Mardi Gras 2024: International Flavors of Carnaval, returns to Universal Studios Orlando!
Universal Mardi Gras 2024: International Flavors of Carnaval, runs daily through Sunday, April 7 at Universal Studios, Florida.
Don’t miss this A.W.E.S.O.M.E. party inspired by Carnaval celebrations around the world. Catch live concerts on select nights, savor amazing international cuisine along with sizzling New Orleans favorites including authentic Cajun specialties (food available for purchase), and an amazing parade plus beads by the handful! Best of all, the Mardi Gras festivities are included with your theme park admission or Annual Pass. Seasonal Passholders can also experience the event on select nights.
Click Here to See an Overview of this Year’s Celebration and take a look at all the details below:
While last year’s parade theme was based on The Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras, this year’s parade theme will be centered around the elements, with floats inspired by earth, wind, fire, water, the sun and the moon, Universal said in a news release. The six new floats will join the lineup of traditional New Orleans-inspired floats, and, of course, there will be beads.
Taste the International Flavors of Carnaval
The celebration will also feature a menu of more than food and beverage items served at kiosks around the park. The dishes will be inspired by flavors from around the world and include classic items such as beignets and fried green tomato po’boys.
Guests and clients can also take their Mardi Gras party to the next level with the Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Experience, which provides an exclusive opportunity to be a part of the festivities by reserving a spot to toss beads from a Mardi Gras float during the event’s vibrant parade. The experience also includes a three-course meal at one of four participating restaurants—The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Finnegan’s Bar & Grill or Lombard’s Seafood Grille. The Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Experience includes one appetizer, one entrée, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage starting at $90.51 (tax inclusive) per person, as well as one Mardi Gras parade float rider reservation on the same day.
Incredible Ticket Offers with Free Days to Get the Mardi Gras Party Started
Guests looking to experience Universal Mardi Gras and all that Universal Orlando has to offer can take advantage of a variety of incredible offers to plan their visit. Right now, U.S., Canada and Latin America residents can enjoy two free days of admission with the purchase of a 2-Park, 2-Day ticket. Guests can also take advantage of the Save 25% on a 3-Park, 5-Night Vacation Package, which includes 5-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel or Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in addition to a 3-Park, 5-Day Park-to-Park ticket to visit Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Volcano Bay.
Star-Studded Mardi Gras Concert Lineup
This year’s concert series, included with admission, will be held at the park’s Music Plaza Stage after the Mardi Gras parade. The full Mardi Gras lineup is below:
Disney Genie Service is set to Reimagine the Guest Experience at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort!
Goodbye FastPass+… Hello Disney Genie! Earlier today, Disney Parks announced more details about what promises to be an amazing new tool to help increase guest experiences and make the most of precious time in the theme parks. This new three-tiered approach will be know as Disney Genie and will be coming this Fall. Here are some details:
* Disney Genie is a complimentary service that will be available to all guests through the free My Disney Experience and Disneyland Apps. It will allow guests to select favorite attractions and experiences, including restaurants, then sit back and relax while ‘Genie’ conjures up the ultimate itinerary for fun-filled day. If plans change, no worries! The App also allows for changes on the fly as well!
It will also include tip boards based on guests favorites they’ve selected, show future wait time forecasts, offer a virtual assistant, mobile ordering and the ability to join a mobile walk-up waitlist for restaurants as well!
Again, Disney Genie is free for all guests.
* Disney Genie+ is similar to the old FastPass+ system that was discontinued, however, it will now be a paidenhancement that will allow guests to to choose return times (for 1 select ride at a time) for any of the included attractions throughout the day. Once Guests tap in for their arrival, they can make another selection and this service can be used in all four parks with a park hopper ticket as well.
The attractions included in DisneyGenie+ have not been officially announced, but we’ve heard they will be available for more than 15 attractions at Disneyland Resort, and over 40 attractions at Disney World and attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Haunted Mansion should be included.
Disney Genie+ also includes special audio experiences and a special photo lense overlay experience for guests of Walt Disney World, while guests of Disneyland guests will receive the audio experiences as well as unlimited photo downloads from their day at Disneyland plus the special photo lense overlay experiences. (Walt Disney World guests would still need to purchase Memory Maker if they would like to enjoy unlimited photo downloads, magic shots, super zoom shots, and more. )
The additional cost for Disney Genie+ is $15.00 per ticket/per day at Walt Disney World and $20.00 per ticket/per day at Disneyland.
