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Universal Orlando® Resort
Ready! Set! WAIT!

Family vacations require ultimate preparation to keep everyone smiling and prevent you from pulling your hair out. Get the stressful stuff out of the way before you go and maximize your fun.
Research! Research! Research!

  • Surf’s up! It’s worth your time to surf the web a bit and learn about the resort, the hotels, the attractions and the rides. If you want to keep in-park squabbles to a minimum, make a top 10 list, and give everyone a chance to vote on which rides and attractions to hit first and who gets to ride what.
  • Map quest. Print out maps and brochures you find. Get familiar with the layout in advance rather than waiting until you arrive to get your bearings. Mark the common meeting places, and give each family member his or her own map.
  • Tour about. Going online, you can take a virtual tour and get an advance up- close and personal look at the three Universal on-site hotels: Loews Royal Pacific Resort; Loews Portofino Bay Hotel; and the Hard Rock Hotel®. If you’re traveling with older kids, consider the benefits of having a suite or adjoining rooms. The kids think its cool and grown up to have their own space, and you’ll get private time with your mate. Why this is the best idea ever? More room in your room!

At the Resort

Ground Rules
  • Let the good times roll. First and foremost, have fun and be happy. Take some time over family dinner to go over some rules to be followed. Remind your kids to always be in sight of a parent. If teens are allowed to venture around by themselves, arrange a meeting time and place to catch up with the family.
  • Write on. Write your cell phone number on younger children’s arms – it’s a visible means to help park employees contact worried parents. Or throw some of your business cards in your children’s pockets.
  • Teen time. Getting your teen involved right from the start in planning your vacation itinerary is a great way to get them excited about the trip. Make them the chronicler, the photographer and the navigator. They’ll enjoy the responsibility and hopefully will produce a wonderful photo album capturing the family vacation.

Pack and Tote the Essentials
  • Take A Hike. Imagine you’re going hiking. Got it? OK, now pack the same way you would for a hiking trip, equipping each family member with a hip sack or bag filled with water, snacks, a disposable camera and spending money. Also, stow a map of Universal and a phone card. And wet wipes are great for cleaning up sticky hands. But don’t worry; if you forget any of these things, the shops around the resort will have what you need.
  • Splish Splash. If you love the water rides, listen up. Ziploc plastic bags are the smart way to keep your wallet and keys dry while you’re splashing around. And definitely, definitely take a swimsuit and towel.
  • Weather Proof Yourself. Plan for cooler, warmer or wetter weather than predicted. You can always stash your extra clothing in one of the onsite rental lockers rather than carry it around. And you can ward off sweat when the temperature is rising by wearing clothing made of synthetic-blend fabrics, which wick moisture away from the body and dry quickly.
  • Don't Wear Prada. Comfortable shoes are a must for walking around the parks. Think sneakers. When day transforms to night and you want to hit the restaurants and nightlife at CityWalk®, you may want to trade in your sneakers for a pair of comfortable and stylish sandals. But please, leave the Prada stilettos at home.
  • Bonus Tip: Orlando has some of the best Discount Designer Outlet Malls in the U.S.A. (Just in case you do want your Prada stilettos!) So remember you can definitely do some great shopping for the latest fashions while you're here... so save room for the trip home!

Forget the Feeding Frenzy
  • Wakey Wakey. Mom’s rules apply here: everyone should eat a nourishing breakfast before heading for the park. For lunch, there are plenty of great spots to grab a bite in the park with enough variety for everyone in the family, and the lines are never terribly long. For a change of scenery, have dinner at one of the great restaurants on CityWalk® or at one of the resort hotels.
  • Snack Attack. To keep spirits and energy levels high, nibble on simple snacks throughout the morning and early afternoon. And take time to sit down and have lemonade, some ice cream or a yummy snack.

Be the early bird.
  • Against the grain. One of the best pieces of advice we’ve heard is to zig when everybody else is zagging. Head for the back of the park when you enter and work your way forward so you move in the opposite direction of most everybody else. Or, ride the most popular rides first thing in the morning, knowing the lines will probably swell later in the day.

It’s all about the amenities.
  • Extra. Extra. The resort has special baby changing rooms, shady rest areas, and rental equipment including wheelchairs and motorized scooters. The rental lockers are great for safely stashing personal items and the changing rooms are clutch for getting out of wet clothing.
  • Express yourself. If you stay at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels, you are entitled to a number of extras, including your room key that allows you express access to the most popular rides and shows. So stay on site and skip the lines!

Going through a break up.
  • Let’s Split. Depending on age and maturity, split up and locate different attractions so everyone gets the most out of the day. Separating is especially helpful when there are rides not everyone wants to go on, or when young kids aren’t big enough for some attractions.
  • Swap Your Child. You can take turns going on rides with your kids. Many attractions offer a "child swap" area so you can wait with one child while your other child goes on the ride. In fact, if each kid gets an hour alone with a grown up, they get to be the center of attention which helps him or her feel good and can be incredibly reenergizing for you too.

Get down.
  • Put On The Brakes. Once you’re at the parks, it’s easy to want to try to do everything before sundown. To avoid getting wiped-out, take a few breaks from the action. Stop for ice cream or slip into one of the exhibits, films or virtual reality experiences to rest and cool down.
  • Snap into a nap. If you have young ones, you can find indoor shows that coincide with your child’s usual nap time.
  • Flex yourself. Look for Universal’s multi-day ticket specials that give you extra days. That way, you can take your time exploring the parks. You get the ultimate flexibility to hit some park rides and attractions in the mornings, leaving afternoons free to lounge by the hotel pool.

Last but not least.
  • Souvenir Smarts. Kids of all ages, and even adults, are likely to clamor for some mementos from the start, but there’s no need to get everything at once. Postcards and fun souvenirs are located in the shops at the entrance, exit and throughout the parks. Let your kids pick out a souvenir early, before she’s exhausted, and then buy it on the way out. If you make your purchases early, Universal offers a service for you to send it to the front shop to pick up on your way out. Or, if you’re staying at one of the resort hotels, you can have your packages delivered to your room. You can also use this service for large prizes won at games, or even souvenir photos you don’t want damaged.
  • Get pinned. Let your kids buy pins at each attraction. When they’re back home they love looking at them and remembering all of the fun they had.