Make Your Trip to Universal Orlando a Magical Adventure

(Instead of an Expensive Disaster)

Save countless hours, hundreds of dollars, and maybe even your sanity with The Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando Resort

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⚡️ 30-day money-back guarantee⚡️

Oh my god, WHYYYYY” you groan as your eyes desperately sweep the crowd for a line that isn’t 30+ minutes long.

Your feet are killing you. You’re parched. Hanger is setting in for your entire party (no, apparently that $8 infant-sized lump of neon blue cotton candy was not enough to fuel you for half the day, how weird).

Also? You’re in Orlando, which means there’s a 98% chance it’s hot and humid as heck. Ugh.

If you have kids in your group, they’re probably on the verge of having a meltdown — well, if they haven’t already descended into full-fledged tantrum mode.

And even just adults wouldn’t be alone if you were seriously weighing the pros and cons of sprawling out onto the concrete walkway while having a good, loud, ugly cry. Been there.

Isn’t vacation supposed to be relaxing?

At this point, you’d literally be willing to briefly light your hair on fire for the chance to sit down on an air-conditioned ride for 5 minutes, get a snack and a cold drink without having to stand in a line — in the sun and heat, again — for half an hour, or eat something that’s not a gray, gritty $18 burger that tastes like it came from a school cafeteria in 1993.

dumbledore saying welp

You thought your visit to Universal would be simple.

Everyone always says it’s smaller, less crowded, and less complex than Walt Disney World.

You’d sure like to give “everyone” a piece of your mind right now.

We’re here to tell you that yes — while Universal Orlando Resort might not be as large and as complicated as WDW, it still takes careful strategy and planning if you want to have a great time, not bleed money, and hit everything on your wishlist.

Next time you visit Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure,

how cool would it be if you could…

frozen butterbeer cup
Beat the crowds and minimize waits – and usually not wait more than 20 minutes, ever

Save hundreds of dollars (literally)

Stop feeling like you need a Ph.D. just to plan a flippin’ theme park visit

Be sure you have the latest, most accurate information so you don’t miss out on popular headliners

Learn a few secret tips to increase your chances of getting a spot in the virtual queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Finally get a real answer on whether Express Pass is worth the extra $$$ for your group

Get back a ton of time — not just hours spent attempting to find the latest and greatest info online, but minutes spent standing in line for rides and food, too

Have a pro show you how to get the absolute most out of your visit, no matter what time of day — or year — you’re visiting

Only spend your money on stuff you’re gonna love

Actually have a TON of fun

End your vacation with your whole family thinking you’re some sort of genius wizard

Here’s the good news:

you can absolutely have an amazing visit to Universal Orlando Resort — one where you have minimal wait times, stuff yourself with delicious food, almost poop your pants on the Jurassic World Velocicoaster (in a good way!), make lots of wonderful memories, get to ride everything on your list (maybe even more than once!) stay within your budget, and maybe even still like your family at the end of your trip.

Yes, really.

BUT. Before we can talk about how to make that dreamy theme park visit a reality,

we’ve gotta go through a few of the big misconceptions that can really throw a wrench in your vacation.

Misconception #1: “I heard that Universal is smaller and doesn’t require the same level of expert planning that Disney World does.”

While Universal Orlando Resort consists of 2 theme parks, 1 water park, and CityWalk (compared to Disney’s 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and Disney Springs) and you won’t have to worry about snagging FastPasses or making dining reservations 6 months ahead of time, you still need a plan — especially if you don’t want to rack up 20k steps before noon in the Florida heat, spend all day waiting in line, and cry to yourself while you try to squeeze through crowds.

And even though you can find hundreds of updates on every minuscule change that The Mouse makes, it’s not the same story for Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure. How frustrating, right?

Finding high-quality, accurate, up-to-date info on navigating Universal can actually be tough… which means it’s easy to miss out on vital information or worse: create a strategy based on outdated info!

(Plus, who has an extra 8 hours a day to spend sifting through Google search results? Not you!)

Misconception #2: “I think we’ll just wing it — Universal is a lot less crowded than Disney, right?”

