Get Your Bearings
Planning a vacation at Universal Orlando Resort? Get oriented with these maps of Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay Water Park, and Universal CityWalk.
Getting Oriented in Orlando
This map shows Universal Orlando in relation to Disney World, which is about 15 miles southwest in Lake Buena Vista.
While Disney World remains the undisputed king of Orlando theme parks, Universal Orlando has come a long way from being a single-day getaway (or a tack-on to a longer Disney vacation) to a stand-alone vacation destination worthy of spending three or four days.
The trajectory changed in 2010 with the introduction of the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal went the extra yard to bring Harry Potter to life, and created highly detailed environments that blended immersion, simulation, and motion in a way that Potter fans have embraced.
Since 2014, Universal Orlando opened a new hotel (and has another in the works), expanded its CityWalk dining and entertainment district, and launched Diagon Alley, an epic expansion of the hyper-immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter. New rides and attractions are launched yearly.
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando is the second-most visited theme park complex in Orlando. At about 675 acres, it comprises two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure), the CityWalk Orlando dining-and-entertainment district, and five on-site hotels.
The resort features five official on-site hotels: Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel & Spa, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. All five hotels are located in close proximity to the Universal Orlando theme parks, accessible via a free water taxi or shuttle bus service to the theme parks and CityWalk. An added benefit to staying at one of these properties is that the guests get free Express Pass access at the theme parks, letting them bypass the regular queue at many attractions.
- Where to Stay at Universal Orlando Resort
- Where to Eat at Universal CityWalk
- Best Time to Snag a Deal at Universal Orlando
- 20 Cool Facts About Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley
- How to Stay Cool When It's Hot at Universal Orlando
- Review: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
- Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Tips for Tackling Universal Orlando with Preschoolers in Tow
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015. The original theme park in the resort, Universal Studios Florida opened in June 1990, themed as a Hollywood studio tour that let people "ride the movies." But since 2000 Universal has updated or replaced nearly every original attraction. People who visited before then would not recognize most of today's park.
The Harry Potter-themed Diagon Alley area was added to the park in June 2014. (Download this map from Universal Orlando Resort.)
Islands of Adventure
Universal’s second theme park, Islands of Adventure, opened in May 1999. The park is made up of distinct "islands" that are themed to various forms of adventures. Guests enter and then make their way around a circuit of various islands: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was added to the park in June 2010. (Download this map from Universal Orlando Resort.)
Volcano Bay Water Park
- Ko’okiri Body Plunge: A racing, 70-degree drop that will plummet 125-feet through the center of Krakatau. It will be the world’s first slide to travel through a pool filled with guests.
- Kala and Ta Nui Serpentine Body Slides: Two intertwining slides where you’ll fall freely along 124 twisting feet.
- Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides: Two twisting, adrenaline-pumping slides that launch you four- or six-feet above the water at the end.
- Punga Racers: A high-speed race through four different enclosed slides featuring manta-shaped mats.
Within walking distance of the entrance of both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, Universal CityWalk is a dining and entertainment complex featuring shopping, nightclubs, dining venues, an AMC Movie Theater, and a Blue Man Group show.
There is a variety of eateries with different cuisines and different price points. Some notable locations are The Cowfish, Vivo Italian, Hard Rock Cafe, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Emeril's, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Fast food outlets include Moe's Southwest Grill, Burger King Whopper Bar, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, and Panda Express.