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17 Pro Universal Studios Orlando Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Time and Money

17 Easy tips for universal studios florida

17 Pro Universal Studios Orlando Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Time and Money

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Planning a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort doesn’t have to be a hard task, but I do know that sometimes the details in the planning can get stressful.

First off, the resort has 3 theme parks with another one opening in the future, plus multiple hotels to choose from and the famous CityWalk.

With all those activities to participate in, you’ll want to know these pro tips for going to Universal Studios Florida.



17 Easy tips for universal studios florida. #universalstudios #themepark #universalorlando #traveltips

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Whether you choose to go to Universal Studios in Orlando solo or with family and friends, each tip will guide you to having the best theme park vacation ever!

But first, grab your FREE Universal Orlando Resort Guidebook here!


Universal Studios guide and tips

Sign up and get your FREE Universal Orlando Resort Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Quick Guide


The Best 17 Tips for Universal Studios Florida


1 – Buy Tickets in Advance Online

This one tip will save you both money and time!

It’s best to buy your tickets ahead of time. This prevents waiting in a line once you arrive at Universal Studios. The line to buy tickets in the morning can exceed the usual time you may notice during the later theme park hours.


2 – Get Universal Orlando Tickets from a Trustworthy Website

Buy your Universal Studios Orlando ticket directly from Universal’s website or from a reputable source such as Undercover Tourist. Undercover Tourist usually has special rates for Orlando theme park visitors.



3 – Know the Universal Orlando Ticket Breakdown

There are a few options to choose from for Florida residents when buying a ticket for any of the Universal Orlando theme parks.

3-Park – 2-Day Ticket Starts at $134 Per Day

The 3-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park Florida Resident Ticket entitles one (1) guest admission to Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ AND Universal’s Volcano Bay™ on the same day. Ticket is valid for any two (2) calendar days during a sixty (60) consecutive calendar day period which includes the first day any portion of the ticket is used.

2-Park – 2-Day Ticket Starts at $107 Per Day

The 2-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park Florida Resident Ticket entitles one (1) guest admission to BOTH Universal Studios Florida™ AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ theme parks on the same day. Ticket is valid for any two (2) calendar days during a sixty (60) consecutive calendar day period which includes the first day any portion of the ticket is used.

*Prices are subject to change.

You can view the whole list of ticket options here and save money too!

Did you know that you can get a Groupon Universal Studios tickets? You can find them here.


4 – Know When the Best Time to Visit Universal Studios


Universal Studios Florida lagoon. First timer tips for #UniversalStudios


Holiday peaks, crowd sizes, weather, and a few other factors have a lot to do with your Universal Orlando experience, including how long you’ll be waiting in line for your favorite rides.

Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Orlando

  • January
  • February
  • April
  • November

These months are closely followed by March, May, September, and October as still pretty decent visiting times.

Get the full Universal Studios Crowd Calendar here!

5 – Purchase a Universal Express Pass

Depending on the time of year you go, you’ll may want to think about getting an Express Pass. Universal Studios has some of the most innovative rides with wait times to prove it.

So, are the Universal Express Passes worth it?

It depends on a few factors.

For instance, if you’re only going to be at Universal Studios for a day and you came on a crowded day, then I’d say definitely get the Express Pass. On those peak days, it gets extremely hard to do and see each attraction available at the park.

Plus, if it’s a hot and humid day, it only adds to the frustration. I know the prices can be out of your budget, but if you can squeeze a little bit more then definitely grab an Express Pass.

If you’re not into the whole ride thing and you’re just fine doing a ride here-and-there, then pass on the Express Pass and spend that money on some theme park food and merchandise.


Express Pass Test at Universal Studios | Riding the Most Popular Rides on the Busiest Day


Express Passes to Choose From:

  • Universal Express Pass: You can skip the regular line ONE TIME per ride at participating attractions each day that your pass is valid.
  • Universal Unlimited Express Pass: You can skip the regular lines an UNLIMITED number of times at participating attractions.
  • 2-Park Universal Express: You can use this Express Pass at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
  • 2-Park Park-To-Park + Express Unlimited: This includes admission to Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, plus Universal Express Unlimited access.
  • 3-Park Park-To-Park + Express Unlimited: This includes admission to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay, plus Universal Express Unlimited access.


Express Pass Rides and Attractions at Universal Studios Florida

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem™
  • E.T. Adventure™
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged™
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™
  • Hogwarts™ Express
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™
  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  • MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon™
  • Revenge of the Mummy™
  • Shrek 4-D
  • The Simpsons Ride™
  • Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster™


Hipster Power Tip: There are three resorts on Universal Orlando property that include FREE Universal Express Passes for each hotel guest. They are: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel.


6 – Be Sure to Use the Child Swap Program


Fast and Furious Supercharged queue. #universalstudios #themepark #traveltips


A true ThemeParkHipster will most likely have a time where the little ones will be join you on one of your trips.

Don’t worry!

You don’t have to miss out on all the fun Universal Studios attractions.

You and your theme park partner can take advantage of the Child Swap Program, where you’ll both be able to scream on Hollywood Rip Rockit, as the little ones wait to the side.

The Child Swap Program works by allowing one member of your party to wait in a designated area along with any children who are unable or unwilling to participate. Once the rest of your group is off the ride, you trade places and take your seat on the ride while those who rode previously stay with the child(ren).


7 – Have a Game Plan and Download the Official Universal Orlando App

Route your path around the park in advance by retrieving the Universal Studios park map on the app. The Universal Orlando Resort app allows you to find ride wait times, show times and dining venue hours.

The app also allows you to do so many other things such as, placing food and drink orders from select restaurants when you’re in the parks.


