Getting Oriented at Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida is laid out like the letter P. The park entrance sits at the bottom of a long boulevard, while most of the shows and attractions are located in an oval around a man-made lagoon. Each area has a name and theme, although it's sometimes difficult to say just where one area stops and another begins.
Beginning at the park entrance and going clockwise, the first area you'll encounter is Production Central, which includes the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and Shrek 4-D attractions. At the top of the P is the New York area, including Twister and Revenge of the Mummy.
Next is San Francisco, with two attractions and four restaurants; World Expo, with Men in Black Alien Attack and The Simpsons Ride, and a Woody Woodpecker's KidZone land, containing E.T Adventure, two stage shows, a small roller coaster and several play areas. The last themed area, back near the front of the park, is Hollywood, featuring Universal Orlando's Horror Make Up Show, Terminator 2: 3-D, Lucy-A Tribute, and two restaurants.
Guests orient themselves by the major rides, sets, and landmarks and refer, for instance, to "New York," "the waterfront," "over by E.T.," or "by Mel's Diner." The area of Universal Studios Florida open to visitors is about the size of Epcot.
Services and amenities include stroller and wheelchair rental, lockers, diaper-changing and infant-nursing facilities, car assistance, and foreign-language assistance. Most of the park is accessible to disabled guests, and TDDs are available for the hearing-impaired. Almost all services are in the Front Lot, just inside the main entrance.
How Much Time to Allocate at Universal Studios It takes 8 to 10 hours to tour Universal Studios, including a break for lunch. Your early morning hours will be spent on rides; most of Universal's 7 stage shows don't usually start running until an hour or two after the park opens, and play to partially-filled theaters until early afternoon.
Getting Oriented at Islands of Adventure
IOA is accessed via the same Universal CityWalk entertainment complex as Universal Studios. After crossing CityWalk from the parking garages, walking straight through CityWalk toward the Emeril's Orlando restaurant. Continue walking straight ahead until you see signs for IOA's entrance.
IOA's themed lands are arranged in a circle around a central lake. You first encounter the Moroccan-style Port of Entry, where you'll find Guest Services, lockers, stroller and wheelchair rentals, ATM banking, lost and found, and shopping. From the Port of Entry, moving clockwise around the lagoon, you can access Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.
There is no in-park transportation to move you between lands. Some of the pathways, such as those in Toon Lagoon, can be confusing. If you're traveling clockwise, keep the lagoon on your right as you make your way through the park; keep the water to your left if you're going counter-clockwise. Depending on where you're at in the park, the green twists and loops of the Incredible Hulk Coaster or the Gothic spires of Hogwarts can be used as visual cues as to your location too.
How Much Time to Allocate at Islands of Adventure It takes about 9 hours to tour Universal Studios, including a break for lunch. Your early morning hours will be spent at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and on Marvel Super Hero Island. Afternoon will be spent circling the lagoon and crossing off secondary attractions.