Mar 09 2016

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s “Rivers of Light” Show to be Park’s Greatest Show of all Time

If you have ever been to a theme park, there always seems to be one common thread that they all share and that is a epic show of some kind. Whether it be a fireworks finale, courtyard dance off or a parade, shows seem to be a big hit among travelers of all ages. The newest addition to this line-up is Disney’s Animal Kingdom with their Rivers of Light show. It will be on display over by the Mt. Everest rollercoaster and visible from the Asia area of the park and over to the Finding Nemo show area on the lake.

Currently, if you go over to the Animal Kingdom there is a lot of construction going on. The work being done on the new Rivers of Light show seem to be almost done with the exception of a few walls put up to keep prying eyes out. The lake is surrounded by special effects areas with high-tech lighting surrounding the area. Projectors will be shown on a water screen and guests will be able to view scenes of animal spirits as two tour guides tell the tales of what’s to come. Lanterns will dance on the lagoon as your story hosts are taken out into the lagoon.

Probably the coolest thing will be that he parks iconic centerpiece, The Tree of Life will be the backdrop of the show. It will be illuminated by fireflies and lights making it a truly beautiful addition to the new show. Disney had to reach out to design talents like master puppet designer Michael Curry, composer Mark Mancina and the filmmakers at Disneynature. It will truly be a much needed addition to the park as there is no night time entertainment and guests have been leaving the park fairly early since Animal Kingdom was introduced to the Disney family.

The new show should be ready for guests viewing pleasure within the next few months and we will be here keeping you updated. If you are planning a family vacation and need assistance with purchasing you discount Animal Kingdom tickets, please call our office at 1-877-406-4836 or visit us on the web at http://www.officialticketcenter.com/disney-tickets.aspx today!

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Mar 03 2016

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida Set to Show it’s Wine and Food Side

If you have never been to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida, now is the time to make that trip. Starting March 3rd and running through until April 24th, Busch Gardens is rolling out the red carpet to some of the most top rated musical entertainers this planet has ever heard! To add greatness to this entertainment, Busch Gardens is pairing up the music with elegant wines and delicious food! Reports are that they are going to have at least 11 food cabins, 65 plus wines to chose from and at least 50 plus craft beer companies serving up some deliciousness!

Throw all of this together in one of the country’s most beautiful theme parks and you have absolute awesomeness! If you are staying in Orlando, SeaWorld Parks offers free daily bus service to Busch Gardens. They have multiple pickup locations around the attractions area and one of them is sure to be somewhere close to where you’re staying. If a all nighters is in order for this day visit, I would recommend a hotel close to the park, somewhere on Fowler Ave. Uber is my default transportation cab company when I am wineing, dining and listening to sweet music at Busch Gardens. Let them do the driving at the end of that night!

I would take a close look at the day that you are going and plan accordingly. Look at the music acts for that day and get your old concert tees out for good show. During the day, there are many, “Experiences” waiting for you and the family. Take a in depth look at some of Busch Gardens beautiful “Horticultural Masterpieces” or catch a food demonstration from some of the best chefs in the industry at the Conservation Cabin. There will be plenty of activities throughout the park so grab a map and see what peaks your interest during your visit.

Tickets for this event start at $83 and can be purchased through discount theme park ticket agents like The Official Ticket Center. You can visit their website at www.officialticketcenter.com to purchase your Busch Gardens tickets in advance. If you are planning on trying something new and exciting, Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival might be something just for you. Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

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Mar 03 2016

Exploring the Real Florida with Boggy Creek Airboat Rides

Florida is covered in water and the best way to have fun and explore all of that water is on a airboat. In Kissimmee, Florida there is a family owned company that is showing all of that Florida beauty to travelers from all around the world and that company’s name is Boggy Creek Airboat Rides. Located only minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort area, Boggy Creek Airboats has been giving rides to travelers for over 20 years. With a fleet of airboats and tours running all day and even at night, this company shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Owners Margie and Chris Bryan have big visions for their little slice of heaven at end of Southport Dr. Currently they are in the process of expansion and that will bring guests a smokehouse bbq restaurant, authentic Indian village and even having Gatorland in house showing their visitors all there is to know about Florida’s alligators by having adolescent gators there to hold and take pictures with. Their location is situated at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades and is the backdrop to some of Florida’s most beautiful wilderness.

