UO Fan Guide to Universal Studios Florida: Rides, Shows, Play Areas, Dining, Shops, and More
What Is Universal Studios Florida?
Universal Studios Florida is one of the largest and most popular theme parks in the world. Many of the attractions in this Orlando park are based on hit films, TV shows, books, and pop culture icons.
Universal Studios Florida, also known as USF, is one of two theme parks in Universal Orlando Resort. (The other one is Universal's Islands of Adventure.)
The Universal Studios Florida park opened in 1990 and has grown considerably over the last 20+ years. Universal Studios Florida now contains 13 rides (with one more under construction), more than a dozen shows, several indoor and outdoor play areas, almost 30 restaurants, multiple food carts, tons of merchandise kiosks, and more than 30 different stores.
The park is split up into eight different areas, each with its own name, theme, and combination of attractions. The eight areas are:
- Production Central
- Woody Woodpecker's KidZone
- New York
- San Francisco
- World Expo
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
Things in this UO Fan Guide to Universal Studios Florida
In this UO Fan Guide, we'll explore each area of Universal Studios Florida in turn and take a look at every ride, show, play area, restaurant, and gift shop in the park. You'll also see a list of the rides and shows that accept Express Passes (and the ones that do not) and get tips on touring the park and saving money on your Universal Studios Florida tickets.
Production Central in Universal Studios Florida
Production Central is the first area that guests enter when they walk through the Universal Studios Florida gates. The towering Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster tends to draw the eye, but if you look around, you'll see a lot of large soundstages and show buildings. That's because Universal Studios Florida is a real working production facility where TV and movie shoots take place. Some of the things that have been filmed here include Telemundo's La Voz Kids, TNA's IMPACT Wresting, game shows, and talk shows.
Production Central also has more rides than any other area of Universal Studios Florida. These rides draw big crowds and have longer than average wait times, partly because they're near the gates, and partly because they are some of the most popular Universal Studios Florida rides outside of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.
The other big thing that you'll find in Production Central is the Music Plaza, a 15,000 square foot concert stage and event lawn. Many concerts, including the spring Mardi Gras concerts, are held in the Music Plaza.
Rides in Production Central
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: This ride combines a 3D mini-movie with motion simulator seats in a theater setting. Based on wait times alone, it is one of the most popular rides in Universal Studios Florida.
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit: This is the tallest roller coaster in Universal Studios Florida. It has a 17-story vertical lift hill and a track that is almost 4,000 feet long. Top speed is 65 miles per hour. You can choose a song to rock out to while you ride.
- Shrek 4-D: Similar to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Shrek 4-D mixes an animated film with motion simulator seats in a theater setting. The mini-movie for this ride is set between Shrek 1 and Shrek 2.
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D: The Transformers ride is a 3D motion simulator based on the Transformers film. The ride vehicle, a Transformer named Evac, takes guests through a story-based track that features 3D projections of Transformers characters.
Dining in Production Central
- Universal Studios Classic Monsters Café: Inspired by Universal's classic movie monsters, the Universal Studios Classic Monsters Café contains lots of movie memorabilia along with a menu containing pizza, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, burgers, and salads.
- Bone Chillin': This beverage stand shares a theme with the nearby Universal Studios' Classic Monsters Café. Offerings include frozen drinks, soda, water, beer, cocktails and snacks like pretzels, and churros.
Shops in Production Central
- It's a Wrap: Located near the exit, It's a Wrap is where you pick up your packages at the end of the day. This store is also a good place to get discounts on older theme park merchandise and souvenirs being phased out of the park.
- On Location: This shop is where you activate your PhotoConnect Package or pick up your prints. On Location also sells camera and film supplies, sunscreen, hats, and other items you might have forgotten to bring to the park.
- Shrek's Ye Olde Souvenir Shoppe: The Shrek 4-D ride exits into Shrek's Ye Olde Souvenir Shoppe. Mostly everything in this store is Shrek-themed, including toys, apparel, and souvenirs.
- Super Silly Stuff: The Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride exits into this Minion themed gift show, which sells apparel, toys, books, and other souvenirs.
- Supply Vault: TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D exits into this gift shop. Supply Vault sells N.E.S.T. and Transformers themed collectibles, art, apparel, toys, and souvenirs.
