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“A Movie Buffs Ultimate Dream/Harry Potter Fan's Delight”

Universal Studios Florida
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Kids Eat Free Card
Ranked #7 of 425 things to do in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This vast complex houses two theme parks (Universal Studios, for movie rides, and Islands of Adventure, for thrills), an entertainment/nightlife complex (CityWalk) and a variety of hotels. You can buy passes for admission to the parks or just visit the bars, restaurants and stores on the CityWalk.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Stairs / lift, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Baby buggy parking, Wheelchair access
Burleson, TX
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“A Movie Buffs Ultimate Dream/Harry Potter Fan's Delight”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I am reviewing the Universal Studios (US) park separately from Islands of Adventure on purpose. Both parks are fun but each has its own personality.

US is laid out like a movie lot. The buildings and props are straight out of the movies. For those of you who are movie buffs, this is the park I think you will enjoy the most. Don't get me wrong, Islands is super fun too and I recommend both parks, but this park just appealed more to my movie nerd side.

You can easily spend the entire day inside this park floating from each attraction. The newest edition of Harry Potter world, Diagon Alley, is where the old Jaws ride used to be. Since it's so new, you have to wait in line to get inside. Once inside, it's like you stepped into the books. US paid great attention to the detail of this park edition. The night bus sits outside of the entrance to King's Cross and the entrance to Diagon Alley. You can shop until your hearts content and ride the Gringott's ride. I do advise anybody interested in this ride to get there as early as you can. Most of the waits are over two hours and the ride lasts for about a minute. The kids can get interactive wands at Olivander's wand shop and do magic around Diagon Alley (and Hogsmead in the Islands park). You can eat at the leaky cauldron. Their menu is pretty much the same as the Three Broomsticks.

The Simpsons park was cute and the Simpsons ride is in the old Back to the Future ride. The kids liked that ride a lot. We don't care for the Simpson's much, but this part of the park is really cute.

We saw a few shows, had ice cream at Mel's Diner and rode the Hogwarts Express over to Islands. You do have to have a park to park ticket to do this. The ET ride is still there and Twister is still there. The Disaster show was fun and we enjoyed the Transformers ride a lot! We also loved the Mummy ride a lot too.

What we didn't like about this park was the food prices. It's very expensive to eat inside the park and for what you have to choose from just makes you cringe when you get to the cashier.

Anyway, this is a fun park and it has something for all ages. I do recommend staying on property to take advantage of the early park admission option.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank scootersue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Miami Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A complete ripoff”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

If you enjoy standing in line, being fingerprinted and searched, this is for you.
If you enjoy getting the pushy upsell from the entry clerk, to spend a ton more money than you need to, you definitly want to go here.
If you enjoy an invasion of privacy and being fingerprinted and searched at entry, then please, head to Orlando and take a ton of money with you.
Unfortunitly once youve arrived at the gates, (after being searched by the Orlando Police) and spend an hour simply to get to the kiosk to buy tickets, your kids are bored, excited and screaming to get into this money hole.
Once you get to the kiosk, some pushy clerk is going to spend at least 20 mins trying to convince you to spend several hundred dollars more, to be able to visit their second theme park on the site, (the one that nobody bothers with).
Then once you finally have tickets, you try to enter and are told you must supply them with a fingerprint, Thats right, not joking in the least, they want a fingerprint on record of every guest. (Hell even the government has to have a good reason for demanding this, but apparently not Universal)
Any arguements or objections and are told if you dont like it leave, (without refund)
Bear in mind, youve still got a bunch of screaming and over excited kids behind you getting very angry because YOU wont let them get to the rides.
Then comes the fun part, standing in line for 1.5 hours, yep, 90 mins per ride. the ride usually lasts under 2 mins, (under one for some).
You could of course pay a ton extra and get the VIP treatment, then the wait is only 45 mins.
Over priced food, long waits and frankly a very large pile of money spend on a day that I wish I could get back.
It is clear to me that the people that design these places have a morbid sense of curiosity and strive to see how much money they can scam out of people for the lowest possible product.
I can only hope there is a special place in hell reserved just for theme park administrators and designers.

Visited June 2014
11 Thank RoadKill50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“We had fun”
Reviewed 18 July 2014 via mobile

Universal studios is a nice place to visit. We enjoyed all the movie attractions. Getting into Harry potter was nearly impossible, because they just opened it to the public last week. If you are able to go to universal studios you will have a great time.

Visited July 2014
Thank April W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roswell, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“When does the Park really open?”
Reviewed 18 July 2014 via mobile

We got up early for our first day so we could use our early entry from staying at the Hard Rock. We were told the gates open at 7AM. We went in at 6:40AM. We hurried along with many other people and by the time we got in line inside of Diagon Alley, there was a 3 hour wait. There were hundreds of people behind us. A little while later the wait time for Gringott's was up to 6 hours. The kids enjoyed the ride when they finally got on.
Then this morning the kids went over at 5:45. There were 10 people in front of them. The park opened the gates at 6:15. Our teenaged children hurried to Gringott's and found 50 people in front of them. Then an announcement was made that the ride was broken. Repairs were in process, but it could take a minute or 7 hours.
They waited about an hour and decided to bail. No one offered any return passes or advice at all.
If you let everyone in early, then it's not early anymore. They let more people in than just the luxury hotels or hotels on the grounds.
Good luck getting in and riding Gringott's.

Visited July 2014
4 Thank LLS4MTM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I absolutely loved my experience of Universal Studios Florida.....Some big named rides didn't disappoint such as Transformers, Despicable Me & The Simpsons Ride. We mustn't forget the classics such as Twister, Disaster! MIB, Shrek and The Mummy. The Simpsons themed area is excellent addition, but the food dining court is very very busy! Something here for all the family to enjoy!!

Visited June 2014
Thank Masters-excursions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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