Travel season is here, and spring breaks are kicking off in full force. Our son doesn’t technically have a “spring break,” but we usually take the same time during March if possible to travel. The last few years our destination has been Orlando, Florida and it’s a place to visit over and over again. When planning our trip agenda this year, my husband and I knew we wanted to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures because it’s been years since we’ve gone, so we made sure to add it on our list. My parents and sister traveled with us to Orlando and usually when you hear plans of Universal Studios, you don’t think right away that it’ll be great for a toddler, but it was a blast. With spring break season officially here, I’m sharing a few tips and answering popular questions to help you dominate your next trip to Universal Orlando Resort for Spring Break whether you’re with family or friends.
You have the option to purchase your tickets to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures online before arriving at the park. If you’re traveling with a large group or little ones, I would suggest you do this to avoid extra wait time upon entering the park to purchase tickets. So, you’re ready to buy tickets, and you’re trying to decide between what parks. Here’s my breakdown on both.
Universal Studios vs. Islands of Adventures:
Universal Studios has always been a staple in my childhood as a park we’d visit all the time. From popular attractions like Jaws and Back to the Future which are no longer there to newer rides like The Mummy or Fast And The Furious, Universal does a fantastic job at making you feel like you’re in these blockbuster hit movies. The wait times for the rides can get intense and the best thing about traveling during the spring months is the parks aren’t as crowded as they usually are during summer. Most of the rides can easily have a 60-minute wait, and while we were there although we had Express passes (more on this later), the regular line waits were no more than 45 minutes or some 30 minutes for rides. Another great thing with Universal is most of the rides are indoor rides which are great when the temps start rising, and your little ones become irritated because they’re hot.
Along with popular movie rides, Universal also makes sure to have something for the little ones who can’t handle those long waits or intense rides just yet with areas such as Barney and Curious George which our son thought were a hit! The rides were just his size, and this part of the park is honestly the least crowded. Most of these are outdoor activities, but it’s worth it when they can enjoy their day at Universal as well. When traveling with family, my mom for examples doesn’t ride many rides, so my husband and I were able to escape to do different rides like Transformers and The Mummy and more. Universal Studios Orlando has something for all ages.
Islands of Adventures was my favorite of the two because it’s ride heavy and features a few of our favorite movies like The Hulk, King Kong, and Jurrasic Park. If you’re not into more intense rides like roller coasters or water rides, Universal may be the better option with more of the indoor 4d ride styles and shows that are offered. Both parks also feature Harry Potter, and if you’re a fan and only want to see Harry Potter, you’ll need both tickets because they are entirely different and worth seeing at least once.
Are Universal Studios Express Passes Worth It?
I’ve probably been telling everyone I know who’s thinking about or heading to Universal Studios soon to get the express passes. For the popular rides like King Kong, Harry Potter attractions, Jurrasic Park and others, the wait times during our trip were as high as 85 -90 minutes. Now, this is good for this time of year because summer time I’ve seen wait times for rides get to 120 minutes. If you don’t have a problem waiting and only have a few rides you want to do before the day is over then that’s fine but, if you have an entire day of rides you want to do, and you would rather have a 30min or less wait time, investing in the Express Pass is totally worth it. This express pass is also perfect if you’re doing any rides with your children and can cut their wait time in half, so they don’t get anxious and bored waiting in the long lines. For Universal Studios Express passes there are two options, one which is unlimited, meaning you can ride the same ride fast pass as many times as you want ($89.99) or they have the standard in which you’re only able to use your fast pass once per ride ($69.99). I think the extra amount for the express pass is worth the money.
Can Universal Studios Be Done In One Day?
If you’re only doing Universal Studios and not Islands of Adventures, it’s possible you can do the park in a day. Again, this is in my opinion you traveling during spring break and offseasons and not during summer when school is out, and everyone is visiting. I also feel if you have the express pass, you can do the park in a day. We had multiple day tickets, and with the express passes we completely did everything we wanted in Islands of Adventures, rode the train to Universal did stuff over their all in one day. We started pretty early at around 10 am and finished around 8 pm. I will say our son was a trooper because we didn’t plan to stay out that long but he was relaxing and enjoying.
Park to Park? Do You Need It?
This train was a unique thing I’ve ever seen. It’s remarkable how Universal put the time and resources in to duplicate the entire Harry Potter world for us as parkgoers to experience. The Hogwarts Express provides service from The Wizarding World- Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure to The Wizarding World- Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida vice versa all day. Now, here’s the tricky part, to experience the train ride, you have to have the park-to-park tickets since the train takes you right into Universal Studios. With park – to – park tickets, I think it’s worth it especially with the opportunity you get to ride the Hogwarts Express between the two parks. Instead of leaving the park and walking over to the other, you’re able to completely transform into the world of Harry Potter and enjoy a short and entertaining ride to the other park whenever you’d like.
Weather For Universal Studios in Spring
As you see in my photos, I did a variety of shorts and jeans. The weather in Orlando during spring is perfect. With Universal Studios & Islands of Adventures both having rides inside and outside, it’s best to be prepared for both. In the early mornings, it can be a little chilly, but it’s guaranteed to warm up throughout the day. Not summer weather warm but the perfect temps to be able to spend all day outside without feeling thoroughly drained.
Download The Universal Studios App
This app was the best tool when it came to planning our day in the park. It picks up your exact location, so if you’re looking for a specific ride or need to see the wait time for a ride or show, it’s all in the app. You can even check out restaurants and character experiences. The app lets you see real-time information throughout all three of their parks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures and Volcano Bay. Set up alerts when wait times change and take charge of your Spring Break itinerary.
This post is sponsored by Universal Studios, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.