[UPDATED] Universal Orlando Resort Guide: Rides, Ticket Deals, & Safety Tips

Can’t wait to visit Universal Orlando? Book cheaper tickets for the theme parks here!

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Highlights

  • More than two months after it closed due to COVID-19, Universal Orlando Resort has reopened its doors on June 5th.
  • New social distancing rules and disinfection procedure are now in place, but the theme parks, hotels, and team members of this Florida-based integrated park will still make you go woah!
  • Make the most of your trip by visiting Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay. Click here to buy your tickets at a cheaper price!
  • With WAUG, you can score discounts and earn points whenever you go on a trip. If you haven’t yet, download Korea’s No. 1 activity booking app here (it’s free!), sign up, and receive our $3 coupon for new members.

Explore more: Feel the Thrill and Excitement at Orlando SeaWorld!

LATEST UPDATE as of June 5, 2020


Universal Orlando’s theme parks and most of its hotels have reopened on June 5, 2020. Please take note of this message that they have on their website: “Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit.”

New Safety & Social Distancing Guidelines in Universal Orlando Resort

Our hearts broke a little when, one by one, well-loved theme parks like Universal Studios Florida announced their temporary closure due to COVID-19. As if dementors had planted their weird kiss on us, things just started to look bleak, which left us wondering when we could visit these attractions again. But just as the rest of the world worked hard to fight the virus, the team members of Universal Orlando were busy prepping their rides, hotels, and amenities for our return. (It didn’t say on their website, but I’m pretty sure that the dragons in Diagon Alley, Spidey, and the Transformers lent a hand. Maybe Jason Bourne helped Harry Potter kicked dementors’ butts too.) Their efforts definitely paid off when Universal Orlando Resort reopened its doors on the first week of June — the first major theme park in the US to do so! — and we saw families, groups of friends, and solo adventurers feeling good about their theme park experience.

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Welcome back to Diagon Alley.

If you too are planning to visit and buy tickets for Universal Studios Florida and the other theme parks soon, this guide will have all the info that you need for a fulfilling stay. But given that safety is number one priority, let’s first discuss the new safety guidelines and social distancing measures in Universal Orlando so you can have a safe experience:

1. Undergo temperature check

Before entering Universal Orlando, you must comply with the temperature check. If you or your companion has a temperature of at least 38°C or 100.4°F, you will have to come back another time.

2. Wear face covering

In case you don’t have a face mask, you can purchase one onsite. You will have to wear it all times, except for very few circumstances like when you’re swimming at Volcano Bay. (If you feel stuffy with the mask, you can make use of U-Rest Areas where you’re free to take off your face covering.)

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3. Wash hands and sanitize

Aside from washing your hands with soap and water every 20 minutes, you’re also encouraged to use the sanitizers that are provided inside Universal Orlando. (You will be required to sanitize before boarding a ride.)

4. Social distancing

Keep at least 6 feet or 2 meters between your party and other people. This is especially important when you enter Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, queue up for rides, and watch the pre-shows. (The park will have floor marking to help you remember.)

Aside from this, social distancing is also promoted through these measures:

  • Rides operate in a reduced capacity.
  • Team members will limit the number of people at the queuing areas of each ride.
  • Contact-free features like mobile food ordering and virtual line experience (ride reservation from anywhere in the park!) are enabled via the app.
  • Seats inside the restaurants at Universal Orlando are rearranged to keep groups apart.
  • Plexiglass sheets are installed on counters.

Inside Universal Orlando, there will be a lot of signage that will remind you of these, so do take time to read when you come across them.

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5. Follow Universal Orlando’s team members’ instructions

With everyone’s safety in mind, team members will give out instructions that will keep Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay safe. Please do follow them even if you feel it’s inconvenient. (Also, it’s best to settle for air hugs, at least for now. You may be tempted to come near a team member for a hug or selfie, but you must remember that they’re still human even if they’re dressed otherwise.)

6. Be mindful of disinfection procedure

When using lockers like the one in Diagon Alley, you’re supposed to keep yours open after use so team members can disinfect it for the next person (or wizard?). Please be mindful of such protocol to keep Universal Orlando Resort a safe place.

Team members also clean high-touch surfaces regularly. They’ve also made the fingerprint scanners unavailable for use.

Universal Orlando Ticket Deals

Now that you know about the health and safety measures, let’s now look into how to score cheap Universal Orlando theme park tickets!

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Aside from the fact that booking your Universal Orlando tickets online is another contact-free measure, it’s also a way to get tickets at a much cheaper rate! WAUG offers discounted admission to the three theme parks, which many of our users rave about. Here are the options, price, and reviews to help you plan your trip to this Florida-based attraction:

Option 1: Universal Orlando 2-Park 2-Day Ticket (One Park Per Day)

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Choose between Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure!

This first ticket option will let you experience one theme park for one full day. You won’t be able to cross over in the same day if you want to, but that only means that you’ll get to cover everything in Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure by the end of your 2-day visit. It doesn’t matter which theme park you’d like to explore first, and your second visit doesn’t have to be on the next day after your visit (Second entry can be within 7 days after your first entry).

