Ultimate Guide to Jurassic Park at Universal Orlando

Do YOU have a dinosaur lover in your home? We have the place for YOU!

Seeing a dinosaur on screen for the first time is a moment most of us will never forget.

Having a dinosaur in real life interrupt your photo op by attempting to bite your head is also a moment that most of us will never, ever forget AND is just one of the many unique experiences in Jurassic Park at Universal Orlando!

Years after the Jurassic Park 1993 film release, Universal Orlando Resort developed a dedicated land to these films in Islands of Adventure. It has everything — a river boat ride, the iconic Jeep, and, yes, dinosaur encounters!

With the recent news of the new, ridiculously thrilling roller-coaster, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, opening in Jurassic Park in summer 2021, we are officially counting the days until the new attraction opens. Best way to pass the time until the ride opens? Spend all of our time in Jurassic Park.

If stepping into the world of Jurassic Park in person is high on your must-do list, then consider this your travel guide for your upcoming visit.

WHERE TO STAY

Let’s be clear, any Universal Orlando Resort hotel option is going to be a phenomenal stay with plenty of theme-park perks. But If you want the ULTIMATE Jurassic vacation, you gotta go with Loews Royal Pacific Resort and their Jurassic World Kids Suites! The second you open the paddock door, you have entered the world where Velociraptors, Pteranodons, and even the Indominus Rex roam.

I have 2 boys and we have stayed in this suite. It was a parenting WIN! My boys couldn’t stop thanking me and saying this was the BEST ROOM EVER!

WHAT TO DO

The moment you enter the iconic gates into the land you are surrounded by the jungle, immediately hear the iconic theme-song, and if you look down at the sidewalk you’ll notice our Universal Creative team left no stone unturned and no fossil imprint left un-included. Make your way through the land to take in all the sights and experiences from the films!

There is a lot to explore and a lot of tropical plants and foliage to set the tone for your adventure. Throughout the land you’ll stumble upon Jeeps for the perfect photo ops, shops, dining, and rides.

This attraction offers a scenic water boat tour where you can see a baby Stegosaurus and other ominous creatures in their natural habitats. It’s all peaceful enough until you encounter an unexpected guest and plummet 85 feet! Three things are pretty much guaranteed at this point: you will scream, you will get soaked, and you will have a blast on this combination of thrill and water ride.

With kids in the family, this is a must-do!! Located across from Jurassic Park River Adventure in Camp Jurassic, it allows two people (one has to be a child) at a time to fly above the land beneath the 10-ft wings of a Pteranodon! There is no better way to take in the sights of Jurassic Park and beyond.

What is Universal Orlando Resort if not an immersive playground for guests to experience first-hand the thrills of the worlds they love? Stop by Raptor Encounter and meet Blue from Jurassic World or our new baby Raptor, Sierra.

Slowly approach the dinosaurs for a quick photo moment (one of the best photo ops in the parks!).

Pro-tip: Try to be calm because she will sense your fear and she will feed off it.

Feeling ravenous as you explore? There are a few great dining spots that offer a variety of food options.

If burgers meet your fancy, head over to The Burger Digs, located in the top floor of the Discovery Center. It is known for burgers and soft serve milkshakes and we have the photo evidence to prove how good they are. (There are also dietary accommodations including a vegan cheeseburger platter.) The whole place is decked out in skeletal remains, so you’ll feel like a paleontologist on your lunch break at a research facility.

A little known secret that far too many people walk right past is The Watering Hole! You can find this spot located near the arch entrance to purchase some tasty beverages and incredible snacks — nachos, hotdogs, and churros. My favorite is the pulled-pork nachos, but you really can’t go wrong!

If you’re looking for something a little different than the burgers and pizza options above, then check out Thunder Falls Terrace. This restaurant offers an array of rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs, smoked turkey legs, soups, salads, and more.

Thunder Falls Terrace is also another spot to cool off from the hot weather, hide from any roaming dinosaurs, and just enjoy the company of your group.

Take everything you think you know about theme park food-carts, throw it out the Jeep window, and try this dulce de leche churro. Natural Selections, right across from Jurassic Park River Adventure, is one of the best spots to fuel up in Jurassic Park. Every selection, including the delicious beef empanadas and papas rellenas, are walk-and-eat friendly so as to not slow down your prehistoric journey.

SOUVENIRS TO BRING HOME

Swing by the local shops for some souvenirs ranging from dinosaur toys to vintage-style shirts. Collect the items from two different stores available in the land, which include Dinostore and Jurassic Outfitters. 

