In this video you’re going to learn ten
things that adults visiting Universal Orlando Resort absolutely need to know
to have a great time. I’m Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers. My first topic is
what exactly is Universal Orlando Resort? It consists of two theme parks, a
waterpark and a shopping complex. You have Universal Studios, which opened in
1990 and it celebrates all things to do with film and television. Islands of
Adventure which is located right next door and opened in 1999. It has a whole series of different adventure areas and again themed around television shows and
movies. Volcano Bay is the waterpark. City Walk is a shopping and dining and
entertainment area, where you have lots of bars, lots of restaurants, movie houses.
And also, of course, associated with the whole Universal Orlando Resort are a
number of hotels which are linked to the whole complex. The second thing you need
to know is that the Universal parks and waterpark are much more adult focused than the Disney parks and water parks, which are
located of course also in Orlando. So if you’re looking for a much more adult
experience Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, the hotels and the waterpark
are going to give you a much more adult experience. A lot of the rides are
restricted to certain height levels, which of course excludes a lot of the
younger kids. So it’s more teenagers and older kids and of course much more adults.
It doesn’t mean the kids aren’t catered for doesn’t or mean the kids aren’t welcome. Saying that, the third thing you need to know is the best time to go to Universal if you’re an adult, and you’re not traveling with kids who have to go in school
holidays. The best time to go are weekdays. Avoid weekends. Definitely avoid any week which has school holidays, whether it’s in the United States or the
big countries in Europe like the UK. Also avoid public holiday weekends like
Easter. Visit on weekdays and avoid any times when there’s any sort of holiday.
So some of the really good times to go for example are from early January
through to mid-February is very good time to go, and also early June. Then
avoid all of the middle of summer and it gets again quiet in September and
October time. Early in December is a great time to go before all of the holiday stuff kicks in. The fourth thing you need to know is how
long should you visit. Each park is going to take you at least a full day, so a
full day at Universal Studios, full day in Islands of Adventure and a full day
at the waterpark. You could probably spend a whole day at
City Walk as well, although of course you can just combine that and you can stay
there much later after you’ve been to visit a park. The fifth thing you should
decide is whether you should stay at one of the on-property hotels. There’s a wide
range of them at different prices. There is a number of benefits. One
of the benefits is if you’re staying at the hotel you get into the parks an hour
before opening time. Normal opening time is nine o’clock in the morning,
buy you can get in at eight o’clock. Getting in earlier is really
fantastic because you have a greater chance of getting on those really
popular rides, and have a great time before the crowds. Depending on which
hotel you stay, some of the hotels also include in the hotel rate the Universal
Express (this is the Fast Pass) which allows you to go on rides by skipping
queues. This is a real boon. I am going to talk about that a little bit later. So if you
are going to stay on property, look at the hotels which include that – because that
is a real big plus. There are some other perks where, for example, if you buy things in
the parks they will send it back to the hotel for you. They also have free
transport to ride from the hotels to the parks and to City Walk, and also you can
charge items and food in the park to your hotel room. The downside is they do
tend to be often be a bit on the more pricey side, so as an adult you
might want to stay more down on International Drive at one of the more
business or conference hotels, because it will probably be cheaper. For example
I stay at places like the Crowne Plaza and it’s a couple of minutes
away and it was much cheaper but it was still really easy to get to the parks. So
what tickets should you buy? You do need a individual ticket for each of
the parks. What I suggest you do is look online at the Universal site or on the
app and you’ll find various permutations based on the number of days you want to go to, the number of parks and whether you want to move between parks on any
particular day. So take a look and compare prices to find the right ticket.
The other thing I would strongly suggest you look at is look at the Universal
Express, or the Fast Pass. At Disney parks you automatically get three Fast
Pass on different rides included in the ticket. No matter what type of ticket
you’ve bought. At Universal it’s different, you buy the base ticket and then you have to buy a Fastpass Universal Express
separately. They have one which allows you one Fast Pass on a ride, so you can
only basically go once, or the Unlimited. It does cost much more and they can cost
almost as much as a whole ticket, but it is a way of really maximizing your time
in the park. So if you can stretch it I would strongly recommend you buy the
Universal Fast Pass as it can really give you a great time in the park. You
can ride many more of the rides, and you can ride them multiple times within your
limited time in the park on a day. My seventh tip is sort of linked to that as “The
Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is spread between both Universal Studios
and Islands of Adventure. You have Hogwarts in the Islands of Adventure and
you’ve got Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. If you want to go between them
on the same day, you can ride on the Hogwarts Express. It’s a great experience
but you do have to have a dual park ticket. So it’s another way of making you spend
more money, but it’s very important if you do want to ride on the Hogwarts
Express you’re going to have to buy a dual park ticket for that particular day that
you want to do that. My eighth tip is that I recommend
that you go to both of the parks, because the great rides are spread between the
two parks. But what you do need to do before you get there, before you go on
your trip, is you look at the rides you want to do and put them in order you
want to do them. This becomes very important when you look at how you
tackle a park. So what rides do I actually recommend you do in Universal
Studios. The rides I recommend are the following “Harry Potter and the Escape
from Gringotts”, “Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon”, “The Simpsons Ride”, “Transformers The Ride” is another great ride, “Fast and Furious” a brand new ride
which opened in 2018. Now if you are into thrill rides, there are two fantastic
thrill rides. The first is “Revenge of the Mummy” which is in the dark and “Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit”. In terms of Islands of Adventure the rides that I strongly
recommend you do are the following: first of all my favorite ride of all which is
“Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey”, the second which is another big favorite
of mine is “Spiderman”, the King Kong ride which is really good,
another great ride is the “Jurassic Park River Adventure” and “Dudley Do-right
Ripsaw Falls” and “Popeye and Pluto Bilge Rat Barges”.
