There are a lot of things to consider as you plan your very first trip to Orlando’s Universal Studios. We recently ran across a great article by Robert Niles that breaks down everything you need to plan your day. Read his article or review our highlights below.

Before You Go

First up, find your accommodations. You can rent a vacation rental home for as little as $99 per night, or you can stay at a local resort. Universal offers perks to guests who stay at one of their three hotels, but these hotels start at $250+ so it’s often worth it to stay more affordably and pay for the perks you’ll actually use.


Next you’ll buy your park tickets. You can buy them the day of your visit, but if you take the time to purchase them beforehand, you’ll enjoy a considerable savings on discount theme park tickets. You’ll need to decide if you want to visit both parks, and how many days you want to visit in total. For adults without kids who travel at a fast pace, both parks can actually be done in a single day. For families who want to take it in, you may want 4 or more days. It’s up to you.

The Day of Your Visit

If you arrive at the parks before 6PM you’ll pay $16 to park, or just $5 if you come after 6PM. There is one parking garage for both Islands of Adventure and the sister park, Universal Studios Florida. You’ll walk from there to the parks via moving sidewalks. If you’re heading to Islands of Adventure, bear left. If you’re heading to the Studios, bear right.

When traveling during busier seasons, try to get to the park about an hour before it opens so you have plenty of time to park, get to the gate, and be one of the first in line. Another way to minimize waiting time is to go through single-rider lines. These lines allow you to skip the queue, but you won’t be sitting with others you’re traveling with. The 6 rides that offer these lines are:


  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure

These simple tips cover the basics of planning for your first trip to Universal Studios Orlando.