17 Easy Steps to the Best Universal Studios Itinerary (2023)

Do you have your Universal Studios Itinerary ready so that you can Ride the movies and be a star?

This is (or was) Universal Studios Florida’s claim to fame when it first opened. You can still see remaining relics of the past, but things have shifted into dominant franchises of today.

Now, I am not a stickler of living in the past, but I still do miss classic attractions such as the ORIGINAL King Kong ride KONGfrontation.

..but we’re not here for nostalgia.

Men in Black Alien Attack Sign at Universal Studios Florida.


What to Expect at Universal Studios

I’m here to help you plan the best itinerary for Universal Studios Orlando. My goal is for you to be able to conquer every top attraction and experience in the park all in one day.

But first, let’s go over what to know before you get to Universal Studios Florida.

What time does Universal Studios open?

Universal Studios Florida is open 365 days a year 9 a.m to 6 p.m. in the regular season.

Delorean with Doc Back to the Future preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

Hours may change based on the busyness of the park.

How much does it cost to go to Universal Studios in Florida?

The cost of admission starts at $109, but I like discounts so I use sites like the Groupon and The Park Prodigy to find cheap Universal Studios tickets.

Universal Orlando Resort Ticket

Can you do Universal Studios Orlando in one day?

While coming up with this Universal Studios itinerary, I thought…

Transformers the ride entrance

…how can I make you see and do all of the best rides at Universal Studios Florida?

This list has some of the top hitting attractions on it, but you can eliminate or add any item you feel fits your type of day.

ORDER NOW to secure your Orlando theme park ticket reservation in the parks! GET MY TICKETS.

Your Best Universal Studios Itinerary

The key to accomplishing this one-day adventure is to arrive at Universal Studios early. If you have a special early entry option, then take advantage.

Universal Studios Arches preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

1. Purchase Tickets Online and Download the Park Map

Purchase tickets, download a park guide, and map out your day prior to coming to Universal Studios Florida.

All a part of your Universal Studios packing checklist, which you can read here.

Universal Studios guide and tips
Sign up and get your FREE Universal Orlando Resort Theme Park Traveler’s Planner and Guide. Click the image to get started.

2. Get an Early Start

Try to arrive forty-five minutes prior to the gates opening. If eligible for early park admission, then take advantage of the opportunity.

Hipster Power Tip: Map out your day and make a list of your must do favorite attractions. Here are a few of the top rides listed by theme park bloggers!

3. Ride Despicable Me

Begin in Production Central and head towards Despicable Me. This 3-D simulator ride is based off the hilarious animated movies.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Universal Studios Orlando Tips
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Universal Studios Orlando

It’s one of Universal’s most popular rides, so you’ll want to do this one right away or at the end of the day.

Hipster Power Tip: You can judge the busyness of the park by looking at the wait time for Despicable Me. If the wait time is above 60-minutes, expect for a crowded day at Universal Studios.

4. Grab Ticket for Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon

You’ll want to grab a ticket to this ride for later. You should do Diagon Alley before the afternoon rush before experiencing Race through New York.

Jimmy Fallon Museum at Universal Studios
Jimmy Fallon Museum at Universal Studios

Completing the Race through New York attraction takes awhile since you’ll need to go through the pre-show and the actual ride.

Hipster Power Tip: Put about 35 minutes aside to complete this attraction once you walk through the doors.

5. Party on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster

On this high speed steel coaster, you choose the musical soundtrack to take you through the thrilling drops, twists, and turns. Use the single-rider option if available.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Overlooking Plaza at Universal Studios preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

ORDER NOW to secure your Universal Studios theme park ticket! GET MY TICKETS.

6. Join the Cause and Ride Transformers

Transformers: The Ride-3D is another 3-D motion simulator just like the Spider Man ride over in Islands of Adventure.

On this journey you will head into the headquarters of NEST (Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty) to learn how to battle the Decepticons.

Transformers the Ride 3D Entrance next to Bull's Gym Sign preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

Single rider option is available here and perfect if wait times are greater than 30 minutes.

Now that Fast and the Furious is open, I recommend riding it right after you get off Revenge of the Mummy.

7. Dive deep into the Revenge of the Mummy Ride

Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor roller coaster dark ride. It is highly themed with props prompting you to believe you’re on the set of the Mummy movie.

Revenge of the Mummy Ride at Universal Studios Florida
Revenge of the Mummy Ride at Universal Studios Florida

The wait time for my favorite ride is always pretty decent. It rarely goes beyond 30 minutes, unless it’s a super crowded day.

Hipster Power Tip: The queue for this attraction has wonderful interactive effects. If the wait time is low, then skip the Single Rider Line and go through the regular queue.

8. Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Prepare to spend quite some time exploring this magical section of Universal Studios. Diagon Alley is the second installment of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Diagon Alley Entrance preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

The other portion is located within Islands of Adventure (Hogsmeade).

