Halloween Horror Nights Returns Earlier Than Ever

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT’S HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS RETURNS EARLIER THAN EVER THIS FALL – RUNNING FOR 48 SELECT NIGHTS BEGINNING AUGUST 30 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3, 2024

Halloween Horror Nights 33 Returns in late August 2024
Exciting News!

The horror begins earlier than ever before,  at every corner of Universal Studios Florida. Beginning today, you can secure your spot for the screams! Select tickets and packages are now on sale for the ultimate fall getaway with adrenaline-pumping thrills of Universal’s theme parks by day and the terrifying chills of Halloween Horror Nights at night.

What is Halloween Horror Nights?

Every fall, guests from all around the globe brave their worst nightmares coming to life at Halloween Horror Nights – consistently named the world’s premier Halloween event.

Are There Family Friendly Options?

Due to the intensity of this event, it is not recommended for children under the age of 13. However, daytime events have been incorporated in years past. Read about past offerings in our blog!

What’s New This Year?

A chilling new collection of 10 all-new movie-quality haunted houses, inspired by cinematic greats and created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team. Plus, five scare zones will also be filled with hundreds of menacing creatures who will reign the streets of Universal Studios Florida.

And in between the screams, you can enjoy an energetic live show, fuel up for the next round of scares with sinfully delicious food and beverage inspired by the event’s haunts. You’ll also want to shop the latest merchandise at the highly-themed Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store as well as enjoy some of Universal Studios Florida’s most exciting attractions.

Scare Zone at Halloween Horror Nights
Ticket and Package Information:

Single-night event tickets and Express Passes for Halloween Horror Nights are available for purchase now. You can also stay, scream and save up with a special vacation package that includes one-night admission to the event and accommodations at a Universal hotel located just minutes from the haunts.  Savings vary based on length of stay and this package is available for purchase now through November 2 for use from August 30 to November 3, 2024.

It’s worth noting Universal Orlando hotel guests receive exclusive benefits including access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights gate for faster entry into the event. Early Park Admission to the theme parks during the day plus complimentary resort transportation are also amazing perks.

10 Movie-Quality Haunted Houses Created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment Team Will Terrify Guests at HHN 33

Halloween Horror Nights upgrades are also available for purchase now, including the guided, nighttime R.I.P. Tour experience where you’ll receive priority V.I.P. access to the haunted houses. There’s also a tour called Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror that offers a glimpse into how the scares are brought to life via a daytime, lights-on journey through select haunted houses. For guests who can’t wait to peek at what’s in-store this year, there’s also a limited, three-house Behind The Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour available for purchase for select days starting Aug. 11.

Photo property of Vacations with Character® LLC

Don’t hit a dead end!  For more information about this event, request a free, no-obligation quote from Vacations with Character® LLC, a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency: Halloween Horror Nights 2024 and Beyond

Additional details about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will be revealed soon. Event dates include: August 30-31; September 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29; October 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30-31; November 1-3.

Never go alone.

Vacations with Character® is proud to be recognized as a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency. This distinction is only offered to top sellers for Universal Orlando Parks and Resorts.

DreamWorks Land Details Revealed

This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will debut DreamWorks Land – a vibrant new themed environment inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s beloved characters Shrek, Trolls and Kung Fu Panda.

As soon as guests step into the spectacular new land, the vivid world and imagination of DreamWorks Animation will surround them as they embark on exciting adventures like exploring Shrek’s Swamp just outside of his 35-foot-tall cottage, taking a ride on a dazzling Trollercoaster, interacting with Po in the Panda Village and meeting favorite characters like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse. Guests will also discover unique treats, photo-op-worthy murals, interactive play areas, splash pads and entertainment offerings themed to popular DreamWorks stories and characters. 

Here’s the full run down about the enchanting and playful new experiences coming to DreamWorks Land:

SHREK
Like ogres and onions, guests can peel back layers of fun in Shrek’s oasis to discover “ogre-the-top” adventures at every turn.


