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Ultimate Orlando guide

Hey guys & welcome back.

I’m just back from the most amazing Orlando trip & literally had a ball.

I’ve put this guide together to help anyone else planning a trip to the happiest place on earth.

Where did we book?

I booked with Cassidy travel in October to travel in May , there was a special on so the price was pretty good . I got 2 weeks flights & accommodation for €1571 for 2 people. We had a connecting flight in Manchester with a 3 hour layover & then direct to Orlando with virgin Atlantic. Cassidy travel are great as they allow you to pay a deposit usually of €50 which is incredible as it can be really costly flying to the states especially & the rest in instalments so it’s not a big payment all in one go. Cassidy travel are great to deal with & got back to me on all my queries in relation to seating maps & boarding passes & other little things I needed to but it really gave me peace of mind .

Who did we fly with ?

We flew with Aer lingus & virgin Atlantic & both airlines were amazing, I couldnt fault either of them.

The only issue with had was landing in Manchester from Orlando, the set up for connecting flights is terrible in my opinion. As we were transferring from virgin to Aer lingus we were on a transfer list so we had no boarding cards to get through airside & no itinerary, so I just showed my old boarding card from virgin which meant nothing really but they let us through anyways. The thing was we didn’t know we didn’t need a boarding card,so we totally freaked out thinking we weren’t getting on our flight home until I spotted a flight attendant & asked them & they explained how it worked so just be aware of that as it causes us major panic.

Travel day

Alarms went off at 3am , yeah 3am but who can sleep when they’re off to the most magical Place on the planet right?

We had all our cases ready to go so we literally got dressed & hopped into the car . A quick 30 minute spin up the road & we were in the blue car park in Dublin airport. There’s a bus that goes every 15mins or so but we got it straight away so got to terminal 2 by 4.20 , straight to Aer lingus, easiest checkin ever . Although my case was overweight by 2kg oops . On into airport security 15 min wait , sailed through & went to the gate .

Quickest 35min flight to Manchester .

Our connection was at 11.10 from terminal 2 Manchester which let me tell you is an age to get to from terminal 1 & is not well sign posted once you get off the aer lingus flight but that’s what helps desks are for right. A good 15 walk to the terminal & guess what Paul was randomly selected for extra security so we had to queue at the virgin check in desk which was crazy busy . Took about 20 mins to get to the desk , boarding passes in hand, we headed to security again . Thankfully I had everything ready from Dublin, however my carry on case & handbag got pulled for curlers (which don’t count as electronics ie iPad or tablet) so not sure what that was about . The guy searching my handbag literally just dumped everything out of it & tbh I was raging like, I had everything sectioned off nicely & now it was all over the place , not impressed plus they had 2 different people searched my bags at the same time making it impossible to see what they were up to you know . I thought it was very unprofessional as I actually was working in airport security myself & that wouldn’t be the norm.

Rant over we headed off for breakfast in frankie & bennies , it was just ok to be honest & for £35 for 2 juices & veggie breakfasts totally extortionate. I went for a quick shop in Mac & then headed to the gate .

I picked up the liquid lipstick I wore pretty much everyday there , it’s called quite the stand out & the most beautiful orange red.

We boarded after about 30 minutes & off we flew. Everything was great , meals were pretty great, I had the pasta & it was delicious, plenty of alcoholic beverages & even ice pops & afternoon tea. The entertainment is pretty good to , watched 3 movies & they were all really recent. There was good leg space & myself & Paul had a whole row to ourselves yassss.

I’ve added pictures of the menu & all the snacks,love flying with virgin Atlantic.

We landed at 3.10pm in Orlando & we headed to immigration which took ages to get through, maybe an 1.5 hours. We then took an Uber to the hotel & we were in our room by 6pm . Uber was our mode of transport for the majority of our trip & was so easy to use & way cheaper than taxis .

Where did we stay?

We checked into our hotel & the rooms were ready , thank god. We stayed in the avanti resort on international drive , right across senior frog.

