We recently visited Universal Orlando Resort (UOR) for a 4-day, 3 night stay at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. We were excited to be back for the 1st time since pre-pandemic times to experience LOTS of new additions to the resort. Our goal was to have fun & learn all we could to prepare you for your next UOR vacation.
In this blog, we will focus on the 3 newest additions to Universal Parks which each offer something unique for a wide range of ages: Dreamworks Destination, The Bourne Stuntacular & the Jurassic World Velocicoaster.
First up, as parents of 3 littles, we are always looking for ways to entertain our young kids at the parks. Located in Universal Studios Florida theme park, DreamWorks Destination is a first-of-its-kind interactive character experience. As soon as you walk in to this theatre-in-the-round, you can’t help but get your groove on as characters from DreamWorks Animation, such as Poppy from Trolls & Kung Fu Panda, host an upbeat dance party. The stage is designed in such a way that you are able to walk right up and get pictures with the characters on stage behind you as they boogey down.
Even though we didn’t have our kids with us on this trip, we enjoyed the break from the heat. The back-up dancers’ energy & commitment to their moves also added to the overall jovial vibe of the experience. We highly recommend this to kids & families of all ages.
The Bourne Stuntacular
Next, we headed to the Bourne Stuntactular. Also located in Universal Studios Florida theme park, this stunt show blends live actors, physical sets, sensory effects & a 130-ft wide screen to launch you into the world of Jason Bourne. Universal boasts it as the most technologically advanced physical stunt show in the world. We were huge Bourne fans growing up but it had been a few years since I had seen the movies. Luckily for guests, the preshow fills you in on the entire Bourne story and prepares new fans on what to expect during the show. There are also set pieces and props from the movies as you wait in the queue that remind you of the storyline.
Once in your seat, buckle up for a 20+ minute adventure that almost feels like an entire Bourne movie that slots right in with the other installments. By the end of the show, your jaw will be on the floor as you walk out to the signature Bourne credits music “Extreme Ways.” There are multiple shows throughout the day so make sure to prioritize this on your next visit.
Last but not least: the Velocicoaster at Islands of Adventure. Billed as “the apex predator of roller coasters,” it lives up to the hype & then some. The premise of the ride is that a roller coaster has been constructed in the raptor paddock inside of Jurassic World. As you traverse your way through the heavily immersive queue, you find yourself below screaming guests flying overhead. You then walk through the paddock itself where you come face to face with the raptors who are incredibly lifelike & even watch the raptors chase after guests as they launch on their ride. Universal introduced a new double-sided locker system for this ride that increases the efficiency of the queue flow (note: if you have a larger bag, you will need to find a locker in the nearby Discovery Center PRIOR to entering the queue).
The ride launches you at speeds over 70mph & uses a unique safety constraint that allows you to “lift” out of your chair as you spin, flip, & corkscrew even upside down over water. By our count, we lifted out of our chairs 5 times. This ride is definitely meant for extreme thrill-seekers over 51” tall so if anyone in your party isn’t up for the challenge, there is a family waiting area at the end of the queue & also a single rider option (subject to capacity limitations). We rode together on our first day and then Chandler took advantage of the single rider queue on Day 2 & plans to ride every time we go back. Would you be up for the thrill of the hunt?
For more tips
This is just a taste of our experience at Universal Orlando Resort. For more tips, follow our social media accounts @ChurrosWithChanna on Instagram and Chandler & Janna Harris-Small World Big Fun on Facebook. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you book your next Universal Vacation, click here & we will reach out to you!