IT’S not just some people in your family who will love this Florida theme park…it’ll be Universal.
Whether it’s mum, dad, the kids or grandparents — there’s something for everyone in Orlando’s major thrill-ride attraction.
There were nine in our group who booked tickets for the fun-filled Universal Orlando Resort’s parks and our enjoyment was endless.
The rides and rollercoasters are connected by two linked locations, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Do yourself a favour and split them into different visits.
You could attempt to go between them both on the same day but there is so much to see and do it’s better to take your time.
Getting the express passes is highly recommended. Depending on the time of year, Orlando can be mobbed with tourists and locals and you’ll want to get to the front of the queues as quickly as possible.
Therefore it’s worthwhile paying a little extra to upgrade your tickets.
A little tip: for the most popular rides – where the line can take hours – consider going on as a single rider. Yes, you may get split up from friends and family, but you’ll get on so much quicker and can just meet again at the exit.
Harry Potter fans will probably know all about the attractions. But even if you’re not hooked on the books or films they’re still amazing to experience.
On the Universal Studios side, there’s the Escape from Gringotts ride which is extraordinary. You can then take a train trip on the Hogwarts Express over to the Islands of Adventure where Hagrid’s Magical Creatures is a thrill.
It really is a world of its own and amazing to see so many fanatics engrossed in the film set recreations.
Universal’s newest ride is the Jurassic World VelociCoaster and even seasoned theme park goers will be blown away with the speed of this thing.
Don’t worry if you’re with younger kids or grandparents and looking for attractions to be less ‘jarring’. The ET bicycle ride has been there for years and is certainly tamer compared to newer, state of the art rides.
Whatever you go on, a couple of days on Universal’s rides and rollercoasters will leave you exhausted — in a good way.
And that’s even before you get to their Volcano Bay water park. If you don’t fancy the all-action slip rides you can always strap yourself to a life vest and float gently down the lazy river.
Of course, Orlando isn’t all about theme parks. As a family we’re now into double figures for the amount of holidays we’ve enjoyed there over the years.
My daughter Melissa was eight when we first flew the nine-hours into Florida while my son Joel was six. They’re now 20 and 18 and have reached the stage where they don’t want to go anywhere else.
They have always loved the famous shopping outlets and stores at Mall at Millennia. And they love the restaurants over there such as Carrabas, Cheesecake Factory, Bahama Breeze, PF Changs and STK.
With the way the pounds is against the dollar getting value for money has never been more important so it’s worth shopping around when it comes to your accommodation.
We stayed in a huge nine bedroom luxury villa in the Championsgate Resort. It was actually booked in July 2019, just after we returned home from our last visit.
As a location, it’s a good half-hour drive to Universal, but you’ll definitely need a car to get around, wherever you stay, rather than relying on public transport.
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