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10 Things to do at Universal Studios Florida

I was given media passes to experience the park. However, I still had to buy some for the rest of the family. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When you’re planning a vacation for 14 people, ages 3-55, sometimes scheduling and planning events can get a little bit tricky. That’s why when we decided on Orlando for a vacation spot this last October, we agreed it would be a relaxing time with just a few activities. We didn’t want to be rushed from one activity to the next. We wanted to enjoy the time away from work, and relish the time spent with each other.

Last summer when my husband was invited to Orlando for the Despicable Me 2 event, we had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios Florida. It was our first time there, and when we left we told each other we would make it back. And we did.

things to do at universal studios florida

Our day at Universal Studios was one of the highlights of our trip. We experienced almost every aspect of the park so I wanted to share some of my favorite things to do at the park.

Things to do at Universal Studios Florida

things to do at universal studios florida

Upgrade to an Unlimited Express Pass. We did almost everything we wanted to do in just one day at both parks. How? With the Unlimited Express Pass, you don’t have to wait in the extremely long lines with the crazy long wait times. The Unlimited Express Pass allows you to skip the regular line on participating rides and attractions! The longest we waited in line during our visit was about 20 minutes. The pass in not valid at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the Hogwarts Express, and other select attractions. By buying the Unlimited Express Pass, you should be able to do all these things to do at Universal Studios Florida in one day at the park.

things to do at universal studios florida

Transformers The Ride-3D: I’ll admit that I kind of geeked out when we were walking in the park on our way to the Transformers ride and we saw Optimus Prime standing for photos. And then he spoke and I really geeked out. And my hubby, y’all. I think the man had tears in his eyes (although he’ll never admit it). This is definitely one of my favorite 3D rides at the park. Engage in an epic mission with NEST and a brand new Autobot, Evac, as you team up to protect the AllSpark from the encroaching Decepticons who will stop at nothing until it’s theirs. It’s up to you and the Autobots to stop them.

E.T. Adventure: Probably one of the oldest rides at the park and one of the gentlest, but whether you are an adult or a child, this ride will satisfy the question that we would all love to ask the little Reese’s Pieces lover himself, E.T. Where’s home and what is it like?

The Simpsons Ride: A truly entertaining ride from the waiting line to the exit of the building. My daughter hates real roller coasters, my middle boy loves them, and my youngest son is, well, too young. This ride is kinda like experiencing a 3D roller coaster with the added benefit of air conditioning. Can you believe that there are all these things to do at Universal Studios Florida? But keep reading – there’s more!

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: If you are a Harry Potter fan, then you don’t want to miss this one. There are elements from different films all rolled into one concise adventure as you fly through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. From dragons and spiders, to Quidditch and the Womping Willow, you will be blown away at how deep they dive into the franchise. Just remember: Help will always be given to those who need it at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

things to do at universal studios florida

Diagon Alley: A simple brick entrance is what separates the Muggle World from the Wizarding World. Once you pass through the brick walls, you are greeted by the cobblestone streets of Diagon Alley. Filled with shops, restaurants, and everything a wizard might need, Diagon Alley is packed with wizards and witches shopping for various goods in the year-round shops. Don’t forget to stick around to see the Ukrainian Ironbelly Dragon on top of Gringotts Bank. You might be surprised when you hear her grumble.

things to do at universal studios florida

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: Enter Gringotts Bank and take a tour through the bank’s grand lobby and watch the goblins at work. Then journey through the passageways as they lead you nine miles underground to the new, multi-dimensional 3D thrill ride. Join Harry and his friends as they navigate the underground vaults while trying to avoid malicious villains.

Ollivander’s Wand Shop: A full on performance is what you’ll get at Ollivander’s. As you walk into a small room stacked to the ceiling with thousands of boxes of wands, you are greeted by employee’s of the wand shop. Just one from the audience is chosen to see which wand will choose them. Our middle child was chosen and it was so exciting watching him as he participated. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the surprised look on his face when he was chosen, and the smile that lasted the entire time.

things to do at universal studios florida

Have a Butterbeer: I really shouldn’t have to say anything else. It’s Butterbeer. But, if you’re still on the fence and want to know more, here are a few details. Butterbeer is like cream soda on crack. Great butterscotch flavor topped with a caramel tasting frothy foam. It’s sold in a cup or collectible cup and is served chilled or frozen.

things to do at universal studios florida

Jurassic Park River Adventure: I think the picture says it all. We are in the second to last row and y’all…my son’s facial expression cracks me up every time I look at this photo. Gather your family and board a boat to take an exciting river adventure through Jurassic Park. Danger arises when the park’s security system is breached by dinosaurs. Now it’s a race against the clock to get out of there before you become extinct.