The rooms are pretty basic , we had 2 queen beds, a small refrigerator,a microwave and a shower & bath combo. The rooms were cleaned everyday , the linens were changed upon request & the towels were changed once popped on the floor. The rooms are modern enough with wooden floors & are generally clean & tidy. The reception is modern & has a Starbucks & facilitates to store luggage & an area to print boarding cards .

There’s a gym onsite, a bar at the pool area,games room & another Starbucks & convenience store & a small restaurant area so there’s loads onsite.

The pool area is really great , the pool is heated so you can swim early morning or late evenings without getting cold. There’s always sun loungers available , there’s a jacuzzi, there’s a beach volleyball court, a fake little beach area with lots of sand. The pool is different depths so you can do some cannon balls & for shorter peeps like myself & a little splash area for kids. The pool bar has a large variety of drinks,frozen cocktails & even buckets of cocktails.

The hotel also offer free shuttles to all the parks including Disney & Universal, you just book 24 hours in advance,the universal one goes to a few hotels so it can be slow but Disney goes straight to the park .

Overall I’d rate the hotel 4/5 , the reason being that the rooms are basic with no full length mirrors , definitely need one to see your cute Disney outfits & no mini kitchen area which we would have been really really nice to prepare our own food. We stayed in block 4 facing the car Park & I definitely would have preferred a pool view room but for the price you definitely can’t fault it.

They also charge a resort fee of around $14 per day per room so we paid about €200 when we arrived.

We would definitely book there again & would recommend to everyone.

Getting around/transport

We mostly used Uber to get around to places like Walmart & the airport & if we missed our shuttle buses to the parks & the Florida mall.

It was really easy to use the app & usually only took 2 minutes to get a car & it was a lot cheaper than taxis. A few tips make sure to double check the registration plate on your drivers car matches the one on your app.Make sure your Uber driver ends the journey & you get a receipt & try to book outside of busy times because the price will go up.

If we were in international drive we would just use the i trolley , they come every 15-20 mins & we used them to get to the outlets & the opposite end of i drive because it’s a super long walk. Our ticket was $18 for 2 weeks unlimited or $2 per trip , ticket is much handy because they only take exact change . We got ours from the concierge in the hotel , you can also book your shuttles to the parks to & they give you a discount booklet for the outlets to.

Budget

Ok so budgets are definitely a personal thing depending on what your plans are for your trip so how much you take will be up to you but we took around €2,400 each to spend, you can definitely do it on much less.

We didn’t take any food to the parks so we spent a lot on food & snacks while there & we also went shopping in the outlets a few times & went to a restaurant pretty much every night so we really enjoyed ourselves. We also bought our park tickets before we got there so that budget didn’t include any park admission.

Park tickets

We bought our park tickets before we got to Orlando so a 2 week ticket to Disney we bought Here , it’s buy 7 days get 7 free which is great. Then our universal tickets we bought Here.

We had 14 day tickets for each park because wanted the freedom to go during the full two weeks.

Our tickets cost €780 each for 2 weeks in both parks , which I know is expensive but Orlando is definitely one to save for over a year or 2.

You can buy other tickets Here like 3,2 or single day tickets , I used this site before so would definitely recommend it.

Cassidy travel also sell park tickets & you can enquire Here.

Where did we stay in Disney world?

We stayed in the all star movies resort, which is one of the budget Disney resorts but it definitely didn’t dampen the Disney magic.

We had a refurbished room in the toy story area, they are usually called preferred rooms when booking online so look out for that so you definitely get a refurbished room. The cost for 3 nights was €350 between us, we booked on Expedia & the decor was amazing around the resort.

There are lots of perks to staying in a Disney resorts like extra magic hours which basically means you can get into the parks early or stay late if you’re a guest of a Disney hotel.

It means you can ride the most of the popular attractions because the lines are usually super short, normally you can just walk on them , which is very rare in Disney.

The transport around Disney is also really great, there’s buses that run every 20 minutes from the resorts starting an hour before the parks open. The transportation goes to Disney springs which has a great night life & amazing restaurants & lots of shops including Sephora & world of Disney.