- Universal Studios Store: The Universal Studios Store is the ultimate Universal Studios Florida gift shop. You'll find plenty of apparel with the USF name and logo on it as well as themed merchandise from around the park, including Transformers, Minion, Harry Potter, Simpsons, and MIB merchandise.
- Studio Sweets: The Studio Sweets store is connected to the Universal Studios Store. It sells a variety of tasty baked goods as well as bulk candies.
Hollywood in Universal Studios Florida
The Hollywood section of Universal Studios Florida contains many different landmarks and building facades from the real Hollywood in California. Even the street names, including Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard, are Hollywood inspired.
The Golden Age of Hollywood is heavily represented through actual buildings that you can visit, including the legendary Pantages Theatre; the Brown Derby Hat Shop, which is shaped just like the famous California restaurant; and the Garden of Allah Villas, which are designed to look like the famous Hollywood Garden of Allah hotel, the home of many Golden Age celebrities and literary figures.
Parts of the Hollywood area also pay homage to Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills. You can even get your picture taken in front of a Beverly Wilshire Hotel façade or a faux Hollywood sign.
Rides in Hollywood
- There aren't any rides in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida.
Shows in Hollywood
- Studio Brass Band: This live band of performers plays well-known and popular TV and movie theme songs.
- Terminator 2: 3-D: This combines a James Cameron directed 3D film, special effects, and live action. The show takes place in a comfy, air-conditioned theater.
- Universal Orlando Horror Make-Up Show: One of the longest running shows in the park, Universal Orlando Horror Make-Up Show teaches guests how special effects are achieved through make-up and other tools. The show is more comedy than horror.
Dining in Hollywood
- Beverly Hills Boulangerie: This Hollywood restaurant is the place to go to get treats like muffins, cookies, and cheesecake. Beverly Hills Boulangerie also has sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Café La Bamba: This restaurant, inspired by the famous Hollywood Hotel, has better than normal theme park fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Specialties include spicy burritos, chipotle ribs, and chimichurri skirt steak. On select mornings, Café La Bamba also offers Character Dining, which includes a breakfast buffet and meet and greets with some of Universal's characters.
- Mel's Drive-In: Based on the famous restaurant in the American Graffiti film, Mel's Drive-In is the place to go to pose with classic cars and get 1950s era American food like cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
- Schwab's Pharmacy: This popular ice cream shop is modeled after the famous Sunset Boulevard drug store where movie stars hung out and sipped on sodas and milkshakes. The menu includes beverages and ice cream treats made with Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
Shops in Hollywood
- Brown Derby Hat Shop: Hats, hats, and more hats can be found in this hat-shaped store modeled after the famous Brown Derby restaurant in California.
- Cyber Image: Terminator 2: 3-D exits into this excellent shop which contains not only T2 merchandise, but also some really cool collectibles from other franchises like Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, and DC Comics.
- Hello Kitty Store: The Hello Kitty Store is one of the newest stores in Universal Studios Florida. This large store sells Hello Kitty themed merchandise and even offers occasional opportunities for meet and greets with Hello Kitty.
- The Film Vault: This store, which opened in 2014, sells TV shirts, cups, towels, blankets, and other merchandise inspired by classic films like Back to the Future, E.T: The Extra Terrestrial, Jaws, Scarface, and The Breakfast Club as well as newer films like Pitch Perfect and Sharknado.
- Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop: The Williams of Hollywood store opened in Universal Studios Florida in 2015. It sells items that have been used as props in the theme park, as well as items that are just old and unique. New items are added to the store almost daily.
Woody Woodpecker's KidZone in Universal Studios Florida
Woody Wodpecker's KidZone is an 8-acre section of Universal Studios Florida that was specifically designed to appeal to kids between the ages of 5 and 12. This area of the park officially opened in 1999 to balance out some of the thrill rides with kid-friendly shows and other attractions for the younger set of guests.
One of the new rides in this area, Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster, was the first roller coaster designed to be safe enough for a three year old to ride. Woody Woodpecker's KidZone is also the only spot in the park to find indoor and outdoor play areas. If you have kids, you should plan on spending a few hours in this area of Universal Studios Florida. If you don't have kids, you will still want to stop by to ride E.T. Adventure, the oldest ride in the park.
