Your Guide To Universal Studios Orlando

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The ultimate vacation to experience a thrilling adventure into your favorite movie and tv show is Universal Studios Orlando! Whether looking to enjoy the scenery or get thrown into the action, Universal Studios is the best destination!🎢 You’ll be awed as you’re completely immersed into the experience! It’s perfect for the entire family, whether you’re looking for an adults getaway or bringing along the little ones. The adventure is endless!

Hollywood

For most people, it seems obvious to head straight into the park and follow the path to New York. But we recommend getting away from the crowd and taking a right towards Hollywood! Universal Studios is based on attractions that get you behind the scenes of the movies, and of course, they have an area dedicated to the entertainment capital of the world!🎥🌟 Not only did we feel as if we’ve stepped right onto Hollywood Blvd (the cleaner version) but we were able to enjoy the scenery without all the chaos. Especially during the earlier parts of the day!

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Hello Kitty Store

The Hello Kitty Store is one of the newest stores in Universal Studios Florida, it opened just earlier this year! The store sells Hello Kitty themed merchandise and accessories. And the best part, Hello Kitty herself will make special appearances outside the store sometimes!🐱💋💕

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Characters Meet and Greet

Just like the real Hollywood, the area is filled with gorgeous buildings that mimic the glitz and glamour of La La Land.  This really reminds of us our favorite city! We got super excited seeing the row of the really tall palm trees!😍🌴 They even have their own Walk of Fame where you can find classic characters such as Marilyn Monroe and I Love Lucy strutting around!

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You can even grab a place in line to meet up with all 4 of the Scooby-Doo mystery gang. We even spotted Marge from the Simpsons! Characters don’t usually have a set time to come out but make appearances throughout the day. And they’re always willing to pose for a picture!📸

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Dining in Hollywood

There are a couple of restaurants to dine at in Hollywood.

Schwab’s Pharmacy

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Snacks and Beverages

At Schwab’s Pharmacy you’ll find delicious sweet treats like banana splits, milkshakes, and sundaes! And currently, you can even find Ben and Jerry’s ice cream being served up in this retro-inspired shop. The real Schwab’s Pharmacy was once a hangout for the stars and this is in honor of the once very popular spot on Sunset Boulevard!

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Cafe La Bamba

Cost: $$

Dining Type: Full Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

Cafe La Bamba is located in the pretty pink building modeled after the legendary Hollywood Hotel in California. This restaurant has a gorgeous courtyard and light pink exterior. This is where you’ll come for the VIP experience that is an add on with park tickets, starting at $189.00. During the VIP experience you’ll get a guided tour and a behind the scenes look at Universal Studios Orlando, as well as a priority pass to most of the rides and attractions in the park and more! Those that choose this add-on will have the option to dine here for a breakfast buffet and get to meet and have their picture taken with a lot of the characters before heading out on the tour!

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Beverly Hills Boulangerie

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This is one of the first restaurants most people will spot because it’s near the entrance of the theme park. This cafe is a cute place to come and get a breather from all the action! At the Beverly Hills Boulangerie they offer hot or cold sandwiches, coffee, and delicious French pastries! They have plenty of seating inside and outside for anyone that wants to sit back, enjoy a latte and the Florida weather! This restaurant stays open late so it’s also an awesome option to grab some treats to go on the way out and back to the hotel! 

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Pic credit: google.com

Mel’s Drive-In

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

Mel’s has to be our favorite! This iconic diner that has been featured in various films and shows and is actually inspired by Mel’s Drive-Ins that are still operating today throughout California. This retro 50’s drive-in is serving your American classics, like burgers and fries. California was named the state with the most car ownership in the 1950’s so it only makes sense why they open a drive in for families on the go. They even have vintage cars out front, which makes for the cutest photo spot!🚘

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Pic credit: touringplans.com

Shows in Hollywood

Once home to the Terminator 2 – 3D attraction (which closed down in 2017) there currently aren’t any rides in Hollywood, although there are plenty of rumors of what will be the replacement! But for now we can still enjoy their only show, Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-up Show.

Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-up Show

This live-action show features three actors that show the process and tricks of Hollywood’s makeup magic. This show is filled with humor as they demonstrate how to use fake blood and other special effects! The lobby is fun to look around while waiting for the show to start. It’s filled with memorabilia, props, and outfits tributing to some of the best horror and thriller films like Hellboy, Bride of Chucky, and Frankenstein.

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Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone

This area is the kid’s playground, and is located right in between Hollywood and Springfield (The Simpson’s area) which is why it’s kind of easy to miss. It features a lot of the classic cartoons and movies that nowadays, our parents grew up on. They even have one of the original Universal Studio’s rides that opened with the park in 1990, E.T. Adventure.👽 Which was designed by Steven Spielberg himself! And for a ride that’s more fast paced (if your kid can handle it) definitely take them on Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster

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The shows you’ll find here are A Day in the Park with Barney and Animal Actors on Location. There are also play areas like Curious George Goes to Town, and Fievel’s Playland. There are rumors that this area could be closing down soon for a new exciting installment, so head over to take it all in while you can!

There is only one restaurant in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, KidZone Pizza company. At KidZone Pizza Company you can get pizza, chicken fingers, fries, etc. It’s a quick service walk-up counter and all seating is outdoors.

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

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Pic credit: google.com

Springfield: Home of the Simpsons

It’s time to travel to the fun and witty land of Springfield USA! Whether or not you’re a fan of the longest running animated show, The Simpsons, you’ll fall in love with the details and charm of this area. As soon as you pass the “Greetings from Springfield USA” sign everything becomes a very bright and colorful town, as we walked past a line of restaurants and bars, aka Fast Food Boulevard including Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, Moe’s, Lard Lad Donuts, Duff’s Garden Brewery, and many more. Springfield feels very authentic and immersive, fun fact: the area was built with the help of the creators and staff writers of the show!

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Then the real fun happens as we get into Krustyland owned by “America’s Most Beloved Entertainer”,  Krusty the Clown. It’s an amusement park within the theme park!🎢🤡 They have a bunch of carnival games, where you can win a stuffed animal and impress your friends!

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Springfield also has a lot of fun photo ops!📸 Like the statue of Jebediah Springfield, Lard Lad (from Lard Lad Donuts), Krusty the Clown (in Krustyland), and the seven Duffs in front of the Duff Brewery.

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Rides in Springfield

The Simpsons Ride

Walk inside of Krusty the Clown’s mouth and aboard the Simpson’s Ride, which is one of our top faves! As soon as we walked into the funhouse style queue, they have the Simpsons’ cartoon playing on tv displays, and the clips are super hilarious and help make the waiting not so bad. As we get inside, closer to the actual ride, we join the Simpsons family as we watch them enter into a toxic waste facility and then watch one of the best safety videos ever starring Itchy & Scratchy! 

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The ride is a virtual reality roller coaster ride with motion simulation, you’re completely surrounded by screens that make if feel as if you were transported into the cartoon. It feels like you’re on a real roller coaster ride, everything from the visuals to the movement feels so real! It may make you dizzy after🤪, but it’s so much fun feeling as if we’re apart of the show as we smash and blast through Krustyland with the Simpsons!

Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

Or take a ride on  Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, where you get into a flying saucer that’s being swung around in circles by a crazy looking green alien!👽

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Dining in Springfield

Fast Food Boulevard

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Beverages (non-alcoholic & alcoholic)

These are all unique quick service type food restaurants. Fast Food Boulevard has lots of fun options that you’d recognize from the Simpsons show!

Duff Brewery

What would Homer do without his favorite beer?! Luckily for him and us, across from the Kwik-E-Mart, there’s Duff Brewery!🍻 This waterfront outdoor bar offers plenty of seating around the bar and it’s a great way to catch some AC while enjoying a cold one after being out in the Florida heat! They offer Duff, an ale that reminds us of Yuengling, Duff Lite equivalent to Bud Light, and Duff Dry, a stout beer. And honestly, despite other people’s reviews, we think they’re actually decent beers!

