Guide to Universal Orlando Resort for Solo Travelers
If you’ve ever thought about having an epic theme park vacation at Universal Orlando Resort alone, then I’m here to guide you into one of the most incredible ways to travel.
After all, you’ve been wanting to start your Universal Orlando vacation and you’re tired of waiting for other people’s schedules to line up with yours. If you’re done postponing your visit, then let’s dive into how and why you should go solo.
Why Go It Alone at Universal Orlando Resort?
The main benefit of a solo trip is… Freedom!
Of course I could not start this guide without giving you one of the main reasons I love traveling alone to Universal Orlando Resort. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going with family and friends, but there’s nothing like having the freedom to choose how you want your day to go.
When you’re traveling by yourself, you plan out whatever day you want to have. Whether that’s spending all day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter chatting with witches and wizards or whether it’s a day of riding every roller coaster multiple times. It’s whatever you want!
But I get it: taking your first solo trip can be nerve-wracking and intimidating, especially if you’re someone who likes to share fun memories with others in your life. The thing that makes traveling alone to Universal Orlando so unique is that it’s an easy way to get into the lifestyle of solo travel, but let me break down what I mean:
Universal Orlando Resort is in the center of all the action in Orlando, Florida. Not only can you enjoy the thrilling attractions at the theme parks, the lively nightlife in CityWalk, and the top-notch restaurants at the resorts, but you can also visit and support local businesses in the city that also offer unique experiences.
2. Safe Travels
One of the main things you may be concerned with is just how comfortable you’ll be traveling to Universal Orlando by yourself. In my experience with solo travels, I have found Universal Orlando to be an incredibly secure place to visit in Florida. If you’ve ever been through the security process, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Taking your first solo trip to Universal Orlando may be your way of finally building up the courage to jump right into the world of solo travel. What I want you to take advantage of is the time to truly relax and just have fun! Now relaxing may look different to all of us. You may enjoy screaming your head off on Jurassic World VelociCoaster as your form of “relaxation” if you’re into a more adventurous type of vacation.
Maybe you like chilling by the sandy pool at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel with a great book as you pretend you’re halfway across the world in a small Italian seaside village. Or maybe you’re like me and your solo trip feels complete with a glass of Butterbeer while sitting behind the Three Broomsticks enjoying the view of Hogwarts castle.
Whatever your way of unwinding on vacation is, you can create that amazing day because it’s your trip and you have NO ONE to answer to!
What to Do at Universal Orlando Resort on Your Solo Trip
Universal Studios Florida
Here you’ll go on fun-filled adventures with E.T., get lost in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, be terrified on Revenge of the Mummy, top your best score on MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack, go on the hunt for Jason Bourne, and join the fight on Transformers: The Ride 3D. These fascinating attractions will make you feel so empowered about your decision to finally take that solo trip!
You can create your own blockbuster experience and have a moment to reflect on it because you’re not constantly worrying about the needs of others.
- Revenge of the Mummy: It’s dark and creepy with the eeriness being heightened when you’re traveling alone through the spooky queue. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Revenge of the Mummy is currently closed for refurbishment.)
- Men in Black: Alien Attack: On this attraction, no one in your ride vehicle will even care that you’re riding solo. They’ll only want to know if you’re there to WIN!
- E.T. Adventure: This classic Universal Studios ride is the last remaining original attraction from the theme park’s original lineup. The forest scene in the queue is a great place to wait and enjoy the scenery and smells. It’s also a dark ride, so you can feel extra special riding alone with E.T. to help save the Green Planet.
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: You’ll be happy to go on an adventure with Harry and his friends and be one step closer to defeating Lord Voldermort. It’s an incredible multi-dimensional thrill ride with immaculate theming and design and one that you absolutely cannot miss!
- Ollivanders Wand Shop: Yeah, I know this is not technically a ride, but as a solo traveler, you MUST DO THIS! Just imagine, you get to Universal Studios early and end up being one of a first people called inside. You will experience the same magical encounter Harry had in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when he too first visited Ollivanders unaccompanied.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
If you want to experience a place of enchantment and charm, then Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the place to be! This is the theme park to truly get lost and be OK with that as you discover all the nooks and crannies of this Florida destination cloaked in mystery on your solo trip.
