Universal Studios Orlando for Adults– 2 Parks and a Magic Wand @UniversalORL #UniversalMoments

By Kach Umandap - Howe January 5th, 2016 Posted in Destination, North America, Travel Blog 41 Comments

In 2012, I had already been to Universal Studios Park in Singapore, but my father told me then time that it was his ultimate dream to go Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Ever since that day, Universal Studios Orlando has been firmly on my bucket list!

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in  Universal Studios Orlando

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios Park
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

I think Universal Studios is much more appropriate for teenagers and young adults, as it’s an action-packed land of thrill and adrenaline rides, compared with the more fantasy and imagination themed Walt Disney World. Universal Studios has two different parks – the first is the original one and the other one is the Universal Studios Islands of Adventures, which I think is bigger. I love them both though!

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

Also, if you are a Harry Potter fan, then this is the place to be! Don’t forget to buy that Magic Wand the get the most out of the whole experience. I promise you, it will be memorable!

This trip was arranged by VISIT ORLANDO and I’m so happy that Universal Studios Orlando gave us Park-to-Park Admission tickets and Universal Express passes!

Our Trip highlights

What I love the most about the rides in Universal Studios is that they are more interactive than the standard roller coaster – combining 3D cinema, special effects, roller coaster thrills and edge-of-your-seat simulation!

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios Orlando
Universal Studios Orlando (Image – Two Monkeys Travel)

While we were there, it was the Christmas season so there were special performances in both of the parks. We had the chance to watch the Grinchmas Who-Holiday Spectacular at the Universal’s Islands of Adventure. After that around 6PM, we went back to Universal Studios to watch the Mannheim Steamroller, #1 top-selling artist of all time in the USA. (They even had an American Sign Language Interpreter during the concert) 

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxTips to enjoy Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Aside from the usual tips that you can read online, here’s our tips based on our recent visit to maximize your time and experience!

1. You need to purchase the Interactive Wand at Ollivanders wand shop located in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

I think it costs around $50 but I promise you, it’ll be worth it. At Ollivanders you’ll also have an opportunity to witness a wand choose a wizard! When you go around the two parks you can create amazing magical experiences – it’s interactive and connected to some of the attractions so you really feel the magic!

2. Get the Universal Express Pass!

SKIP THE REGULAR LINES! The Universal Express pass lets you go through a priority lane to avoid all the queues. When we went it was the Saturday before Christmas and the place was jam-packed, so having that Express Pass allowed us to experience a lot of rides throughout the day. We literally saved hours’ worth of queuing time!  Also, it’s limited but I highly suggest that you purchase it once you’re already inside the park so that you know if it’s really worth buying it or not. They also have a single rider lane that lets you skip the regular line, which is also very handy and occasionally faster than the Express Lane!

3. Take the Hogwarts Express to change parks

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

Universal Studios Orlando has two different parks and if you have a park-to-park admission ticket then you can board the 15 minute Hogwarts Express and travel between King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade Station in Universal Studio Islands of Adventure.

4. Don’t bring a big bag!

Most of the rides in Universal Studios won’t let you carry a bag, cellphone or anything that could fall even if you have zip pocket! So you have to leave your bag in lockers which they provide. The lockers are small, digital boxes and are complimentary for a fixed time in some rides where the lines are long, whilst for others you will have to pay it. Big bags won’t fit!

5. Enjoy the food at the Universal City Walk

Instead of eating inside the Universal parks, get out and go to the City Walk! There are different restaurant options from Asia food, fast food chains and even fine dining! It’s worth it!

Also the City Walk has the Universal Cineplex 20 with IMAX, Hollywood Drive-in Gold, Live Music and Nightclubs!

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxAwesome Rides and Shows for Adults

Most of the rides are incredible but if you only have a day pass and have to visit both of the Parks then below are our personal recommendations!

(The description of each ride is the official description from Universal Studios Orlando)

Universal Studios Orlando

 1. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

“Get ready to take your music for a ride on this outdoor roller coaster.”

