Universally Known for a good time

Universal Studio's Florida

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Project 722, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, LSFR, Resort, Preferred, Universal Orlando Resort, UOR

Experience the perfect getaway for the entire family at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Guests get front row seats to exhilarating movie attractions that appeal to all ages.

Discover the Eighth Wonder of the World, Skull Island where the 8th Wonder Expedition Company leads brave souls into the prehistoric jungles and ancient ruins off the Sumatra coast. The volcanic mountain backdrop allures park goers as they enter from either Toon Island or Jurassic Park. What awaits behind the doors of the massive stone temple gate is a theatrical high tech experience where dinosaurs roam, fighting for survival in the mystical land. The attraction is brilliantly designed with stunning animatronics and 3D scenes, eventually bringing guests face to face with the star of the show, Kong. Skull Island: Reign of Kong receives high marks for innovative and breathtaking scenes capturing prehistoric wildlife.

From ancient ruins to a world of magic, guests will be spellbound by realistic depictions of J.K. Rowling’s classic at King’s Cross Station and Diagon Alley. At the end of Diagon Alley, a 60-foot, fire-breathing dragon is perched on top of Gringotts bank – which houses the next generation, 3-D thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Brave the journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione as we broke into Gringotts bank, escaping with the help of the dragon. Cool off at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes with a pistachio vanilla swirl ice cream at FloreanFortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

From Diagon Alley, board the Hogwarts Express to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and traveled through the British countryside. Shadows of favorite characters lurk outside the compartment door as Hagrid flies outside the window. Beware of Dementors lurking about.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter offers picturesque views of Hogwarts castle. Within the castle is the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction with spectacular technological imagery, allowing muggles to soar through Hogwarts. A must have is Butterbeer. The creamy concoction tastes like butterscotch rootbeer, if there were such a thing. Shop at Ollivanders for an interactive wand which will make magic happen at select sites in Hogsmeade. It is surreal to shop at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, perusing through Hogwarts school robes at Dervish and Banges and then dine at the Three Broomsticks.

A stark contrast from the mysterious world of wizards is Springfield, which houses the animated Simpsons Ride. From Butterbeer, adults can enjoy a Duff Beer.

Additional attractions, which the entire family will enjoy, include Despicable Me Minion Mayhem offering animation and the latest 3-D technology to create a heart-warming, wildly hysterical theme park experience. Universal houses attractions from additional movie favs as Jurassic Park, Men In Black, Terminator and more.

Highly recommended is staying on-site, where the stress of driving can be abandoned. The recently opened Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, the fifth hotel on property, offers an open and airy Caribbean themed atmosphere. A massive pool area, which includes a fire pit and two sand beaches, keeps young guests amused while adults relax poolside.

Opening May 25 is Universal Orlando’s Volcano, Universal’s third theme park, offering 18 water attractions.

For more information, on parks, places to stay and packages, visit www.universalorlando.com.

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