Universal Orlando Resort may be a prime family vacation destination, but that doesn't mean it isn't a perfect romantic getaway for frogs and their significant others. Whether you want to spend a quiet evening away from the tadpoles during your trip or just want to visit as a party of two, this resort has no shortage of restaurants, rides and experiences to make you and your partner feel like the only two people in the world. Without further ado, Leap and I are hoppy to present a lovebirds' — er, frogs' — guide to Universal Orlando!
Romantic Things to Do at Universal Orlando Theme Parks
Battle It Out on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
Nothing heats up a romance like a little friendly competition. Grab your laser guns and start blasting because a criminal alien transport ship has crash-landed in the middle of New York City and it's up to your and your fellow trainees to rid the streets of extraterrestrial scum. Few things are sweeter than the taste of victory and being able to rack up more points than your partner. Keep your phone on you, take a photo of those final scores and make a scoreboard to keep the competition trip after trip. A few tips to keep to yourself:
- Hold down the trigger throughout your mission to initiate an endless shoot cycle.
- Aim for aliens in disguise — they're worth more points.
- Zap high-scoring aliens multiple times.
- Shoot anything that glows.
- And, of course, PUSH THE RED BUTTON!
You got this, Galaxy Defender!
Get Your Hearts Racing on the Biggest Thrills
Snuggle up by your partner's side on Universal Orlando's three biggest roller coasters: The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and Jurassic World VelociCoaster. These rip-roaring coasters with their heart-stopping drops, hair-raising inversions and breathtaking launches are perfect ways to get the adrenaline rushing and the blood pumping. (Plus, if you have tadpoles, your trip without them might be the only time you can tackle these thrills together.) Now, be honest — who screams the loudest?
Escape to Island Paradise at Universal's Volcano Bay
If you're going to Volcano Bay, get there right when the park opens. The early bird — er, frog, once again — absolutely does get the worm (or fly). The best lounge chairs on Waturi Beach go quickly so you'll want to arrive as soon as you can if you want the ideal spot — whether that's right at the edge of the wave pool with unfrogettable views of Krakatau, the volcano, or under one of the few shaded structures which provide protection from the intense sun. (If you're looking for a little more privacy, you can always splurge for Premium Seating or rent a cabana!) Don't leave without soaking up some rays on the Kopiko Wai Winding River. Grab some tubes and each other's hands as you make your way through the park's tropical landscape. Stargazer's Cavern is truly the perfect place to share a kiss.
Share a Magical Moment in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Muggles and wizards alike can't help but be spellbound by the beauty of the Wizarding World. Share a Butterbeer (or try one of the potent potions at Hog's Head) and stroll through Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley once the sun has set and the shops and restaurants are all lit up. Watch in awe as the infamous Gringotts Ukrainian Ironbelly lights up the night with its fire or celebrate your house pride with the dazzling Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. With sparks in the air and your hearts, you won't be convinced you're not under the influence of Amortentia (which, by the way, you can grab a love potion at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes).
Romantic Things to Do at Universal CityWalk Orlando
Play a Round of Putt-Putt at Hollywood Drive-In Golf
Combining the playful innocence of mini-golf and the nostalgic intimacy of drive-in movies, Hollywood Drive-In Golf at CityWalk is the perfect date night activity! Choose between The Haunting of Ghostly Greens and Invaders from Planet Putt, or play all 36 holes for a daring "double feature." While this course is open day and night, Leap and I love hitting the links when the sun goes down and the holes are aglow. He might have me beat out on the real course, but I shine when confronted with things that go bump in the night and unidentified flying objects.
Split a Shake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium has a menu "choc"-full of delectable waffles, fresh salads, savory hamburgers, delicious French toast dishes and much, much more, but let's be honest: You're here for the desserts. Jacques' Specialty Milkshakes and Sundaes go hard and each of them is just as prime for sharing as the next. Indulge in favorite desserts with the Cookie Jar or Brownie shakes, or opt for a richer concoction such as the Red Velvet or Strawberry Cheesecake shakes. Enter chocolate heaven with the Chocolate Brownie Bark or Brookies, Cookies & Cream sundaes, or opt for all-American classics such as the Banana Cream Pie or Apple Pie sundaes. Want to try something even more adventurous? Order one of the crafted libations such as the Old Chocolate Fashioned, the Chocolate Cherry Mule, the Macadamia Chocolate Cherry or the Chocolate Coffee Banana.