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The Seven Duffs: Tipsy, Queasy, Surly, Sleazy, Edgy, Dizzy, and Remorseful
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They even have Duff gear!🍻

Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck

The first one you’ll most likely spot if you’re coming in the same direction as us is Bumblebee Man’s Taco truck.🌮 The line usually goes pretty fast here! The entrees are priced around $7 and $9 per person and you’ll have the options to choose between, fish, carne asada, chicken, or Korean beef tacos. Each order comes with two tacos and a side of chips. Especially for theme park goers like us, we usually come to grab a few quick tacos as snacks to hold us over. So this is a great option for anyone that on the go and doesn’t feel like sitting down.

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Krusty Burger

At Krusty burger, you’ll actually enter into the doors to seating. The actual quick service counter is a bit deeper into the building, where you can order the classic Krusty burger and fries combo!🍔🍟 Or enjoy a Heat Lamp Dog, or the Cloggger (a burger with bacon and two patties). We’d probably try out the Mother Nature Burger, a black bean burger with guac! Wash it all down with the signature drink, the Buzz Cola (zero-calorie cherry cola)!🥤

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Flaming Moe’s (inside the Krusty Burger facade)

Grab a seat at the bar and try out a Flaming Moe, the signature nonalcoholic orange soda drink that bubbles and smokes! They also have Duff beer on tap and other fun drinks like:
Mt. Swartzwelder Apple Drink – Apple Juice, Granny Smith Apple Syrup, Lemonade & brewed tea.
Groovy Grove Juice – Orange juice, Lemonade, Blood Orange Syrup
Mr. Teeny – Lemonade, Pineapple Juice, and Blue Curacao Syrup

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Pic credit: orlandoinformer.com

Luigi’s Pizza (inside the Krusty Burger facade)

Grab a personal pizza at Luigi’s Pizza!🍕 Rumored to be a mob hangout with links to infamous Springfield criminals such as Fat Tony, this classic little pizza joint is also known as Springfield’s finest Italian eatery. They have the smallest menu but offer the favorites; Meat Liker’s Pizza, Cheese Pizza, Vegetarian Pizza.

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Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror

After walking around the food court like area, you’ll probably turn away if you’re health conscious but if you head over to Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror, you’ll find healthier options. They have the choices of pre-made Veggie Sandwiches, Hummus, Caprese Salads, Caesar Salads, Mediterranean Salads, and more! 🥗

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Lard Lad Donuts

Ready to grab a morning (or late night snack) donut that’s bigger than your head? One of the coolest things you can get in Springfield is the big pink donut!🍩 These pink glazed donuts with sprinkles taste even better than they look! We took more bites than we planned to lol! So fluffy and delicious, it might be the best donut we’ve ever had!😋 If you don’t have a Bff or anyone to share with, they have smaller donuts that will go perfectly with one of their specialty lattes. But honestly, bigger is always better, especially at Lard Lads Donuts!

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Cletus’ Chicken Shack (inside the Krusty Burger facade)

If you’re in the mood for some finger-lickin’ good chicken, Cletus’ Chicken Shack is the spot!🍗🍖 They have fun stuff to try like the Chicken & Waffle Sandwich with a side of maple syrup or Cornflake-crusted battered fried chicken with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob & coleslaw, Chicken Arms (chicken wings), Chicken Thumbs (chicken tenders), or a Thrilled To Be Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

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The Frying Dutchman (inside the Krusty Burger facade)

Owned by “Sea Captain” Horatio McAllister, you’ll find a variety of battered up seafood (almost everything on the menu is from the sea and fried).  They have options such as battered and splattered fried cod, fried shrimp, calamari with a side of tater tots, hushpuppies & cocktail sauce,  and some clam chowd-arr!🐟🦐

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Pic credit: orlandoinformer.com

Shops in Springfield

Kwik-E-Mart

Smak-dab in the heart of Springfield is the Kwik-E-Mart! Modeled to look like the Kwik-E-Mart in the Simpsons TV show, this store sells Simpsons themed apparel, collectibles, toys, souvenirs, and other merchandise.

