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Ready for a Universal Orlando vacation in 2022? Our family loves the Universal Orlando Resort. We are regulars to the Universal Parks, Volcano Bay Water Park, and the Universal Orlando Hotels. It is one of our favorite family destinations. With all of our experiences at Universal Orlando, we wanted to share some of our tips for a Universal Orlando vacation in 2022.
You can watch the video below or scroll down for more details.
TIPS for Universal Orlando Vacation in 2022
Let’s jump into some of our tips for planning a Universal Orlando vacation in 2022.
Plan Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
Our first tip is plan a visit during the weekdays. When planning your park days at Universal Orlando, plan on less popular days of the week for your visit. The best days to visit are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. These are less crowded which means shorter lines and more fun for your family.
Avoid Holidays & Summer
Our next Universal Orlando tip for 2022 is avoid holidays and summer for your vacation. The best times to visit Universal Orlando are during the months when the kids are in school. When the kids get out of school for the summer or holidays, the parks get busy. So, try to avoid the holidays and summer for your family vacation.
If you cannot avoid these times of year, be sure you stay at a Universal Orlando hotel with Universal Express. If you stay at Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, or Portofino Bay Hotel; you will get a free benefit called Universal Express.
You get front of the line access on rides at both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios with Universal Express. This will save you hours and hours and hours of time at the parks.
Early Park Admission
Another big Universal Orlando tip for 2022 is Early Park Admission. The Early Park Admission gets you and your family into Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure one hour before the gates open to the general public. This is a great way to get into the parks without the crowds.
If you stay at one of the Universal Orlando hotels (like Cabana Bay Beach Resort below) or even a Universal Partner hotel, you get Early Park Admission.
You can also get Early Park Admission with select travel agencies when you book your Universal tickets. You can click the eye in the sky for our recommended travel agency to book your Universal Orlando tickets with free Early Park Admission.
Plan Around Holiday Events
Our next Universal Orlando tip for 2022 is plan your vacation around holiday events. Universal Orlando hosts holiday events throughout the year. Two of the biggest holiday events is Mardi Gras and Holidays at Universal Orlando. Both holiday events include parades, entertainment, and fun for the whole family. The best news, these events are free with your admission into Universal Orlando.
Backstage Tours at the Universal Parks
We love the backstage tours at select Universal Orlando rides at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. One of our favorites is the Immigration Tour at Men in Black.
If you love the behind the scenes of the rides, you will love these tours. Some of the rides that have these tours are Hulk, Velocicoaster, King Kong, Jimmy Fallon, Men in Black, and Dr. Doom. You can ask the team member at the front of the line if they are running a backstage tour. You may get an amazing and free behind the scenes tour.
Know the Ride Height Requirement
If you have younger children, be sure you know the height requirements of the rides (before your visit). If you do not know them or know if your kids are tall enough, look for the measuring stick outside both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.
Your kids can stand next to the measuring stick to see what rides they can and cannot do. Plus, it is a fun photo opp!
In the App Universal Pay
We are excited to share a new feature in the Universal Orlando app. You can now pay with contactless payments through Universal Pay.
You can download the Universal Orlando app, before you leave home. This makes it easy for you to grab a popcorn and a drink. You just show your in app virtual wallet vs sifting through your backpack to find your money. It is an easy way to pay while visiting the parks.
Buy Harry Potter Merch Outside Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Our family loves the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. These areas are smaller and can get very crowded. We recommend buying your Harry Potter souvenirs, outside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
You can buy the exact same HP merch at the Universal Orlando hotels, throughout the Universal Parks, and at CityWalk. It is the same merchandise, without the crowds.
Pack a Small Bag or Backpack
Our next tip for a Universal Orlando vacation in 2022 is bring a small bag or backpack to the parks. Many of the rides at both Universal Orlando Parks do not allow bags. This includes purses, wallets, and backpacks. Universal does provide free lockers, outside the rides. You can put your items in these lockers, before hopping on the ride.
However, the lockers are small. A full size backpack will not fit in these small lockers. I even have issues fitting my camera. For your days at the parks, bring a small bag or backpack if you are going to use the lockers.
Order Food from Mobile Ordering
A huge hack for 2022 is use mobile ordering on the Universal Orlando app. You can download the Universal Orlando app to your smartphone before you leave home. When you are ready for lunch, dinner, or even a quick snack; pull out your smartphone and order from the Mobile Ordering.
You can order food from many of the quick service (fast food) spots throughout both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Once you arrive at the restaurant, you can pick up your food from the Mobile Ordering line. It is a huge timesaver!
Pre-Order Your Universal Tickets
One of our biggest tip for a Universal Orlando vacation in 2022 is purchase your tickets before you leave home. With Universal Park tickets you can save money and time ordering your tickets before your vacation.
With Universal Orlando tickets, the prices are higher at the ticket window at the front entrance to the parks. If you want to save money, order before you leave home. This also saves you time waiting in line at the ticket window.
Check out the eye in the sky for our favorite place to buy your Universal Orlando Parks tickets, including Annual Passes. If you cannot remember any other Universal Orlando tip, remember this one to help save you money and time for your day at the parks.
Buy an Interactive Wand
One of our favorite experiences at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the interactive wands. You can buy an interactive wand at both parks. You will receive your wand and a map in your box. You can then wander throughout both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade casting spells. There are even a few secret spells. Your whole family will love this experience.
If you have an infant or younger children, take advantage of Child Swap. This is an amazing idea for younger families. If you want to ride Transformers (even though the younger ones cannot), you can use Child Swap.
You will wait in the regular line with the whole family. When you get to the front of the line, let the Team Member know you want to use Child Swap. Half of your party will go ride the coaster. The other half of your party will be escorted to a Child Swap area. Once you ride the coaster, you will switch places with your family waiting in Child Swap. That way everyone gets to ride without having to wait in line twice.
It is an amazing timesaver. Check the other parks in Orlando for Child Swap, too. Many of the attractions and parks offer this free service.
This next hack may seem crazy, but it works! When you get to the park or get to a ride line, use the left line vs the right line. Most people are right handed, so they feel more comfortable going right.
If you get the opportunity to go left or right, most of the time the right line is longer. So, you should go left!
Eat at Universal CityWalk
The dining at Universal Orlando Parks is mostly quick service or fast food. Right outside both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is Universal CityWalk. There are some amazing sit down restaurants in Universal CityWalk. Many of them are just a little bit more expensive than the quick service/fast food you will find inside the parks.
When looking for a spot for lunch or dinner, we suggest going outside the parks to Universal CityWalk.
Get to the Parks Early
One of our biggest tips for any of the Orlando Theme Parks is get to the parks early. You want to arrive at the Universal Orlando Parks before the gates even open. You will be amazed how much of the park you can complete, before the crowds start to hit around 11 AM.
I know this one is tough, because you are on vacation. However, get to the parks early!
Ride Hogwarts Express in Both Directions
Our final hack for a Universal Orlando vacation is the Hogwarts Express at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Hogwarts Express connects both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Basically it connects Diagon Alley (King’s Cross Station) and Hogsmeade.
You do need to have a ticket called the Park to Park option, so keep that in mind when you are ordering your tickets. This ticket option allows you to visit both parks on the same day.
When visiting Wizarding World of Harry Potter, be sure you ride the Hogwarts Express in both directions. Each direction is a different show and is amazing. Don’t miss out on this experience. Ride the Hogwarts Express in both directions.
We hope these Universal Orlando tips help you plan your 2022 vacation. Do you have another Universal Orlando tip for 2022 leave a comment below.