Rides in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone
- E.T. Adventure: This dark ride takes guests to E.T.'s home planet, the Green Planet. E.T. Adventure opened with the rest of Universal Studios Florida in 1990.
- Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster: This is a great roller coaster for first timers or guests who don't meet the height requirement for some of the other rides in Universal Studios Florida. The peak of Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster is 28 feet in the air, and the top speed is 24 miles per hour.
Shows in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone
- A Day in the Park with Barney: As the name implies, this show involves spending time with Barney the purple dinosaur in a park-like setting. The show incorporates a sing-along and offers a post-show meet and greet with Barney and friends.
- Animal Actors on Location: The stars of this animal-themed comedy show are dogs, cats, birds, and other animals that have appeared in movies and TV shows. Some examples include the dog from Men in Black and the bird from Ace Venture: Pet Detective.
Play Areas in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone
- Fievel's Playland: Fievel's Playland is an outdoor playground that consists of oversized props from the animated American Tail movies starring everyone's favorite mouse Fievel Mousekewitz. Kids are allowed and encouraged to crawl and climb on the props, which include a gigantic cowboy hat, boot, cow skull, tin cans, and a 30-foot net-like spider web. For those who want to get wet, there are fountains to splash in and a 3-story, 200-foot water slide. The water slide is open to all ages - and many adults crawl on a raft and slide down with their child.
- Curious George Goes to Town: This interactive outdoor playground is based on the Curious George book series. Highlights include a foam ball pit, known as the Man in the Big Yellow Hat's Ball Factory, and an Animal Show tent with interactive activities for younger kids. Water cannons and hoses, along with a pair of 500-gallon buckets, make this a very wet play area for kids and oblivious potential victims who just happen to be wandering around looking like dry prey. There is also a water-based obstacle course guaranteed to make a splash.
- Barney's Backyard: This small indoor play area is perfectly suited for really little kids. Barney's Backyard can be accessed after experiencing A Day in the Park with Barney or by walking through a special entrance near The Barney Store (a gift shop). The activities in this play area are very interactive. Kids can climb, crawl, and dance, or play with sand and water. There is also a train that allows them to climb aboard, and if the timing is right, get a picture with Barney. Some of the activities in this play area are marked for "little ones only," which means that they are designed for kids who are 36 inches tall or less.
Dining in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone
- KidZone Pizza Company: Although there are a couple of nearby carts where you can get snacks or drinks, the only restaurant in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone is KidZone Pizza Company. You can get cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, chicken fingers, fries, desserts, and soda. All seating is outdoors.
Shops in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone
- SpongeBob StorePants: This shop sells SpongeBob SquarePants themed merchandise and showcases a few buildings from Bikini Bottom, including SpongeBob's Pineapple House and Squidward's Easter Island Head house. SpongeBob appears periodically throughout the day to take pictures with guests in a themed area in the store.
- The Barney Shop: This Barney themed store is located near Barney's Theater, which hosts A Day in the Park With Barney. The Barney Shop sells toys, apparel, and souvenirs. It is attached to Barney's Backyard, an indoor play area for small children.
- E.T.'s Toy Closet and Photo Spot: The E.T. Adventure ride exits into E.T.'s Toy Closet and Photo Spot. You can buy E.T. themed stuffed animals, toys, shirts, and other apparel. There is also a closet full of stuffed animals where you can get your picture with E.T.
Springfield in Universal Studios Florida
The Springfield area is a Simpsons themed area that opened in 2008. It has two rides, a shop, and lots of places to eat. The area also includes multiple opportunities for interaction. For example, you can pick up the pay phone, put it down, and wait for it to ring. When you pick the phone up again, you'll hear a special message.
Springfield also has a lot of fun photo ops. There are statues of Jebediah Springfield, Duffman, Lard Lad (from Lard Lad Donuts), and Chief Wiggum. A lot of people also like getting their picture taken with the seven Duffs, the topiary mascots in front of Duff Gardens.
Rides in Springfield
- The Simpsons Ride: This 3-D thrill ride gives guests the chance to visit Krustyland with the Simpsons. The ride incorporates original 3-D animation and motion simulation.
- Kang and Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl: This Simpsons-based ride is a spinner ride that incorporates the aliens made famous by the beloved Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials. Guests climb aboard themed spaceships and revolve carousel style around a large, drooling green alien.
