Are you looking for the most fun things to do at Universal Studios Florida?
Well, look no further!
Universal Studios is one of the most fun-filled theme parks that you could visit in Orlando, Florida.
But I know all too well how overwhelming it can be when you start making plans for your days at the park.
You only have a few days to fit in all of the thrill rides, exciting attractions, excellent eateries, and photo ops.
But never fear ThemeParkHipster!
I am here for you. I’ve put together some of the BEST things to do at Universal Studios Florida so that you don’t have to stress!
Keep reading and enjoy the guide.
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1. Halloween Horror Nights
I would be remiss if the first thing on this extensive list wasn’t Halloween Horror Nights.
Is there anything Universal Studios is known better for?! I think not.
Halloween Horror Nights is definitely one of the most anticipated events that Universal Studios Florida presents each year.
Halloween Horror Nights consists of 10 different, very scary haunted houses.
Additionally, they build other frightening areas, called the “5 Sinister Scare Zones,” to make the entire experience – the ultimate Halloween environment.
The Scare Zones include real “scare actors” ready to terrify. Get ready to scream!
Look forward to themed food, merch, and live entertainment as well.
Halloween Horror Nights will be happening on specific nights throughout September and October this year. Will you be brave enough to go?
2. Have a Party with the Blues Brothers
Next up on our list of all the greatest things to do at Universal Studios has to be…
The Blues Brothers!
Party with the famous Chicago band’s most classic tunes. Located in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida, the live show lasts a total of about 15 minutes.
Modeled after the film, The Blues Brothers, released in the 1980s, Universal Studios Florida puts on a series of showtimes from around 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., depending on the day and the weather.
Enjoy the classic Jazz music, the soul of the saxophone, and the signature dark outfits complete with hats and glasses.
The performers do an excellent job at capturing the feeling of the original Blues Brothers. They even put on a festive show during the holiday season!
3. Do the MiB Immigration Tour
Many people may know that Starbucks has a “secret” menu, right?
Well, Universal Studios has “secret” opportunities too! The only way to experience them is to ask!
Sure, most of us have been on the fan-favorite attraction: Men in Black: Alien Attack!
BUT! Have you ever done the MiB Immigration Tour?
Not many people know about this unique opportunity.
Something special that Universal does is the chance to go backstage on short 10-minute backstage tours of a select number of their attractions!
The best part? They’re FREE!
You simply need a member of your group to ask a Team Member at your preferred ride.
Sometimes, they will say no due to the busyness of the day.
Be prepared for anything – but it’s definitely worth the ask! Of all the tours, our opinion is that the MiB immigration tour is the best.
If you’re granted a backstage tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see the MiB “control room” up close!
Take a closer look at the fun, thematic details on the desks. Check out the paperwork, animatronic aliens, and futuristic chairs!
Your buddies back home will be so jealous!
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4. Watch Bourne Stuntacular
If you’re a Jason Bourne fan, there’s no skipping The Bourne Stuntacular in Universal Studios Orlando.
The famous film franchise – The Bourne Series – made billions at the box office.
Now, Universal Studios has brought a live stunt show to Universal Studios Florida inspired by the series! It’s a can’t-miss production.
Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, you’ll find yourself blown away by the intense and impressive stunts performed in this Stuntacular!
This 20-minute show packs in car chases, special effects, and even a light mist of water. Expect the unexpected at the Stuntacular!
5. Try Every Butterbeer
Harry Potter fans near and far: You’re in for such a treat.
When you visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can actually try Butterbeer in real life!
It tastes EXACTLY like we imagine it would when we read the books and watch the films. Maybe better.
The fun part about Universal’s Butterbeer is that there are even six different varieties to try out (seven if you include the vegan option).
If you look around, you can locate “cold” Butterbeer, “hot” Butterbeer, and even Butterbeer that’s in frozen form (yes, this is different from the cold Butterbeer).
You can also find a Butterbeer ice cream dessert!
Not enough options for you?
There’s also a Butterbeer potted cream treat AND a Butterbeer fudge!
The prices vary, but you can also purchase a souvenir Butterbeer mug at certain drink stands.
Bonus Variety: Thinking you can’t try Butterbeer if you’re vegan? Think again!
There are at least eight locations in the Wizarding World to find Butterbeer.
Try them all!
6. Watch the Beat Builders
As you’re exiting the New York area and entering San Francisco, you might hear unique music and rhythm sounds…
And that would be the Beat Builders!
So, what are the Beat Builders at Universal Studios Florida, you ask?
They are a “construction crew” who make excellent percussion beats into a performance.
With the scaffolding behind them, and their construction equipment used as instruments, they really do build the beat!
The Beat Builders are highly entertaining, and I recommend taking a pause during your day to catch their impressive sounds.
