In case you’re visiting Common Studios Florida and Islands of Journey in 2023, our planning information provides restaurant suggestions, park & journey technique, plus ideas & methods that can assist you get monetary savings & time, keep away from crowds, and extra to have one of the best trip potential. (Up to date January 13, 2023.)
We’re Common Orlando Annual Passholders and large followers of these parks along with Walt Disney World. Common has improved a ton and upped its recreation within the final decade. This started with the Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade lands of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which have been additional enhanced by Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Journey. That has been taken to the following degree with the debut of Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
As such, we extremely suggest spending a few days at Common when vacationing at Walt Disney World. That is information to Common Orlando Resort comprises the whole lot you’ll must know. Whether or not you’re doing each parks in a single day or making a visit of it with an on-site lodge keep and a number of days at Common Studios Florida and Islands of Journey, we’ve you coated with data and recommendation about points of interest, eating, resorts, technique, crowds, and extra.
On this information, we’ll cowl profit from a go to to Common Studios Florida and Islands of Journey. We’re going to take a counterintuitive organizational method to this information, as we’ve discovered that many readers seek the advice of it whereas visiting Common quite than through the planning levels of a visit. Accordingly, we’re going to entrance load with data it’s worthwhile to know should you’ve already touched down in Central Florida.
In case you’re a Disney fan merely attempting to find out whether or not a visit to Common Orlando Resort is best for you within the first place, you would possibly begin by studying our Common v. Walt Disney World submit, which covers a number of the professionals and cons of every, plus the variations between the 2 trip locations.
Equally, should you’re debating between resorts on the two important theme park complexes, see our complete breakdown: Common Orlando v. Walt Disney World Accommodations. That ought to enable you to decide which is the higher choice in your trip–or if a break up keep could be finest!
Right here’s the whole lot else it’s worthwhile to learn about visiting Common Orlando Resort…
What’s New & Subsequent at Common
In case you have not been to Common Orlando shortly (or ever), a lot within the final a number of years. This features a few points of interest which have been added within the final a number of years: Quick and the Livid: Supercharged, Race By New York starring Jimmy Fallon, and Cranium Island: Reign of Kong.
When it comes to what’s new, there are two massively common coasters in Islands of Journey: Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Journey within the Hogsmeade aspect of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The latest factor in Common Studios Florida is the Bourne Stuntacular, which (because the title suggests) is a stunt present.
This trio of additives in the previous couple of years has confirmed extremely common with company. Particularly, VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s are two of the perfect curler coasters in Orlando.
Subsequent on the horizon, Common is constructing a 3rd theme park in Central Florida. It’s full steam forward on this mission, and Common’s Epic Universe Park is Opening by Summer season 2025! This can deliver Tremendous Nintendo World plus extra Harry Potter, Common Monsters, Practice Your Dragon, and way more to Common Orlando within the coming years.
Now let’s flip to Common Orlando’s superior planning subjects…
The place to Keep
There are a variety of questions you must ask your self when planning a visit, and lots of of them will dictate the place you keep. Would you like Limitless Categorical Go by staying at an eligible Common Orlando lodge? Do you wish to keep at a Walt Disney World lodge at some point of your journey, or change inns? Do you wish to keep an an off-site lodge within the basic neighborhood of each Common and Disney to save cash?
We’ve not too long ago stayed at each single on-site lodge at Common Orlando Resort–listed here are our opinions:
For perception into all of those inns, their professionals & cons, and the way they examine and distinction with each other, see our Common Orlando Resort Rankings & Critiques.
We’re massive followers of Common’s inns, and are notably keen on the 2 “bay” resorts: Loews Portofino Bay Resort and Cabana Bay Seaside Resort. Each of these are in our high 10 inns in Orlando, rivaling a few of our favourite resorts at Walt Disney World.
Common’s inns present nice bang for buck, and even those who don’t embrace free Categorical Go do supply Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Common’s Volcano Bay one hour earlier than these parks open. That may be completely large!
As for staying off-site, you usually will get essentially the most bang in your buck when staying in an off-site lodge, as there are plenty of non-Disney and non-Common inns competing with each other. Now we have an Off-Website v. On-Website Walt Disney World Accommodations article that goes into larger depth in regards to the professionals and cons of staying off-site, and it’s marginally relevant to Common, as effectively.
As for merely staying at a Walt Disney World lodge at some point of your journey no matter the place you go, we’ve written complete opinions with our opinions and pictures of the rooms. Try our Walt Disney World Resort Critiques web page, for hyperlinks to every of those opinions.
