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Navigating Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure ~ Theme Park Guide

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

~~ What to expect and planning accordingly ~~

Universal Studios creates a Universe, complete with every detail imaginable. Wizarding World of Harry Potter has become the signature world among Jurassic, Marvel Superhero Island, Seussville, and others. The Harry Potter franchise touched so many lives, and that is evident by the number of cloaked muggles walking around with their wands and magic spells. For those who have read the books, or enjoyed the movies, you can live the experience yourself. Soundtrack, relics, and the recreation of our favorite locations are enchanting. Is it fun to get caught up in the moment and let yourself play like a child? Of course! And that's what we're here for. The way that Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios connect the Wizarding World of Happy Potter creates a unique experience for visitors, and this Theme Park Guide will help you navigate you time.


My Favorite things: Dragons, fire & butterbeer

January 2022 - Once a year Universal offers a buy one get one deal through Wendy’s or other local partners. The soda cups had the redeemable offer for a BOGO - 2 park 1 day pass. Meaning for $180.00 you'll get 2 days' worth of both parks. March 2023 the deal was buy two days, get two days free. And in June 2023 it was buy one day get two days free. In other words - Check those resident specials! You may save more than if you purchase the monthly passes.


Because we live in the neighboring county and have busy lives, these are the best offers for me to take advantage of. I watch for the deals and jump on them so I can get my Harry Potter fill.

But as always, I have specific wishes to make my visits complete.


1st. Purchase the ticket type that is right for you.

This can be confusing as there are many options, including yearly passes. Consider the Holidays times to AVOID at all costs. Weekends should be avoided if at all possible also. The crowds limit access and everything you want to do will take longer.

2nd Download the App.

Make your planning easier, accessing maps, wait times and menus. You can attach your ticket for additional ease.

3rd Decide what you want most out of your day.

Several factors beyond your control will impact this including: weather, crowds, and ride function. So have a top 3 – 5 things you want to do and then prioritize your wish list.

I recommend VelociCoaster, Hagrid's Motorbikes, and Gringotts as high-quality rides, The Hulk and Rip Ride Rockit are thrill coasters, but not for everyone. Some of the 3D rides can also be hard on the motion senses. Whatever you decide to ride, don't miss out on butterbeer.

4th – Making your daily itinerary, I suggest starting your day with the smoother rides and ending with the rougher rides. For anyone who has ever had their brain rattled by Rip Ride Rockit you will understand what I mean. Don’t begin with rides that might make you sick or leave you with a head ache. Start with easy/fun and end with crazy. Now that’s different for everyone, and depending on motion sickness and tolerance of roller coasters it is your individual choice. Remember, you might now get to everything but it's still good to prioritize all you wish to accomplish in one day.

~~ Just outside Velociraptor ~~

~~ The perfect day~~

We started our day at Islands of Adventure because my top 2 choices were there: Hagrid’s and VelociCoaster. I'd read the reviews. I waited, I was ready to experience the newest rides in the park!! 2 planners together at the theme park made this day a success. Communication with those in your party is key to having fun!


We woke up early and drove over from neighboring Brevard County.

Those staying on Universal property can take advantage of early park entry, where certain rides are available beginning at 8 am, 1 hour earlier than admission. One of the early options is Hagrid’s, so that line is already at least an hour long when you walk in at 9 (it was 2 hours when we arrived - this is average). The VelociCoaster wait was 25 minutes, so we took advantage of that! By the time we were off, the Hagrid’s line was down to 90 minutes, with no express pass usage. We locked our belongings in the little free locker provided and committed to standing in line.

** Navigate and be willing to work those wait times against your priorities for the day.

Roller Coaster tracks, ooooh exciting!

VelociCoaster Review: Speed Smooth Speed.

A great ride that will propel you forward and whip you upside down and all around. With out the head rattle that sometimes accompanies those fast-moving roller coasters. My hair was literally sticking straight up in the air, or down toward the ground when I spiraled around - Fun Fun Fun! As fast as it is it's still pretty smooth!


