Universal Studios Orlando tips to make the most of your time in the parks

Universal Studios Orlando has been a hit with thrill-seekers and families for decades, thanks to its brilliant rollercoasters, fun attractions and nods to heaps of iconic films.

However, its popularity can mean that it's often busy, and suddenly you find yourself battling through crowds or facing long queues to get to the best attractions. (Especially if you're tied to school holiday dates and need to visit during peak seasons).

The good news is that there are ways to maximise your time in the parks, with easy hacks for cutting down your waiting times, saving money on food and drink, and seeing the highlights if you're short on time.

To give you a helping hand, we've put together some top tips below…

Thinking of also hitting the Disney parks while you're in Florida? We've also got guides for cheap Walt Disney World tickets, as well as top tips for exploring Disney parks.

Find cheap Universal Studios tickets

  • We've got a guide to the best Universal Studios deals including discounted day tickets, cheap packages and more offers such as meal deals.
  • Websites like Picniq, AttractionTix and 365Tickets can be good sources if you're after discounted day tickets.
  • AttractionTickets has deals on combo tickets with Walt Disney World during your holiday as these included unlimited access to the nine parks across the two resorts.


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Maximising your time

Universal Studios Orlando is actually made up of three parks, so if you've got specific attractions in mind make sure you check which park they're in. To give you a helping hand, we've shared some of the highlights in each one;

Universal Studios: Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Diagon Alley), Shrek 4D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Woody Woodpecker's KidZone, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Fast & Furious; Supercharged, Revenge of the Mummy, E.T Adventure

Islands of Adventure: The Incredible Hulk coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Hogsmeade), Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Volcano Bay: The water park is filled with water slides, rides and pools – here are the highlights you won't want to miss.


  • Universal Orlando is building a new theme park set to be its most immersive yet

Cut waiting times in queues

  • Use the Universal Studios resort app which shows you the waiting times of rides, so if there's a long queue at the one you had in mind, it's worth trying out some alternatives and coming back later.
  • If you're staying at one of the on-site hotels, these do offer early access to the parks so make use of this time where the queues are likely to be shorter and you can beat the crowds for some of the more popular rides.
  • Consider a Universal Express Pass which allows you to skip the regular lines at some of the top rides and attractions. You can add these to your booking and choose from a range of options whether you want to skip it once at participating rides, or get unlimited skips.

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US theme park deals

  • Cheap Universal Orlando tickets
  • Cheap Walt Disney World tickets
  • Legoland Florida deals
  • Harry Potter at Universal Studios

More top tips to explore the parks 

  • Download the Universal Studios resort app; this includes details on show times, waiting times at rides, maps and heaps more up to date information that can be a huge help when you're navigating the parks.
  • Get there before the parks open. Queues to get in can be quite long, and if you've only got a day or two then you want to be in as early as possible. Parking and security can take around half an hour on busy days.
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split across both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, so if you want to explore the whole thing, you'll need tickets to both parks.
  • Schedule your days around the shows you want to see. Plan ahead using show times and try to stick to rides nearby. For the best seats, it's worth arriving early.
  • Want to eat at the restaurants? Booking in advance could save you a lot of queuing time, and can help you plan your day a little more. You can book in advance for restaurants at the CityWalk, in the theme parks and also the hotels. Find out more here. 
  • Pack sun cream, water, and wear comfortable shoes – it may sound obvious, but these theme parks are huge and you'll be doing a lot of walking, not to mention the Orlando weather is often hot and sunny.
  • Travelling with children who are too small for the bigger rides? Parents can make use of the 'Child Switch' service where one parent rides while the other waits with little ones, before being able to switch without having to go through the whole queue.

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