Florida Guide > Universal Parks

Universal Studios is situated around 25 minutes north of the vacation villas in Kissimmee and Championsgate. Getting to Universal could not be easier, follow the Interstate 4 north to junction 74 and then follow the signs for Universal Studios.

When planning a day at Universal Studios you really do need to set aside a full day. This will mean arriving at the park around 9am (when it opens) and then stay until late. Depending on the time of year you go to the park will determine how busy it is. If going during a peak period having a full day might seem like a long time, but when Queuing time does seem to go rather quickly. Some of the Queues in the summer months can be in excess of 1 and half hour for the main attractions!

When you arrive at the front of Universal you can’t but help to be impressed with the main entrance. Towering over the entrance is the famous Universal tall columns and smaller World Globe. Most people stop here in the morning to take a photo, so my advice is wait until the end of the day when it is less busy. If you do not want to queue for your tickets we would always advise getting these before you travel (through this site is a good starting point). This will allow you to miss the entrance queue and make your way straight into the park.

When inside the main attraction that everyone heads for straight away is the Rip Ride Rockit. This is a vertical drop rollercoaster not for the faint hearted and can reach seriously high speed while twisting and turning along the track. The main unique selling point for this ride is the fact you can actually custom the ride by selecting one of 30 music tracks while you ride. My advice if you do arrive early enough into the park is to head straight for this ride, after 30 min the queues (even on a not so busy day) can be excessive. We arrive there normally around 9. 15am and as such you normally only wait 20 min to get on. Failing this try the single rider queue as this tends to go quickly.

Universal has some excellent rides to go on, Men in Black being the most popular with the children as you go through the galaxy shooting aliens. Whoever gets the top score wins! Another great ride for the family is the Simpsons, where you chase Maggie around Springfield trying to stop the evil Sideshow Bob. Some of the other popular rides include Mummy (indoor rollercoaster), disaster (where you star in your own disaster movie), Shrek 4-D (a must for the children). One of the new rides to make an appearance in 2012 will be the despicable Me 3-D experience. Designed around cinema 3-D experience this will be a great addition to Universal.

What makes Universal Studios a great day out is the backdrop and feel to the park. It is designed around New York City and has everything you would expect downtown New York to have. Even the shops are life like and give the feeling you are not in Orlando! Everywhere you look the attention to detail is first class and really adds to the feel. One of the smaller shows is the Blues Brothers, who play on the street corner near to the Mummy Ride. You need to look hard as sometimes you will actually miss the board that tells you the times they are playing. Leave it too long you can end up hearing the songs and missing half the show.

Another thing that Makes Universal lead from the front is the fact they are always trying to update and freshen up their rides. Even though some of them (King Kong) were very popular, they were not high tech and that up to date. Because of this Universal removed it and replaced it with an excellent ride in the Mummy. They also have a great knack of being able to squeeze a rollercoaster into one corner of the park without taking away from the feel. This is a hard feet as Universal is not the biggest of the Florida Theme parks.

Overall you really do need to ensure that Universal and Universal Islands of Adventure are on your Orlando Park Tickets selection. It is great for the whole family, has excellent rides and allows the children plenty of chances to come up close with the Simpsons, Scooby Doo and all the other Universal Characters. Couple this with some nice food (better than Disney in my view) and you have an excellent day out.

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