Universal Studios is usually associated with movie sets, props, backlots, and studio tours. Many people have the perception that Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure are geared towards tweens, teens, and adults. However, my family and I discovered that both parks are fun for the whole family, including a child that is preschool aged, and shouldn’t be crossed off your list for family travel. Indeed, you and your children, regardless of age, will have a blast.
I recently posted the benefits to staying on property while visiting Universal Orlando Resort. The bigger question, though, is whether the whole family, including younger children, will enjoy Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.
We attended the Family Forward retreat, and as a result, received park admission at a discounted rate. My family and I have attended theme parks like Disneyland, Disney World, LEGOLAND California and Knott’s Berry Farm without hesitation. However, because my son is not quite 4 years old, we weren’t sure he was ready for Universal Studios. But while Universal Studios is known for the newer Harry Potter attractions, movie tours, and roller coasters like the Hulk, we quickly discovered that both parks are fun for the whole family, including children that are preschool aged. Here are the reasons why.
Camp Jurassic is located inside Islands of Adventure. My son could easily spend his entire day in this area and was disappointed when I told him it was time to move on to another attraction. From slides and rope bridges, it’s a child’s dream playground. Plus, it’s dinosaur themed!
This area in Islands of Adventure was also another big hit. Seuss Landing has several fun, whimsical rides for younger children, including a train. My son likes Dr. Seuss books, but is now extremely interested in all things Dr. Seuss as a result of our trip.
To add to the fun, there’s a Dr. Seuss performance with characters such as Thing 1, Thing 2, the Lorax, and the Cat in the Hat. The characters are also available for pictures afterward.
There are popular characters in both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. There’s also an area in Islands of Adventure that’s exclusive to superheroes. Who doesn’t love superheroes?!
Your whole family, including younger children, can take pictures with popular superheroes like Spiderman and Captain America.
And then there’s Rogue!
Yes, there is a parade! It’s at Universal Studios Florida and has several Nickelodeon characters. My son loves parades, and SpongeBob Squarepants, so you can imagine how excited he was to see the parade.
Dora and Diego were also in the house!
A Day in the Park with Barney
Ah, the purple dinosaur. Some people love him. Some people not so much. We like Barney, and we were impressed with this show located in Universal Studios Florida. Parents can sit on benches, while children sit on the floor. Barney and his friends, like Baby Bop, make appearances and sing songs from the TV show. My son, along with other children, stood up several times throughout the show and danced along with the music. And Barney was available for pictures after the show! There’s also a fun play area outside of the theater.
This is a play area in Universal Studios Florida. Children love it, but be prepared to get soaked. Word to the wise, don’t take your camera in this area. It may get soaked, and may never recover. I may know from personal experience (thanks to my husband). Also, be sure to take an extra pair of clothes for your child. I’m glad we did. My son’s clothes were soaked, so we changed him afterward. But he loved it.
I feel that SpongeBob should be in his own category, especially since my son is currently obsessed with all things SpongeBob. This could easily have been its own attraction. Once my son found out there was a SpongeBob store, all he wanted to do was go there and see it for himself.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this is fun for the whole family. Hogwarts Express is a train ride that connects Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Florida and vice versa. If you want to take a ride, make sure that you buy a park hopper ticket for both parks, otherwise you will not be able to experience it. In my opinion, it’s well worth it. My son doesn’t know anything about Harry Potter, but he loves the train ride. It was hard to capture it on film, but needless to say, this is something you and your family should experience for yourselves.
As for the tweens, teens, and adults, there’s plenty of things to do. I’ll be writing soon about the newer attractions like Skull Island: Reign of Kong. While younger children aren’t ready to go on some of these rides, either because they aren’t tall enough, or are scared, families have several options available, beginning with child swap sitting areas.