Top 3 parks

1. Magic Kingdom

Ok so for me as a Disney fanatic I love the classics, you just can’t beat them so magic kingdom is most definitely my number 1 & probably always will be , it has a special place in my heart because Paul proposed to me there & it was literally the happiest day of my life. Aside from a dream come true , I love the atmosphere & the smells & the music & the whole vibe in MK to be honest it’s just whimsical & you just get a sense of pure joy, well I do anyways . When you walk up Main Street & you smell the popcorn & freshly baked cookies & pastries & the music is playing & it’s just so amazing to see Cinderella’s castle ahhhh I love it all. My favourite attractions are seven dwarves mine train,thunder mountain,splash mountain & pirates of the Caribbean.

Plus MK has the best snacks out of all the parks , there sooo tasty I had an actual list of everything I wanted to try & they did not disappoint at all. My favourite was definitely the hei hei cone over in aloha isle,it was delicious!! Definitely recommend that one & the orange soft serve ice cream so good to.

I’ll post a few other snacks we tried in MK

This is the Peter Pan float from story book treats , it’s a lime dole whip with sprite soo refreshing.

This Mickey cinnamon roll was from Starbucks on Main Street & totally amazing

Next up we have the Cheshire Cat tail from from Cheshire cafe , I wasn’t a fan of this but Paul really enjoyed , it’s like a chocolate pastry kind of thing

This giant cookie sandwich is from plaza ice cream parlour & it’s so delicious , I had to go back for another one.

This is a cinnamon roll/cake thing from Gaston’s tavern & lefrous brew , the cinnamon roll was just ok , the Mickey one was better & I didn’t like the brew at all to be honest so maybe a pass on those

Treats for the fire works popcorn & candy floss really tasty snacks.

Colombia harbour house

The lobster from Colombia harbour house is so delicious, OMG if you love fish this one is for you !!! So refreshing make sure if you there.

Paul got the chicken salad & he said it was amazing, so if you’re not a fish fan try this option.

No2. Islands of adventure

Islands of adventure is my second favourite park,some of my favourite rides are in this park including river adventure in Jurassic Park & Kong skull island, seriously both of these are must dos. I’m also obsessed with the hogwarts & hogsmeade,it’s really incredible & brings Harry Potter to life & you definitely need a butter beer if you go there.

No3. Animal kingdom

Animal kingdom has been a firm favourite of mine since I was a kid, I was totally obsessed with animals when I was growing up so I loved spending every minute in this park & now I’m all grown up I love it even more. The pandora area of the park is just mind blowing, definitely rewatch avatar before going so you can appreciate it in all its glory because it’s amazing & flight of passage is just mind blowing , honestly I never experienced anything like it , definitely worth the wait.Expedition Everest is another favourite of mine , it’s such a great rollercoaster with lots of surprises. It’s tough to be a bug is another must do for me & the safari. I love animal kingdom, definitely make time for this park.

Would I still enjoy the park if I don’t like rollercoasters?

Definitely!!! There’s only about 1-2 rollercoasters per park, the majority of attractions are usually simulators or shows or tame rides. You will definitely love the parks even if you don’t enjoy rollercoasters or thrill rides & the atmosphere is just incredible.

What outlet was the best?

There are two outlets either end of international drive the premium outlets & the Vineland outlets, we definitely preferred the premium outlet but I would recommend going to both to check them out yourselves because we all have different tastes in clothing.

Did my hair curlers work?

Yes, my straighteners & curlers worked

Best restaurants

So our favourite restaurant was definitely Bahamas breeze, it’s literally right across the road from the avanti resort & everything tastes incredible!!! Definitely a must do!!

The firecracker shrimp was divine & the coronaritas are soooo good !!! & the key lime pie oh my gooddd!!!!

Another one we loved was the Outback Steakhouse, the blooming onion was delicious & they do $5 cocktails win win. The cherry lemonade is sooo freckin good & the watermelonrita , loved all the cocktails. I had the lobster & steak for mains & it was incredible.

One of our old favourites is definitely chillis, the food there is amazing!! Last time we went to Orlando we probably went there 6 or 7 times, there’s a happy hour every hour of the day & they sell pints of frozen margaritas ekkkkk so delicious. They also do meals for 2 for $25 which is amazing value, shared starter ,a main each & shared dessert , definitely a lot of food & it tastes amazing.

