When families travel to Orlando, Florida, they normally head straight to Walt Disney World and overlook other parks. Although Universal Orlando Resort offers more thrilling rides than Disney World, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy at all three of Universal’s parks: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and the newest, Volcano Bay Waterpark.
One of the best parts of Universal Orlando Resort is you can do both parks in one day; I recommended spending the extra money on the Express Pass so you can skip the lines for most of your favorite rides. Before heading to the theme park, do research on ride height requirements so you know which ones are appropriate for your children. Also, stay up to date on all COVID-19 safety updates and procedures here.
Start the day at Universal Studios Florida and head straight for Despicable Me Minion Mayhem — this ride usually draws long lines, so get in and out before the wait gets too long. The adorable little minions and gang take you on a virtual adventure through the laboratory and, after the ride, stick around and show off your best moves at the minion dance party.
Next, get in line for Revenge of the Mummy. This indoor roller coaster is one of the best, taking you on twists and turns while trying to escape the evil mummy. Some other amazing rides you should make sure are on your list are E.T. Adventure, Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and, for the older kids, Hollywood’s Rip Ride Rockit.
Once you’ve finished everything you want to do, hop on Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station for a nice ride through London — keep an eye out the window because you never know who might pop up. Once you reach your stop, you’ll be in Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure park.
Before setting out to explore the park, try the delicious ButterBeer in Hogsmeade. Since you are in Hogsmeade already, start with the Harry Potter rides. Head to Hogwarts for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, where you join Harry Potter and friends on a flying broom ride through Hogwarts, and then follow Hagrid on a Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure through the forbidden forest.
If your family is a fan of waterparks, spend a day at Volcano Bay; whether relaxing by the pool or taking on the thrilling rides, your family is guaranteed to have a good day.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
In celebration of golf’s final major of the year, Royal Albartross is giving away a one-of-a-kind pair of men’s Saxon White golf shoes. The shoes depict imagery associated with Augusta National Golf Club, painted by Caitlin Fielder. The lucky winner will be randomly selected from all entrants.
After a whirlwind year — one we are still working through — of so few ups and so many downs, now is a great time to refocus on the positive and try to destress and decompress.