You did it! You booked a Universal Orlando Resort vacation! Whether this is your first time or you've been many times before, I'm excited to let you know that Universal is constantly adding new and fun experiences, rides, restaurants and shows. There will definitely be more to do than you can accomplish in one trip - so let's talk about your highest priorities and make plans together!
Your Universal Orlando Resort Resource = ME!
Before you travel, open this webpage on your mobile device so you can refer here as you go! The URL is https://www.3dtravelcompany.com/destinations/universal-orlando/plan-and-go
Your Resort Hotel
- As you check in to your hotel, you'll only receive your room-key card to get into your room at the check-in desk.
- You will also use your room key card as your Universal Express Pass*
- You will need to then receive any tickets or add-ons at the Vacation Planning Desk in your hotel lobby or Guest Services at the front of each park. Each Universal Resort has self-service machines available as well as a ticket desk open during scheduled hours. You should be able to use a credit card to identify yourself, but bring any receipts I sent you, just in case.
- Universal Resort hotels are heavily themed with special experiences, from Bocce Ball at Portofino Bay to retro workouts and bowling at Cabana Bay to free guitar rentals and lessons at Hard Rock, you'll find many hidden ways to make memories at your hotel! Ask for current details at check-in or anytime at the concierge desk.
- Plan ahead for your parking fees of $15 - $28 per day.
- All Universal Orlando Resort pools are accessible to you as a Universal Resort hotel guest. Pool hopping is as easy as walking out the front door of your resort and asking for complimentary transportation! NOTE: Guests staying at Endless Summer Resorts do not have pool hopping privileges.
- *The Universal Express Pass is complimentary for guests of select Universal Orlando Resort hotels - Portofino Bay, Royal Pacific & Hard Rock - and available for purchase for any park guest. Please let me know if you'd like to add this to your tickets for your stay at Cabana Bay, Sapphire Falls, or an offsite resort.
CityWalk - Dining and Entertainment
Not only can you experience thrills and fun during the day, your multi-day passes to the parks will also get you into all the fun clubs after hours. How long has it been since you giggled at someone singing karaoke? Or maybe you have the music in YOU?
Families enjoy whimsical restaurants, along with mini-golf and movies. There are tons of dining, shopping, and entertainment options to be had!
Universal's CityWalk is a destination for locals and really comes alive after the parks close, especially on the weekends. You'll visit every day as you walk through it to get to the parks. Water launches take you from select resort hotels directly to Citywalk, or you can also choose to walk to your resort - it's a lovely walk! Bus transportation is also available and drops guests off by the Parking Deck and Security Hub, where you will then enter CityWalk.
Universal Theme Parks
Do you have your park-to-park ticket? You'll need it to ride Hogwarts Express between the two parks. At some point during your stay, hop back on and ride it the other way for a completely different experience!
Unlike other area theme parks, if you encounter crowding, you can actually choose to visit again in the late afternoon as crowds begin to filter out, particularly with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley. You can also keep an eye on the wait time via the Official Universal Orlando Resort App, and switch parks when needed!
With the more adventurous attractions, you'll often be required to put your loose items into lockers to protect yourself and others. They're free (where required)!
The attractions are not quite as big & tall-friendly as Disney theme parks. No worries though, there are always seats where you can test and make sure you'll fit. If the light turns green, you're good to go! If it doesn't, still take the time to walk through the lines and enjoy your family and the theming. You'll have a nice air-conditioned place to wait until they get off, then you can all walk back out together.
Dining Reservations and Special Experiences
Dining Reservations are highly recommended for Tabke Service meals, especially at CityWalk Table Service restaurants. While not required, attendance has been increasing and wait times as well.
Good To Know!
Universal has amazing theme parks, rides, shows, experiences, and dining. There are two areas I want you to be aware of as you travel. Also, please reach out to me if you need help, not only as we plan your stay but even as you arrive and experience Universal Orlando Resort. If something goes wrong, I can often do more to help while you're there and it never bothers me when you reach out!
Technology at Universal Orlando Resort - otherwise known as "Just how many tickets and cards does one family need?!?
Hotels - Universal Orlando Resort has 8 amazingly wonderful hotels to choose from, and when you check in to your resort hotel you will receive a card for each member of your group to get in the door.
Tickets - Whatever type of tickets you purchased, you'll receive one ticket per member of your group.
Express Pass - If you're staying at Portofino Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, or Royal Pacific or you purchased Express passes, you will use your room key to access the front of the line!
Special Dining/Entertainment Experiences - We are thrilled to help you plan and book some amazing experiences during your trip. For each one you book, you'll receive another ticket per member of your group.
A lanyard or a travel wallet is a great solution for all those tickets you'll be using!
Universal Orlando Resort is growing and changing rapidly in ways that will benefit you during your entire stay. It's exciting! Occasionally though, we are finding a gap in some of the communication streams and as we uncover them, our entire team learns about them and helps one another. I'd really like that knowledge to benefit you during your vacation, but it won't unless you reach out to me for help if you need help or clarification. Remember, gaps in communication can happen, but you ALWAYS have ME!