The cookie skillets are just insanely good, I’m completely obsessed with them !!

The burgers are always great in chillis to.

Hooters

Ok so hooters was just ok , the food was just warm so I wouldnt recommend going there for anything to eat. The drinks were pretty good so definitely pop in for the experience & a cocktail because they were delicious but skip on the food.

Shake shack

Definitely one if my favourite burgers & the milkshakes are just unreal, it’s fast food but if you like your burgers you’ll love this.

ihop

The best breakfast there is if you’re a pancake lover, there’s so many options it’s just incredible. I got the churro cinnamon pancakes & the cupcake pancakes, there’s original buttermilk & like 10 other options & french toast.

Dunkin donuts & baskin robbins

Ok so there’s need no explaining, I’ve been obsessed with dunkin since my first ever trip to America & we never visit the US without getting a 6 pack & the pistachio almond Ice cream was amazing.

Cold stone creamery

Talking about ice cream the best ice cream we had was cold stone creamery,OMG it’s amazing.

They have so many options, sundaes,milkshakes & make your own & so many toppings sprinkles,snickers,marshmallows,nuts,Carmel & loads more . They mix it all up with your ice cream & pop it into a waffle cup uhhhhh soooo gooodd.

Panda Express

This is an American take on Chinese takeaway & the orange chicken is absolutely amazing, that is if you like Chinese food. The walnut shrimp & sweet fire chicken was really good do , definitely worth trying.

Cinnabon

If your a cinnamon fan you need to try cinnamon, they do the most amazing cinnamon rolls. The original are my favourite but the caramel pecan are gorgeous to & the rolls to go uhhhh I love it. There’s 2 on city walk definitely a great breakfast option.

The sugar factory

Ok so we technically didn’t eat here we just had drinks, this place was absolutely packed so we just grabbed a seat at the bar. I can’t remember exactly which cocktail we got but it was delicious but there massive so definitely get 1 to share gals because they are really strong. It’s a great place for birthdays, there was like 3 or 4 while we were there.

EPCOT

Mexico

Nachos & margaritas

I think this was some of the best food we had the whole trip, if you love Mexican food the nachos are a must have in Epcot!! The margaritas are super strong though so be careful,we were kinda tipsy after the first one but so refreshing & delicious.

Lobster tail

I think this was the Canada Pavillions & the lobster tail was just delicious, Paul had the chicken dish. I’m not sure exactly what it was but he wasn’t too mad about it & wouldn’t get it again so definitely go for the lobster tail.

Mexico again

Ok so you can’t go to the Mexican Pavillion & not get churros, the sugary cinnamon bites of heaven dipped in caramel sauce…uhhhh soo frickn good.

Vodka lemonade from the outpost

Italian margarita from the Italian Pavillions.

Funnel cake from the American Pavillions

Shaved ice saki from the japan pavilion.

Citron tart & beignets from the french Pavillions.

Is there much for younger kids?

Ok so this is a difficult one,it depends on how young & what parks because some attractions have height limits. My first trip was when I was 10 I think & I love it & got to go on most attractions, the rollercoasters have strict regulations on height for safety. There are attractions for younger children mostly in Disney world but I’d say very few, this is just my opinion so if you know otherwise let me know but I would definitely wait until they are maybe 8 or 9 so they will definitely remember it & that they can go on all the attractions but again it’s a personal opinion.

Lots of the Disney parks have no height requirements so they will be able to go on most attractions in Disney world.

Is there much to do outside of the parks?

There most definitely is !!! Too much to do for sure. Most of the time we were too tired to do much after a day at the parks, it’s a serious amount of walking & the heat can be draining so we basically went for dinner & straight to bed. When we stayed in Disney we would go to Disney springs in the evening, it’s worth a trip even if your staying on international drive , it’s amazing. There’s so many restaurants & bars & lots of shopping & get more Disney so who wouldn’t love it. There’s a sprinkles cupcake & giant Disney store so get there. On international drive we love pirates cove adventure golf, it’s great fun. We usually go there on a rest day & it gets very competitive, it was $15 each.