* Lightening Lane is also a new paid enhancement that will allow guests to skip the standby line at some of the most popular attractions and the attractions offered through this individual purchase option will be different than those offered through Disney Genie+. Rides to be included in this individual attraction selection option may include: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure Park, Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Web Slingers in Disney California Adventure park, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT. Disney will release the rest of the attractions in this group later this year.
Guests will be able to schedule a time to ride up to 2 high-demand attractions each day and use the Lightning Lane entrance during their scheduled time to ride. These two attractions can be at different parks if you have a park hopper ticket. $Pricing for this Individual Attraction Purchase option will vary by date, attraction, and park.
Individual Attraction Purchases can be made on the same day of your visit and used across multiple parks.
2. The purchase of Disney Genie+ is not needed to use the Individual Attraction Selection Service (Lightening Lane). For example, if you ONLY wish to ride Rise of the Resistance and you don’t care about anything else, you DO NOT need to purchase Disney Genie+ to ride it. You only have to pay the individual cost for the purchase of that attraction.
3. ONSITE GUESTPERK ALERT! Guests staying at a Disney owned and operated hotel at Walt Disney World, or the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, or the Shades of Green Hotels, and who purchase an enhancement will be able to make their first individual attraction selection at 7AM. All other guests will have to make their selections when they enter their first park of the day.
Here’s a great little video that explains it all perfectly!
Follow us on Facebook for news and updates as they occur on this and all things Disney! And if you’d like more information or a free, no-obligation quote proposal, please reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista or request a quote on our website at: https://vacationswithcharacter.net
The Show Goes On! Cirque du Soleil & Disney Announce Opening Date for Drawn to Life at Disney Springs!
Calling all Cirque du Soleil fans! The iconic white tent theater at Disney Springs that has been sitting empty since is buzzing with activity once again as Cirque du Soleil artists are returning to the stage to train and rehearse for a spectacular new show.
Drawn to Life is a thrilling collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. At its core, the show is about the love between a father and a daughter with a story drawing inspiration from Disney’s 100-year heritage of animation. The family-friendly show brings timeless Disney stories and characters to life in an unforgettable way through the use of innovative design, acrobatic performances, dazzling choreography, musical scores, brand-new animation lovingly created by Disney Animation artists, and some extra touches of Disney magic. Here’s a sneak Peek:
Originally scheduled to debut in spring 2020, Drawn to Life was in its final rehearsals when the pandemic brought live theater performances to a halt. While waiting to return to the stage, artists stayed in shape by training at home or at local facilities. Now, the intermission is over and being back in the theater together is a dream come true for the cast and crew — and soon to be for fans alike!
Drawn to Life presented by Cirque du Soleil & Disney is scheduled to open on Nov. 18, 2021. Tickets will go on sale Aug. 20 to the general public.
For more information about Drawn to Life, visit DisneySprings.com/Cirque. And be sure to keep an an eye out for some behind-the-scenes stories coming in the weeks ahead on our Facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/VacationsWithCharacter.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Fireworks and More Coming to Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom!
Twinkling lights, festive décor, and magical celebrations will fill Magic Kingdom Park when “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” begins. The event will take place on 24 select nights Nov. 8 through Dec. 21 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. This year’s holiday celebration coincides with the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary – “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
We are so excited to let you know that “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” will include the nighttime spectacular “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks” and the special holiday-themed parade “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade”. That’s right, a parade! Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be joined by pals from Disney’s “Frozen” and many other favorite Disney characters including the very popular Toy Soldiers. This festive parade will, of course, also feature Santa Claus.
Tickets for the festive 4-hour “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” will grant admission to Magic Kingdom Park as early as 7 p.m., giving Guests more time to enjoy some of their favorite Magic Kingdom attractions. They can also take in some of the EARidescent magic that will be part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” from the brand-new fireworks spectacular “Disney Enchantment” to the transformation of Cinderella Castle into a “Beacon of Magic,” all in honor of the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. And, yes! That means Guests could be able to experience two different and unique fireworks shows in one night!
That’s not all that it’s in store. Here are additional details of what Guests can experience during this limited-capacity, separately ticketed event:
Holiday attraction overlays are also making a comeback! The Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise, and Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor will get new jokes perfect for this joyful season.