Hagrid’s Review: Once the Dueling Dragon’s Ride, this ride was revamped to create a space for our favorite Game Keeper and Care of Magical Creature’s Teacher. The line itself is so great and filled with some good HP relics. Circle the hut, complete with pumpkins. If you didn’t lock your camera/ phone in a locker there are lots of good photo ops along the way. Once on the ride, you can drive the motorcycle or sit in the side cart. They nailed the Hagrid experience, as far as creating a tribute, this ride is not your typical coaster. It will catch you off guard, which was my favorite thing about it. My son who hadn't been in a while forgot about the little surprise and found it amazing.


Hulk Review: Whoa!!!! You go so fast it's incredible. This ride speeds up from 0 to 40 mph in 2 seconds. You feel that rush. Propelled out of the tube from the beginning you feel the pulse of explosion. Well created. Max speed is 67 mph but you'll feel like you're going 100. The roller coaster ride itself lasts over 2 minutes which is long for such a thrill, to me making it worth the wait. (which varies but can be excessive) You will flip, spiral, corkscrew, cobra roll, and experience a 0 - G inverted plunge of 105 feet. It's a lot at once. Thrilling. A bit head rattling. I've been in the single rider side which took as long as the regular side.


Lunch: We planned on lunch at the 3 Broomsticks following the first two heavy hitter showstopper coasters. In this establishment you wait online to order, wait online to get food, and wait briefly again to be seated. **The new system allows you to preorder your food in the app. You enter your table number once you are seated and like magic your food is delivered shortly after. Both food and atmosphere are great. I was happy they offered butter beer and saved myself a pit stop by getting some with lunch, Butterbeer was high on my list. Universal is smart to only sell inside the park, although I’ve many times said I wished they would have a vendor in City Walk…

Inside of the 3 Broomsticks


I wanted to ride Skull Island: Reign of Kong before catching the Hogwarts Express over to the Universal Side. We took pictures at the Castle, but opted not to ride the Forbidden Journey ride which is inside of the castle. I love Harry Potter, but this is one of those rides that makes me soooo dizzy. While the memorabilia is the real attraction in the castle, and will take you right back to the movies in a touch your soul way, the right itself is hard on the eyes. I will say the parts of the ride that are in the forest or castle are awesome, the 3D/ 4D parts are just not up to par.


Flight of the hippogriff is less intense, and a fun ride but we'd both already done this so decided to focus on certain things. **On day two it was harder to pass up - a quick ride but twisty turvy fun and scenic, it should be experienced. The Pumpkin Patch and Hagrid's hut are pretty awesome.


Bouncing over to Jurassic Park we got right on Kong and went through the jungle, enjoying that expedition. Rider's load into a jeep type vehicle and ride through the dangerous land filled with huge fighting creatures.

Skull Island waiting room, uncrowded

Back into the Wizarding World to ride the train over to Universal. Wait time was short, and we were able to jump in and head over.


Sharing a car with other Harry Potter enthusiast’s is always fun. Every time I ride, I make new friends. 🌞


Once we were loose in London, we took in the sights: Grimmauld place, The Night Bus, Ministry Payphone, ahhhh we've arrived. The cut through little side hall into Diagon Alley is easy to miss, adding to it’s allure.

Stepping off the train into London....


Diagon Alley:

It automatically seems a little darker in the alley. Watching the kids with their wands make magic happen all through this street creates excitement. The Leaky Cauldron waits for patrons to step inside and become a part of the story. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes has all kinds of souvenirs. Knockturn Alley is a creep around the corner into the dark side of the wizarding world. Browse through all your favorite titles from the movies, and even enjoy some butterbeer. But the biggest feature here is the fire breathing dragon sitting on top of Gringott’s, who lets fire lose every 15 minutes. He grumbles right before he explodes with fire, so try to catch this!

Gringott's Bank, where the wizards keep their fortunes.

Gringott’s is possibly my favorite ride in all of Universal. True to theme, goblins line the walls too busy counting to look up at the line of people coming through,

This ride is fun, mixing Harry Potter adventure with the rushing along of 4K, 3D roller coaster. This one is well done, a great combination of characters and danger.