Shrek’s Swamp Meet: Guests can visit Shrek’s Swamp Meet to interact with beloved characters Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey, the noble steed eager to joke around and converse with guests, just outside of Shrek’s cottage.

Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres: This ogre-sized play area features four fun slides, wet play areas and a playground where guests can climb, bounce and splash around as well as venture into Shrek’s outhouse.

Mama Luna Feline Fiesta: The blockbuster film, Puss in Boots 2: The Last Wish, comes to life with this new interactive experience that takes place in Mama Luna’s retirement home for cats. Here, guests get to play with Mama Luna’s many cats on vivid interactive screens activated by buttons, bells, maracas and levers. They might even spot the one and only Puss in Boots himself.

King Harold’s Swamp Symphony: Guests can create their own melodious masterpiece as they trigger a choir of ever-changing frog ribbits by continually stomping on an array of interactive lily pads.

Swamp Snacks: Families can feast like an ogre at this new kiosk, which will serve scrumptious snacks inspired by Shrek, including Shrekzel, Far Far A Waffle, Frozen Ogre and more.

TROLLS
A magnificent fountain featuring favorite Trolls characters Poppy and Branch sits at the center of the Trolls Village where “fantastamazing” energy flows and guests can relax and “find their happy place.”


Trolls Trollercoaster: After strolling through a dazzling marquee starring cherished Trolls characters Poppy, Viva, Tiny Diamond, Satin and Chenille, guests of all ages can take a ride on the iconic Caterbus escaping evil spiders as they speed along a bright orange and yellow track aboard this family-friendly rollercoaster.

Poppy’s Playground: Nestled under a giant, 20-foot mushroom is Poppy’s Playground – a shaded play area featuring colorful flowers and bugs with a bountiful array of fun bouncing and climbing structures for the youngest of trolls.

Trolls Treats: Poppy’s boombox from Trolls Band Together has been transformed into a playful kiosk that offers up brightly colored Trolls ice cream treats inspired by Poppy and Branch like the pink lemonade-flavored Poppy-licious Pink and huckleberry-flavored BroZone Berry.

High Five Hideaway: Cloud Guy hosts this all-new retail location featuring the latest merchandise including apparel, plush and accessories from Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, Gabby’s Dollhouse and more.


KUNG FU PANDA
Guests embark on thrilling and fun adventures alongside the lovable panda Po from the action-packed world of the Kung Fu Panda movies.

Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp: Inspired by the hit Kung Fu Panda films, this all-new play area brings the Panda Village to life like never before. Within both wet and dry play areas, guests have the opportunity to help the pandas wash and dry their laundry with enormous water cannons, dump buckets, giant fans and more. Guests will also encounter fun elements throughout the experience, including an interactive gong, mischievous, giggling baby pandas, and oversized merry-go-round noodle bowls from Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop.

Po Live!: This digital, interactive meet and greet experience gives guests the opportunity to interact with the famous Dragon Warrior himself as he teaches them cool Kung Fu moves, cooks some delicious stir fry and babysits his little cousin, Ling Ling…all at the same time.

DreamWorks Land will also feature additional opportunities for guests to meet and interact with beloved characters through extraordinary live entertainment, including:

DreamWorks Imagination Celebration: Popular DreamWorks Animation stories leap off the screen and come to life in DreamWorks Imagination Celebration. The multisensory adventure combines hit pop songs, high-energy dancing, advanced technology, and more to create an imaginative party atmosphere that will transport guests to the worlds of their favorite characters within the all-new DreamWorks Theater.

DreamWorks Character Zone: At DreamWorks Character Zone, guests can meet, greet and interact with their favorite DreamWorks characters like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse and more.

There are so many fun events, like the family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration, to wonderful updates such as the addition of Minions Land at Universal Orlando Resort! For more information or to book your adventure, contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista today! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

Vacations with Character is proud to earn the distinction of being a Universal U-Preferred Travel Agency.

