Universal Orlando Resort Trip Review

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About three weeks ago, I received an email inviting us down to Universal Orlando Resort over Labor Day weekend. Having never been to either of the Universal parks, we excitedly accepted. Before we knew it time flew by and we were on our way. It was a fantastic weekend where I had the chance to meet an incredible group of bloggers and their families and to experience Universal Orlando Resort with my family.

Universal Resort OrlandoBright and early Thursday morning we packed Kora & Logan up in the car and headed for the airport. We kept the trip a secret the entire time and they didn’t know anything about it until we pulled up to the airport. Once we told them they were so excited they jumped up and down did a few spins, twists and turns, and shouted, “Yes!”

We stayed at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. It is gorgeous! The resort has a tropical island theme infused with history of the Royal Pacific. The room decor was lovely, the pool was incredible, and the grounds truly transported us to the island life. I enjoyed our stay here so much that I can’t wait to return one day and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay in the area.

I’ll be writing a review of the hotel resort soon, but here are a few of my favorite photos in the meantime.

Universal Orlando Royal Pacific

Unversal Resort Royal Pacific PoolOur first morning, the bloggers all gathered with some of the Universal Orlando Resort execs to learn about a fun and fantastic new Cabana Bay Beach Resort opening in 2014. It’s a 50’s and 60’s hotel inspired by Route 66, the A1A , and the Pacific Coast Highway with the idea of simple family vacations in mind. It will be a 4 star property with a lower price point. It will have 1800 rooms with one of the styles sleeping 6 with a kitchenette. It will be located adjacent to the Islands of Adventure.

Universal Orlando Cabana BayDoesn’t it look so fun?

After learning about the new resort we met up with our families and headed off to the parks where we were treated to a Superstar Character Breakfast. The food was delicious (I couldn’t get enough of the blueberry muffins!) and the characters were fantastic. They posed for lots and lots of pictures.

Universal Resort Character BreakfastThey also threw a fun dance party!

Next, we were off to Universal Studios where we had a VIP tour guide who told us about the history of the park, the rides, and the people. We were able to get right to the front of every line with no waiting. It was amazing! If you have the chance to ever take this kind of tour, I recommend it. Not only is it interesting but it’s a huge time saver as well.

Some of our favorite rides and attractions in this park included:

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Ride Starring You!
  • Animal Actors on Location
  • Curious George Goes To Town
  • Fivel’s Playground & Waterslide
  • Woody Woodpecke’s Nuthouse Coaster
  • Rip Ride Rocket

Universal StudiosWe met up with the other bloggers and families for lunch where one of the Universal Resort chefs spoke to us about the many 300 and under calorie meal options throughout the parks. We also had the chance to not only hear from the Executive Director of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, but we rode the ride with him as well! It was a real treat to be able to experience the ride with one of its creators and to see him smiling and enjoying it just as much as everyone else.
Universal Resort Minion MayhemMinion Mayhem is a 3D HD motion ride that starts out in Gru’s house where the riders are being recruited to become minions. Of course, things don’t go quite right and soon you find yourself falling, flying, laughing, and smiling your way through the rest of the ride. It really is a funny and heart warming story line that ends with a fantastic interactive minion dance party.
Universal Resort Minions That afternoon we all met up again for the new Superstar Parade. It’s a fun-filled and festive parade that features many Universal Studios characters. Kora & Logan enjoyed seeing their favorite characters walk, roll, dance, and hop their way on by.

Universal Resort Superstar ParadeWe had a bit of family time which we spent it swimming and then the group gathered again for dinner at Lombard’s Seafood Grille. Dinner was delicious and the ice cream bar for dessert was a huge hit with the kids and adults!

We then went out onto the restaurant’s balcony to watch the new nighttime show, 100 Years of Movie Memories. In a mix of water, lasers, lights, and fireworks we were transported through Universal’s most iconic films all narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Universal Resort 100 Years of FilmThe next morning we were off to Universal Islands of Adventure. We met up with our VIP tour guide and he promptly took us to one of our favorite places in both parks – Seuss Landing. The area is bright, colorful, and a wonderful tribute to one of my favorite childhood authors. The imagination and creativity used in this park brought smiles to all of our faces.

Universal Orlando Seuss LandingNext up was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Our guide told us we had hit it at a great time because we could actually see the ground between us, which meant it wasn’t very busy. This area is spectacular. The attention to detail is incredible and it was so fun to see the books and movies come to life. We were excited to eat lunch inside Three Broomsticks and even enjoyed a frozen Butterbeer.

Universal Resort Wizarding World of Harry PotterThat day we walked by Jurassic Park and didn’t stop in but we were intrigued enough to do so the next day. Logan is not the thrillseeker of the family, so as soon as he said he wanted to ride the Pteranodon Flyers we made sure to fit it in. The ride is so fun! It’s as if you are flying over the jungle, it glides smoothly and really gives you a bird’s eye view of the park. Both kids enjoyed it so much we rode multiple times our last two days.

We were also excited to discover the Jurassic Park Discover Center. The kids played here for nearly two hours. With all of the rope bridges, cargo nets, water guns, tunnels, caves, slides, and shade, it was the perfect place to escape from the hot sun while still having a “safari adventure” as the kids called it.

