When thinking about your next Florida theme park vacation, it’s easy to focus on Disney. Heck, we LOVE Disney and go every change we get. But after spending some time at Universal Orlando Resort on our most recent trip south, we couldn’t help but notice how great those parks have become! From top-of-the-line attractions to a new (amazing) water park to fun in the sun for kids AND adults, Universal Orlando Resort packs it all in and at a pretty reasonable price!
We’re taking time today to look at 10 reasons why you should make Universal Orlando Resort (UOR) a part of your next Florida vacation!
10. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
We’re starting our list with the newest attraction at Universal Studios, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. It’s a “flying screen” 3D simulator that puts you up against Jimmy Fallon in a race through the streets, skies and rivers of New York. Look, we’ll shoot straight – the ride itself is just OK, but it’s worth visiting just to see the meticulous recreation of 30 Rockefeller Center – the building in New York where NBC films The Tonight Show – which provides the setting for the line and queue. You’ll run into some well known characters from The Tonight Show including the Ragtime Gals and Hashtag the Panda. And speaking of that queue, Race Through New York is the first Universal attraction to feature a “virtual queue” which allows you to reserve a spot in line online and then return when it’s time. Disney fans will recognize the process as being very similar to Fast Pass +, but it’s a first for Universal.
9. Annual Pass Holder Perks, Prices and Prestige!
It may seem like we’re jumping the gun here, but we’ve found if you are planning to stay at UOR for more than two days, you should definitely look into getting an annual pass. While all Florida theme parks offer some variation of an annual pass, it’s become an almost cult-like status at Universal! Resort. On any given day, you’ll see thousands of people with their annual passes attached to lanyards around their neck! On our most recent visit, when we took the plunge to become annual passholders, we were pumped to join the lanyard club! We’ve found that the pricing is reasonable and there are enough variations on the annual passes to fit anyone budget and park-hopping style. Each kind of annual pass also comes with certain on-property discounts that can be used for souvenirs and food. We decided on the three-park annual pass (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the new water theme park, Volcano Bay), but you check out the options and see what works best for you and your family!
8. Great water rides
We know that most folks who are able to do a Florida theme park vacation often go in the summer when kids are out of school. So in addition to be a hotter time of the year, summer also means HEAT – and in Florida, that often means high humidity, sweltering heat! That’s why it’s fun to visit parks with great water rides to cool you off. Fortunately UOR has some of the best water rides around! In addition to the new water theme park, Volcano Bay, (which we’ll talk about later), UOR has two world-class water attractions almost ride beside each other at Islands of Adventure! We highly recommend both Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and the Jurassic Park River Adventure when you’re in need of a fun ride and a cool down! Dudley’s Ripsaw Falls is half roller coaster/half flume ride and it’s constantly ranked as one of the best water rides in the world. River Adventure takes you directly into the heart of everyone’s favorite dino theme park, Jurassic Park. Both rides combine perfect theming with high-level thrills that will keep you coming back for me. Just a reminder though – you will get SOAKED on both of these rides, so plan accordingly!