Um, not quite! Universal parks definitely get crowded. The average wait time for Hagrid’s ? 92 minutes. For most other thrill rides and headliners, like Rip Ride Rockit, The Incredible Hulk, Revenge of the Mummy, and Escape from Gringotts? 60 minutes or more.

Think you’ll just rely on single rider lines to minimize your wait? Wellllll, get this: single rider lines aren’t always open. And, since Universal is popular with locals, groups of adults, and families with older kids + teens, the single rider lines don’t flow they do at Disney. Whoa, right?

The bottom line: if you go in without a strategy, unpredictable wait times are going to prevent you from doing everything you want to do before you run out of time. We don’t want that for you!

Misconception #3: “We just want to do the Harry Potter stuff. That won’t take much planning, will it?”

It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that rides, restaurants, experiences, and shops inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — including Hogwarts + Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Orlando — are some of the most popular areas on Universal property.

Yes, they’re magical! They’re also busy, crowded, and in high demand. The wait time for Hogwarts Express (the immersive train ride that takes you between Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure — yup, just like the one Harry, Ron, and Hermione took from Platform 9 ¾) is often 30 minutes or more.

Getting your *DIAGON ALLEY* on without a strategy in place means you could be spending an average of 260 minutes — that’s more than 4 hours — ONLY STANDING IN LINE for the Harry Potter-themed rides.

The walkways and shops in The Wizarding World are surprisingly small, which means they get PACKED, making moving through the crowds a feat in itself.

Planning to try to get picked at Ollivander’s, use your interactive wand throughout the Wizarding World, complete all of your spells, get a cone full of Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream, ride The Forbidden Journey, listen for Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom, grab lunch at The Three Broomsticks, pick up a pygmy puff from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, escape from the grips of Bellatrix Lestrange, select a chocolate frog at HoneyDukes, and sip a frozen butterbeer as you watch the sun set over Hogwarts?

You’re just not gonna be able to realistically fit it all in — and still maintain your patience and budget — without a solid plan.


There’s a lot to account for, right? And that’s not even considering common concerns like:

Can we do all of the Harry Potter stuff in one day? If so, HOW!?

How can I make sure we get a spot in the virtual queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure?

Is it worth staying at one of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels?

What rides should we prioritize?

What’s the best order to be able to do it all?

How do I plan for Early Entry? And if I’m not doing Early Entry, what time should I show up?

Are single-rider lines a viable option?

Express Passes: are they a must-have?

Sound familiar?

Well, we’ve got good news: you are definitely in the right place.


The Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando Resort

insider's guide bundle

It’s 365 days of access to everything you need to plan (or re-plan) your most thrilling Universal Orlando visit ever. Think video lessons, park primers, expert itineraries, calculators, checklists, touring strategies, money-saving tips, and insider insights.

Ali Wigle is the Founder of Wish Upon A Planner and Creator of the Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Walt Disney World (formerly known as Line Hacks). 

Her specialty? Using her love of numbers and data to analyze crowd patterns, wait times, and pricing trends to show her community members how to plan more efficient, stress-free theme park visits, and dare we sa get the most bang for our buck.

Each year, her strategies help more than 20,000+ people skip long lines, get the most value for their dollars spent, and experience the vacations of their dreams (and don’t worry – that’s still just .0002% of annual visitors!).

Our community has been eagerly requesting an equally awesome Insider’s Guide for Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure. Well, my friends, the time has come! The Insider’s Guide to Universal Orlando Resort is officially HERE.

What people are saying about our guides:

Ready to crush your vacation yet?

Here’s everything you get with The Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando Resort:

Part 1: Park Mastery 101

Whether you’re a fresh baby theme park-goer or a grizzled Universal Veteran, Part 1 is where you’ll find everything you need to know about Universal’s theme parks, tickets, planning, touring strategies, Express Passes, and Early Entry.