At Universal Orlando Resort, the Beat Builders prove that anything and anyone can be musically inclined. Even a construction crew!
Check the Universal app for daily showtimes.
7. Look for Diagon Alley Secrets
So, you’re a HP fanatic, but do you know about all the secret magical opportunities throughout Diagon Alley?
Here are a few of my favorite Diagon Alley Secrets:
- If you look closely enough and use some patience, you might see Kreacher in the window staring at you from the window at number 12 Grimauld Place!
- Locate the many “medallions” on the floor throughout Diagon Alley (or Hogsmeade!), intended to be used with your interactive Wizard Wand. The result of the spell you cast is always the most fun part to observe. See how many spells you can cast.
- Look for the unforgivable curse in Knockturn Alley
- But my absolute favorite secret in Diagon Alley is the classic English Phone Booth. Be sure to go inside and dial 62442 (which spells out “magic”) to hear the Ministry of Magic’s special message.
There are even more secrets on this guide where these came from; try to uncover them all.
Plus, you can always ask a Team Member at Universal what to look for.
8. Adopt a Pygmy Puff
One of the cutest and most special opportunities in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is inside Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
You can actually be part of an adoption ceremony for a Pygmy Puff, and believe me when we say there’s nothing cuter.
Once you purchase your very own Pygmy Puff at the counter, you can ask your cashier if they’ll perform an adoption ceremony.
If they agree, all of the guests inside Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes will suddenly be asked to please turn while they announce the new owner of a Pygmy Puff and announce the Pygmy’s new name.
They’ll even ring a loud bell for ceremonial purposes.
You’ll usually receive applause and cheers, and overall it’s a precious way to make you feel extra special.
Make sure you know in advance what you want to name your Pygmy!
9. Pick out a Secret Song on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Okay, thrill-seekers! This one’s for you. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is filled with corkscrew twists, and it goes FAST, friends. You must be 51” tall to ride.
The concept of the ride is that the rider gets the option to choose what music plays for themselves during the ride.
BUT, what you may not know is that the ride even has secret songs! In order to find the secret songs, there are special codes you must know. For the full list, check out this article.
Going at 65 miles per hour, this steel roller coaster will take you for a crazy ride with some major drops. Can you handle it?
10. Grab a Harry Potter Beverage and Hop on HOGWARTS Express
The most fun part about riding the Hogwarts Express is that you get to feel just like you’re off to Hogwarts with Ron, Hermione, and Harry.
The train is the perfect mode of transportation from one to the other. However, you will be required to have a Park-To-Park ticket!
11. Indulge in a Delicious Crepe at Central Park Crepes
Not every quick-service counter at a theme park is going to be delicious; I’ll be the first to admit.
But here’s the thing – you haven’t tasted crepes until you’ve tasted Central Park Crepes at Universal.
This spot is fairly new – it opened in 2020, and ever since then, they’ve been serving up a medley of the savory and sweet – but with emphasis on the sweet!
This year, the menu has been updated, and a Vegan Berry crepe is included on the list!
However, my favorite is the tasty brisket crepe that takes theme park food to the next level.
Check it out – you can thank me later!
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12. Have the Ocean Attack Drink
You can find some pretty creative, unique, and very tasty flavored beverages at Universal Orlando Resort.
Although it’s not one of my favorites it is one of the best known and most popular drinks among guests.
It’s called the Ocean Attack and you can get it at the stand next to Bruce the Shark.
A spin on your typical piña colada, the Ocean Attack has a tropical blend of flavors and alcohol that not only tastes amazing but looks great in an Instagram photo too!
You’ll even get a little show as the the Team Member makes your drink.
The Universal Ocean Attack Cocktail contains Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice, Sprite, and Grenadine or Cherry garnish.
Walk, don’t run, to try it on your next trip!
13. Smell the Forest Scene in E.T. Adventure
If you’ve been a longtime fan of the pine scent in the forest scene in the E.T. Adventure ride, I’m so sorry to inform you that in late 2022, Universal did change the scent.
It still smells like pine, just slightly different. However, longtime Universal fans may have opinions on whether or not this new scent is really as good.
Even if the new one isn’t the classic smell, don’t skip your chance to ride the ride and take a whiff of the pine scent.
E.T. Adventure is still one of my favorite attractions and one of the best things to do at Universal Studios Florida.
Weigh in your thoughts online! Do you enjoy the new pine scent or miss the old one?
14. Do a VIP Tour
One of the ultimate best things to do at Universal Studios Florida is the VIP tour.
But I’m warning you – once you do Universal Studios the VIP way, you’ll never want to go back!
What is the Universal Orlando VIP Tour?
Essentially, the VIP tour is an ultra-behind-the-scenes “backstage pass” guided tour.