After the park closes to day Guests, event Guests can enjoy less time waiting in line for more than 20 attractions including favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, The Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and more.
Sightings of Disney characters throughout the park all dressed in their holiday best.
While Guests are walking down Main Street, U.S.A. they should be sure to look up to the sky, they might catch some magical snowfall!
Guests can dance and boogie the night away at themed Club Tinsel dance party in Tomorrowland.
Guests can enjoy complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties and popcorn, seasonal treats and select bottled beverages.
Specialty holiday food and drinks will be also be available for purchase.
Disney PhotoPass will offer holiday magic shots throughout the night.
Tickets will go on sale Aug. 20, 2021 and range from $169 to $229 plus tax for select November/December nights, and $249, plus tax on December 19 & 21. These dated event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation.
NOTE: In order to book tickets during the early purchase window, a valid reservation at a Disney Resort hotel is required!
Stay tuned for more holiday news coming soon. We can’t wait to help you unwrap all that festive fun! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista if you are interested in booking a vacation package and tickets at www.vacationswithcharacter.net.
Things are ever changing at Disney theme parks as more of our beloved park experiences return. Today, we are tickled with a pink “Minnie” bow, to announce Fireworks are back!
A Disney tradition since 1957, fireworks shows are what Walt Disney called the perfect “kiss goodnight” at the close of a magical day, and this summer the skies above Disney theme parks will sparkle with color once more. Beginning in July, just in time for the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, the incredibly popular nighttime fireworks spectaculars are returning to Disney parks!
At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, July 1 marks the start of nightly fireworks performances at Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT. “Happily Ever After” will transform Cinderella Castle with lights, projections and pyrotechnics, as moments from favorite Disney stories encourage Guests to grab hold of their dreams and make them come true. And as part of the ongoing transformation of EPCOT, “EPCOT Forever” will produce a spectacle of fireworks, music and lighting effects over World Showcase Lagoon, highlighting the themes of innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration at the core of the park’s past, present and future.
As Disneyland Park in California welcomes back all guests, the fun starts July 4 with “Mickey’s Mix Magic” presented nightly throughout the summer. State-of-the-art projections, show lighting and lasers will transform Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle and the façade of “it’s a small world” into a dazzling, family fun dance party that goes sky high with fireworks to celebrate the leader of the club, Mickey Mouse.
If you simply can’t wait until their next visit to see some Disney fireworks, they can enjoy a virtual viewing of “Happily Ever After” right now with #DisneyMagicMoments at home.
As a reminder, valid park admission and a park reservation are still required for park entry. For more information or to book, reach out to one of our Vacationistas today; there’s never been a better time to visit: Request a Quote
Fantasy reigns at Magic Kingdom Park as we patiently wait for Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary in October and “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” One such new fantastical addition is “Disney After Hours Boo Bash” on 23 select nights later this year!
Starting on Aug. 10 and continuing through Oct. 31 from 9 p.m. to midnight, this new attraction is sure to delight and are thrilled to share some more frightfully fun details on what to expect during this limited-capacity separately ticketed event:
Special cavalcades will pop up throughout the night including “Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade,” with Mickey Mouse and friends dressed up for the occasion. In the “Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade,” villains will take to the street and celebrate their favorite time of the year. “Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade” will feature Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie riding down the parade path to “This is Halloween,” and last, but definitely not least (we would never say that about her!), Maleficent will also make an appearance in the form of a fire-breathing dragon.
Some favorite friends will be lurking about – from the lovely Miss Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion to Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale in their Halloween best, with other surprise characters popping up across the park, too. Guests can even stop and listen to the Cadaver Dans during their special comeback (from the dead) performance.
Select complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties and popcorn, along with select beverages, are included in the cost of the event.
After the park closes to day guests, enjoy less time waiting in line for more than 20 attractions including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion attraction, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and more.
A variety of specialty food and drinks will be available for purchase including an Apple Ginger Dale frozen drink (frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale and topped with whipped cream) and a Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake.)**
Disney PhotoPass will also be available to take magical and spooky shots throughout the night.
“Disney After Hours Boo Bash” tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom park as early as 7 p.m., giving Guests time to enjoy even more of their favorite Magic Kingdom haunts before the event begins. These dated event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation.All foolish mortals can dress in costume for the event and Guests can get their fill of Halloween candy while trick-or-treating around the park. Unfortunately, costume masks are not permitted for adults; they can only be worn by children under 14.
