Chris and I had the privilege of going to Universal Orlando on a solo trip without the kiddos. Universal Orlando was gracious enough to give us an amazing stay and this is how it went…..

Keep in mind, neither of us have ever been to Universal Orlando. As you know, we are true “Disney people”, but it was time to venture out and see what was out there in the Universal world and we were not disappointed. 

Our First Trip to Universal Orlando

Universal Studios is for All Ages

Universal Studios really surprised Chris and I to be honest. We thought it was only for older kids or adults. But we were pleasantly surprised to find out that it is for all ages. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to Dr. Suess Land to Marvel…. there is something for every single person in the family. 

There are lots of rides, but more of them are more kid friendly than you may think. A lot of them are 3D and motion simulator rides, so some are definitely for all ages. I felt I was comparing Universal to Disney the whole time, which is not fair, but at the same time was easy to do sometimes. Universal definitely felt like it had more rides to choose from. And even though it is smaller, it for sure was harder to do everything we wanted, because their were so many rides! 

Universal Studios Food

Whoa! The food! Before I speak about the food, let me just tell you I am not a huge foodie and I do not go to Disney World for the food, but Universal I would actually go for the food alone. From City Walk to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure you have so many healthier options than anywhere in Disney World. The drinks alone can pack and punch and the food is rather authentic. 

Universal Studios App

Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood both have an app that can help you maneuver through the parks easily. 

City Walk is stationed at the entrance of all of the fun. As you walk through you can choose from lots of eateries, bars and shops. As you walk through, the app can tell you just what you are looking for. 

Keep moving forward through City Walk and you will run into Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. Once again, check out the app for ride wait times, park hours, etc. 

The app makes is super easy and easy to access. 

Pros and Cons

I will be honest, we did not have very many cons while we were there. The hotels, eateries and attractions were amazing, with great service…. BUT I will try. 


  • Family friendly and fun for all ages.
  • Hotels are clean, spacious and reasonable pricing.
  • Hotels will easily accommodate a family of five. 
  • Food was not typical theme park food, it was a lot healthier and authentic. 
  • Lots of attractions and plenty to do for all ages. 
  • Reasonable pricing for tickets.
  • Park hopping is available.


  • We cannot go enough. We are ready to go back.
  • We went during Halloween time and if you have little kids some may be scared of the Halloween Horror Nights posters. Although there are not any decor up during the day, you can see the advertisements during the day. You know your child best. Just making you aware.

The Universal/ Disney Comparison

In all honesty, it is easy to compare the two, but yet it can be unfair, because they are apples to oranges. 

  1. Pricing: You get more bang for your buck at Universal right now.
  2. Hotels: The hotels at Universal are more spacious, very clean, and more accommodating for larger families. (When you arrive at a Universal hotel they text you upon your arrival. You can text anything to that number you may need during your stay. We used it to get more towels, help with parking, etc. It was very nice to have someone at our finger tips to get in touch with with such simple things.)
  3. Rides: There are a lot of rides for kids and adults alike at Universal than Disney. There are a lot more rides than you may think. 
  4. Food: The food at Universal is WAY better than Disney World’s. Now Disneyland has decent food, but Disney World’s food lacks some luster. The food seems to be fresher, healthier and more authentic choices. 
  5. Tickets: All add-ons to tickets are a bit cheaper and easier to understand at Universal than at Disney World. 
  6. Couples and Families Alike: Universal is perfect for adults, kids, couples and families. Everyone can find something to do. 
  7. Alcohol: You can buy alcohol anywhere on Universal property when at Disney you cannot in the Magic Kingdom.
  8. Starbucks: There is a Starbucks in almost all of the Universal hotels.

All in all we had a great time. Since we went a couple of weeks ago, we did return just last week to stay in one of their hotels while we went to Disney World’s 50th Celebration. I know, the nerve right?! But, since we have a family of five and fell in love with the hotel and it was more affordable we decided to try out the suite as well and it did not disappoint. You can check the room out HERE.

Don’t forget to check out our video to get more information about our trip, some of our favorites and some of the behind the scenes. We had a great time! We will be returning very soon! 

How to Travel to Universal Orlando

Call our friends at Smile Destinations for their expertise on Universal and many other vacation destinations. They are full of knowledge and you cannot go wrong with their advice, knowledge or direction. They love their clients and it shows! 

Contact them for a FREE quote! No matter your destination, they have you covered! 

Make sure you check out some of our other travel and camping stories, recipes and fun! We are always going somewhere fun!