It’s probably the worst kept secret on the Internet that TouringPlans has been in the process of launching Universal Orlando content this year. Actually, the worst kept secret is about Tom Bricker and Brian McNichols and that time on “it’s a small world”…but I digress.
Universal Studios Florida (the park) and Islands of Adventure have become more than an afterthought to Central Florida vacations. They are destination parks with a lot to offer. The following are some things I really like about Universal:
- Centralized bag check. Once you go through security at the entrance to CityWalk, that’s it. You’re then free to move from park to park without going through another bag check line.
- Parking garages. No more getting into your sun-baked car at the end of your park day.
- Generous Annual Pass discounts. Universal Annual Passholders get discounts on dining, merchandise, and the onsite hotels all the time.
- Thrill rides. Disney may still be the master of telling a story with an attraction, but you don’t care when you’re screaming for your life on Hulk or Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
- No Princesses. No Pirates. That’s right – I said it. I’m over Aurora, Rapunzel, and Jack Sparrow. Bring on Harry Potter and Marvel (for now).
- Lower crowds. In general, a slow day at Universal is less crowded than a slow day at Walt Disney World.
- Team Members. I’ve have universally (see what I did there?) great experiences with the folks who work at Universal Resort. They are as friendly and helpful as the best Cast Members at that other resort.
- Halloween Horror Nights. A Halloween event that isn’t afraid to be scary. If only Disney could give us something a little more adult-oriented (Donald’s Kinda Sorta Scary Halloween Party at the Studios maybe?).
- Easy access to two parks with no transportation issues. Disneyland folks know what I’m talking about here. You want to go back and forth between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure? Go for it; it’s just a short walk.
- Universal Express (yes, this will also show up on my “Things I Don’t Like” list). No return times to worry about – just show your pass and get in the shorter line.
That’s what I have for now. Have you visited Universal Orlando and think I’m way off base? Tell me in the comments. Are you considering a trip there and your curiosity is piqued? Check out the great new Universal content on the site and ask questions in the comment section. Stay tuned for the inevitable follow-up list of “Things I Don’t Like at Universal” in a future article.