All about Universal Orlando Resort! Where to stay, what to eat, which rides to make a priority, and more.
We first visited Universal and Walt Disney World back in 2017. My husband, Zack and I spent a week between the three Universal parks and one day at Magic Kingdom. During the last day at Universal we decided to upgrade our tickets to an annual pass, so we traveled back to Orlando twice in 2018.
You can read my post about Planning Your First Universal Orlando Vacation here! This post is kind of a piggyback post on my previous one, so check out that one first.
The first time we visited, we stayed at Cabana Bay. During our second trip, we stayed at a hotel on Disney’s property. This time, we stayed a few days at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort then transferred to Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress to be closer to Walt Disney World Resort. I have nothing but amazing things to say about each property!
I absolutely loved staying at Sapphire Falls during our time at Universal. My favorite part? The water taxi!! Rather than walking or taking a shuttle to CityWalk, we just walked downstairs to the dock and hopped on.
Our room was an absolute dream! The theme was tropical and definitely made me feel like we were on island time. The view didn’t hurt either! Another perk we found out about were the refillable cups. We each bought a souvenir cup that could be used for fountain drinks inside Sapphire Falls only. It worked out great for us because we typically stay hydrated with water when we’re in the parks but crave a Diet Coke or Sprite when we get back.
Fun Harry Potter Themed Drinks
As I mentioned in my previous Universal post, I have not been successful in ordering a dairy-free or vegan version of Butterbeer. During our first visit, I had the festive pumpkin juice. This time I tried the Peachtree Fizzing Tea and Tongue Tying Lemon Squash. I think my favorite has to be the latter citrusy option from The Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley.
More Harry Potter Fun…
We are huge Potterheads and definitely spend a bulk of our time between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. I’m just as obsessed with Escape from Gringotts and I cannot wait for the new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Even though we have visited multiple times, each day is so special and fun!
Of course, there’s more to Universal Orlando Resort than Harry Potter! After Gringotts, my favorite ride has to be Revenge of the Mummy. One ride that I enjoyed a lot more this go around was Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. I still haven’t braved Rip Ride Rockit but I’m slowing easing my way in that direction… Guess we need to plan another trip out to Florida!
Have a look at my previous Universal Orlando Resort travel guide for more food options but these are by far my favorite finds, so far! The falafel gyro was perfection, found at Fire Eaters Grill in Island of Adventure. Also in Island of Adventure at The Burger Digs, take a bite of the vegan burger! Rumor has it they have vegan cheese now too. Lastly, the Amatista Cookhouse at Sapphire Falls was nothing short of amazing. The bread was so dreamy, I think we ate a whole loaf between the two of us. I had the veggie curry and was really impressed. Their menu is clearly marked for allergy-friendly dining, which we all know I LOVE. Another thing I love, vegan treats!! Voodoo Donuts at CityWalk has a ton of vegan options, so be sure to stop by there at least once during your stay.
With that, I think I’ll bring this long overdue quick little travel diary to a close. As always, if you have any questions or blog post requests, please leave a comment and let me know! Are you planning a trip to Universal Orlando soon? Tell me what you have planned in the comments. I’m already super jealous!