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Five Departure Day Ideas at Universal Orlando

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Today is your final day in Orlando and your departure is imminent. You have hugged Minions, cast spells, saved the world, and also got in some pool time. So what now? Your departure is in the afternoon but you still have a few hours left. Here are five departure day activities that don’t involve going into the Universal theme parks.

Shop for Souvenirs

(photo by Hedgehogs Corner)

This is likely something I need to bring up in therapy, but when I was little my parents would always hold off on most souvenir purchases till the end of the trip (or end of the day if we weren’t returning). Instead of carrying bags all day or storing items in your hotel room just buy them on the last day. Each Universal Orlando hotel has a gift shop carrying merchandise and the Universal Studios Store and Universal Legacy Store in CityWalk feature exclusive merchandise and retro items. If you realized you forgot to pick up an item for your dog walker and are flying the Orlando International Airport has three Universal Studios Store locations.

Enjoy a Leisurely Meal

The Premier hotel full service restaurants are a perfect way to relax before hitting the road. We are a fan of The Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel with its large breakfast buffet, decadent entrees, and mixed drinks. Toothsome in CityWalk opens at 10:30am and offers all day brunch, entrees, and mixed drinks in a highly themed atmosphere.

Relax at the Pool

Leave your luggage with the bellhop and jump into the pool. Hotel pools are heated and open at 8:00am. The pool bars open at 11:00am, but hours frequently change. We suggest packing a day bag with a change of clothes and using the rinse stations at the pools to wash off the pool water. This is one of my favorite options – grab and book to read and a cocktail to sip.

Catch Up on The World

Vacation brain is a great thing, it lets you relax to the point you forget what day of the week it is. If you are like me and need to come back to reality, or as the kids say “touch grass”, then spend your departure day catching up with the world. Check the weather at home, watch some SportsCenter, or watch a live event. My preferred spot is grabbing a beer and an appetizer at NBC Sports Grill & Brew in CityWalk. There are over 100 flat screen TVs and dozens of beers on tap.

Visit Other Attractions

The Land of Mickey has more to offer than two theme park resorts. Orlando and its surrounding cities feature dozens of smaller attractions that take two or three hours to tour. Some of our favorite include Gatorland, the famous animal park that predates the Magic Kingdom that features birds, lizards, and yes alligators. On International Drive is Icon Park with a massive ferris wheel, aquarium, museums, and restaurants. Closer to the Orlando International Airport is the Crayola Experience, a popular destination for families with creative kids.

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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.

One thought on “Five Departure Day Ideas at Universal Orlando

  • These attractions in and around Orlando offer something different from the theme parks. Gatorland lets you see animals, including alligators. Icon Park has a big ferris wheel, an aquarium, museums, and restaurants. The Crayola Experience is a fun place for creative kids. They add variety to Orlando’s attractions and cater to different interests. It’s nice to discover these hidden gems.


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