This is three giant parks in one –Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park – so there’s always something new happening. The wow factor in 2019 is the opening of Hogwarts Castle’s roller coaster in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on 13 June. Named Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal are keeping tight-lipped about specifics, but we do know fans will be plunged into the Forbidden Forest and catch a glimpse of rare creatures such as Fluffy the three-headed dog and giant spider Aragog. There’s also a new Fast & Furious Supercharged experience including races and iconic vehicles at Universal Studios, and the new Volcano Bay park is more fun than you can shake an armband at, with body slides, drop rides, aqua coaster and rainforest village with river rafting and tubing.
Where: Florida – from Orlando Airport (MCO) it’s a 25-minute shuttle bus or taxi ride.
Best age to go: Six to 16
Can we stay? This place is so big you’ll need at least three days to cover all three parks, handily there are plenty of on-site hotels so you can maximise your time there. Best value is Universal’s Endless Summer Resort where rooms start from $85, Universal’s Cabana Bay channels a cool 50s vibe and has two massive pools and a lazy river, mansion-style Hard Rock has live music and rock star suites while Loews Portofino Bay Hotel looks like an Italian seaside village.
Price: Tui (tui.co.uk) offers seven nights at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort in a room sleeping four and including flights from East Midlands and transfers, from £701pp. Three-park, three-day ticket: £299 adult, £291 child.
Find out more: universalorlando.com
EXCITING RIDES ★★★★
VALUE FOR MONEY ★★★★
WOW FACTOR ★★★★★