Dining in Springfield
Note: All of the following restaurants are a part of Fast Food Boulevard in Springfield and include menu items with a Simpsons theme.
- Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck: This truck serves up made to order, soft shell tacos with beef, chicken, or fish.
- Cletus' Chicken Shack: The big draw here is the Chicken and Waffle Sandwich. Other menu items include the Double Batter Chicken Platter, Chicken Arms, and Chicken Thumbs.
- Duff Brewery: This outdoor bar serves three Simpsons themed beers, Duff, Duff Lite, and Duff Dry, along with frozen drinks, non-alcoholic beverages (including the Flaming Moe and Buzz Cola), and snack items like hot dogs, chips, pretzels, and popcorn.
- Flaming Moe's: This beverage counter is located inside the Krusty Burger façade. It serves Flaming Moes (non-alcoholic drinks that taste a lot like orange soda) and other fruity drinks.
- Krusty Burger: Food items include the Krusty Burger, Clogger Burger, The Ribwich, Sideshow Bob Foot Long, and Heat Lamp Dog. The signature drink is the Buzz Cola.
- Lard Lad Donuts: One of the best souvenirs in Springfield is the big pink donut. You can get that treat here along with other donuts, ice cream, cupcakes, and beverages.
- Lisa's Teahouse of Horror: If you want vegetarian items, this is the place to get them. You can find grab-and-go salads, veggie sandwiches, wraps, fruit, yogurt, and related fare.
- Luigi's Pizza: Pizza options are simple and include Cheese Pizza, the Vegetarian Pizza, and the Meat Liker’s Pizza.
- Moe's Tavern: This indoor bar is a nice replica of the one found on the Simpsons TV show. It serves Duff Beer, Flaming Moes, and fruity drinks.
- The Frying Dutchman: Nearly everything on the menu is from the sea and fried. Menu items include the Basket O' Shrimp, the Basket O' Calamari, the Basket O' Bait (assorted fried seafood), Battered and Plattered Fish, and Clam Chowd-arr.
Shops in Springfield
- Kwik-E-Mart: Modeled to look like the Kwik-E-Mart in the Simpsons TV show, this stand-alone store sells Simpsons themed apparel, collectibles, toys, souvenirs, and other merchandise.
World Expo in Universal Studios Florida
Formerly known as the Expo Center, the World Expo in Universal Studios Florida is near the back of the park. This area includes attractions like Fear Factor Live and MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack.
Some of the design elements in World Expo were reminiscent of a typical World's Fair, but the theme is a bit lost now due to the removal and addition of attractions and can really only be easily seen in the MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack ride building and gift shop.
Rides in World Expo
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack: Based on the MIB film franchise, this interactive dark ride positions guests as MIB recruits who need to need to stop an alien invasion with ride-equipped laser guns. At the end of the ride, you get a score so you know how well (or how poorly) you did.
Shows in World Expo
- Fear Factor Live: Based on the Fear Factor TV program, this live action show pits theme park contestants against one another in physical challenges. Audience participation is an element of the show.
Shops in World Expo
- MIB Gear: The MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack ride exits into this large store. You can find all types of MIB merchandise as well as few electronics (like battery packs for mobile phones).
New York in Universal Studios Florida
The Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida pays tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood. New York, on the other hand, was designed to pay homage to well-known movies. The Kitty Kat Club is a reference to Cabaret, the Hudson Street Home for Girls is direct from Annie, and Louie's Restaurant and O'Rourke's Bar and Grill were both inspired by The Godfather.
There are a few other secret references throughout the New York Area. If you look closely at the archangel statue in Gramercy Park (modeled after the real park in Manhattan), you'll notice that the archangel has Jay Stein's face. (Jay Stein is the founder of Universal Studios Florida and served as President of MCA/Universal from the 1980s until the early 1990s.) Other members of Universal staff are given a nod through name displays on building facades and on windows of the Metropolitan Tribune building.
One other fun aspect of the New York area is the large patch of grass that is modeled after part of Central Park. This scenic setting is a nice spot to take a break from park attractions. You'll find a lot of Universal Studios Florida guests sprawled on this patch of green late in the afternoon.
Rides in New York
- Revenge of the Mummy: Perhaps the scariest roller coaster in Universal Studios Florida, Revenge of the Mummy is an enclosed steel roller coaster that takes you on a high-speed ride through dark Egyptian catacombs. Top speed is 45 miles per hour, and the biggest drop is about 40 feet.