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World Expo

The World Expo is futuristic, yet retro, and is a small corner in the back of the park. It doesn’t have an elaborate theme like its neighboring areas, but it’s where you’ll find MIB: Alien Attack and the mind blowing Fear Factor Live Stage show. We can’t say we spent a lot of time here, only to pass through towards Krustyland or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Rides in World Expo

MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack

It’s time to zap some alien butt as you become the newest MIB agent! This interactive ride & game takes you through New York where you’ll have to collect points for every alien you shoot! The ride is one of the older rides in the theme park, so it does feel a bit outdated, but it brings back memories of the iconic movie we grew up with!🎥👽

The ride exits into the large MIB Gear Shop, where you can find all different types of MIB merchandise.

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Shows in World Expo

Fear Factor Live

This live interactive show only performs a few times so make sure to grab a seat. And if you’re up for it, get up and become apart of the show! Compete against other guests as you come eye-to-eye with creatures from your nightmares in front of thousands of people. Do you have what it takes to chug a BUG smoothie?! 🤢

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Universal Studios brings in so many guests from around the world into their parks every year. The most popular attraction that brings people in, is the immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 🧙🏼‍♂️⚡️

UniversalStudios106From the streets of London you head through a secret passageway of brick wall to find yourself in a completely different place greeted by an epic dragon! On top of the Gringott’s Bank (an amazing ride, more on that in a bit) is an actual fire-breathing dragon!🐉🔥 You’ll run into many people stopped in the middle of the street with their phones out ready to capture the incredible moment of the dragon’s breath! Some say the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon goes off every 15 minutes, but the best way we know it’s about to happen is when you start to hear his growl, so make sure to get a good spot!

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You can feel the fire as he breathes, it’s so hot!🔥

So what is Gringotts Bank? Well, it’s the only bank in the Wizarding World and is run by goblins! When we walked in, we were awed by the large crystal chandelier leading into a grand marble and gold decorated entryway.🤩 You’ll be greeted, well actually ignored, by very busy goblins scribbling on paperwork. It’s so mind blowing how life-like these animatronics look! The Escape from Gringotts is a simulator ride that has a compelling story that will make fans and those that have never seen the movie fall in love! Get ready for rollercoaster drops, crazy 360 spins, and meeting face to face with Lord Voldemort. You’ll also catch Harry and friends as they save you with the dragon that we saw on top of the bank!

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Universal Studios is a large park but you could honestly spend all day in Diagon Alley, there’s so much detail and things to see, do, and try!

There’s plenty of shops for anyone that needs to grab some gear! And for the more serious wizard, stop into Ollivanders for an interactive wand that you can actually use to cast spells throughout the park!🧙🏼‍♂️💫

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And of course you can’t leave without trying butterbeer! They have butterbeer, frozen slushie-like butterbeer, and even ice cream! The best way to describe the taste is like a mixture of cream soda and butterscotch flavor.😋 Our favorite place to grab an ice cold mug is at The Fountain of Fair Fortune. Even if the line is out the door, don’t let that stop you because it goes fast and is so worth it. 

(PS it’s non-alcoholic so kids can enjoy to!)

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Check out our detailed blog post of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (including Hogsmeade in the Islands of Adventure park) here! 😉

San Francisco

In this area, you’ll spot iconic signs found in the City by the Bay like Ghiradelli & the Fisherman’s Wharf wheel. The area is small but brings in the cool California vibes of the wharf!🦀

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Rides in San Francisco

Fast & Furious – Supercharged

This is the latest ride to become apart of Universal Studios Orlando, it opened in Spring 2018! This ride takes you through the garage of the group from Universal Pictures’s highest earning franchise, Fast & Furious.🏎💨 They let guests choose a slot in their virtual lines, where you can select the time you want to return back and ride! After walking through the garage, you’ll meet with the computer wiz that’ll get you into the tricked-out party bus that takes you through San Francisco. But things get crazy as the bad guys show up! We hate to admit that this ride doesn’t do it for us, we’d probably ride it again but it isn’t worth waiting for. If you’re a big fan of Fast & Furious, definitely check out the garage. That’s the best part!