From transforming with the Hulk to going deep into the Forbidden Forest, you will have a blast during this vacation of one. So, as you walk through the gates of Islands of Adventure be sure to hit that first right leaving the Port of Entry, and head directly to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure: This is not only THE ride for Harry Potter fans, it’s THE ride for fans of theme park attractions that truly immerse you. What makes Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure great for solo travelers is that you can choose your preferred seat (if you don’t use the Single Rider Line) in either the the sidecar or the motorbike. Since this is your epic solo trip, go ahead and do it big by riding it both ways!
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: You cannot make it all the way to Islands of Adventure and not explore the halls of the famous Hogwarts castle before experiencing this world-class attraction. You will most likely be seated with another party, but I have never minded because it’s just too good to miss. Plus, you’ll want to have someone there with you so that you don’t get too scared coming face-to-face with all of those Dementors!
- The Cat in the Hat: I love a good dark ride and this one always reminds me of my first visits to Islands of Adventure. Plus, it’s a classic storybook experience that takes you on a spinny, twirly, and colorful ride through the pages of the famous Dr. Seuss book.
- Jurassic World VelociCoaster: Although you won’t have a row to yourself, you’ll be happy to have others next to you to help you brave the twists, turns, launches, and high speeds of this Universal Orlando roller coaster.
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster: You cannot visit Islands of Adventure without facing the Hulk! Let’s not forget that this coaster launches you at a speed of up to 67 miles per hour. Just think of all the bragging rights you’ll have knowing that you conquered this ALONE!
PRO TIP: Don’t forget to meet some of the amazing characters throughout Universal Orlando Resort such as Blue the Raptor at Raptor Encounter.
Check here for more character encounter opportunities!
Going to a water theme park as a solo traveler can feel way more intimidating than going to your average theme park. But the reason why I recommend that you visit Volcano Bay is that the park is designed perfectly to keep you relaxed and tranquil on your solo trip. The theming allows you to get lost in the storyline told through the Waturi islanders who call Volcano Bay home.
There are also little nooks and crannies filled with lounging areas deep within the park for you to relax with a good book or podcast to set the right vibe for your Universal Orlando Resort vacation.
- Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides: You can take a leap into the watery depths below from the top of the infamous volcano. Just know that this ride is intense, so you may want to give yourself a motivational speech before this one.
- Ko’okiri Body Plunge: If Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides weren’t enough, this one will take you out (in a fun way). So, save this ride for the end of the day or right before you plan on taking a break from all of the fun water theme park action on your visit.
- Kopiko Wai Winding River: Now this attraction is more my speed. I absolutely love lazy rivers and this one combines all the elements that I enjoy. My perfect lazy rivers are ones that are long, have multiple exits, dark caves, and great water elements. You can always find me on this ride for most of my day at Volcano Bay.
- The Reef: This is also one of the best attractions at Volcano Bay for solo travelers. Although it’s not a high-speed thrilling ride, you can just bask in your vacation while relaxing in this quiet area away from the popular wave pool (that’s if you’re more of a low-key traveler). You can also watch the more courageous visitors plummet down Ko’okiri Body Plunge while you sit peacefully by enjoying the calming water.
- TeAwa The Fearless River: If you’re a person who’s not quite into the quietness of a lazy river and the terrors of a freefalling water ride, then this one is perfect for you. Just imagine the Kopiko Wai Winding River kicked up ten notches! It’s fun, unpredictable, and perfect for a solo traveler.
PRO TIP: Be mindful that some rides at Volcano Bay will require you to be with an additional rider. In order to do this, you can wait in line for the attraction that you want to experience and ask another party if you can join them on the ride. Most people will have no problem with your request and you may meet another solo traveler along the way.
