Your decision to visit Universal Studios Florida was a wise one. This great theme park offers everything from thrilling attractions to great entertainment for the whole family. If you are there for a day or a few hours, you will have a great time. As with all theme parks, you may encounter extreme crowds, which means high wait times. So how do you see it all? What kinds of rides and attractions does this park have? This guide will help you plan your trip and help you to enjoy this wonderful theme park.
Universal Studios Florida is located in Orlando, Florida at 6000 Universal Boulevard. The park opened its doors on June 7th, 1990. The theme of the park is the entertainment industry, specifically movies and television. The park has attractions based on classic films like Jaws and ET to modern day favorites like The Simpsons.
As you enter the park you will notice the latest addition to the park, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a high tech, X-Car roller coaster that allows you select a song of your choice to enjoy, while you are riding. Once you have selected the music, you will go straight up the 90 degree lift 167 feet in the air. Once at the top, the train will plummet up to 65 mph and will go through several maneuvers that have never been attempted on a roller coaster before. Some of these include a non-inverting loop and a turn called the “Treble Clef”.
Shrek 4D is a great family experience. It takes place between the first and second Shrek movies. Lord Farquaad attempts to kidnap Princess Fiona. We join Shrek and Donkey to save the Fiona and step right into the action. The attraction contains an original 3D film and it has the original voice actors from the movie. Special effects bring the experience to life. You will be able to see, hear, and feel the action.
Twister…Ride It Out will make you feel like a real storm chaser. Join Bill Paxton as he explains the power and destruction of a tornado. See the damage that tornadoes cause first hand as you walk through a house that was destroyed by a powerful twister. Then it’ll be time to come face to face with an actual storm. Special effects like water, fire, and wind will make you feel like you are in a real storm. You may get a little wet, so be careful of your electronics.
Revenge of the Mummy is a great indoor roller coaster that is based on the first 2 movies of the Mummy movie franchise. This “psychological” thrill ride invites you to the movie set of a new Mummy movie. However, cast & crew are experiencing strange occurrences. You begin your journey exploring an Egyptian tomb, and come face to face with the cursed Mummy, Imhotep. Are you on a movie set, or inside an actual cursed tomb? The attraction starts with a small dark ride portion that includes special effects. The ride uses LIM technology to launch you up to 45 mph through 2,200 feet of track in virtual darkness. This attraction has won a THEA award for Best Attraction in 2004. THEA is considered to be the “Oscar” of the theme park industry.
Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride…Starring You takes guests behind-the-scenes of a movie studio and shows you how different disaster films are made. Frank Kincaid, played by Christopher Walken, is your host for the attraction and is joined by the assistant director, Lonnie. Guests are picked at random to help Mr. Kincaid film a few scenes for his new movie titled, “Mutha Nature”. After the selected guests film their scenes, Mr. Kincaid asks for everyone to be a part of the big finale, an Earthquake scene. After “shooting” is finished, guests will be able to see the film’s trailer. Make sure to keep an eye out for yourselves!
On Jaws, a leisurely boat tour off the coast of Amity goes very wrong when a Great White shark attacks your boat relentlessly. Will you be able to escape the jaws of the massive Great White?. This attraction is actually an expanded version of the Jaws scene in the famous Universal Studios Hollywood backlot tour. When you are on the attraction, look around because you might see some actual memorabilia from Gloucester, Massachusetts and other New England fishing towns. You also have a very good chance of getting wet on this attraction.
In Men In Black: Alien Attack, guests enter the MIB’s secret headquarters where you will be trained to be an agent. When an alien invasion guests, recruits must hit the streets of New York to hunt down the invaders. Each seat in the vehicle is equipped with a gun and a score keeper. You will be able to compete with friends and family to see who the better MIB agent is. Your vehicle will spin as you encounter the 120 different alien species on this attraction. Want to know how to max out your score? Check this out the Official Orlando United Men in Black Guide.