View the Universal Studios Map Below
Universal Orlando Resort Map

Universal Orlando Resort Map


You can also print out and read the perfect Universal Studios Florida one-day itinerary here!

8 – Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley


Diagon Alley: Knightbus Wizarding World of Harry Potter. #harrypotter #universalstudios #diagonalley #wizardingworldofharrypotter


If your smile is as wide as mine, then you probably want to skip the other rides and head straight back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley section of the park.

You’ll want to explore all the crevices of Diagon Alley and discover the dark streets of Nocturne Alley.

Become a true wizard and get your wand.


Diagon Alley : Ollivander's Wand Shop. #harrypotter #universalstudios

The Wand and the Wizard – Diagon Alley

I recommend partaking in the interactive wand experience; it’s always pretty fun and you’ll love it.

Don’t forget to ride Escape from Gringotts and chat with goblins.

9 – Try EVERY type of Butterbeer



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In case you’re a Muggle, Butterbeer is a drink mentioned several times in the Harry Potter books. It is the drink of choice for many of the adolescents through out the famous Wizarding story.

It’s a staple drink and a must have beverage whenever you visit Universal Studios.

How is Butterbeer served?

  • Cold Butterbeer
  • Frozen Butterbeer
  • Hot Butterbeer (seasonal)
  • Butterbeer Potted Cream
  • Fudge Butterbeer
  • Butterbeer Soft Serve Ice-Cream


Sooooo many to chose from!!!


Where to find Butterbeer?

You can find a Butterbeer offering of some sort inside the Diagon Alley section of Universal Studios at the Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, Sugarplum’s Sweetshop, Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour


10 – Ride Hogwarts Express From Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade


Wizarding World of Harry Potter. King's Cross Station #harrypotter #universalstudios #diagonalley #themepark

King’s Cross Station


This is the best way of recreating the footsteps of the famous wizard, Harry Potter. The Hogwarts Express is located inside King’s Cross Station next to the secret entrance to Diagon Alley.

In order for you to experience this attraction, you’ll need to have a park-to-park admission ticket.

Park-to-Park tickets allow you to visit all listed parks any time each day.


11 – Have a Universal Studios Packing List

  • Comfy Shoes
  • Small Bag
  • Breathable Clothing
  • Sun Protection
  • Small Umbrella
  • Wizard’s robe and wand


You can get the full Universal Orlando packing checklist here!


What to Pack for Universal Studios Florida | The Best Items to Bring to Universal Orlando Resort


12 – Know What You Can and Cannot Bring inside Universal Studios

To prevent any embarrassment at the security checkpoints, I’ve listed the items you are able to take with you inside of the Universal Orlando parks. Please keep in mind that Universal is very strict on what it allows you to bring.


Acceptable items:

  • Bottled water
  • Small snacks that do not require heating
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically indicated nutritional supplements
  • Food required for special dietary needs
  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep


Prohibited items:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Picnic lunches
  • Food that requires heating or refrigeration
  • Glass containers
  • Hard-sided coolers
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep
  • Suitcases and bags with wheels
  • Folding chairs
  • Clothing with offensive language or content
  • Clothing that represents someone as emergency personnel
  • Weapons of any kind


13 – Enjoy the Must Do Attractions and Dining at Universal Studios Florida



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  • Escape from Gringotts
  • Discover the Mysteries of Revenge of the Mummy
  • Horror Make Up Show
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
  • Chicken and Waffles at Cletus’ Chicken Shack
  • Eat at the Leaky Cauldron
  • Get a Loaded Baked Potato outside of Diagon Alley
  • Ride Hollywood Rip Rockit
  • Save the World in Transformers Ride


14 – Take Advantage of the Single Rider

This line can cut your wait time in half and that’s always a benefit of going to a theme park alone. It allows you to get around to most of the attractions quickly, because you don’t have to wait in the normal ride line.

This is especially important if you are traveling to Universal Studios solo.



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Single Rider Lines at Universal Studios Florida:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Fast and Furious Supercharged
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D


The Single Rider Line will split up your party. The attraction attendants use Single Riders to fill in extra spot available on the rides.


15 – Skip the Universal Dining Plan

If you’re not planning on being at Universal Orlando Resort for more than 4 days and you usually eat light, then I say skip out on the Universal Dining Plan.

It’s not a good plan and if you budget correctly for your trip, you’ll be able to make your money stretch inside the park.


16 – Use the Lockers

The lockers next to attractions require you to store your loose items. They are free for up to a certain time period. The time period will depend on the wait time of the attraction.

If you go beyond the time frame for holding your items, you will be required to pay a small fee.

Make sure to take a photo of your locker number. Trust me when I say that it will save you the headache of trying to remember your locker number when you’ve just got done screaming your head off on Revenge of the Mummy!


17 – Have Fun!


Simpsons Springfield universal studios cop and doughnut. #UniversalStudios #themepark #universalorlando

Another solo adventure at Universal Studios!


Universal Studios Florida is one of the best theme parks in the world! You will have an amazing time if you plan the right way and follow these tips.

Now go out there and start your Universal Orlando theme park adventure today!

Let me know if you’ve ever went to Universal Studios before in the comment section below?

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:


Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to Disney alone, then read the top 18 tips. Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

Don’t forget to discover the new magical Disney adventure of Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios® Theme Park.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!



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JOIN NIKKYJ ON THIS SOLO THEME PARK JOURNEY NikkyJ is the author of The Solo Theme Park Traveler's Guide who loves ALL things amusement park related. She was born and raised in Florida which attributed to her passion for theme parks. Instead of rushing over to the thrill rides, like she used to, you may find her in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir and a delightful book! NikkyJ enjoys traveling solo to theme parks and wants to show you how you can overcome any of your fears and TAKE THE SOLO THEME PARK CHALLENGE!

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