Although it has only been a month since we’ve been to Universal Studios, I can’t wait to go back. There are so many things to do at Universal Studios Florida. Now that my children are a little older, we didn’t visit some of the attractions for smaller children, but there’s fun for everyone.

Have you been to Universal Studios? What’s your favorite ride?

About Crystal

Crystal Reagan, the owner and founder of SimplyBeingMommy.com lives in Small Town, Texas with her husband and 3 children. Crystal and her website have been featured on local and national news stations including Channel 2 Houston and ABC News. She has also appeared on BetterTV as a Mommy Expert for VTech.


  1. 1

    I haven’t been in a year, I have to get there soon. We had a blast last year.

  2. 2

    The pass is a MUST it definitely does make a difference. I love the Harry Potter ride it is my fav I have not been to dsee Digon Alley.

  3. 3

    Looks like so much fun. I haven’t been there in over a decade. Can’t wait to go back.

  4. 4

    I have never been… but I DO want to take my boys! 🙂

  5. 5

    I desperately want to see the Harry Potter section at universal…

  6. 6

    I’m a big fan of The Transformers!

  7. 7

    I love the kids faces in that photo! The big bright eyes full of horror. Makes for funny photos. I would love to go to Universal Studios Florida.

  8. 8

    I’m most excited about the Harry Potter attractions! I haven’t been to Universal Studios in Orlando – but we are hoping to take our kids to Disney soon and plan to make a day for Universal too!

  9. 9

    We’ve never been to Universal Studios but plan to when my youngest is a little older. I’m sure your trip was worth every bit of that expression captured on your sweet son’s face. Priceless!!

  10. 10

    Sounds like so much fun! I would love to visit one day.

  11. 11

    I haven’t been to Universal Studios in years. Things have changed so much. It looks like so much fun!

  12. 12

    I’m hoping we can visit Universal Studios some day! By the time we save enough money the rides will have probably all changed! I’d love to check out Transformers if I could.

  13. 13

    I have never been to Universal Studios. I really would love to some day though and will be sure to check out these things!

  14. 14

    We LOVE Universal Studios!! I can’t wait to return but it may be a few more months.

  15. 15

    We were just there last month! It was the first time we took our girls. My husband and I hadn’t been there since 2000! Our favorite ride was Despicable Me. I could ride that ride over and over again!

  16. 16

    We haven’t been to Florida in a few years but this was always a favorite spot. I know others like Disney but Universal Studios is always our number one stop when we visit.

  17. 17

    Totally agree! We went in August with ages 8 months to 55 and we all had fun. That express pass is amazing. The longest we waited was like 5 minutes for any ride!

  18. 18

    I definitely want a Butter Beer! And that Transformers ride look like so much fun!

  19. 19

    we had our first trip to Universal last January for New Years and my son’s 6th birthday.-What a great trip-the parks were amazing–of course our favorite ride was Harry Potter. We can’t wait to go back and soak more of it in!

  20. 20

    I would go crazy planning a vacation that large. You picked the best place though! We are so bummed that the Harry Potter area is only on the East Coast. Us Californians miss out!

    Side note: you’re so brave for going on that ride! I would have chickened out before even getting in line.

  21. 21

    My sister would go crazy for Harry Potter and I bet Hubs would love the Jurassic Park ride. I hope that we are able to plan a trip in a couple of years.

  22. 22

    I was just in Orlando for Niche Parent and we only attended the Blue Man Group.
    Your photos and adventures looked like fun!

  23. 23

    This looks like so much fun! I can’t wait to go to Orlando!

  24. 24

    Boy it sure sounds like you had a fabulous day! 14 people.. how awesome to spend a dsy like ghis together. We live in LA and my 2 older girls have season passes to Universal… they love spending a day there every now and then with a group of friends.

  25. 25

    We love visiting Universal. A favorite of ours is Despicable Me and Transformers.

  26. 26

    I really love it at Universal, and I just went on the Jurassic Park ride for the first time this year. I had NO idea we were going to get completely soaked!