From Gringotts we decided to check out the newer addition, Fast & Furious Supercharged, which quickly moves people. All those fancy cars set the tone, with movie memorabilia to melt your heart along the line. Fast & Furious always has a great soundtrack, and the line is no different, music while you’re waiting will have you dancing! There's a single rider line which bypasses some of the cool things to see along the way, so if this is your thing, you'll want to just wait in line. The ride preview which sets the tone for the fun features the word "family" tons of times, and that has become the running theme of F&F. Once we loaded onto the tram ready to go, we heard Mia's voice come over the loudspeaker saying there is a delay in the race. They loaded us back off. We stood in the line a little longer. We danced to reggaeton while we waited. After about 10 minutes we were reloading.


The Fast & Furious tram holds many people and has action on both sides of the ride. I felt like I was part of the movie, invited to participate in a new adventure. You guessed it, a freeway chase. Still, the ride itself was underwhelming. I got off disappointed for the first time all day. Compared to Hagrid's and Velocicoaster this is a hard down shift! (My son who came on another trip LOVED this and it was his highlight - for him seeing Paul Walker's Supera made his whole day.)


We turned the corner to Transformer's, The Ride. Whip around the city streets trying to gain control of the All Spark and save the planet. These 3D rides can sometimes make me nauseous, I didn’t find this as dizzying at Spiderman, but more entertaining than Fast & Furious. Bumblebee is a fun kinda guy, of course the kids will love this one.


Next stop: An oldie but goodie, ET. Grab your passport and hop onto your bike, you are going for a ride through the California foothills, this scenic little world is heartwarming. It feels creatively artistic reminding me of It's a Small World at Disney. This one is still on my favorite list. I sat up front and had ET in my bike basket feeling like I was biking my way through the Southern California foothills and flying in front of the full moon.

Here come the Men in Black, the Galaxy Defenders...

From here we wandered on to Men In Black. I like this ride, and the line to get to it, shooting the aliens is fun! A small little wager about who will be the better shot and while I lost, I greatly enjoyed myself. Spinning and shooting is one thing, hitting that red button first will get you the points you need to win!


We thought about riding the train back over to IOA but the line was pretty long, so we grabbed some butterbeer in Diagon Alley and made another plan.

*Cheers, a day well done

At this point we opted for the Rip Ride Rockit. Set your music and get ready to zoom up and over the mountain humps. Whew! This is a fast one, and in contrast from the VelociCoaster which we rode first thing, this ride was NOT smooth, Brain raddled, we got off and wandered to a place where we could sit for a minute, and plan our dinner.

Bob Marley's City Walk

Spun around and hungry, we chose to exit and hit City Walk, Bob Marley’s to eat. Such a fun place to dance at night with the live reggae music playing we learned their menu has been reduced from the covid adjustments. Not seeing what we were looking for, we made plan B popping over to the Chocolate Factory as option #2. Gladly, after a 40-minute wait we were seated upstairs. Our waiter was incredible. The food was delicious. Drinks were well made! Tasty and delicious!


The Chocolate Factory for dinner

Full and happy we made the drive back to Brevard County.

As day one ends, the park was closing, we left, completely pleased with all we accomplished on our first of 2 days in the Park!

Day 1: Order of activities -

~ Entered at 9 am (opening)

~ VelociCoaster

~ Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure

~ The 3 Broomsticks for lunch

~ Skull Island Reign of Kong

~ Hogwart's Express to Universal

~ Escape From Gringott's

~ Fast & Furious Supercharged

~ Transformer's The Ride 3D

~ ET Adventure

~ Men In Black Alien Attack

~ Rip Ride Rockit

~ Dinner at The Chocolate Emporium


It was a busy day, but successful. On an average day Universal holds about 20,000 people.

On this particular day mid-January there were only 7,000. This greatly impacted our ability to move around but I will also say we took advantage of some single rider lines and we were willing to walk/ back track. We were two adults running around like kids ready to hit the next ride! So much fun!!


The Second Visit was also a weekday, February 2022, and here is all we were able to do in one day:

~Entered at 10 am

~Hagrid's Motor Bike Adventure

~Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

~Velocicoster

~Hogwarts Express over to Universal

~Escape From Gringott's

~ Lunch at Richter's Burgers

~ET

~The Bourne Stuntacular ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - See this. AWESOME SHOW.