Universal Orlando Jurassic ParkSince it was so hot we were very thankful for the chance to cool off at the various spraygrounds and misters throughout both parks. They offered a nice break in our day and the kids had fun playing in them.

Universal Orlando Toon LagoonAt the end of our day our tour guide told us he had a surprise for us. We went through an area that said “Do Not Enter” and the next thing we knew Wolverine, Spiderman, Captain America and other superheros were riding up to greet us! They shook our hands, had a chat, and we snapped a few fantastic family pictures.

Univeresal Resort Superheroes

Superhero Family PhotoThat evening we went to the Wantilan Luau at the hotel. I was really excited! I’d never been to a Luau before. It was really fun, the food was flavorful and Polynesian, the music was so relaxing with such an island beach feel, and the show was very fun with hula and fire dancing.

Universal Orlando LuauAfter the Luau we were off to see the Blue Man Group. If you’ve never seen the Blue Man Group and get the chance we highly recommend the show. It was not only an amazing musical performance but it was very funny too. We found ourselves laughing as much as we would have at a comedy show. The show is very interactive with the audience as well which makes it all the more fun.

Orlando Resort Blue Man GroupAt the end of the evening we snapped a photo of all the bloggers.

Universal Resort Orlando Family BloggersIt truly was a fantastic and fun trip. We met incredible people and had a wonderful time with our family and theirs. The hotel, parks, and pool were fabulous and we can’t wait to return someday soon.

UniversalWhat about you? What was your favorite vacation?

Flight, accommodations, meals, park tickets, gift cards, and goody bag provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own and those of my family.

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  1. Maralea says:

    This looks like it would be such a fun place to stay! Would love to visit Universal Studios.

  2. Tammy S says:

    This looks like such a fun resort to stay at. It doesn’t look like it is to over crowded either which is a plus in my book. Universal Studios is on my kids wish list of places to go. I would love to take them in the next few years. Thanks for the review.

  3. Stephanie says:

    This was a really great review – I loved all the details. We’ve been debating about a trip to disney or universal studios and you’ve made universal look really fantastic. What a hard decision.

  4. saminder gumer says:

    what a great review. i love all the detail and the pictures. i wanted to ask how do i get started doing something like this. i would love to review places like this on my blog and have it provided for me and the family. can you please help me? thanks.

  5. Joni Mason says:

    My favorite vacation was the one where we took our son to see the ocean for the first time! he was only 5 and scared to death… for a few minutes. After he got in and started boogie boarding we couldn’t get him out! It’s SO neat to see things anew through the eyes of your children!

  6. Washington DC – there was so much to do there and it was all free. So many museums and landmarks. You can learn a lot and do it on a pretty good budget!

  7. I’ve been to Orlando countless times, but never to Universal Studios. It looks like a lot of fun!

  8. Universal Orlando is my go to place in FL! We had so much fun there!

  9. Your kids go the coooooolest places! They are never going to forget this!

  10. That resort looks amazing! I especially love the elephant fountains! Cute!

  11. Awesome trip. that woman in the white wig looked like nikki minaj

  12. This is a place my boys would love to see. The photo with the Superheros is awesome!

  13. Your family picture looks so fun with the super heroes! =D

  14. Mine was a trip to Chile and Patagonia last year. Spectacular!!

  15. awesome pics with the superheros my babies would love that, thank you for sharing.

  16. oh my gosh.. you look like you had a blast! i would love to take my daughter! well that and i think i would LOVE IT!!! That pool looks amazing:)

  17. That’s awesome pic!

  18. What a fun place! I would love to visit someday

  19. christopher sorel says:

    very fun trip you had

  20. PinkyPlatz says:

    I’ve never been there, but now I want to visit. Thanks for the info!

  21. Jennifer Marie says:

    Love the Avengers pic!!

  22. Morgan Lepley Edger says:

    My husband and I went to Universal back in February and loved every second of it! Especially the harry potter portion of the park. Glad to see you liked it, too!

  23. We have got to make it there one of these days! It looks like so much fun!

  24. I can’t wait to go there again! I haven’t been for four years.

  25. My grandson is a big Super Heroes fan! What great pictures and looks like such a fantastic trip!

  26. Looks like a bunch of forever memories were made. I’m very happy for you and your family! Priceless.

  27. As much as I would like to go to Universal Studios, I think I’d like the hotel better. LOL

  28. Oh my, I would love to take a family trip there! There is so much that we would all love a enjoy. The pictures are great.

  29. Trasina McGahey says:

    Your children do lead a charmed life :) That looks like so much fun and I hope to go on a fam vac there!

  30. Love the super heroes outfits.

  31. You guys always have so much fun! This looks like a blast!

  32. Thomas Murphy says:

    I have not been to universal in years and would love to go again, I really want to check out the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

  33. I love the giant Universal Globe, I want it for my back yard! It wouldn’t fit, but would really want, sounds like a great trip. I love all the photo’s, fantastic share!

  34. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    Looks Like A Wonderful Experience, Thanks For Sharing :)

  35. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    What a blast! We visited Universal Studios in LA years ago. So much fun.

  36. another place on my list to visit. looks like alot of fun. great pics

  37. It would be great to go to Orlando again.

  38. Looks like such a great time!

  39. Arthur Caudill says:

    This looks so fun, can’t wait to go next month, our daughter wants to be princess for a day. The Luau sounds great!

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