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon: This ride makes guests part of a special Tonight Show taping. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is based on the celebrity race segments seen on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Shows in New York
- The Blues Brothers Show: The longest running musical show in Universal Studios Florida is the ever popular Blues Brothers Show. Jake and Elwood take the stage multiple times per day to belt out several well-known jazzy tunes.
Dining in New York
- Ben and Jerry's: Located behind the façade for Annie's Hudson Street Home for Girls, Ben and Jerry's sells hard-packed ice cream, including their most famous flavors, Cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby.
- Finnegan's Bar and Grill: This pub-style restaurant and bar serves beer, cocktails, and lots of Irish food, including corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, scotch eggs, fish and chips, Guinness beef stew, and Dingle seafood pie.
- Louie's Italian Restaurant: This New York restaurant was inspired by the restaurant of the same name in The Godfather. Offerings include pizza, subs, spaghetti, fettuccine, and salads.
- Starbucks Coffee: Menu items include coffee, tea, pastries, and sandwiches.
Shops in New York
- Doc's Candy: This New York based shop sells candy (nothing fancy) and Blues Brother's t-shirts.
- Park Plaza Holiday Shop: As the name implies, the Park Plaza Holiday Shop is a holiday store. You can get all sorts of holiday themed ornaments and merchandise here.
- Sahara Traders: The Revenge of the Mummy ride exits into this shop, which sells Egyptian themed souvenirs, jewelry, and merchandise inspired by the Mummy film franchise.
- The Irish Shop: Everything here has an Irish theme - from the t-shirts, pins and ornaments to the home décor items.
San Francisco in Universal Studios Florida
Even though there are a limited number of attractions in the San Francisco section of Universal Studios Florida, this area of the park is impressively designed.
Buildings are modeled after actual buildings in the San Francisco Bay area. There's a Ghirardelli factory, a Buena Vista Café, and a Wharfside Cannery, which is modeled after the Cannery at Del Monte Square in Fisherman's Wharf.
The docks near the lagoon are a fun place to hang out and provide a nice view of other parts of the park. You'll find the Jaws shark hanging in this area. It is almost all that is left of the Jaws ride, which closed along with the rest of the Amity area to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The shark is a favorite photo opp of many Universal Studios Florida guests.
Rides in San Francisco
- Fast and Furious: Supercharged: This ride, based on the Fast and Furious film franchise, is scheduled to open in 2017.
Dining in San Francisco
- Chez Alcatraz: This waterside bar features scenic views, cocktails, sandwiches, flatbreads, shrimp cocktail, and best of all, house-made chips.
- Lombard's Seafood Grille: This full-service seafood restaurant has a centerpiece salt-water aquarium and an extensive seafood menu. A dinner/entertainment package, which includes dinner and a special viewing section for Universal's Cinematic Spectacular, is available on most nights.
- Richter's Burger Co.: In addition to having an earthquake inspired name and décor, this San Francisco area restaurant has earthquake themed menu items like The Big One (a cheeseburger), Aftershock (a double cheeseburger), and The San Andreas (chicken sandwich). Other offerings include a veggie burger and salad.
- San Francisco Pastry Company: This Universal Studios Florida restaurant sells coffee, soda, pastries, soups, and cold sandwiches.
Shops in San Francisco
- San Francisco Candy Factory: This candy shop sells a lot of different candies as well as cookies, fudge and candy apples.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade opened in Universal's Islands of Adventure in June of 2010. This 20-acre park was an undeniable success, prompting Universal Orlando Resort to immediately being plans for a Wizarding World expansion. Rather than adding to Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, the decision-makers opted to put a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Florida. This new Wizarding World is modeled after Diagon Alley, the Wizarding London marketplace in the Harry Potter books and films.
Stuart Craig, the beloved production designer for the Potter films and the Hogsmeade area of the park, was tapped once again to guide the design for Diagon Alley. As in the books and movies, Diagon Alley is hidden from view. Guests must first enter the London waterfront, an area near the Lagoon that features London landmarks like King's Cross Station, Wyndham's Theatre, Leicester Square Station, and the Eros Fountain from Piccadilly Circus. When guests pass through the right spot in the London façade, they walk into Diagon Alley.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley is the most extensively themed and immersive area of Universal Studios Florida. The streets of this section are lined with Wizarding shops and restaurants. The most impressive building is the massive Gringotts Bank, atop of which, sits a fire-breathing Ukraine Ironbelly dragon. Although some of the store fronts are just facades, many of them are real buildings that can be explored.
