Travel Guide

Surprising things you can do at Universal Orlando without a park ticket

You’ve booked your resort, bought your tickets and spent months planning the proper Universal Orlando trip.

Hopefully, you have not packed your itinerary too full, as a result, one, there’s a good likelihood you’ll be sizzling, drained, and prepared for a break when the afternoon solar hits its peak, and two, there’s a ton of enjoyable to be discovered exterior of Universal’s two theme parks — Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure — and Universal’s Volcano Bay water park.

Related: How to make use of factors to save cash at Universal Orlando

Here are eight actions at Universal Orlando that do not require a parking ticket, however, could require you to sing, escape hungry dinosaurs or study to hula.

‘Escape’ into your favourite films at Universal’s Great Movie Escape

A “Back to the Future”-themed escape room. UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

Universal Orlando is thought for bringing your favourite films to life on rides like Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, however the park’s latest attraction makes you a most important character in two of the world’s hottest film franchises.

At Universal’s Great Movie Escape at MetropolisWalk, you can select from two extremely immersive escape room experiences — one themed to “Back to the Future” and the opposite to “Jurassic World.” Both take about an hour to finish and have the capability to be tailor-made to your group’s measurement (as many as eight visitors) and stage of expertise, guaranteeing no person leaves without the joys of escaping in time.

The “Jurassic World” escape room. UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

In Back to the Future: Outatime, your mission, ought you select to simply accept it, is to pry Doc Brown’s latest time journey gadget from the palms of Biff Tannen earlier than he alters the timeline endlessly. You’ll encounter acquainted scenes from all three movies — and timelines — as you remedy clues to trace down Doc Brown’s prototype. In Jurassic World: Escape, your group arrives at work for his or her first day on the job as geneticists-in-training at Isla Nublar. As usually occurs within the “Jurassic World” movies, the dinosaurs do not precisely associate with InGen’s plans, and you end up needing to make a very fast escape from the genetics lab. Each escape room expertise is individually ticketed and pricing begins at $50 per particular person or $300 for non-public group expertise of eight folks.

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Play spherical of miniature golf


Also situated at Universal MetropolisWalk, you’ll discover one of many quirkiest, most outrageously themed mini-golf experiences you’re prone to ever come throughout. Hollywood Drive-In Golf is a ’50s sci-fi-themed mini-golf course with 36 holes, larger-than-life creepy crawlies, and kitsch to spare.

You can select between The Haunting of Ghostly Greens and Invaders from Planet Putt or make it a “double function” and play each for a whole 36 holes of sci-fi enjoyable.

If you go within the night, you can play below the glow of neon lights with your individual colourful light-up ball (accessible for buy) that you can deliver house as a memento.

Eighteen-hole pricing is $19.99 for adults and $17.99 for youths ages 3 to 9, and 36-hole pricing is $36.98 for adults and $32.98 for youths.

Go on a nature stroll

Entrance to the butterfly backyard alongside the Garden Walk. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

One of the best things about Universal Orlando’s measurement is how walkable it’s. The resort’s two parks — Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure — are related by way of the MetropolisWalk space, and there are Garden Walk paths that join all however two of Universal’s resorts (these two being Universal’s Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites, Universal’s worth properties).

Not solely are the paths a handy method to get forwards and backward from the parks (whereas sneaking a few further steps in), but, they’re additionally a way more peaceable and exquisite method to begin or finish your day than ready in line for a seat on a crowded bus.

The Garden Walk paths are lined with beautiful gardens and tropical foliage, and you can usually spot lizards scurrying about (significantly joyful expertise if you have children in tow). A lot of the way in which, the paths run alongside the waterway that takes visitors to and from the parks on water taxis.

Near Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel, there may be even a butterfly backyard the place you’ll encounter butterflies fluttering concerning the flowers planted particularly to draw them to the world.

Related: These are one of the best resorts at Universal Orlando for 2022

If you are staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, or Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, you even have entry to a pathway that leads on to Volcano Bay water park.

See the most recent big-screen blockbusters


There aren’t many locations in the place you can “journey the flicks” in the course of the day after which see a film on the massive display screen in the evening, however at Universal Orlando, you can do simply that.