For thrill-seekers is the “Incredible Hulk Ride”. Be really clear about the
rides that you want to do and put them in order that you want to do them. So you
make sure you know the rides you absolutely want to do you do and this helps ensure you get to them at
least once – and this becomes really important when I head into my next step on how do you make the most of your day in the park? First thing you should do is
on your smartphone download the Universal Studios app. It’s a really
important app because it not only gives you directions and information, but it
also helps you track the wait times. It tells you the wait times in each of the
rides through the day, so you can adapt and adjust as you go. There’s lots of
information, there is maps and it helps you find places. It’ll give you directions to
places around the park. On the app you can also do things like buy tickets, buy
the Universal Express fast passes. So download the app before you go and make sure you are familiar with the app. Very important as you head in though is grab the map
and the flyer for that day, because that will also tell you if there’s any changes or rides closed at short notes. I found the app doesn’t always tell you
if rides are closed on a particular day but the flyer will tell you, so just grab it on your way through. The second thing you do is, whether you’re
staying in an on-site property hotel, so that means by 8:00 o’clock for on-property and
9:00 o’clock for others. Make sure that you are there before the park opens. Now bear in mind
if you are staying either on-site or off-site, it’s going to take
you a while to get there. So if you’re driving there, for example, you’ve got to
park and walk quite a long way, you’ve got to go through security. So make sure that you’re at the park way before it opens. Now very importantly,
I’ve discovered although if there’s the early opening at 8 o’clock
in the morning and things aren’t that busy they’ll actually open the park to the
general public who are not staying on property way before 9 o’clock. So make
sure you get there early and then immediately you are in make a beeline for the number one ride that you have on your list. Get there as quickly as you can and
you’ll find probably no waiting time at all (or very little waiting time)
and you can go on it – and if you want to you can go on again and then get to your
second and third rides. And basically by sort of 10:00 / 10:30 you’ve done your top
three rides at least once and you’ll find it starts to get really busy from
then onwards, and waiting times increase. If you have decided that you can’t
stretch to the fast pass Universal Express, another
little tip is on many of these rides (the very popular rides and the thrill rides)
there’s a single rider line, so one of the things to do is head for the single
rider line, assuming that you don’t feel you have to
travel with your travel companions, and you’ll find the waiting times can be
very very quick. Most of the rides only last a couple of
minutes anyway so if you’re doing them by yourself as a single ride is not a big
issue I didn’t think. If you’ve using a
Universal Pass of course just use it and use it and use it – you’ll find
it incredibly quick. They’re really good at moving that line through really
quickly. Keep checking out and look at waiting times because if a ride
further down your list has really low waiting times, you might want
to make a beeline for that one and get on it before it gets really popular. The
other thing I would suggest you do is eat at the self-service places. There are
obviously sit-down restaurants but in terms of maximizing your time eat in the one of the self-service places. The food’s fine and those perfectly good, but you’re going to
be in and out there really quickly. Of course another important thing to do is
most people will eat around twelve o’clock to one o’clock time, so if there
are really popular rides you might want to eat early or eat late and get to popular rides at the lunchtime period, because things do slump
and you’ll find the restaurants are very busy and the rides are less busy. The
other thing you might want to bear in mind it is at 3 o’clock there is the
parade which happens every day. It weaves its way through the park and a lot of people stop to watch that. So 3 o’clock is also a good time if you want to get
on rides. The procession is really good fun, so what you might want to do is get yourself right by the entrance
of one of the rides you want to do where you know that the parade goes past. You make sure you are right there and once the parade passes you can hit straight into
that attraction. My last tip is what should
you bring to the park? Very importantly bring your smartphone,
because that app is really important and also bring add-on chargers so you don’t
run out of power – because the app is going to be really important for
planning your day. It gets very hot and very muggy in Florida, so make sure you
bring sunscreen. I recommend you bring a hat. Also, very importantly, what I would
strongly recommend you do is bring with you one of those plastic ponchos because
Florida often has little downpours of rain on and off. And so ponchos are great as they can scrunch up into a little very small size which you
can put in your pocket, bag, rucksack or whatever. Also very important on some rides you will get really wet if you don’t
have them. The other thing I’d recommend you do is try not to bring a rucksack or
bag. First of all because you get through security much quicker, but there are a
couple of rides where you can’t take rucksacks or bags like the
Harry Potter rides for example and obviously the big roller coasters. So rather than
have to you faff around and find the lockers if you’ve got everything that you have that you keep in your pockets like your phone,
plastic poncho or whatever, you’ll find it so much easier. Of course what you
need to do is make sure you bring credit cards or cash to buy things or, of course,
if you staying on property your room key so you can charge things. Very important
make sure you wear great walking shoes shoes that you know that you can walk
for a long time in. You will walk a lot of distance in the parks. On average I was walking way over 20,000 steps. I was walking up to 7 miles a day
just getting around the park moving between different rides. So there you have it, those are 10 tips that I have for adults visiting the Universal
Orlando Resort and parks. If you found this video helpful I’d love it if you
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