Children of all ages dream about visiting the magical Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Where else can you hang out with your favorite Disney characters, ride thrilling roller coasters, experience world-class entertainment, and immerse yourself in the wonder of Disney? Disney World Resort has been one of the most well-loved and most-visited family vacation destinations since it opened in 1971. However, it is not the only theme park resort in the area. With Universal Orlando adding The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, it has become just as popular. If you’re making the trip to Florida for your next family vacation, it makes sense to plan a visit to both of the monumental theme park resorts: Disney World and Universal Orlando. Combined Universal Studios and Disney World ticket packages can help you get your money’s worth, and they offer something for every member of the family.
What Does Each Resort Offer?
While Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando both offer fun for all ages, Universal Orlando caters more to bigger kids, with fewer attractions for small children. If you have older kids and teenagers who love a thrill ride, you’ll definitely want to add Universal Orlando to your vacation itinerary. At Disney World, you’ll find the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Universal Orlando offers Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Disney World, notably Magic Kingdom, caters to younger visitors. While many rides and attractions at Universal Orlando have height requirements, Disney rides are more accessible to all ages. If you have any Harry Potter fans in your family, you can explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. For Diagon Alley, head to Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure hosts Hogsmeade. Character visits are ideal for younger kids and true fans of the films. At Disney World, you’ll be able to meet and greet with characters from Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars films. You’ll find characters like the Minions, Marvel Superheroes, The Simpsons, and SpongeBob at Universal Orlando.
Transportation Between Resorts
While there is no shared transportation between the parks of Disney World and Universal Orlando, there are convenient ways of getting around. Renting a car gives your family much freedom, but you must consider parking fees. Ride-share companies, including Uber and Lyft, are available for use between the parks. Adding transportation vouchers to your Universal Studios and Disney World ticket packages is also possible. Many Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort hotels provide transportation shuttles.
4 Tips for Visiting Both Resorts
1. Extend Your Vacation Time
If you add Universal Orlando Resort to a Disney World vacation, you will want to give your family time to enjoy all the parks available. The time you spend at each resort is up to you, but a good recommendation is a 4-day 3-night Disney World vacation package and then at least two full days exploring Universal Orlando. This itinerary gives you a full day at each of the six major theme parks. Disney World Resort comprises four theme parks, two water parks, and golf and mini-golf courses. With everything to see and do, spending more of your time exploring Disney World than at Universal Orlando makes sense.
2. Book with a Travel Agency that Works with Both Resorts
If you have decided to book a package that includes both Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando, choosing a travel agency that works with both resorts is important. Get Away Today is one of those travel agencies. Planning the perfect family vacation will include booking theme park tickets, hotel stays, transportation, restaurants, researching local activities, and more, and your travel agency must be familiar with everything in the Orlando area.
3. Arrange Convenient Stay
If you plan to visit the parks at Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando on your next vacation, you will need a convenient place to stay. Each resort has its own associated hotels, which provide easy transportation, great dining options, and other amenities. If you plan more than one full day at Universal Orlando, consider booking a different hotel or resort for your time there. As mentioned, transportation between Disney and Universal can be tricky. Deciding on one stay for your entire vacation or breaking it up is something your travel agent can help you with.
4. Relax and Enjoy the Experience
Remember that vacation should be relaxing and enjoyable. Try not to overthink the planning process, and lean on the expertise of your travel agent. Even after the tickets are purchased and the hotels booked, you can still upgrade and adjust your package. If you’re worried about timing and being able to see and experience everything both resorts have to offer, you may consider adding Express Passes at Universal Orlando and Genie+ to your tickets at Walt Disney World.