Parks Primer for Universal Orlando Resort theme parks, including:

  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Expert Itineraries for multiple trip configurations, including:

  • 1 Day, 1 Park
  • 1 Day, Both Parks (using the Park to Park Pass)
  • 2 Days, 1 Park Per Day 
  • Wizarding World focused itinerary
  • Ability to combine itinerary pieces for longer trips

Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventures Attractions Primers, featuring:

  • What most people get wrong when it comes to popular experiences and attractions
  • How to do “rope drop” at Universal Orlando Resort
  • How to do “rope drop” without Early Entry (and use it to your advantage)
  • How to maximize Early Entry, plus what common mistakes to avoid
  • Best strategies for experiencing the brand-new Velocicoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Best strategies for all coasters at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure

“Should I Get Express Pass?” Calculator

  • To help you determine whether purchasing Express Pass is a good value for your group

“How Many Days Do I Need?” Quiz

  • To guide you through how many days you’ll need at Universal Orlando Resort, based on what the adults and kids in your group want (and need) to experience

Part 2: Fuel Your Fun – Food 101

Where should I eat? How much should I budget? What’s the best snack on property? What should I skip? How do I make a dinner reservation? Part 2 is where you’ll find answers to all of your food-related questions — and more!

Quick-Service Meals Primer

  • The best and worst quick-service restaurants in Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk
  • What to get and what to skip


Sit-Down Meals Primer

  • The best and worst sit-down restaurants in Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk
  • What to get and what to skip


Must-Know Strategies for Dining at Universal

  • Tips and tricks for beating the lunch and dinner crowds, plus how to get the dining reservations you want

    Part 3: Did someone say bonuses!?

    Bonus #1:

    Resort Hacks and Tips

    Hacks you need to know about staying at one of Universal Orlando Resort’s on-site hotels: Endless Summer Resort, Aventura Hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.

    Bonus #2:

    Transportation Wizardry

    Should I take a bus? An Uber? A Ferry? How much is parking? What’s the fastest way to get from my hotel to the parks? Use these transportation tips to get where you need to go between the Orlando Airport, Universal CityWalk, Universal resort hotels, and Universal theme parks.

    Bonus #3:

    Money-Saving Methodology

    Ready to make your dollar stretch as far as possible? Here’s where you’ll find little-known money-saving tips and tricks most visitors never even think of! We cover everything from refillable cups to credit card points to Annual Pass perks.

    Inside the Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando you’ll receive:

    display of park planning modules

    Parks Primer for Universal Studios Florida (Value $29)

    Parks Primer for Islands of Adventure (Value $29)

    Expert Itineraries for 1-2+ days – for all ticket types (Value $49)

    Attractions Primers for both parks (Value $19)

    Rope Drop and Early Entry Strategies (Value $29)

    “Should I Get Express Pass?” Calculator (Value $17)

    “How Many Days Do I Need?” Quiz (Value $17)

    Quick-Service Meals Primer (Value $9)

    Sit-Down Meals Primer (Value $9)

    Must-Know Strategies for Dining at Universal (Value $19)

    plus our current bonuses:

    Resort Hacks and Tips (Value $39)

    Transportation Wizardry (Value $17)

    Money-Saving Methodology (Value $49)

    Total Value = Over $340

    Regular Price = $34.99

    Sale Price = Only $27

    ⚡️ 30-day money-back guarantee⚡️

    Our 100% Happiness (Money-Back) Guarantee

    pink ribbon moneyback guarantee symbol

    If you buy the Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando and you’re not completely satisfied, just shoot us an email within 30 days of your purchase and you’ll receive a full refund. 

    No complicated forms required. No strings attached. Nothing to lose.

    Our goal: to offer you a system that’s actionable, convenient, strategic, and serves as a helpful planning tool for helping you experience Universal Orlando Resort with minimum wait times and maximum fun.

    Whether you’re an absolute newbie or a total theme park pro, we think you’ll be pretty hulking delighted to walk away with these golden knowledge nuggets.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens once I purchase?
    Immediately after you complete your purchase, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to create your account. From there, you can get started right away!

    All Modules and content for the Insider’s Guide live on a private, members-only website. We keep all content in one place so that whenever Universal makes a major change, we can immediately update the Guide.

    When’s the best time to buy?
    Short answer: as soon as you can. 

