Saturday 6 July 2019

Top Tips to do Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in One Day

We recently visited Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida for one day only. We managed to go in both parks and pretty much did all the rides we wanted to. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of Universal Studios in one day.

1) Buy a Park to Park Ticket
Make sure you buy the park to park ticket which will allow you into both parks via the Hogwarts Express. You could go from Universal Studios to Islands of adventure or the other way around.

2) Get an Express Pass
There is no way we could have done everything we wanted to without the express pass. This enabled us to go into a separate 'quicker' queuing area and bypass those long lines. 

3) Eat Breakfast Before You Arrive
Don't waste precious time you have getting breakfast at the park. Eat before you get there and arrive just before opening.

4) Make Use of the Child Swap
If you have young children that can't ride bigger rides then be sure to make use of the child swap system. Most of the rides have an area where one parent can wait with the children whilst the other rides on the attraction. When the parent finishes the ride they simply swap and the waiting parent heads virtually straight onto the ride. 
The Harry Potter child swap areas were very good as they had tv screens showing Harry Potter films. 

5) Go Midweek
Both parks are always quieter during Monday - Friday. This is usually when kids are in school etc.

6) Go at the Right Time of Year
Where possible try and avoid any school holidays. Remember to check both American and UK holidays to ensure you find the best time.

7) Have a Plan but be Flexible 
Have a rough plan in mind of what you want to do before you arrive including which rides you want to go and what shows you want to see. However, it's important to remember to be flexible too and be prepared to change any plans. If a ride queue is very short when you walk past it, then ride it straight away. Do not wait to follow your plan.

8) Wear Comfortable Shoes
You're going to be on your feet most of the day so make sure you have comfortable shoes. I recommend some form of trainers but wear whatever is going to make sure your feet don't hurt throughout the day. 

9) Have a Quick Lunch
Don't book a sit down table service style meal for lunch (save that for a late dinner). Pop into one of the quick service style restaurants such as the Kwik-E-Mart in The Simpsons area.

10) Don't wait for the front or back seating of rides
We all love to ride the very front or the back of rollercoasters but often those lines are the busiest. If you have more than one day then yes go for it but for one day only I'd advise against it.

I hope these tips are helpful. One thing that is important to remember is that you probably won't have time to get on every single ride and do all of the shows, so go with that idea in your head. If you do manage it then, then that's a bonus but if you don't, then you won't be too disappointed if you've already preempted it. 

*Disclosure - Our one day family park to park tickets with Express Passes were gifted to us by Universal Studios.*



  1. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Universal! Not sure I could fit both parks into one day though but I don't think we help ourselves as we are quite late starters on Holiday so don't tend to get to them until around 1-2pm (but then stay until the very end lol)

  2. Some fab tips - I'd love to visit Universal Studios. Good idea about checking both UK and US holidays to beat the crowds.

  3. Thanks for all of the advice. We have never been but as huge Harry Potter fans we would love to do Universal one day.

  4. These are really top tips. It is such a big place so a lot to take in. I would love to do a trip there one day.

  5. I am amazed that you managed to do all the things you wanted to do, thanks for this guide

  6. I had the best pair of Skechers sandals when I went and they were a god send for the comfort. You do so much walking around.

  7. I've never been to either park, but these sound like some great tips. I wouldn't have thought of the child swap.

  8. I have never been to Universal Studio but I always wanted to visit. Such a wonderful place.

  9. We have been to universal and yes you need to be organised for sure. These are fab tips xx


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