Join The Simpsons as they visit Krustyland in The Simpsons Ride. Krusty the Clown is opening up a new attraction when Sideshow Bob shows up for revenge. Crash your way through kiddie rides, stunt shows, and thrill rides at Krustyland. Keep an eye out for the numerous Simpsons characters on the ride. They are all over the place. All of the voices in the attraction were performed by the original actors of the show. Be sure to look around and watch the videos in the queue to see hilarious references to past Universal attractions and other Orlando attractions. This attraction uses state of the art digital projectors to cover an 80 ft. diameter dome with an image that is four times the standard found in your home theatre to make it feel like you are really in Krustyland. This ride is a motion simulator, so think twice before riding if you get motion sickness or have back or neck problems.
The E.T. Adventure takes guests to E.T.’s homeworld, where we must help E.T. save his planet. After navigating your way through the forest, Botanicus explains the dire situation on the Green Planet. After boarding your “bicycles”, you must help E.T. escape the grasps of scientists to help him back home. John Williams composed the music for the attraction, making it the first time that a ride was given its own original score. This is a great attraction for the whole family, especially for kids. At the beginning of the ride, guests are given an “Intergalactic Passport”. You can choose to give your real name, or a funny name (Keep it clean) to the team member, because at the end of the ride. E.T. will say your name as we bids you farewell.
Terminator 2: 3D invites guests to join a demonstration of Cyberdyne Systems latest projects of the future. The attraction is a mix of live stunts, special effects, and 3D film based on the movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The film features several of the cast, including Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is a unique experience that the whole family can enjoy.
KidZone has a few attractions that little ones can enjoy, and allow parents to take a little breather. Several playgrounds, including Curious George Goes to Town and Fievel’s Playground are great areas for kids of all ages to enjoy. Animal Actors: on Location allows guests to enjoy some of the most talented animals in showbiz today. A Day in the Park with Barney is geared towards small children, but provides great entertainment for the little ones. Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster is a small roller coaster that children and parents alike can enjoy together.
For those interested in shows, Universal Studios Florida has several. Beetlejuice’s Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue is a unique show where we join Beetlejuice as he summons the Classic Universal monsters to entertain guests and sing popular rock songs. The show features music, dancing, comedy, and pyrotechnics. The Blues Brothers Show features Jake and Elwood singing on Delancey Street in New York. Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show will take you behind the scenes and show how make-up and special effect artists create some of the effects seen in movies, specifically horror. It contains demonstrations and movie clips. Fear Factor Live, which is open seasonally, is based on the hit television show, where guests perform stunts for the top prize.
Lucy- A Tribute is an exhibit of the life of Lucille Ball, the star of the popular 50’s television show, “I Love Lucy”. If you are a fan of the actress, you definitely want to check it out.
Coming soon to Universal Studios Florida is Despicable Me. The attraction will be replacing Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast. Guests will be able to explore Gru’s lab and embark on a high-tech 3D adventure with Gru, Agnes, Edith, Margo, and the minions. This attraction is coming to Production Central, and is set to open in 2012.
Universal Studios Florida also has plenty of food options for its guests. The park offers everything from quick service walk-ups, counter service to fine dining. Food carts are located throughout the park and provide everything from cotton candy, popcorn, and hot dogs.
Universal Studios Florida has a good number of counter service restaurants. These include Beverly Hills Boulangerie, The International Food and Film Festival, The KidZone Pizza Company Louie’s Italian Restaurant, Mel’s Drive In, The Midway Grill, Monsters Café, Richter’s Burgers, The San Francisco Pastry Company. There is also a Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s in the park. If you want full service, Lombard’s Seafood Grille and Finnegan’s Bar and Grill have you covered. See below for menus for all of the restaurants listed above.
Lands and Attractions
- Entrance Plaza
- Guest Services
- Gift Shops
- Shrek 4D
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Twister: Ride it Out!