  27. 27

    I haven’t been to Universal Studios since I was 13. I would love to take my kids there next summer!

  28. 28

    Our travels have age considerations as well with kids ages 6 through 22 (and then us). I see something everyone would enjoy including Transformers, Simpsons, and ET. We’ve never been but I think we need to put this on our travel list!

  29. 29

    I went to Universal Studios in CA many years ago and it was so fun. I can’t wait to visit the one in Florida and see the Harry Potter world.

  30. 30

    I have never been to Universal Studios, but I’d love to go someday. Also, I’ll admit that I’m not a Harry Potter fan at all, but I wouldn’t mind visiting that part of the studio since it looks so interesting!

  31. 31

    We are all the way on the other side of the country and I have been anxious to take my kids to Universal Studios Hollywood. I know Harry Potter attractions will be arriving there soon, so we are waiting for that. I am SO excited!

  32. 32

    I am going there next month and I can NOT wait. I haven’t been there in about 10 years!

  33. 33

    I have never been there but could sure use a Butterbeer right about now. I am not a fan of rollercoasters but would probably enjoy the ET one–just call me a chicken and I’ll run around flapping my wings for ya! I would like to go and experience it at some point!

  34. 34

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We went to Universal Studios about 15 years ago, and we’ve been planning another visit. This definitely helps.

  35. 35

    We have been here twice. Both times we went it was so crowded! I will have to say I did love the Simpson’s ride.

  36. 36

    My boys would LOVE the transformer ride!!! We’ve been wanting to plan a family trip down there, just keep putting it off!

  37. 37

    It all sounds so great!! I hope to one day take a trip to visit universal! Looks amazing!

  38. 38

    It’s been too long! Harry Potter and the Transformers are calling me! I need to go to Universal ASAP. I’m glad you shared the pictures – your kid looks so cute on that ride.

  39. 39

    The Unlimited Express Pass definitely sounds like a must-have! And so does a ButterBeer!

  40. 40

    So many awesome things to do! It’s been awhile – I need to get back there to see more Harry Potter stuff!

  41. 41

    I can’t even tell you how bad I want to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! So cool!

  42. 42

    I love Universal Studios, I’m thinking about taking my son back so thanks for the tips.

  43. 43
    Debbie Denny says:

    I can’t wait to go back there. So many neat things.

  44. 44

    I went to universal years ago. I can’t wait to go back when my daughter is a little olde.r

  45. 45

    I would love to take my son there! We’ve been to Disney a few times but haven’t made it to Universal yet!

  46. 46

    We’re planning on taking the kids to Universal for the first time this year. Unfortunately, we won’t be getting the express passes because the prices are just too high. I miss the days when everyone had to wait in line and rich people couldn’t get in front of me just because they’re rich.

  47. 47

    Ever since they opened the Simpsons part we’ve been wanting to go. Maybe soon!

  48. 48

    Wow, planning a vacation for 14 people, ages 3-55, sounds difficult. But you definitely made it happen and found some great ways to make it easy and fun!

  49. 49

    The new Diagon Alley is definitely the draw for me. I just love Universal!

  50. 50

    I am such a fan of the Mummy Returns ride. Seriously, I ride that usually 5 times in a row when I go there. I’ve been to Universal many times and I’ll be back in a few weeks again.

  51. 51

    Looks like y’all had fun! We love Universal Studios – especially Diagon Alley 🙂

  52. 52

    Everything there looks amazing. I really hope to get out there when the kids a bit older

  53. 53

    Universal Studios in Florida is one of our favourite attractions! The Jurassic Park River Adventure is so much fun!

  54. 54

    We need to make another visit back there. I think the boys are old enough now to really enjoy it.

  55. 55

    I love Disney. But I have never had any desire to really go to Disney. But, Universal Studios is different. So much cool movie stuff there I want to see.

  56. 56

    We’ve gone to the one here in California a couple of times. We didn’t get to do as much as we’d like. I’d love to Check out the one in Orlando!

  57. 57

    I haven’t been to Universal in ages. We need to plan a day there

  58. 58

    So much fun! We haven’t taken the kiddos to Universal yet but we plan on it soon!

  59. 59

    Will have to bookmark your post for when we go back. It’s been a couple years since we visited Orlando.

  60. 60

    A great list that I will definitely need to keep in mind when I go the next time:)

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