With Ticket Prices and Vacation expenses going higher every year (yes, even before the inflation we are seeing now!), lots of folks are second guessing their theme park vacation or changing plans.
Is Universal Orlando the right park for you? That really depends, because Universal does exclude some groups when it comes to ride offerings and attractions.
Which makes us ask the question, Is Universal Orlando Worth the Visit?
Universal is so popular, that millions of people visit the Universal Resort each year (especially around the fall for their popular halloween special event).
But, like all attractions, Universal caters to a specific group, and it might not be worth it to you!
Universal is best enjoyed for teens and adults, as their young child options are limited. They do have accommodations for many disabilities, but not as easy to navigate as Disney World. And many plus sized folks are disappointed to learn that several of the rides are unavailable because of girth/weight limits.
Is Universal Orlando Worth it if you are on a Budget?
This really depends on your budget. If you are on an absolute shoestring budget and can only afford tickets (and will be stressed about the trip, the food, the parking, the souvenirs etc) then it is not worth it.
If you set a reasonable budget, and understand that food prices are higher, that souvenirs are marketed to get you to open your wallet, and that things happen (like broken shoes and needing rain ponchos), it is absolutely worth it!
Universal Orlando can be done on a budget and is less expensive than rival Disney World.
Portable Phone chargers are great to bring with you to a full day at the parks. I really like this one from amazon because theme parks don’t have the best wifi and it sucks your battery (even with the new iphones and galaxy’s because we have both and it theme parks kill my phone!)
Is Universal Orlando Worth it if you have kids?
This Depends on the age of the child and their interest. Let’s break it down further!
If you have kids under 5? It’s only worth it if you have family members who will enjoy Universal an are older. If you just have kids under 5, I’d suggest one of the other theme parks (DIsney World, Seaworld and LEGOLAND) who are better for the under 5 crowd. Heres a list of rides that toddlers and preschoolers can do (hint it’s not much).
If you have kids from 5-12 years old. It’s likely that this will be worth it for them (and you) especially if you have Harry Potter and Dinosaur fans! I’d recommend looking at touring plans and deciding if there is enough here, as much of the park is made for older teens and adults.
Some Fun things my kids love to do include the Play areas and Smaller Rides. Flight of the Hippogriff is a great first coaster, and so is Woody Woodpeckers Nuthouse Coaster. There’s splash areas and playgrounds at both parks, making it easy to let some steam off while older kids and adults go and ride Rides.
If you have kids that are 12 years and older. Absolutely! There is so much to do for older kids, from giant ball pits to fast (and slow) rides, to funny shows and character interactions. Universal Orlando is THE park for teens and adults out of the four Orlando Theme Parks (Disney World, Universal, Seaworld and LEGOLAND Orlando).
Part of making a Stress Free Universal Orlando Vacation is knowing what expect and having those tricks up your sleeve to make the most of your trip.
And a little TMI- this could save you on your visit if you’ve got the thunder thighs like I do. The solution to chub rub and hating your thighs- I always bring this with me when I go to Disney World.
Is Universal Orlando Worth it if you are coming to Disney World?
Very much yes! Universal is similar in that it is a Theme Park, but it has it’s own Flavor that is very different that Disney World.
Lots of folks are doing ‘split stays’ where they combine a Disney and Universal Vacation into one big Orlando Theme Park Week (LEGOLAND and Seaworld are also options there too!)
Since Universal Orlando and Disney World are only 20-30 minutes apart depending on the park, it’s easy to split your vacation time between the two.
The Ideal Plan would be 3 days at Disney World with a Park Hopper, and 2 Days at Universal Studios with a Park to Park ticket. Throw in a rest/pool day, and you’ve got a jam packed Theme Park Vacation!
Is Universal Orlando Worth it if you are only coming for Harry Potter?
Yes and Yes! Universal Orlando’s Bread and Butter is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it’s common for people to only come for Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
The immersive experience and thrill of being in the Wizarding World is incredible… I can’t even properly put into words how well the Universal Team did when they built the Wizarding Lands.
Many People even come just for the Wizarding World, and it can be done in one day with some prep.
This is especially important if you only have One Day to do everything you want in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Is Universal Orlando Worth it if you are coming on the Weekend?
This really depends on what weekend and if this is your only day. If this is your only day and it’s during the ‘on’ season (which is March, April, June, July, September, October, November, and December) you will have a lot of crowds to deal with. Crowds make for a very long day as you’ll spend time waiting in line for rides, waiting in line for food, waiting in line to purchase items. It’s a lot of waiting!
Only one day, and coming during the Weekend during Tourist Season? No, it’s not worth it.
If you’ve been before and are coming during the Weekend? Yes! You’ll be able to navigate crowds and find enjoyment in your bucket list.
Is Universal Orlando Worth it if you only have one day to visit?
Yes! Even with only one day, there is so much that you can do! I’d recommend you make a ‘can’t miss list” (a bucket list of sorts) for your trip so that you can pick that rides and attractions that are most important to you and not get distracted.
There is so much to do that you cannot fit it all into one day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit! It just means that you should visit with a plan.
For example, you can do most of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in One day (not all of it through), but that won’t leave room for much else in your schedule. You can also do all of the big coasters in one day, but you would be hard pressed to do all of the rides (especially if there is a larger crowd due to the season).
It takes most folks three days in Universal Orlando to do both of the parks, and then another day to do Volcano Bay.