 

Let the Good Times Roll at Universal Mardi Gras 2024

Mardi Gras 2024: International Flavors of Carnaval, returns to Universal Studios Orlando!
Universal Mardi Gras 2024 – Courtesy of Derek Funk

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:

Universal Mardi Gras 2024 – Courtesy of Derek Funk

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.

Universal Mardi Gras 2024 - Courtesy of Derek Funk
Mardi Gras Parade Float

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.

Universal Concert Series for Mardi Gras 2024 – Courtesy of Derek Funk

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:

  • Feb. 3: Walker Hayes
  • Feb. 10: The All-American Rejects
  • Feb. 17: Nessa Barrett
  • Feb. 18: KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Feb. 24: Barenaked Ladies
  • March 2: DJ Khaled
  • March 9: Ava Max
  • March 10: Queen Latifah
  • March 16: Luis Fonsi
  • March 17: Zedd

It’s Springtime fun for everyone! For more information or to book your adventure, contact your favorite Vacationista today! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

 

Minions Land: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort shares details about all the ways to eat, laugh and make mischief in Minion Land!
Minions Land Opening Summer 2023 at Universal Orlando Resort

Minion Land on Illumination Ave expands upon the wildly popular Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction. Said to debut this summer,  this new experience will be fun for guests of all ages. Read on to learn about all the mayhem that awaits!

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast
ILLUMINATION’S VILLAIN-CON MINION BLAST

First, put your villainous skills to the test in Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. This new attraction will have guests competing against each other in an interactive gaming experience that’s so much fun, it’s a crime!

ILLUMINATION’S MINION CAFE

Next, Minions in the kitchen = mischief in the dining room. Hungry Guests will find tons of tasty food at the new Illumination’s Minion Cafe. This immersive new eatery offers something for every palate. Additionally, it will feature three themed areas designed after beloved Minions Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto:

The Kitchen – where guests will get a glimpse of the equipment and gear the Minions have used to whip up the cafe’s menu.

The Breakroom – where guests can dine in the Minions’ break space. This section includes everything from “Office Safety Tips” to a vending machine stocked with mischievous items.

The Dining Room – a vibrant space adorned with colorful artwork courtesy of the Minions and more. Guests can also enjoy their meal on an outdoor patio that overlooks the fun of Minion Land.

Undoubtedly, Guests will enjoy Minion Cafe’s incredible surroundings, but hungry tummies will also enjoy a delicious menu. Try an eclectic “despica-bowls” such as Otto’s Noodle Bowl. There’s also Agnes’s Honeymoon Soup and Carl’s Crispy Cauliflower (vegan offering). For those who like handhelds maybe the Steak & “Cheese Ray” Sandwich will fit the bill? Of course, “mini Minions” will enjoy their own menu too. Lastly, everyone everyone will fall in love with adorable desserts such as Bob’s Teddy Bear Chocolate Cream Puff.

Alternately, Minion Cafe will also feature an express window with a limited menu. This is perfect for those looking to quickly satisfy their mischievous cravings!

Bake My Day at Universal Orlando Resort
BAKE MY DAY

You won’t miss this venue as it’s topped with a massive pink cupcake. For this reason, it’s visible from anywhere in the land! Bake My Day is a whimsical retail location and bakery featuring a selection of Minion-themed sweet treats.  Delectable offerings will include cupcakes, macarons, s’mores and more. Of course, fans can also find exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise here as well.

POP-A-NANA

Banana-flavored popcorn, anyone? Yes please! This walk-up location will feature sweet and savory popcorn inspired by the Minions’ love for bananas. Additionally, guests may also find an assortment of cute popcorn buckets, including the Minion Selfie bucket.

FREEZE RAY POPS

Cool off with a visit to Freeze Ray Pops, showcasing a variety of colorful popsicles and beverages inspired by Gru, the Minions and Vector.

ILLUMINATION THEATER

No land would be complete without a meet and greet. At Illumination Theater you can interact with beloved characters like the Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes. In fact, new additions from the hit film “Sing”  – Rosita, Gunter and Johnny – ­will debut at this outdoor location as well.

