The moment we’ve all been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for is finally coming as the Park Hopper Option Returns to Walt Disney World Resort on Jan. 1, 2021!! BUT HOLD ONTO YOUR EARS…there’s a lot you’ll need to know before you race out of your resort and into a park! Read on for details.
Guests who purchased a ticket, package or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day, with some new modifications as part of Disney’s ongoing focus on health and safety. These modifications are designed to help manage attendance responsibly to continue to foster physical distancing. Additionally, other enhanced health and safety measures remain in effect, including face coverings required for all guests ages two and up.
With the updated Park Hopper® experience, Guests must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit (reservation requirements are subject to change) AND enter that first park prior to visiting another. Additionally, we will set specific Park Hopper® hours during which this option will be available. Park Hopper® hours will start at 2 p.m. each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time.
Guests with a ticket, package or pass that includes Park Hopper® benefits will get the chance to see and do more during their visit, which could mean a morning on the savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and an evening stroll by Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park or starting the day living your Star Wars adventure at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before an afternoon traveling around the world at EPCOT. Please note that the ability to visit another park will be subject to the park’s capacity limitations.
VERY IMPORTANT TIP: To help manage attendance, upon the return of the Park Hopper option in January, only guests with a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Guests visiting from another theme park will not be able to request to join the virtual queue.
In light of these updates, if you have a ticket or package that includes the ability to visit more than one park per day and you wish to modify or cancel this ticket, please contact your Vacations with Character® Travel Agent for options, including the ability to downgrade your ticket. Didn’t book with an agent? No problem! Reach out to us anyway and we’ll see if we can help!
TIP: Park-to-park transportation is also planned to resume in 2021, with operations beginning each day shortly prior to the start of Park Hopper® hours.
We look forward to starting the new year with the return of this guest favorite! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Vacationista for more details or to book: vacationswithcharacter.com
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!