• Rebecca Blackmon

8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Universal Studios

Updated: May 31, 2021

Universal Studios is one of the biggest theme parks in the US. It is definitely one of the essential bucket list items to check off when visiting Orlando, Florida. If you haven’t been to Universal Studios Orlando, here are the 8 things you need to know before going!

1. 3 Universal Parks

There are 3 Universal Parks in Universal Studios.

  • Universal Studios: features Harry Potter World - Diagon Alley and Transformers 3D

  • Islands of Adventure: features Harry Potter World - Hogsmeade/Hogwarts and The Incredible Hulk

  • Volcano Bay: Universal Studio's water park

2. Universal Studios Tickets

Universal Studios tickets can be purchased in two ways. One way is single park tickets where could only visit one park a day and the other way is the park hopper ticket where you could visit every Universal Studios park in one day.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend the park hopper tickets! There is a ride that takes you from Universal (Diagon Alley) to Islands of Adventure (Hogsmeade) and if you want the full experience, you need to be on that ride! The park hopper passes do cost a little bit more money though. If you don’t care to see that, it would probably be cheaper to buy single park passes and visit the parks separately.

3. You can take snacks and water into the park!

I recommend taking a small bag that can hold a few granola bars and a couple of water bottles. You can save money that way because EVERY bottle of water in Universal costs $5!

4. Universal Studios Lockers

Lockers for bag storage at Universal come in two sizes: there is a small locker which will hold fanny packs, small back packs, etc. Those lockers are free. There is also a big locker which would be necessary to hold a full size back pack - those are NOT free. Pack lightly and save money!

5. Universal Studios App

If you download the app, you’ll have everything you need in your pocket. Your tickets upload on the app so that you don’t have to keep up with a paper ticket. The app tells you wait times for every ride in Universal - important for planning out your day! The app also allows you to order food ahead of time (while waiting in line for a ride, for example), and you can go and pick it up later!

6. Express Pass is Worth to Buy

This one is a little iffy, but if you’re spending any less than two days in the parks, I think the express passes would be totally worth the money. The wait times in Universal often get well above an hour - if you only have one day in each park that’s hardly time to ride everything you want, because most of your day would be spent waiting in line. If your trip is short you don’t want to waste it. If you were going for multiple days, I would say save the money and wait in line.

7. Universal Studios Butterbeer

Butterbeer is found exclusively in Harry Potter World (either location). If you’ve never read Harry Potter and you don’t know what this is, I advise you start there ;). It comes in two forms: liquid with ice or frozen. My personal favorite is frozen, and it’s a MUST when visiting Universal! You CANNOT leave Universal without drinking Butterbeer!

8. Wear Good Shoes

We were only in Universal for one day and walked over 10 miles! Everything is walkable, but you need to get ready for a physically exerting day.

Universal Studios

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! I know this sounds so cliche, but Harry Potter World, Universal, and Disney really are magical. Don’t forget to unplug a little bit and enjoy your vacation!


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