- Blues Brothers
- Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue
- Fear Factor Live
- The Simpsons Ride
- Men In Black: Alien Attack
- Animal Actors On Location
- E.T. Adventure
- A Day In The Park with Barney
- Curious George Goes to Town
- Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
- Fievel’s Playground
- Terminator 2 3D
- Universal Horror Make Up Show
- Lucy- A Tribute
Universal Meal Deal
Universal Studios Florida offers the Universal Meal Deal ticket. You can buy this online, at the front gate, and participating Meal Deal restaurants. With the Meal Deal, you can get one entrée and 1 dessert each time you pass through the line at restaurants that participate in the Meal Deal program. The following are the prices for different Meal Deal tickets:
1 Park/1 Day Meal Deal Ticket-
- Ages 10 and up: $20.99
- Ages 9 and under: $9.99
1 Day Meal Deal Souvenir Cup
- All ages: $8.99
2 Park/1 Day Meal Deal Ticket
- Ages 10 and up: $24.99
- Ages 9 and under: $11.99
- Monsters Café, Located in Production Central
- Rotisserie Chicken, Penne Primavera, Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce, Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza. Chopped Chef Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad, Soup of the Day, Devil’s Food Cake, Butterscotch Chocolate Parfait, Fresh Fruit Cup, Deep Dish Apple Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Iced Tea, Minute Maid Lemonade, Bottled Water, Budweiser and Miller Lite.
- Louie’s Italian Restaurant, Located in New York
- Cheese Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, Garden Vegetable, Fettuccine Alfredo, Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Meatball Sub, Caesar Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad, Minestrone Soup, Breadsticks with Sauce, Gelato, Sorbet, Italian Ice, Fountain Drinks, Iced Tea, Coffee, Milk, Bud, Bud Light, Moretti Italian Beer, Pinot Grigio, Chianti
- Richter’s Burgers Company, Located in San Francisco/Amity
- Variety of burgers that include Cheeseburgers, Double Cheeseburgers, and all natural Garden Burger with Cheese. You can also customize your burger with bacon, American and Swiss cheese. There are also marinated chicken sandwiches, salads with grilled chicken breast, French Fries, Chili Cheese Fries, Vanilla and Chocolate Shakes, Apple Pie, Seasonal Fruit Cups, Freshly Baked Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies, Fountain Drinks, Milk, Bottled Water, and Bottled Beer.
- The Midway Grill, Located in San Francisco/Amity
- Chili Dog and Fries, Chicago Dog and Fries, Reuben Dog and Fries, Slaw Dog and Fries, Children’s Corn Dog Nuggets, Chili Cheese Fries, French Fries, Chili, Coleslaw, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, Budweiser and Budlight.
- San Francisco Pastry Company, Located in San Francisco/Amity
- Ham and Swiss Croissant, Turkey Croissant, Sandwich Platter, Fresh Fruit Plate, Fresh Garden Salad, Chicken Panini, Apple Danish, Cheese Danish, Cherry Danish, Chocolate Croissant, Plane Croissant, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Blueberry Muffin, Blackforest Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Devil Cake, Caramel Cheesecake, Keylime Pie, Plain Cheesecake, Boston Cream Pie, Strawberry Flan, Apple Pie, Fruit Tarts, Chocolate Mocha Pyramids, Fountain Drinks, Cappuccino, Espresso, Coffee, Powerade, Hot Chocolate, Hot Tea, Bottle Water, Domestic Bottled Beer, Imported Bottled Beer
- International Food and Film Festival, Located in World Expo
- Southern Fried Chicken, Cheeseburger Platter, French Fries, Corn On The Cob, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Chicken Parmesan, Penne Pasta, Personal Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza, Minestrone Soup, Breadsticks and Marinara Sauce, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Stir Fry Beef and Peppers, Szechwan Orange Chicken, Egg Roll, Wonton Soup, Chef Salad, Fresh Fruit Platter, Mediterranean Tuna Salad, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, Powerade, Orange and Apple Juice
- KidZone Pizza Company, Located in KidZone
- Chicken Fingers and Fries, Pepperoni Pizza, Cheese Pizza, Bell Bottom Brownie, Fruit Cup, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, Topical Cooler.
- Beverly Hills Boulangerie, Located in Hollywood
- Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Roast Beef Sandwich, Tuna Sandwich, Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwich, Health Sandwich, Salad, Cheesecake, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, Perrier, Cappuccino, Espresso, Café Latte, Café Mocha, Coffee, Frozen Coffee Drinks
- Schwab’s Pharmacy, Located in Hollywood
- Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Hand Dipped Milkshakes, Ice Cream Float, Banana Split, Waffle Cone, Malts, Double Scoop Sundaes, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, and Coffee. Other items sold here include Halls Cough Drops, Tylenol, Rolaids, Bandages, Children’s Tylenol, and Pepto Bismol.
