Universal’s Islands Of Adventure: A Family Trip For The Records @UniversalORL

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

I FINALLY have a minute to sit down and tell you all about the WONDERS of Universal Studios. You heard about the MISSION we took to get down to Orlando, Florida. Now, it’s time to see why it was all worthwhile.

After we checked into our fab hotel and dropped our bags off, we LITERALLY drove right to Universal Studios. A few years ago, I visited with a group of bloggers to attend a press preview for the Harry Potter reveal. But my kids have never seen the MAGIC that is Universal Studios!! We kept amping it the entire ride down. They are adrenaline junkies. Obsessed with fast-paced, action packed adventures and believe me – this place has that covered.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

There are two different parks that you can visit and they are divided by Universal City Walk. We started off by visiting Islands of Adventure. As soon as you walk in, you are welcomed by a loop roller coaster that will make you squeal! Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

And Marvel fans will rejoice because there is an entire section dedicated to heroes and villains. The children loved Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall (insert evil laugh here). While my husband took them on a few times (thanks to the ticket that we purchased – we were able to skip the lines and really enjoy the park — more on that in a bit), I had the opportunity to explore the park with my youngest son, Caleb. Talk about paying attention to detail! Even the newspaper stands had fake papers inside to make you feel like you were really in the moment. Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family VacationHere’s what I love about Islands of Adventure – every section is 100% different than the last. As you walk through Universal Studios, you are catapulted into different worlds. From action heroes to Jurassic Park in a blink of an eye! Once we hit the jungle, the mood shifted, the gift stores changed, the music did a 180. I mean… talk about paying attention to detail!

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

And even though it wasn’t the warmest day on the books, my kids convinced me to check out a water ride. I thought that I would get a sprinkle. Um… nope! We got drenched. My kids were HYSTERICALLY laughing and BEGGED me to go on again! It was a great family moment.  Every time I see this picture, it makes me smile. Isn’t that what vacations are all about? This is one memory we will never forget – and it happened at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family VacationUniversal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

As soon as you walk into the Harry Potter section, you see Hogwarts. What a TREAT for movie fans! I mean… it’s flipping Hogwarts! Natalie was besides herself and to be honest with you… so was I. The very first time I saw that castle, I almost cried. It looks like you are IN THE MOVIE. They really outdid themselves here in the Harry Potter section. Immediately, we grabbed some ButterBeer from an outdoor stand and took a nice, long sip.
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

As you walk through the town, you can go in and out of all the stores at your leisure. Whether you want to buy a wand or an owl, some jumping jelly beans or more — you will find it HERE. Everyone was excited – the young and the old. And PS, in case you are keeping track, we bought it all.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family VacationEven though the line was long, we waited for the Harry Potter ride in Islands of Adventure because it is the best ride I have ever seen in MY LIFE. I’m not kidding. I was amping this ride up for WEEKS before we actually got down to Orlando and everyone in my family STILL freaked out after they rode it. It’s that good. I am a ride fanatic – there isn’t a better ride out there.

Did you hear me? I’m not kidding.

I’ve been telling people this for years. This isn’t just for this post. Every friend I know has heard me say this. The Islands of Adventure Harry Potter ride is IT.

We did the “child swap” because of Caleb which meant that Liam and Natalie got to go twice. They were SO HAPPY!

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Family Vacation

There’s a few things I want to tell you about before I end this post. Here’s a little FAQ about things I learned:

How Can I Buy Tickets?

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Right now there is a deal happening online — if you buy 2 days, you get the third day free. We went for two days and believe me, this is a DEAL!

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Only have one day? You can visit both parks at once with one ticket! There’s a deal on that too. You will need to opt for the Park to Park ticket.

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How Can I Skip The Regular Line?

If you choose the Universal Express Pass, you will be able to skip regular lines and speed up your park waiting time. We paid for the one that lets you go on the rides an unlimited amount of time and ended up never going on a ride twice. If I were you, I would opt for the “1x a ride” option. It’s cheaper and you won’t miss out!

Are There Benefits To Staying On Property?

Yes! If you stay a Universal Orlando Resort, you will enjoy the following:

Value Hotel

  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required).
  • Complimentary shuttle buses and walking paths to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk®.
  • Resort-wide charging privileges using your room key
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchases throughout the resort back to your hotel

Deluxe Hotel

Enjoy all the benefits listed above, plus:

  • FREE Universal ExpressSM Unlimited ride access^ to SKIP THE REGULAR LINES in both theme parks all day, a benefit worth up to $89** per person, per day (valid theme park admission required).
  • Complimentary water taxis, shuttle buses, and walking paths to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk®
  • Priority seating at select restaurants throughout both theme parks and Universal CityWalk®

Something to think about!! I mean — the Deluxe Hotel is really appealing to me if they throw in FREE Universal Express for each person PER DAY! WOWOWOWOOWOW

I have another post coming up talking about my second day at the park. Be on the lookout. For now, please check out my video of our trip. This shows BOTH DAYS – so you are getting a sneak peek at my upcoming post. AHHHH

* company offered tickets for review

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