~Wandered around Diagon Alley

~Olivander's Experience in Diagon Alley

~Hogwarts Express back to Hogsmede

~Flight of the Hippogriff

~ The Night Lights at Hogwarts Castle


** On this day there was a bit more down time as we really wanted to see the Castle Nighttime light show, and missed the first one at 6:35, but stayed for the 6:55 show. Really by 4:00 I completed all the things on my wish list and had a great lunch at Richter's, then sat by the San Francisco Bay enjoying the weather and moment. When I saw the "Beat Builder's show starting (I could hear the music) I knew it was time to clean up lunch and keep moving. Taking in the sights and wandering around just forgetting the map is fun too. Sometimes it's nice to just take in the atmosphere and be present ❤

Hogwarts & Me 💜

Shows:

Recently added is - The Bourne Stuntacular

This show lasts about 30 minutes from pre-show to finale and is truly amazing. I was in the audience trying to figure out HOW did they do that?? Well choreographed and played out!

Beat Builders:

A musical construction worker setting where the guys are making music with the pipes and other materials on the job. Good music, fun moves! I would not have gone out of my way to catch this but definitely worth the 20 minutes!

Olivander's Wand Experience:

This is offered in both Universal and Island's of Adventure. The wand picks this wizard in this wonderful display of how it really works. In each group, one participant is randomly chosen, usually a child :-) This does bring the movie to life.

Nighttime Lights at Hogwart's Castle:

Ohhh this is a don't miss. However, it gets crowded. They block off the right part of the street for those viewing, and the traffic here is a bit much. BUT - TOTALLY WORTH staying till dusk for. It's about 5 minutes of pure magic.

And an example of a perfect not so perfect day....

June 5, 2023 I attended with my three grown children. I'm so happy we can still all opt to hang out and have fun in the parks! We did some Harry Potter Trivia on the way there, and my kids enlisted me as the leader/ navigator for the day (smart kids) but sometimes there are things you can't control.


We arrived shortly after opening, parked on the roof of the ET section, applied sunscreen prior to making our way down through security, and into the Islands of Adventure line. The weather was perfect for June. We had no rain, an occasional breeze and some overcast times. We could see there were a lot of visitors in the park. We made it through Hagrid's and decided to eat before the lunch rush came running. We ate at the Three Broomsticks, entered our order in the app and looked forward to the HP atmosphere - (minimal wait) we enjoyed the family feast meal, butterbeer, and ate WELL. After a stop to look at some wands and get more butterbeer (we just love the streets of Hogsmede) we headed over and rode Velocicoaster. Next, we rode Kong. The line was moving pretty fast! We felt like this seamless day was great!!


However, the afternoon cycle was not working out. The line for the trains between parks was over an hour (making it smarter to just walk over) After waiting in line for the mummy (until the steps, which are practically at boarding) the announcement came that the ride was delayed, and we decided to wait a little. We decided 15 minute was fair since we were so close. But then one of the staff members advised us it may take a while and we exited, walking over to Gringotts. We got settled into the hour long wait and then heard the announcement. Again, delay.


We caught a wand showing in Ollivander's and my son Darrien was picked for the performance! That was definitely a highlight!! We also purchased some wands after the show, my grown children purchased their own interactive wands (mom win), as the wands we got so many years ago were not able to interact around the park. We were informed ALL wands now are interactive. This was definitely fun.


We got some truffle fudge from a sweets shop in Diagon Alley (which was not good and we threw it away). The ice cream lines were wrapped around the buildings, when the dragon blew fire, nothing came out (lol) and then we headed out of the Wizarding World and went over to the Simpsons ride. Now it's been a while and my kids wanted to go, so we rode this 4D roller coaster simulation which has a fun story line and seemed like a good idea. It wasn't. We all felt woozy after. I may be a little motion sensitive, but they are not. Making this the least favorite ride in the park which is too bad. Grabbed a pretzel and Powerade from a close by vendor to help recover (it worked) and hit ET. This is still one of my favorites. We waited longer than I've ever waited for ET but had front row bikes for our adventure in the California redwood forest and to ET's home planet. As we arrived back at Gringotts, they let the last people on the ride right before us and Universal closed at 7pm. Guess what? Train closed too. Bummer. Got our stuff out of the free locker and walked (sprinted) back to the IOA side open until 8 to ride a few more things. After Hulk we were all officially done. Head rattled, hungry, tired, and ready to head out! Theme Park day done right lol.