Tickets for this hauntingly fun-filled three-hour event will go on sale June 15 and Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can book their tickets as early as June 8 through their travel agent or by calling in.Pricing starts at $129 – $139 USD, plus tax for August/September nights; $159 – $169, plus tax for October nights; $199, plus tax for Halloween. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of a $10 discount for event nights in August and September. A limited number of tickets are available.
Here are the dates for “Disney After Hours Boo Bash”:
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021
Friday, Aug. 20, 2021
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021
Friday, Aug. 27, 2021
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021
Friday, Sept. 3, 2021
Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021
Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021
Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021
Friday, Sept. 24, 2021
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021
Friday, Oct. 8, 2021
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021
Friday, Oct. 15, 2021
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021
Friday, Oct. 22, 2021
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021
Friday, Oct. 29, 2021
Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021
This fall, the decorations on Main Street, U.S.A., will receive a magical transformation for the event nights in October as “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” begins. Walt Disney Imagineering, in partnership with the Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Services team, will blend a fall look with the enchanting story of Cinderella by creating special pumpkin coach decorations that will add to the park’s sparkling EARidescence during this magical time. Cast Members will receive a special Earidescent name tag for the Anniversary Celebration as well!
We are super excited to share an update on some of the festive experiences coming to Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays!
We know how much Guests love the holidays, and from Nov. 6-Dec. 30, you’ll will be able to enjoy festive décor, themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and entertainment all across Walt Disney World Resort. Holiday magic will be in full force at the four theme parks and Disney Springs, and Santa Claus will even make time for special pop-up appearances at each location, waving and exclaiming holiday wishes to all.
Enjoy the sight of festive flotillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, holiday promenades at EPCOT and merry motorcades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Plus, character cavalcades at Magic Kingdom Park will take on a special holiday twist, with Christmas friends on festive floats in their holiday finest. Gingerbread Men? Check! Elves and Reindeer? Check, check! And the Toy Soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic as they march through Magic Kingdom Park, bringing musical holiday cheer for all to hear.
When night falls, special projection effects will give a festive look to Cinderella Castle this year, providing a colorful backdrop for photo ops. The appearance of the iconic castle will be transformed with a rotating series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation.
Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a meal among friends and family. Minnie Mouse will be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting Nov. 6. Santa Goofy will be there, along with Minnie and more in their holiday best.
Shifting gears to Disney Springs, You will discover Christmas around every corner as they come across a collection of elaborately-decorated Disney Christmas trees spread throughout this retail, dining and entertainment destination. In the evening, encounter a magical snowfall in areas within Town Center, West Side and The Landing, adding an extra touch of wonder to your holiday shopping. And to top it off, Jock Lindsey will once again be turning his hangar bar into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar complete with delightful holiday décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.
Disney Resort hotels will also be decked out for the holidays too, with their lobbies featuring iconic trees and other festive flourishes.
Starting a bit later in the season, on Nov. 27, holiday kitchens will return around World Showcase promenade with favorites like American Holiday Table featuring Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing and Bavaria Holiday Kitchen with dishes like Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl.
Step inside World ShowPlace to enjoy the returning group, JOYFUL! as they present a journey through R&B, Gospel, contemporary and traditional Christmas and holiday music. Also, the Voices of Liberty will bring their incredible 8-part harmonies to the America Gardens Theatre stage for a special concert of favorite carols and songs of the season.
We’re looking forward to helping you create new traditions this year with unique ways to enjoy the season together. There’s a lot of holiday fun to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort! To learn more about about booking a getaway with seasonal experiences, ask your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for a free, no-obligation quote at: https://vacationswithcharacter.net/ We may even have a few special offers to share with you too!
Halloween is Coming to Universal Orlando Resort this Fall!
Halloween seasonal experiences are set to invade Universal Orlando for an extended time and will include trick-or-treating for little ones, plus the official debut of 2 all-new horrifying haunted houses, sure to please any #HalloweenHorrorNights fans, and more!
AND it’s all included as part of your daytime theme park admission beginning the weekend of September 26th and 27th and then daily from October 3rd through November 1st!