Catch a Romantic Comedy at Universal Cinemark
I mean, this is self-explanatory. Sit back on a luxury recliner with extendable footrests, relax and catch a new release on one of Cinemark's 20 big screens with state-of-the-art projection and sound systems. Stock up on snacks and drinks at the concession stands and full bar. Grab a meal beforehand at your pick from the variety of restaurants at CityWalk, and enjoy free regular parking with a purchase of two or more matinee movie tickets from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and free self-parking for all guests after 6 p.m. (not valid during Halloween Horror Nights).
Relax by the Lagoon After Dark
There is no better way to end a night than by strolling along the water's edge or grabbing a seat on the grassy steps and watching the water taxis sail by. All the bright lights of the entertainment district reflect on the water, making the view even more beautiful. Grab some drinks or a box of doughnuts (fast and easy with Voodoo Doughnut's mobile pickup kiosk) and enjoy each other's company.
Romantic Things to Do at Universal Orlando Hotels
Explore the Italian Riviera at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
If you're wondering what the most romantic hotel on property is, look no further than Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. A picture-perfect replica of the beautiful seaside village of Portofino, Italy, this hotel is the personification of la dolce vita. Split a pizza pie, share a bottle of wine or indulge in a cup of gelato as you take in breathtaking waterfront views. Be serenaded by strolling musicians during an authentic Italian meal at Mama Della's Ristorante. Get pampered together during a side-by-side Couple's Massage in a suite reserved for two at Mandara Spa. Dance the night away on the Harbor Piazza as talented singers perform classic opera and "popera" favorites during Musica della Notte. After all, Italian is the language of love.
Unwind at Universal Orlando's Most Unique Bars
There are plenty of places around property to grab a drink and a light bite, but Leap and I have our favorite spots at the resort's sole Preferred hotel and the newest Prime Value option. Whether you consider yourself a rum novice or aficionado, Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is a stylish watering hole with a wall full of rums (including rare and vintage labels), delicacies from all across the Caribbean and Mexico and a rum specialist at your service to take you on your own tasting journey or Rum Lab cruise. Come on a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy some live entertainment!
Over at Universal's Aventura Hotel, head on up to the 17th floor where you'll find Bar 17 Bistro, a lounge featuring stunning views of Universal's three theme parks and the Central Florida skyline. With its Asian fusion-inspired menu, deliciously fruity custom cocktails and plenty of comfy sofas and lounge seating, you may never want to head back down.
Splurge on a Romantic Italian Dinner
While most things on these menus aren't outrageously pricey, there are two restaurants you'll want to hit up if you're looking for some fine dining on Universal property. A famous New York steakhouse that reflects the best of Italian-American heritage, The Palm at Universal's Hard Rock Hotel serves up superb and satisfying dishes such as prime-aged stakes and Nova Scotia lobsters. You can also indulge in one of their other delectable seafood or pasta dishes and sip on some wine or signature cocktails. This intimate dining experience is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner 13 years in a row!
Back over at Portofino Bay, Bice Ristorante serves up sensational Northern Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. Here you'll find handcrafted pasta used in dishes such as the rich Capellaccio, hearty fish and meat entrees such as Scaloppine di Vitello "Piccata" and a wine cellar full of bottles that perfectly complement each and every dish. Be sure to save room for one of many decadent desserts crafted by a pastry chef each day, including Tiramisù della BiCE.
Walk Down the Aisle at the Ultimate Vacation Destination
The most romantic thing you could possibly do at Universal Orlando Resort is tying the knot. Whether you're looking for an intimate elopement or an extravagant event, Universal offers incredible venues at four of their resort hotels — each with a professional staff at the ready to help you plan and create your dream event. Say "I do" with a seaside view at Portofino Bay. Host a celebration that hits all the right notes at Hard Rock Hotel. Take the plunge in Polynesian paradise at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Let two hearts become one in the heart of the tropics at Sapphire Falls. No matter where you choose to say your vows, Universal Orlando is hoppy to host you and your loved ones for an unfrogettable event.
Have you done a couple's trip to Universal Orlando Resort? What experiences have you and your partner cherished most? Leap and I would love to hear about them!