Positive vs Negative

Now the day wasn't all bad. We rode the MOST amazing rides and have tickets to return again so we will start with those rides first next time. We were in good company. We got wands and good food and perfect weather. But if this was a one-day ticket and we only had this day in the park I'd have been disappointed. Knowing we would be back (soon) gave me some solace that we'd have another chance. Based on my sharing of the first two days itineraries above, this one may look a little short. I share this not to add a negative perspective, but this is realistic expectations for how it could look - it's good to know the possibilities. I see Universal Groups on Facebook that I follow where people share their day and often it includes rides being delayed or experiencing super long waits. I am sharing that there is ALWAYS a great way to circumvent the circumstances that arise. If it's raining, find an indoor line, if one thing is down find another - it's fun to be in the moment and live!


June 2023 Daily Itinerary:

~Hagrid's

~Three Broomsticks

~Velocicoaster

~Kong

~Walked over to the other side

~Mummy (delayed/ no go)

~Gringott's (delayed/ no go)

~Olivander's - Picked for the Wizard experience!

~Purchased wands

~Simpsons

~ET

~Gringotts - closed, Train closed

~Walked back to IOA - Hulk!


For the real Harry Potter fans....

The Easter egg/ secrets inside of the park:

* Many of the props on display through out the rides and displays are replicas, however some are originals from the films. The barometer in Wiseacre's is the one seen in Half-Blood Prince. The second floor of Borgin and Burkes contains several original pieces as well. Enjoy the memorabilia!

*You can send a letter by owl from the Owl Post in Hogsmede or Diagon Alley. Your letter will have the associated post mark, and you may hear a howler if you send it from Hogsmede!

*Dial MAGIC (62442) from the red pay phone in King's Cross.

*Catch Kreacher peeking out from behind the curtain of the 23 Grimmauld Place window.

*Ask a Muggle Team Member if they can tell you where to find platform 9 3/4.


Universal Resorts with FREE Express Passes: Universal’s Express Plus Express Ride Access allows you to bypass the lines for the more popular attractions. FREE ExpressPass when you stay at Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel or Royal Pacific Hotel.


Of the 3 Premier Hotels... All have water taxi access, and parking fees.

Portofino - Italian styled large resort with larger more spacious rooms

Hard Rock- Music memorabilia, more Hotel than resort, no frills, close walk to parks

Royal Pacific - Smaller resort, not as fancy as the Portofino or as casual as the Hard Rock


Express? On days like these, Express passes are not needed. We were able to do ALL of the things we wanted with minimal wait times. And we both had a list! No express passes are accepted on Hagrid's, Velocicoaster and the Mummy. When tons of hotel guests with free Express passes clog up the fast line, it can slow things down drastically. If you really want these passes or are visiting during a busy season, stay at a premier hotel and take advantage of this free perk. If you are buying express passes for multiple people, it may be worth it.


Regular Hotels - We love Cabana Bay. It's a great atmosphere and lots to do for the while family. Best lazy river EVER. Click here for more.


Annual Passes:

These range in price and in benefits. There are four types, that can be used for 2 or 3 parks. These include Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.

Here are the two most tempting...

Premier Annual Passes include 0 black out days, and express passes in every visit.

  • Save $ on the front gate price,

  • Unlimited number of park to park visits over 12 months

  • Unlimited weekend visits included

  • 15% discount on food, merchandise, and beverage within the park

  • Universal Express Pass included (valid from 4 pm each day)

  • Free Halloween Horror Nights tickets

  • Free general parking until 6 pm

  • Valet parking included

  • Early Park admission

  • Invites to special events

  • Discounts on general admissions tickets for your family

  • Inclusion in sweepstakes

  • Discounts on extra Halloween Horror Nights tickets

  • 10-15% discount on all participating CityWalk locations

Preferred Passes include:

  • Save $ on the front gate price

  • Few blackout dates (just think avoid during School Holidays)

  • 15% discount on food, merchandise, and beverage within the park

  • Free discounted and self-parking until 6 pm

  • Invites to special events

  • Discounts on general admissions tickets for your family

  • Inclusion in sweepstakes

  • Discounts on Halloween Horror Nights tickets

  • 10-15% discount on all participating CityWalk locations

There are 7 different types of butterbeer.

