Universal Studios Orlando - Main Entrance GlobeUniversal opened the first theme park in Orlando June of 1990. They quickly expanded the resort to include two theme parks, a water park, a shopping district, and several hotels.

The resort immerses visitors into movie and TV themes with rides, exhibits, and shows.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the latest addition, and it spans the two theme parks. To enjoy everything Harry Potter, you can have to buy passes that cover both parks. 

Universal Studios

Universal Orlando - Hollywood - Wikimedia by EliedionUniversal Studios Orlando is the first universal park to open in Florida and has many of the traditional rides similar to the park in Hollywood. The main difference is that this park is much larger, with more rides and attractions.

The park has eight distinct areas surrounding a large lagoon but does not have a studio tour. Instead, some of the attractions from the Hollywood tour are stand-alone rides in this park.

There are so many rides and shows to pick from, It is hard to decide where to go and what to do. To help, the Universal website offers several ways to filter the attractions. You can find your favorites by height requirements, areas, or interests. Go here to find your thrills.

Some of my favorite rides and shows are Shrek 4D at Production Central, Revenge of the Mummy at New York City, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Diagon Alley, and Men in Black: Alien Attack at World Expo.

Families with younger children can find many attractions at Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone.

The see the full list of attractions go to the main story about Universal Studios Florida here.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Go on a journey of exploration and adventure through uniquely themed islands. Visit places Universal Islands of adventure Incredible Hulklike “Marvel Super Hero Islands”, Jurassic Park”, or “Skull Island’ for rides and shows - and spend time at the other half of the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter”.

The two halves of the Wizarding World are connected via the Hogwarts Express, which in itself is an attraction.

While visiting this newest expansion to the Universal parks, you must go on the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride through Hogwarts Castle and try the newest ride, the “Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure”.

Other islands at the park are Toon Lagoon, Skull Island, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing. Some of the most thrilling rides and shows on those islands are “The Incredible Hulk Coaster”, “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man”, “Jurassic Park River Adventure”, and “Poseidon's Fury”.

Read more about Islands of Adventure here.

City Walk

Universal Orlando - CitywalkLike its sister in Hollywood, the City Walk is a long entrance plaza for the Universal Resort parks with lots of entertainment, dining and shopping choices.

It is hard to resist browsing through the shops on your way in or out of the parks. It is also a good place to have your main meal outside of the parks.

If you live close by or taking an extended vacation here, you can spend a day at the Citywalk without paying for park entrance.

For entertainment, you can enjoy a meal while listening to dueling pianos at Pat O’Brien’s, and you can spend some time at the Groove for a drink and dance, or watch the latest movies at Cinemark theaters.

For a delicious meal, go to Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar, Hard Rock Café, or Margaritaville. You also have a choice of fast-food and snack shops.

Finally, for epic shows don’t miss the Blueman Group or Bob Marley–A Tribute to Freedom.