Many travelers have never seen a airboat, much less witness an actual alligator, but Boggy Creek Airboat Rides will take good care of you in their Coast Guard certified boats and teach you all about Florida’s wildlife from the comfort and safety of your airboat. Each boat captain is well trained with hundreds of hours of service while also knowledgeable in where to find those allusive gators. I have never been on a tour where I did not see alligators or the occasional american Bald Eagle. The last trip I was on a few weeks ago, we were lucky to see a couple of endangered Snail Kites and the young hatchling alligators playing in the lilly pads.

Boggy Creek Airboat Ride tickets can cost as little as $36 per adult and $31 per child through local discount ticketing companies like The Official Ticket Center in Kissimmee, Florida. The 1 hour nighttime airboat rides are for the more adventurous types, but those tours are sure to bring out the best of the alligator sightseeing as alligators are more active at night! If you do decide to take a tour, remember to dress accordingly and to bring sunscreen for day tours and bug spray for the night tours. Try to arrive at least 20 minutes before your tour and bring your camera!

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Feb 25 2016

Pardon the Pixie Dust While Visiting Islands of Adventure

As you may know by now, Universal Studios in Orlando has a sister park called Islands of Adventure. It sits about 100 yards away from Universal Studios and is the home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As you know, all theme parks need a little down time to get things fixed and a new coat of paint. This is exactly what’s happening at Islands of Adventure at the moment. Not to be alarmed, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is up and running! They would be out of their minds if they closed this down, but not to worry Harry Potter fans, all is well in the wizard world.

The biggest closure has to be the Hulk Roller Coaster. This was dismantled and removed for refurbishment and is set to be back terrifying travelers by the first part of spring. This was a huge letdown for me last weekend as this is my favorite ride in Islands of Adventure! I try to start my day on this adrenaline inducing ride as it will set my energy level for the remainder of the day. Dr. Doom’s was still dropping guests and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was whisking guests through the streets of New York in 3-D. Many guests were wandering around wondering what to do as Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls was out of commission as well as Popeye’s Bilge Rat Barges was down for the count too!

It would seem that all of the water rides were not operational either for repair reasons or for the fact that it was 50 degrees outside on the day I went. Dudley Do Right’s had a wall up around it, so I would guess that they were working on it rather than it being closed for the weather. The next sight on the way around the park was the walls surrounding the all new Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction that is set to open in the summer of 2016. This will definitely be another star attraction to Universal’s arsenal and is sure to have travelers raving about it once it opens! The next big bummer of the day had to be Jurassic Park! It was running but no one was riding as it was freezing outside. Sure, there were a few not so smart souls who decided to ride this get soaked water ride and were not so happy afterwards trying to dry off in the 50 degree air with the rest of the day in front of them. Not me!

Then there was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It looked like everyone in the park was there. Everywhere you looked, people were huddled together trying to stay warm like cattle, while Mug As you may know by now, Universal Studios in Orlando has a sister park called Islands of Adventure. It sits about 100 yards away from Universal Studios and is the home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As you know, all theme parks need a little down time to get things fixed and a new coat of paint. This is exactly what’s happening at Islands of Adventure at the moment. Not to be alarmed, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is up and running! They would be out of their minds if they closed this down, but not to worry Harry Potter fans, all is well in the wizard world.

The biggest closure has to be the Hulk Roller Coaster. This was dismantled and removed for refurbishment and is set to be back terrifying travelers by the first part of spring. This was a huge letdown for me last weekend as this is my favorite ride in Islands of Adventure! I try to start my day on this adrenaline inducing ride as it will set my energy level for the remainder of the day. Dr. Doom’s was still dropping guests and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was whisking guests through the streets of New York in 3-D. Many guests were wandering around wondering what to do as Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls was out of commission as well as Popeye’s Bilge Rat Barges was down for the count too!

It would seem that all of the water rides were not operational either for repair reasons or for the fact that it was 50 degrees outside on the day I went. Dudley Do Right’s had a wall up around it, so I would guess that they were working on it rather than it being closed for the weather. The next sight on the way around the park was the walls surrounding the all new Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction that is set to open in the summer of 2016. This will definitely be another star attraction to Universal’s arsenal and is sure to have travelers raving about it once it opens! The next big bummer of the day had to be Jurassic Park! It was running but no one was riding as it was freezing outside. Sure, there were a few not so smart souls who decided to ride this get soaked water ride and were not so happy afterwards trying to dry off in the 50 degree air with the rest of the day in front of them. Not me!

Then there was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It looked like everyone in the park was there. Everywhere you looked, people were huddled together trying to stay warm like cattle, while Muggles wandered around the streets drinking their Butterbeer and waving their wands at interactive activities. Inside the Three Broomsticks Inn and Pub, people were gathered at the bar ordering drinks while diners dined on warm dishes to warm themselves for the rest of the day to come. Most people were just taking shelter from the cold by the fire and others were busy taking photos to remember their adventures!

