When you are visiting Universal Studios Florida, you will definitely get plenty of thrills and the opportunity to relive your favorite movie moments. However, you may be wondering how to navigate the park with your family. There are things to do here for all ages but also some things you should know when visiting with kids. Check out our complete guide to visiting with kids for tips to enjoy the park with your whole family!
Arriving at the Park
When you visit the Universal Orlando Resort, you have easy access to both Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure once you arrive at Universal CityWalk. Depending on where you are staying, you may arrive by boat, walking, bus or parking in one of the parking garages. If you are not staying on-site, you will have to walk through Universal CityWalk to enter the park.
Regardless of where you are staying, you should plan to arrive early! On-site guests are encouraged to use the Early Park Admission that they get for staying at one of the resort hotels. This allows earlier access into the parks and the ability to ride some of the participating attractions sooner.
When you visit Universal Studios, I suggest packing your park bag based on the age of your children. If you have young children or babies, you will likely need more items in your park bag. This may include baby care items, snacks, and a reusable cup with a lid. I also recommend carrying at least one set of extra clothes, in a disposable zipper bag.
As your children get older, you will likely need less with you. Universal Orlando offers lockers to hold your personal items while you ride the attractions. Many of the attractions at the park do not allow you to bring your park bags with you. The lockers are available free of charge while you ride.
I do recommend using a fanny pack to carry necessities such as your cell phone, phone charger and cord, cash or credit/debit cards, and any other important items. You are permitted to bring this with you on most attractions.
One other item that I suggest is a lanyard. It is always fun for kids to choose the design they want and you can purchase a resealable cardholder. This will give you easy access to your park ticket, room key, etc. This will be especially convenient if you have the Express Pass.
Characters & Unique Experiences
At Universal Studios, you will find several different characters participating in socially distanced interactions. However, there are several opportunities for fun memories to be made with your kids!
The newest addition at Universal Studios is the “Dreamworks Destination” Interactive Character Experience. Here, you can meet, take photos and even dance with some of your favorites from movies including Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, and more!
Then, even the youngest Harry Potter fan needs to visit Diagon Alley! Tucked away near King’s Cross Station, your child’s face is bound to light up as they walk through the entrance for the first time and see the dragon sitting on top of Gringott’s Bank! Be sure to stop by the Leaky Cauldron for a bite to eat. Don’t forget to look up for a peek at where Harry stayed before heading off to Hogwarts. Then, you can watch the wand choose the wizard at the Ollivander’s Wand Experience.
One of the best things about visiting the Universal Orlando Resort is all of the amazing thrill rides. The parks are great for the whole family but you may be wondering how the thrill-seekers in the family can still experience everything with younger ones coming along too. Child Swap is a feature that makes doing this not only possible but pretty seamless! I am a mom of 4 and can’t say enough about the convenience of Child Swap, especially because my older kids love all the thrills! There are even waiting areas where the little ones can sit while the “big kids” ride the attraction.
One of the most popular attractions at Universal Studios is Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and it’s great for younger visitors! Be on the lookout as you exit the attraction too – you may find a Minion or two, ready for a dance party! This attraction is included with Early Park Admission too. For the Harry Potter fan, I suggest heading to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts too. This attraction is also open for Early Park Admission so I recommend heading there as soon as possible. The height requirement here is 42″ but using the child swap feature is always an option too.
Make sure you also stop by Fievel’s Playland, which is recently reopened. This fun play area is perfect for all ages. It is based on the lovable animated character Fievel Mousekewitz, from An American Tail and Fievel Goes West. Even if they are not familiar with the character, they will have a blast exploring this playground based on the films!
There are a few shows that your kids may enjoy too. When you’re in Diagon Alley, take a listen as Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees sing some wizardly favorites. Then, make sure you stop by “Animal Actors on Location!” This show is bound to bring plenty of smiles for any age as you watch animals of all kinds make a little mischief and show off what they can do to get their next big acting role! You may even recognize a few from a favorite show or movie!
No visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is complete without trying one of the many forms of Butterbeer! Make sure that you grab one to try and take that coveted photo of the Butterbeer Mustache! It’s kind of a rite of passage for any Harry Potter fan and makes for a very cute photo opportunity! You can find Butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, and the Fountain of Fair Fortune. My personal favorite is Butterbeer ice cream. You can find this, and several other options, at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.
For a great sit-down meal, I like Finnegan’s Bar and Grill. This restaurant authentic Irish dishes but the menu is kid-friendly too.
For a kid-friendly quick-service meal, I recommend Mel’s Drive-In. You can’t go wrong with the menu here – burgers and milkshakes are sure to please the kids!
Regardless of your child’s age, you can have a great time exploring all that this fun park has to offer!
Are you considering a trip? This is a great time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands.
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