Here are all the spooktacular details:
DRESS UP IN COSTUMES WHILE VISITING THE THEME PARKS Guests can share their Halloween spirit and don family-friendly costumes while visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
SCARECROW STALK IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA Participate in the Universal Orlando Scarecrow Stalk, a NEW scavenger hunt that sends guests to find unique scarecrows and collect stamps at 13 retail locations throughout the park. A Halloween treat awaits those who successfully complete the stalk!
TRICK-OR-TREAT IN ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE While venturing through Islands of Adventure, guests 12 and under can trick-or-treat to collect Halloween candy at retail locations marked by pumpkin signage.
BRAVE TWO HAUNTED HOUSES IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA Developed by the twisted minds of Universal Orlando, guests will scream their way through two all-new haunted houses where terrifying creatures await to haunt their every move. In “Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives,” one of Universal Pictures’ most notorious monsters will step out of the shadows as she stops at nothing to revive Frankenstein’s Monster at any cost. In “Revenge of the Tooth Fairy,” guests will be immersed in an original story that uncovers a dark ritual behind the innocent childhood tradition.
Access to the two haunted houses is included with theme park admission. There may be times when the Virtual Line experience is available for the haunted houses. Guests can use the Official Universal Orlando Resort App to select a Virtual Line time to visit. NOTE: Haunted houses may be too intense for young children and are not recommended for guests under 13.
For additional Halloween treats this fall, you can also:
Stop by the popular Halloween Horror Nights Tribute store, an immersive retail location dedicated to the legacy of the world’s premier Halloween event, to purchase limited-time “throwback” merchandise and to get a taste of the horror with an assortment of nearly 20 sweet and savory items. TIP: The Halloween Cake is delicious!
Enjoy additional limited-time, crave-worthy food & beverage options to celebrate the season. In Universal Studios, this includes a variety of Halloween-themed drinks like the Frozen Candy Corn beverage at the all-new Skeleton Bar at Café La Bamba, the iconic staple, Pizza Fries, at Louie’s Italian Restaurant, and all-new food trucks near the haunted houses that feature uniquely themed items such as “Franken Fried Chicken & Funnel Brains.” In Universal CityWalk, guests can pick up the “Jack the Clown” and “Pumpkin Spice” specialty doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnut. Plus, guests can sip on specialty drinks themed after icons from Halloween Horror Nights history at Universal Orlando’s hotels, including “The Director” and “The Chance.”
Horror movie buffs can catch a classic horror flick at Universal Cinemark in CityWalk now through October 31.
Lastly, you can have a hauntingly good time at Hollywood Drive-In Golf, where you’ll encounter a choice of two family friendly courses: “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens” and “Invaders From Planet Putt.” Experience cutting-edge interactive elements and special immersive features that can’t be found elsewhere. Encounter a haunted house, flying saucer, 30-foot robot, and more in quirky capers filled with ghoulish gags and interplanetary puns. Special effects and lighting make it easy to play day, evening, and even late night. And since it’s located in Universal CityWalk™, it’s just steps away from the rest of the action. This is one family favorite you won’t want to miss!
To learn more about about booking a getaway to Universal Orlando’s Halloween seasonal experiences, visit your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista at: https://universalvacationplanners.com. We have a few special offers to share with you too and are experts at creating exciting adventures to this amazing destination!
Safety Note: Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing and sanitization,” and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place this fall. Key measures include screening guests and team members, enforcing social distancing, requiring face coverings, limiting capacity at the parks, attractions and hotels, and increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures and more. Specific health and safety protocols for the haunted houses include:
Face coverings worn by team members – including scareactors – and guests.
Everyone following social distancing guidelines in the queue and inside the haunted houses. Plexi-glass will be installed in various areas to help keep separation between scareactors and guests.
The required use of hand sanitizer before entering each haunted house. It will also be available for guests to use immediately after they exit.
Managing the guest flow inside the haunted houses by pulsing travel parties and limiting capacity.
USA Today has released it’s top 10 Best Amusement Park Hotels and guess what? Universal Orlando Resorts claims FIVE of them. It’s no surprise, as these are among our top favorites too!
1) Cabana Bay Beach Resort
This resort features a fun retro theme that takes you back to the iconic beach resorts of the 1950s and 60s. This property features two massive pools including a water slide and a lazy river, 10-lane bowling alley, arcade, fitness center, delicious food court, fire pit, outdoor activities, and there’s even a even a Starbucks®. Great for families on a budget, this resort is the perfect place to call your “home away from home” for a week…or two. It’s truly a little getaway all to its own.
