Family Vacations to Universal Studios, Florida

picture of Harry Potter ride Universal Studios
Hogwarts Castle Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios Florida (© 2010 Universal Orlando Resort)

Families who love the big screen can't help but get caught up in the movie magic of Universal Studios Florida. Themed after familiar favorites like Shrek, Terminator, and Jimmy Neutron, unique rides blend multimedia technology and special effects with loops and twists to create unforgettable experiences that thrill all the senses. The experience starts even while you're waiting in line, with top-notch pre-shows keeping everyone entertained.

Though Universal Studios is an amusement park, it's also a working motion picture studio, and it won't let you forget it. Movie buffs love looking at dozens of real sets, and once in a while, you might even get to see live filming taking place. The Old Hollywood area and a simulated New York City are a kick to walk around in.

Thrill rides include coasters like Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket and simulated-motion rides like Shrek 4D, Revenge of the Mummy, and Men in Black Alien Attack. Families with younger kids will love favorites like Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast and E.T. Adventure. Little kids will find plenty to do in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone. There, Fievel's Playland offers a way for kids to climb, slide, run, and jump off steam, while Curious George Goes to Town offers water-park thrills with a storybook theme.

There's plenty of live entertainment, including The Blue Man Group and TNA Wrestling, live music like Hard Rock Live, Beetlejuice's Rock ‘n Roll Graveyard Review, and the Blues Brothers show, and kid-oriented shows like Dr. Seuss's "Oh the Stories You Will Hear" and "A Day in the Park with Barney." Horror movie lovers won't want to miss Universal's Horror Make-Up Show for a behind-the-scenes look at what makes wounds ooze and blood spurt.

The park offers an array of dining options, including seafood and family-friendly bar and grill choices. The on-site hotels boast even more restaurants, including fine dining at Emeril's or The Palm restaurants. Shoppers will find everything from Marvel Comics–themed merchandise to SpongeBob souvenirs at the Nickstuff store.


Published: 11 May 2010 | Last Updated: 12 May 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Universal Studios Florida

$258
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Universal's Hard Rock Hotel
$259
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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
$213
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Universal's Loews Royal Pacific Resort

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