There are many dinosaur items to purchase and you will want them all! With kids in the family, there are numerous dinosaur toys from small collectibles to stuffed animals.

Make sure to grab any and everything that features the iconic Jurassic Park or Jurassic World logos. The well-known design is on sweatshirts, mugs, posters, playing cards, and cell phone cases.

Are you ready to plan YOUR adventure? Mad Hatter Adventures, Travel Company can help!

Mad Hatter Adventures, Travel Company is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  They are a FULL Service AWARD WINNING Travel Agency!  Contact them TODAY!

Info@MadHatterAdv.com   or  1 – 844 – M – HATTER

*Photos and information from Universal Parks Blog

Magical Express ENDING in 2022!

Is the Magic gone? No fireworks, no parades, no dining plan, no shows, no complementary Magic Bands, limited dining, limited hotels, and now in 2022 the Magical Express will be no more.

If you haven’t been to Disney lately, let me tell you the magic is harder and harder to find. The Magical Express was one of the reasons that made Disney so well, Magical! It was the start of a carefree vacation! You wandered off your flight and onto a Disney bus and then you arrived at your hotel.

Why would anyone stay on property any longer? There is no perk. Walt Disney World is just another theme park. The “Disney Difference” as it is referred to is gone. The benefits don’t outweigh the cost. Not when other theme parks in the area (ie Universal) is more than happy to have you. And while they also do not provide transportation, its a lot less expensive to stay over there. And they give you an entire hour into the theme parks early.

We think Disney missed the mark on this one and will lose a lot of business. If they were trying to cut costs, they will find they have lost loyal park goers! And with numbers and revenues down, maybe this is a cost that shouldn’t have been cut.

Universal Holiday Tour!

I am excited to share a NEW experience this holiday season at Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Studios Orlando announced that they will be offering a limited access evenings-only tour for guests who want to experience all the holiday entertainment and options at the resort with minimal wait. This all-new “Universal’s Holiday Tour,” will cost $59.99 (plus tax) per guest and theme park admission with a 2-Park 1-Day Park-to-Park ticket is required. Annual Passholders receive a special discount on the tour with pricing starting at $49.99. Guests who purchase tickets for this event, which takes place select evenings through the holiday season will be able to enjoy the following: 

  • Enjoy priority access to Universal’s Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons, where they can get up-close with larger-than-life parade balloons and stunning floats inspired by everything from iconic holiday staples to characters from popular animated films – and enjoy a special appearance by Santa Claus
  • Embark on a tour of the first-ever Holiday Tribute Store, featuring four incredibly-themed rooms – including one inspired by The Grinch – stocked with a variety of new merchandise
  • Meet and greet The Grinch at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Seuss Landing, where they can encounter the mean, green one himself and enjoy a delicious Hot Cocoa Bar Cap off the evening in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure with an exclusive showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a stunning projection of holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by the beloved “Harry Potter” stories
  • Guests will also receive a special, themed gift during the tour to commemorate their experience

I am so excited about this! We already have our Universal tripped BOOKED and I can’t wait to add this on!!!

Until Next time!

Mom Behind the Magic

Celebrating the Star Wars Saga with Experiences Across Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this incredible new land will transport you to the planet of Batuu, where you’ll be able to live your own adventure in and around Black Spire Outpost. And when you’re “off planet” exploring the rest of the park, you can enjoy a variety of other great Star Wars experiences that celebrate the entire saga.

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  • Star Wars Launch Bay – This multi-sensory space is a must-do for Star Wars fans of all ages with the “Meet the Makers” short film, galleries featuring treasured memorabilia and authentic replicas of Star Wars artifacts, special Star Wars merchandise and opportunities to interact with favorite Star Wars characters like Chewbacca and BB-8. Starting August 29 at Star Wars Launch Bay, you can even have a personal face-to-face encounter with Darth Vader himself.
  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away – This unique live show experience is presented several times daily at the park’s Center Stage area, bringing to life iconic moments from the saga with compelling film clips, special effects and appearances by favorite Star Wars characters.
  • Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – In this unforgettable, interactive experience, younglings are guided to the site of a sacred and ancient Jedi temple, where they learn the ways of the Force and face their fears against iconic Star Wars villains, to discover if they have the makings of a true Jedi.
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Star Tours takes you to multiple Star Wars destinations on a thrilling, motion-simulator based adventure across the galaxy, including characters and sequences from the newest Star Wars saga films Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular – This stunning nighttime show puts you in the middle of the action of memorable moments from the Star Wars saga, using state-of-the-art projection technology, lasers, lighting, pyrotechnics and other special effects.