Dining in San Francisco

Lombard’s Seafood Grille

Cost: $$

Dining Type: Full Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

This charming seafood restaurant has a very elegant, nautical decor and design that gives guests at the restaurant the experience of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco! This is one of the few full service restaurants in the theme park, so it can get pretty busy.UniversalStudios79

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We dined in for lunch and our table was next to their huge aquarium.🐡🐠 They brought us out bread and butter while we waited for our main entrees. We ordered the Fish Tacos and their Portobello Quinoa dish. They also have a full bar. Next time, we’ll have to try out their Clam Chowder, an SF staple! We also heard that their Cioppino Ocean Bowl with mussels, calamari, little neck clams, Atlantic cod, shrimp, and fusilli pasta is a favorite! And if you prefer turf to surf, there’s an array of burgers, sandwiches, and salads to satisfy any craving. As well as children’s menu for the little ones. During our visit, there was a bit of a crowd but our waiter was courteous and patient enough to go through the menu with us!

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Richter’s Burger Co.

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

After a long day of waiting in line for rides, sometimes a good burger and shake combo is a go-to! Step into Richter’s for the classics! If you’re plant-based or vegetarian, they have the impossible burger on the menu!🍔🌱

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Pic credit: orlandoparkstop.com

Chez Alcatraz

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

Grab a frozen mojito from the outdoor bar and restaurant at Chez Alcatraz. Here you can spend some time outside and get a nice view of the lagoon and enjoy a bucket of house-made potato chips with chipotle ketchup. Yum!😋 On the menu, you can order shrimp cocktails, sandwiches, and flatbreads. You’ll also find one of the most popular photo ops in the park hanging next door, the enormous great white shark giving an homage to the previous attraction: JAWS.🦈

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San Francisco Pastry Company

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

This dockside cafe on the Fisherman’s Wharf has some of the most mouth water desserts found at the park! We love eclairs and tiramisu, which are perfect paired with an iced coffee!☕️ You’ll also find fresh fruit, paninis, and sandwiches perfect for a healthy snack or quick lunch at an outside table.

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New York

This area really captures the essence of New York City, just like what you see in the movies! Not only can you enjoy New York pizza, but you can also even find scaffolding and “construction” sites throughout the area as if you were visiting the actual location. We love the details and the landmarks such as the New York Public Library and Palace Theatre. During the Christmas Season, you can take a seat on the curb and watch the Macy’s Holiday Parade! We were able to watch a few street performances like the a cappella group and the Blues Brothers.

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Rides in New York

Revenge of the Mummy

One of the best rides inside of the park! The mummy is after the featured film and is a crazy indoor roller coaster! And is one of the few left that isn’t utilizing screens as the main component, like you’ll find throughout the park. The ride isn’t scary but it’s very dark so you won’t know what’s coming next!

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Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

This ride gets you a closer look at The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. As we make our way into the building, you’ll notice artwork of the NBC logo lining the first hallway into the main waiting room. Once you’ve reached the receptions desk, riders will receive a color-coded card that indicates when its time for them to ride instead of waiting in a traditional line. As you move past the receptions desk, you’ll meet other riders in a lobby with 30 rock and the Tonight show memorabilia that fill the room. Instead of waiting in a long line, color changing lights throughout the room will change to match the card you received, letting you know its almost your time to ride! Head upstairs where there’s plenty of seating or to watch a live performance from the Ragtime Gals and meet Hashtag, the dancing Panda! Once you get into the actual ride, it looks like a big movie theater with a huge 16k screen where you’ll meet Jimmy and race him across New York City!

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Fun fact: Each window of the Metropolis Tribune building is marked with the name of someone who helped in the development of Universal Studios Florida!