Where to Eat at Universal Orlando Resort for Solo Travelers
Central Park Crêpes in Universal Studios: It’s a quick service location where you can grab your freshly made crepe and sit around the lagoon taking in all the great views of Universal Studios Florida. My top picks here are the Smoked Brisket and the Cookies & Cream crepe!
London Taxi Cart in Universal Studios: If you’re caught up in the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, you could easily miss this spot. This quaint kiosk serves the most hearty British-inspired snack called the Jacket Potato and has the following options: Loaded, Broccoli and Cheddar, Bean and Cheese, or Shepherd’s Pie to top it off!
Once you grab your mouth-watering snack, head over to the Knight Bus area and enjoy your loaded potato treat while taking in all the stunning views.
Thunder Falls Terrace in Islands of Adventure: The location is perfect for a solo traveler who wants to sit outside and listen to the screams of guests flying down Jurassic Park River Adventure. I recommend getting the Rice Bowl that comes with your choice of mojo chicken or jackfruit or roasted pernil with black beans, cilantro rice, cotija cheese served with fried plantains, and salsa.
Confisco Grille in Islands of Adventure: You can’t go wrong here with items like the Udon Noodle Bowl, Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs, Pad Thai, and the Ahi Tuna Nachos (an Annual Passholder favorite). They also offer some of the best drinks among all of the Universal Orlando theme parks and you can sometimes find Annual Passholder exclusive drinks here.
PRO TIP: I enjoy sitting in the bar area overlooking the pathway near the Port of Entry and just people-watching. It’s one of my favorite things to do at Universal Orlando.
Wimpy’s in Islands of Adventure: You may not know this, but you can get a Dole Whip Pineapple Sorbet at this location. You can’t go wrong with a refreshing Dole Whip to help cool you off on your solo vacation. Be sure to walk over to Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges to watch people get soaked while enjoying your sweet treat.
Mythos Restaurant in Islands of Adventure: Famous for its quality food, this place is also not your typical theme park dining experience. With items such as the Grilled Lamb Meatballs, the Semolina Crusted Calamari, the Shrimp Sushi Katsu Roll, the Beef Loin Medallions, and the Sea Scallop and Summer Truffle Risotto, you will fall in love with this place!
Plus, the decor and the views overlooking the lagoon of the park are absolutely breathtaking and will make you feel as if you truly made the best decision of traveling alone to Universal Orlando Resort.
Kohola Reef in Volcano Bay: You won’t go wrong with anything on the menu here. I really love the island flare that’s reflected across each offering. However, if I had to choose my favorites, I would go with the Jerk Mahi Sandwich and the Kohola Chicken Sandwich.
Voodoo Doughnut in CityWalk: Of course doughnuts and theme parks go well together…at least in my mind! You will be in dessert heaven as you enter the pink building filled with delicious delights that will make you so happy on your vacation of one.
I recommend the Raised Glaze Doughnut, but if you don’t want this classic treat, I suggest trying one of the fancier ones like the Miami Vice Doughnut.
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in CityWalk: You cannot have a solo trip out to Universal Orlando Resort and not visit this fun and tasty restaurant. I love it because not only is the food wonderfully made, I love the Steampunk theming here.
My favorite dishes here are the Truffle Fries, the Totchos, the Braised Short Rib, and of course the Confetti Milkshake that comes with an actual slice of cake on top!
There are also a variety of areas that you can sit in that will not make you feel awkward about eating alone. Areas such as the outstanding upstairs bar and the spacious, yet intimate outdoor dining area where you can overlook CityWalk and enjoy the Florida weather (on a good day).
Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches in CityWalk: I could not leave this place off my list. It’s a quieter area of CityWalk, which I like as a solo traveler and there’s always a little seat in the corner for me to enjoy my favorite item here, which is the Hot Turkey Sandwich that comes with smokehouse turkey, applewood bacon, tomato, smoked gouda, and tomato aioli on multi-grain.
Of course, I have so many other options to add to this list, especially all the charming treats from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but I wanted to give you a few alternatives that are not mentioned much and places that are great to dine at as a solo traveler.
