• By Amanda Blackburn.

Universal Studios Planning!

Help with planning your days at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Florida!

I will never forget the first time I went to Universal four years ago, I was so excited it was one of the best days of my life. Driving East along the I4 with butterflies in my stomach my heart pounding from my large two scoops of espresso. The journey seemed to go on forever, I just couldn't wait to get there, luckily the roads were clear and it only took 20 minutes and we were off the I4 and there in the distance, I could see The Hulk roller coaster and the Harry Potter castle roofs. I felt like a child who had spotted Father Christmas," there it is," I shouted making my husband nearly crash and my kids jump out of their skins!

Our holiday here was meant to be once in a lifetime and I never expected to be going again for the next three years. But with lots of hard work and saving we were lucky enough to go for four years running and I now feel like I know just about every corner of Universal, so I would like to share my top tips for visiting

Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure!

Make sure to buy the correct tickets that allow you to pass from Universal Studios to Universal Islands of Adventure using the Hogwarts Express train. This is such an amazing experience if you are a fan of Harry Potter like me. I have always ordered my tickets online before I go from floridatix because they have always been cheaper, reliable and are genuine tickets. The tickets I purchased were the Universal 2-Park Bonus ticket which gets you into both parks and can be used for 14 consecutive days, I am such a fan of Universal I wanted to be visiting at least 5 times during my 14 day holiday. There are lots of other tickets available for shorter visits too, depending on how many days you are visiting. One advantage of having 14 consecutive days is that you can take your time and enjoy it all without rushing around trying to fit everything in!

Make sure to check all height and safety restrictions before you go by checking at universalorlando this way you can plan which rides to go on before you get there. Make some plans on a card with what rides you will be heading to first, put them in distance order and stay to one land at a time, this is a necessity as you will be so overwhelmed with the splendour of the place, you won't know where to start. Check out my Blog on Disney planning as you can also use the plans for Universal.

Take plenty of snacks and drinks in a cooler lunch bag as you are allowed to take these in. We loved the restaurants at Universal, the food was good and wasn't too expensive, but be sure to book up in advance so you are guaranteed at seat without a long wait. At Universal Studios we ate out at Lombard's Seafood Grille with fresh seafood, pasta and more and you can also get great views of the cinematic spectacular fireworks. We also loved The Leaky Cauldron which is a hearty British pub fare with great fish 'n' chips, you can also try the butter beer which it very sweet, too sweet for me!

At Universal Islands of Adventure, we also dined at Mythos restaurant, this award- winning restaurant offers conceptional contemporary cuisine. It is a great building and is so cool inside you simply must dine here, but be sure to book as it gets very busy. Our Favourite restaurant has to be The Three Broomsticks, the food here is very similar to The Leaky Cauldron but the atmosphere is great! We are such Harry Potter fans we all felt part of the film being here and it adds to the whole Harry Potter experience. And thanks to an amazing member of staff called Zac who made us all feel so welcome and was brilliant at acting the part of a wizard. He was fantastic at entertaining my children , they simply loved him and my son also called Zac couldn't wait to visit him again last year, although he was working at the bar instead of in the restaurant.

Top middle Zac & Zac in 2014, left Zac & Zac again in 2015 and on right my older son standing outside The Three Broomsticks!

More Universal top tips to come, please feel free to comment or ask anything about our trip, I am only too happy to help!


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