Around The UniverseUniversal Orlando Resort

Around the Universe January 2024 – Universal Orlando News & Discounts

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Welcome to the New Year! 2024 is shaping up to be a massive year for the resort with major new attractions in Universal Studios Florida. In this month’s Around the Universe, we are looking at the top 2024 touring trends we’re watching, the latest discounts, new UOAP benefits, and another Epic Update. Grab that coffee and pastry, lets go.


RIP Guide Maps

The ubiquitous folded paper maps found throughout the parks will soon be a thing of the past. Starting on January 1, 2024, Universal is discontinuing printed guide maps at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Guests will now be told to use the Universal app for a guide map.

UOAP Bonus Benefits

January brings new Universal Orlando Annual Passholder benefits till the end of January 2024. Benefits include:

  • FREE Retro Lanyard at UOAP Lounge (one per person as supplies last)
  • UOAP dedicated entrance lanes at the theme parks
  • Passholder-exclusive food options
  • 40% off Hotels on select dates
  • Early Park Admission to Volcano Bay for 3-Park UOAP holders
Aerial photo of Volcano Bay. A star within a star at the arrow. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Volcano Bay Winter Downtime

Universal is closing Volcano Bay two days a week in January 2024. The park will be closed on the following days:

  • January 9 & 10
  • January 17 & 18
  • January 24 & 25
  • January 30 & 31

Volcano Bay will close or open late due to cold weather and/or wind during the winter. The park will open late if the temperature is below 55° F and won’t open if a significant part of the day is spent under 55° F. Review the weather a week before your trip for days with temperatures below 60° F and watch Universal’s social media and website for closure information.

The Simpsons Ride. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Touring Trends What We’re Watching in 2024

Several new attractions are opening in 2024 – here are the crowd patterns we’re expecting and changes we’re watching out for.

DreamWorks land opens in the summer of 2024 – it features new meet and greets and playgrounds for the park based on popular characters. While preschoolers and grade schoolers will love this land we are not expecting the new land to impact touring patterns. Feel free to tour anytime.

We’re watching the opening times for Men in Black – Alien Attack and The Simpsons Ride, too. We are hearing they might begin opening an hour after the park opening in 2024. Rumors persist of The Simpsons Ride closing for new development while Men in Black – Alien Attack still has a few more years in it. Keep an eye on this space next. We do not expect these changes to impact our touring plans.

Dining updates are also on the docket for Universal with refreshed Mel’s Drive-In and Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous return in 2024 with rebuilt interiors and updated menus. As for the rumored next improvements to Universal dining, the foodie birdies are talking about Lombards in USF receiving major upgrades soon.

Epic Update

Epic Universe is not that far away – what once felt like a dream years in the making is now a scant 18 months away from opening its portals. The brand new theme park inches toward completion with new theming details added.

Epic Universe is expected to open in the summer of 2025… but we should know a more specific official date soon with rumors of an Epic Universe re-reveal in early 2024. Lands, attractions, and more will be revealed in the lead-up to the park’s grand opening, including a new Epic Universe preview center at the current CityWalk Universal Legacy Store.


Universal Orlando frequently offers discounts on multi-day tickets and hotel stays. These are the latest discounts available to guests:


  • All Guests – Buy Two Day Ticket, Get Two Days Free starting at $330.99 per adult plus tax
  • FL Residents – Buy a One Day, Two Park Ticket and Get a Day Free
  • FL Residents – Add a Day at Volcano Bay for $25


  • FL Residents – 40% off hotels based on availability
  • UOAP – 40% off hotels based on availability


  • All Guests – 25% off 3-park, 5-night Vacation Packages

For more deals, including discounts on vacation packages, visit the Universal Orlando website.


The following attractions are closed for refurbishment:

  • High in the Sky Suess Trolly Ride (Green Side) – Now through January 15, 2024
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure – January 8 – February 1, 2024
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – February 5 – March 8, 2024
  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge – January 2 – February 14, 2024
  • The Reef – January 2 – February 14, 2024

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

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