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Help needed with Universal!!!

Stanley, Falkland...
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Help needed with Universal!!!

Hi everyone,

I have been so preoccupied making sure the Disney part of our trip is aorganized, ADR's all booked etc that I really havent given any thought at all to Universal. We have a 3 day ticket, plan on doing the studio park one day, Island adventure another day and usuing the 3rd day to cover bits of both parks that we missed. Anything it particular thats a must do? I know we shouldnt miss things like illuminations/wishes at Disney, do they do similar parades and shows/fireworks at Universal?

And what about resteraunts? I had a look on the web site but its not very informative, I saw a place called emirils that looked nice, does anyone know if its any good? The Jimmy margarita place looked good too, but it looked sort of "cluby" is it ok to take kids in there for dinner? will we have to leave before 9pm?

Any recommendations for city walk would be much appreciated, hard rock cafe is a must, can I reserve a table? Is there a phone number that I can call to book 3 or 4 different resteraunts at city walk the same way as the Disney one?

Loads of questions I know! thanks in advance for all your help.

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1. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

If you are up to it, sign up to be in the Fear Factor show. My husband did it and had a blast. You need to have ID with you to participate. Men in Black is rather fun. We also enjoyed ET. Don't miss the Mummy ride and Spiderman at IOA. The rafting ride in Popeyes area is great - you will get wet! If your kids are younger the Pterasaur ride is quite fun too. Dueling Dragons roller coaster is a must for thrill seeker.

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2. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

Be careful as depending on what time of year you go will determine how late some of the restaurants stay open ill, we got csught out last Nov did the movie and a meal deal only to find when we went for the meal at 21.45 it was closing and as we did not fancy what was left they gave us a refund we also noticed the motown had been closed down, most of it around city walks is for adults but there is usually a show on outdoors such as balancing acts etc

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

Emriles is a very fancy & expensive (and also very excellent) restaurant. We have 2 kids so when we eat there we either go at lunch or for an early dinner. I always make a reservation but I call them directly.

There are no parades or fireworks that I've ever seem at Universal. Lots of characters to meet though if your kids like that - not much of a lineup to meet them either.

One of our favorite rides is Spider Man - outside the ride some of the heros & villans gather.

Have fun!

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4. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

Depending on the ages of your children you may find you enjoy Universal/Islands just as much (if not more). My teenagers certainly preferred Universal/Islands.

As to MustDo's there are so many its difficult to limit your options. I would suggest the following but do read through other postings for advice as well:

Universal: Revenge of the Mummy; Jaws; Shrek 4-D. If you have young children go in 'Curious George Goes to Town' (take swimwear!). If older children try the Universal Horror Make Up Show and the Beetlejuice Show. There is also a stunt show on the lake area - but don't stand too close to the front if you have a camera!!

Islands: Jurassic Park River Adventure; Poseidon's Fury; Spiderman; The Incredible Hulk Ride! For young children try the Poeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges and Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls (take a change of clothes!).

I would suggest you can 'do' most of the main rides/attractions in each park in one day but if you have the extra day to mop up that will enable you to have a great time.

As usual you will find the main rides have queues but get there early and use the Fast Pass system and you should see most of it.

Hope you have a great time.

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!


To answer a few of your questions about Universal. The restaurants in City Walk. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is a very fun place to eat. Kids are welcomed and they even have a kids menu for them. All of the food was delicious and so were the drinks. Out of all the places we ate at this was our daughter's favorite. Also a visit to the Hard Rock is a must, even if it's just for t-shirt's. We tried the NBA Cafe and were disappointed. But most if not all the restaurants are still open even after the parks close.

You asked if there are any fireworks at Universal Studios and the answer is yes, everynight at 9:00 p.m. While you are at Islands of Adventure don't miss the Marvel Super Hero parade at different times through out the day. Also since you have a 3 day pass you may want to do what we did. The first day we went to both parks and rode all the non-wet rides and caught some of the shows and meet as many character's as possible. The second day we rode all the wet rides and caught the remaining shows that we didn't see the first day. And then on the third day we went and did all the things that we enjoyed the most from the previous days. Both Universal and Islands of Adventure are fun, but in my opinion I think Islands of Adventures has more for kids and Universal has more for the adults. But I highly recommended the Express Pass.

Hope you and your family have a great time.

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6. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!


Are you staying at one of the onsite hotels? If so, you will be able to enter all the attractions through a special line(queue?) which makes waiting almost nil. 3 days is a good amount of time to cover these 2 parks. How old are the kids?

As stated above, do not miss the Spiderman 4 D attraction at Islands of Adventure. If you go on the water rides at that park, Bluto and Popeye, you will get soaked, so be prepared with a change of clothes and towels to dry off or a poncho. Same thing for the Jurassic Park ride.

You are going to love these parks!

Bedfordshire, UK
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7. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

Sorry to butt into this thread but am also planning my trip with a 5 park flex ticket and had not planned on going back to Universal or IoA at night as their websites say nothing about evening shows plus when I checked their closing times for end Aug 06, it says that they close around 7pm. Is this correct? Maybe fireworks etc are at another time of year?

Brighouse, United...
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8. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

CBR, we went to Hard Rock cafe last year (mid August). We were told by a member of staff that they didn't do table reservations. We turned up at around 7pm mid week and only waited around half an hour which I didn't think was too bad. We passed the time looking round the shop (and spending!).

Shelly, Universal/IOA shut 7pm some nights and 8pm others when we were there last year in August. Never saw any fireworks at all and we were there till closing, it's not something I have heard of there. As you said maybe they have them at different times of year. Anyone know?.

Crieff, Scotland
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9. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

Is the express pass like the disney fast pass- do you pay for it or is it free?

Stanley, Falkland...
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10. Re: Help needed with Universal!!!

Thanks for all your reply's!

I have booked Emerils for the last night of our holiday, I thought it would be a special way to end our trip. Dad's paying so am not concernred about the cost lol ;)I went to Emerils web site and booked a table on line using the open table facility.

I couldnt find much info about booking Jimmys margaritaville or hardrock so I phoned them (phone bill is going to be through the roof) They said you can book a priority seating for both restraunts 30 days in advance. You can also book priority seating for the Hrd rock cafe on line 30 days in advance.

Still trying to find out info on parades/fireworks for Universal AND seaworld but really not having any luck at all.

Can anyone confirm if there are fireworks that are worth while staying late to watch?

also, dont know if you saw my other thread about character meals but they have a scooby character dinner that takes place on different nights in the Universal hotels, not the park itself, it isnt a set cost, you order off the regular menu and scooby visits your table for photo's etc. You can again only reserve this 30 days in advance, I put the phone number on the other thread and cant remeber it, but its there if anyone needs it :)