2) Universal’s Aventura Hotel
You’ll say “Ahhhh” at Universal’s Aventura Hotel as you relax and experience a fresh and fun way to vacation. It’s modern and smart, yet vibrant and sleek. At this landmark within Universal Orlando Resort™, you’ll find yourself at home with open areas designed for sharing and gathering. The pool and amazing rooftop views at Bar 17 Bistro are relaxing sweet spots that will be calling your name after time in the parks.
Dining options are plentiful. Choose from Bar 17 Bistro to Bar Sol to Urban Pantry, the food hall where unique, high-quality restaurants come together offering a multitude of cuisines for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. (TIP: try the salmon, it’s delicious!) And, for those who need their coffee fix, there’s even a Starbucks®. Great for families with tweens or for a friends/couples getaway, this resort will fill the need quite nicely – and without breaking your piggy bank.
3) Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort
What can we say about Sapphire Falls except we ♥ this resort! This hidden gem has a Caribbean-inspired theme that transports you to a paradise…and the invitation for relaxation is everywhere.
Every comfort has been built in including a luxuriously landscaped 16,000 square foot, resort-style pool surrounded by cascading waterfalls as its centerpiece. From the beautiful stone turret work in the lobby to the inviting island charm of the 1,000 guest rooms and suites, you’re surrounded by old-world chic, yet modern and timeless style…and you’re only steps away from the theme parks! TIP: the suites are amazing!
You can almost reach out and touch the theme parks from here as well! Look closely at the top left and you’ll see Hogwart’s Castle!
Culinary options abound from Amatista Cookhouse, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to Strong Water Tavern, to the grab-and-go offerings at New Dutch Trading Co. You can also enjoy a menu of fresh seafood along with tropical drinks poolside. For those needing some pampering, there’s even 24-hour room service! From families to friends to couples, we recommend this resort for anyone. And believe it or not, it too is budget friendly!
4) Lowes Royal Pacific Resort
Explore the island of comfort and sophistication at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Experience touches of paradises such as Fiji, Bali and Hawaii. From lush landscaping to the white sandy beach of the lagoon-style swimming pool, you’ll be surrounded by an exotic feel!
Feast in the Island’s Dining Room or Jake’s American Bar or savor sushi at Orchid Court. Bula means “welcome” in Fijian, and you will love Bula Bar & Grille, a casual poolside eatery featuring tropical drinks, sandwiches, and classic American items. Tuk Tuk Market, the all-new lobby marketplace, offers coffee, breakfast items, pastries, and exclusive Tuk Tarts, plus hot and cold sandwiches, wok bowls, sushi to go, ice cream and gelato. At Royal Pacific, 24-hour room service is also available as well. We recommend this resort for anyone seeking a luxury vacation in a beautiful surrounding.
5) Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Take a trip to the stunning seaside village of Portofino, Italy without leaving the country at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. The stunning and luxurious rooms, authentic Italian specialties, and warm hospitality make your stay here a taste of what the Italians call la dolce vita – the sweet life. From the cobblestone streets to the outdoor cafes, you just may forget what country you’re in. Kids are not overlooked here as well. The kid’s suites are amazingly fun!
We recommend this resort for anyone seeking an upscale luxury resort vacation but you’ll have to wait to enjoy a stay here as it is currently closed.
Speaking of the sweet life, did you know by staying on property you’ll also receive exclusive theme park benefits? What can be sweeter than that?
Guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel or Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites enjoy Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme parks open along with complimentary shuttle service (or water taxi for Sapphire Falls guests) to and from the Universal Orlando® theme parks and Universal CityWalk® the dining and entertainment complex.
Guests staying at Lowes Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel® or Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel enjoy exclusive benefits including FREE Universal Express Unlimited™, which provides access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™. Plus, they receive Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ one hour before the theme parks open. Staying at these resorts also means you’re within walking distance-or a short, complimentary water taxi ride-from the theme parks and Universal CityWalk™!
