Universal Studios Orlando
Of Central Florida’s theme parks, Universal Orlando is the largest outside of Walt Disney World.
Universal Studios Florida opened for business in June 1990, a relative late-comer on the scene, as by then, Walt Disney World already had three of its theme parks up and running. However, since then Universal Orlando has followed the Disney lead by expanding what it has to offer.
A massive expansion occurred in 1999, with the addition of a second theme park, Universal’s Islands of Adventure. At the same time, Universal’s CityWalk, the resort’s shopping and entertainment district, opened for business, along with the resort’s first three on-site hotels: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort (discussed in Chapter 3: Staying in Style).
2010 brought the Wizarding World of Harry Potter into Universal’s Islands of Adventure. For many years, the home to Orlando’s biggest, and baddest coasters, now this park is reaching out to a family market. It’s a tactic that’s shown huge benefits ever since the new land opened, with increased visitor numbers. That’s led to a recent increase in the resort hotels at Universal Orlando, with the opening of Cabana Bay in 2014, and Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort in 2016.
2017 sees the arrival of Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park, finally claiming to crack the biggest problem theme parks encounter, with the promise there will be no waiting in long lines.
Attractions Open During Extra Magic Hours at Universal Studios Orlando:
Morning Extra Magic Hours
Evening Extra Magic Hours
Explore other nearby parks: