Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida was Universal's first Orlando theme park, opening in 1990. And while you've come to Orlando, your visit begins in Hollywood: The park is themed around movies, entertainment, and bringing the silver screen to life, from the lovable Minions of the Despicable Me films to the towering machines of Transformers, and everything in between.
Hovering over the main section of Diagon Alley, the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon perched atop Gringotts is hard to miss. Easier to miss is the fire that it breathes from time to time. A few pointers on getting the best view:
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure opened in 1999 as part of an expansion that also brought Universal CityWalk and the destination's first on-site hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, turning Universal Studios Florida into the broader Universal Orlando Resort. It's organized into eight islands, each themed around a particular story, such as Marvel Super Hero Island, Seuss Landing, or Jurassic Park. Guests can enter the park at the front gate, or by taking the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster, one of Marvel Super Hero Island's other big attractions, is impossible to miss. It towers 110 feet over the city, features seven upside-down portions, and begins by accelerating riders to 40 mph in just 2 seconds, pressing them back into their seats with the same amount of force as the Earth's gravity, to simulate the emotions of "Hulking out." Despite all the inversions and a top speed of 67 mph, the ride is silky smooth. That's thanks to a renovation in 2015 and 2016 that saw the coaster rebuilt from scratch, so you can feel what it's like to be a super-powered bruiser without ending up with actual bruises.
Book a travel package through AAA & enjoy exclusive benefits
AAA members receive exclusive pricing and special benefits when they book a Universal Orlando Resort vacation package through AAA, including activity credits, priority seating, in-park discounts on food and merchandise, and more. Packages can be booked online or at a AAA branch.