OI Center
Home OI Universal Center FREE Universal Orlando Touring Plans Universal Orlando 3-day touring plan for on-site guests: Day 3

Universal Orlando 3-day touring plan for on-site guests: Day 3

The purpose of this plan is to give families staying at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel a framework for the best way to experience Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure – and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – over the course of three days. This plan incorporates Early Park Admission, Express Pass access, park-to-park admission, and provides a break time in the middle of each day.

You can review Day 3 below, or skip back to Day 1 / skip back to Day 2. Note: if this is your first time viewing our 3-day plan, we strongly recommend that you start by looking through Day 1 and Day 2.

For your convenience,
all attraction links on this page will open in a new window

Day 3 of our touring plan looks much less like a traditional touring plan. Instead, we are going to make sure you’ve had a chance to experience all the attractions in each park, see all the shows, and visit the lesser known spots.

The first thing you must decide is whether you are going to take advantage of Early Park Admission at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Since you’ve now visited Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade twice, we feel confident that you know the routine. Just remember, if you want to use EPA for Escape from Gringotts, on busy days it’s best to arrive at the USF turnstiles 45 minutes before Early Park Admission is scheduled to begin.

Now that you have decided what you will do for Early Park Admission, let’s take a look at the rest of the day. We didn’t include every show and attraction in our Day 1 and Day 2 plans because we wanted to be able to take a break in the middle of our touring. So now, let’s cover the attractions and shows that we skipped. You don’t need to worry about a touring plan for these because they all either have Express Pass access or will not have long lines anyway.

These two lists work out so that you can visit one park in the morning and one park in the evening. Keep in mind that you certainly can pick and choose from these lists as you see fit, and you can add additional visits to the rides and shows you loved.

What we skipped at Universal Studios Florida

Shrek 4-DEp (Express Pass)
Production Central

Restrictions and access: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: Standard 3D movie experience with 4D “in the theater” special effects.

Hollywood Hills photo op
Hollywood

Kitty-corner from the Horror Make-Up Show theater, on the edge of Central Park, you’ll find a surprisingly easy and effective camera trick. It let’s your family have their photo taken in front of the Horror Make-Up Show theater, and, with a little Hollywood magic, the top portion of the photo will be “filled in” with a view of the Hollywood Hills. This is super quick and makes a great souvenir – but you have to provide the camera.

Regarding the next two stops, please note that they may open at 10:00am or later depending on how busy it is when you’re visiting. It would be best to check out a in-park guidemap the night before, as any delayed opening times will be noted there.

Animal Actors on Location
*This is a live stage show and the showtimes will vary – verify the schedule in your park map and try to arrive 15 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin.
Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone

Restrictions and access: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: See the animal stars of Hollywood perform in Orlando.

Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone
This area inside USF is the main center of activity for younger kids. There are two play areas (Curious George Goes to Town, Fievel’s Playground), another ride (Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster), and a live show (A Day in the Park with Barney).

As you walk through Springfield USA on your way to Kang & Kodos, we’re giving you one more opportunity to try the Brain Freezin’ D’oh-Nut Sundae from Lard Lad’s Donuts.

Fear Factor LiveEp
*This is a live stage show and the showtimes will vary – verify the schedule in your park map and try to arrive 15 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin.
World Expo

Restrictions and access: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: A true-to-the-TV-show live version of Fear Factor, where USF  guests volunteer to compete in scary and gross tasks. Please note that, if you want to volunteer to be a contestant, you need to arrive at the theater 70 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin.

Universal’s Superstar Parade
*This is a live performance and the parade time may change – verify the schedule in your park map.
New York (see the park map for full route)

Summary: Universal’s first-ever daily parade brings guests face to face with their favorite characters, larger-than-life floats, and dozens of street performers, all set to a high-energy soundtrack.

The parade is a challenge to include in our touring plan because its timing changes throughout the year. If it happens to run during the day, and you can catch it without disrupting your touring, your kids might appreciate it. Keep in mind that the parade stops once in New York and Hollywood for an extended song-and-dance performance. However, if the parade only runs in the later evening when you’re supposed to be at the Wizarding World, we do NOT recommend leaving Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade to try to see it.

The Blues Brothers Show
*This is a live stage show and the showtimes will vary – verify the schedule in your park map. It is not necessary to arrive at this show ahead of time.
New York

Summary: Street party that brings you face to face with the bad boys of blues, Jake and Elwood.

More stuff you may have missed…

Recognizable buildings in the New York backlot

The purpose of a backlot is to provide film crews with realistic backdrops for outdoor scenes without having to actually shut down a busy city block. The New York backlot in USF is an example of this purpose, and as such it’s home to several recognizable building facades. See if you can find the Metropolis Tribune from the Spider-Man stories, the Ghostbusters’ fire station, the Cosby home from The Cosby Show, a certain Italian eatery from The Godfather, and more.

Characters at Universal Studios Florida

The third day of your visit also offers a great opportunity to specifically plan on getting photos with characters that you may have missed during the first two days. In USF , most of the character meet-and-greets happen near the entrance to the park or along Hollywood Blvd. Some of these meet-and-greets are scheduled, so be sure to check your in-park map for times and locations. However, several of these meet-and-greets are not scheduled, so be sure to keep your eyes open as you stroll around. See our Characters at Universal Orlando page for more information.