Universal Cinemark at MetropolisWalk has 20 screens that present new releases and host particular occasions — like 2022’s BlumFest occasion celebrating Blumhouse Productions’ horror films — with perks moviegoers recognize like plush loungers, tasty treats, and a full bar.

If you park in Universal Orlando’s parking storage, you can be reimbursed at the theater when you present your parking receipt for any films after 6 p.m. and matinee showings between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. when you buy two or extra tickets.

Shop for a wizarding wand


As you would possibly anticipate in such a magical location, there are brass medallions set into the pavement in each section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida) the place you can use your interactive wand to solid magic spells.

You haven’t got to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to acquire a wand and wield its powers. You can really buy an interactive wand (pricing begins at around $60) forward of time and you’ll be able to solid your first spell as quickly as you enter the Wizarding World.

The Universal Studios Store at MetropolisWalk (close to the doorway to Universal Studios Florida) has a whole part dedicated to all things “Harry Potter,” together with a giant number of interactive wands. Included along with your wand, you’ll discover a map that directs you to the varied wand spots.

Of course, if you need the true-to-the-books expertise of visiting Ollivanders Wand Shop the place one fortunate visitor is picked to have the wizard in residence facilitate the method of “the wand selecting the wizard,” you can nonetheless do that, as effectively. Even if you are fortunate sufficient to be chosen, buying the wand that chooses you is optionally available.

Attend a full-of-life luau


Some of Universal Orlando’s on-site resorts are so well-themed that you nearly really feel as if you’ve been transported to a far-off paradise. This is particularly true of Loews Royal Pacific Resort, considered one of Universal’s Premier-category resorts.

The resort’s design, decor, eating, and actions are modeled after a South Seas oasis with lush, tropical gardens; a beachy, lagoon-style pool; island-inspired meals; and conventional Hawaiian leisure.

Once a week, the resort hosts the Wantilan Luau, a dinner present with all-you-can-eat meals (together with a pit-roasted pig), stay Polynesian music, and hula and fireplace dancing demonstrations that remember this centuries-old customized.

By the tip of the night, you’ll marvel if you are nonetheless in Orlando or if you’ve traveled throughout the nation to Aloha State. You could even get to check out your individual hula abilities.

Shows are held each Saturday evening and you must not be a visitor to the resort to attend. Ticket costs begin at around $109 per grownup and $59 for kids (plus taxes and charges). Children below age 3 are free.

Listen to stay music


There are a stunning variety of spots the place you can take heed to stay music at Universal … and one the place you can get on stage and be the star of the present.

The Hard Rock Cafe at MetropolisWalk usually hosts big-name musical and comedy acts. Ticket costs range primarily based on the present and your seat selection, however begin at round $40 per particular person. If you are on the lookout for a free possibility (effectively, minus the price of meals and cocktails), head for the Velvet Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel or Pat O’Brien’s dueling piano bar at MetropolisWalk.

If you’d moderately take the middle stage then let one other performer take all of the glory, cease at MetropolisWalk’s Rising Star karaoke bar. Karaoke bar is a little bit of a misnomer, although, on the subject of Rising Star.

If you’re identify is chosen and you get the prospect to step onto the brightly lit stage, your efficiency can be accompanied by a stay band and backup singers whereas a crowd of followers cheer you on.

Spend your ‘spare’ time at the bowling alley


Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a distinct retro fashion that recollects the traditional Florida seaside resorts of yesteryear. You can sip a shake at the malt store, sleep in a room with colourful, nostalgic decor (full of bars of Zest cleaning soap within the lavatory) and partake in considered one of America’s favourite pastimes — bowling.

Galaxy Bowl, situated on the second ground of Cabana Bay’s most important constructing, is a 10-lane bowling alley with neon lights and classic vibes. The adjoining Galaxy Bowl Restaurant serves burgers, pizzas and extra and there may be additionally a full bar. Each lane has a desk and cubicles the place you can dine.

Galaxy Bowl is open each day from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Call or cease by the bowling alley to order a lane.

Bottom line

Universal Orlando is thought for its thrilling, movie-based points of interest and thrilling occasions like Halloween Horror Nights and the Holidays at Universal Orlando, however now you know that you do not even must stroll below Universal’s iconic archway to expertise all of the enjoyable the resort has to supply.

Next time you plan to go to Universal, make sure you go away time in your day (or evening) to expertise all the outside-the-park pleasure.

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