For the most part the rest of the park was still operational and Dr, Seuss’s was busy entertaining children as well as adults who wanted to take a ride with The Cat and the Hat. The park seemed to be busy, but I really don’t think people got their money’s worth on this day as many of the rides were either shut down for refurbishment or were to cold to ride at all. It was still a very beautiful adventure, but one that would have been better if the weather had been 25 degrees warmer.

On a good note, we did save quite a bit of money by purchasing our tickets through a discount tickets provider, “The Official Ticket Center” located over in Kissimmee and were able to buy discounted Disney tickets as well as discounted Universal Studios tickets. I recommend that you look them up if you are traveling to Orlando to visit the parks! Muggles wandered around the streets drinking their Butterbeer and waving their wands at interactive activities. Inside the Three Broomsticks Inn and Pub, people were gathered at the bar ordering drinks while diners dined on warm dishes to warm themselves for the rest of the day to come. Most people were just taking shelter from the cold by the fire and others were busy taking photos to remember their adventures!

For the most part the rest of the park was still operational and Dr, Seuss’s was busy entertaining children as well as adults who wanted to take a ride with The Cat and the Hat. The park seemed to be busy, but I really don’t think people got their money’s worth on this day as many of the rides were either shut down for refurbishment or were to cold to ride at all. It was still a very beautiful adventure, but one that would have been better if the weather had been 25 degrees warmer.

On a good note, we did save quite a bit of money by purchasing our tickets through a discount tickets provider, “The Official Ticket Center” located over in Kissimmee and were able to buy discount Disney tickets as well as discount Universal Studios tickets. I recommend that you look them up if you are traveling to Orlando to visit the parks!

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Feb 12 2016

SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ 2016 Lineup

ORLANDO (Feb. 12, 2016) – SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival takes place over four sizzling weekends– starting this Saturday with Smash Mouth and Gladys Knight on Sunday.

On Saturday, February 20 hot country music star, Scotty McCreery will take the stage.  ACM and CMT Award winner McCreery has sold more than 2.5 million albums and received both Platinum and Gold album certifications. Then on Sunday, February 21, legendary and founding member of the rock group Styx, Dennis DeYoung will perform.

Scheduled performances now include:

  • Saturday, February 13: Smash Mouth
  • Sunday, February 14: Gladys Knight
  • Saturday, February 20: Scotty McCreery
  • Sunday, February 21: Dennis DeYoung
  • Saturday, February 27:  To be announced
  • Sunday, February 28: To be announced
  • Saturday, March 5: To be announced
  • Sunday, March 6:  To be announced

The event honors America’s Heroes and featuring live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, tasty BBQ and thirst-quenching beer, and is included with regular park admission. Event festivities begin at 12 p.m. each weekend, with concerts at 4 p.m.*

In addition to the signature acts and festivities, the event also will feature a secondary stage to showcase local bands, and a DJ spinning music for guests to show off their line dancing and boot scootin’ skills.

Beyond the stage, guests can enjoy a Harley-Davidson Orlando display of motorcycles specifically for Bands, Brew and BBQ along with a collection of classic cars.

Returning this year, the patriotic-themed USO Family Garden will offer animal encounters, Explore Zones and a kid-friendly interactive host making this the perfect place to play for families with young guests. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy this family-friendly area while they learn to line dance, meet animals and have fun all afternoon.

For discount SeaWorld tickets or discount Busch Gardens tickets, please call our office toll free at 1-877-406-4836 to buy your tickets today!

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Feb 09 2016

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

This year, the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival will be bigger than ever, expanding to 90 days, from March 2-May 30, 2016 at Walt Disney World® Resort. Enjoy fresh farm market flavors at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, new Disney character topiaries, interactive play gardens and live rockin’ music during this year’s annual event.

Come see incredible topiaries inspired by your favorite Disney characters! Nearly 100 topiary characters, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba and Peter Pan, will animate the Epcot landscape surrounded by sweeping garden beds and exhibits.

New this year, Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, will make their topiary debut with Donald and Daisy at the park’s front entrance garden. Ranger Mickey Mouse in topiary form will also appear for the first time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service launched in 1916 to conserve the country’s natural scenic treasures.

Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with Guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings along the World Showcase promenade. Get your complimentary Garden Passports stamped as you taste garden- and spring-inspired culinary creations.

