Much like Disneyland, the Universal Orlando resort is intimate and convenient. Along with the blessing of size are challenges to overcome that very distance (that’s what she said #RimShot). Walking between the resorts, attractions, and shopping / dining is easy in itself, backed up by bus and boat transportation that is surprisingly fast. Anyone who has waited for a Disney bus to get from place to place will be very pleased with the time it takes to get from point A to point B. Most walks are less than 15 minutes, the bus ride is about 5 minutes, and the boats are generally less than 15 minutes.
Park to Park attraction touring is separated only by CityWalk or a short train ride on the Hogwarts Express for the non muggles amongst us. This is also convenient for meals with a variety of options and available on CityWalk as well. It takes no time at all to crisscross the resort or take a break in your room, you will find yourself back in action before you can say pixie dust. The food offerings are diverse in cuisine as well as price range leaving plenty to offer your family be it pizza to burgushi (Yes, that’s a thing).
The flagship park, Universal Studios is where you will find the most immersive themed land in any US theme park. Diagon alley is one half of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the newest. If you are not awestruck when you pass the London facade into Diagon Alley, then you are probably lying. Stepping into J.K. Rowling’s world and experiencing your first Butterbeer will be a memory you keep forever (your Lefou’s Brew, AKA Beverly, experience will be all but erased). The park has much more to offer as well but be sure not to miss E.T. Adventure to satisfy the dark ride Disney geek in you.
Islands of Adventure is where Universal’s renaissance period began as it is home to the original WWoHP land. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a fantastic attraction combining a fluent ride vehicle, physical sets and masterful projection. If you had arrived from the Hogwarts Express you will have experienced the journey from the movies starting at Kings Cross Station platform 9 3/4 to the town of Hogsmeade and of course Hogwarts castle. Remember the H.E. experience is different in both directions and worthy of completing in both. Islands of Adventure is beautifully themed and be sure not to miss what I feel is still the most innovative ride, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
Universal Orlando currently features 4 onsite hotels, 1 being a value and 3 being deluxe. The value resort, truth be told, has amenities that passes most moderates at WDW but at the value price. The value resort features a fantastic pool area including a lazy river where as the deluxe hotels main draw is probably the unlimited express pass usage in the parks. Think fast pass with no time window and as often as you wish.
My 500 words are completed, should you decide to sneak over to the dark side, don’t worry we won’t tell your Disney friends, and we have cookies.