The tour guide will give you exclusive secret information, and you’ll get to see some areas that regular guests don’t get to see.
Want to know what the best part of being a VIP at Universal Studios Florida is?
The complimentary VIP parking and the ability to skip the lines at tons of the Universal Studios rides and attractions.
You heard that right!
Imagine that your Universal Studios VIP Experience is an Express Pass, good for almost every single ride! What could be better?
Certain meals will also be included with your tour, as well as great discounts.
The Universal Studios VIP Tour Experience can be booked by calling (866) 346-9350. Prices begin at $189.00/per person.
15. Have the Flaming Moe
If you enjoy The Simpsons, you absolutely have to stop by Flaming Moe’s, a drink counter located in Universal Studios, Florida, and taste a Flaming Moe drink for yourself!
Although it’s alcoholic in the show, at Universal’s Flaming Moe’s, this drink does not have alcohol in it. This makes it a more family-friendly beverage for all to enjoy.
Enjoy this orange soda delight and transport yourself to Springfield, U.S.A. You can even keep the cup as a souvenir!
16. Watch the Universal Studios Parades
If you’re visiting Universal Orlando Resort, especially if you’re going with the whole family, you have to check out the parade that’s happening while you’re visiting!
During select holiday seasons, there will be seasonal parades that occur in the park.
The latter feels like a miniature Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! It’s guaranteed to make you smile.
But, all good things must come to an end, unfortunately. Until last year, the Superstar Parade was a HUGE hit at Universal.
Although it’s no longer being performed, we know that Universal is cooking up something spectacular in the future. I can’t wait to see what parade is next!
Check the schedule on the app for the dates that you’re visiting and see what parades are happening. Then, ensure you line up early to get a good viewing spot.
17. Check Out All The Cool Movie Props Throughout The Park
A fun thing about Universal Studios is that there are real movie props you can see on display in several various pockets of the park.
This is especially true in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
For example, inside Madame Malkin’s Robes for All Occassions, you’ll find Hermonie’s actual dress from the Yule Ball in the film on display.
But, if you haven’t seen the Potter series, there are still plenty of props to see at the Horror Make-Up Show!
Here, you can find actual teeth used in Jaws, real costumes worn in The Mummy, and even some molds for the Grinch’s face from The Grinch.
Of course, there are even more awesome movie props to see in person, so make sure you stop at the Horror Make-Up Show.
Don’t forget the Universal Store in CityWalk. Here you can get cool shirts and the best souvenirs for your Orlando vacation.
18. Have a BIG Pink Donut
Out of all the things you could do, we need to discuss one of the most important things you must-do at Universal Studios Florida:
And that, dear ThemeParkHipster, is to try an unforgettable donut from Lard Lad Donuts.
If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you’ll definitely recognize “The BIG Pink.”
Deliciously frosted, sprinkled, and baked, there’s simply no regretting trying the famous pink donut from Lard Lad Donuts.
Don’t forget to tell everyone on social media that the ThemeParkHipster told you where to find this masterpiece of a baked treat!
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19. Cool Off With a Coke Freestyle Cup
A huge hack for beverage-sipping at Universal is to purchase a refillable Coke Freestyle cup.
The best part of this cup is that you can purchase it one time and refill the cup at Coke Freestyle-specific machines only throughout your entire visit to Universal.
The price can vary yearly but usually totals around $18.99 before tax.
There are tons of Freestyle Refill stations in the park, so you should never be too far away from one.
Plus, there are plenty of flavor options on the machines, and I love the variety that Coca-Cola offers the Universal guests.
20. Have Ice Cream from Schwab’s Rx
What has a retro atmosphere, exceptional desserts, and will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time?
You’ve got to head over to Schwab’s Pharmacy for an ice cream treat!
Located in the Hollywood area, you’ll have your pick of sundaes, ice cream in a cone or a cup, dole whip treats, banana splits, and more.
Sip on some coffee or hot cocoa with your ice cream, and cool off indoors.
21. Take Some of the Best Photos at Universal Studios, Florida
Use “My Universal Photos,” the photo package system.
This is where professional photographers from Universal (who know just how to get the perfect photo just for you and your family) will take and save all your trip photos onto the app.
You hardly have to do anything!
Your photos will be excellent, high-quality, and ready for you to download at the click of a button. Don’t spend your vacation worrying about if you got the right photos.
Enjoy yourself to the fullest, knowing that the photos are already waiting for you.
Universal’s professional photographers also know the best photo-op spots and how to pose you. Ideal!
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22. Visit the NBC Archives in the Jimmy Fallon Attraction
One of the coolest things about the “Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon” ride is, believe-it-or-not, the queue!
Don’t get me wrong, the attraction itself is cool. But I think the queue is also quite underrated.
It’s all decorated to look like the actual studio.