And that’s not all! Guests can also discover murals, photo ops and more throughout Minion Land that celebrate additional characters from popular Illumination films.

Minion Land is yet another example of how Universal Destinations & Experiences is raising the bar on immersive storytelling for the entire family.

In addition to this exciting news, earlier in the year the company announced plans to build a one-of-kind, original theme park for families  in Frisco, Texas. Stay tuned for more details to come.

Vacations with Character is proud to earn the distinction of being a Universal U-Preferred Travel Agency.

We can’t wait to experience the all-new, adorable Minion Land! If you would like more information, please reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

 

Universal’s Mardi Gras International Flavors of Carnival

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras 2023 Celebration Returns

Mardi Gras Parade at Universal Orlando Resort
Mardi Gras Parade at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort invites guests to go beyond the bayou and let the good times roll from February 4 through April 16, 2023 with the return of Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval – featuring a dazzling Mardi Gras parade, mouthwatering cuisine inspired by global Carnaval celebrations and, on select nights, live concerts by top names in music – all included with regular theme park admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Click Here to See an Overview of this Year’s Celebration and take a look at all the details below:

Star-Studded Mardi Gras Concert Lineup

This year’s concert series will feature eight live performances by popular names in music like GRAMMY-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls, GRAMMY-winning Platinum superstar Maren Morris and GRAMMY-winning artist Sean Paul, and at the Music Plaza stage – an outdoor concert venue set against the backdrop of the towering Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster.

Complete Concert Line-Up for Universal 2023 Mardi Gras Celebration
Complete Concert Line-Up for Universal 2023 Mardi Gras Celebration
New “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” Parade Theme

Guests of all ages can dance along with high-energy performers and catch beads by the handful during this year’s spectacular parade, which will showcase a new “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” theme inspired by fantastical creatures like dragons, phoenixes, unicorns and more – with a Mardi Gras twist. This year’s imaginative theme will be brought to life within six incredibly detailed and festive parade floats that will join Universal’s traditional lineup of New Orleans-inspired floats – such as the iconic, two-story Riverboat and nearly 50-foot-long King Gator.

Taste the International Flavors of Carnaval

The mouthwatering flavors of global Carnaval celebrations from New Orleans to Brazil to Belgium and beyond will come to life as part of an expansive menu featuring more than 50 tasting-sized items for guests to enjoy at this year’s event. While venturing throughout the parkwide celebration, guests will find kiosks featuring delectable food and beverage inspired by iconic fare from around the world – including the classic Crawfish Boil and deliciously fluffy Beignets from New Orleans, Shrimp Ceviche Tostada from Mexico, a Mofongo Flight inspired by the Carnaval Ponceño in Puerto Rico, Indonesian Black Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango and so much more.

Plus, for the first time ever, Universal Orlando’s other theme parks are joining the fun by featuring a limited selection of Mardi Gras items, including Gumbo, Jambalaya, King Cake and more at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the Muffuletta Long Board Pizza at Universal’s Volcano Bay.

All-New Mardi Gras Tribute Store and Merchandise

Located within an all-new space in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida, this year’s Mardi Gras Tribute Store invites guests to an international jazz celebration that leads to the traditional alleyways of New Orleans and ultimately into a speakeasy where the Mardi Gras celebration continues. Within the new store, guests can shop a new selection of Mardi Gras merchandise that ranges from apparel to accessories and collectibles such as keychains, pins, themed glasses and even some personalized options – allowing them to take a piece of Florida’s Biggest Party home with them. Guests can also devour tasty treats inspired by this year’s celebration within the new retail location.

The Party Continues at Universal CityWalk and Universal Orlando’s Hotels

Guests can keep the party going at Universal CityWalk with special Mardi Gras festivities at select venues along with food kiosks featuring delicious menu items that offer a taste of the Mediterranean, the Islands and popular Mardi Gras fare. Pat O’Brien’s will host a Mardi Gras After Party on select nights from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. that includes live entertainment and exclusive food and drink offerings; as well as a special Fat Tuesday celebration on February 21 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. featuring a dueling piano and more. Reservations for the festivities at Pat O’Brien’s can be made by calling 407-224-3663. Plus, the Red Coconut Club will transform for the Mardi Gras season into the Cursed Coconut Club – more details and dates of operation will be shared soon.

