EDITOR’S NOTE: The imagery shown throughout this blog post does not represent current operational and safety guidelines at Universal Orlando Resort. Please refer to our safety guidelines here.
Seeing a dinosaur on screen for the first time is a moment most of us will never forget.
Having a dinosaur in real life interrupt your photo op by attempting to bite your head is also a moment that most of us will never, ever forget AND is just one of the many unique experiences in Jurassic Park at Universal Orlando Resort.
Years after the Jurassic Park 1993 film release, Universal Orlando Resort developed a dedicated land to these films in Islands of Adventure. It has everything — a river boat ride, the iconic Jeep, and, yes, dinosaur encounters!
With the recent news of the new, ridiculously thrilling roller-coaster, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, opening in Jurassic Park in summer 2021, we are officially counting the days until the new attraction opens. Best way to pass the time until the ride opens? Spend all of our time in Jurassic Park.
If stepping into the world of Jurassic Park in person is high on your must-do list, then consider this your travel guide for your upcoming visit.
WHERE TO STAY
Let’s be clear, any Universal Orlando Resort hotel option is going to be a phenomenal stay with plenty of theme-park perks. But If you want the ULTIMATE Jurassic vacation, you gotta go with Loews Royal Pacific Resort and their Jurassic World Kids’ Suites. The second you open the paddock door, you have entered the world where Velociraptors, Pteranodons, and even the Indominus Rex roam.
WHAT TO DO
The moment you enter the iconic gates into the land you are surrounded by the jungle, immediately hear the iconic theme-song, and if you look down at the sidewalk you’ll notice our Universal Creative team left no stone unturned and no fossil imprint left un-included. Make your way through the land to take in all the sights and experiences from the films!
Get lost in the jungle.
There is a lot to explore and a lot of tropical plants and foliage to set the tone for your adventure. Throughout the land you’ll stumble upon Jeeps for the perfect photo ops, shops, dining, and rides.
Ride Jurassic Park River Adventure.
This attraction offers a scenic water boat tour where you can see a baby Stegosaurus and other ominous creatures in their natural habitats. It’s all peaceful enough until you encounter an unexpected guest and plummet 85 feet! Three things are pretty much guaranteed at this point: you will scream, you will get soaked, and you will have a blast on this combination of thrill and water ride.
Explore Camp Jurassic.
To really feel one with prehistoric nature, you’ll want to stop by Camp Jurassic. You and your kids can put your adventurous side to the test with a climb through the dinosaur capture nets and suspension bridges, or go subterranean as you explore the mysterious amber mines and lava pits. And if Jurassic Park River Adventure didn’t get you soaked enough already, the water cannons in the containment paddock will certainly finish the job!
Hop on a Pteranodon Flyer.
With kids in the family, this is a must-do ride. Located across from Jurassic Park River Adventure in Camp Jurassic, it allows two people (one has to be a child) at a time to fly above the land beneath the 10-ft wings of a Pteranodon! There is no better way to take in the sights of Jurassic Park and beyond.
Encounter a Raptor.
What is Universal Orlando Resort if not an immersive playground for guests to experience first-hand the thrills of the worlds they love? Stop by Raptor Encounter and meet Blue from Jurassic World or our new baby Raptor, Sierra.
Slowly approach the dinosaurs for a quick photo moment (one of the best photo ops in the parks!).
Pro-tip: Try to be calm because she will sense your fear and she will feed off it.
Peruse the Discovery Center.
(Currently closed, please check with Guest Services for operational updates.)
The name doesn’t lie: there’s plenty to discover at this interactive center! Have you ever wondered what kind of dinosaur you would have been? Here you can put your DNA to the test and find out! And if you have a competitive streak, you’ll want to challenge your friends to a match of the hilarious trivia game You Bet Jurassic! If you’re really lucky, you may even get to witness a baby Velociraptor hatch.
Climb rocks; play games.
Looking for a bit of a challenge? Test your skills on the rock wall located near the end of Jurassic Park River Adventure. Make it to the top and you’ll find an incredible view of people splashing down to escape the T.Rex. Or feeling a little competitive? Be sure to check out all the Jurassic-Park-themed games!
WHERE TO EAT
Feeling ravenous as you explore? There are a few great dining spots that offer a variety of food options.
The Burger Digs
If burgers meet your fancy, head over to The Burger Digs, located in the top floor of the Discovery Center. It is known for burgers and soft serve milkshakes and we have the photo evidence to prove how good they are. (There are also dietary accommodations including a vegan cheeseburger platter.) The whole place is decked out in skeletal remains, so you’ll feel like a paleontologist on your lunch break at a research facility.
(Currently with limited availability, please check with Guest Services for operational updates.)
Who loves pizza?! [Raises hand emoji.] Everyone’s favorite and available near the strip of midway-style games is Pizza Predattoria. At this walkup hut, you can choose from a few pizza options, meatball sub, and chicken Caesar salad. Quick and easy if you’re on the go.
The Watering Hole
A little known secret that far too many people walk right past is The Watering Hole! You can find this spot located near the arch entrance to purchase some tasty beverages and incredible snacks — nachos, hotdogs, and churros. My favorite is the pulled-pork nachos, but you really can’t go wrong!
Thunder Falls Terrace
If you’re looking for something a little different than the burgers and pizza options above, then check out Thunder Falls Terrace. This restaurant offers an array of rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs, smoked turkey legs, soups, salads, and more.
It is also another spot to cool off from the hot weather, hide from any roaming dinosaurs, and just enjoy the company of your group.
Take everything you think you know about theme park food-carts, throw it out the Jeep window, and try this dulce de leche churro. Natural Selections, right across from Jurassic Park River Adventure, is one of the best spots to fuel up in Jurassic Park.
SOUVENIRS TO BRING HOME
Swing by the local shops for some souvenirs ranging from dinosaur toys to vintage-style shirts. Collect the items from two different stores available in the land, which include Dinostore and Jurassic Outfitters.
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs
There are many dinosaur items to purchase and you will want them all! With kids in the family, there are numerous dinosaur toys from small collectibles to stuffed animals.
Make sure to grab any and everything that features the iconic Jurassic Park or Jurassic World logos. The well-known design is on sweatshirts, mugs, posters, playing cards, cell phone cases...
What’s your favorite part of Jurassic Park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure? Join us soon to explore the land and don’t forget to sign up for all updates on Jurassic World VelociCoaster.