 15 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  6. FIU’s 32nd Festival of the Trees

    November 15 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  7. School Day at the 2018 Florida Tiny House MUSIC Festival

    November 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  8. 10th Annual OrlandoJobs.com Job Fair and Career Expo

    November 16 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0
  9. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  10. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0