First Timers Guide to Universal Studios Orlando 


Paying More to  Skip the Line

One funny thing to note is that Universal has a pass you can pay extra for in order to skip the line. To plan a trip to Universal, start with the basics like when and where, then build out your trip using the Universal app.


Child Swap Two or more eligible riders may take turns experiencing the ride and watching the child without having to wait in line more than once.  Single-Rider This ride queue option allows guests to board an attraction earlier by riding alone when the ride operators are looking for  people to fill empty seats.  Express Pass This is Universal’s equivalent to Fastpass or Lightning Lane at Walt Disney World.


Express Unlimited This is an enhanced pass that allows you to use the Express Line for any eligible attraction as many times as you want.  Virtual line This in-app feature allows you to schedule a “virtual line pass” to return to an eligible popular attraction at a scheduled time.  Universal Pay This is an in-app wallet that allows you to make contactless transactions anywhere in Universal Orlando.


Uber Zone This is a designated sheltered waiting area for Uber riders.  Mobile Food and Drink This in-app feature allows you to place an order with quick-service dining locations in advance for pick-up when you arrive. Full Service A dining location with a wait staff that offers table service. Park2Park This is a ticket that allows you to visit two parks in one day. It’s essential if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express!

When to Go

If you have the availability and you like the idea of saving some money on your travel, August, September, and October could be right for you–particularly on weekdays.  May, June, and July are busy and have lots of that humid summer heat, which will significantly sway the way you spend your time at the resort.

Where to Go

Universal has a robust offering of theme parks which will soon include the highly anticipated Epic Universe park. The fourth theme park at Universal Orlando opens in 2025. Otherwise there is Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.

Where to Stay

You have the option between value hotels, prime value hotels, preferred hotels or premier hotels. 

Where to Eat

Most of the really great dining options at Universal will either be at Universal CityWalk or at the Premier Hotels. The Palm at Hard Rock Hotel, Bice Ristorante at Portofino Bay, and Bigfire in Universal City Walk are just a few of the many dining options. There are also unique quick service options like Bend the Bao and Breadbox.

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