When clients come to me wanting to take a trip to Orlando, they always ask if I recommend Universal Studios or Walt Disney World. That is by far, the hardest question to answer! My first trip to Orlando was in 2002 when I went with my high school’s Battle Bots IQ team to a competition held in the back lot of Universal Studios. Disney, on the other hand, was always our go-to movie company. Whenever we would visit my grandparents in Denver, they would take us to the movies or have the newest one on VHS for us to enjoy. As you can see, that’s a dilemma! We’ve recently found the best solution… a split stay between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios! Now that sounds like a lot of work, but Universal and Disney do a great job that switching resorts between the two is super easy.
Let’s talk about transportation. Guest can use a combination of Disney’s Magical Express and Universal Take-Two Transfer. We typically start our stay at Universal Orlando Resort. Using the SuperStar Shuttle, we are able to be picked up from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and taken to our Universal Orlando Resort hotel. At the end of our Universal stay, we are then transported to our Walt Disney World resort via Take-Two Transfer shuttle bus. On our last day at Universal, we typically check out and leave our luggage at Bell Services. This allows us to check out by 11 am, enjoy a full day in the park, and then head to Walt Disney World after the 3 pm check-in time! It’s a great way to not be in luggage limbo AND get in extra park time. At the end of our Walt Disney World stay, we use Disney’s Magical Express to get back to Orlando International Airport for our return home. The entire process is super simple!
A split stay with Universal Studios and Walt Disney World is also great for families with children of multiple ages. Families with little witches and wizards can get their fill of magic while visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, while the Princesses and Princes let their imagination run wild in the Magic Kingdom. Both destinations offer thrill rides for the taller guests… like Universal’s Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest. In the fall, older guests can enjoy the bone-chilling thrills of Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios. For a less frightening time, guests can enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. There’s truly something for everyone at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. If you are having a difficult time deciding between a Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando vacation, why not pick both with the ease and convenience of the Take-Two Transfer!
Jessica McHarge – JessicaM@travelwiththemagic.com