Questions? We’ve got answers…and tickets…and special offers available for your next amazing vacation to Universal Orlando Resort. You can also read our blogs about the reopening and all of the safety features in place to keep you safe by starting here:
Ready to visit? There’s never a better time to plan your trip! Contact a Vacations with Character® Vacationista for a free quote for tickets or packages today, and let’s get you back to enjoying life and creating amazing memories with your family and friends! Just visit us at: https://universalvacationplanners.com/
The parks, hotels, and CityWalk are open and welcoming guests back with a few changes and welcome surprises! Read on for more details.
As previously reported on our social media accounts, things may be a little different when you arrive with new operational guidelines that put your safety, and that of the Team Members, first. Rest assured, it’s still the Universal you know and ♥! Here are some tips to experience the parks and make your visit a stress-free one, which = more fun for you!
1. The Universal Orlando Resort App is Your New Best Friend
Take a minute to download the Universal Orlando Resort app! More than ever, this will be the most useful thing during your visit. It will help you navigate around the crowds, trim down time waiting in queues, minimize physical interactions, and so much more! Here are some top features:
– Virtual Line experience for attractions
– Mobile food and drink ordering for select restaurants
– Interactive park map
– Virtual wallet where you can purchase and house your park tickets, Express passes, and also set up your TapuTapu for your visit to Volcano Bay
– Wait time alerts that you can set for when the times drop
(Download it for FREE from the App Store and Google Play. Data and other charges may apply; check with your wireless provider’s rate plan for details.)
2. Dodge Crowds with the Virtual Line Experience (see #1 above!)
3. Order Your Food Ahead of Time with Mobile Order (see #1 above!)
4. Make a Game Plan Beforehand Create your list of “must-do’s” and then use the app to navigate wait times while also utilizing the virtual line queue, plus mobile ordering.
5. Get a More Personalized Experience With Social Distancing
Maintaining social distancing spaces actually makes you feel as if you have rides and attractions almost to yourself and provides for a more personal and intimate experience!
6. Take a Break in the U-Rest Areas
In addition to planning out what you want to do, make sure to slot in time to take breaks. There are new U-Rest areas sprinkled throughout the parks and CityWalk, where you can recharge with a drink or snack with your face covering off. You can find them in the following locations:
Down by the waterfront in front of Hard Rock
Universal Studios Florida
Fear Factor Live Theater
Central Park by the lagoon
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Port of Entry Landing by the waterfront
The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show Theater in Lost Continent (the show is no longer available)
7. Make Way for Perfect Selfies and Photo Ops!
With limited crowds and social distancing, there is plenty of free space all around so you can capture some really great memories – and photos of your favorite spots without other guests crowding in.
8. Early Park Admission = More Time and Fewer Crowds
Booking a vacation package OR purchasing your tickets from Vacations with Character® allows you the perk of entering the park one hour earlier than the general public! Can you say…sign me up??? We are also experts at helping you navigate the hotels, new policies, attractions, transfers, and more…and our services are FREE for our clients! In fact, we may be able to save you money…money you can use to buy a new Wizarding Wand or a few ButterBeers and VooDoo doughnuts. 😉
9. Your Bae This Summer is Volcano Bay
With minimal crowds, plentiful areas to relax, social distancing enforced while you play, and the TapuTapu wearable – made exclusively for Volcano Bay – this park truly makes you feel as if you’ve escaped to a relaxing, tropical paradise and you will simply fall in LOVE! Plus, masks are not required in the pools, on the slides, or while eating/drinking because your space is always maintained with new guidelines and markers. Plus, with Tap Tu Play and Tap Tu Pay on your TapuTapu wearable, there is no standing in long lines to experience an attraction, no more carrying wallets, cash or credit cards around the park and no fumbling for a locker key. They have truly thought of everything!
10. New Experiences are Waiting to Welcome You Back
The parks may have been closed for a couple of months, but select Team Members have been hard at work creating new experiences for you to come back to. With new “Love is Universal” and anniversary merchandise to snatch up, new food and beverage offerings, and even new entertainment attractions like The Bourne Stuntacular and Raptor Encounter (baby raptor Sierra is the cutest!), there’s never a better time to visit!
Questions? We’ve got answers…and tickets…and special offers available for your next amazing vacation to Universal Orlando Resort. Contact a Vacations with Character® Vacationista for a free quote for tickets or packages today and let’s welcome you back! https://universalvacationplanners.com/
Many thanks to Denielle Ricci, Associate Editor of the Discover Universal Blog and Universal Partner Community Representative for help in providing this information!