Tips for Universal Orlando: Your 2024 Insider’s Guide

Endless thrills and excitement based on your favorite characters from film, TV, and comic book lore are what’s on the menu at Universal Orlando Resort.

Welcome to your ultimate insider’s guide to Universal Studios Orlando! Imagine exploring larger-than-life theme parks, mesmerizing shows, shop-till-you-drop experiences, and spectacular hotels all in one place.

You’re about to dive into a world where every day is a cinematic adventure. Let’s take a journey as we reveal all the Universal Studios Orlando tips you need to elevate your experience. Allow us to be your Universal Orlando guide.

About Universal Orlando

Stepping into Universal Orlando is like entering a world full of breathtaking adventures. It boasts three awesome theme parks: Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, where you can get drenched on Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges, and Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Plus, the lively Universal CityWalk offers endless fun for every family member, complete with Coca-Cola Freestyle machines for custom drink options!

Experience thrilling roller coasters like The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and Revenge of the Mummy. There are cool themed areas from your favorite movies and TV shows, too.

Harry Potter fans? Explore Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade. Jurassic Park fans can meet dinosaurs, while Fast & Furious fans experience the adrenaline on the Supercharged ride. Despicable Me fans will love the hilarious 3-D ride with the Minions.

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Universal Orlando isn’t just about rides, though. It’s a foodie’s paradise with over 50 places to eat. But we’ll get more into that later.

And if shopping’s your thing, CityWalk has loads of themed stores for cool souvenirs. Whether it’s movies, adventures, top-notch rides, diverse food, or shopping, Universal Orlando is a universe of fun waiting for you!

Wide shot of the Hulk roller coaster at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

Universal Orlando Tickets

Now that you’ve marked your calendar for an adventure-filled day at Universal Orlando Resort, it’s time to secure your passes. And here at Tripster, we frequently feature fantastic deals on theme park tickets, including Universal Orlando. We’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the savings you’ll find!

A pro tip for you: Given the expansive nature of Universal Studios Orlando, it can be overwhelming to attempt to see and do everything in both parks in one day. So, we often recommend opting for a 2-day park to park tickets.

Or if you really want to see everything, go for the 5-day pass! This ticket option gives you the flexibility to experience everything at a relaxed pace.

Insider Universal Orlando Tips

All set? Great! Let’s dive into a handful of additional tips that’ll help you get the best out of your adventure. Let this be your Universal Studios guide!

What to Bring

Ready for your Universal Orlando adventure? Here’s a fun packing guide to help tailor your day:

  • Flip-flops: Essential for water rides. Keep your shoes dry, and enjoy the splash!
  • Towels and Swimsuit: Perfect with flip-flops for water rides. You should expect to get soaked on rides like Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls. Pack an extra pair of underwear to stay comfy all day. At Volcano Bay, bring your own towel and swimsuit. And remember, only guests with a room key can stroll through Cabana Bay.
  • Backpack or Hip Pack: A small, comfy bag frees your hands for those crucial ride selfies!

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  • Locker Essentials: Rent a locker at water parks to keep your valuables safe. Remember, there is no room key and no entry at Cabana Bay!
  • Summer Prep: Dress light, bring a water bottle, slather on sunscreen, and don a hat. Florida’s weather can surprise you, so pack a light poncho or umbrella too.

Now, you’re set for a thrilling time at Universal Orlando! Enjoy multiple days of fun!

Couple eating during the Mardi Gras parade with confetti falling and people in costume next to them at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida, USA

Can I Bring Food to Universal Orlando?

Remember, the park lets you bring limited snacks like fruits, sandwich wraps, and bottled water. Avoid large meals, alcohol, glass, and items needing heat or refrigeration.

Running low on snacks? No problem! Universal Orlando offers a feast of options. Explore the park’s eateries (we laid some suggestions below) and food carts for quick bites. Perfect for refueling between thrilling rides!

Universal Orlando Parking Tips

Parking at Universal Orlando is a breeze, with clearly labeled lots and ample spaces. They offer both regular and preferred parking options to cater to your convenience. Remember, parking lots fill up quickly during peak times, so aim to arrive early, especially on busy days.

More Universal Orlando Tips 2024

Need more Universal Studios Orlando trip tips? Here are a few more of the best tips for Universal Orlando.

