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A Guide to Planning a Universal Studios Orlando Trip with Kids

Updated: May 16

Are you dreaming of an unforgettable family adventure filled with magic, thrills, and endless fun? Look no further than Universal Studios Orlando! Planning a trip to this iconic theme park destination requires some careful preparation to ensure every moment is filled with joy and excitement. Whether your family is embarking on their first trip or returning for another unforgettable experience, this comprehensive Universal Studios planning guide will help you navigate through the planning process seamlessly.

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Why a Trip to Universal Studios Orlando?

Universal Studios Orlando is a paradise for families seeking an immersive entertainment experience. From the enchanting Wizarding World of Harry Potter to heart-pounding roller coasters and beloved movie-themed attractions, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy. With two incredible theme parks—Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure—plus the vibrant dining and entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, you're in for a vacation like no other.

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Choose the Right Time to Visit: Before diving into the planning process, consider the best time to visit Universal Studios Orlando. Factors such as crowd levels, weather, and special events can impact your experience. Generally, weekdays outside of peak seasons offer lower crowds and shorter wait times for attractions.


Select Accommodation: Finding the perfect place to stay is crucial for a comfortable and convenient trip. Universal Orlando Resort offers a variety of on-site hotels catering to different budgets and preferences. Staying on-site provides perks like early park admission and complimentary transportation to the parks, enhancing your overall experience.


Staying at one of Universal Orlando's on-site hotels offers unparalleled convenience and benefits, making it an ideal choice for visitors looking to maximize their time at the theme parks. These hotels include:

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: Inspired by the charm of the Italian Riviera, this luxurious hotel offers upscale accommodations, exquisite dining options, and exclusive benefits such as Universal Express Unlimited access, allowing you to skip the regular lines at participating attractions. Only a 10 minute walk to Universal CityWalk, 13 minute walk to Universal Studios Florida, and a 16 minute walk to Universal's Island of Adventure. Don't want to walk? Enjoy a free shuttle to the theme parks!

  • Hard Rock Hotel: Rock out in style at this music-themed hotel featuring rock 'n' roll memorabilia, stylish rooms, and VIP access to you'll receive free Universal Express Unlimited™. Guests can also enjoy live music performances and dining options inspired by classic American cuisine. Only a 11 minute walk to Universal CityWalk, a 13 minute walk to Universal Studios Florida, and a 16 minute walk to Universal's Island of Adventure. Don't want to walk? Enjoy a free shuttle to the theme parks!

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort: Transport yourself to the tropical paradise of the South Pacific at this Polynesian-themed resort. Relax in lush surroundings, unwind by the lagoon-style pool, and enjoy complimentary Universal Express Passes for select attractions. Only a 5 minute walk to Universal CityWalk, 6 minute walk to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and a 9 minute walk to Universal Studios Florida.  Don't want to walk? Enjoy a free shuttle to the theme parks!

  • Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort: For a retro-inspired getaway, consider this value-priced resort featuring colorful, retro-themed rooms, multiple pools, and a lazy river. Guests can also enjoy Early Park Admission to select Universal Orlando theme parks. Plus, it's an easy walk to Universa's Volcano Bay!  Don't want to walk? Enjoy a free shuttle to the theme parks!

Purchase Tickets in Advance: To avoid long lines at the ticket booths, purchase your Universal Studios tickets online in advance. Consider opting for multi-day tickets or park-to-park passes, allowing access to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. Keep an eye out for special offers or packages that include additional perks like dining credits or souvenir vouchers.


Download the Universal Studios Orlando Planner: To help streamline your planning process, we've created a Universal Studios Orlando Planner specifically tailored for families with children. This downloadable resource includes:

  • Daily itinerary templates to organize your park activities.

  • Ride height requirements.

Plan Your Itinerary: With the help of the Universal Studios Orlando Planner, map out your daily activities and prioritize must-see attractions for your family. Consider factors such as ride wait times, show schedules, and dining reservations when crafting your itinerary. Be sure to include breaks for rest and snacks to keep everyone energized throughout the day.

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Utilize Express Passes: To minimize wait times and maximize your time in the parks, consider purchasing Universal Express Passes. These allow you to skip the regular lines at most attractions, ensuring more time for fun and less time spent waiting.


Immerse Yourself in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: No trip to Universal Studios Orlando is complete without a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Explore iconic locations like Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley, indulge in butterbeer and pumpkin pasties, and experience thrilling rides like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

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Stay Flexible and Have Fun: While planning is essential, it's also important to stay flexible and go with the flow. Unexpected changes or detours can lead to new discoveries and spontaneous adventures. Above all, focus on creating lasting memories with your family and enjoying every moment of your Universal Studios trip.


With careful planning and our Universal Studios Orlando Planner in hand, your family is sure to have an unforgettable vacation filled with excitement, laughter, and magic. Download your free planner today and get ready for an epic adventure at Universal Studios Orlando!


Free Universal Studios Orlando Planner

Click here to download the Universal Studios Free Planner

Happy Planning!



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