Here at Vacation Now, the web’s number one provider of discount vacations to Las Vegas, Maui, Laughlin and Orlando, we’re always on the lookout for online content that can help you enjoy your stay at one of our vacation destinations that much more. Today, we came across an article from Condé Nast Traveler entitled Universal Orlando Attractions You Can’t Miss. For this well-researched article, writer Valerie Marino took a trip through one of Orlando’s most popular theme parks and came back with a list of her favorite attractions. She has multiple reasons for each choice, so for brevity purposes, we will share just one of them per pick and ask you to click on the link to read the rest.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley
So how does the Wizarding World of Harry Potter conjure the world we loved in the books?
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley at Universal Studios is one seriously impressive and richly themed land, from the fire-breathing dragon atop Gringotts Bank to the props scattered throughout the shops—many recreated by the films’ prop designer or straight from the set itself. And just like in the Harry Potter books and movies, Diagon Alley is hidden to the untrained eye. Follow the crowds to pass through the brick wall facade, which takes you from present-day London into the familiar cobblestoned streetscape.
Universal’s Volcano Bay
Why is this place worth our attention?
Universal Orlando Resort refers to Volcano Bay as its third theme park, and with 18 attractions spread across 25 acres, there’s plenty to fill your day. It’s all centered around Krakatau, a 200-foot-tall, hyper-realistic volcano that houses four different water slides and shows off with fiery lava at night. Universal hotel guests have a dedicated entrance and receive one-hour early entry, so plan an onsite stay if you want to conquer Volcano Bay in all its glory. The park is open year-round, and the water is heated to a comfortable 85 degrees during the cooler months.
So, can you tell us a little about this attraction?
There’s no better way to journey from London to Hogsmeade than the Hogwarts Express. Not just an attraction, the train serves as practical transportation between Universal Orlando Resort’s two theme parks. Watching the Hogwarts Express steam into the station at Platform 9¾ will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to a film set. The train and its interior compartments have been recreated in painstaking detail, right down to the upholstery. Once your journey begins, don’t just watch the countryside pass by out your window. The action is happening all around you, as certain beloved characters—and maybe a dementor or two—stop by your carriage door.
Universal CityWalk Orlando
What’s this place all about?
CityWalk is the dining, shopping, and entertainment complex that links Universal Orlando’s two theme parks. Take a midday break from the thrill rides at one of the restaurants, or challenge your family to 18 holes at the Hollywood Drive-In, a sci-fi and horror movie–themed mini-golf course. CityWalk takes on a nightclub atmosphere in the evenings, thanks to its colorful neon lights and live music on the waterfront.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
What’s the story behind this ride?
One of the original attractions built for the opening of Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 1999, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man has held its ground as one of the best 3-D motion rides out there. It combines impressive high-definition projections with just about every special effect there is, including wind, heat, strobe lights, and water (don’t worry, you can leave the poncho in your backpack), but they all work together seamlessly for an exhilarating experience.
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons
So, can you tell us a little about this area?
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons is one of the best places on Earth for children of the ’80s to fulfill their dreams of stepping into the world of the hit animated show. The colorful streetscape, made for photo ops, has everything from a welcome sign featuring Blinky the three-eyed fish to a mural of Radioactive Man to a bronze statue of Jebediah Springfield. But the main attraction is The Simpsons Ride, a motion simulator that takes you on a wild ride with the Simpson family and their arch nemesis: Sideshow Bob.
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