The best way to experience Universal’s Mardi Gras is with a stay at one of Universal’s eight incredible hotels. Each hotel will have exclusive Mardi Gras offerings such as Cajun Jambalaya Pasta at Trattoria del Porto in Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, N’awlins Po’ Boy Sliders at Velvet Bar at Hard Rock Hotel, Crawfish Etouffee at Bar 17 Bistro in Universal’s Aventura Hotel and more. Universal Orlando hotel guests can also enjoy exclusive benefits including Early Park Admission and complimentary transportation to the theme parks.

Incredible Offers to Get the Celebration Started

Access to Universal’s Mardi Gras is included with theme park admission. Guests wanting to join the festivities can save 25% on a 5-Day/5-Night Vacation Package to visit Universal Orlando this spring and experience Mardi Gras (blockout dates apply).

Florida Residents can also take advantage of a new offer to partake in the festivities that gives them two days of free admission to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure with the purchase of a 2-Park, 2-Day ticket (valid for use through June 29, 2023; blockout dates apply).

For more information or to book your adventure, contact your favorite Vacationista today! https://universalvacationplanners.com/

Vacations with Character® is proud to be recognized as a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency. This distinction is only offered to top sellers for Universal Orlando Parks and Resorts.

 

 

Where to Eat Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as they say! Read on for some delicious ways to start your vacation days at Universal Orlando Resort:

Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Today Cafe in Universal Studios serves up the perfect cup of coffee, fresh pastries or healthier options like delicious breakfast sandwiches or an acai bowl.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando - Leaky Cauldron
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Leaky Cauldron in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley, features a hot breakfast with authentic British fare from traditional breakfast items to an egg, leak and mushroom pasty. TIP: We recommend this as a “go-to” for guests who have Early Park Admission access.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando - Three Broomsticks
Photo: Denielle Ricci. Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade is a fan favorite! Here you can enjoy a a plate of pancakes with pumpkin juice!

Breakfast at Universal Orlando - Green Eggs and Ham Cafe
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Make ‘Sam I Am’ proud and pick up a plate of green eggs and ham tots over at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe in Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure (don’t try to say that with your a mouthful!) Other quick bites include Croissant Moon, Cinnabon, and Starbucks.

Breakfast at Universl Orlando - Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club at Volcano Bay Water Park
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

You’ll need to to fuel your body when conquering Volcano Bay and we know just the place! Fill up on breakfast pizza, sandwiches and wraps at Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club. You can even enjoy a refreshing continental breakfast with fresh pastries and fruits as well.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resorts - Pier 8 Market @ Dockside Inn and Suites
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Looking for breakfast at your resort? There are plenty of options like Pier 8 Market in Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites. Wake up with a refreshing glass of orange juice and enjoy offerings such as chicken and waffles or even vegan avocado toast! There’s also a Starbucks.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Beach Break Cafe - Surfside Inn and Suites
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Beach Break Cafe at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, offers hearty breakfast items that get you ready for a day in the parks. From breakfast pizzas, burritos, egg muffins, or even a crispy chicken sandwich your pallet and your tummy will be pleased. There’s also a Starbucks here as well.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Urban Pantry - Aventura Hotel
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Over at Universal’s Aventura Hotel, Urban Pantry serves up quite the selection with their Hash Station in Urban Pantry. Choose from a bowl or wrap with your choice of protein, eggs, cheese, and fresh ingredients. You can also request traditional breakfast favorites as well.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Bayliner Diner - Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Bayliner Diner at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has it going on with a perfect mix of quick picks and breakfast platters. Starbucks is also served here too.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Amatista Cookhouse - Loews Sapphire falls Resort
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Amatista Cookhouse in Loews Sapphire Falls Resort does not disappoint! Order off the menu and find Carribean inspired dishes along with traditional offerings. In a hurry? Grab and Go from New Dutch Trading Co.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort - Islands Dining Room - Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Ahhhh….you can get a taste of the island life in Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort! Savor Hawaiian pancakes, Tahitian French Toast a L’orange, smoked salmon, and more! Tuk Tuk Market is also a great place to pick up more than just Grab and Go items and they serve a limited selection of Starbucks offerings as well.

