First Time to Universal Orlando Resort

Growing up in Washington, many of my family vacations involved flying to California and visiting Universal Studios. I had always dreamed of visiting the Florida location, but never went until recently. On February 8th I had the privilege of visiting Universal Orlando Resort and had the best time!! I am so excited to share my tips for your first time to Universal Orlando Resort! Keep reading for my favorite rides, snacks, and more.

First Time to Universal Orlando Resort First Time to Universal Orlando Resort

First Time to Universal Orlando ResortFirst Time to Universal Orlando Resort

Planning Ahead

Before arriving, I made sure to do my research. I only had one day and knew I had to plan ahead a bit in order to do everything I wanted to do, and see everything I wanted to see! The Universal Orlando website is super helpful with this. Under “Things to Do” you can see the different rides, restaurants, shopping, etc.

I would suggest picking a few rides that you absolutely want to ride and starting there. Universal Orlando Resort consists of three different parks: Universal’s Volcano Bay, Universal Studios Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. When making your list – make sure that you look to see which park each ride is in!

The rides I for sure wanted to ride were: “Flight of the Hippogriff”, “The Simpsons Ride”, and “Revenge of The Mummy”. Besides those three, I didn’t plan on riding any other specific rides – I just rode whatever I stumbled upon.

My Favorite Rides & Lands

First Time to Universal Orlando Resort First Time to Universal Orlando Resort

I recently watched Harry Potter for the first time and was so excited to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I went to The Wizaring World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley first and thought it was so cool. It looked exactly like the movie! I rode “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringott’s” in this park and it was my absolute favorite ride. I highly recommend it! We got seated in the front row which was also a plus.

In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, I rode “Flight of the Hippogriff” and “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” – they were SO fun! Even waiting in line was a blast, because everything around me was so interesting and cool to look at.

I loved “The Cat in the Hat” ride and thought it was the cutest! It was so fun & perfect for all ages! Seuss Landing, located in Islands of Adventure, had so much character and I loved wandering around and seeing all of the colors and things to do.

“Jurassic Park River Adventure” was an absolute blast and a perfect way to cool off on a hot day. It’s definitely a classic and a must-ride if you’re visiting Universal Orlando Resort!

The rides I named were just a few of my favorites – make sure to allow lots of time to wander around and ride tons of them! I highly recommend purchasing the Universal Express Pass, so you can skip the regular line at most of the rides. It’s definitely worth it – especially if you only have one or two days in the three parks.

My Favorite Snacks & Restaurants

First Time to Universal Orlando Resort

The food is another one of the amazing parts about Universal Orlando Resort! My first stop was at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlor, located in Diagon Alley. It was absolutely amazing! I got the mint soft-serve. I also got a corn-dog near KrustyLand, and Dippin’ Dots a few different times (I’m obsessed!). Located just outside of the parks is Universal CityWalk – filled with lots of food and shopping. I ate at Margaritaville and am still dreaming about the fried chicken!

Instagrammable Spots

First Time to Universal Orlando Resort First Time to Universal Orlando Resort

Around every corner there were photo-worthy locations. A few of my favorites were…

Springfield USA – the colors were so bright and vibrant! Certain spots also had views of the water. I had so much fun taking photos here!

Diagon Alley – I felt just like I was in Harry Potter! Diagon Alley is filled with lots of colorful buildings that I loved photographing.

Suess Landing – A town filled with lots of character and fun colors!

Marvel Super Hero Island – So many amazing photoshoot spots, as well as the location of the Hulk ride.

First Time to Universal Orlando Resort First Time to Universal Orlando Resort

Shop My Looks

First Time to Universal Orlando ResortFirst Time to Universal Orlando Resort

Thanks for reading!
Much love,


Thank you so much to Universal Orlando Resort for providing me with park tickets. All opinions are my own!

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. So much fun!! i went to the wizarding world of harry potter on my spring break in law school and had the BEST time. It’s such a cool experience!

  2. I don’t think I could possibly leave The Wizarding World of Harry Potter if I ever went to Universal. I’m such a Potterhead haha!

  3. I went to Universal back in High school and it looks like its changed so much!! It looks like so much fun! (especially Happy Potter world!)

    xo, Sarah

  4. First of all, LOVE your dress and I can’t believe Revolve has it on sale right now (SCORE!). Universal Studios Hollywood is my favorite place so I can’t imagine how exciting it is to experience Universal Orlando!!! Looks like it was so fun and I would’ve never thought of planning ahead because the one in California is small enough where you can see it all in one day. Thanks so much for the tips x

  5. oh my gosh, so many memories! we used to go to universal orlando every september when i was growing up! I once set a record for most consecutive rides on the hulk coaster!