The Universal Orlando Resort is a theme park and resort located in Orlando, Florida. Commonly called Universal Orlando, the theme park is wholly owned by NBC Universal. Universal Orlando is the second largest resort in the Greater Orlando, Florida area after Walt Disney World. It is considered the largest property operated by Universal Parks & Resorts.
Universal Orlando consists of two main theme parks: the Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure and the Universal CityWalk Orlando entertainment complex. Additionally there are four Loews Hotels on the property.
Universal Islands of Adventure
Opening in May 1999, Universal Islands of Adventure is a theme park that consists of “7 islands” that are themed to various adventures. Visitors will begin at the Port of Entry and will make their way through the various themed islands. The islands include: Toon Lagoon, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, Jurassic Park, Seuss Landing, and Marvel Super Hero Landing. The newest island, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the popular book and movie franchise, was recently added to the original islands on June 18, 2010.
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida is a theme park that was officially opened on June 7th, 1990. The parks’ theme is that of the entertainment industry, in particular movies and television. With its “ride the movies” theme, the park features numerous live shows and attractions.
The park has ranked as high as eighth most-visited theme part in the US, hosting more than 5.9 million guests in 2010.
Universal CityWalk was officially opened to the public in 1999, as an expansion to the Universal Orlando Resort. Guests will arrive to the resort park from one of the two multi-story parking structures, where they will travel along moving sidewalks that lie over Universal Boulevard. Once in CityWalk, guests can move between both theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. Merchandise for both theme parks can be purchased at the Universal Store.
Located in CityWalk are numerous nightclubs, shopping, restaurants, the Blue Man Group show, and the AMC Movie Theatre. The many nightclubs located in CityWalk including: the Red Coconut Club, the Bob Marley-A Tribute to Freedom, Groove, and the Latin Quarter. Other notable locations include Margarita Ville, NBA City, Pastamore, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Emeril’s, NASCAR Sports Grill, and Hard Rock Café. More Family oriented and casual dining spots include: Burger King Whopper Bar, Fusion Bistro Sushi & Saki Bar, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Panda Express.
Wet’n Wild Orlando
Founded in 1977 by SeaWorld founder George Millay, Wet’n Wild is one of the first major water parks. Wet’n Wild was acquired by Universal Parks & Resorts, which has been added to Universal Orlando. The park features 18 water slides and attractions at the water park. The major attractions of the park include: Disco H2O, the Surge, Bomb Bay, and the Storm. Wet’n Wild is located nearly a half mile south of the Universal parking garage, at the intersection of International Drive and Universal Boulevard.