Considerations:

Universal also offers flex pay allowing you to make a down payment, and monthly payments for your tickets.

FlexPay Details

Seasonal Pass: FlexPay option renews automatically. Requires down payment of $213.00 (Tax Inclusive) and 11 monthly payments of $19.37 (0% APR). Power Pass: FlexPay option renews automatically. Requires down payment of $244.95 (Tax Inclusive) and 11 monthly payments of $22.27 (0% APR). Preferred Pass: FlexPay option renews automatically. Requires down payment of $271.57 (Tax Inclusive) and 11 monthly payments of $24.69 (0% APR). Premier Pass: FlexPay option renews automatically. Requires down payment of $420.67 (Tax Inclusive) and 11 monthly payments of $38.25 (0% APR).


Many college students who live in and around Orlando use their annual passes to come in briefly each day! Pass holders are able to come for a butterbeer and call it a day!


*The complimentary lockers are not very spacious.

*If you have an express pass you could access it on your phone and pull it up every time you want to use it, or you can have the paper pass printed, and hang it in a lanyard. This may save the step of printing it at each ride if you also have a locker, that can be congested. If you are dependent on your phone all day consider having a charger with you. If you stay in a premier hotel, your express pass is linked to your room key.


*Bring in water - and stay hydrated! The Florida sun is brutal and people do suffer from heat exhaustion.


*If a ride is delayed, set a time for yourself of how long you're willing to see if it's resolved (based on how close to riding you are and what else is on your list, and then move on happily. Don't let it ruin your day. Rides you REALLY want to ride get on early. Delays do occur. Sometimes weather causes rides to be closed temporarily as well.


Can I go alone? While part of the fun is sharing the memories, there is a Facebook Group specifically for Universal Orlando Adults Only, as well as a group for Single Riders Group. Going alone can be a rewarding experience where you are able to navigate to the things you are most drawn to and internalize the entire place!


One time traveling with another family I ended up having a different type of pass than the rest of the party (not sure how that happened, but while they all rode the Hogwart's Express I hung out in Hogsmede. For the first few minutes I looked around unsure of what to do without kids screaming their desires at me! Then I saw some families trying to stage their own pictures and offered to take some photos for people. Then I began to wander, and breathe, and saw the magic in-between the makings ❤


Recently, I was brave enough to spend an entire day at both parks by myself and just completely took myself on the journey of the Harry Potter/ Marvel Worlds I grew up with. I made my own path and rode the things I wanted and didn't have to accommodate anyone else's wishes. Wow! That was different, and I enjoyed it. It's ok to give in to your inner child 😃

Maps

Tips:

Single Riders Line:

Some of the rides offer a single rider option. This means you are willing to not ride with any specific person in any order. In line at VelociCoaster, the single rider option was as long as the regular wait line. This is BAD since that line pulls slower. Sometimes the Single rider line also skips parts of the line that contain some cool stuff along the way... so weight your options!


Hogwarts Express:

The train ride is different in both directions. The ride from Universal back to Islands of Adventure has a bit more story line to it, as well as the vanishing wall you can run past.


Drinks:

Lots of people opt for the refillable drink cups. These are too big for the little free lockers and must be dumped out to be stored. Of course, refills are free, but to me this is more time consuming than it's worth, unless you really need the soda fix to keep you going.


*Small free lockers as needed. Great for leaving small items, and you can fit a butterbeer cup in there too if needed! If your ticket is in your phone and you are storing your phone, they will give you a ticket to bring on the ride that scans your locker code.

Bigger lockers are available at $2.00/ rental.


