Top 10 Family Travel Tips for Planning an Epic Vacation

Top 10 Family Travel Tips for Planning an Epic Vacation

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Going on vacation can be fun, but there is also a lot to keep track of. To help cut back the stress and amp up the fun, we’ve compiled some of our top family travel tips.

1. Download the FREE Official Universal Orlando Resort App: This app will help you navigate the theme parks, Universal CityWalk and our on-site hotels, check attraction wait times, parade show times and more. Click here for more on the app and free in-park wi-fi. featured2. Know before you go: Check out our online Vacation Planner. You can completely customize your vacation and access experiential videos, travel tips, sample itineraries, vacation packages and more.Vacation Planner3. Get Park-to-Park Tickets: The best way to experience all the excitement is with a multi-day, park-to-park ticket. The more days you add, the more you save.

4. Go Against The Flow: If you arrive early to the parks, start in the back and work your way to the front to avoid the morning traffic jams at attractions closest to the entrance of the parks.

5. Stay On-Site: When you stay at one of our four on-site hotels, you’ll be within walking distance to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Plus, you’ll get special exclusive benefits including early-park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens, poolside movies and more.

Click here for all the details on the exclusive benefits on-site hotel guests enjoy. CBBR-blog6. Skip The Regular Lines: If you add Universal Express to your ticket, you can bypass regular lines atparticipating rides and attractions in both theme parks. And if you stay on-site at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort or Hard Rock Hotel, you’ll receive complimentary Universal Express access for the duration of your stay.

7. Start early at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: If you are a Harry Potter fan, come to the park when it opens and head to either The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (at Universal Studios) or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (at Universal’s Islands of Adventure) first.

The lines tend to get longer as the day goes on. Once you have had a chance to experience one of the lands, you can then journey to the other on the Hogwarts Express (with park-to-park admission). Hogwarts-blog8. Use Child Swap: If your kids are too small or unwilling to go on a particular ride you want to experience, take advantage of our “child swap” program. Each ride and attraction has a Child Swap area where one member of your party can wait with the kids while the rest of your party rides. Once you’re off the ride, swap places and whoever stayed with the kids hops to the front of the line.

9. Simplify Meals with the Universal Dining Plan: You can pre-purchase one of four dining options at a great value and take the stress away from planning out your family meals. Once you’ve purchased a dining plan, all you have to do is select a venue at the theme parks or Universal CityWalk, present your dining plan card for payment and enjoy! Reservations for full service dining locations are recommended. Red-Oven-blog10. Stay Cool: Beat the heat on exciting water rides and water play areas. From Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls to Jurassic Park River Adventure to water-filled fun in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, we make cooling off a fun adventure of its own. Here are a few more tips on staying cool. Capture

What are some your favorite family travel tips?

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  1. Mukesh Trivedi

    We are planning to visit Universal Orlando with family of four and was wondering how many days you need to enjoy all rides of both parks in Christmas vacation. Is it good to stay in park hotel or outside park hotel.

    • DCD

      It’s best to stay at an on-site hotel. There are great perks for staying on-site such as express access to most rides and a very easy walk to the parks. My family and friends usually stay at the Royal Pacifc. It’s a great middle-ground location on the Universal property in comparison to the other hotels and has excellent prices for rooms. Plus, I find it to be the most relaxing of the 4 on-site hotels. And if you want to use the other hotels’ amenities, they are only a walk away. The problem I’ve always found with staying off-site is transportation. It REALLY is such a hassle to catch a shuttle or taxi to the parks with the family. Not worth the stress to me; I would rather pay extra to be stress free. But if money is tight, try checking out the Cabana Bay Hotel (you do not get express ride access by staying at this hotel). Hope this helps! 🙂

    • wmom

      We went in the middle of July during peak time and went for three days. We were able to do almost every ride in two days between the two parks. The best advice it to get to the parks before they open!!! We stayed at Cabana Bay which did let us get in the parks an hour ahead of time, we only “used” this one day, but got there a little before regular opening the other days. We did not have express pass. The park was open 8 am to 10pm, I don’t know what the hours are in December. We even went back to our hotel for a few hours in the middle of the day to avoid the hot sun and larger crowds. Not being big Harry Potter fans we did not spend a whole lot of time in HP worlds, but did ride both HP rides twice. Have fun!

  2. Diane Cameron

    The best tip I can offer is: Whenever there is a rain storm, especially in the evening, it tends to chase people out of the park. This is the best time race to the Harry Potter attractions and pretty much get right on because mostly everyone has left for the night. This has happened twice to my group and if it wasn’t for this, I would never have gotten to ride HP.

  3. Stephanie

    Will there be anything special going on for Thanksgiving this year?

  4. Fun Grandma

    Planning to take my teenage granddaughter to Orlando for her birthday late November/early December. Will be staying near Downtown Disney and won’t have a car, but want to get to Universal Studios for at least one day (maybe two!). Any suggestions from anyone as to how to accomplish this?

    • Mamma Joy

      As far as I know, the most economical way to stay at Disney and visit Universal or to stay at Universal and visit Disney is to rent a car and drive yourself..If anyone out there knows of any type of shuttle or other transfer service, please let us know.

      • Nola Riggs

        Mears Transport did a good job or transporting our family group (7 people) with one mobile scooter between our Disney hotel and Universal Studios.

  5. Lisa

    We have limited time in Orlando so we will be purchasing a single day park to park admission. We will be going in October which I believe is autumn break. Is it necessary to purchase express unlimited if you visit both parks in 1 day? Just curious if we will even have time to go on a ride twice since we are visiting both parks in 1 day.