Ok, before I should get started here I have to admit that Universal and SeaWorld are my families favorite parks so this may be a bit biased. The last time we went the girls were 5 and 13. We just went to Disney last year when they were 9 and 16 and they agreed they liked Universal better. Here are a few of the reasons why.
- Smaller parks- We stayed on site and were able to get back to our room quickly for a rest in the middle of the day. Don’t get me wrong it is still a lot of walking and you are definitely getting your steps in, but it is over all an easier day.
- Great for all ages- Let’s face it, I loved Disney and I had a lot of fun, but Universal has more thrill rides if you have older kids or adults that like rides. Natalie and I rode the big rides. Maia was too small and Ian was not interested. There was plenty for them to do while we went our separate ways. My mother loved it too so it is fun for all ages.
- Seuess Landing- Yes it gets it’s own point. I am a teacher and I love Dr. Seuess. It was magical! If you can fit in the show “Oh the Stories You will Hear” DO IT! Many of the favorite characters come out and you can get pictures after the show. I love the Truffla trees and the One Fish Two Fish ride and the carousel and well EVERYTHING!
- Marvel Superheros– It’s not just for Princesses! I went for the first time with my mother. I got so geeked out when the X Men came out I could barely stand it. My mother was confused but a good sport and decided she wanted her picture with them also. The Transformers were pretty amazing too.
- Beautiful Hotels- I have stayed at Lowes Royal Pacific Resort and the Hard Rock. My mother loved the orchids and South Pacific feel of the Royal Pacific and the kids loved Hard Rock. Now they have several new hotels so it is even easier to find the right hotel for your family. They are smaller than a Disney Resort so much easier to get around.
- Harry Potter- I am a fan, kind of a big fan, of the books and movies. I read the last book in one night barely moving from the couch. It is amazing! I have not been since Diagon Alley opened but I can’t wait! Ian and the girls are not big fans but they were even impressed and want to go back to see all the new additions. Try the Butter Beer. If the line is not huge for Ollivander’s do it, it is magic! Even if you don’t ride The Forbidden Journey, go in and tour the castle. You can skip the ride at the end.
- Amazing Rides- The Hulk, Transformers 3D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, Revenge of the Mummy, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogrif and E.T. were some of our favorites.
- City Walk- Great to walk around and eat when you are taking a break from the park. There are good resturants, shops and clubs if you like to party the night away. And don’t forget the Blue Man Group! It is a really fun show for every age group.
- Express Passes- You can buy the Express passes but they are part of the package if you stay at some of the hotels. They are worth it! You don’t have to schedule a time you just go to the front of the line. We really felt that we were able to enjoy more of our vacation instead of waiting in lines. When Natalie and I rode The Hulk the line was over 2 hours. We were on and off in 30 minutes. This is really worth if it you go during busy times like summer or Christmas.
The last time we went they only had the 2 parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Now they have added a water park, Volcano Bay. It looks amazing! This is a great water park for the whole family. There are more intense rides for thrill seekers and calmer things for those that just want to relax. There is no waiting in line or need for cash thanks to the bands called Tapu- Tapu. The Tapu- Tapu are also used to avoid lines. You just swipe your Tapu- Tapu for the ride you want to go on and it tells you when to come back, then reminds you when it is time. I have included a video about the Volcano Bay. I don’t normally love water parks but this one has me excited!
If you have any questions about the parks I am happy to help. Feel free to contact me for more info or to help plan your days there!
Feel free to share your favorite things about Universal in the comments.