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Customer review on WAUG | 2019-06-14

The 5-star review for Universal Orlando reads: I love Harry Potter so it was a great day! The theme of Harry Potter was very fulfilling. If you like Harry Potter you should be absolutely satisfied.

The regular price for Universal Orlando’s One Park Per Day ticket is $234.99 for adults (10+ years old) and $224.99 for children (3-9 years old). However, on WAUG, you can get them for at least $6 less! (If you’re not a WAUG user yet, you can get an extra $3 discount coupon too by signing up here.)

Option 2: Universal Orlando 2-Park 2-Day Ticket (Park-to-Park)

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The Universal Orlando 2-Day Park-to-Park ticket will let you visit both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure in a day for two days. This is perfect if you want to experience all the Harry Potter rides that are offered or if you want to see as many film characters as possible. The beauty about purchasing this Universal Orlando ticket is that you get to experience the Harry Potter attractions seamlessly and come back for the rides that you like most. Check out one of the customer reviews that we have for this option:

Customer review on WAUG | 2019-07-11

It reads: OMG!! Meeting my favorite characters from my childhood movies almost made me cry! I booked the 2-park tickets, got the best out of it! I REALLY recommend booking the 2-Park tickets 😀

Typically, Universal Orlando’s 2-Day Park-to-Park ticket costs $294.99 for adults (10+ years old) and $284.99 for children (3-9 years old). However, WAUG offers them for just around $286 and $277 respectively!

Option 3: Universal Orlando 3-Park 2-Day Ticket (Park-to-Park)

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With the third ticket option, you and your family can visit all the listed parks any time! If you want to experience the thrilling rides at Islands of Adventure, beat the heat at Volcano Bay, and see your favorite movies and shows come to life, the 3-Day Universal Orlando Ticket is what you should purchase. On the first day, you may want to check out all the ‘land-based’ rides and attractions, so that on the second day, you can have fun at Volcano Bay Water Theme Park for around 4 hours. After spending some time in the water (pretty obvious, but masks will not be required in this area!), come back for the rides that you liked after. Sounds exciting, right? No. It’ll be epic.

Customer review on WAUG | 2019-08-20

The review reads: BEST experience of my life! Got the ticket in a cheap price, which made the experience even better!

As of publish time, Universal Orlando sells the 3-Park 2-Day ticket on their website at $349.99 for adults (10+ years old) and $339.99 for children (3-9 years old). But, as you may have guessed already, you can get admission to all three parks at a discount when you book below.

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What to Expect in Universal Studios Florida

Now let’s jump into planning your Universal Orlando Resort trip! Since I’m most certain that you’re looking forward to visit Universal Studios Florida, let’s have a look at some of the attractions and rides that they have in store for you (subject to change without prior notice):

1. E.T. Adventure™

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Ever thought what it would be like to ride E.T.’s flying bicycle? Well, you’re about to find out! The E.T. Adventure ride in Universal Studios Florida will take you up the sky for a relaxing evening ride (Okay, scratch relaxing. You’ll actually help E.T. save his planet by fighting the bad guys!) Oh, and here’s a fun fact: John Williams, who is E.T.’s composer, wrote the soundtrack for this very attraction!

2. Fast & Furious – Supercharged™

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If you’re one of those who felt an attachment to the Fast and Furious family, you’ll probably shed a tear when you see this place. And it’s not just gonna be because of the spectacular display of cars or the familiar headquarters. Everything about the blockbuster series may just come back to you. (I’m looking at you, millennials!)

3. Revenge of the Mummy™

Chances are, if you’re one of those who had to stay home, you’ve seen Universal Orlando’s YouTube video of the Revenge of the Mummy. If you haven’t yet, go and watch it above. If you have, good. Just know that it’s nothing compared to the actual ride!

4. Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station

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It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the movies or not. The Harry Potter attractions at Universal Orlando is guaranteed to take your breath away. But if, so to speak, you have the magic in you, the grand reveal of all the places that you know by heart will absolutely be one for the books. Get ready; the wizarding world awaits your visit.

Note from Universal Orlando Resort’s website: To board and ride the Hogwarts™ Express between the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, you’ll need a Park-to-Park admission ticket. Additional restrictions apply.

Other attractions and rides at Universal Studios Florida include Shrek 4-D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, and Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. You can also look forward to the Bourne Stuntacular stunt show when it opens!

Also read: What Not to Miss in the Harry Potter World at Universal Orlando

Must-Visit in Universal’s Islands of Adventure

In this part of Universal Orlando, your emotions will rise as the mechanical rides do. Here you can look forward to non-stop thrills as you and your kids encounter dinosaurs, hippogriffs, King Kong, and more (like a lot more). Here are some of the things to expect in Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, which is named Top Amusement Park in the World on TripAdvisor:

1. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®

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You may think that Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is a funny name to call a ride, but this attraction in Universal Orlando will not be a walk in the park. Awarded multiple times as the Best Water Ride, the Ripsaw Falls will have you feeling extremely alive and probably more excited than your kids or younger siblings!