More than ever before, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place for you to celebrate and immerse yourself in the greatest saga ever told.

Ready to Book YOUR Adventure?

Contact a Mad Hatter Adventures Travel Advisor TODAY!!!!  Info@MadHatterAdv.com or 1-844-M-HATTER

 

Mad Hatter Adventures is a FULL SERVICE, AWARD WINNING Agency.  They are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  Contact them TODAY for ALL your travel needs!  Info@MadHatterAdv.com   1-844-M-HATTER

Must Eats at Walt Disney World for Summer 2019

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We’re chilling out this summer with some deliciously refreshing cool treats at Walt Disney World Resort. If you’re looking for a way to cool off between all of your exciting activities in the parks, then this is the list for you!  Here’s a list with just a few ways to cool off on both coasts! And if you’re wanting to speed up your cool-downs, pay in advance and skip the line by mobile ordering your treat from select locations via the My Disney Experience app at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Magic Kingdom Park

  • Snack on a scoop of ice cream or even a sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and be sure to grab the It’s a Party! Sundae and the Sugar Cookie Sandwich available through July 31.
  • Try one of the many delicious flavors of soft serve available at Aloha Isle (Dole Whip Pineapple), Sunshine Tree Terrace (Orange-Vanilla Swirl and Redd’s Revenge Float with strawberry soft-serve and Fanta Strawberry), Storybook Treats (Dole Whip – Lemon and Lime), and Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies (Try the new 2319 Cone with mango-vanilla swirl soft-serve).
  • Grab a Space Ranger Slush at The Lunching Pad or Wonderland Slush at Cheshire Café.

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Epcot

  • Try one of the awesome specialty beverages (like the Awesome Mix Slushy, the I Am Root root beer float, the Destroyer Punch, or the Galaxy Juice) available through August 18 at Fife & Drum for “Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!”.
  • Indulge in fresh Italian Gelato from Gelati in the Italy pavilion.
  • Scoop up some Kakigōri (Japanese shaved ice) from Kabuki Cafe in the Japan pavilion.
  • Stop by L’Artisan des Glaces in the France pavilion for unique flavors of ice cream and macaron ice cream sandwiches.
  • Celebrate Disney’s “The Lion King” with the No Worries Panna Cotta (raspberry, papaya, and mango panna cotta with cookie crumbles and white chocolate!) at Refreshment Outpost.
  • Wash down your fish and chips with a Frozen Pimm’s Lemonade at the UK Beer Cart, made with frozen Minute Maid Lemonade, Sprite, and gin.
  • Make a pit stop at The Land Cart with Frozen Fanta Blue Raspberry and Frozen Minute Maid Lemonade or grab a Blueberry Slushy at the Canada Popcorn Cart.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Take a break and enjoy a build-your-own sundae with the new Burgers and Sundaes experience at Restaurantosaurus starting August 18.
  • Beat the heat with one of the many treats inspired by Disney’s “The Lion King” throughout the park like the Simba Ice Cream Sandwich, Simba’s Sunset Dole Whip, the King’s Cooler, the Asante Slush, or the Bugs ‘n Grub Waffle Cone – check out my recent Foodie Guide for more info.
  • Feel like a billion bucks with Scrooge McDuck’s Billionaire Bacon Caramel Sundae, available at Dino-Bite Snacks in DinoLand U.S.A.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Sip on a milkshake from Dockside Diner.
  • Enjoy hand-dipped ice cream, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches from Hollywood Scoops.
  • Get in on the action with the incredible Frozone Slush (Fanta Blue Raspberry with whipped cream) or the Secret Identity (Frozen Coca-Cola with cherry cotton candy) from the Neighborhood Bakery.
  • Get refreshed Green Alien-style with the Mystic Portal Punch at Woody’s Lunch Box.

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Disney Springs

  • Try one of the many specialty beverages (like the Violet Sake Slushie from YeSake) and desserts available for Disney Springs Flavors of Florida 2019, available through Sept. 2.
  • Grab an artisanal shake from D-Luxe Burger like the S’mores Gelato Shake or the Salted Caramel Gelato Shake.

With all of these cold treats, you’re sure to have a great time this summer! And don’t forget, you can always stay hydrated with a complimentary cup of ice water available at any food and beverage location that serves fountain beverages.

 

Ready to Book YOUR Adventure?

