The Universal Orlando theme park experience consists of two immense parks, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. This particular theme park is also home to the highly celebrated and much loved Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which although seems like a theme park in its own right, is actually part of the Universal Studios park. Aside from the theme parks Universal Orlando Resort hosts the buzzing strip CityWalk, which is the perfect hang out for your nightlife. There’s an endless strip of evening entertainment, night clubs, bars, some award winning restaurants and the general hum of nightlife and people enjoying their holidays.
Universal Orlando is one of Orlando’s famous three theme park resort, like Disney World and SeaWorld Universal also offers onsite accommodation for those that really wish to immerse themselves in the Universal experience. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort are Universal Orlando’s three world class on site hotels. Each hotel has been designed to meet various budgets and holiday requirements, however all three have been given top ratings. The hotels each have their own theme and boast various recreational and leisure activities to suit, nevertheless, no matter which hotel you might choose to stay at guests are able to use the amenities and facilities across all three.
To experience Universal Orlando Resort in its entirety you will need to experience both parks. Instead of purchasing your Universal Studios tickets and your Island of Adventures ticket separately there are many tickets available that can allow access to Universal Studios and Universal Island of Adventures throughout the entire length of your stay.
Universal Orlando Resort Hotels
Many automatically assume that staying onsite is pushing the boat out too far, however if you’re really after the best Orlando theme park holiday this is really the only way to go. The privileges exceed the hotel’s luxury and convenient location to the parks. You’ll be entitled to complimentary water taxis to and from your hotel to the parks, admission to the park one hour before it opens to regular Universal ticket holders and complimentary quick queuing privileges, which gives you the chance to avoid any excessive queues. Once again this is available across all three resorts.
Harry Potter – Universal Studios
Both Universal Studios and Universal Island of Adventures feature some amazing imaginative, creative or simply thrilling experiences, whether it’s live shows, simulator rides or roller coasters. Firstly, all guests must see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, regardless whether you’re a Potter fan or not, the world over is talking about this magnificent creation and it is well worth just taking a look at. If you are staying at one of the resorts use your early entry admission to head to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first and be blown away by the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.
Universal Studios Thriller Ride
Universal is great for offering numerous ways to scare the living daylights out of you on the coasters, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios is definitely one of those rides. You’ll select a song of your choice to ride to and a video camera will film your ride. After your Rip Ride Rockit experience you’ll be able to watch yourself being throwing down vertical drops and turned upside down.
Universal Studios – Live Show
Although you may not be entirely interested in the behind the scenes aspect of filmmaking The Horror Make up show is a good way to be entertained whilst you rest your feet. The way this show has been put together is not only hilarious, but surprisingly insightful and enjoyable
Islands of Adventures
The must see rides at Universal Islands of Adventure really are endless and you can honestly spend your whole day here being lifted off your feet by roller coasters or wowed by unbelievably realistic simulator rides. Do not leave the park without riding Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall and Dragon Challenge. Of course, if you want to get drenched, which many people do Popeye and Bluto’s Blige Rat Barges will do the trick.
An Evening at Universal Orlando Resort
For your evening portion of your Universal experience CityWalk has more than enough for you to get your teeth into. For some amazing Caribbean Latin Fusion food the Latin Quarter is to die for, not only is the food great, but there’s some live entertainment that will compliment your meal nicely. After you have eaten check out CityWalk’s Rising Star. This new take on karaoke offers singers the chance to get up on stage with backing singers and a live band whilst audience members enjoy the performances seated at their tables sipping cocktails.
Across the Banana River from the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island and just north of Cocoa Beach is the city of Cape Canaveral, Florida. In the city of Cape Canaveral you will find, on a protected channel just off the Atlantic Ocean, Port Canaveral.
Port Canaveral, which not too long ago was a small cargo port is now, in addition to being a major international cargo hub, one of the, if not the, busiest cruise ports in the Western Hemisphere. It is also a fun filled recreational area.
Board a cruise ship for a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 day cruise to the Keys, the Bahamas or the Caribbean, on the 855′ Carnival Fantasy, the 952′ Carnival Glory, the 964′ Disney Magic, the 964′ Disney Wonder, the 880′ Royal Caribbean International Sovereign of the Seas, the 1020′ Royal Caribbean International Mariner of the Seas, the 916′ Royal Caribbean International Grandeur of the Seas or one of the other cruise ships that are in port. P&O cruises, the very popular BRITISH cruise line offers cruises from Barbados and Cruises from Southampton around the Caribbean.
Go fishing off the 1200′ Malcolm E. McLouth fishing pier, launch your own boat from the public boat launching ramps at Port’s End Park and Freddie Patrick Park or take a half, full day or night fishing excursion charter, on the Atlantic Ocean or the Indian River Lagoon, from one of the three marinas at the Port.
Go camping at the 35 acre Jetty Park with it’s 150 lighted camp sites, ranging from tents to full hookup for RVs, it’s four and one-half-acre family beach with designated areas for water-related activities, such as swimming and surfing, covered pavilions and picnic tables, restrooms with showers, refreshment stand, fishing pier and fish cleaning tables. Call (321) 783-7111 for reservations and rules.
Check out the Cove with it’s more than a dozen dining establishments, most serving fresh seafood fresh from the boats. There are also numerous shops and boutiques.
Strech out on the clean well tended sandy beach and watch the fishing boats and cruise ships go by. The sky is blue and the water is clear. Watch a rocket launch from the nearby Cape Kennedy Space Center.
Stay at one of the nearby resort hotels in Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Merritt Island and Palm Bay. Take a 45 minute drive to Orlando and visit Disney World or one of the other theme parks. Visit nearby Cape Kennedy and tour NASA’s launch headquarters, see the towering launch pads, huge rockets, history-making technology, explore the Apollo/Saturn V Center and the Vehicle Assembly Building, walk through a full-size Space Shuttle mock-up, see IMAX space films on gigantic five-story screens, and see an actual Gemini program capsule on display in Early Space Exploration. Visit one of the many other area attractions.
There is plenty for the whole family to see and do, in and around Port Canaveral.