There’s a lot to enjoy when you visit Universal Orlando Resort. As a matter of fact, you likely missed out on some of the top attractions.
Universal Orlando Resort is a world-class destination that brings in visitors with its thrilling mix of entertainment, immersive experiences, and magical adventures. Universal Orlando comprises two major theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, along with the vibrant entertainment and dining complex, Universal CityWalk. Together, these components create a spectacular playground for all ages.
Universal Studios Florida invites guests to step into the world of movies and television with attractions that seamlessly blend cutting-edge technology, captivating storytelling, and beloved characters. Iconic rides like Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Transformers: The Ride 3D, and Revenge of the Mummy provide an immersive journey into cinematic universes.
The park’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter section, with its faithful re-creation of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, is a particularly enchanting highlight, bringing the magic of J.K. Rowling’s books and films to life.
Meanwhile, Universal’s Islands of Adventure immerses visitors in a world of adventure and fantasy. Home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, as well as the thrilling Jurassic World VelociCoaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, the park offers exhilarating experiences for adrenaline junkies and fans of beloved franchises alike.
The attention to detail in the park’s design and theming is awe-inspiring, transporting guests to far-off lands and mythical realms. It’s a place where you can explore the jungles of Jurassic Park, embark on a journey with Dr. Seuss’s characters, and set sail in Toon Lagoon, and much more.
Universal Orlando has major plans for the future. The resort is set to open an all-new theme park, titled Epic Universe, in 2025. This new theme park will house SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, as well as many other lands such as How To Train Your Dragon, Universal Classic Monsters, and an addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
In addition, Universal is adding new attractions to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. DreamWorks land is expected to open at Universal Studios Florida in 2024, and Universal has also closed down Poseidon’s Fury permanently to make way for a brand new experience, which has not been confirmed at this time.
In the midst of these expansions, it’s easy to miss out on some of the most beloved attractions. Today, let’s take a look at 10 attractions at Universal Orlando you probably skipped but definitely should make sure to enjoy next time.
#1: Camp Jurassic
Located within the heart of the Jurassic Park section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Camp Jurassic is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Often overshadowed by the towering thrills of Jurassic Park River Adventure and the relentless excitement of Jurassic World VelociCoaster, this prehistoric playground offers a peaceful retreat for families with younger children. Set in a lush, dinosaur-themed environment, it features caves, climbing structures, and splash zones that allow kids to explore and burn off some energy while parents take a well-deserved break.
Though this is often overlooked, the truth is that Camp Jurassic is the perfect place to get away from the crowds– and the heat– and enjoy some family time. No matter whether you’re a young child or a full-grown adult, there are plenty of offerings in this area for you to enjoy.
#2: Animal Actors Live on Location!
Universal Studios Florida boasts a wide range of spectacular shows and attractions, but Animal Actors Live on Location! often goes unnoticed. This delightful show takes place at the Animal Actors Stage, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of animal actors.
With a mix of furry, feathered, and scaly stars, the show features dogs, cats, birds, and other animals showcasing their talents in a series of tricks and stunts. It’s an educational and entertaining experience that leaves the entire family in awe of these extraordinary animal actors. If you’ve never taken the time to view Animal Actors on Location, you’re missing out.
#3: The Bourne Stuntacular:
The Bourne Stuntacular, a relatively recent addition to Universal Studios Florida, is a live-action show that is deserving of more attention. Combining cutting-edge technology, breathtaking stunts, and a gripping storyline, this attraction is a cinematic experience brought to life. For fans of the Bourne film franchise, it’s an opportunity to step into the world of Jason Bourne and witness a high-energy, heart-pounding performance that blends live-action with advanced special effects.
Even if you’re not a fan of the Bourne movies, you’ll be blown away by the technology used in this attraction at Universal Studios Florida.
#4: Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
Nestled in Toon Lagoon at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges offers an exciting water ride that is often underestimated. Riding circular rafts, visitors embark on a watery adventure through turbulent rapids, cascading waterfalls, and drenching fountains. The result? An exhilarating, splashing experience that’s perfect for those hot Florida days. While you’re guaranteed to get soaked, it’s a fun way to bond with friends and family as you navigate the unpredictable waters.
A lot of people choose to skip Popeye & Bluto’s BilgeRat Barges because of the fact that they don’t want to get soaking wet. Honestly, the better plan is to simply pack an extra pair of shoes– and perhaps an outfit– and enjoy the attraction with the family. It will absolutely be an experience you won’t forget.
