Are you planning a thrilling adventure to Universal Orlando Resort in 2023? Look no further! We have crafted the perfect Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary to help you make the most of your time at this world-renowned destination. With an ideal balance of excitement and relaxation, this guide will ensure that you don’t miss any of the top attractions while still having time to unwind and enjoy the resort’s exceptional amenities.
Universal Orlando Resort is a theme park paradise, offering immersive experiences across three fantastic parks: Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, and the breathtaking Volcano Bay water park. Our carefully curated itinerary covers all three parks, ensuring you’ll have the opportunity to explore each area thoroughly and create lasting memories.
Planning and Considerations
In addition to the parks themselves, we’ve also considered accommodation options that will enhance your overall experience. We highly recommend staying at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel for its exceptional on-site perks, including early park access and easy transportation. If staying offsite is more your style, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the entrance to Universal Orlando is a fantastic alternative, conveniently located just a short walk away from the parks.
Follow our detailed day-by-day guide to make the most of your Universal Orlando vacation, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure!
- The Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary: Day 1, Islands of Adventure
- The Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary: Day 2, Universal Studios
- The Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary: Day 3, Volcano Bay/Islands of Adventure
- Our Final Thoughts on Three Days at Universal Orlando
The Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary: Day 1, Islands of Adventure
Morning: The World of Harry Potter
Begin your exhilarating adventure at Islands of Adventure by taking advantage of early access to the park for guests staying at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Make a beeline for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, where you’ll be instantly transported into the magical realm of Hogwarts and its surroundings.
Your first ride of the day should be Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a spectacular, immersive journey through the iconic Hogwarts Castle. Featuring state-of-the-art technology and realistic animatronics, this thrilling ride takes you on a magical adventure with Harry, Hermione, and Ron as you soar above the castle grounds and face off against mythical creatures.
Next, hop on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a groundbreaking roller coaster that combines storytelling with innovative coaster technology. This exciting ride puts you in the shoes of Hagrid’s apprentice as you embark on a thrilling journey through the Forbidden Forest, encountering rare magical creatures and experiencing unexpected twists and turns along the way.
Spend the rest of your morning exploring other attractions in Hogsmeade, such as Flight of the Hippogriff, a family-friendly coaster that takes you on a gentle flight above Hagrid’s pumpkin patch, and the enchanting shops of Hogsmeade where you can pick up souvenirs and magical treats.
Lunch Options in Hogsmeade
Refuel with a delicious meal at one of these Hogsmeade dining options:
- Primary option: Three Broomsticks, a rustic tavern offering traditional British fare, including fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and the famous Butterbeer.
- Alternative options: Thunder Falls Terrace, for rotisserie chicken and smoked turkey legs, or The Burger Digs, for juicy burgers and tasty sides.
Afternoon: Thrills For Hours
After lunch, make your way to Marvel Super Hero Island, an action-packed area featuring iconic Marvel characters and thrilling attractions. Don’t miss The Incredible Hulk Coaster, a high-speed roller coaster that sends you on a heart-pounding ride with twists, turns, and inversions, simulating the incredible power of Hulk himself.
Next, experience The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, an award-winning 3D dark ride that combines 3D projection, practical effects, and motion simulation to create an unforgettable adventure. Join Spider-Man in a high-stakes battle against classic villains, and feel the rush as you swing through the city streets.
Continue your adventure in Toon Lagoon, where you can cool off on Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, a white-water rafting adventure that will leave you soaked and smiling. Then, prepare to get drenched on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, a thrilling log flume ride inspired by the classic cartoon.
Finish your afternoon at Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a spectacular dark ride that transports you to the mysterious world of King Kong. Board a rugged expedition vehicle and embark on an intense journey through the jungle, encountering massive creatures and ultimately coming face-to-face with the legendary ape himself.
Evening: Wrapping Up Day 1
As the day winds down, explore the prehistoric world of Jurassic Park. Don’t miss the Jurassic Park River Adventure, a water-based thrill ride that takes you on a tour through a dinosaur habitat gone awry, culminating in an 85-foot plunge to escape a fearsome T-Rex.
Next, head to Seuss Landing, a whimsical land filled with colorful, family-friendly attractions inspired by the beloved works of Dr. Seuss. Take a spin on the Caro-Seuss-el or enjoy a leisurely ride on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride.
End your day by returning to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a mesmerizing nighttime show. Witness the magic of Hogwarts Castle come to life as dazzling projections and
The Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary: Day 2, Universal Studios
Morning: Harry Potter, Take Two
Start your second day with early access to Universal Studios, where the magic of the movies comes to life. Head straight to Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a uniquely immersive experience that will leave you spellbound. The cobblestone streets, magical shops, and stunning attention to detail create a truly unforgettable atmosphere.
Your first ride of the day should be Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, an exhilarating multi-dimensional thrill ride that combines cutting-edge technology with immersive storytelling. Board your Gringotts cart and join Harry, Ron, and Hermione on a daring escape from the bank’s vaults, encountering villains, dragons, and unexpected surprises along the way.
After experiencing the wonders of Gringotts, take the time to explore Diagon Alley’s other attractions, such as the interactive wand experience at Ollivanders or the thrilling Tales of Beedle the Bard puppet show.
Lunch Options in Diagon Alley
When it’s time for lunch, indulge in delicious British-inspired dishes at one of these Diagon Alley dining options:
- Primary option: The Leaky Cauldron, a cozy, authentic pub serving favorites like bangers and mash, toad in the hole, and of course, Butterbeer.
