my Universal experience

My bestie asked for some helpful hints about a visit to Universal Orlando, so here goes. I just went 2 weeks ago, so this is a recent, and December experience! It should be mentioned that I am NOT a big theme park person, but I did want to experience Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

1. As to telling you what order to do what ride, truly download the Orlando Universal Apps, there is one that specifically tells you how long the waits are. Even though we had Express Passes, the non-express pass folks never waited more than 20 minutes for anything. This is apparently a great time of year to go--Disney AND Universal in Jan., according to my sources. Also, I'm a big fan of just starting in the back and working my way forward so by the end of the day I'm close to the exit.

2. When it comes to Harry Potter, I agree with this article:
3. Go to Harry Potter part of the park first, it was the busiest section of the park, so try and beat the crowds. Make sure to go into everything and watch for all the cool little effects--even non HP fans will be impressed.

Make sure to ride the Hogwarts Express (the train) from London to Hogwarts, and back--you see different things heading in both directions. Pretty cool.

4. Park food is expensive, it just is, but I enjoyed and didn't find the food overly expensive at either Mythos or The Leaky Cauldron (this is in HP World). Definitely would recommend both. DO NOT eat at the Fantastic Four Cafe. I could have used their pizza as a doorstop.

5. If you want to do the water rides: Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Ride, Jurassic Park River, and Dudley Do Right Falls (one of my favorite rides) DO them last thing before you leave so you can change out of your wet clothes!

6. Wear lanyards with your park passes in them! This not only keeps them safe on water rides, but then you don't have to worry about fishing them out of your pockets all the time.

7. If you bring a bag to the park, there are tons of FREE lockers near the rides you can't take the bags onto. The lockers are free for a certain amt. of time which means you can ride the ride, then move to the next ride(s) and lockers. Not a bad system, really.

8. I would ABSOLUTELY suggest skipping the Terminator ride. It was GOD AWFUL. I say the same for Shrek, but your kids might enjoy it.


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