You’ve watched Universal Studios Orlando featured on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice and decided: This year, you are going to Universal Studios Orlando for your family vacation. Yes, I know, if you are going to Orlando shouldn’t you visit “the House of Mouse?” But, let’s get honest, doesn’t your family crave and deserve a new adventure? It’s time to indulge your older child and explore a new “world.” Enter Universal Studios Florida, also called Universal Studios Orlando.
You’ve made the decision to go and and as the official “Family Vacation Coordinator” you are now wondering what your family should see and do first. My first bit of advice: Assess with whom you are traveling: with or without kids? Older, younger or all ages? Are the grandparents joining you or are you on your own with your children? These are important questions to ask because, at Universal Studios Orlando, there is no prescribed list of things to see or do and your itinerary can really depend on the ages of your entourage.
So let me get this point out of the way: I am 100% convinced that Universal Studios Orlando’s target audience is not children ages 5 and under. Yes, I know that there are rides (and islands) that cater to younger children but I found that I had the most fun when Lulu was old enough to take advantage of the more vigorous rides. Now, I know that there are some people who would TOTALLY disagree with me but having visited this theme park a few times, I feel strongly that more fun is had being able to ride the adventurous rides like “The Hulk” and “Dragon Challenge” on the Islands of Adventure with your family than taking turns riding separately because one of your children is too young to partake in the adventure. (Am I being too harsh? I don’t mean to–I’m just telling you how I see it.) Those rides are not designed for the faint of heart or the small of age and stature. If you want rides targeted toward your “wee ones” and have classic photo opportunities with memorable (and somewhat historical) characters, I know a park down the street that will be happy to oblige. Lulu is the perfect age to enjoy ALL of the rides on the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. We got lucky–Adam and I wound up “fighting” over who got to ride with her on her first “big” roller coaster. As it turns out, thanks to a change in my center of gravity I get completely and totally ill riding roller coasters. Yet, one more reason that getting old sucks! So Adam and Lulu enjoyed the roller coasters while I sat out to “check Facebook.”
After five Disney Cruises, our little (okay, now big) adventurer was Disney’d out and wanted to see something new–and something for “a more sophisticated” traveler. And guess what? Universal Studios Orlando delivered! We are both diehard Harry Potter fans: she loved the movies while I devoured the books almost on the same day as they were released. (Fortunately, Adam agreed to indulge our addiction to the world of wizards and witches.) We were anxious to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! But not before we had a chance to embrace our inner Lorax and pay homage to the man who taught us the fun of using words to rythme and teach us valuable lessons about respecting the trees: Dr. Seuss at Seuss Landing.
Looking for our list of great things to do while at Universal Studios Orlando? It’s coming. Check this site over the weekend and we will post a list of our favorite adventures!