Breaktfast at Universal Orlando Resort - The Kitchen - Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Two Words: The Kitchen! This place has some of the best french toast and waffles around as well as a lot of other great offerings. In a hurry? Grab a breakfast sandwich, fresh fruit, or a bagel from Emack and Bollio’s Marketplace!

Breakfast at Tratoria del Porto - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Take me away to Portofino Bay! Enjoy a beautiful morning on the piazza at Trattoria del Porto at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Here you’ll find breakfast menu items your whole family will love. For some quick bites try Gelateria or Starbucks.

Breakfast at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen - CityWalk
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Did you know Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen serves up breakfast? It’s a best-kept secret! From hearty options to sweet and creamy, they have it all.

Breakfast at Universal Orlando with Grinch and Friends (seasonal)
Photo: Denielle Ricci, Universal Parks and Resorts, Travel Agent Partner Community

Treat yourself to a fun  morning with some of your most favorite characters while enjoying a delicious breakfast with The Grinch and Friends. This seasonal event is a dining experience that’s not to be missed! Note: Reservations are required. This event may be postponed until next year due to Covid-19. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates!

In closing, we always suggest checking the Universal Parks App for times and availability as everything is subject to change.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour and can’t wait to help you learn more about about booking a getaway to Universal Orlando. Simply visit your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista at: https://universalvacationplanners.com. We have a few special offers to share with you and are experts at creating exciting adventures to this amazing destination!

Halloween Experiences Invade Universal Orlando this Fall

Halloween is Coming to Universal Orlando Resort this Fall!

HHN Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

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!

Universal Orlando Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

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.

 

Universal Orlando Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

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.

HHN Fall 2020 – Courtesy of the Universal Travel Agent Partner Community

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!
    Courtesy of Robin Gantek, Vacations with Character®

    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.

 

Five Universal Orlando Resorts Ranked 2020s Top 10 Best Amusement Park Hotels!

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!

Advertising Resorts Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando Resort CBBR, UOR Pool Exteriors kids having fun in pool, children in pool, couples by pool, water slide, lounging by pool
One of 2 Pools at Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

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

Courtesy of: LB McLeod, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, Prime Value, Universal Orlando Resort, Double Queen Standard Room

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.

Aventura Hotel Lobby – Courtesy of Vacations with Character®

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

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

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!

Aerial View of Lowes Sapphire Falls from Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel – Courtesy of Vacations with Character®

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

Lowes Royal Pacific Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

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.

Royal Pacific Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

5) Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal Orlando Resort – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

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!

Portofino Bay Hotel, Despicable Me Suite – Courtesy of Universal Travel Partners

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:

RELATED: 10 Tips To Experience Universal Orlando Resort

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/

We look forward to hearing from you!

Vacations with Character® is proud to be recognized as a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency. This distinction is only offered to top sellers for Universal Orlando Parks and Resorts.

 

10 Tips to Experience Universal Orlando Resort

The parks, hotels, and CityWalk are open and welcoming guests back with a few changes and welcome surprises! Read on for more details.

Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

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!

RELATED: 10 Tips for Universal Orlando’s Reopening and 10 Tips for Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay Reopening

1. The Universal Orlando Resort App is Your New Best Friend

Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

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!)

Courtesy of Derek Funk, Universal Partner Community

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

Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

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:

  • Universal CityWalk
    • 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!

Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

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

Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

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/

We are honored to be an Authorized Universal Orlando Vacation Planner!

Many thanks to Denielle Ricci, Associate Editor of the Discover Universal Blog and Universal Partner Community Representative for help in providing this information!