  • Arrive early! The early bird at Universal Orlando avoids long queues and crowds. Quite an obvious one in Universal Orlando Tips and Tricks 2024, but arrive early to beat traffic and enjoy rides with shorter wait times. If you’re staying at a Universal Hotel, you might get early access to the park. Wondering about the best day of the week to visit Universal Orlando? It’s usually Tuesday and Wednesday when crowds are relatively thinner than weekends.
  • Minimize your wait at Universal Orlando with single-rider lines—they’re quicker! Also, a Universal Express Pass can be a great investment, letting you skip most regular lines.

Related Post: From Triceratop Spin to Flight of Passage: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Rides

  • Universal Orlando, particularly the walking paths, transforms at night with glowing lights and magical vibes. The cooler evening temps make exploring even more delightful, so consider staying late to experience it all!
  • Universal Orlando Resort is located at 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819. It typically opens from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Hours may extend, especially during peak seasons, weekends, and holidays—sometimes until midnight. For the most accurate hours, check their website or mobile app on your visit day.
  • Cameras are allowed in the park, but there may be restrictions on rides and attractions. It’s always good to have a secure strap for your camera during rides. Friendly team members are also available to take your pics!
a picture of a beach with lots of people enjoying swimming
photo credit: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort via Facebook

Orlando Hotels and Lodging

When it comes to accommodation, you’re spoiled for choice. An array of on-site hotels offers rooms and suites for every budget and preference. Some hotels, such as the Italian-themed Loews Portofino Bay, offer guests free Universal Express unlimited ride access.

Furthermore, choosing to stay at an on-site hotel can provide additional perks and convenience, including unrivaled proximity to the parks and CityWalk. Below are some of our top picks:

Two hotel buildings next to a lake with palm trees under blue skies

Orlando Attractions

Beyond the thrills and spills of Universal Orlando, the Orlando area is brimming with a wealth of other world-class attractions. Make a splash at SeaWorld Orlando, where you can get up close and personal with a treasure trove of marine life, enjoy high-energy shows, and tackle adrenaline-pumping rides.

For lovers of the magic and charm of movies, Disney’s theme parks in Orlando, including Magic Kingdom and Epcot, create enchanting memories with fantastic rides, attractions, and character encounters.

Thrill-seekers can venture into the galaxy at the Kennedy Space Center, all within easy reach. It’s an eye-opening journey through the history of space exploration.

And it comes complete with the chance to meet real astronauts, watch rocket launches, and experience the sensations of a simulated space flight!

Father and Daughter close to a Beluga Whale at SeaWorld Orlando - Orlando, Florida, USA

Universal Orlando Experiences

Universal Orlando is a paradise for thrill-seekers, with heart-thumping rides at each of its parks. Now that you know all about Universal Studios Orlando tips and tricks 2024, let’s get into the experience! We have you covered with the top three rides you simply must try at each park.

View of Diagon Alley at night with the dragon on top of Gringotts Bank breathing fire at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

Universal Studios Park

Universal Studios Orlando Florida is a perfect blend of classic rides, exhilarating experiences, and movie magic. It offers guests the unique opportunity to step right into the world of their favorite films, transforming from viewer to participant.

From thrilling rides inspired by blockbusters like Jurassic World to live shows such as the Tonight Show and Ellen, the park offers an unmatched experience of entertainment and excitement!

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: This immersive, multi-dimensional roller coaster thrusts you into the magical world of witches and wizards. Prepare to come face-to-face with villains from the Harry Potter universe as you navigate the depths of the Gringotts bank.

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  • Revenge of the Mummy: An unforgettable indoor roller coaster, it combines intense, dark ride elements with heart-stopping thrill elements. It’s a must-ride for fans of Egyptian mythology and the Mummy franchise.
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster: This exhilarating ride, themed after Marvel’s Hulk, is a high-speed roller coaster that starts with a powerful launch, followed by a series of intense twists and turns.

Islands of Adventure

Whisking visitors off to a realm where legendary tales and epic adventures come alive, Universal’s Islands of Adventure is nothing short of a modern marvel. It offers a vibrant collection of thrill rides, shows, and attractions, from the heart-pounding Super Hero Land to the enchanting Mystic Fountain.

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: This ground-breaking motion simulator ride is a journey through iconic locations in the Harry Potter series. Soar through Hogwarts, encounter magical creatures, and come close to the Whomping Willow.
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong: Embark on a thrilling adventure to the mysterious Skull Island, where you will come face-to-face with the fierce Kong himself. This immersive 3D ride offers an epic encounter with prehistoric predators.
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure: This is a water-based ride where you embark on a delightful cruise through the “Jurassic Park”. But hold on tight as things get awry, turning this gentle journey into a splashy and exciting adventure.
Close up photo to the entrance of the Non Skull Island ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

Volcano Bay

Volcano Bay, a stunning water-themed park at Universal Orlando, is an absolute must-visit for adventure seekers. With its thrilling rides, picturesque tropical atmosphere, and immersive theme, this park promises a splash-filled day of fun for all ages.

