See our complete guide to Universal Studios in Orlando. Here, you’ll get all the best tips on the park, such as the attractions and restaurants you should visit during your tour.

What is Universal Studios park like in Orlando?

Universal Studios is one of Universal’s three parks, along with Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay water park. It is one of the city’s best-loved parks, with elaborate and exciting rides about Universal’s films. That’s why it’s often the favorite park for adults in Orlando.

In the park, there are several attractions about The Simpsons, Men in Black, Shrek, Transformers, Minions, Harry Potter and many others. Universal Studios has been producing many films that have marked generations since 1915. Its movie studio was the first to open its doors to the public. Later, the park was inaugurated with unforgettable attractions that delight all visitors.

Universal Studios in Orlando

How is Universal Studios park divided in Orlando?

Universal Studios is divided into areas such as New York, San Francisco, World Expo and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The map below shows all the areas of the park and which themed attractions you’ll find in each one.

Remember that the park is very large, so it will take you a whole day to visit each area and enjoy the attractions. That’s why it’s best to arrive very early to make the most of it.

Map of the Universal Studios park in Orlando

Main attractions at Universal Studios park in Orlando

Here are the main attractions you should include in your itinerary:

1. The Simpsons Springfield area: at Universal, there is an entire area dedicated to The Simpsons, with attractions and sets themed on the animation. The aim is to make visitors feel like they are inside Springfield, meeting the characters and even visiting Moe’s Bar.

Inside the area, you’ll find The Simpsons Ride, the famous Simpsons simulator. In it, you’ll experience an extreme ride on a “fake” animated roller coaster. It feels like being inside the Simpsons cartoon itself. The simulator is one of the most popular attractions, so there’s sure to be a queue. However, in the queue, you go through many scenes from the cartoon and end up not seeing the time go by.

Finally, when you leave the attraction, you’ll come across a Simpsons souvenir shop with lots of beautiful t-shirts, key rings, mugs and other souvenirs.

2. The Mummy roller coaster: one of the park’s most creative attractions is the Revenge of The Mummy roller coaster. It is located inside an enclosed space, where it reproduces various scenes from the classic movie The Mummy along the way.

As such, it runs for a good part of the way in the dark, preventing you from seeing where the cart is going. It also has lots of effects to make the experience even more immersive, such as the wind they blow on their feet to pretend they are the beetles. But the attraction is not recommended for those with claustrophobia or problems with dark environments.

3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster: is the perfect attraction for those who like adrenaline and good music. It’s a roller coaster where you can choose which song you want to listen to along the way. Unlike other roller coasters, Rockit is totally radical from the start, beginning with a 90º climb. After that, it speeds up a lot and has several electrifying loops.

It’s certainly the most extreme attraction in the whole of Universal Studios and once you’ve been on it, you’ll be ready for any other rollercoaster. Finally, it films some of its cars along the way and you can access its exclusive video at the exit.

4. Universal Studios simulators: the park has several 3D and 4D simulators of different Universal works, which are not to be missed. You’ll find an excellent Shrek simulator, for example, which will feature an interactive story with Puss in Boots and Donkey – where, when Puss sneezes, you feel the water right in your face.

As well as this, you’ll see simulators about Ghostbusters, Men in Black, E.T. and many others. It’s a great option especially for those who don’t enjoy the action of roller coasters and other extreme rides.

5. Transformers simulator: another fantastic simulator is The Ride 3D on Transformers. It features an intergalactic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons, all before your eyes. The interaction with the characters starts right at the entrance to the simulator, where a life-size Transformer is usually there to welcome visitors.

The attraction is loved even by those who aren’t so keen on the franchise and is considered an extreme toy, where the adrenaline is pumping all the time.

6. Minions toy: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is the beloved Minions toy at Universal Studios. It is located inside a replica of Gru’s house created in the park.

There is a fun 3D simulator with incredible technology, imitating what it would be like to be inside the Minions’ world. When you get off the ride, you can take lots of fun photos with the giant Minions who are scattered around the entrance. In addition, there is a souvenir store all themed around the movie Despicable Me where you can buy lots of beautiful items.

7. Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley: one of the park’s most popular areas is Diagon Alley, one of the two Harry Potter “cities” in the Universal complex. It replicates exactly what Diagon Alley would look like in the Harry Potter films, with the magic wand store, sweet stores, butterbeer bars and much more.

Towards the end of Diagon Alley, there is a huge building simulating Gringotts Bank from the Harry Potter saga, where the wizards’ most precious items are kept. On top of the building is a huge dragon statue that spits real fire every 10 minutes. Also inside the bank is one of the coolest Harry Potter attractions: the ‘Harry Potter and Scape From Gringotts’ simulator, which recreates Harry’s escape from the bank with his friends.