    Your purchase gives you access and continued updates to all content and Modules on the private website for one year. 

    While you could purchase last minute or even during your vacation and still get the full value, we do recommend that you don’t wait too long. The Guide has a LOT of tools and guidance to help you with all planning, including dining, transportation, room requests, and more. 

    Plenty of our community members find the planning process exciting and like to purchase 6+ months in advance. If that’s you, go for it!

    What if we're focused just on Harry Potter stuff?
    The park and dining strategies go over both Universal Orlando parks in full, which means the Wizarding World is included! But if you’re HP super fans (like us), we highly suggest adding the “Accio Extra Enchantment” Wizarding World Blueprint to your cart at checkout.
    Wait, hold up. No more than 20 minutes waiting in line? That sounds too good to be true.
    Nah, it’s not. Why? Because the majority of people heading to Orlando’s theme parks don’t do much prior research (you would be shocked), they don’t have a plan. At all. And the few people who do plan? They don’t do it through data-driven, numbers-based research. Our plans and touring hacks are optimized based on algorithms and real data and then presented in a way that’s most actionable for YOU. We think you’ll be pretty satisfied!
    I’m going during peak season or over a holiday. Will these strategies still work?
    They will! While the major holidays can definitely see larger crowds, our strategies and tips will always put you ahead of people without them — regardless of how busy the parks might be.
    I leave for my trip kinda soon and I’m already deep into planning… will this still help?
    YES! The Insider’s Guide works for anyone heading to the parks, regardless of how prepared (or underprepared!) you are. We cover what you can do IN the parks to optimize your time, and our strategies and plans will teach you exactly how to avoid those endless standby lines. We’ll even show you some wizardry for getting a dinner reservation at CityWalk!

    TL;DR: anyone heading to the parks will find value in the guide (even if you’ve already planned out your trip to a tee).

    I’ve been to theme parks, including Universal, 3.2 million times. Will I learn anything new?
    Why yes, we think you will! While we think beginner-to-intermediate theme park-goers will get the absolute most out of Insider’s Guide, seasoned Universal pros love it, too! We get a ton of positive feedback from Florida residents and Annual Passholders who say things like “Ok, I’ve been to Disney and Universal like a gazillion times but I had to buy your Guides. I knew a lot but it also gave me a lot of good hacks and insight I didn’t know… so you still saved me way more than I paid. Also, it’s nice that it’s so organized!”

    Still not sure? If for any reason you’re not completely satisfied with the Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando Resort, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee. With 20,000+ annual readers and a 98% satisfaction rate, we think the chances of you learning something new are pretty dang good.

    I'm traveling with (pick what fits): tons of kids/adults only/special needs/a huge group/a grumpy spouse/locals/an entourage/my ladies/a KitKat in my back pocket - will this work for ME?
    Yes! The Insider’s Guide strategies work for anyone heading to Universal Orlando Resort. 

    (The KitKat might melt, tho.)

    Does this cover Volcano Bay?
    Not currently. If that’s something you’d like to see in the future, let us know!
    How about CityWalk?
    Yup! We cover everything you need to know about the restaurants, shops, and fun extras at Universal CityWalk.
    I’m leaving for vacation soon! How long will it take me to get through this?
    We hear you! Most people will be able to get through all of the content in about 1-2 hours (may we suggest pouring a glass of wine?).

    BUT. Even if you’re already on vacation and you only have 20 minutes to spare, you can absolutely watch the most critical, impactful videos in that amount of time.

    If you prefer to break the content into 10 – 20-minute sessions over the course of a few days, that works, too! It’s totally up to you. We specifically designed each module to be efficient, easy, and actionable. Don’t worry, this won’t feel like an exhausting college course!

    Won’t these strategies stop working if everyone uses them?
    That’s a great question! The key word here is “everyone.” Universal Orlando Resort sees an average of 12 million guests each year. In comparison, our community is much smaller and more intimate. If 20,000 people buy the Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal each year, that’s only 0.001% of total visitors. As you can see, the actual number of people using these strategies is pretty tiny!
    Can’t I just find this info for free using Google?
    The truth is, you probably can! But… you can’t Google questions you don’t even know you need to ask. While there’s a TON of Disney info online, it’s a little harder to find info for Universal — especially if you want it to be good and current. And even less of it is focused on real data. 

