Visit Universal Orlando For The Holidays

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Planning on visiting Orlando for the Holidays? Be sure to visit Universal Studios Orlando. It is the perfect family destination to visit during the holidays. My son had been wanting to go to Universal Studios for years, so when we had to opportunity to visit for the holidays he was thrilled. When we arrived at Universal Studios Orlando the first thing we noticed was the amount of people. We went near the end of December it was pretty crowded but the weather was perfect. Before you enter the park, you have to pay for parking the cost is $17 or $25 for preferred. We paid extra for better parking because we had already walked a lot during our vacation and wanted to use our energy for the park. It was worth the money in my opinion to pay to park closer. The lot is massive, and if you have smaller children, I would recommend using preferred parking to avoid the extra walk. Before you go into the park, you can visit the gift shop area to buy any merchandise you want before the park or you can wait to buy what you want when you leave. You can also buy merchandise in the park through a variety of shops.

 

Universal Studios Orlando consists of two different parks, the first one is Island of Adventure and the second park is Universal Studios Florida. The price of admission for both parks is $136 adult and $130 for children. You can also purchase additional express passes the cost is $39.99 a person for both parks or $34.99 a person for one park. We had our day mapped out as to what we wanted to do so we went to the Universal Studios Florida first. In front of the entrance of the park, they have a giant globe with their logo that spins near the water which can be used for a perfect backdrop for a photo.
Universal Orlando

 

We were using the Express Passes, which proved to be very helpful throughout the day. I certainly recommend using the Express Pass because many of the rides had very long lines. Some rides however don’t allow the Express Passes so be aware of this as you buy them. We started off at Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. This was one of our favorite rides. The rollercoaster has you strapped in at the waist and below and you are in a shell-shaped seat before the coaster starts you can choose the music you want to listen to on the way through the ride. It was a very interesting concept and it was incredibly fun. We rode that roller coaster several times while we were in that park. We then moved on to the Revenge of the Mummy ride. There wasn’t much of a line for this ride so we just walked all the way through the empty roped area and found our way to the start. The ride was very dark and scary so I advise no trying to bring anyone who gets scared easily and especially not children. The ride was very loud and somewhat bumpy so be cautious if you have any known injuries or pain. After the ride, you can purchase souvenirs, as well as, a photo of yourself on the ride. After the mummy ride, we went to the Island of Adventure Park.

Universal Orlando

It was lunchtime so we decided to go eat at the Green Eggs and Ham Café. It is located at the very beginning of Seuss Landing. This was my favorite part of Universal Studios. I absolutely LOVE everything that has to do with Dr. Seuss, so it was perfect for me.

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The entire area has beautiful landscaping that is just so colorful. I really felt like I was “in” Dr. Suess land, it was fantastic. Additionally, the holiday decorations made it just so fun and festive!

Universal  Orlando

We rode the Cat and the Hat ride after eating and it was a very fun little ride however it does swing and turn so be aware if you get nauseous. The attraction tells the story of the Cat and the Hat and it is great for little kids. We then went and saw the Grinchmas. This was easily my favorite attraction! How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my favorite movies to watch around the holidays so seeing it in action was awesome. As soon as we found out about it we went to stand in line. The line was very long, but we got there early for good seats, however we did stand in line for a long time. The musical was amazing! This is absolutely “a must see” in my opinion if you will be visiting during the holidays.

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After Seuss landing, we went to the Toon Lagoon. We wanted to do the water rides next so it would give us time to dry off as the day passed. We rode the Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. You sit in a round tube big enough for about 8 people and you follow the ride as it takes you through. You can also get sprayed by people who are not on the ride if you are lucky enough. We didn’t get very wet the first time we rode this, however on the second time we got soaked. It all depends on where you sit because in the rapids area, you could get soaked or someone in front of you could get soaked. After that, we rode Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls. This was a very fun ride and somewhat reminiscent to the old cartoon shows that I watched when I was younger. This was my family’s favorite water ride. It was very fun and we got soaked. We were in the very front both times when we rode it so we were very wet. The ride was also much longer than I expected, which we really enjoyed. After that, we finished with the Jurassic Park River Adventure. This was my least favorite water ride, but it was my son’s favorite.  The dinosaurs seemed very realistic and moved when we went through the lagoon. The ride was very short with only one ramp that you go up, however we were near the back of the boat and got soaked! The water arched over the front and hit everyone in the back. The drop was fun, but it is loud, just an FYI for those who startle easily. After getting thoroughly soaked we tried to dry off but that didn’t work out very well, as we stayed wet for most of the day. I would really recommend wearing appropriate clothing if you plan on riding the water rides. I would also recommend bringing a change of clothes or bring clothing that dry fast. We were not dressed for it, and I did want to buy clothes to change into. Which if you need them they sell them there too.

After that, we went to Marvel Super Hero Island this was one of my son’s favorite areas. He loves superhero things so this was right up his alley. We rode the Incredibly Hulk Coaster. It was not our favorite ride because it is pretty jerky, I also continually hit my head against the headrest. I stopped riding rollercoasters after this one because I had a terrible headache. However, nothing could stop my son who rode the Doctor Doom Freefall right after, the ride was incredibly short it went up once and fell and then the ride was over. It was very disappointing to my son because he wanted it to shoot up a few more times.

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To finish off the park, we ended at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This was my son’s favorite part, he absolutely loves everything Harry Potter so this was perfect.

Universal  Orlando

This area of the park was spectacular it was like being transported in the movies. It was incredible. Hogwarts is really something quite significant to see. My son rode on Dragon Challenge. He really like this ride, however he was most interested in looking at all the different stores and rest of the area then riding it again. We didn’t go on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey because the attraction doesn’t allow express passes and the wait was really long.  So we will go on that next time we are at the park. My son bought a wand at Ollivander’s and some other souvenirs. They have multiple replica wands of all your favorite characters. Introduced this year was Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and now you can travel between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade if you have the park to park ticket. We are very excited to visit Diagon Alley in the future and ride the Hogwarts Express to the other park.

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Overall, this was a very exciting and fun amusement park. I certainly recommend visiting during the holidays because it is so beautiful and festive.  My family and I will definitely be continuing to come to the Universal Orlando in the future. Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration begins December 6 and runs until January 3, 2015. The Macy’s Holiday Parade will also take place every evening, which is also a must see event!

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Additionally, Mannheim Steamroller will be performing December 6, 7, 14, 15, 20 and 21. The performance is included in the ticket purchase for those dates. To learn more about the holiday events please visit Universal Orlando. You can also connect with them via social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Are you planning a visit for the holiday’s this year?

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