We all love the theme parks – it’s our little slice of escapism and joy right here in the heart of Florida. As fun as the parks are, however, sometimes you need an escape from your escape. Next time you’re looking for Universal-style fun with a twist, give one of these a try…
1. Check out the pool
On-site resort guests get access to not only their hotel pool, but the other pools, as well. Not sure which one is going to be your favorite? Try them all out in a day-long pool adventure.
2. Galaxy Bowl at Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Check out Universal Orlando Resort’s only bowling alley, located at Cabana Bay. If you work up an appetite (or thirst), there’s an attached restaurant and bar area. Plus, cosmic bowling takes place at night!
3. Kitchen Challenge at Hard Rock Hotel
One pound of fries, a giant bacon-and-fried-onion-topped cheeseburger, one whole fried pickle, and a three-pound slice of cake make up this food lover’s dream/nightmare. To take part in the challenge officially, the meal must be completed within 30 minutes.
4. Musical della Notte at Portofino Bay Hotel
Every night around sundown, listen to live entertainment serenade you from the Portofino Bay Piazza. If you’re 21 and over, enjoy a drink from The Thirsty Fish during the performance.
5. Get a taste of Volcano Bay with the Cabana Bay lazy river
After playing in Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s two pools, relax at the hotel’s very own lazy river. Cabana Bay is the only on-site hotel with its own lazy river (and bowling alley), which makes it a must-visit.
6. Play 18 holes at Hollywood Drive-In Golf
Choose between The Haunting of Ghostly Greens or Invaders of Planet Putt for a great time for all ages at CityWalk. Can’t make up your mind? Opt for a double feature and enjoy both courses.
7. Spend some time at Pat O’Brien’s
Enjoy a famous Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane while listening to dueling pianos play hits from various genres. Have a request? Make sure to roll up a tip with your request sheet to help guarantee you’ll hear it.
8. Pamper yourself at Portofino Bay Hotel’s Mandara Spa
Relax with a Balinese massage or a Mandara signature facial. The spa also comes complete with a fitness center for those who are looking to stay in shape.
9. Experience Sapphire Falls’s Caribbean Carnaval
Enjoy all-you-can-eat (and drink) food at this dinner show that brings the sounds and energy of the Caribbean to life. Check out our exclusive review of this weekly offering for more.
10. Try a rum tasting at Sapphire Falls Resort’s Strong Water Tavern
One of Universal’s newer on-site hotels is home to a rum tasting that starts at $18 and features three different samplings from all over the world. Request to sit at the Rum Lab for a more in-depth experience.