One of the most unique aspects of this area is the interactive wand experience, which allows guests to use wands (purchased at the park) to interact with various items throughout Diagon Alley. When you wave a wand, and see that you have turned on water or made something in a store window move, you feel as though you have performed real magic.
Rides in Diagon Alley
- Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts Ride: Set in the enormous Gringotts Bank, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is Diagon Alley's flagship attraction. The ride incorporates Harry Potter characters, high-tech 3D, and motion simulation.
- Hogwarts Express - King's Cross Station: The Hogwarts Express is the famous train that takes Harry Potter from Platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts Castle. In Universal Studios Florida, the train takes guests from King's Cross Station in the London area (near Diagon Alley) to Hogsmeade Station in the Hogsmeade area of Islands of Adventure. You need a park-to-park ticket to ride this attraction.
Shows in Diagon Alley
- Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees: This musical group includes a jazz singer known as Celestina Warbeck and three backup singers (the Banshees). They perform several songs on stage in Diagon Alley.
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard: Inspired by the book of the same name, this show features a retelling of one of the Bard's stories performed by puppet masters from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts (W.A.D.A.).
- Knight Bus: This triple decker bus straight from the Harry Potter books and movies sits in the London waterfront area. Visiting guests can chat with the Knight Bus conductor and a shrunken head, which hangs near the steering wheel.
Dining in Diagon Alley
- Butterbeer Cart: This beverage cart serves Butterbeer in the streets of Diagon Alley.
- Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream: This themed ice cream shop sells Butterbeer ice cream as well as other exciting ice cream flavors like Clotted Cream, Strawberry and Peanut Butter, Earl Grey and Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili, and Apple Crumble.
- Leaky Cauldron: The Leaky Cauldron is the flagship restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is one of the best places to get breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the park. Menu offerings include an American breakfast, an English breakfast, cottage pie, Guinness stew, a ploughman's platter, and other British fare.
- Sugarplums Sweets Shop: This sweets shop is similar to Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. It sells baked goods (like cauldron cakes) and Wizarding sweets (like fudge flies, chocolate frogs, chocolate wands, chocolate cauldrons, fizzing whizbees, and sugar quills).
- The Fountain of Fair Fortune: This indoor beverage counter sells Butterbeer, Fishy Green Ale, Gillywater, and alcoholic drinks like Wizard's Brew and Dragon Scale. It also sells Butterbeer ice cream.
- The Hopping Pot: This outdoor beverage counter sells almost 10 different alcoholic brews as well as a large selection of non-alcoholic Harry Potter themed drinks, including Butterbeer, Fishy Green Ale, Tongue-Tying Lemon Squash, Pumpkin Juice, Otter's Fizzy Orange Juice, and Peachtree Fizzing Tea. Food items include Cornish pasties and crisps.
Shops in Diagon Alley
- Borgin and Burkes: Designed specifically for those who like the Dark Arts, this Knockturn Alley shop is where you'll find Dark Wizard apparel, collectibles, and souvenirs.
- Madam Malkin's Robes: This Diagon Alley shop sells all sorts of Harry Potter themed apparel, including house robes, sweaters, shirts, hats, and scarves.
- Magical Menagerie: The Magical Menagerie is the place to go to get Harry Potter themed stuffed animals, including a stuffed Crookshanks, Buckbeak, Fawkes, and Hedwig.
- Ollivanders: In addition to watching a show where the wand chooses the wizard, Ollivanders is the place to buy interactive and character wands.
- Quality Quidditch Supplies: This is the Diagon Alley shop to buy bludgers, bats, a golden snitch, and apparel representing house Quidditch teams as well as teams from the British and Irish Quidditch League (such as the Chudley Cannons).
- Scribbulus: You can think of this shop as a Hogwarts school supply store. There's quills, parchment, stationary, backpacks, and similar items.
