Flora Frog's Note: Today's post comes from UCT customer and lifestyle blogger Leah with Five for the Road. She and her family hopped to Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort on their recent vacation. This is her last post with us. Hop back to the blog to read all of her other trip reports. Thanks, Leah!
I love visiting the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks. Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay offer some of the best family-friendly fun (say that fast three times!) in the world. We love arriving early and staying all day. These parks are full of immersive theming and high-energy attractions. In case you didn't know, Undercover Tourist sells discount Universal Orlando Resort theme park tickets. With days full of go-go-go, we like to take a day off. We've discovered things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks. Taking a break is a great way to discover all that it has to offer.
These are my top seven things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks. Use your time away from the thrills to relax and keep everyone in the family happy. Sleep in a little but not too late! Yes, there are lots of things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks. Don't miss out on the fun.
7 Things to Do at Universal Orlando Besides the Theme Parks
1. Hop Around the Hotel Resort Pools
Nothing says relaxing like sitting by the resort pool. Universal offers pool hopping privileges to its hotel guests. If you are staying on-site, head over to any of the six hotels. Each one has a unique feature pool or pools. Many of them have their own kids play area. If you're an on-site hotel guest, feel free to dive in! We loved Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. It has an awesome dive tower-style water slide for kids and adults. Check out Universal's Hard Rock Hotel for underwater music and a fun atmosphere. If you find a resort hotel to your liking, consider staying on your next trip! Undercover Tourist sells discount Universal Orlando Resort hotels.
2. Have a Family Mini-Golf Challenge
We are a mini-golf loving family! Universal Orlando has two terrific mini-golf courses at the Hollywood Drive-In Golf. Choose between The Haunting of Ghostly Greens and Invaders from Planet Putt. Don't worry about the spooky names. Neither was scary for the kids. In fact, each one offers an in-course scavenger hunt! Hollywood Drive-In Golf is located at Universal CityWalk. Plan this as an early morning activity or later in the evening. This will help you avoid the hottest parts of the day. During our August visit, we played early in the day. Smart move.
3. Escape the Heat at Galaxy Bowl
Looking for some indoor fun to escape the heat? Cool off at Galaxy Bowl at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This was our first time bowling as a family, and the kids loved it! Galaxy Bowl has bowling balls and shoe rentals for all sizes. Grab lunch at its full-service restaurant. After one game, it will be on your list of favorite things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks. This is also a great rainy day activity.
4. Escape to an Interactive Dinner Show
After a day relaxing by the pool, we enjoy dressing up for a nice dinner. A neat way to dine is at one of the on-site interactive dinner shows. For Hawaiian fun, head over to the Wantilan Luau at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. (You can also read my review of the Wantilan Luau at Universal Orlando right here!)
The newest dinner show is at Universal's Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Hotel. Caribbean Carnaval is an island-inspired, interactive dinner show full of good food and fun. Dance parties make this a fully interactive experience. If boogieing your night away isn't one of your favorite things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks, I can't help you!
Note: Reservations are highly recommended for these fun dinner shows.
5. Enjoy Your Resort Activities
One of the benefits of staying on-site at Universal is the great activities provided during your stay. Each resort offers different ways for you to pass the time and relax.
Enjoy an afternoon dance party or beach bingo. Spend time at one of the many restaurants and quick-service eateries. Enjoy an evening movie by the pool. You'll find different activities day or night! Check the resort schedule when you check in.
One of our favorite things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks is meeting characters. Each night, Universal characters visit a resort lobby and spend time meeting with guests. This is an awesome perk. The look on my kids’ faces was priceless when they saw Homer Simpson walking around the lobby.
6. Make a Character Meals Reservation at an On-Site Resort
Looking for more time with your favorite characters? Make reservations at one of the character meals at the resort restaurants. Hard Rock, Loews Portofino and Loews Royal Pacific offer breakfast and dinner options. Enjoy a sit-down meal while meeting some of your favorite friends. You may meet Despicable Me characters, Scooby Doo and Woody Woodpecker.
7. Eat and Play at Universal CityWalk
Universal CityWalk is Universal Orlando's entertainment district. You walk through it to get to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. It has something for everyone! Enjoy an amazing dinner at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. Check out Mommy Frog's review of this amazing chocolate wonderland. This is one of our top things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks. It has great food and drinks. Of course, the milkshakes are outstanding!
We like checking out the shops and endless food options. You can have a quick meal at Moe’s or Burger King’s Burger Bar. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is a fun place for parrotheads. Stop in at the Universal Studios Store for souvenirs or pick up a coffee at Starbucks. Check out more ideas in our guide to Universal CityWalk Orlando.
There are so many fun things to do at Universal Orlando besides the theme parks. So spend some time visiting the family-friendly activities on your next trip!
Related: Best Table Service Restaurants at Universal CityWalk Orlando
Leah writes the family lifestyle blog Five for the Road. She shares her family travel adventures, planning tips, and everyday family fun to inspire families to get out there and enjoy the moments. You can find her spending time with her family or planning their next adventure. Follow along at Five for the Road, Instagram, and Facebook.
While there's plenty of things to do outside the gates, hopping inside the theme parks is where it's at. Grab your discount Universal Orlando theme park tickets! Need help planning your visit? Check out our planning resources, including our downloadable Quick-Start Guide!