Solo Travel Tips for Beginners
Now that you know the benefits of traveling alone and what to do at Universal Orlando for a solo trip, let’s go through a few tips to help you conquer your experience confidently!
1. Choose the Best Days
Let’s be real. If you’re anything like me, then you want to visit on days where the weather is cooperating and the crowds are low. For your solo trip, you will want to stick to weekdays if you can and avoid times when the schools are out.
However, if you can only go during the holidays or during the school breaks, then I recommend getting a Universal Express Pass Unlimited. This is my go-to advice if you only have a short time to spare and you want to see as much as possible. And the good news is that if you’re a guest at one of our Premier Hotels, you get your Express Pass Unlimited for free.
No matter what you decide, you must start each and every day of your trip early and get to the front gate before the park opens to make the most of your time.
There’s so much to see and do that it’s going to be hard to do it all in one day. Since you’ll have a multi-day ticket, you’ll be able to take breaks at your hotel, then go back when the crowd is lower to try some of the rides you may not have been able to experience in the earlier part of the day.
You can get more details on the multi-day theme park tickets here.
This is one of my main tips for any person wanting to travel alone for the first time. It’s already nerve-wracking and with such a feat to take on, you’ll want to have some type of plan in place to help you feel the most confident on your solo adventure.
The first steps are to figure out how long you want to visit Universal Orlando Resort, where you want to stay, what are your must-do attractions, where do you want to eat, what merchandise do you want to buy, and what do you want to do on your downtime.
Just be sure to review the map before your visit and download The Official Universal Orlando Resort App so that you’ll be familiar with it before your trip.
This perk is great for solo travelers going to Universal Orlando Resort. If you’re coming from a far location, you don’t want to worry about how you will get around while on your trip. The great thing about Universal Orlando is that if you stay on property, you won’t have to pay extra for transportation.
Although you have the option of taking the shuttle bus, my favorite mode of transportation is the Water Taxi that takes you to and from select resorts for free. It’s peaceful and the views you get of the theme parks and the resorts are the highlight of the whole experience. You can find out more here.
This is one of the main perks of solo travel life! You get to use the Single Rider Line at Universal Orlando theme parks for free! These lines do help lower your wait time, but the best thing about them is that you’ll find many of your top ride choices with the Single Rider Line option.
● Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
● MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack
● Revenge of the Mummy
● Transformers: The Ride 3D
● Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
● Jurassic World VelociCoaster
● Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
● Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
● Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
● The Incredible Hulk Coaster
PRO TIP: Please remember that this lineup is always changing, so be sure to double-check the Universal Orlando Resort website for the most up-to-date information.
If you’re new to this idea of traveling alone, then you’ll want to prepare for your Universal Orlando Resort vacation by doing some things by yourself before you get to the parks. I don’t want you to feel intimidated about getting on a ride by yourself or dining alone. Being able to do things by yourself BEFORE you arrive will give you more confidence when your solo trip finally starts.
I know the thought of doing this can be weird and uncomfortable, but you don’t want all of your photos to be selfies. I mean they’re OK, but sometimes it’s hard to get that good angle and to show everything you want in a photo when it’s only a selfie.
Now, I’m not anti-selfie photos, I just recommend that you get some regular ones if you can to really tell the full story of your vacation. So, how do you do this? I’m glad you asked.
When you see a family taking photos, but they’re not all in them together, you can offer to take their photo. Once you’re done, just ask them to take yours.
If you’re like “there’s no way I’m going to do that”, then look for a Universal Orlando Team Member to take a photo of you.
As you can see, Universal Orlando Resort is made for more than families or friends wanting a vacation getaway. It’s a place that is welcoming and perfect for solo travelers. You will NEVER be bored and you’ll walk away with so many memories from your vacation.
After you’ve conquered your trip alone, be sure to stop inside the Universal Orlando Store and grab your superstar trophy for a job well done!
I am proud of you for taking that first step into visiting Universal Orlando Resort by yourself. Never hesitate to reach out to me if you need a few words of encouragement to take that solo trip.
Best of luck!