Due to the success of the Harry Potter attractions at Universal, new attractions have emerged such as the Hogwarts Express, a creative train that connects the two Harry Potter areas of the two Universal parks. With it, you can leave Diagon Alley and go to Hogsmeade, an area of Islands of Adventure.

Plus, the train itself is a fun attraction where some of the scenes from Harry Potter are projected onto the doors and windows. It gives the impression that you’re actually taking the train ride that the little wizards take in the movies. Remember that to ride the train, you need to have a ticket that allows you to enter both parks on the same day.

8. Jimmy Fallon toy: beloved talk show host Jimmy Fallon has been given an exclusive simulator at Universal Studios. The attraction takes visitors on a fun tour of New York, starting from Rockefeller Center and passing through the city’s main tourist attractions.

The Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon simulator was inspired by one of the programs on The Tonight Show, hosted by Fallon. It lasts about 6 minutes and is well worth a visit.

9. Men In Black: the MIB: Men in Black themed attraction is one of the park’s favorites. In it, you and your Alienator have to stop a group of evil Aliens from invading Earth. There’s no way to say too much without giving away the fun of the ride, but it’s one of the most interactive attractions in the park, making the Universal experience a lot of fun.

10. E.T. toy: and fans of the movie E.T. can enjoy a charming attraction at Universal Studios, which simulates a ride on E.T.’s bicycle in the movie. This way, you can fly over various scenes from the movie, in an impressive ride.

The best restaurants at Universal Studios park in Orlando

Throughout Universal’s parks there are several quality restaurants where you can have lunch or a delicious snack. You can find them in each area of Universal Studios. In the Hollywood area, for example, there are several typical American diners from the 1970s, where you can enjoy traditional hamburgers with milkshakes and fries.

There are also restaurants aimed at children, such as Kid Zone Pizza, a Woody Woodpecker-themed restaurant. And famous brands, such as Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s throughout the park.

Three Broomsticks at Universal Studios park in Orlando

1. Restaurants at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley: Harry Potter fans need to try some of the restaurants in the saga’s themed areas. Some of them replicate food and drink based on the story, such as Butterbeer and snacks from English pubs. One of the most famous restaurants in the area is the Leaky Cauldron, shown in the image below:

2. Restaurants in Springfield at Universal Studios in Orlando: now for Simpsons fans, we have 8 unmissable recommendations from the Springfield area:

  • Moe’s Tavern, which imitates Moe’s bar.
  • Krusty Burger, which serves hamburgers and hot dogs.
  • Cletus’ Chicken Shack, with chicken dishes and sandwiches.
  • The Frying Dutchman, offering seafood meals.
  • Luigi’s Pizza, with pasta.
  • Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror, with salads, light sandwiches and others for those who prefer healthier meals.
  • Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, with Mexican food.
  • Lard Lad Donuts, which serves desserts, especially the traditional donut, Homer Simpson’s favorite.
Moe's Tavern at Universal Studios park in Orlando

3. Restaurants at Production Central at Universal Studios in Orlando: inside the park there is an area dedicated to film and TV production. Here you can watch the entire production of some Hollywood films.

Plus, in this area, you’ll find some tasty restaurants worth visiting, such as Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe, which serves pizzas and roast chickens, as well as Bone Chillin, a refreshing drinks bar perfect for beating the heat in the park.

4. New York restaurants at Universal Studios in Orlando: finally, you can enjoy some traditional New York cuisine in the themed area inside Universal Studios. There are several Food Trucks selling ice cream, churros, popcorn, cold drinks and even smoked turkey legs. And for those who prefer to eat out, there’s Louie’s Italian, an Italian restaurant selling pizza, pasta and salads, and Finnegan’s Bar and Grill, which serves meat, fish and French fries.

New York restaurant at Universal Studios in Orlando

Extra events at Universal’s parks in Orlando

Continuing this complete guide to Universal Studios in Orlando, find out about some of the special events taking place in Universal’s parks. First of all, there’s Mardi Gras, a kind of Carnival in the park. At the event, the place is filled with floats, parades and shows by famous people, with lots of joy. To access the event, all you need is a normal park ticket.

You can also enjoy the Running Universal Epic Character Race, a race that brings together park visitors and Universal’s most beloved characters. To take part, you need to register on Universal’s official website. At the end of the race, you receive an exclusive medal and can take photos with your favorite characters.

Finally, one of the most eagerly awaited events throughout the United States is Halloween, and at Universal it couldn’t be any different. Every year they celebrate the day by adding characters, horror houses and scare zones to the parks. If you like the theme, you’ll enjoy spending Halloween inside Islands of Adventure and experiencing the realistic and terrifying experience they provide.

What about the Universal Citywalk in Orlando?

Universal Citywalk is a large entertainment center with bars, restaurants and Universal-themed stores. It is located at the entrance to Universal’s two parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. It’s certainly a beautiful place to visit.

