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  • Writer's pictureAllyson Marks

How to Make the Most of your Universal Orlando Vacation

Universal Orlando is one of our favorite vacation destinations! From the immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the variety of exciting rides, attractions, and entertainment- Universal has something for everyone to enjoy. If you are planning a trip to Universal Orlando (and we think you should!) read on to see our best advice to help you make the MOST of your Universal vacation!

Stay at a Universal Resort

If you want to enjoy the full Universal experience on your vacation then we highly recommend staying on property for several major reasons:

  1. Guests at Universal hotels receive access to one of the following theme parks prior to park scheduled opening time (valid theme park admission is required). Early Park Admission at Universal’s Volcano Bay, Universal Studios Florida, and Universal's Islands of Adventure is available up to one hour prior to park opening.

  2. A stay at a Universal Premier Resort (Loews Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay) INCLUDES Unlimited Express Pass with the purchase of your theme park tickets. This means unlimited line skipping for your park days at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Huge perk!

  3. Prefer to save money over skipping the lines in the parks? Universal has resorts for every budget- Value, Prime Value, Preferred, and Premier. Each category of resort offers standard rooms and suite options to best fit the needs of your family.

  4. All Universal resorts provide complimentary transportation to the the theme parks. Transportation options include bus, boat, and walking paths. Complimentary resort room package delivery and charging with your room key is also available across all of Universal property.

  5. Universal’s best kept secret (not anymore, we’re spilling the beans!) is pool hopping access. That’s right- when you stay at a Universal resort you can access the pool area at any Universal resort of your choosing!

Take advantage of Early Admission

If you qualify for Early Park Admission you'll enjoy early access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay up to one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required). Early admission is the best time to ride popular attractions like

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

  • Flight of the Hippogriff

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Having an entire hour to enjoy the theme parks without crowds is a wonderful benefit you should not sleep on!

Purchase Park-to-Park Tickets

Universal offers a variety of ticket options, and we recommend choosing the park to park (park hopper) option. This will give you the ability to go back forth between the theme parks each day. Keep in mind Universal’s theme parks are very close to one another and not as large as Disney’s parks. You will likely want the flexibility to travel between them. It is almost important to note- you MUST have a park to park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express! You will be unable to enjoy the Harry Potter train with a 1 park per day base ticket, and you do not want to miss this iconic ride that offers a different experience in each direction.

Book with a Castle Coach

Did you know you receive COMPLIMENTARY full service planning when you book a Universal vacation package with a Castle Coach?

Full service planning includes-

  • Vacation planning that fits YOUR budget

  • Resort Selection

  • Itinerary and Park Touring Guide

  • Best Tips and Tricks

  • Ground Transportation

  • Stroller and/or Scooter Rentals

  • Dining Reservations

  • Available for ALL Questions

Access to Early Park Admission is an additional perk given to clients of Castle Coaches Travel whether staying at a Universal resort or not. Something important to keep in mind if planning to include Universal with your Disney vacation. If staying at Disney World or another off-property site you will still receive the benefit of Early Park Admission if working with a Castle Coach!


Planning a Universal Orlando vacation? Reach out to a Castle Coach TODAY to get started with the planning process.


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