Universal Studios
Hollywood and Orlando

Universal Studios are the number one movie and TV-based theme parks in the world.

They are essential destinations for anyone who loves the larger-than-life world of movies and entertainment.

The parks draw on decades of film production, lore and memorabilia and assemble them all in ways that that can be appreciated by guests of all ages and provide a full day's worth of entertainment for the entire family.

Universal Studios feature shows which are often a hybrid between cinema, live theater, and ride-like sensations. The “Ride the Movies” theme allows guests to become the stars of their own production all while enjoying one the many thrill rides, shops and attractions.

Each location offers guests the opportunity to observe a fully-functioning movie and television studio that just happens to co-exist with a meticulously laid-out theme park.

The Orlando location also features Islands of Adventure and the Wet n’ Wild water park.

Here are a few simple things that you can easily do that can shave hundreds of dollars from your trip:

• The first thing to do when you’re planning your Universal Studios vacation is to visit their website at www.univacations.com. This is their all-in-one vacation planning tool that allows you to book airfare, rental car, hotel, park tickets and dining options. If you decide to stay at one of their resorts, you receive Express Pass privileges (short-cut to the front of the line of park attractions) for your entire stay. It’s also wise to sign up for their newsletter that contains all the current specials and promotions.

• Several online travel agencies specialize in theme park travel. Invest some time and Google a few Universal Studios vacation specialists.

They almost always have a “hot deals” newsletter that you can subscribe to and get a heads up when great deals are in the air.

• Visit all the major airlines and sign up for their weekly email specials. Southwest Airlines usually has great deals on airfare and has an excellent all-in-one online vacation planner with deals on Universal parks. You also can book it all – air, rental cars, accommodations (even 5 bedroom rental homes), and park tickets - from their website.

• Check out your local library to see which “unofficial” Universal vacation guides they may have. Most guides have a "must do's” section for each park to help you make the most of your trip. I would recommend the book Universal Orlando 2008: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure by Kelly Monaghan. It provides excellent information on all things Universal so you can become familiar with the park before you get there and spend your vacation time wisely.

These are good places to start, especially to get an idea of how much money you’re going to need. With that in mind, let’s take a look at just a few of the things that you’ll need to budget for:

• Travel expenses – plane, train or automobile (gas for your own car or cost of a rental)
• Length of stay
• Accommodations – Resort and area hotels, condos, rental homes
• Food – all-inclusive or fend for yourself…
• Souvenirs
• Park tickets – several options to choose from depending on your length of stay, Express Passes, park-to-park options, etc.

The key to saving money on your vacation is to start early so let’s get going………

Universal theme parks are listed below in alphabetical order:

Universal Studios Orlando & Islands of Adventure & Wet n’ Wild
Universal Studios Hollywood

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