There’s also Dave & busters which is right across from Bahama breeze. Definitely go on a Wednesday, all games are half price so we paid $26 & played for like an hour & half. They serve food there as well & alcoholic drinks & they are delicious!! We also tried out the virtual reality games, they’re extra we paid $7 each & it was amazing! Definitely try it out if you’re there.

The last time we went to Orlando we went to a gun range, now I know it’s not for everyone but it’s something totally different & we really enjoyed it. It was kinda scary at first getting to grips with a weapon but after a while you get comfortable with it & it was an experience.

We also went to an American football game which was amazing, it was a super hot day so definitely bring sunscreen as it lasts for hours the game that is. We got the bus to tampa to see the buccaneers & bought T-shirts & painted our faces, it was such a fun day , definitely worth looking into.

The icon park

The icon park is on international drive & there’s the Orlando eye, Madame Tussaud’s,an aquarium & lots of bars & restaurants & fast food joints to check out. We loved tin roof for live music & drinks in the evening, we had drinks in the sugar factory & that was great fun,they have liquid nitrogen drinks & they are delicious. We went to shake shack & Outback Steakhouse for food in this area & it was delicious so definitely worth spending an evening here for sure.

Pointe Orlando

Pointe Orlando is closer to the convention centre end of international drive & it has a lot of bars & restaurants & an imax 4D cinema.

There’s a bowling alley, an ice bar, wonder works & loads more to do there so definitely check out that area to . They also have lots of happy hours & it’s all on the website so if your out for some drinks it’s worth looking at what’s happening in each bar.

Top tips for Orlando

Ok so I’m gonna share some things we’ve learned & somethings we wished we would have known before getting to Orlando with you guys. These are not in order of importance.

1.when you first arrive head off to Walmart to pick up essentials like water,snacks for the parks,cereals,fruit & they have a tonne of Disney things from clothes to shoes & accessories so you can pick up loads there.

We got an Uber out & back & it was like $12 & totally worth it.

2. If you’re going to a water park pick up these for your feet, you’ll thank me later. They sell them in gift shops around international drive & also one of the T-shirts for the water park because you will get burnt. Paul had factor 50 on & still got burnt so definitely pick those up.

3. Bring your own snacks to the parks, if your in a big family party snacks can really add up, like popcorn is at least $5 in the park if not more so be prepared & take a backpack with treats & fruits for everyone as it gets super expensive buying for everyone. Plus fruit in the parks is REALLY expensive!! Bring your own!!

4. Bring a collapsible water bottle to the parks or just a regular water bottle because you can get free ice water at all the quick service counters & Starbucks & there’s water fountains all over the parks so you not forking out $3.50 for water.

5. Bring suncream to the parks as it gets so hot during the day between 1pm-4pm is the hottest & you’ll definitely need to top it up during the day & plus the parks charge $15 for it so bring your own.

6. Have a rest day, this is something we didn’t really do & let me tell you we were exhausted coming home so take time out to chill by the pool.

7. Buy ponchos in international drive so much cheaper then the parks & you’ll need them trust me!! Storms come out of nowhere in Orlando & it happens everyday!!

8. Bring a power bank to the parks because your battery will definitely run out taking cute selfies & pictures of the amazing parks!! Also bring an extension lead then you only need 1 adapter & all your devices can be charged together.

9. Get to volcano bay for opening as they work to a capacity & will shut the park once it’s filled so your plans can be easily changed if you’re not allowed in because it’s full, once your in try to get to the water coaster first to fastpass it because it can be a 90 return time when it’s busy.

10. If you have the budget try & stay in a Disney for even 1 or 2 nights because it is incredible, so magical & it’s so much easier to go to the fireworks, your not rushing back to your bus or pick up for a certain time & makes it way more enjoyable.

11. Rope drop, so this is a tricky subject some days I’d say do it & some I’d say not to so it all depends on park hours & events that are on.

If you’re not staying on Disney property check out the park hours because extra magic hours will be available to people staying on Disney property & that means the park will be busy before you even arrive & wait times for the likes of flight of passage will be crazy like 150 minutes & same goes for any other park that has this option so try to plan it out that you avoid the parks with extra magic hours.

