5 mistakes I made visiting Universal Orlando: How to save more time, money than me_freckle removal face wash

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5 mistakes I made visiting Universal Orlando: How to save more time, money than me

Eve Chen, USA TODAY·5 min read
Universal's iconic logo serves as a popular backdrop for photos outside Universal Studios Florida.
Universal's iconic logo serves as a popular backdrop for photos outside Universal Studios Florida.

I was not prepared for my most recent trip to Universal Orlando Resort.

I visited Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure numerous times growing up in Florida – and traveled there as an adult – but it had been a few years since my last trip. There was a lot I didn't remember or expect – even as someone who covers parks for a living.

For anyone who has never visited the parks or hasn't gone in a long time, please learn from my mistakes and pack these five things for a smooth (and dry) trip. Your travel companions will thank you.

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It's hard to tell, but we were smiling under our 3D glasses and masks at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida.
It's hard to tell, but we were smiling under our 3D glasses and masks at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida.

1. Pack comfortable shoes (and Band-Aids)

Unlike Disney World, where guests generally have to take some sort of transit between parks (you can walk from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT), you can easily walk between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Guests who purchase two-park tickets may find themselves traversing both parks multiple times in a day.

There's quite a distance to cover before even getting to the parks, if you're not staying on property. That's because Universal CityWalk stands between the parks and the massive parking structure where guests either park or get dropped off. Unless you're staying at one of Universal Orlando's hotels, you have to walk through the entertainment complex to get to the parks.

I packed two pairs of shoes – sneakers and Crocs – in hopes of avoiding blisters in the same spot but managed to get several blisters because neither pair were broken in enough. I didn't pack nearly enough Band-Aids, but First Aid is available at the parks.

Guests who aren't staying on property must walk through Universal CityWalk – a dining, retail and entertainment complex open to the public – to get to the theme parks.
Guests who aren't staying on property must walk through Universal CityWalk – a dining, retail and entertainment complex open to the public – to get to the theme parks.

2. Pack snacks and water bottles

Food can get really expensive really fast. My family of five spent $110 on lunch at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Three Broomsticks and just as much (if not more) on snacks.

(editor:)

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