Are you looking for the BEST Universal Studios Orlando tips to make the most of your time on your trip?
Well, look no further!
Planning a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort doesn’t have to be a hard task, but I do know that sometimes the details in the planning can get stressful.
First off, the resort has 3 theme parks with another one opening in the future, plus multiple hotels to choose from and the famous CityWalk.
With all those experiences to participate in, you’ll want to know these pro tips for going to Universal Studios Florida.
Whether you choose to go to Universal Studios in Orlando solo or with family and friends, each tip will guide you to having the best theme park vacation ever!
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1. Buy Tickets in Advance Online
This one Universal Studios Orlando tip will save you both money and time!
It’s best to buy your tickets ahead of time. This prevents waiting in a line once you arrive at Universal Studios.
Hipster Power Tip: The line to buy tickets in the morning is long at Universal Studios so make sure you get yours ahead of time so that you can skip this line and go straight to the gates.
2. Get Your Universal Orlando Tickets from a Trustworthy Website
These places are always having special rates for the Orlando theme parks.
3. Know the Universal Orlando Ticket Options
There are a few options to choose from for Florida residents when buying a ticket for any of the Universal Orlando theme parks.
Below are just a few of the Universal Orlando ticket options that you can choose from:
- 2 Park, 1 Day Universal Orlando Ticket: This option allows you to visit both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on the same day.
- 1 Park, 1 Day Universal Orlando Ticket: This option allows you to visit only one park for one day.
- 1 Day Volcano Bay Ticket: This option allows you to visit only Volcano Bay for one day.
Keep in mind that this is just the foundation of how you choose your Universal Studios tickets.
You can add multiple days to your vacation with the option to visit the two main parks on the same day for each day you choose.
It’s all about how you choose to spend your time at Universal Orlando Resort.
Get the whole list of the Universal Orlando ticket options here and save money too!
4. Know the Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Florida
This is one of my top Universal Studios Orlando tips for you!
This includes just how long you’ll be waiting in line for your favorite rides.
What are the best times to visit Universal Studios Orlando?
Below are the best times to visit Universal Orlando Resort:
These months are closely followed by May, September, and October as the best time to visit Orlando.
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5. Get aUniversal Orlando Express Pass
Depending on the time of year you go, you’ll may want to think about getting an Express Pass.
Universal Studios has some of the most innovative rides with wait times to prove it.
Are the Universal Express Passes worth it?
On those peak days, it gets extremely hard to do and see each attraction available at the park.
Plus, if it’s a hot and humid day, it only adds to the frustration.
I know the prices can be out of your budget, but if you can squeeze a little bit more then definitely grab an Express Pass.
Express Passes to Choose From:
- Universal Express Pass: You can skip the regular line ONE TIME per ride at participating attractions each day that your pass is valid.
- The Universal Unlimited Express Pass: You can skip the regular lines an UNLIMITED number of times at participating attractions.
- Volcano Bay Express: You can skip the Virtual Line one time at participating attractions.
Express Pass Rides and Attractions at Universal Studios Florida
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem™
- E.T. Adventure™
- Fast & Furious – Supercharged™
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™
- Hogwarts™ Express
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™
- Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
- MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon™
- Revenge of the Mummy™
- The Simpsons Ride™
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D
Hipster Power Tip: There are three resorts on Universal Orlando property that include FREE Universal Express Passes for each hotel guest. They are: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel.
6. Be Sure to Use the Child Swap Program
A true ThemeParkHipster, like yourself, will most likely have a time where the little ones will be join you on one of your trips.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to miss out on all the fun Universal Studios attractions.
You and your theme park partner can take advantage of the Child Swap Program, where you’ll both be able to scream on Hollywood Rip Rockit, as the little ones wait to the side.
How does the Child Swap Program work at Universal Studios?
The Child Swap Program works by allowing one member of your party to wait in a designated area along with any children who are unable or unwilling to participate.
Once the rest of your group is off the ride, you trade places and take your seat on the ride while those who rode previously stay with the child(ren).
7. Have a Game Plan and Download the Official Universal Orlando App
Route your path around the park in advance by retrieving the Universal Studios park map on the app.
This is one of the best Universal Studios Orlando tips for your visit!
The Universal Orlando Resort app allows you to find ride wait times, show times, mobile ordering and dining venue hours.