If you’re planning on doing flight of passage at rope drop I’d say get there an hour before the park is due to open because they do open the parks early when there’s a large line of people waiting to get in & same goes for Hollywood studios.

12. Waterproof phone case, again you can get these in Walmart for a couple of dollars & you can bring them on the rides in water parks & on the water rides in Disney & universal.

13. Travel size wipes for sticky hands & for spills in the parks

14. Cardigan or denim jacket as the air conditioning can be very strong in the restaurants.

15. Footwear

I wore converse, sandals & runners from Penneys & my feet were perfect, Paul would recommend Nike or Adidas runners with lots of cushioning.

16. Use Uber to get around.

17. Tipping

Tipping in America is a must do because if you don’t the person will most likely tell you off so here’s a general guide on tipping. Most restaurants will have the amount you should tip on your bill so dont stress too much.

18. Bring I.D everywhere if you’re planning on having a few drinks .

Disney photopass

We always do the Disney photopass package every time we go, we just love how the photos come out & they update to your my Disney experience app daily once you use your magic hand which is incredible.

If you’re staying fit the fireworks in MK try & grab a viewing spot at like 7pm because all the best spots fill up fast & you don’t want 100 heads blocking the view of the castle because you definitely want a good view of it to take it all in.

Do you wear fake tan ?

The answer is yes I do , I’m so fair that I don’t tan naturally at all even sitting out in the sun all day I just go red & then white again so I have to use fake tan. I brought my bperfect 10 second tan with me but totally forgot my mitt & tan remover & my exfoliating mitt so it was a small bit disastrous to say the least but if I had all that it would have made my life much easier . I would apply my tan in the morning & then wash it off in the evenings before going out .

What did I wear/pack ?

Comfort is definitely key, I loved I’m most denim shorts, pick them up in the Levi’s out about $36 & so comfy & playsuits . I packed 3 different colour denim shorts white,black & blue , then lots of different crop tops from Penneys like €5 each because it’s just so hot over there you want really light material. I packed a lot of swimwear to shoot but recommend at least 4 different ones so you can dry some while you wear others. I brought 2 pairs of runners 3 pairs of sandals & 1 pair of flip flops & then socks & undies for 14 days but you can use the laundry room to wash your clothes so you don’t need that many . I also packed lots of different sunglasses & 3 different bags a crossbody & a straw bag & a backpack , bring plasters,makeup remover, after sun, a razor & your shampoos , I actually bought mine over there so it was grand . We brought hand sanitizer & antibacterial wipes to keep germs at bay & also any meds we needed like motillum,rennie,pain relief, sleeping tablets,cold & flu you get it.

Some things I didn’t bring but would recommend

1.anti chaff balm

2.portable mister fan

3. Light up Mickey Mouse bubble wand

Did we have express passes for universal?

We didn’t but them because it was considered slow season when we went & the wait times were 30 mins max so there was no need.

How was the shopping ?

The shopping was amazing but again it depends on your taste. We shopped mainly in the premium outlets in Levi’s, Victoria secrets,Nike,Adidas,the cosmetics outlet & Tommy Hilfiger . There are so many shops it can be very overwhelming so definitely have an idea of what you’re After before you go so you can tick off what you’re looking for . There are outlets either end of international drive , the premium & the Vineland outlets & then the Florida mall which has a morphs store ekkk makeup heaven & mall of millennia.

Tips for universal/ islands of adventure

1. If you’re doing the water rides like toon lagoon bring a change of clothes because you definitely get Soaked!!! You’ll need them & wear flip flops on the water rides to because your trainers will be ruined so it’s a must !! Even a poncho won’t protect you !! Trust me

2. Go early morning for park opening or late evening like 5-6pm , the parks tend to slow down & most attractions will be walk ins which means no wait times yasssss!!!

3. Definitely stay to see the show at 9pm in universal studios it’s incredible!! Get a good spot down at the water front to get a great view.

4. Over in islands of adventure make sure to check out the light show on hogwarts castle usually from 8pm every 15mims or so it’s unmissable!! We love it , grab a butter beer & soak it all in.

