The Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls ride at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park.


Universal Orlando Resort

Top choice in Orlando

Pedestrian-friendly Universal Orlando Resort has got spunk, spirit and attitude. With fantastic rides, excellent children's attractions and entertaining shows, it's comparable to Walt Disney World®. But Universal does everything just a bit smarter, funnier and more smoothly, as well as being smaller and easier to navigate. Instead of the Seven Dwarfs, there's the Simpsons. Instead of Mickey Mouse, there's Harry Potter. Universal offers pure, unabashed, adrenaline-pumped, full-speed-ahead fun for the entire family.

The Universal Orlando Resort consists of two (three by the time you read this) theme parks: Islands of Adventure, with the bulk of the thrill rides, and Universal Studios, with movie-based attractions and shows (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter). Volcano Bay will open in 2017 as a water park of thrills and splashes and state-of-the-art rides through a 200ft volcano.

Universal's dining/entertainment district is CityWalk and it has five resort hotels (a sixth, Universal's Aventura Hotel, will open in 2018). Hotel guests receive fantastic perks, including access to Harry Potter fun an hour before the gates open. Water taxis and pleasant walking paths connect the entire resort.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Orlando attractions

1. CityWalk

0.07 MILES

Across the canal from the theme parks, and open to the public (for free), Universal's pedestrian mall entertainment district has themed restaurants, bars,…

2. Islands of Adventure

0.15 MILES

Good ol' scream-it-from-the-rooftops, no-holds-barred, laugh-out-loud fun, packed with adrenaline rides and marvelous theming. Superheroes zoom by on…

3. Universal Studios

0.19 MILES

Divided geographically by region-specific architecture and ambience and fabulously themed as a Hollywood backlot, Universal Studios' simulation-heavy…

4. Hollywood

0.27 MILES

With glorious 3D film footage, live action stunts and 4D special effects, Terminator 2: 3-D (Express Pass) is complete sensory overload – delicious fun…

5. Production Central

0.38 MILES

Home to two of Universal's most talked-about rides, the incredible 3D simulation Transformers: The Ride 3-D (Express Pass) and the high-thrill coaster…

6. Lost Continent

0.39 MILES

Magic and myth from across the seas and the pages of fantasy books inspire this mystical corner of the park. Here you'll find dragons and unicorns,…

7. New York

0.42 MILES

Revenge of the Mummy (Express Pass) combines roller-coaster speed and twists with in-your-face special effects. Head deep into ancient Egyptian catacombs…

8. Woody Woodpecker's KidZone

0.45 MILES

Kid-friendly shows and rides, a fantastic water-play area and supercool foam-ball cannons – it rivals Islands of Adventure's Seuss Landing as a Universal…