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Shows in New York

The Blues Brothers Show

Anyone that’s a fan of the original 1980 Blues Brothers film will enjoy this short but sweet show filled with live singing. The show is at the Blue’s Brother’s stage next to Finnegan’s Bar & Grill, and because the performers are on a stage set on a sidewalk in New York it seems more like a street party!💃🏼🎶 You’ll notice the start of the show when you hear musicians playing live on the saxophone. After his solo, you’ll be introduced to Mabel the waitress, and then the brothers Jake and Elwood as they ride up in their infamous black and white patrol car! They play a number of high energy classic tunes like Respect, Shake a Tailfeather, and Shout. And during the Christmas season, the show is revamped to the Brother’s performing songs for the Holidays!🎄✨

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Dining in New York

Louie’s Italian Restaurant

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

Although this is a quick service counter restaurant, Louie’s brings in a crowd! Located in the Italian part of New York, Louie’s features classics like jumbo slices of pizza, spaghetti (they even have an option with vegan Italian sausage crumbles),  meatball sub combos, gelato, refreshing Italian ice, minestrone soup, or caesar salads. And why not have a class of pinot grigio or a Peroni to top it off! Grabbing a table can be kind of difficult depending on the time of day, but they have lots of seating indoors or umbrella-covered tables outside! 🍕🍝

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Finnegan’s Bar & Grill

Cost: $$

Dining Type: Full Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

For anyone that hasn’t tried pub style food, Finnegan’s has a lot of unique items on their menu and is one of a few full service restaurants inside of Universal Studio’s theme park. Be sure to get a good seat inside near the live performer. For food, choose between Irish Fish & Chips, Guinness Beef Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, or Country Cork Corned Beef and Cabbage. And although we haven’t tried Finnegan’s yet, we already know our order lol! Our go to at any pub is Fish & Chips and a couple glasses of a beer cocktail.🍻 Yes, you read it right, a beer cocktail! Our favorite order is the black & tan (lager & Guinness) or a snake bite (cider & Guinness). What can we say, we’re girls who like variety!😛

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Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Anyone recognize what movie the outside of the Ben and Jerry’s building is paying a tribute to? Annie! The Hudson Street Home for Girls now houses the world famous ice cream parlor inside the park! Ben and Jerry’s is known for their wacky ice cream names and delicious flavor combinations. And if choosing a flavor wasn’t hard enough, you also have the options between a cup, cone, or a chocolate dipped waffle! 

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For those that are indecisive, give the mini Vermonster a try! It’s a huge tub with your choice of 4 ice cream flavors and is topped with a brownie, chocolate chip cookie, hot fudge, whipped cream. And it doesn’t end there, you also get your choice of 4 toppings!! Another favorite is The Tonight Dough Starring Jimmy Fallon. Not only does he get a ride named after him but he has a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream too! You’ll definitely want to stop in for a scoop!🍦

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

There nothing better than the smell of fresh Auntie Anne’s pretzels. The pretzel shop is hard to spot because it doesn’t have its large neon sign that most of us recognize. Instead, it’s on the corner what looks like a New York residential building, right next to the Blue Brother’s stage! It’s always a tough choice to pick between going with the original one of their dipping sauces or the sweet cinnamon sugar. Either way, they always come out as a great snack that reminds us of our childhood.🥨😋

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Starbucks

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Of course, you’ll find the only Starbucks inside of the park right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York! Right across from Louie’s Italian restaurant, stop in for an afternoon pick me up with an ice cold frappes, hot lattes, cappuccinos, and teas.☕️ Their pastries and sandwiches are also a good choice because they are thin and easy to eat while on the go! And they’ll have your seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice during the fall or a peppermint mocha during the winter. No matter the time of year, tell us you’re not craving one now! 

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Production Central

If you don’t follow our advice to head to Hollywood when you first enter the park, then Production central is going to be the first area you run into (near the entrance of the park)!

