Independent Guide to Universal Orlando

With a mouse-run theme park opening in 1971 Orlando was put on the map as the theme park destination capital of the world. In 1990, Universal thought it would get in on the game too by opening its own East-coast theme park, similar to that which it had opened in 1965 in Hollywood but on a bigger scale. Universal made the announcement it would be coming to Orlando much to the delight of locals. 

Disney soon saw that this new theme park could be grand competition and decided that it too would build a theme park based around studios - then dubbed Disney’s MGM Studios. Miraculously, Disney’s MGM Studios managed to open its doors in 1989 just before the grand opening of Universal Studios Florida one year later. MGM was a rushed project and when Universal opened it blew it out of the water in terms of the quality and standard of attractions.

In 1995, the expansion of Universal truly began as the company invested billions of dollars to create a second theme park - Islands of Adventure, three on-site resort hotels and an entertainment and dining district, CityWalk. It even expanded its original theme park with new areas.

On May 28 1999, Islands of Adventure opened to rave reviews with innovative attractions such as The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk Coaster winning awards year after year, even to this day. (In our opinion The Hulk still is the best coaster in all of Florida)

With this expansion, Universal moved into the mouse’s territory - it was no longer a theme park, Universal Orlando became a destination - a place to spend multiple days on-site, to explore and to create memories.

Universal in recent years has become the place to visit in Orlando - the opening of innovative attractions and lands such as The Simpsons Ride, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and Transformers: The Ride for example have skyrocketed attendance. Collectively both theme parks now take in 14 million people a year.

The time for planning your trip to Universal Orlando has begun. As people have flocked to the resort over recent years the queues line wait times have got longer, new systems have been put in place and you always want to be ahead of the game to make the most of your vacation. Which is why you’ve bought this guide, right? 

When you finished reading this guide you’ll know about dining, what attractions to do and which to miss, how to save literally hours in queue lines, where to stay, tips on how to save money and time, seasonal events, the future of the theme parks and about all the services the parks offer. With this guide you can do all this before you’ve even set foot into the parks - you will truly be ahead of the game.

Universal Orlando is an unforgettable vacation destination - you will make memories that last a lifetime. The time for planning is now.

Get our 2017 Universal Orlando Travel Guide book now.

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