Rope Drop:

Some opt to arrive an hour before park opening, to get through security and through City Walk to wait there for the "rope drop" first entry. There is still waiting involved, but theoretically (if you don't have any items to put in a locker) you can speed walk or skip to the back of the park and be the first ones to ride Hagrid's before the line starts building. Some of these people choose the early start to really get the least waiting and most out of their day. If you are an early riser and quick mover this is a consideration. They boast being able to ride Hagrid's and Velocicoaster before 10am and have the rest of the day for everything else.


The Florida Weather... What if it rains? It might. Unless there is something serious predicted, it's important to plan for the weather forecast to be wrong. It rains when it's not predicted. It doesn't when the sky is black, and sometimes it pours every day for 40 minutes. On days with inclement weather there may be less people in the park - and also you may need to go indoors for a time period of actual rain. Other than that, rain doesn't stop the world from turning.



Affordability meter: 4/10

On a scale of 1-10 how affordable is this day?

With 1 being utterly unaffordable and 10 being basically free, I rate this adventure a 4.

This score is based on the BOGO tickets we were able to score, and the value for the day.

Of course this is not a free day where you can wander in with out a debit card and just get off with out any expenses. Many of my adventures look this way, but THIS magical day comes with a price, and as long as you spend the time in a way you are pleased with - is totally worth it!


Costs: gas (which is up), $27.00 for regular parking, ticket price, and food throughout the day were expected. We also got some snacks in between. This day was 100% worth the time/ cost. High quality experiences are not cheap and Universal does a great job creating the atmosphere. When I am paying for a family I don't typically eat both lunch and dinner in the theme park, but there is a little grown-up time allowed to enjoy and splurge.

Tips:

Get there early, stay late. Get the most bang for your buck by being there when the crowd is thin.

We brought our own water in, and did not take advantage of the unlimited soda deal. Soda dehydrates you, it's already hot and you are bouncing around - skipped that deal! Saved $$.

Attending with another adult made it easier on the pocket as we could share/ split some of the expenses. If I were bringing my family I would have been less likely to splurge for dinner, we probably would have grabbed something on the ride home. It was great to have a grown-up day.

I enjoyed the time and the experience, along with good company of a friend.


If you are more of a water park kind of person, check out Volcano Bay The Aquacoaster ride should not be missed~!

The Islands of Adventure creation of the Wizarding World has touched people's lives. Making movies real is a skill, and Universal seeks your undivided loyalty! Hogsmede is meticulous in detail, true to the story, and fulfilling. Being here is a treasure for the memory.


And if Disney is more of your thing, or you want to keep with the movie themes, head over to Hollywood Studio's . They bring Star Wars to life and pull you right in to the streets of Tatooine.


No matter where your travels take you, enjoy the journey!

Don't forget to enjoy your company, and surroundings.

Breathe and be present.

Let go of all the things you can't control.

And most importantly, make the memories count.


Thank you for enjoying the journey with us! Where ever your travels take you, may you be strong, healthy and happy to experience the path you are on! I'd love for you to leave a comment and share your experiences.


~Mz. Savvy

A note from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.

Also, get all up-to-date information at the Universal Resort Homepage: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us


Come travel with me!

Join our Art & Yoga Retreat in Colorado Springs, June 2023.

Click here for more info. While this retreat is complete, there will be others! Stay tuned...

Thank you for stopping by, please comment/ share your thoughts and experiences, we are all on this journey to live and love together. I welcome your travel tips & tricks :-)

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heaneyh80s
heaneyh80s
07 févr. 2022

Islands of Adventure is awesome❤️I’m a Harry Potter fan❤️🧙🏻‍♂️

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Savvy Single Mama
Savvy Single Mama
08 mars 2022
En réponse à

Me too! My kids grew up reading a book a year and waiting for the movie to come out. We love the whole world of it.

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DarrienGradyyy
DarrienGradyyy
07 févr. 2022

So many great memories here. Best rides and best times. Hope to be back again really soon.

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Savvy Single Mama
Savvy Single Mama
08 mars 2022
En réponse à

Yes, it's always fun!!

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Awesome would love to go, thanks for sharing your experience.

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Savvy Single Mama
Savvy Single Mama
08 mars 2022
En réponse à

Once your sweetie gets a little bigger, We can start her out at Sea World <3

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