Each year, thousands of visitors descend on Universal Studios in the Spring. They’re looking to escape the winter, get a break from school and work and enjoy some quality family time. Just because Spring Break ranks as one of the busiest times of the year for the park, doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Check out these tips on enjoying Spring Break at Universal no matter how crowded it gets:
1. Download the Universal Studios App
It’s not only free, the Universal Studios app is a must-have for your Spring Break trip to Universal. The app shows you the wait times for all the rides and attractions. You can also set up alerts for all the rides to inform you when wait times decrease. Veteran visitors recommend riding the most-popular rides first thing in the morning or closer to closing. The app lets you check ride times, so you can plan your ride schedule accordingly. The app also lets you purchase food ahead of time, buy souvenirs and get park updates, all of which will save you lots of time.
2. Get Universal Express Passes
Unlike Disney FastPass, Universal’s Express Passes are not free, but are often worth the extra cost. They cover (almost) all the rides and offer true front-of-the-line privileges. The cost of the passes varies depending on the time of the year, busyness of the park and demand for the passes. You can purchase Express Passes before you go or visit an Express Pass kiosk in the park after you arrive. Express Passes are also available for purchase through the Universal Studios app. If you don’t want to pony up the money, you can use the Virtual Line feature via the app. Available on certain rides and attractions, Virtual Line lets you choose a time later in the day to return and ride without a wait.
3. Come Early and Stay Late
Be sure to arrive at the parks well before the official opening time. Oftentimes, Universal Studios will open 15 to even 60 minutes beforehand, giving you extra time in the park. This also gives you a chance to get in line for the most popular rides before the crowds come. Staying late also offers more opportunities to ride your favorite rides, as most of the crowds head home at dinnertime.
4. Book Ahead of Time
You can purchase your tickets at the gate, but then you run the risk of standing in even more lines before you even get into the park. Purchase your tickets ahead of time from the Universal Studios website or on the app. You can also buy from a reputable third-party seller like Undercover Tourist or MouseSavers. To avoid waiting for a table at mealtime, make reservations at the sit-down restaurants. Orlando Informer has compiled a list of all the restaurants in Universal and the contact numbers for reservations.
5. Have a Plan
Universal Studios is a diverse theme park with attractions that appeal to everyone from toddlers to teenagers to adults. Pick a few rides that are must-dos and start with those. Use the map feature on the Universal website or app to plan out the best route to get to the rides you want to do first. It’s also important to be flexible, especially during Spring Break. Casiola’s vacation rentals are all close to the parks, so you can easily take an afternoon break to come back to the house to nap or relax.