View the Universal Studios Map Below
You can also get your perfect Universal Studios Florida one-day itinerary here!
8. Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley
If your smile is as wide as mine, then you probably want to skip the other rides and head straight back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley section of the park.
You’ll want to explore all the crevices of Diagon Alley and discover the dark streets of Nocturne Alley.
Become a true wizard and get your wand!
I recommend partaking in the interactive wand experience at Ollivander’s; it’s always pretty fun and you’ll love it!
Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!
9. Try EVERY type of Butterbeer at Harry Potter World
In case you’re a Muggle, Butterbeer is a drink mentioned several times in the Harry Potter books.
It is the drink of choice for many of the adolescents through out the famous Wizarding story.
Plus, it’s a staple drink and a must have beverage whenever you visit Universal Studios.
How is Butterbeer served?
- Cold Butterbeer
- Frozen Butterbeer
- Hot Butterbeer (seasonal)
- Butterbeer Potted Cream
- Fudge Butterbeer
- Butterbeer Soft Serve Ice-Cream
- Vegan Butterbeer
As you can see, there are sooooo many Butterbeer options to chose from!!!
Where to find Butterbeer?
You can find a Butterbeer offering of some sort inside the Diagon Alley section of Universal Studios at:
- The Leaky Cauldron
- The Hopping Pot
- Sugarplum’s Sweetshop
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
10. Ride Hogwarts Express From Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade
Hopping on the Hogwarts Express train is the best way of recreating the footsteps of the famous wizard, Harry Potter.
The Hogwarts Express is located inside King’s Cross Station next to the secret entrance to Diagon Alley.
In order for you to experience this attraction, you’ll need to have a park-to-park admission ticket for the same day.
11. Have a Universal Studios Packing List
It’s important for you to know what to pack for Universal Studios Florida.
Below are some of the things I MUST HAVE for my days at the park.
- Comfy Shoes
- Small Bag
- Breathable Clothing
- Sun Protection
- Wizard’s robe and wand
- Hand sanitizer
- Phone Charger
- Portable Fan
12. Know What You Can and Cannot Bring inside Universal Studios
To prevent any embarrassment at the security checkpoints, I’ve listed the items you are able to take with you inside of the Universal Orlando parks.
Please keep in mind that Universal is very strict on what it allows you to bring.
Acceptable items at Universal Studios:
- Bottled water
- Small snacks that do not require heating
- Any food required for medical purposes and medically indicated nutritional supplements
- Food required for special dietary needs
- Baby food/baby formula
- Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep
Prohibited items at Universal Studios:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Picnic lunches
- Food that requires heating or refrigeration
- Glass containers
- Hard-sided coolers
- Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep
- Suitcases and bags with wheels
- Folding chairs
- Clothing with offensive language or content
- Clothing that represents someone as emergency personnel
- Weapons of any kind
13. Enjoy the Must-Do Rides and Food at Universal Studios Florida
Make sure you make a list of the things you must-do on your trip to Universal Studios.
Below are some of my favorite things to do on my solo days at Universal Orlando.
- Escape from Gringotts
- Discover the Mysteries of Revenge of the Mummy
- Horror Make Up Show
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
- Chicken and Waffles at Cletus’ Chicken Shack
- Eat at the Leaky Cauldron
- Get a Loaded Baked Potato outside of Diagon Alley
- Ride Hollywood Rip Rockit
- Watch the Bourne Stuntacular
- Save the World in Transformers Ride
14. Take Advantage of the Single Rider Line
This line can cut your wait time in half and that’s always a benefit of going to a theme park alone.
It allows you to get around to most of the attractions quickly, because you don’t have to wait in the normal ride line.
This is especially important if you are traveling to Universal Studios solo.
Single Rider Lines at Universal Studios Florida:
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Fast and Furious Supercharged
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
- Revenge of the Mummy
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D
Hipster Power Tip: The Single Rider Line will split up your party so keep that in mind on your visit. Universal Team Members use Single Riders to fill in extra spot available on the rides.
15. Go to Universal Studios Solo!
At ThemeParkHipster, I’m 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!
Going to Universal Studios alone allows you to plan your day the way you want it without having to compromise with others.
It’s my favorite way to go to Universal Orlando Resort!
16. Use the Lockers at Universal Studios
There are lockers next to certain attractions that require you to store your loose items.