- Mel’s Drive In, Located in Hollywood
- Bacon Double Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Chicken Fingers, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Salad, Onion Rings, French Fries, Chili Cheese Fries, Cookies, Shakes, Root Beer Floats, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, Milk, Coffee
- Café La Bamba, Located in Hollywood
- Half Rack of BBQ Platter, ¼ Rotisserie BBQ Chicken Platter, ½ LB. Sirloin Cheeseburger Platter, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich Platter, Nathan’s All Beef Chili Cheese Dog Platter, Turkey Leg Platter, Fried Potato Chips, Corn On The Cob, Loaded Baked Potato, Cole Slaw, Corn Bread, Fruit Cup, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake, Fountain Drinks, Bottled Water, Miller Lite, and Budweiser
- Finnegan’s Irish Bar and Grill, Located in New York
- Reilly’s Chicken Wings, Shrimp Scargo, Finnegan’s Potato and Onion Webb, Irish Chicken Stingers, Scotch Eggs, Cornish Pasti, Homemade Misty Isle Potato and Leek Soup, Split Pea and Ham Soup, Celtic Chicken Club Salad, Beef and Bleu Salad, Irish Cobb Salad, Irish Times Fish ‘N Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, North Atlantic Baked Cod Fish, Country Cork Corned Beef and Cabbage, Misty Isle Mixed Grill, Guinness Beef Stew, New Castle Chicken, Sirloin Steak, Shamrock Steak Sandwich, Tipperary Corned Beef Sandwich, Dublin Chicken Sandwich, Grand Ole Burger, Gardenburger, Fried Cod Fish Sandwich, Fountain Drinks, Juices, Milk, Iced or Hot Tea, Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso, Creamy Island Oasis Milkshakes, Irish Coffee, Café Mocha
- Lombard’s Seafood Grille, Located in San Francisco/Amity
- Shrimp Cocktail, New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Lombard’s Chicken Wings, Fried Calamari, Bay Shrimp Cobb Salad, Lombard’s Caesar, Chinese Chicken Salad, Fish and Fries, Fried Shrimp, San Francisco Stir-fry, Shrimp Pasta, Seafood Marinara, Bravo Ravioli, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Mahi-Mahi Sandwich, Lombard’s Burger, Popcorn Shrimp Roll, Boursin Steak Sandwich, Grilled Asian Chicken Wrap, Fountain Drinks, Juices, Bottled Water, Milkshakes, Frozen Slushies, Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso
- Mardi Gras
During February-April each year, Universal Studios Florida is home to Mardi Gras. Universal Studios Florida holds the best celebration of Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans. Guests can enjoy concerts featuring popular music acts, Cajun dining, musicians from New Orleans, a spectacular Mardi Gras parade, and of course, beads. This event is included with park admission.
- Summer Concert Series
Every summer, Universal Studios Florida holds the Summer Concert Series. Universal invites stars in the music industry to perform their hit songs in the park. This event is included with park admission.
- Rock The Universe
Rock The Universe is a two-day festival of Christian Rock. Some of the biggest names in Christian Rock perform every year. This is a separate ticket event.
- Halloween Horror Nights
Every year in September-October, Universal Studios Florida is home to the nation’s premier annual Halloween event. Haunted houses and scarezones take over the streets of Universal Studios Florida and turn it into a nightmare. Now in its 21st year, Halloween Horror Nights is more popular than ever as people from all around the world come to experience it. Halloween Horror Nights has some of the biggest crowds of the year, so plan ahead. This is a separate ticket event. For more information on the event, including details of this year’s event, visit the Official Website.
- Holidays at Universal Studios Florida
During November and December, Universal Studios Florida is transformed into a Holiday wonderland with themed decorations throughout the park. Kids will have the chance to see Santa Claus himself. The Macy’s Holiday Parade brings the famous Thanksgiving parade from New York to the streets of Universal. Also taking place during the holiday season is the Winter Concert Series. Acts in the past have included Mannheim Steamroller, Chris Isaak, and Natalie Cole.
From Orlando International Airport
- Take SR-528 West 11 miles to I-4 East
- Take I-4 East 2 miles to exit 75A
- Follow the signs to Universal Orlando’s main parking garage or to one of the three resort hotels.
