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Top 10 Reasons to visit Universal on your Disney vacation

You are traveling alllll the way to Disney World and you can’t help but wonder… should you stick to Disney only or venture over to Universal, too? The answer is yes, you should absolutely visit Universal!! Here are our top 10 reasons you should consider including Universal in your Disney vacation.

1. Universal is only a few miles down the road, about a 20-30 minute journey from Disney. Seems a shame to be so close and not check it out!

2. We are Disney people through and through (we are Momsgo2Disney after all), but we have to admit Universal is very cool. You will find rides and characters at Universal that are completely different from anything at Disney. If you are worried about theme park fatigue, you need not because Disney and Universal are completely different experiences. And don't worry, we promise you are not cheating on Disney if you enjoy Universal, too.

3. If you are Harry Potter fans, your kids are, or you have an appreciation for immersive theming then you have to check out the Harry Potter lands at Universal. We promise you won't regret it! Not only are the rides so fun, but seeing Hogwarts in person, walking into Gringott’s, and strolling along Diagon Alley is a spectacular experience that should not be missed. You will feel like you are a character in the books!

4. Are your older kids beginning to enjoy more intense rides and attractions? Universal has these in abundance! From the new VelociCoaster to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, there are all kinds of thrilling rides at Universal.

5. Rider swap is amazing. If you are like our families and have both older and younger children, this is a huge perk. You will be printed a ticket in line that you will exchange when your second group goes on the attraction, and you will get to wait your turn in an air conditioned, comfortable waiting room! Great for escaping the heat with your little one(s) even if they cannot join on the ride.

6. Add express pass to your tickets and you will be walking right on and off most rides at Universal. We have timed the difference and our day with express pass vs. our day without saved us over half our time. Pro tip: Express Pass is included with a stay at a Universal Premier Resort.

7. Volcano Bay is a favorite of our kids! There is a reason Universal refers to Volcano Bay as their third theme park and not just a water park. We love Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, and absolutely think you should check these Disney water parks out as well, but we are big fans of the Tapu Tapu bracelets at VB that keep you from waiting in lines. And the rides and slides are great for all ages!

8. Are your kids Minion fans? Transformers? Super Heroes? Jurassic Park? Mickey and friends are still our kids favorites, but riding Minion Mayhem and meeting super heroes definitely makes their top lists of memorable vacation moments.

9. Everything is walkable. Universal is not as big as Disney World. Everything is much more compact and you can easily get around by walking or using their water taxi or bus services, and with a park to park pass you can ride the Hogwarts Express between theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

10. Experiencing both Disney and Universal on property is a MUST. When you stay on property at Disney World you are inside the Disney bubble, not to mention all the Disney Resort guest perks you receive. The same is true for Universal! Instead of making a day trip, why not add a stay at one of Universal's premier resorts. A stay at Universal Royal Pacific, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel, or Universal's Portofino Bay comes with early entry AND Express Pass on both your check-in and check-out days. Totally worth it to truly experience the best of Universal Orlando!

Do you visit Universal Orlando on your Disney trips? Why or why not? Please comment below, we'd love to hear from you!!


Allyson Marks

Travel Advisor | Blogger

Allyson is an independent travel advisor with Castle Coaches Travel. Her specialty is crafting custom, stress-free vacations for families. Allyson is a former Disney World resort cast member, and currently resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband and 3 children.

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