2. Flight of the Hippogriff

Called as one of the family-friendly rides in Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, this attraction gathers all of Hagrid’s adorable creatures in one cool pumpkin patch space. Each twist and turn of the ride will surely be a delight for your imaginative kiddos!

3. The Incredible Hulk Coaster®

There’s only one thing that the Incredible Hulk knows d and that is to smash! On this Universal Orlando rollercoaster, you’ll experience exactly what Dr. Bruce Banner’s alter-ego does best, so be prepared for a heartstopping adventure. No superhuman strength is required to board the ride.

4. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

If it comes to a point when we can only pick one attraction in Universal Orlando, we’d have to go with this one. The towering castle is quite a spectacle, but just wait until you see how Hogwarts looks from the inside. Definitely one of the highlights at Universal’s Islands of Adventure that no visitor — even non-Potter fans — should miss!

There’s a lot more in store in this adventure-filled wonder park, like The Cat in the Hat™, Caro-Seuss-el™, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Poseidon’s Fury, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®, and Skull Island: Reign of Kong™.

Splashing Into Universal’s Volcano Bay!

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Normally, we would associate volcanoes with extreme heat, but let’s forget that for a second if you’re doing a little research on Universal’s Volcano Bay. This aqua theme park in Universal Orlando Resort is actually the best place to cool down. Aside from adrenaline-pumping slides, they also have a chill river for those who want to laze away. Pack your best swimwear and slither in the cool waters for a few hours before heading back to the other rides that you’ve missed!

Attractions and experiences to try in Universal’s Volcano Bay are the Waturi Beach, Kala & Tau Nui Serpentine Body Slides, Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides, Kopiko Wai Winding River, ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana, and Honu of the Honu ika Moana.

Download the Universal Orlando Resort™ App for These Cool Features!

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Meet your new park companion.

1. View Universal Orlando Maps, Restaurant Menus, & More

Universal Orlando is huge, and the last thing you want is to spend so much time finding your way to all the amazing rides at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. To get to all the attractions like a boss, you can use the Universal Orlando Resort™ Official App (download links below), which has all the maps that you need for your visit. Feeling hungry? You can also use the app to find the nearby restaurants and snack bars!

Other useful features include a display of the ride wait times, show times, stores, on-site hotels, restaurant menus. and family restrooms. (It can even remind you where you parked your car.)

2. Order Food at a Tap

The Universal Orlando Resort™ Official App will let you order food from anywhere in the park. This is perfect if your little ones need some on-the-go snacks before hopping to your next ride.

3. Virtual Line™ & Universal Play™

The Virtual Line is one of the new and coolest features of the official app that’s highly suitable in our “new-normal world”. Aside from not having to stay in the queuing area with other people, you’ll also get to spend your time more productively (you know, like taking family photos and what not!). You can also make use of the app’s Universal Play™ feature, which will let you know more about the rides through games and fun trivia quizzes!

To download The Universal Orlando Resort™ Official App on your iPhone, click here. If you have an Android device, here’s the link for you!

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FAQ: Universal Orlando Resort

1. What are the must-try restaurants and food at Universal Orlando?

Finnegan’s Bar & Grill over at Universal Studios Florida easily comes to mind. The Irish-themed pub has been serving kids and kids-at-heart since 1990, so you can definitely count on Finnegan’s to give you the best dining experience at Universal Orlando.

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Dingle Seafood Pie. Credit: Totalorlando.com

Some of the popular food here are the Soda Bread with Apple Butter, Potato & Onion Webb, the Guinness Beef Stew, and the Shepherd’s Pie, which is a hearty menu option for vegans.

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Worth coming back for. Credit: blog.universalorlando.com

If you’re looking for a sweet treat and something refreshing, head on over to Lard Lad Donuts (Universal Studios Florida) and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (USF and the Islands of Adventure). The former sells the Big Pink Donut while the latter — take a guess! — offers warm, frozen, and cold Butterbeer.

A couple of other restaurants in Universal Orlando that you’ll find are The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen (Universal Orlando CityWalk), Green Eggs and Ham Cafe (Islands of Adventure), Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (Universal CityWalk), and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (Universal CityWalk).

2. What are the hotel options inside Universal Orlando Resort?

There’s a lot, and you can definitely find one that suits your budget. But if you want to get a nice view of Universal’s Volcano Bay (like the actual volcano centerpiece), stay over at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. It’s steps away from the water theme park, which is ideal if you plan to spend time in the cool water!

3. What’s Universal Orlando Resort’s address?

The parking garage address for the theme parks is 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819. The GPS Geocodes to the parking garage are: 28.47399 (Latitude) and -81.46228 (Longitude).

4. What are the operating hours for Universal Orlando’s theme parks?

As of publish time, it’s 9am-6pm for both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Volcano Bay is open from 10am-5pm, while Universal CityWalk is open from 8am-10pm.

Looking for more attractions in Orlando?

Make the most of your Florida trip by visiting these other attractions in Orlando:

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