From I-4 Eastbound (Disney/Lake Buena Vista/ Kissimmee)
- Take I-4 East to exit 75A
- Follow the signs to Universal Orlando’s main parking garage or to one of the three resort hotels.
From I-4 Westbound (Downtown Orlando)
- Take I-4 West to exit 74B
- Follow the signs to Universal Orlando’s main parking garage or to one of the three resort hotels
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit 51”
- Revenge of the Mummy 48”
- Jaws 48”
- Men In Black Alien Attack 42”
- The Simpsons Ride 40”
- E.T. Adventure 34”
- Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster 36”
The parking garage at the Universal Orlando Resort is massive, so remember where you park. The best way to do this is to take a picture of your section and row number using your cell phone or digital camera. Taking 30 seconds to do this will save you loads of time at night when you are tired and want to relax. The parking garage is separated into 6 different sections (Jaws, E.T., King King, Spiderman, The Cat in the Hat, and Jurassic Park).
- Regular Parking – $15.00 ($3.00 between 6 pm and 10 pm)
- Preferred Parking – $20.00
- RV/Bus Parking- $20.00
- Valet – $15.00 (under 2 hours)
- Valet – $25.00 (over 2 hours)
- Valet Red Carpet – $35.00
The park offers several deals for tickets, especially for Florida Residents. You can find all ticket information on the Universal Orlando Resort website. We recommend buying your tickets online at least 30 days in advance for a chance at better pricing, and gives you plenty of time to plan properly. If you are a local and are looking to buy an annual pass, go for the Preferred or Premier pass. Both passes can be paid on a monthly basis, or Flexpay, after an initial down payment and it is good one year after the day of first use. The down payment for the preferred pass is $110.00 and 11 monthly payments of $11.30. The down payments for the premier pass $175.00 and 11 monthly payments of $17.98. Both passes entitle you to free parking ($15.00 per visit), discounts on food, merchandise, and no blackout dates. The premier pass comes with a free ticket for Halloween Horror Nights, free valet parking, and other special perks.
So last but not least, how do I see it all?
Many visitors to Universal Studios Florida can feel overwhelmed and may panic thinking that they may not be able to see everything. Here are some easy and time saving tips that will put you a mile ahead of other tourists.
- Be aware of the park opening! This is the most important way to start off a day at a theme park. Getting to the park before opening is critical, especially during peak times. This will allow to do several attractions with little to no wait times and it keeps you ahead of the other tourists for most of the morning.
- Be mindful of the weather. The weather in Florida is very unpredictable. If someone in your party is bringing a large bag, bring your own ponchos and leave your umbrellas in the car or at home. Umbrellas will cause more hassles for you and your family because you will have nowhere to put them during rides. You actually stay dry with ponchos and they can help keep you dry on water rides.
- Take a picture of your parking section and row with your phone. Remember to lock your car and put any valuables in the trunk or out of view.
- When booking a room, be sure to know the area that your hotel is located. Some areas in Orlando are crime ridden and others are can be far away from Universal. If you are staying onsite, your room key will double as an Express Pass for the duration of your visit, so you may want to keep that in mind when booking your room.
- If you feel the need to, buy the Express Pass. It can save you time and headaches by helping you avoid high waiting times. Keep in mind that all attractions do not use the Express feature, such as Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit.
- If you plan on eating more than one meal inside the park, consider buying a Meal Deal ticket. This can actually save you money, as long as you use it more than once.
- Finally, have a game plan! Many people just wing it when they go to the parks, but the wingers miss out more on key attractions or experiences. The week of your visit, log on to the Universal Orlando Resort website and determine park hours, as well as show times, and rides that may be down due to refurbishment. Having a plan will give you the biggest advantage and allow you to do and see more than the average guest.
- When a ride breaks down, unless you are in the rear 25% percent of the line, STAY PUT! Rides breakdown and generally reopen in less than 5-10 minutes. The ride staff will inform you if they expect an extended period of down time. If that happens, you should consider leaving the line.
We hope that this guide will help make your trip to Universal Studios Florida an enjoyable one and a less stressful one as well.