How to take Instagram-worthy photos at Universal Orlando Resort

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You don’t have to be a professional to take beautiful photos at Universal Orlando Resort. Whether you’re looking to step up your social-media game or to simply have memorable snapshots to share with your family and friends, here are our best tips for capturing every bit of the epicness of your next Universal adventure.

The early bird gets the worm

Early-morning golden hour in a crowdless Hogsmeade Village

If you want to snag one of those rare and magical shots without crowds, our advice to is to arrive at the parks as early as possible. Take advantage of Early Park Admission, if you can, and get your speed-walk on. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is particularly photogenic when absent of its usual flow of guests, and the early-morning sun typically makes for crisp and vibrant lighting.

Shoot for the stars

Tigress poses for a photo

You can find a variety of characters making appearances around each park, providing awesome photo opportunities for fans and newcomers alike. It’s not every day you get to snap a pic with Captain America or Beetlejuice, and these superstars are more than happy to strike the perfect pose and help you create unique vacation memories. You’ll also find several outdoor shows around the parks, such as Marilyn Monroe and the Diamond Bellas and the Triwizard Spirit Rally, that also make for exciting, in-motion shots.

Embrace the foodie within

Milkshake cheers in front of Toothsome Chocolate Emporium

Universal Orlando is home to some insanely photogenic food and beverage selections – and if Instagram rejoices over anything, it’s food pics. Some of our favorite treats to catch on camera are The Big Pink from Lard Lad Donuts, any milkshake from The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, Waturi Fusion ice cream from Koka Poroka, Who Hash from Green Eggs and Ham Cafe, the Ocean Attack from Chez Alcatraz, Burgooshi from The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, and – of course – Butterbeer in any of its forms.

Capture the action

Catching the power of the Hulk in all of its glory

Some of the coolest shots you can snag are of the rides in action. There are several attraction-viewing areas perfect for capturing all of the drops, flips, twists, and turns your Instagram feed needs. If your phone/camera has shutter mode, this would be a great time to utilize it – the splashdowns of water rides also make for spectacular action shots (bonus points if all of the riders’ hands are up!).

Some of our favorite attractions to photograph are Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, and Doctor Doom’s Fearfall.

Background check

A gorgeous sunset over the skyline – with a touch of action

Whether you’re going for a selfie or a scenic panorama, a good backdrop can be the difference between 10 likes and 110 likes. The architecture of the parks provides some awesome backgrounds for your photos, from city facades to mystical grottos – try to include these in the frame! You can also capture particularly lovely views overlooking the central bodies of water in each theme park, which provide great backdrops for family/group photos and skyline pics. If you plan on staying until dark, sunset shots are always an easy way to make your followers green with vacation envy.

Our favorite photo spots around Universal Orlando

Still wondering where the best photo ops are around Universal Orlando Resort? Worry not – for those of you seeking specific suggestions, keep reading for a list of our favorite places to wield those theme-park photography skills.

Let’s start at the theme park that started it all for Universal, Universal Studios Florida:

The Universal Studios arches

Snap a photo of your grand entrance in front of this grand entrance

The vintage cars in front of Mel’s Drive-In

Perfect for an “old-school cool” photoshoot

The fire-breathing dragon in Diagon Alley

Good timing makes for an incredible shot

The character statues around Springfield, USA

Pose with familiar faces around Springfield for funny vacation memories

The Jaws tribute behind Chez Alcatraz

Step right into the jaws of the iconic monster shark

The phone booth in London

A lesser-known spot for creating fun and trendy pictures

Now, let’s head over to Islands of Adventure:

The Toon Lagoon thought bubbles

These speech balloons make for clever selfies and couple shoots

The Truffula Trees in Seuss Landing

The perfect setting for vibrant, whimsical photos

Raptor Encounter

Did you really visit Universal if you didn’t take a picture with Blue?

In front of Hogwarts Castle

One of the most breathtaking backdrops in the entire resort

The waterfalls at Mythos

Dazzle your followers with this mystical and mysterious setting

Don’t forget CityWalk, which has a few photogenic gems of its own:

The Quiet Flight wave

Strike a pose and ride the wave at this popular stop in front of Quiet Flight Surf Shop

The Voodoo Doughnut throne

A particularly sweet spot for a selfie

The Universal globe

A must-do photo op in front of the Universal icon

Finally, let’s head out to the very edge of Universal Orlando property and hit up Volcano Bay, the tropical paradise:

Krakatau

Name a more camera-ready volcano – we’ll wait

Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides

Share your thrill-seeker side with this fun action shot

The waterfall path through Krakatau

Cascading water makes for an exotic and adventurous shoot

Vol, Spirit of Krakatau

While snapping a photo with Vol, ask him about how Volcano Bay came to be

What are your best tips for taking pictures at Universal Orlando Resort? Do you have any favorite photo spots that we didn’t include on our list? Let us – and 100,000+ other Universal fans – know in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.

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About Xandra Hardigree

Having grown up with Universal and Disney in her backyard, Xandra developed her love for theme parks at a very young age and has regarded them as her second home ever since. While gaining work experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, she realized her passion for using social media to share her adventures with the world. Today, she continues pursuing her career in both writing and creating digital content based on Orlando’s thrills. Her hobbies include yoga, photography, playing tourist in her own city, and obsessing over Halloween Horror Nights.