You’ll be amazed at how it feels as though you’re really about to see Jimmy Fallon on stage.
Take in the NBC archives and even enjoy a performance by the Ragtime Gals!
23. Watch the Nighttime Lagoon Show
Although Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration closed, we know that a brand new show will debut in the future.
Cinematic Celebration had eye-catching fireworks, impressive projections, and music from classic shows that you know!
Because of this, despite the recent closing, I highly recommend that you mark down the future unnamed Nighttime Lagoon Show as one of the things you must do at Universal!
Universal Studios has always known how to put on a great show.
I have no doubt that what’s coming next will exude the same performance level, and I’m excited to tell you about it when it’s here.
In the meantime, be sure to check out all of the new Minion Land fun at Universal Studios Florida!
24. Visit the Kwik-E-Mart
Simpsons fans, this one’s for you – visit THE Kwik-E-Mart.
Check it out for awesome Simpsons-themed merchandise, including awesome sweatshirts, t-shirts, magnets, and tons of other awesome souvenirs!
You can also pick up a donut here if you didn’t make it to Lard Lad Donuts.
Also- be sure to take photos outside the Kwik-E Mart to prove you were there!
25. Meet the Best Movie Characters
There are absolutely TONS of Character Meet-and-Greet opportunities in the park.
At Universal, make sure you see your favorite characters, including:
- Shrek and friends
- SpongeBob and friends
- Hello Kitty
- Marty McFly
- The Simpsons Family
- Marilyn Monroe
- And so, so many more!
Make those memories that last for a lifetime. Don’t forget to get an autograph and use your My Universal Photos package!
26. Play Games in Springfield with the Simpsons
Springfield, U.S.A., in Universal Studios Orlando, feels truly like you’ve stepped into an episode of The Simpsons.
A super fun, often overlooked part of Springfield, U.S.A. are the midway games.
Try your hand at a few! It’s fun to go head-to-head with your family and friends. See who’s the champion and even win super cute prizes.
May the best midway game player win!
Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!
27. Party at Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras at Universal Studios is a blast.
Universal put on the International Flavors of Carnaval – somewhat reminiscent of EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival.
There’s a fantastic Mardi Gras parade, well-known live performers, delicious drinks, and all kinds of Mardi Gras merch you can purchase.
It’s a whole park-wide celebration and the place to be.
28. Visit Universal During Christmas
Universal Studios Orlando at Christmastime is EVERYTHING! Take it from me.
Explore your favorite Wizarding World covered in snow and with special holiday décor and live performances.
In my opinion, there’s nothing more magical than Christmas in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
If you’re not a Potterhead, there’s also Grinchmas awaiting you.
The Grinch and the Whos of Who-ville will help you celebrate the season with the Dr. Seuss Christmas tree and the festive music playing nearby.
Enjoy holiday décor and treats throughout the park, and don’t forget to walk CityWalk to see the great seasonal shopping!
It’s the one time of year you can purchase Universal Studios holiday apparel.
29. Have Chicken and Waffles at Cletus’ Chicken Shack
If you’re not chowing down at Cletus’ Chicken Shack at Universal Studios Orlando, then what are you doing?
With vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu, this southern-inspired chicken restaurant is one of my go-to’s. I tell everyone about it!
Go “down south” for some delectable Southern fried chicken.
But my favorite menu pick?
The Chicken and waffles, of course!
30. Visit the SpongeBob Storepants Store
SpongeBob Squarepants? Make that SpongeBob Storepants!
Your one-stop shop for anything SpongeBob-themed that you could want to purchase.
You’ll find plush toys, t-shirts, ball-caps, and other odds and ends you might want to collect – all on theme with SpongeBob’s world.
Did you just transport to Bikini Bottom? You’ll feel as though you did!
31. Chat With Optimus Prime
Okay, Transformer pals – You won’t want to leave Universal Studios Florida until you’ve chatted it up with Optimus Prime!
Yes, that’s right, he will talk to you.
Have the meet-and-greet of a lifetime and get a memorable photo taken together with Optimus Prime, Bubblebee or Megatron. What a story to tell your friends!
Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide
Honorable Mention: Take a Solo Trip!
As an honorable mention, I’ve talked about a plethora of things in Universal that you could do.
But what about if you’re not going with a big group or your family?
At ThemeParkHipster, we are ALL about going to theme parks solo!
Almost everything on this list you can also do alone, and if you want to, you absolutely should!
Get yourself a delicious snack, ride your favorite rides, and when in doubt, always refer back to our list of the best things to do at Universal Studios Florida.
I’m here to make your trip the best it can possibly be – solo or not!
That’s all for today my friend. Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipster!
About the Author
Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.
Connect with me on Instagram!
(Original Article Date: May 29, 2023/Updated on February 23, 2024)