Dining at Universal Studios Florida

If you are in USF around a meal time and want additional quick-service recommendations, consider two more of our favorites: Mel’s Drive-In (in Hollywood) or Universal Studios Classic Monsters Cafe (in Production Central). Although not necessarily our favorite, if you’re looking for a more comfortable experience, we should also mention the second USF full-service restaurant: Lombard’s Seafood Grille (San Francisco).

This would also be a great time to consider trying a restaurant at Universal CityWalk. Our top recommendations based on food and theming: for lunch, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Emeril’s Orlando, or Toothsome; for dinner, VIVO Italian Kitchen, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Toothsome, or Red Oven Pizza Bakery. To see menus and learn about making reservations, click here.

What we skipped at Islands of Adventure

Starting at Seuss Landing and working counterclockwise around IOA , here’s the stuff you might have missed.

If I Ran the Zoo
Seuss Landing

Restrictions: None. Summary: This interactive play area is filled with fanciful Dr. Seuss animals and contraptions. There is a world of fun to be had here with a little imagination.

Caro-Seuss-elEp
Seuss Landing

Restrictions: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: This is a traditional merry-go-round dressed up with Dr. Seuss characters.

Red Fish, Blue Fish, One Fish, Two FishEp
Seuss Landing

Restrictions: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: Universal Orlando’s answer to Dumbo at Magic Kingdom, this ride lifts guests up and down and circles them ’round.

Poseidon’s FuryEp
Lost Continent

Restrictions and access: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: Indoor walk-through attraction, mixing live action with tons of special effects.

Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt ShowEp
*This is a live stage show and the showtimes will vary – verify the schedule in your park map and try to arrive 15 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin.
Lost Continent

Restrictions and access: None; has Express Pass access. Summary: This is a traditional stunt show a la Indiana Jones at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It runs about 20 minutes.

Mystic Fountain
Lost Continent

Summary: The Mystic Fountain delights younger guests as it talks, sings, and squirts them with water.

Camp Jurassic
Jurassic Park

Restrictions and access: none; Summary: A truly gigantic play area with everything from slides and climbing nets to caves and water cannons.

Pteranodon Flyers
Jurassic Park

Restrictions: 36 inches, guests taller than 56 inches must be accompanied by a guest between 36 inches and 56 inches. Summary: Meandering, outdoor, gondola-style ride designed for kids.

Me Ship, The Olive
Toon Lagoon

Summary: Me Ship, The Olive is a multi-story play area for kids tucked against the lagoon’s edge. Don’t miss the FREE water canons at the top for spraying guests on Bilge-Rat Barges and the secluded pathways below the ship.

Hidden areas at Islands of Adventure

As alluded to in our Me Ship, The Olive description above, each island at IOA has its own (somewhat) hidden spot near the lagoon. To find these spots, just follow the walkways along the interior perimeter, as close to the lagoon as you can get. These spots offer a perfect break from the crowds, and they also offer superb views of the park. Don’t have time to look for them all? Be sure to visit the one in Toon Lagoon and the one in Jurassic Park, behind the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.

Characters at Islands of Adventure

The third day of your visit is a great time to specifically plan on getting photos with characters that you may have missed during the first two days. In IOA , most of the character meet-and-greets happen in Marvel Super Hero Island and Toon Lagoon. Some of these meet-and-greets are scheduled, so be sure to check your in-park map for times and locations. However, several of these meet-and-greets are not scheduled, so be sure to keep your eyes open as you stroll around. See our Characters at Universal Orlando page for more information.

Dining at Islands of Adventure

If you are in IOA around a meal time, we honestly don’t have any other quick-service recommendations outside of Three Broomsticks (Hogsmeade) and Thunder Falls Terrance (Jurassic Park), both of which you may have visited during Day 2 of our plan. For this reason, we recommend that you consider a full-service restaurant at IOA : Mythos (Lost Continent) or Confisco Grille (Port of Entry).

Or, as we mentioned earlier on this page, this would also be a great time to consider trying a restaurant at Universal CityWalk. Our top recommendations based on food and theming: for lunch, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Emeril’s Orlando, or Bubba Gump’s; for dinner, VIVO Italian Kitchen, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Pat O’Brien’s, or Red Oven Pizza Bakery. To see menus and learn about making reservations, click here.

Can you believe our 3-day trip through everything at Universal Orlando has come to an end? We had so much fun touring with you! 

After you’ve returned home and had time to get back to your routine, we would sure appreciate if you could spend some time reviewing your favorite (and not so favorite) attractions and restaurants at Universal. These reviews help our readers make even better decisions about which rides to visit, etc., and sharing your experiences is a great way to re-live the ones you loved. To get started, visit our real guest reviews page.

Otherwise, you can skip back to Day 1 or skip back to Day 2.

Do you have a question about the information on this page, would like to provide feedback, or did you spot an inaccuracy? Join us in our Facebook Community and let’s talk about it!