It’s the middle of summer and in Central Florida that means temperatures are already reaching 90 degrees by 9am. If you’re visiting the Orlando theme parks then you’re going to be out in the heat for most of the day but don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to keep cool! Take a look at my list of ways to beat heat at Universal Orlando Resort this summer!
1. Feel the breeze on the brand new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Island’s of Adventure
The long awaited Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (try saying that fast three times in a row!) is now up and running in Hogsmeade! This family roller coaster is already being hailed as the best ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and even one of the best roller coasters in Central Florida!
Featuring both forwards and backwards sections, this roller coaster flies through the Forbidden Forest at speeds up to 50mph with twists, turns, and plenty of hidden Easter Eggs for die-hard Harry Potter fans.
Along the way, you’ll meet some of Hagrid’s most famous magical creatures including Fluffy, the three-headed dog and Blast-Ended Skrewts – and be sure to hold on to those handlebars when you reach the Devil’s Snare at the end! This ride is the perfect place to catch a cool breeze on a warm day!
2. Pick up a sweet treat from Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios
When temperatures outside heat up, then chances are you won’t want a full meal – and that’s where my next tip comes in! Instead of having a meal at lunch time, rehydrate with plenty of water and cool down with a sweet treat instead.
Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor in Diagon Alley offers up over 20 different flavors of both soft serve and regular ice cream, including the famous strawberry peanut butter that Harry and his friends eat in The Chamber of Secrets book.
My personal recommendation is a scoop of the chocolate chili and a scoop of the clotted cream topped with strawberry sauce and chopped nuts in a cup, or you can add a souvenir glass for a few more dollars (which makes for a unique and cheap souvenir!)
3. Get soaked on a water ride
The two Universal Orlando Resort theme parks have a multitude of fun water rides where you won’t just get wet – you’ll get soaked!
While Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw falls are a family favorite on a hot day, if you really want to combine the refreshment of getting soaked on a water ride with the excitement of a thrill ride, then head to Island’s of Adventure to ride the Jurassic Park River Adventure.
Not only does this attraction provide a close up look at some of the famous dinosaurs featured in the Jurassic Park movies, but a close encounter with the T-Rex at the end of the ride will send your boat hurtling down into the river, kicking up quite a wave in the process!
You’re pretty much guaranteed to come off this ride ringing your clothes out but don’t worry, Universal provides drying machines close to the attraction – or you can just wait for that hot Florida sun to dry you off! One tip: don’t go into a store or restaurant with wet clothes – that powerful air conditioning will leave you a lot colder than you want!
4. Check out Curious George’s Water Playground at Universal Studios
Way back in the corner of Universal Studios you’ll find Woody Woodpecker’s Kids Zone, and to the back of that you’ll find a play area that most guests at Universal Orlando Resort have no idea is there! There is a whole play area designed for kids featuring beloved characters like Fieval the mouse and Curious George.
This is an area of the park perfect for those hot summer days because the whole point of being back here is to get wet! Curious George’s Water Playground is a huge structure with fountains and water blasters, and there’s even a water slide!
This is the perfect place to take kids to cool down on a hot day where not only can they get thoroughly soaked, but they can run around and burn off some energy too – it’s one of my top choices for visiting Universal Orlando with kids!
5. Take the Hogwarts Express to cool down
There are two ways to get from Universal Studios to Island’s of Adventure: one of those is a long, hot walk through City Walk – and the other is a fun train ride in an air conditioned cabin with Harry Potter and his friends! I know which I’m more likely to pick on a day when it’s 95 degrees outside!
The Hogwarts Express train runs back and forth between Kings’s Cross Station at Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and not only does it provide transportation between the two parks, but it’s a fantastic ride in itself.
Each direction of travel produces a slightly different ride so if you want to see both you’ll need to ride in both directions, but both are a fun family friendly way to spend some time in the air conditioning.
Note: since you travel from one park to the other on the train, you’ll need park to park tickets for the journey.
6. Take a splash at Volcano Bay
In 2017 Universal Orlando Resort opened what they consider to be their third gate: Volcano Bay, an incredible water theme park with rides, lazy rivers, wave pools and more all centered around the park’s main attraction, Krakatau, a volcano with a cascading waterfall that houses some of the parks best thrill rides.
Volcano Bay is a water park for the next generation where you need never stand in line; instead you simply use your TapuTapu wearable band throughout the day to get into virtual lines for each of the attractions, and then return when it’s your time to ride! The park also features incredible themeing with amazing attention to detail, fantastic food and drink options, cabanas and lockers for rental, and so much more!
If you’re driving to Universal Orlando Resort then you’ll need to park in the parking garage and then take a bus to visit Volcano Bay, but if you’re staying at one of the onsite Universal Orlando Resort hotels then you get to use the dedicated entrance at Cabana Bay Resort (you also get to enter the water park an hour before other guests, meaning much shorter wait times!) This brings me to my next tip…
7. Check out the amazing pools at the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels
The Universal Orlando Resort hotels have a fantastic – and well deserved, in my opinion – reputation as some of the best hotels in the Orlando area, and not just because of their location.
These resorts, ranging from premier properties to prime value, are destinations in themselves and don’t just rest on the fact that they’re in a great spot; they feature great rooms, fantastic dining locations and most importantly for summer trips, amazing pools – check out the main pool at Cabana Bay Resort (pictured above!)
If you’re planning on visiting Universal Orlando Resort then I would strongly suggest staying at one of their resorts; they have prices and properties to suit most budgets and the perks that come with them are wonderful.
Not only do all guests at Universal Orlando Resort hotels get into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay before other guests, as well as complimentary transportation to and from the parks, but guests staying at the Premier and Preferred hotels also get complimentary Express Pass, which is your ticket to skipping the lines at the most popular rides at both parks!
Staying at the hotels also allows you to take a midday break, which is my number one piece of advice when visiting Central Florida in the summer; hit the parks early, head back to your resort and jump into the pool, and then go back to the parks again in the evening when the weather is cooler! Trust me: when it’s this hot outside, you’ll be begging to take a dip in one of these pools!