Where Can You Stay Near Universal Orlando With Points?

The Universal Orlando Resort has become its own vacation destination, with three theme parks (well, two theme parks and a water park), a shopping and dining district and a slew of on (and slightly off) property hotels. If you’re a Harry Potter fan or are totally into Halloween Horror Nights, finding the closest hotel to Universal Orlando might be crucial to your vacation plans.

Here’s a list of places you’re able to stay near Universal Orlando using your hotel program points (or free night certificates) to pay for the room:

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Universal Orlando Changed The Rules For Free Lockers When You Go On Rides. Here’s What To Do About It.

The rule at Universal Orlando Resort is if you go on any sort of “thrill” ride, you can’t bring your stuff with you. Those rides currently include Harry Potter & the Escape from Gringotts, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack and Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure.

For these rides, items such as purses, knapsacks, bags, umbrellas, etc. have to go into a locker, which the parks have always offered free for a certain amount of time (the time is based on how long the queue + ride is, with a little extra time added in for cushioning).

Throughout the history of the two parks, the free lockers were a reasonable size – roughly 11.5″H x 9.5″W x17″ deep – big enough to hold an average-sized knapsack, a popcorn bucket, a drink cup that still had liquid in it, and a few more small and medium-sized things. But in December 2018, the free lockers became MUCH smaller – roughly half the size of the “old” free lockers. Oh, and if you want the size locker that used to be free? That’s gonna cost ya.

So what can you do about that?…

Continue reading “Universal Orlando Changed The Rules For Free Lockers When You Go On Rides. Here’s What To Do About It.”

Our Favorite Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Off Disney/Universal Property

We know that lots of theme park fans don’t like to go off theme park property when they vacation in Central Florida. We used to be like that, too, before we lived here. Eating at a theme park is usually faster than traveling off property to dine, it keeps you immersed in the theme park experience, etc. And we get it – there are indeed some really nice places “on property” that give you awesome food and/or theming, and you get to maximize your time in the parks. But if you limit yourself to just eating on property, you are denying yourself some incredibly good eats that usually cost a fraction of Disney’s and Universal’s prices and often taste even better than anything you can get in the parks or on property.

These are some of our most favorite “off property” restaurants. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, since it would be almost impossible to put them in order of which is
best, second best, etc., and they run the gamut in terms of price point, food type, dress requirements and distance from the parks. Many offer meals throughout the day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, brunch, high tea), although we’re specifying our experiences with them for dinner. Most are places you can’t find anywhere else (or at least have only limited locations), they’re all “not to be missed” and some, we admit, are really just for adults (we’ve included level of “kid friendliness,” based on our observations, in each of the narratives). Continue reading “Our Favorite Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Off Disney/Universal Property”

Free Booze On Airline, How To Reclaim Resort Fee Money, LaGuardia’s Getting WHAT For The Summer?, & More!

Happy Wednesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Continue reading “Free Booze On Airline, How To Reclaim Resort Fee Money, LaGuardia’s Getting WHAT For The Summer?, & More!”

MIA OKed For Restaurant Auto-Tips, Big Google Maps Change, Cheaper B’way Tickets, FL Theme Park Lawsuit & More!

Happy Wednesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Continue reading “MIA OKed For Restaurant Auto-Tips, Big Google Maps Change, Cheaper B’way Tickets, FL Theme Park Lawsuit & More!”