When we visited Walt Disney World in 2017 we debated if we should add a visit to the Universal Orlando Resort. I had visited Universal during previous trips to Florida when I was younger. Being that our 2017 trip would be Darren’s fourth trip to Florida and he had never been to Universal it turned into a bit of a must-do. The thing that worried us the most was taking a toddler to Universal. Universal is known for it’s bigger thrill-seeking rides. We didn’t need to worry as our toddler had a fantastic time at the Universal Orlando Resort. I thought I would share with you the 8 reasons why our toddler loved
1. Meeting The Minions
The Despicable Me films and the minions have been a big part of our children’s lives. It was one of the reasons we wanted our children to visit Universal. They needed to meet a minion! There are two places we could do this at Universal. At the End of the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride and at a minion character breakfast.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
In Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, you get the chance to become a minion. This is a 3D motion simulation ride but it does have a minimum height requirement of 40 inches. This doesn’t stop your toddlers from enjoying this ride as children under 48 inches can watch the 3D show from non-moving seats. They do need a supervising companion. This meant that one of us would sit with our son in the moving seats. Whilst the other would sit with our daughter during the ride.
After the ride, you get the meet the minions and have your photo taken with them. As this was our sons favourite ride I have lost count of the number of times we went on it. I did capture our time with the minions twice after the ride which you can see in the video below.
Minion Character Breakfast at The Hard Rock Hotel Kitchen Restaurant
When we visited the Universal Orlando Resort there were a few restaurants that offered a minion character breakfast or dinner. This included the Kitchen Restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel. As we were staying at this hotel this was the perfect choice for us.
Not only did the children get to meet a minion, they also got to meet Gru!
I’m so glad we booked this breakfast for them. I think it was one of the main highlights for them during our Universal stay. Below is our video of our minion character breakfast…
2. Spending Time At Seuss Landing
Seuss Landing is an area of Universal’s Islands Of Adventure dedicated to the Dr. Seuss books. There are four rides in Seuss Landing and our toddler was able to go on all of them with an accompanying adult.
I got very wet on One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish which delighted my toddler. We visited The Cat in the Hat and went for a spin on the Caro-Seuss-el.
We also got to see Universal Islands of Adventure up high on The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride.
You can watch the video we captured at Seuss Landing below…
3. Watching Universal’s Superstar Parade
I love watching a parade so I made sure that we fitted the Superstar Parade into our visit. Our toddler loved watching it as she got to see her
There can never be too many minions to wave to!
Vector is also in the parade, you can wave or shout boo at him as you wish.
Our toddler couldn’t contain her excitement when we spotted her animal friends from another favourite film. The secret life of pets.
We also got to wave hello to Sponge Bob Square Pants and…
…Dora the Explora.
We captured the full parade in our video below…
4. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Now I must admit that the wizarding world of Harry Potter was the main reason we wanted to visit Universal. Being that there are no toddler-friendly rides* I never dreamed it would have been one of the reasons our toddler loved Universal Orlando Resort.
*The Flight of the Hippogriff does have a minimum height of 36 inches. Children under 48 inches do need to be accompanied to ride. Our toddler thought this ride was too fast so gave it a miss.
Our main reason for visiting Hogsmeade was to visit Hogwarts Castle. We had no intention of riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Did someone mention spiders?! But you are able to walk through the castle as a non-rider to see all the magic.
Neither of our children had seen any of the Harry Potter movies but I think the theming of the wizarding world of Harry Potter is so immersive. You are totally swept up by it all that our toddler also loved it.
She loved looking around the shops with me and taking the Hogwarts Express.
We captured our time visiting Hogsmeade in our below video.
Visiting Diagon Alley
Now if Hogsmeade has amazing theming, Diagon Alley takes it to the next level!
Our toddler loved waiting for the Dragons fire.
She also somehow took me into Ollivanders for the wand selection. I thought she would find this scary but loved every moment of it. She also wanted to buy her own wand. There are toddler
We also tried some of the Harry Potter-themed snacks in Diagon Alley. Our little lady loved the Witches Hat cake, even if it was on the large side. We captured our time in Diagon Alley in the video below…
5. The Mystic Fountain
I knew about the talking Mystic Fountain so I knew what to expect when we came across him in Sindbad’s Bazaar.
Our toddler enjoyed talking to the fountain. We might have spoilt his plans to get her wet! You can see our interaction with the Mystic Fountain in the video below.
6. Taking A Flight On The Pteranodon Flyers
Our toddler isn’t a thrill-seeker like her brother. So we were shocked when she wanted to go on the Pteranodon Flyers. I had to include it as one of the reasons our toddler loved Universal Orlando Resort.
The Pteranodon Flyers soar slowly through the air. You are secured in a comfy seat that is suspended from the track above. The seat does swing gently from side to side but there are no sudden or scary movements. This was perfect for our toddler to ride.
There is a minimum height of 36 inches for this ride. Children under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult. Also, any guest over 56 inches tall must be accompanied by a child who meets the 36 inches height requirement.
7. Meeting Bart Simpson
There are lots of character meet and greets at the Universal Orlando Resort if you know where to look. We were so busy during our three days there that we didn’t get the chance to see many of them. But we did have lots of fun meeting Bart Simpson. Character meet and greets are something our toddler really enjoyed.
The video below shows the children meeting Bart Simpson.
8. Meeting Jacques At The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
Eating at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen was on my Universal bucket list. A menu containing lots of chocolate, who could say no! We didn’t get to try the amazing looking milkshakes as we were so full so we will have to make a plan to go back.
Whilst eating our lunch Jacques came to say hello and check that everything was OK with our meal. We took that chance to take some photos with him.
We captured our interaction with Jacques in the video below.
Our Toddler Loved Universal Orlando Resort
Our toddler really did love our visit to the Universal Orlando Resort. There was so much more that we could have done with her whist there but we just ran out of time. We didn’t go to any of the shows or visit the play areas and we missed out seeing so many of the characters. Let’s not mention visiting Universal’s Volcano Bay!
Some Tips For Taking A Toddler To The Universal Orlando Resort
We booked two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel. This gave us a Universal Express Unlimited pass. This helped us move through the queues quicker at participating rides and also reducing our toddlers hanging around time. It also gave us early park admission to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. We did use this on our first morning and it made our time in Hogsmeade quieter. Booking an onsite hotel meant we could walk to both parks or use the transport provided. This makes our holiday experience easier and you don’t have to fight with a stroller on and off the buses if you don’t want to.
We also purchased our Universal Studios tickets for the family before our trip. This helped us find the best possible ticket price and help us budget for our trip. It also avoided the queue at the ticket booths when we arrived. The less queuing we do the better it is to keep our family happy.
We really did enjoy our trip to Universal and I’m glad we decided to visit with our toddler. Even when people advised us not to go with such a young family. We really do hope to
DISCLOSURE – This is a collaborative post.