• What is... Universal Orlando Resort?

    What is... Universal Orlando Resort?

    Luiz Alberto H.

    Created: Feb 14, 2024

    Last Updated: Feb 19, 2024

    What is... Universal Orlando Resort?

    Hello! Welcome to our guide where we will teach you all you need to know about Universal Orlando!

    Are you a little bit lost and don’t know exactly what Universal Orlando is? You have heard about Islands of Adventure, but have no idea if that’s inside Universal Orlando or not? You are not sure if Mickey Mouse is part of Universal and would like to finally have an answer to this decade-old question?

    Relax, it’s fine. We will answer all of that pretty soon. This is just the starting point of your journey, and the next guides will dive deep into each theme park, specific rides, FastPass options and all that. This first step into the world of Universal will help you plan your next trip by setting up the table and helping you choose the best time of the year to visit and what you should expect from this wonderful slice of heaven.

    In this intro guide, you will learn about:

    • What is Universal Orlando?
    • The two main Theme Parks
    • Best Dates to Visit

    So, let’s get going!

    Universal Studios entrance ball.jpg

    What is Universal Orlando?

    Good question.

    Just so you know, Universal Orlando isn’t just one theme park. Universal Orlando, or Universal Orlando Resort, is a collection of two main theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure), an entertainment center and also a Water Park (Volcano Bay). This is not only a great place to go on rides like amazing roller coasters and motion simulators, but also to sit down and eat delicious food and do a lot of shopping.

    Universal Orlando owns or has deals with several well known IPs, like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Men in Black, The Simpsons and much more. This also means that there are several attractions based on those franchises, and great merchandise at your disposal. Do you want to buy an official Hogwarts student robe and a magic wand and cosplay as Harry Potter or Hermione Granger? Sure, you can do that. Want to finally taste a Duff Beer? You can do that inside Universal Orlando as well.

    Universal Orlando is located in Florida, just next to… yes, Orlando! It’s situated about 40 minutes away from Disney World, which makes moving around pretty easy.

    So, we have told you a bit about Universal Orlando. We already know that it’s a huge resort with two main theme parks (and a brand new one coming in 2025), a water park, an entertainment complex, multiple stores and restaurants.

    Now, what Universal Orlando isn’t?

    • Universal Orlando is not Universal Hollywood. One is located in Florida, the other is in California. For now, Super Nintendo World only exists in Universal Hollywood, but it’s coming to Universal Orlando when the new theme park, Epic Universe, launches in 2025.
    • Universal Orlando is not Disney World. Think like Apple and Google. They are both entertainment resorts offering a wide range of theme parks, but they are not related. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is located in Disney World, while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is in Universal Studios. Both are entertainment resorts that are amongst the best in the world. Are you coming to Florida? You should visit both of them.
    • Universal Orlando definitely isn't just for kids. In fact, while Disney World is more family friendly, Universal Orlando is a great place for thrill seekers, since it features some of the best roller coasters in the world. There are also great spots for children and the younglings, like a land dedicated to Dr. Seuss with lots of stores and attractions.

    The two main Universal Orlando theme parks

    You already know that Universal Orlando is much more than just theme parks. Still, it’s hard to deny that the theme parks are indeed the stars of the show. Each one of them has dozens of rides, attractions, live shows, restaurants and stores, after all. You can easily spend a whole day there and not see everything, so saving a whole week just to visit Universal is a very good strategy.

    Universal Studios Simpsons Krustyland.webp

    There are two main theme parks in Universal Orlando: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. There are also many ticket options, but a single day ticket for one theme park will cost you around $120. We will talk more about this later on.

    The good news is that Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are right next to each other, connected by Universal’s City Walk, and you can just walk between them. Just keep in mind that a single day ticket will give you access to one theme park only, unless you have a park-to-park ticket, which lets you visit both on the same day. This is similar to Disney's Park Hopper option, which lets you go to two theme parks in a single day.

    The two main theme parks are:

    Universal Studios: I know, it can get confusing when the names are so similar! Universal Orlando is the name of the resort which involves every Universal theme park and entertainment complex, while Universal Studios is the name of a single theme park. Universal Studios is great, by the way. This theme park opened its doors back in 1990 and features several amazing rides, from roller coasters to motion simulators and incredible 3D theaters.

    Popular franchises you can find here: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Men in Black, The Bourne Identity, The Mummy, E.T., Despicable Me and more!

    Islands of Adventure: This is one of the best theme parks in the world and a great choice for thrill seekers. Islands of Adventure features two of the best roller coasters ever: Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure and Jurassic World VelociCoaster, and also one of the most classic motion simulators of all time in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Don’t believe me that this is a great theme park? Islands of Adventure is often regarded as one of the top 5 best theme parks in the world year after year, as voted by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards.

    Popular franchises you can find here: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Marvel, Dr.Seuss, Popeye and more!

    Yep, you can find Harry Potter lands and rides in both theme parks. Diagon Alley is located in Universal Studios, while Hogsmeade is located in Islands of Adventure. Both spots offer different rides, stores and restaurants for you to have fun. Don't worry, both lands also offer a ton of merchandise options like magic wands, robes and even Butterbeer for you to truly feel like a wizard.

    Universal Studios Diagon Alley Streets.webp

    Oh, let’s not forget that a brand new Universal theme park will launch in 2025! Epic Universe promises to be way bigger than Islands of Adventure, and it even features a huge hotel built next to the main rides. A brand new theme park is a huge event, even more so considering that Universal Studios is from 1990 and Islands of Adventure is from 1999. Twenty six years later, we will have a brand new theme park with awesome new rides and lands like Universal Monsters and Super Nintendo World. This is going to be g-r-e-a-t.

    Well, that’s only in 2025 and there is a chance that Epic Universe gets delayed. For now, let’s also not forget that Universal Orlando Resort includes Volcano Bay and Universal’s CityWalk.

    Volcano Bay is Universal’s water park, similar to Disney’s Blizzard Beach, with several water slides and aqua coasters.

    Universal’s CityWalk is similar to Disney Springs: a huge entertainment complex with dozens of restaurants, stores, a movie theater and even nightclubs for you to have fun. The good news is that the CityWalk is located right next to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, so you can walk between them. You can’t walk from Universal CityWalk to Volcano Bay, though.

    As you can probably imagine, there is a lot to see and do. My suggestion? Save at least one full day for Universal Studios and two days for Islands of Adventure if that is your first time visiting. 

    My second suggestion? Send us a message! Famvia will take care of all your travel needs and make sure that you have an amazing time in Universal Orlando. 

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