For an inside look at the festival and gardening tips you can try at home, visit the Festival Center where Disney gardeners will lead weekend how-to Gardening Seminars. Catch guest experts as they conduct complimentary seminars on a wide range of gardening and outdoor living topics. The Festival Center is also home to signature festival merchandise.

End the evening with pop musical performances spanning four decades during the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre. Catch these acts on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. throughout the festival.

  • March 4-6: The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 11-13: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas, known for their song “We Built This City”
  • March 18-20: Little River Band, known for their song “Reminiscing”
  • March 25-27: Village People, famous for “YMCA”
  • April 1-3: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, known for the song “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”
  • April 8-10: The Guess Who, famous for “American Woman”
  • April 15-17: Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22-24: NEW! Brian Howe, former lead singer of Bad Company “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29-May 1: NEW! Georgia Satellites, known for their song “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6-8: Gin Blossoms, famous for “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13-15: NEW! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20-22: Night Ranger, known for the song “Sister Christian”
  • May 27-30: The Spinners, famous for “Working my Way Back To You” *This concert series will run through Monday

*Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Please check the daily times guide.

The fun continues after the sun sets! Illuminated topiary and play gardens will glow brightly for an after-dark festival experience.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, visit EpcotInSpring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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Feb 08 2016

Universal Studios Orlando Annual Events

It’s fun to plan a Universal Studios vacation to coincide with one of the park’s biggest annual events. While daily you can take in the Universal Superstar Parade or one the unforgettable shows, why not plan your visit to include a special annual event?

Spring: Mardi Gras

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Studios with live entertainment that includes 14 different concerts and 1.7 million beads tossed into the air during the spectacular parade that features colorful floats, street performers and live music. In the French Quarter Courtyard indulge in some of Central Florida’s best Cajun and Creole food while listening to authentic zydeco bands. You won’t want to miss the delectable delights of classic jambalaya, Creole gumbo, fresh Andouille sausage, red beans and rice and the best beignets.

Summer: Rock the Universe

Only at Universal Studios Orlando, Rock the Universe is Florida’s largest Christian Music Festival. This summertime extravaganza features two nights of hot Christian rock plus guest speakers and a Candlelighting Ceremony.

Fall: Halloween Horror Nights

One of the biggest Halloween events in the country, Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights runs from mid-September through October 31. When the sun goes down, the ghouls come out. Venture into the Universal Studios theme park, only if you love to be scared. You’ll find creatures lurking in the scare zones, haunted houses to explore and spook-tacular live shows. The event is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Winter: A Celebration of Harry Potter

It’s the ideal event for all Harry Potter fans, all ages. The three-day event includes meet-and-greet with various actors from the Harry Potter films as well as special discussions, demonstrations and more. Explore Diagon Alley, have a meal in the Leaky Cauldron and don’t forget to wear your wizard’s robes.

Holiday Events

The holidays are a very special time at Universal Studios and include exclusive events designed to delight guests of all ages. These include The Macy’s Holiday Parade with authentic floats direct from New York City’s The Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade also includes marching bands, live performers and of course, Santa Claus.

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Feb 08 2016

Dining at Universal Studios Orlando: Best Counter Service

Universal Studios Orlando offers a fun and exciting escape from reality within its theme park walls. In addition to the more than a dozen rides and attractions, the park is home to unforgettable live performances, character meet-and-greets plus some of the best counter service dining options in Central Florida.

Leaky Cauldron (Diagon Alley)

Step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and enter Diagon Alley. On your left, you’ll find the Leaky Cauldron, a Counter/Quick Service restaurant serving a mix of American and British fare. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner and be sure to order a Butterbeer—order it cold or hot. Go for the traditional bangers and mash or Toad in the Hole with Yorkshire pudding. The kids may enjoy the fish and chips as well as the sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

Mel’s Drive-In (Hollywood)

Located in the Universal Studios land known as “Hollywood” across from the Horror Make-up Show, this counter service restaurant is a step back in time. Mel’s Drive-In design comes from the classic movie American Graffiti. Adults and kids alike will love the nostalgic restaurant, complete with classic automobiles parked out front—perfect for a photo op. The menu is classic diner food and includes everything from burgers and fries to grilled sandwiches, onion rings and sweet treats like ice-cream floats.

Fast Food Boulevard (World Expo/Springfield area)

Located across from The Simpsons Ride, the Fast Food Boulevard offers a variety of tasty counter service options from some very familiar Simpsons’ characters. Choices include Krusty Burger, Flaming Moe’s, Luigi’s Pizza, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, the Frying Dutchman and Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror. There’s truly something for everyone along Fast Food Boulevard including savory burgers, wraps, salads, chicken, pulled pork, pizza and delicious seafood. Don’t forget to stop at the Lard Lad for a giant donut when you’re ready for dessert.