- Alternative options: Fast Food Boulevard for a variety of quick eats or Richter’s Burger Co. for mouthwatering burgers and shakes.
Afternoon: Exploring Universal Studios
After lunch, set out to explore the rest of Universal Studios’ themed areas: Production Central, New York, San Francisco, and Hollywood. Each area offers unique attractions, shows, and experiences that transport you to the heart of the movies.
At Production Central, brave the heart-pounding excitement of Revenge of the Mummy, an indoor roller coaster that combines high-speed thrills with spine-chilling encounters with the ancient Mummy himself. Experience the adrenaline rush as you speed through darkness, narrowly avoiding curses and supernatural forces.
Continue to New York for Transformers: The Ride-3D, a groundbreaking fusion of 3D projection, motion simulation, and special effects that puts you in the center of an epic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. Join Optimus Prime and Bumblebee as they fight to save the Earth from the evil Megatron and his army.
Don’t miss the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at the Hollywood section of the park, a one-of-a-kind roller coaster that allows you to choose your own soundtrack while you zoom through loops, drops, and twists at speeds of up to 65 mph.
Evening: Closing Out Day 2
As evening approaches, make your way to Springfield, home to The Simpsons Ride, a hilarious and thrilling simulator experience that transports you into the world of the beloved animated family. Join Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie as they embark on a chaotic adventure through Krustyland.
Next, venture into Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, a family-friendly area filled with attractions inspired by classic children’s characters. Enjoy a spin on Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster or get lost in the interactive play areas of Fievel’s Playland and Curious George Goes to Town.
Finish your day at Universal Studios with the spectacular Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration nighttime show. Watch in awe as iconic movie moments come to life through dazzling water projections, vibrant lights, and heart-pounding music, creating a perfect ending to an unforgettable day.
The Universal Orlando 3 Day Itinerary: Day 3, Volcano Bay/Islands of Adventure
Morning: Making Up For Lost Time
On your final day, head back to Islands of Adventure to revisit any attractions you may have missed on your first day or to experience your favorites once more. With so many incredible experiences to choose from, there’s always something new to discover.
Lunch Options at Islands of Adventure
When hunger strikes, treat yourself to a satisfying meal at one of these Islands of Adventure dining options:
- Primary option: Mythos Restaurant, an award-winning, full-service restaurant with a unique atmosphere and an eclectic menu that includes options like pan-seared salmon, pad thai, and artisanal pizzas.
- Alternative options: Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous, offering classic American fare in a whimsical, circus-themed setting, or Green Eggs and Ham Cafe, a quirky quick-service spot serving inventive dishes inspired by Dr. Seuss.
Afternoon: Getting Wet and Wild at Volcano Bay
After lunch, it’s time to dive into the tropical paradise of Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando’s stunning water park. With its lush landscapes, thrilling water rides, and relaxing beaches, Volcano Bay is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy some fun in the sun.
Begin your water park adventure with Krakatau Aqua Coaster, a unique water roller coaster that sends you racing through the heart of the park’s iconic volcano. Experience the exhilaration of sudden drops, uphill climbs, and thrilling twists as you navigate the ride’s watery path.
Next, take the plunge on Ko’okiri Body Plunge, a 70-degree, near-vertical slide that sends you plummeting 125 feet through a trap door and into a splashdown pool below. This heart-pounding attraction is perfect for thrill-seekers looking to test their limits.
For more aquatic excitement, try Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides, a pair of intertwined slides that send riders twisting and turning through dark tunnels before splashing down into the pool below.
Evening: Finishing Up Day 3
As the sun begins to set, enjoy a meal at one of Volcano Bay’s tempting dining options:
- Primary option: Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club, offering island-inspired dishes like coconut-crusted fried chicken, kalua pork sandwiches, and refreshing tropical cocktails.
- Alternative option: Whakawaiwai Eats, a quick-service spot serving up tasty flatbreads, burgers, and salads.
After your meal, take some time to relax on the soft sands of Waturi Beach, where you can soak up the last rays of the sun and reflect on the incredible memories you’ve made over the past three days.
As the sky turns to twilight, consider taking one last ride on your favorite Volcano Bay attraction or simply enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of the park as the sun sets. With the warm breeze and the sound of the waves lapping at the shore, there’s no better way to end your unforgettable 3-day adventure at Universal Orlando Resort.
Our Final Thoughts on Three Days at Universal Orlando
With our comprehensive 3-day itinerary, you’ll have experienced the very best that Universal Orlando Resort has to offer in 2023. From the enchanting world of Harry Potter to the thrilling roller coasters and immersive attractions inspired by your favorite films, this unforgettable journey has created memories that will last a lifetime.
In addition to the exhilarating attractions, you’ve had the opportunity to indulge in delicious dining options, explore the incredible theming of the parks, and enjoy the luxurious amenities of your chosen accommodation, whether it be the exceptional Loews Portofino Bay Hotel or the conveniently located DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the entrance to Universal Orlando.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
As you prepare to leave the magic behind and return to reality, remember the excitement and wonder you experienced during your visit. The stories, characters, and adventures of Universal Orlando Resort have a way of staying with you long after you’ve left the parks, serving as a constant reminder of the incredible experiences you shared.
We hope this guide has provided you with the tools and knowledge to make the most of your time at Universal Orlando Resort. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned theme park enthusiast, our carefully curated itinerary has ensured that your 3-day adventure was filled with non-stop excitement, unforgettable moments, and a true appreciation for the magic that Universal Orlando has to offer.