5. I would say to start backwards in the park if you can so when you go through port of entry in islands of adventure go to Seuss landing first & work your way to hogsmeade , it’s the quickest way & you’ll get to hop straight on the forbidden journey.

6. Grab a frozen butter beer , they are incredible!! We’re totally hooked.

7. If you’re a Harry Potter fan definitely get a wand from ollivanders wand shop, there’s a map full of places to use your wand to create magic in both islands of adventure & universal studios.

8. Do the raptor encounter, it’s so much fun meeting blue definitely worth waiting inline for.

9. Check out CityWalk

Definitely have a night out for dinner & drinks in CityWalk,they even have a Karaoke bar,amazing donuts & a Fat Tuesday.

10.

Download the universal app to check out wait times & shows while you’re there.

11.

Weather & ride closures

Ok so once there’s a storm spotted on the horizon the parks will usually close a number of outdoor attractions like the hulk, rip ride rock it but it won’t last long & the rides usually open once the storm has passed.

12. Change of clothes

Definitely bring a change of clothes,extra socks & a small towel if you’re planning on doing any of the water attractions in Disney or universal because you will get soaked.

Volcano bay

The Ultimate Tips and Tricks Guide to Universal Orlando Resort | The Crave Traveler | Everything you need to know before you go to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, the On-Site Hotels, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by someone that used to work there!

The Ultimate Tips and Tricks Guide to Universal Orlando Resort | The Crave Traveler | Everything you need to know before you go to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, the On-Site Hotels, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by someone that used to work there!

  • Tapu Tapu: The wristband that you receive as soon as you enter the park. It is connected to YOUR ticket, so don’t trade wristbands with someone because you want a different color. You can connect your credit card and use it for purchases, use it to unlock your locker, and use it to tap into ride queues (at the totems – you can’t miss them!) throughout the park.
  • Take advantage of the early access if you are staying at an on-site hotel.
  • Get there for opening time, especially in the summer. The park reaches max capacity almost every day in the summer and they can refuse you entry.
  • No drop-off zone, if you are taking a taxi or Uber, then you need to get dropped off at the main parking garages and take the shuttle from there. Don’t try to walk through Cabana Bay, you need a room key.
  • BRING YOUR OWN TOWEL! If you want to RENT a towel, you have to pay a non-refundable $5.00 fee per towel. If you are staying at an on-site hotel, you can take towels from the pool deck, just ask the pool attendant!
  • Get a locker! There’s three different sizes of lockers and you literally leave everything in there because you open your locker with your Tapu Tapu wristband. You can hook multiple Tapu Tapus to a locker so you don’t have to be the person going back and forth to open it. This should be the first thing you do when you get to the parks, there have been times when the lockers have reached capacity. You can pay for your locker by credit card or cash and there is an attendant there at all times to help you.
  • Finding Chairs. Believe it not, it’s quite simple to find chairs if you arrive at a decent time. There’s tons of chairs all over the park, so venture outside of the wave pool area and you can find some more secluded areas with chairs.
  • Cabanas and Preferred Seating. There’s several options for cabanas (some are even on the second level) and you get towels included, your own locker in the cabana and you can TAP into any ride around the park without visiting the totem! Preferred seating will get you some nice chairs with umbrellas. Make sure you reserve a few weeks prior to arrival, but they get booked up quickly!
  • RIDE NOW! If the ride doesn’t show a wait time, then you don’t have to tap into it, you can ride it now. If you are already in a virtual line with your Tapu Tapu then it will NOT affect that wait time if you go on a ride now. If you see a ride now that you want to go on and you haven’t tapped into another ride with a wait, then I recommend you walk around and find a ride with a wait time and tap into it because it’s more efficient.
  • Want an adult beverage? Put it in a souvenir cup, not only do you get to keep the cup, but you get money off future beverages!

I think that’s most of the questions answered & a bit more but if you’ve any other questions just ask away , hopefully you’ve made it this & find this guide helpful if you’re thinking of a trip to Orlando or on your countdown ekkkk.

Chat soon

Love Lorna Jane xxxxx

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