Contact a Mad Hatter Adventures Travel Advisor TODAY!!!!  Info@MadHatterAdv.com or 1-844-M-HATTER

Mad Hatter Adventures is a FULL SERVICE, AWARD WINNING Agency.  They are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  Contact them TODAY for ALL your travel needs!  Info@MadHatterAdv.com   1-844-M-HATTER

 

 

New Merchandise Coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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New merchandise items coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were revealed each day during Star Wars Celebration. Favorites included our adorable Porg, a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard with its iconic laugh, a Resistance Rank Badge set, a Wookie bag and a variety of other items.

“Most of these products have never been seen before by any of our fans,” Devon Figge of Merchandise Events at Walt Disney World Resort said. “They’ll see the same product no matter where the come – so, they can visit us on either coast and live their Star Wars story.”

If you’re as excited as we are about these Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge items, here are locations you’ll want to visit:

Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers – Guests come to the workshop to meet with the Gatherers – a secretive group of people who have dedicated their lives to restoring balance in the galaxy by passing on their knowledge of Jedi lore and the Force. The workshop Master guides guests to customize and build their own unique lightsabers, and instructs them on the ways of the Jedi.

Droid Depot – Visitors to Mubo’s workshop can choose parts and construct their own individual astromech droids to accompany them on their journey, and then take them home with them.

First Order Cargo – A spaceport hangar bay serves as the temporary base and landing spot for the First Order. First Order officers have brought in crates of gear, uniforms and other supplies to win the hearts and minds of locals and visitors to Black Spire Outpost.

Resistance Supply – Resistance members and local sympathizers oversee a makeshift stall that supplies Resistance uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets, maps, tools, training supplies, food rations and other items.

There are also several market stalls which sell a variety of merchandise such as:

  • Toydarian Toymaker (toys)
  • Creature Stall (interesting critters that you can take home with you)
  • Black Spire Outfitters (clothing)
  • The Jewels of Bith (accessories and other trinkets to treasure)

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens on May 31 at the Disneyland Resort and August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

You can keep up to date on all things Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with our exclusive “Building Batuu” story series and special page dedicated to Star Wars at Disney Parks.

Ready to Book YOUR Adventure to Star Wars Land?  Contact a Mad Hatter Adventures Travel Advisor TODAY!!!!  Info@MadHatterAdv.com

Mad Hatter Adventures is a FULL SERVICE and  AWARD WINNING Agency.  They are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  Contact them TODAY for ALL your travel needs!  Info@MadHatterAdv.com   1-844-M-HATTER

*Information, Photos and Video from Disney Parks Blog

HAGRID’S MAGICAL CREATURES MOTORBIKE ADVENTURE, AN ALL-NEW EXPERIENCE IN THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER, OPENS JUNE 13

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For the first time ever, join Hagrid as you fly far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal’s most highly themed coaster opens June 13, 2019 only at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, in Universal Orlando.

Contact a Mad Hatter Travel Adviser TODAY to BOOK your trip to Hogwarts!!!!

 

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We specialize in all Family Destinations!

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First-of-its-Kind Play Pavilion, New Park Entrance Part of Epcot’s Historic Transformation

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As you may have heard, Disney has got BIG plans for its multi-year transformation of Epcot, with new experiences that’ll “Wow!” you while keeping true to the original vision of the park. Today, we excited to share even more of what’s to come.

The ongoing evolution of Epcot includes plans for a play pavilion that’ll be unlike anything you’ve ever seen at the park. This new space will be devoted to playful fun and feature an innovative city that’ll come to life under the dome of the un-named pavilion previously known as Wonders of Life. The pavilion’s city will be bursting with interactive experiences, your favorite Disney characters, hands-on activities and engaging entertainment when it opens just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort!

“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we have ever created and is completely unique to Epcot,” said Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”

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There will also be exciting changes to the way you come and go at Epcot! As you can see above, changes are coming to the Epcot main entrance, where the plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain. This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements.

As part of the new entry experience, Leave A Legacy photos will be moving into a beautiful setting just outside the park’s gateway. Additional significant redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth attraction and the World Showcase Promenade. More details about the transformation of this area will be announced at a later date.

And if you’re as excited as we are about these upcoming projects, you’ll soon be able to look into the future with us at a new Experience Center coming to Epcot later this year. The Experience Center will be located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion and feature interactive exhibits to help visualize park projects throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.

 

Contact a Mad Hatter Travel Adviser TODAY to BOOK your Epcot Adventure!!!!

 

 

Mad Hatter Adventures is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Contact them TODAY for ALL your travel needs!

Info@MadHatterAdv.com    1-844-M-HATTER