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Even More Reasons for a Universal Orlando Vacation

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Universal Orlando Resort offers a wealth of new guest experiences. If you haven’t been to the resort recently, here’s what you’ve been missing.

Time flies when you’re having fun! That may be why it’s hard to believe that in the past five years, Universal Orlando Resort has opened a third theme park, a second land in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, two new hotels and even more thrilling attractions. And that’s just the beginning!

Magic and Volcanoes

Opened in 2014, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida doubles the other-worldly experiences you can enjoy at Universal Orlando Resort. An immersive train ride, Hogwarts Express, joins Diagon Alley with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade located in Univeral's Islands of Adventure, allowing guests to visit between parks but never feel as if they have left the magical world.

Universal’s Volcano Bay, which opened in 2017, boasts a 200-foot Krakatau volcano that comes alive with cascading waterfalls illuminated at night with colorful lights. The South Pacific-themed water theme park is a fully-immersive experience, including state-of-the-art technology to allow guests to enjoy every single minute of their day.

In addition, the park debuted TapuTapu, a wearable device that allows guests to virtually wait in line, including 19 attractions. When it’s time to ride, TapuTapu sends an alert to head to your ride. This gives you more time to relax, play in the sandy beaches of the wave pool and have fun as a family. 

You can also soak in stunning views overlooking Universal’s Volcano Bay from select rooms in two new towers at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This retro-inspired resort recreates family vacations from decades gone by with bold colors, two zero-entry pools, a waterslide, lazy river and a 10-lane bowling alley. The family suites offer even more room with a living room and kitchenette.

The Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, the newest hotel, is a Caribbean-themed hideaway with waterfalls, the largest on-site hotel pool at Universal Orlando Resort and sand beaches.

Even More Attractions

These exciting new additions are just the beginning of the immersive experiences Universal Orlando has opened over the past few years.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is one of them. If you’re brave enough to board an expedition vehicle to journey into a mysterious world to hunt for new creatures, you’ll find yourself in a struggle between incredible beasts and a towering three-story tall Kong.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster received an upgrade, including a totally new ride vehicle, new storyline and music and a redesigned queue experience.

If you’d rather laugh than scream, the new Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon ride experience at Universal Studios Florida is a must. Enjoy thrills that only Fallon himself could create as The Tonight Show host takes you on a thrilling race through the streets and skies of New York City on the way to the famous Studio 6B. 

For Harry Potter fans, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is a state-of-the-art projection mapping show on the castle with special effects, lighting and music. The display is only on select nights in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade.

Fun Eats

Dining is as much of an adventure at Universal Orlando Resort as the attractions, with varied and distinctive foodie destinations to savor each visit. One restaurant that’s likely different than anything you’ve seen before is The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen at Universal CityWalk. With a 19th-century steampunk theme, the gleaming metal décor is a fanciful backdrop to an indulgent dessert menu featuring decadent chocolate creations like Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding and Brookies, Cookies & Cream. The artisan milkshake collection is another way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The first-of-its-kind NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk is another restaurant you should check out. Feel like you’re in a VIP sports suite while enjoying an array of menu items, from game day favorites to more elaborate cuisine. With nearly 100 HD TV screens inside, as well as a giant more-than-120-foot wide stadium screen, you’re never far from sporting action. 

Just when you think there’s more to Universal Orlando Resort than you can possibly experience during one vacation, you might be surprised to learn there are plans to add even more places to stay, things to do and foods to eat.

This Year and Beyond

Slated to open this August, Universal Aventura Hotel is designed to provide quiet calm relaxation with a sleek design and floor to ceiling windows. The tech-savvy personal retreats for guests include in-room tablets and a virtual reality game room. The rooftop bar & grill, Bar17 Bistro, offers sweeping views of all three theme parks and the Orlando skyline.

Also new this year is the Fast & Furious — Supercharged attraction. You’ll feel like a character in one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time as you are invited to attend a race after-party with the Fast family from the movies that evolves into a wild chase after an enemy infiltrates your location. It’s also the only place to see and take photos with 15 supercharged Fast & Furious cars.

Voodoo Doughnut opened its first location east of the Mississippi this year in Universal CityWalk. Fans of the Bacon Maple Bar, The Loop and The Homer will be able to sample more than 50 varieties of their popular doughnuts. 

Guests will also have two more accommodation options in the summer of 2019, which will include a total of 2,800 rooms, three pools, two food courts and more amenities. 

Further on the horizon is a collaboration with Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts. Famous characters and games from the world of Nintendo will come to life in ways that have yet to be announced.  

AAA Members receive discounts on park admission and other exclusive perks. Call your AAA Travel Agent at to book your Universal Parks vacation!

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