Rides in Production Central

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Get ready for training day because it’s time to become a minion! It’s easy to determine how crowded the park will be by checking out the wait time for this ride, because it’s one of the longest in the park! Join in on the action packed story with Gru and the girls. We first walked into Gru’s living room, where we picked up our 3D glasses. The doors from the living room lead to Gru’s laboratory where we, the riders, get zapped into minions! The ride itself is adorable and filled with laugh out loud fun! When the ride is over, we exit into a Boogie Fever dance party with the Minions and then the gift shop. Sadly, they were on break last time we rode so we didn’t get to meet them. 😭 But the ride itself is so much fun!

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

The only proper rollercoaster in the park, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is one of the most unique rides ever. Upon boarding, you’ll be able to pick out your own song to listen to while you ride and scream!🎢🎶 Our go-to picks are Stronger by Kayne West and Glamorous by Fergie, which we’ve been listening to for years since they haven’t changed the song options since we were kids! At the end of the ride, there’s an option to buy a DVD of your experience from the on ride cameras mounted on each row! How awesome is that?! This rollercoaster has it all from the personalized music, cameras, to the loops, and a 90-degree drop!😱 This is one that we love to ride over and over again!

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Shrek 4-D

As a lover of the Shrek movies, this ride is pretty underwhelming. It’s pretty outdated and the storyline wasn’t very interesting. The ride, like most you’ll find at Universal Studios, is a 4D show. It’s cool to check out, but wouldn’t be something we would wait in a long line for!

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Pic credit: orlandoinformer.com

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

This thrilling ride has speed and an epic robot battle!🤖 Once we enter the building, we learn quickly that the military base is being attacked and we, the riders, need to get to safety. This story driven ride is really compelling and you almost get lost in the chase and want to applaud at the end. And after the ride, you may even run into some of the favorite characters like Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, or Megatron for a meet and greet!

Transformers queue entrance.
Pic credit: orlandoinformer.com
transformers
Pic credit: google.com

Dining in Production Central

Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe

Cost: $

Dining Type: Quick Service

Options: Lunch and Dinner

This quick service counter offers ribs, turkey legs, brisket sandwiches, or pizza combos with choices of sides like fries, roasted potatoes, mac & cheese, or chef salad. They also have a few dessert choices too. The interior is designed with classic horror favorites in mind with an array of monster movie memorabilia. One of the main dining areas feels like your in Dracula’s dark red lair!🧛🏻‍♂️

monsters_cafe
Pic credit: orlandoparkstop.com

Where to Stay When Visiting Universal Orlando

For the ultimate vacation, we highly recommend staying at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site resorts! Our #1 favorite Universal Orlando Resort is their newest addition, Aventura Hotel! You can check out our full review of our stay at Aventura Hotel here. Along with our other Universal Orlando Hotel Reviews:

Aventura145

The resorts give guests special privileges and benefits including:

  • Free early admission before the parks open to the public (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studio’s Theme parks)
  • Free transportation to the theme parks and Universal’s CityWalk
  • Pool hopping between Universal Resorts
  • For those staying at Portofino Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort, you’ll receive free unlimited express passes and priority seating at select restaurants!

UniversalStudios16There’s nothing better than a vacation at Universal Studios Orlando! There’s always something new to check out and annual events that happen every year!

February to April
The Mardi Gras Celebration, where you can enjoy a nightly parade (get ready to earn your beads, by catching them! lol), with mouthwatering Cajun cuisine being served!

Middle of September to Beginning of November
Halloween Horror Nights is one of our favorite events to visit every year! The fun starts at night when the streets turn into scare zones and mad characters come out to play. Every year it gets better, and even scarier, as they add new haunted mazes! This year the house people were most excited for was Netflix’s Stranger Things! They also had updates to fan favorites like Poltergeist or Scary Tales.👻

November to January
Holidays are celebrated with so much cheer and joy around the hotels and resorts! And you’ll definitely want to stick around Universal Studios to watch the Macy’s Christmas Parade starring characters like the Minions, Madagascar, Shrek, and more!

Whether we plan or make a spontaneous trip, Universal Orlando continues to be on the top of our list every year! And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the theme parks because Universal Studios is a great vacation for any age!

Read more about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in our blog post here!

**Thank you to Universal Orlando Hotels for sponsoring this post!

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