The line here is long, so do this as early as possible! Loose articles are not permitted. Free lockers are available for this ride.

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

 2. TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D

“Take part in an epic, 3D battle between Megatron and the Decepticons”

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

3. Revenge of the Mummy

“Plunge into darkness on this indoor roller coaster and face an army of mummies!”

Loose articles are not permitted. Free lockers are available during a visit to this site!

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

4. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – a MUST!

“Step inside Gringotts, the goblin-run bank, and venture deep underground to the vaults. Here you’ll encounter many familiar characters – not all of them friendly – on a multi-dimensional thrill ride that puts you right in the middle of the action.”

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

5. Fear Factor Live

“Put yourself to the test at the most extreme audience participation show ever. For the chance to compete in Fear Factor Live, casting for the attraction will take place 70 minutes prior to each show at the kiosk located in front of the stadium. Contestants must be 18 years or older with a valid Photo ID.”

6. Terminator 2: 3D

“Join forces with the TERMINATOR in this futuristic mix of live action and 3D Film!”

7. Men in Black: Alien Attack

“Test your alien-zapping skills in this interactive ride through MIB agent training!”

Note: Loose articles are not permitted. Free lockers are available during a visit to this ride.

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

1. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

“Careen through the streets and get hurled into a 3D web of pulse-pounding thrills!”

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

2. Jurassic Park River Adventure

“Escape from Raptors and a hungry T-rex in this thrilling river raft ride!” (Optional Lockers Available, you have to pay! Please note that you can get wet during this ride)

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios Orlando
Universal Studios Orlando (Image – Two Monkeys Travel)

3. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – a MUST!

“Make your way through the classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts and soar high above the castle on an unforgettable breathtaking adventure.”

Note: Loose articles are not permitted. Free lockers are available during a visit to this ride.

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

4. Dragon Challenge

“Climb aboard one of two ferocious dragons that twist and loop in a high-speed roller coaster ride.”

Note: Loose articles are not permitted. Free lockers are available during a visit to this ride.

Two Monkeys Travel - Universal Studios Park
Universal Studios ©2013 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

5. Poseidon’s Fury

“Explore the ruins of Poseidon’s ancient temple in this special effects guided tour.”

6. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

“Hop in a log and hang on for a wild and wet flume ride.”

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 px

Some of the information above is from the official Universal Orlando website, so is subject to change. Our entrance tickets were complimentary, courtesy of Universal Orlando, but all opinions are our own.

Note: This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of Visit Orlando for our itinerary in Orlando, Visit Florida, the official tourism office of Florida in Tallahassee and especially Ms. Summer Gilhousen, who arranged the whole trip and coordinated with all the local tourism boards, private companies for our sponsored hotel stays, tours and car rental. Thank you!

Thank you to everyone we met along the way who all helped to make this such a special experience. It was an incredible first visit to the USA and I will never forget it!

Monkey Dividers

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41 thoughts on “Universal Studios Orlando for Adults– 2 Parks and a Magic Wand @UniversalORL #UniversalMoments

  1. Thanks for the list! I’m going this month and bought the Park-to-Park, but I’ve only been to IoA before and didn’t really know what was recommended for the Universal side. Also wanted to let you know, you put the Ripsaw Falls picture under the Jurassic Park heading.

  2. The innovation and magical fuse at Universal studio. I am fan of Harry Potter and my partner loves these toys/robots. Perfect place to enjoy our favorites

    1. That’s cool Elaine. Can’t wait for you and your parnter’s visit in Universal Studios Orlando. 🙂

  3. A magical place where family or friends can also enjoy. Would love to see this with my family, hopefully next year.

  4. Been a fan of harry potter for years and so too see it in the Universal Studio will be a dream come true.

    1. #dreamsdocometure Sheila. You will enjoy the Universal Studios Orlando and let that harry potter fan in you rejoice. 🙂

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 136 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she got married then a year later bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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