Your Personal Diagon Alley Universal Studios Itinerary:

Read: Incredible Things YOU MUST Do at Diagon Alley for Beginners

9. Have Lunch at The Leaky Cauldron

It’s time to take a break and enjoy a delicious lunch. Here you can grab traditional British food as you’re whisked away into the magical world of Harry Potter.

Diagon Alley: Leaky Cauldron with cafeteria style seating at lunch.
Early Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron: Diagon Alley Grand Opening Day July 2014

Hipster Power Tip: Stay onsite at one of the resorts that include Express Passes as a perk. This will allow you to skip the lines and make your day much smoother and easier.

You will also be able to enjoy every attraction within in decent amount of time.

10. Ride Men in Black Alien Attack

This is an interactive point and shoot laser ride. Similar in style as Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin over at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Men in Black Alien Attack entrance at Universal Studios Orlando.

I suck at this ride, but you can do much better than me.

The guns are on auto-fire, which means if you hold the trigger down the entire time, then your score can go higher.

Men in Black Alien Attack Ride at Universal Studios Aliens Working preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

Hipster Power Tip: To get the bonus 100,000 points, press the flashing light in front of you when you hear Rip Torn say the “b” in “Hit the red button.”

11. Explore Springfield

The Simpson-inspired section of the park is very lively and so much fun. While you’re over there you’ll want to ride the Simpsons Ride and Kang & Kudos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl.

17 Easy tips for universal studios florida Duff Beer garden in Springfield preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.
Duff Gardens Universal Studios

The Simpsons Ride will take you on a whimsical, snarky tour through Krustyland’s Theme Park.

Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida

It’s a simulator thrill ride that lasts about five minutes with 10 minute pre-shows.

Simpsons Lard Lad Donuts at Universal. Giant statue preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

Kang & Kodo’s Twirl ‘n’ Hurl is a spinning flying saucer ride inspired by the devious aliens of the Simpsons show.

Kang and Kudo Twirl n Hurl Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

Snack Time: Grab a Chicken and Waffle sandwich from Cletus’ Chicken Shack. It’s a Universal Studios must have snack. It’s my go-to spot at Universal Studios Orlando and I know you will love it!

12. Ride the Classic E.T. Adventure

The only original ride left at Universal Studios.

ET Adventure Ride Entrance at Universal Studios Florida preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

This gondola dark ride is based on the blockbuster movie, E.T. It still has the classic theme park ride feel and is a nice ride to go through during your day at Universal Studios.

Get up to 25% off of your Universal Studios Tickets with Groupon TODAY!

13. Experience Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show.

This is a hilarious show that gives behind-the-scenes movie makeup tricks. It’s a bit gory due to the subject matter, but is also lots of fun!

14. Enjoy the Shopping and Roadside Entertainment Throughout Universal Studios

Williams of Hollywood store at Universal Orlando preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.
Willilams of Hollywood Prop Shop at Universal Studios Florida

Some of my favorite shopping spots are:

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

15. Watch the Bourne Stuntacular show

This is a 20 minute stunt show located on Hollywood Boulevard in Universal Studios.

The Bourne Stuntacular Universal Studios Florida preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

You’ll enjoy this nice break from the Florida heat by jumping into an adventure with Jason Bourne as he dips and dives through some of the most spectacular thrills tricks!

This is one show at Universal that you CAN’T MISS!!!

16. Ride Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York

Now it’s time to redeem your ticket and ride one of Universal’s newest attraction, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy Fallon Ride Vintage NBC Camera
Jimmy Fallon Ride Vintage NBC Camera

Read how to find your perfect vacation home rental in Orlando by Clicking HERE!

17. Grab a Beer from Duff Brewery and Watch the New Nighttime Lagoon Show

The best way to end a wonderful day at Universal Studios is with a smooth adult beverage, an entertaining show, and a spectacular view!

universal studios lagoon overlooking red hollywood rip ride rock it roller coaster. preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

This nighttime lagoon show features characters from all of your favorite Universal attractions with a new storyline, music, lighting, and special effects.

Final Thoughts on Your Universal Studios Itinerary

As you can see, Universal Studios Florida has something to offer everyone with any type of vacation goal.

Minion Mayhem ride during Universal Studios Mardi Gras preparing Universal Studios Itinerary.

Whether you’re going solo, have a big family reunion, or enjoying a romantic day, you’ll never run out of things to discover.

Best Universal Studios one day guide and itinerary.
Save Image for Later on Pinterest!

What’s your favorite route to take at Universal Studios? Let me know in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this Universal Studios Itinerary Guide, then you’ll love these:

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!


(Original Article Date: February 6, 2019/Updated May 13, 2022)

Share this article!

4 thoughts on “17 Easy Steps to the Best Universal Studios Itinerary (2023)”

  1. What a fabulous post on Universal Orlando. We are headed to the one Hollywood, CA in a few months. I’m so excited, it’s going to be a total blast!


Leave a Comment