Today marks day 99 until our trip to DisneyWorld
Like the Independent Guide to Walt Disney World, the book is available in either paperback or Kindle format. The paperback version retails for £8.99 and the kindle version for £4.99. Both also have black and white images included in the guide to keep the costs of publication down. I don’t think that black and white images detracts from the usefulness of this book at all.
The Independent Guide to Universal Orlando is broken down into 18 different sections covering everything from ticket information, how to get there, the different parks, where to stay and plenty more.
As a complete novice to Universal Orlando, I read this book as an interested sometime visitor rather than using it as a planning guide for my next trip. I have to say it has opened my eyes to what Universal Orlando has to offer and a lot of it I didn’t realise. Visiting is now definitely on my to see list.
In 1990 Universal Studios opened in Orlando rivalling Disney’s own Magic Kingdom and MGM Studios (now known as Hollywood Studios). Universal started expanding in 1995 when they built a second theme park known as Islands Of Adventures. It would seem that the expansion is set to continue as Universal have been in the news a lot lately with rumours of extra land being acquired near the Universal Studios plot.
The Independent Guide to Universal Orlando covers a section on future expansions, and there seems to be some great future additions such as Saphire Falls Resort (Summer 2016), King Kong attraction (Summer 2016), Volcano Bay Waterpark (Summer 2017) which will cover around 30 acres. Also planned for the future is Fast and Furious Ride (2017) and Jimmy Fallon Attraction (2017).
Tickets for the parks can be bought by the day, or multi days. The Independent Guide to Universal Orlando talks you through all the different options which can be a mine field if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or how long you need to or should visit the parks. If you’ve never been to the large theme parks then it’s easy to get lost and this is where the Independent Guides really come into their own with their clear and factual advice. I already know a lot more than I did and feel that I have gained a slight head start when it comes to booking our Universal Orlando trip in the future.
Where should you stay if you are planning a holiday to Universal? The guide book talks you through a high variety of options covering each resort individually with their pricing structure and how close to the parks they are etc. There are benefits to staying “on site” such as Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a highly popular attraction), and complimentary water taxis or busses to name a few.
It’s quite common that if you are visiting Walt Disney World, then you may be visiting Universal Studios as well. The Independent Guide To Universal Orlando covers the journeys between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios which is very handy to know when you’re far from home and not sure of the cheapest way to get between the two.
With some of the larger rides and attractions at Universal Orlando, it’s a common misconception that it’s not suitable for smaller children and a lot of people I have spoken to have decided to wait to visit Universal until their children are older. The guide book has a section on all the parks have to offer for smaller children and it’s a lot more than I first thought.
The Independent Guide to Universal Orlando also covers all the rides, attractions, places to eat, how to get around, as well as how long you may expect wait times to be on all of the attractions. One top tip I found out by reading the book is that if you are riding the Hogwarts Express which goes between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, you will need a valid park ticket for both parks. I’m sure it’s clearly signposted at the parks but imagine waiting in line for around 60 minutes only to have to travel back again.
This book as well as the Independent Guide to Walt Disney World will become a very useful tool for my holiday planning and will also be part of my hand luggage on a future trip when we go to Universal. The Independent Guide to Universal Orlando is printed when news and updates happen in the park so you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be buying the most up to date version when you purchase which I think is a great selling point for a guide book.
The guide books in the series have become so much more for me than just a guide book for the current year. They contain so much information that I also know if I don’t visit Universal Orlando until 2017 or even 2018, the guide book will still provide me with some great tips and information. Well worth the price.
Disclosure – we received the guide book free of charge but all opinions are our own
Disclosure – contains affiliate links