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Universal Studios Florida

Orlando, Florida

History of Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida opened in May 1990 as Universal's first park after the original Universal Studios in Hollywood. The Florida park abandoned the original's tram tour in favor of a more traditional multi-attraction theme park design. Yet few of these attractions were working on the day the park opened to the press, and initial reports blasted the park as a certain bust. But Universal learned from its PR blunder, and today Universal Studios Florida boasts a line up of innovative movie-themed attractions for visitors of all ages.

How do you get to Universal Studios Florida?

Universal Studios Florida is located in the Universal Orlando Resort, on the southeast side of Orlando, 10 minutes north of Walt Disney World. Take I-4 to the Universal Orlando exit, then follow the signs to the parking structure. From there, you will walk through Universal's CityWalk shopping and dining complex, bearing right to enter Universal Studios Florida.

When is the best time to visit?

The least crowded seasons are from Labor Day to Thanksgiving and from the week after the President's Day holiday (in mid-February) to the start of Spring Break, in mid-March.

No matter when you visit, arrive early, about an hour before the scheduled opening time, to get in place to visit many popular attractions early, before lines build later in the day.

Universal Orlando also hosts the very popular Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure evenings from late September through Halloween. This is a "hard ticket" event that does not include daytime admission to the parks.

Where should I stay?

You can read reader reviews and check room rates for hotels in and near Universal Studios Florida on our Universal Orlando hotels page.

How do I get tickets to Universal Studios Florida?

Check for discount tickets through the auto club, or your school's, employer's or union's activities office. Otherwise, buy your tickets online through Universal's website. In addition to the single- and multi-day Universal passes, Universal also offers a Five-Park Orlando Flex Ticket, which includes unlimited admission to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Wet 'n Wild and Busch Gardens Tampa for two weeks.

Whatever you do, though, buy your tickets before you get to the park. No sense wasting the first couple hours of your first day's visit waiting in line at the ticket booths.

What's new at Universal Studios Florida?

Fear Factor Live is an audience-participation stunt show, patterned after the NBC reality show.

Plan your day at Universal Studios Florida

During busy seasons, USF often opens Shrek 4-D early. So arrive before park opening and try to see that popular show first. Then walk up the street to Revenge of the Mummy and work your way from there around the lagoon, clockwise.

If you have small children, check the day's show schedule for the first Barney show. You also might like the Animal Planet show next to Barney, as well as the other play areas in the KidZone.

Ride and restaurant reservations at Universal Studios Florida

Universal offers a ride reservation system called Universal Express. This is similar to Disney's FastPass, except that Universal offers visitors the chance to buy a book of Express passes at the park's front gate, instead of collecting them in the park one at a time, on a first-come, first-served basis. Also, if you stay at one of the three official Universal Orlando hotels, you get free front-of-the-line access to IoA and USF attractions.

Is Universal Studios Florida safe?

Like at all major theme parks, you'll be safer in Universal Studios Florida than you'll be on the highway driving there. Check our Accident Watch section for recent injury accidents at Universal Studios Florida.

Parents should also be sure to take a look at our list of rides with height restrictions at Universal Studios Florida. For more tips to help ensure that you and your family stay safe, visit our theme park safety tips page.

What's coming next to Universal Studios Florida?

Nothing rumored yet.

However, I have heard a rumour of a new movie being made for Shrek the 4D Adventure, after the announcements of a third and fourth movie have been heard.

This article was submitted by Ashleigh :) on December 9, 2005.