Universal Orlando Resort is known as the home of some of the most intense attractions at any theme park in Central Florida. Thrill-seekers flock to Universal to get their adrenaline pumping on intense coasters like Rip Ride Rockit and The Incredible Hulk making the resort popular with tweens and teens. Older kids aren’t the only ones who get to have fun at Universal Orlando Resort though, and there’s actually quite a few lands and experiences made just for little ones. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to see and do with a young child so that everyone has a great time on your next Universal Orlando vacation.
Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone
Universal Studios Florida is home to a section made specifically for the younger set. Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone is located between the Hollywood and Springfield sections of the park and features shows, a play area and rides featuring characters like Curious George and E.T. Kids can enjoy a performance from a friendly purple dinosaur at A Day in the Park with Barney or watch talented pets from the movies at Animal Actors on Location! Guests 38″ and taller can take a whirlwind ride on the zippy Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster. This area is a great place to take your smaller family members to play off some energy as well at the Fievel’s Playland playground. This section also contains the KidZone Pizza Company which should satisfy most kid appetites.
Universal’s SuperStar Parade
Universal Studios Florida’s daily parade is perfect for little ones. The SuperStar Parade transforms the streets of the park into an interactive moving performance featuring kid favorites like Spongebob Squarepants, the Minions, Dora the Explorer and characters from the Secret Life of Pets movies. The parade includes massive themed floats as well as lively dancers who take time to play with the crowd. This is a great way to get your little one to take a short break during your touring. Crowds for this parade aren’t usually high and there’s almost always a spot to sit on the curb.
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons
While younger guests may not be familiar with The Simpsons, they might still find enjoyment in this area. A section of Springfield is set up with Simpsons themed carnival games. These aren’t the rigged games that most of us know from real carnivals of the past though, and every player wins something. Little ones love the chance to play a game and walk away with a prize and there are a few here that require almost no skill to win. Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl is a great ride for smaller guests and is a set of spinning structures that whip riders around in spaceships carried by massive green aliens. This is a fairly innocuous ride with no height requirement.
Marvel Super Hero Island
If your little one already has the superhero bug, then you’ll want to take them to check out Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This area looks like it came straight out of a comic book with massive colorful structures and Marvel artwork plastered on the walls. While all of the rides at Marvel Super Hero Island have height requirements of at least 40″ or taller, younger guests can enjoy meet and greets with favorite heroes like Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America.
The Toon Lagoon section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a bit tricky when it comes to smaller guests. This area is themed to newspaper comic strips of the past like Beetle Bailey and Popeye. While most younger guests will most likely have no clue who these characters are, the area is still a fun and silly spot to explore and also contains more carnival games like those found in Springfield: Home of the Simpsons. If your little one is into games, this can be a great diversion from your normal touring.
Our next stop for younger guests is probably the best area for kids at either of Universal Orlando’s parks. Suess Landing is a land where the stories from everyone’s favorite silly author come to life. Guests can rub elbows with The Cat in the Hat, take a spin on One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, or enjoy an elevated tour of the land in the High in the Sky Suess Trolley Train Ride. Everything in this land is oversized and colorful making it a great place for younger ones to explore and have fun. Costumed characters like The Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2 make regular appearances as well.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
While younger guests may not be old enough to enjoy the books and films or ride the rides, the magic and fun of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can still delight almost anyone. Both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are filled to the brim with wacky details and entertaining performances. One of the most enjoyable aspects of these areas, the interactive wand experience, can be enjoyed by anyone old enough to hold a magic wand. Seeing a child’s face light up as they perform a spell that makes it rain or lights up a building can be a magical experience in itself.
Guests with younger kids who are fans of costumed characters can take advantage of two character meals offered at the resort year-round as well as a Christmas dining experience at the holidays. Breakfast is served with a side of Minion mayhem at the Despicable Me Character Breakfast located in the Pacifica Ballroom at Loews Royal Pacific Resort and little heroes can suit-up for dinner with their favorite icons at the Marvel Character Dinner in Cafe 4 at Marvel Superhero Island. During the holidays Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Suess Landing hosts the Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast full of holiday Whoville cheer (it should be noted that this experience is based on the 2000 movie starring Jim Carrey, not the book or animated versions).
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Some Photos Courtesy Universal