    We’re gonna guess you don’t have an extra 8 hours a day to sift through Google for Universal info… and then spend even more time trying to figure out if it’s current or accurate. With The Insider’s Guide, you get it all in one awesome, organized place. It’ll pay for itself in both time and money before you even leave for your trip, and it’ll continue each second you’re there.

    Will this work for Universal Studios in California?
    This Guide only covers Universal Studios property in Orlando, Florida. If you have an interest in California, email us your feedback, because that’s how new products get made.
    This Guide sounds AMAZING. Why isn’t it more expensive?
    We strive to keep the Insider’s Guide as affordable as possible for two main reasons: 1) we want to keep it accessible and budget-friendly, and 2) going to a theme park can be wildly expensive. Our goal is to help you make the most of the money and time you’re already spending without adding too much extra $$ to your bottom line.

    The Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando includes everything you need to make this your most fun, free-falling, mummy-fleeing, Dementor-vanquishing, Megatron-defeating, Statute-of-Liberty-saving, dinosaur-spotting, sky-flying, alien-zapping, Shreking-good vacation ever.

    Perfectly organized. All in one place.

    Did you know that The Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando Resort can actually save you money? Here’s how.

    If you’re in the parks for around 8 hours each day, the average cost per person, per hour of your park visit is $14 (and that’s NOT including resort or food costs -gah!):

    $109 per day per person ÷ 8 = $13.63/hr per person

    Say you’re a group of  3 → that means your theme park time is costing you just under $41 per hour.

    This means you only need one nugget of wisdom to save you 34 minutes in a queue for the Guide to pay itself back in your vacation time (spoiler alert: we’re going to save you way more time than that #nuggetsfordays).

    The strategies in the Insider’s Guide will save you at least three hours per day, so let’s crunch the numbers for a group of 3:

    3 hours per day, for a 5-day trip = 15 hours total saved (minimum)

    15 hours saved x the $41/hour cost of a Universal parks day = $615

    Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando = $27

    Pay $27 and save the equivalent of 15+ hours and $615 of your time?

    Sounds like a smart move to us!

    Ready to minimize your stress, gulp Butterbeers after walking onto attractions, minimize your superfluous spending, and max out your vacation fun?

    You don’t have to exist exclusively on blue cotton candy and theme park cheeseburgers (unless you want to).

    You don’t have to wait for that terrible feeling of Oh noooo… I should’ve planned better to hit you when your kids are melting down, you’re sweating to death, people keep bumping into you, and all the lines for air-conditioned rides are 60+ minutes long.

    You don’t have to spend a fortune or waste endless hours waiting in line.

    You can totally ride ALL of the rides on your wish list (maybe even more than once!), spend money only on the stuff YOU value, and create a magical, memorable experience for everyone in your group.

    We’re here to help you make it happen. 💪

    Inside the Insider’s Digital Strategy Guide to Universal Orlando you’ll receive:

    display of park planning modules

    Parks Primer for Universal Studios Florida (Value $29)

    Parks Primer for Islands of Adventure (Value $29)

    Expert Itineraries for 1-2+ days – for all ticket types (Value $49)

    Attractions Primers for both parks (Value $19)

    Rope Drop and Early Entry Strategies (Value $29)

    “Should I Get Express Pass?” Calculator (Value $17)

    “How Many Days Do I Need?” Quiz (Value $17)

    Quick-Service Meals Primer (Value $9)

    Sit-Down Meals Primer (Value $9)

    Must-Know Strategies for Dining at Universal (Value $19)

    plus our current bonuses:

    Resort Hacks and Tips (Value $39)

    Transportation Wizardry (Value $17)

    Money-Saving Methodology (Value $49)

    Total Value = Over $340

    Regular Price = $34.99

    Sale Price = Only $27

    ⚡️ 30-day money-back guarantee⚡️