They are free for up to a certain time period. The time period will depend on the wait time of the attraction.
If you go beyond the time frame for holding your items, you will be required to pay a small fee.
Just make sure to take a photo of your locker number.
Trust me when I say that it will save you the headache of trying to remember your locker number when you’ve just got done screaming your head off on Revenge of the Mummy!
17. Get a Birthday Button
You can grab a free birthday button from Guest Services at Universal Studios Florida.
Professing your birthday to the world may increase your chances of being chosen by Ollivander in the wand presentation show.
Getting a Universal Orlando Birthday button is just one of the free things you can get on your Universal trip.
Hipster Power Tip: It’s not required for you to buy the want; however, tou do have to pay for the wand if you want to keep it even if you’re selected to be a part of the show at Ollivander’s.
18. Enjoy Free Wi-Fi at Universal Orlando
There’s free Wi-Fi throughout all of Universal Studios.
All you have to do is connect to the Wi-Fi on your mobile device as you would normally do and follow the instructions.
19. Visit CityWalk Orlando
Universal Orlando CityWalk is an entertainment hot spot between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
It’s filled with lots of shops, restaurants, clubs, and more!
If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World, then it similar to Disney Springs.
You do not need a ticket for Universal Studios in order to experience City Walk.
You’re also able to leave Universal Studios (or Islands of Adventure) and enjoy all the CityWalk action, then return back to the parks without needing another ticket.
20. Get a Milkshake at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
On your trip to Universal Studios you must stop in CityWalk on your way out and have one of the famous Toothsome Chocolate Emporium milkshakes!
Its’ not only an Instagram worthy photo spot, it’s also a must have treat because it’s absolutely delicious.
21. Don’t Forget About Free Water
Tap water is free at any restaurant inside Universal Studios and some quick service locations. So, be sure to bring your own water bottle to fill it up during the day.
22. Grab the Best Souvenirs at Universal Studios Orlando
No trip to Universal Studios is complete without the best souvenirs to remember your day.
One of my best Universal Studios Orlando tips is to check Amazon for souvenirs at a cheaper price.
Let’s go through some of the top items you must get on your trip.
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter wand
- Giant Simpsons doughnut
- Wizard Robe
- Universal Studios T-shirts
- Key Chains
- Universal Orlando Trading Pins
Hipster Power Tip: Visit the Universal Legacy Store. They have the most unique Universal Orlando relics and souvenirs that would make any theme park fan jealous.
23. Have Fun!
Whether you’re on your own adult solo Universal Orlando vacation or if you’re with friends, you will have fun!
What to Know Before You Go to Universal Studios Florida
Now that we have the beginner tips for Universal Studios Florida covered, let’s go through some of the top questions I’m frequently asked for your next trip to this incredible theme park!
What’s the best itinerary for Universal Studios Orlando?
You’ll want to save time on your Universal Orlando trip, so you must have a game-plan to save time and see the most popular attractions.
You can grab your FREE Universal Orlando Resort Guidebook here!
What time does Universal Studios open?
Universal Studios Florida is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. in the regular season and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the peak season.
Hours may change based on the busyness of the park.
Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide
How much does it cost to go to Universal Studios in Florida?
What should I do first at Universal Studios Orlando?
One of the best Universal Studios Orlando tips that I can give you is to start at Diagon Alley first.
This Harry Potter-inspired area will fill up quickly making the line for the main attraction, Escape from Gringotts, extremely long.
Join the Conversation on the Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Community on Facebook!
My Final Thoughts on the Best Universal Studios Orlando Tips
Universal Studios Florida is one of the best theme parks in the world! You around bound to have an amazing time if you plan the right way and follow these tips.
Now go out there and start your Universal Orlando theme park adventure today!
Let me know your best Universal Studios Orlando tips in the comment section below?
If you enjoyed the Universal Studios Orlando Tips, then you’ll love these:
- Universal Studios One-Day Itinerary
- Islands of Adventure One-Day Itinerary
- Best Photo Spots at Islands of Adventure
- Diagon Alley Complete Guide
- Best Photo Spots at Universal Studios
- A Celebration of Harry Potter Tips and Tricks
- 7 Ways to Enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade
- What You Need to Pack for Universal Orlando
- Top Money Saving Websites for Theme Parks
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
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: June 1, 2019/Updated July 21, 2023)