Not to mention the innovative Tapu Tapu wristbands that streamline your experience make it easy to make purchases, secure lockers, and manage ride queues—making your fun in the sun all the more enjoyable!

  • Krakatau Aqua Coaster: Crowned as Volcano Bay’s flagship attraction, the Krakatau Aqua Coaster is a favorite among guests. This ride employs magnet-propelled technology, allowing your four-person canoe to dash both downwards and upwards through the insides of the park’s massive 200-foot volcano. With watery surprises at every turn, this coaster is sure to leave you drenched in excitement.

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  • Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides: For adrenaline junkies, Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides are a must. Starting from a heart-stopping trapdoor drop, these intertwined body slides take you through a spiraling descent full of twists and turns. Brace yourself because these chutes deliver unmatched thrills all the way down to the splash pool at the bottom.
  • Punga Racers: Last but not least, Punga Racers is another fun-filled ride that’s perfect for some friendly competition. This four-lane slide provides manta-shaped mats where guests lie stomach-down. The first one to reach the finish line wins, but regardless of where you rank, the fun is always an A+.

Aerial view of the pool and different slides at Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay on a sunny day in Orlando, Florida, USA

Universal Orlando Restaurants

After a thrilling ride or a long day of exploration, wouldn’t you just love a hearty meal or a quick snack to refuel? Universal Orlando Resort offers a plethora of scrumptious dining options that cater to every craving, making your magical adventure even more satisfying.

Richters Burger Co

Craving a classic American burger? Richters Burger Co is your go-to spot. Feel your taste buds light up in delight with their juicy burgers, seasoned fries, and thick shakes. It’s comfort food at its best!

Lombards Seafood Grille

If you’re in the mood for seafood, then head straight to Lombards Seafood Grille. Enjoy a splendid array of fresh ocean fare in an elegant, maritime-themed setting.

Related Post: Best Restaurants Universal Studios – Your Complete Guide

From platter-sized salads brimming with shrimp to flavorful fish and chips, experiencing seafood has never felt more luxurious.

Families Dining at the Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando - Orlando, Florida, USA


Serving fancy, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, Mythos is a real gem tucked away in Universal Studios. The family-friendly ambiance and the continually evolving menu, with dishes like pad thai, risotto, and fresh fish, make it a dining destination not to miss.

Drinks and Refreshments

For a refreshing pause, check out the resort’s many beverage spots. There’s no shortage of locations to grab a beer, including options brewed by Florida Brewing Company specific to Universal Orlando.

Various food carts scattered across the park offer grab-and-go refreshments, too. These include pretzels, hot dogs, and chips, making your snack hunts easy and convenient.

exterior of Lombard's Seafood Grille with view of dock and boats and water at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Jill Benedict via Facebook

Universal Orlando FAQs

Deciding whether Universal or Disney is better depends on what you're looking for in a theme park experience. If you're more interested in large rides like roller coasters, Universal is going to be your best bet.

However, if you prefer a wider variety of family-friendly attractions and detailed theming, Disney might be more suitable for you.

Universal Orlando is a hit because it offers a unique blend of thrilling rides, immersive attractions, and behind-the-scenes experiences.

It's the place to be for awesome rides and cool spots from your favorite movies and TV shows, especially with areas like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Plus, its mix of high-energy fun and entertainment is a magnet for anyone looking for a great time. Overwhelmed? No worries, we've got you with Universal Studios Orlando tips and tricks below.

Universal Orlando Reviews

Universal Orlando Resort has drawn rave reviews for providing an unparalleled theme park experience. If you’re still on the fence about whether to visit, let’s delve into some of them here.

Plan Your Universal Orlando Adventure With Tripster!

There you have it, our all-in guide to Universal Orlando! But here’s one more: unlock the most amazing deals for your next Universal Orlando adventure with Tripster.

Be it hotels or exciting activities, Tripster has the best offers to make your trip affordable and fun-filled.

Moreover, our handy travel guide has more tips for Universal Studios Orlando 2024, so you don’t miss out on any thrilling experience. So, plan your adventure now!

Did We Miss Anything?

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