Less Planning Worries
I am a planner. I have lists of lists. And while I’m not saying that you can just rock up at the Universal gates and expect to just get everything done, you won’t need to worry about reservations 180 days in advance. It feels quite relaxing to know that you don’t need to reserve your meals six months in advance and that there is no option to book fast passes weeks before.
Sure there are some restaurants, where you can reserve a table, and an Express Pass you can buy exists – but you don’t have to! You can show up at a restaurant and will be seated (maybe after a little wait), this counts for the parks as well as CityWalk. There is no complicated FastPass system, you either have bought an Express Pass or are staying at a Premier hotel (where it is in included) or you will be queuing, standard first come first serve.
So have a good idea of what you want to do and in which order, as you would for any theme park visit. Only here you make the schedule, not your reservations.
More Compact Area
Let’s face it, there’s a reason you need a very long time to see all of WDW, it’s huge! While USF is growing, it still can nowhere near be compared. Both have their pro’s and con’s but right now I’ll just focus on the benefit: once you’re on property, you can easily walk everywhere. There are other methods of transportation but if you’re somewhat good on foot, Universal is your oyster. You can walk from one park to the other within minutes, and all the hotels and dining options are scattered along the way on CityWalk.
This leads to easier park-hopping, although I’d recommend the Hogwarts Express for this, and overall more flexibilty. Don’t be fooled though, you’ll still need some good footwear and get ouf of bed early.
Thrills En Mass
Don’t get me wrong, I love the rides at Walt Disney World, I will happily queue forever to meet characters and get a numb behind from waiting for a show to start…. but: IoA, and USF, definitely cater more towards the thrill seekers coming to Orlando. Between the Hulk and Hollywood’s Rip Ride Rockit, you’ll need to bring your courage with you. Besides this, there are also plenty of fantastic motion rides and a few ‘smaller’ rides for the younger audience.
The technology featured in the Wizarding World rides is ground-breaking, and the King Kong ride promises yet another unique experience.
Even the water rides feature intense drops. On this note: IoA also has the wettest ride I have ever experienced; Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges will leave you completely soaked!
I mean, do I need to say much more on this point? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, split between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, is one of the most immersive lands created in theme parks in a long time. I would even go so far to say it’s currently the most immersive land in any theme park.
Created in collaboration with J. K. Rowling and staying true to the visuals of the movies, it comes as no surprise that any Potter-head feels as if they have returned home. However, non Potter-fans can appreciate the World as well. The area is filled with so many details, your eyes won’t know where to look first. Furthermore, the Wizarding World offers some of the best dining and shopping locations in both parks.
There is so much to see and do at Universal Orlando, I can’t recommend a visit highly enough! Take two or three days and enjoy all there is offered!