Louie’s Italian Restaurant (New York)

Step out of the Florida sun and into the air-conditioned comfort of Louie’s Italian Restaurant, located between Beetlejuice and Revenge of the Mummy. The large restaurant serves up traditional Italian specialties like spaghetti with meatballs, pizza and a creamy fettuccine Alfredo as well as succulent turkey legs and sweet gelato for dessert. The kids’ menu even has peanut butter and jelly if you’re dining with a picky eater.

Other must-try counter service restaurants in Universal Studies include the Beverly Hills Boulangerie, Café La Bamba and Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

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Feb 08 2016

Easy Ways to Save Money at Universal Studios Orlando

Budgeting for the perfect vacation can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money during your Universal Studios Orlando vacation. Whether you’re planning a one-day visit to the Universal Studios theme park or a week’s stay at the Universal Studios resort, you can save big in some of the most unexpected ways.

Book a Universal Studios Vacation Package

A Universal Studios vacation package can help save money by allowing you to bundle your theme park tickets with your resort hotel stay and even your flight, if traveling by air. A vacation package with reservations at an exclusive Universal Studios resort hotel provides free transportation to Universal Studios parks and even early admission hours so you can get in on the fun before guests staying off-site.

Opt for the Dining Plan

The Universal Orlando Dining Plan makes it fun, easy and affordable to enjoy the best restaurants throughout Universal Studios. There are different dining plan options including the full Universal Dining Plan with each person in your group receiving one full-service meal, one- quick-service meal, one snack and one non-alcoholic beverage per day. There are more than 100 dining locations that honor the plan throughout Universal Studios.

Staying Off-Site? Look for Coupon Deals

If you’re staying at an off-site hotel during your Orlando visit, look for great coupon deals before beginning your day at Universal Studios. Check with your hotel concierge for coupons good for percentages off merchandise purchased in the Universal Studios park (great for saving on souvenirs) and even for discounted dining vouchers. If you’re a AAA member, remember to bring your card with you to the park to receive a percentage off at various restaurants.

Pack Park Essentials Like Sunscreen

Save yourself money by buying park essentials like sunscreen (a must-have when spending the day in the Florida sun) before you arrive. Make a list the essentials you’ll need for the day before your vacation begins. These should include things like sunscreen, hats, autograph books for character signatures and any baby items needed like diapers and wipes. While many of these items are available throughout the Universal Studios park, it’s more affordable to purchase them before arrival.

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Feb 08 2016

6 Reasons to Stay at Universal Studios Orlando Resort Hotel

Make it a vacation to remember by staying on-site at Universal Studios. Staying at a Universal Studios Orlando resort hotel has multiple benefits plus it puts you in the heart of all the fun and excitement this unique theme park has to offer.

1. Themed Resorts with Character Appearances

Each Universal Studios resort hotel has its own theme. From the 50s and 60s retro themed Cabana Bay resort hotel to the iconic Hard Rock Hotel, there’s something for everyone. Themes are carried throughout each resort hotel, from the lobby to the rooms and pool areas. Plus every resort hotel has special character appearances, perfect for kids of all ages.

2. Early Park Admission into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you’re staying on-site at a Universal Studios resort hotel, you receive early park admission into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Early park admission is one hour before the theme park’s opening hour.

3. Complimentary Transportation

Guest staying at any Universal Studios resort hotel enjoy complimentary transportation to any of the Universal Studios theme parks. In addition, the on-site hotels feature paved walking paths that allow walking access into Universal Studios parks.

4. On-site Child Care

Families staying at a Universal Studios resort hotel may choose the on-site child care facilities. This is a great option for parents who’d like to enjoy a date night dinner during their vacation stay or an afternoon getaway to the spa. The Universal Studios highly-trained staff entertains your little ones with books, board games, arts-and-crafts, movies and more.

5. Complimentary Merchandise Delivery from Parks

It’s easy to find the perfect souvenir to commemorate your vacation when in the Universal Studios theme park. However, it’s often awkward to carry that souvenir around all day on rides. If you’re staying in a Universal Studios resort hotel, you can have that souvenir or any other purchased merchandise delivered back to your room, free of charge. So go ahead grab that adorable stuffed Minion doll, have it sent back to your room and never worry about leaving it behind on a ride.

6. Priority Seating at Select Restaurants

As a Universal Studios resort hotel guest you may be eligible for priority seating at select restaurants through Universal Studios. Check with you hotel concierge for details and to make a dining reservation.

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