- Shutterbutton's: This shop is actually a photography studio where you can get your picture taken against a dozen different backdrops featuring iconic scenes and images from the Harry Potter movie. The end result is a short DVD featuring moving portraits.
- Wands by Gregorovitch: If you don't want to navigate the (constantly) busy Ollivanders, you can buy your wand at this outdoor kiosk.
- Weasley's Wizard Wheezes: Designed to look just like the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes shop in the Harry Potter films, this is the place to get special candy, joke items, toys, and collectibles.
- Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts Ride exits into this small shop, which sells all sorts of Wizarding equipment - from apparel to quills and stationary.
Characters in Universal Studios Florida
You can often find many different Universal characters walking the streets of Universal Studios Florida throughout the day. Some of the characters make scheduled appearances in designated Character Zones. The Universal characters are always willing to pose for a picture, and many of them will even give you an autograph if you ask for one. Read more about Character Zones in Universal Studios Florida.
Using Express Passes on Universal Studios Rides
Some Universal Studios Florida attractions accept Express Passes, which are special passes that allow you to skip the regular lines and reduce wait times for rides and shows. Some on-site hotel guests get Express Passes with their rooms. Other guests have to purchase Express Passes for an additional fee. If you decide to use Express Passes, you should know that you may also miss some parts of the themed queue, including parts that set up the ride's premise or story line.
Universal Studios Rides That Accept Express Passes
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- E.T. Adventure
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Shrek 4-D
- The Simpsons Ride
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D
- Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hogwarts Express - King's Cross Station
Universal Studios Rides That Do NOT Accept Express Passes
Universal Studios Shows That Accept Express Passes
- Fear Factor Live
- Universal Horror Make-Up Show
- TERMINATOR 2: 3-D
- Animal Actors on Location!
- A Day In The Park with Barney
Universal Studios Shows That Do NOT Accept Express Passes
- Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- Knight Bus
- The Blues Brother Show
- Universal's Superstar Parade
- Universal's Cinematic Spectacular
Buying Universal Studios Florida Tickets
You will need a park admission ticket to get into Universal Studios Florida. Although you can buy a single park ticket to get in, we recommend purchasing a multi-park ticket for just a little bit more money each day. The multi-park ticket will make it possible to visit both parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure). A multi-park ticket is also required to ride the Hogwarts Express, which travels from park to park.
Whether you choose to get a one-park ticket or a multi-park ticket, you have the option of purchasing a single day ticket or a multi-day ticket. The more days you purchase, the less it costs per day. Learn more about Universal Studios Florida ticket prices.
Universal Studios Florida Touring Tips
The following Universal Studios Florida touring tips will make it easier for you to get around the park, reduce wait times, and save money on your trip.
- If you're visiting both theme parks for four days or more, we recommend purchasing an annual pass, which could save you money.
- There are free park brochures near the entrance of Universal Studios Florida; be sure to grab one when you get in the park. The brochure includes a park map, show times, and other important park announcements.
- The Official Universal Orlando Resort app is a free mobile app with important park information. Use this app to find wait times for rides.
- Guests who stay at on-site hotels like Loews Portofino Bay Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort can receive early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure. (Universal Orlando Resort will choose which park opens early to guests.)
- Universal Studios Florida has a daily afternoon parade known as Universal's Superstar Parade. Look for the parade route on the free park map near the gates.
- Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories takes place almost nightly in Universal Studios Florida.
- There are plenty of food and beverage carts scattered around Universal Studios Florida. If you just want a drink or a snack, you can hit up one of these carts rather than going into any of the full-service or quick-service restaurants discussed above.
- Most park visitors choose to eat in Universal Studios Florida - there are several good restaurants right in the park - but another option is to pop out of the park to eat lunch or dinner in CityWalk. You'll find a lot of worthwhile dining options.
- A lot of the park restaurants close one hour before the rest of Universal Studios Florida; don't leave dinner until the last minute unless you want to eat in CityWalk.
- All of the areas of Universal Studios Florida wrap around a lagoon, which sits in the center of the park. If you get lost, look for the lagoon, and keep in mind that Production Central is in the front near the entrance/exit and that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley is in the back of the park.
- Universal Studios Florida sells Coca-Cola products. (Pepsi products can be found at a few CityWalk locations, including Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.) You cannot buy soda in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.
- Universal Studios Florida has designated smoking sections in every area of the park except The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.