written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist
Your kids grow up and so do vacations. If you are looking for a vacation destination that offers fun and thrills for the whole family, a Universal Orlando Resort vacation is the perfect destination vacation for you!
I recently completed a week of training at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and it is the Ultimate Central Florida Vacation destination!
We spent our week at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and it’s a fun resort with so much to do! Go for a swim or relax in the lazy river, take the family for a game or two at the bowling alley or get your fitness on at the Jack LaLanne Fitness Center. From the moment you arrive, you will be taken back to the iconic beach resorts of the era with décor that throws back to the 1950’s and 60’s. It’s a fun place to hang out with the entire family. Also, when staying on property, you will enjoy exclusive benefits to make the most of your vacation. It’s the best way to experience all that Universal Orlando Resort has to offer!
On our first day we were able to tour all 5 of the resorts on property. Although Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a fun throw-back vibe, I prefer the tropical styling of Loews Royal Pacific Resort. This resort offers the breathtaking splendor of lush tropical surroundings and you feel like you’re on a tropical island in the South Seas. In addition, Lowes Royal Pacific Resort offers Universal Express Unlimited ride access in both theme parks FREE with your resort stay, which is also offered at Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Cabana Bay Beach Resort do not offer the Universal Express Unlimited ride access.
Universal Orlando Resort also offers special events throughout the year, and most all are included with your park admission! We were lucky enough to be at the resort during the Mardi Gras celebration and participated in the Mardi Gras parade held nightly during the celebration!
Other special events throughout the year include ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ (usually held the last week of January), ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ held in the fall (this is a special ticketed event and is not included with regular park admission), and the ‘Macy’s Holiday Parade’ and ‘Grinchmas’ experience held in the winter.
We kicked off our second day with breakfast at Three Broomsticks inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure park. This Happy Potter themed dining experience offers a traditional English breakfast, porridge, and other more traditional options along with pumpkin juice and Butterbeer! We were then free to tour the parks and explore on our own. If you want to experience all of the Harry Potter themed adventures, be sure to add a Park-to-Park ticket with your package as the Harry Potter experiences are in both parks and you can’t get from one to the other, or ride the Hogwarts Express, without a Park-to-Park ticket.
During the day we were able to use the Universal Orlando Dining Plans for Quick Service and Table Service. There are many good Quick Service options both inside the parks and a couple at CityWalk. I chose Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches for my Quick Service lunch. This is a uniquely themed little spot that looks like an old-time soda shop, with great food and atmosphere. It was a quiet place to relax after a morning in the parks. For evening, we dined at Vivo in CityWalk and the service, food and experience were all excellent. The dining plans are easy to use and the Team Members and servers can all answer your questions about how to use your dining plans.
Day three we were able to experience a VIP Tour and I would highly recommend adding a VIP Experience Tour to your vacation package! Along with a personal guide, the VIP Experience includes priority front of the line access to all rides and attractions including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,
TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D and all of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions and experiences; exclusive behind the scenes tours, complimentary valet parking (1 vehicle, based on availability); continental breakfast to start your day, reserved Seating at shows; lunch at one of Universal Orlando’s 50+ dining venues. All VIP Experience Tours are date and time specific. There is also a Private VIP Experience Tour option as well as Halloween Horror Nights Tours. While we were able to experience attractions without waiting, it was also exciting to see the backstage areas of the parks. For our evening experience, we enjoyed the entertainment of the Blue Man Group. This is a family friendly and fun show that is also definitely worth adding to your vacation package.
Universal Orlando Resort will have new attractions opening soon, including Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious Supercharged Underground Racing as well as a whole new park – Volcano Bay (which will offer virtual lines via TapuTapu, an interactive wearable designed exclusively for Volcano Bay experiences) – opening May 25, 2017!
You will want to experience this full day water park during your vacation which will also offer themed dining experiences and shopping. Be sure to add at least a 3-Day Park-to-Park ticket to your vacation package so that you can experience all that Universal Orlando Resort has to offer!
If you are looking for excitement, thrills AND relaxation for your next vacation, something that is family friendly – from the little ones up to the adults – visit Universal Orlando Resort in Florida!