#5: Universal Orlando’s Horror Makeup Show
If you have a fascination for movie magic and special effects, Universal Orlando’s Horror Makeup Show is a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered. This captivating show at Universal Studios Florida is part comedy, part education, and entirely entertaining. Hosted by talented guides, it offers an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the art of creating horror movie makeup effects. Expect humor, surprises, and a newfound appreciation for the intricate work that goes into making movies come to life.
While some may think the show is frightening, the truth is that it’s a comedy. It’s one of the only opening-day attractions left, and we recommend doing it every time.
#6: If I Ran The Zoo Playground
For families with young children visiting Universal’s Islands of Adventure, If I Ran The Zoo Playground in Seuss Landing is a delightful discovery. Inspired by Dr. Seuss’s whimsical book, “If I Ran the Zoo,” this colorful and imaginative playground provides a creative space for kids to explore. It’s not just a typical playground; it’s a chance for children to immerse themselves in the boundless imagination of Dr. Seuss’s world. Climbing structures, interactive features, and Seussian designs make this playground a must-visit for families.
#7: Hogwarts Express:
The Hogwarts Express is more than a mere mode of transportation between the two Harry Potter-themed lands at Universal Orlando Resort. It’s an attraction in its own right, offering a magical journey from King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida to Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure (or vice versa). This enchanting train ride is filled with immersive experiences, including encounters with beloved Harry Potter characters, magical views of the British countryside, and glimpses into the wizarding world that is sure to transport you into the heart of the beloved book and film series.
#8: The all-new Illumination Theater:
Earlier this year, Universal Studios Orlando opened Minion Land, which features Illumination Ave., including the groundbreaking new attraction – Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast – where guests can blast their way to supervillain stardom. Guests can also savor tasty dishes at Minion Cafe, snack on banana-flavored popcorn at Pop-a-Nana, cool off with sweet treats at Freeze Ray Pops, shop exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise and goodies at Bake My Day and the Evil Stuff retail store, laugh alongside the Minions while experiencing absolute Mayhem at the beloved Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and meet lots of fan-favorite characters along the way at Illumination Theater.
Universal’s official description for Illumination Theater reads:
“Not only can guests discover murals and photo ops of popular characters from Illumination films throughout Minion Land, but now guests can meet, greet and interact with beloved characters like the Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes, plus new additions from the hit film “Sing” – Rosita, Gunter and Johnny – at the Illumination Theater.”
If you’re looking for a place to meet your favorite characters– particularly the minions and the stars from the Despicable Me franchise– this is where you want to be. The line is never terribly long, so it’s a perfect way to get in those photos.
#9: Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park:
While Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park isn’t technically part of the theme park complex, it’s an integral part of the Universal Orlando experience that should not be skipped if you have the time.
Universal’s Volcano Bay boasts a diverse range of attractions, including thrilling water slides like the towering Ko’okiri Body Plunge and the exhilarating Krakatau Aqua Coaster. For those looking to relax, the lazy river known as the Kopiko Wai Winding River provides a peaceful journey through stunning landscapes. With a massive wave pool, serene beaches, and lush landscaping, Volcano Bay creates an island paradise where visitors can escape the Florida heat and revel in the thrill of water-based excitement. The park’s theming, centered around the towering Krakatau volcano, adds a sense of wonder to the entire experience, making it a must-visit destination for families and thrill-seekers alike.
#10: Universal CityWalk:
Often overlooked in the rush to experience the theme parks, Universal CityWalk is a destination unto itself. This vibrant entertainment and dining complex is a bustling hub of activity. It boasts an array of restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and live entertainment venues, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely dinner, a bit of retail therapy, or a night of dancing and entertainment, CityWalk has it all.
Here’s a look at just some of the offerings you can enjoy in Universal CityWalk:
- Bigfire American Fare
- The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
- Voodoo Doughnut
- Hardrock Cafe
- Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
- Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
- Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
- Vivo Italian Kitchen
- Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.
- Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom
- Universal Studios Store
- Quiet Flight Surfshop
- Hollywood Drive-In Golf
- Universal Cinemark
- Universal’s Great Movie Escape
- and plenty of others.
As you plan your visit to Universal Orlando, remember that these lesser-known attractions can provide moments of wonder, education, and relaxation, allowing you to fully appreciate the diversity of what the resort has to offer. So, make it a point not to skip these gems on your next Universal Orlando adventure, and you’ll be rewarded with a deeper and more enriching experience that captures the essence of this world-class entertainment destination.
What attraction or offering at Universal Orlando Resort do you make sure to never skip?