For those who want to eat and enjoy the bars, there are great options there, such as the Hard Rock Café, the NBA Restaurant and Bubba Gump, the Forrest Gump-themed restaurant. In addition, there are always DJ shows in the space, making it a great night out after a day in the parks.

Universal Citywalk in Orlando

Avoid queues and use the Single Riders at Universal’s parks in Orlando

There’s a great way to skip the queues at Universal parks using the Universal Express Pass. You can buy it at the time of your visit, during your day in the park and skip all the queues. There are two types of skip-the-line pass: in the first, you can skip a line, just once at each attraction; in the second, you can skip all the lines at any attraction, as many times as you like.

The difference in price between them is around 20 dollars, and their prices can increase in high season. Plus, you can save a lot of waiting time by using the Single Riders, which are queues for those who are going to an attraction alone. They usually move much faster than normal queues. This way, if you’re going on a roller coaster and don’t mind going with a stranger next to you, you can get there much faster.

Universal Express Pass

Extra tips on Universal’s parks

  • All of Universal’s parks have many attractions, so arrive early and go straight to the most popular rides, as the parks only start to fill up after 10 a.m.
  • Wear sneakers and comfortable clothes so you can walk around the park.
  • Remember to drink plenty of fluids so you’ll be ready to go on lots of rides.
  • Only buy your souvenirs at the end of the tour, so you don’t run the risk of missing an attraction while you’re choosing your products, nor do you have to walk around carrying them.
  • Before going to the park, download Universal’s exclusive app, which is available in the app stores of Android and Apple devices. It will be your main ally, informing you of the park map, the waiting time for each attraction, the time of each show, where the attractions are and much more.
  • Universal’s parks offer free refills of drinks for use during your stay in the park. All you have to do is pay once for their cup and you have unlimited access to water, soft drinks and even sodas. Plus, the cup is decorated with Universal’s most beloved animations, such as The Simpsons or Despicable Me. The cost is just 10 dollars and you can refill it at any machine in the park or even in the restaurants.
Butterbear at Wizarding World of Harry Potter area

How to save money at parks and attractions?

First of all, the first tip is to look for tickets in advance, not to buy them on the spot. That way, you can calmly research the best prices that are within your budget. In addition, there are many ticket combos that are much better value.

Disney Epcot

At the Disney complex, the ideal is to buy a ticket for all 4 parks, which is cheaper than excluding any of them. Plus, you can have the full experience of seeing the whole place. Another way to save money is to buy tickets to visit the parks for more days. In the end, the cost of the ticket per day is cheaper if you buy more days to go.

At Universal parks, you can experience a 2-week visit with the 3 Park Explore Ticket, which also allows access to the Volcano Bay water park. However, the best-selling ticket is the 2-day Park to Park ticket, which allows you to visit both Universal parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure).

Volcano Bay Universal Orlando

And to enjoy the famous Busch Gardens rollercoaster park or SeaWorld Park, the best way is to buy the combo. It includes the 2 parks along with Aquatica. The price of the combo is only 30 dollars more expensive than a single ticket for just one of the parks.

Where can I buy the tickets for the lowest price?

We always use this website that sells all the tickets and tours. There is everything there and the price is always the cheapest. The only ticket that isn’t sold there is the Disney ticket, which for the time being is the cheapest place to buy it. But for all the other parks like Legoland, Busch Gardens, Sea World and Universal Orlando, this is the best site.

They also have a really cool free tour of all the cities. And it’s where we book the transfer to take us from the airport to the hotel. It’s cheaper and safer than taxis and Uber.

Saving money on NBA and NFL games

For sports lovers, you can’t miss a trip to the NBA and NFL games. It’s a unique experience to be able to enjoy the best of basketball and American soccer in the USA. As I said before, it’s a great idea to check out the ticket offers with our coupon and enjoy the best of American culture.

Ticket prices vary depending on the location you choose to watch the match. We always use this website, which offers great prices for all sports matches. We always use it and have had great experiences, as well as saving a lot.

Orlando Magic Game

Save money on your trip to Orlando:

Saving money: do you want to plan your trip while making the most of your budget? Be sure to read our article on how to travel to Orlando cheap, with all the tips to save the most, while still enjoying it!

Tickets: find out where to buy your Orlando tickets in the cheapest and safest way – for theme parks, museums and ticket combos. You can save up to 40%!

Car: if you are thinking about renting one this is the best website. It compares the price at all rental companies and finds unbeatable prices. You can save up to 30%!

Mobile chip: We always use this chip. It’s electronic (eSIM), you install it instantly and you can use your cell phone’s internet anywhere in the world.

Hotels: our article on where to stay in Orlando. You will find out the best area, the hotels that we have stayed there and how to save a lot on the hotel.

Travel insurance: medical care in another country is very expensive and it is extremely important to take out travel insurance for any trip abroad. This is the website we always take out our insurance on. Reliable and at a good price.

Transfer: do you need one, from the airport to the hotel? Find out here how to book and for the lowest price!

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