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  • John Dostaler

Variety IS The “Spice Of Life”!

Updated: May 15, 2021

I hope you’re having a wonderful week! So, I’ve talked ALOT about Walt Disney World and as wonderful and magical as Disney is: there is a WHOLE different experience “across town” at Universal Studios Florida!

The rivalry between Disney and Universal is pretty well-known. About a decade after the opening of Walt Disney World, two movie industry companies agreed to build a working studio to compete with Disney. Scheduled to open in 1989, this was the creation of Universal Studios Florida.

Originally, a single park - Universal Studios Florida opened with some pretty amazing attractions and shows. It has since grown to now three different parks (one is an amazing water park) and plans to open a fourth!

So what makes a Universal experience different? Namely: Harry Potter. With attractions at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, Universal has recreated an amazingly immersive world of Harry Potter.

You could probably spend two whole days exploring Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley: plus riding the Hogwarts Express is an amazing experience in itself! You can buy a magical wand and cast spells! Ever want to explore Gringott’s Bank? This is your chance!

Besides Harry Potter: Universal also has attractions around Marvel characters, The Simpsons, Jurassic Park (new coaster coming this year!) and my personal favorite (because I’m old): E.T. The Extraterrestrial (which is the ONLY original ride left!).

On the whole, kids need to be a tad bit older to ride most of the attractions. So if you have littles under 7, you may want to prepare yourself for quite a few tears if they don’t meet the height requirements. As long as you’re prepared to explain “those rides are for older kids” then you shouldn’t have a problem!

And before I forget: Universal is where you will find Orlando's best rollercoasters! Between "Hulk", "Hagrid's Magical Motorbike" and the BRAND NEW Jurassic Park Velocicoaster - you'll be reaching for your aspirin all day!

Universal also boasts the “Express Pass” which is a fantastic perk if you stay at a select Universal Hotel. Most attractions will have a separate line that will bypass the “standby” line: during peak times this perk is worth its weight in gold. You can purchase this pass along with a ticket - but often times it makes more sense to stay at a select Universal hotel to receive the perk at no additional charge (plus you get to stay at an amazing hotel!). It's important to note that this perk does not apply at Volcano Bay.

Volcano Bay is a pretty amazing water park as well and shouldn’t be overlooked. Major attractions have a virtual queue - you wear a waterproof device on your wrist and it reminds you when it’s time to ride. There is PLENTY to do: plus you can rent private cabanas or even rent chairs in an exclusive beach area. It’s the most amazing water park I’ve experienced!

Price-wise a Universal vacation will be on par with a Disney one. There’s no huge price savings except you may spend a day or two less at Universal - but you don’t need to. You could easily spend 5 days and still not see it all!

Magically yours,


Ready to hit the parks? Then CLICK HERE for a no-obligation quote!

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