Monday, March 12, 2018

Tips for Going to Universal Orlando Resort

I recently won some tickets to Universal Orlando Resort.  I had no clue about what it even was when I won the tickets.  Just figured it was another Disney theme park but apparently Universal is a competitor of Disney. 

The tickets were for Universal park and Islands of Adventures park (right next to each other).  They are also connected by something called CityWalk which is basically a ton of restaurants (and open to the public).  I recommend eating out there if you can rather than in the park.  I didn't feel like there were a ton of restaurants in the park. 

So what we (me and my friend going with me) did was get a hotel that can take you by boat or a short walk to the parks.  We stayed at the Lowes Royal Pacific hotel.  We got that hotel because you get free Express Passes for all the guests that are staying.  It was $330 a night (including tax) plus parking which was $23.  The Express Passes are about $100 per person if you buy them from Universal.  So we figured - $330 minus $200 for fast passes - $130...for a pretty nice hotel which takes you to and from the park or a short walk to the park.  Not bad!  And we're so glad we got the Express Passes!  We rode EVERY ride we wanted and didn't really stand in line except for when the rides had mechanical issues.  

Universal is definitely a fun place to be.  The rides are basically movie rides.  We rode a lot of 3D type rides which I absolutely loved because it is like you are in the movie!  I especially liked the one Harry Potter 3D ride (in Islands of Adventures) - so much so we rode it twice.  Men in Black was pretty awesome too because you are in the action (shooting aliens).  Loved ET as you felt like you were in the stars like he was on the bike.  Wish I had rode that one twice!  We rode some kiddie rides (Merry Go Round) so we felt like big kids. 

Fast & the Furious ride will be opening up probably late Spring this year so I'd recommend waiting for that one if you like fast cars!

At the end of the night, they had a Mardi Gras parade (which I think they're doing through April 7th) which was so beautiful!  The floats were incredible and the dancers were covered in glitter and made you wanna dance with them!  The floats had people on them tossing beads!  I got plenty!  SO much fun that now I wanna go to New Orleans!!!  Haha!  Such an adrenaline rush trying to get the flying beads through the air.

Here are some pics from my time at Universal:

Harry Potter Land

On the Merry Go Round!

Me riding the 'tea cups' ride.  It was actually kind of scary. lol

Part of the Mardi Gras parade

I think this was a restaurant.

The hotel grounds

Our beads!

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