In August my family attended Family Forward, an influencer retreat for the whole family, at Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida. I decided to ask the family to tell me what THEIR top rides/meals/activities were at Universal Orlando Resort. I compiled our trip into a (in no particular order) Universal Orlando Resort Top 10 MUST See and Do Attractions that made our vacation the best!
After attending Family Forward four summers in a row as an employee, I brought my family this year. I already LOVE Universal with all my heart (visiting the resort 6 times in 4 years is still not enough for me), so experiencing it with my family for the first time was a dream come true. I have 4 kids, one of which is a very introverted teenage son who’s anxiety makes family vacations very hard to plan and execute in a way where everyone has a good time. Family Forward and Universal Orlando Resort took the issues out of the planning and helped create an extremely relaxed and enjoyable trip for the whole family.
Universal Orlando Resort Top 10
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
- From the atmosphere to the food to the shopping, Toothsome is one of the most unique, fun, and delicious restaurants that we have ever had the pleasure to enter. First and foremost is a restaurant, but it is also so much more. It includes a gift shop, a candy store, and a dessert/milkshake counter where you will find the most creative and scrumptious treats that you have ever seen.
Blue Man Group
- I have seen Blue Man a total of 8 times in 3 cities and it never gets old. Our seats were split 3 and 2 and since our kids are older we let the kids sit alone and my husband and I enjoyed this show as a DATE! Yes, a date. While on a family vacation. Who gets to experience that? It was 2 hours of laughs and fun (as anyone that has ever been knows) followed by pictures with the cast afterward.
Before Family Forward, I didn’t know that a VIP tour at Universal Studios was a thing. Not only does the VIP tour include front of the line access to the rides but you also get the “inside scoop” about upcoming attractions, but background info about Universal, the rides, and more. We got more out of 6 hours with our VIP tour guide than we got in a whole day without one. It has ruined by family for life – we just can’t stand in lines anymore!
Speaking of getting the most out of a day at Universal Studios, the express pass is a MUST! My friend (who attended Family Forward as well) overheard her 11 year old say, “I don’t want to spend my vacation waiting in line. These passes are the best”. I couldn’t agree more. Less time in line = more rides and less complaining from kids.
Between the 125 ft drop slide (Ko’okiri) for the kids and husband, and the 2 (yes TWO) lazy rivers this water park has something to keep everyone happy for days. With photo opts around every corner I might need to go back just for family pictures next year. When we were ready to leave my 13 year old decided to stay and “shut the park down” with friends. She never got bored and even forgot to eat dinner she was having so much fun.
- If you have ever read the books or even just seen the movies then you need to brace yourself as you enter because you will be fully immersed in a real life Wizarding World experience that brings it all to life. Magic is real and you can experience it for yourself. Still to this day (after experiencing it time after time) I get goosebumps when I enter and can spend all day just wandering around looking at all of the little details. I have been escorted out at closing on more than one occasion… but that is another story.
Monday through Thursday we eat dinner together (anyone that is home) at 6:30 pm AFTER we watch The Simpsons as a family. This land was a winner for us before we even saw it. Between the ride, Moe’s Bar, the giant pink donuts, photo opts, and the food I think we spent the 2nd most amount of time (after WWoHP) just hanging out and enjoying the sites, sounds, and tastes in Simpson’s Land.
Get the park hopper pass for this ride alone. No reason to walk back and forth when you can ride in style from one park to the other. The experience is different going each direction and I like to experience it more than once so don’t be surprised if you catch me riding it back and forth several times in the morning before the parks get busy. If your kids have or ever had a fascination with trains the Hogwarts Express is a not to be missed attraction.
- Wait, you don’t know what Butterbeer is? Well, it is the best I tell you – the best! It is a drink in WWoHP (you will know it from the books/movies). Some say that it tastes like cream soda with butterscotch flavored cream. I personally have never enjoyed cream soda or butterscotch but I LOVE Butterbeer. And don’t worry just because it is called ButterBEER doesn’t mean that it has beer in it. The drink at Universal is 100% family friendly. Frozen is the best followed by hot and then regular. Be sure to get one or seven when you are at Universal.
Cafe La Bamba
- This restaurant is exclusively for VIP guests so you have to go on the tour to try it out. This was our favorite dining experience in the parks. They serve lunch buffet style to include all of the favorite food items from the popular restaurants on Universal property so that you get to experience a little of everything instead of having to choose. (I told you VIP tour was worth it!) Beef medallions, fresh seafood, amazing sides, delectable desserts, and so much more. Not to mention an hour of air conditioning plus a photo opt VIP style!
If Universal Studios isn’t on your list of places to visit, do yourself a favor and put it at the top of the list! The priceless memories we made as a family will last a lifetime. Now… to start planning our next trip. Start with our Universal Orlando Resort Top 10 and go from there!
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