Experience Technique for Common Orlando
Subsequent, what to know when you’re at Common Orlando. For starters, we strongly suggest that you simply don’t “wing it” in your each day itinerary because of the aforementioned crowd points. You don’t must plan each motion in order that there’s no spontaneity in your journey, simply be sure to have a minimum of a free plan of what you’re going to do.
Now we have the next plans for every park that cowl our good days:
These supply step-by-step touring plans for each theme parks at Common Orlando, prioritizing the most well-liked rides and skipping what isn’t price your time. These will enable you to do Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Journey, Wonderful Adventures of Spider-Man, Unbelievable Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Journey, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and different must-do rides.
In case you’d desire to create your individual itineraries and wish an outline and overview of each attraction at every of the parks, seek the advice of our Islands of Journey Experience Information and Common Studios Florida Experience Information. In case you’re a fan spinners, you would possibly wish to test these out, as we don’t waste your time with that nonsense within the itineraries.
When to Go to
In case you’re including on a Common Orlando go to to your Walt Disney World trip, the reply to that is simple…everytime you’re visiting Walt Disney World. Crowd patterns at Walt Disney World translate fairly equally to Common Orlando.
The explanations are two-fold: first, as a result of crowds are typically predicated upon college schedules, that are the identical for each; second, as a result of Walt Disney World is the ‘whale’ within the Orlando market, so crowds for all theme parks are dictated by when company plan their Disney holidays. In different phrases, you’ll be able to seek advice from our 2023 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars submit to find out when to go to, as that’s roughly relevant to Common Orlando as effectively.
There are just some exceptions to this, they usually’re largely predicated upon particular occasions which can be distinctive to every of the parks. For instance, Walt Disney World sees its crowds spike resulting from runDisney occasions, when its inns are internet hosting conventions or youth sporting occasions, or throughout EPCOT festivals. Against this, Common sees its personal spikes round Mardi Gras, Halloween Horror Nights, and early December when it performs host to the Pop Warner youth soccer occasion.
Generally, although, the large driver of attendance at each is college breaks. Particularly, these of Orange County and different counties all through Florida and the South. In fact, each are trip locations, so breaks for college districts within the Midwest and Northeast even have a major affect. The plain occasions like Spring Break, Easter, Summer season, Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Yr’s Eve are all busy.
Extra below the radar timeframes like MLK Day, Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and extra additionally see pronounced spikes in crowds. Once more, reference the aforementioned crowd calendars should you’re wanting to decide on one of the best occasions to go to Common Orlando.
Resulting from a surge of locals on weekends, we strongly suggest avoiding Common Studios Florida and Islands of Journey on Saturdays and Sundays. Mondays by means of Thursdays are one of the best days to go to, with a lot decrease crowds then. Nevertheless, that goes out the window throughout vacation weeks or anytime college is out of session, when it’s disproportionately vacationers and each single day of the week is busy.
This notion of crowds is additional exacerbated by the parks nonetheless being considerably understaffed. This drawback is hardly distinctive to Common Orlando–in all places in Central Florida is dealing with the identical hiring difficulties, together with Walt Disney World. This makes the whole lot really feel worse than it’s as a result of though attendance is on par with a traditional yr, the parks can’t take in crowds as successfully because of the lack of staff. Fortunately, this drawback will not be practically as pronounced in 2023 because it was previously couple of years, but it surely nonetheless stays considerably of a problem.
The one exception to that is if you wish to see or keep away from Halloween season at Common, specifically Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). This can be a onerous ticket occasion that has an enormous following amongst locals and followers of hang-out season, usually.
Throughout HHN, you step onto the set of a few of your favourite horror films, and strolling by means of these units as actors try to scare you. This occasion will not be for youngsters below the age of 13, and has completely nothing in widespread with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Get together at Walt Disney World. See our Information to Halloween Horror Nights for extra.
Other than this, the one noteworthy occasions are Mardi Gras and Christmas. See our Information to Mardi Gras: Worldwide Flavors of Carnaval at Common Studios Florida. At this enjoyable occasion, company can expertise a meals pageant with delicacies and leisure impressed by worldwide Carnaval celebrations.
Meals cubicles serve up the flavors of Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, Spain and different areas together with, in fact, New Orleans. Plus take pleasure in spectacular floats on show, road leisure, music, beads and extra all through Common Studios Florida.
Throughout the vacation season, Grinchmas and Common’s Vacation Parade that includes Macy’s are the principle leisure attracts. There’s additionally the Christmas Tribute Retailer, which is basically a walk-through exhibit, plus Common Studios Florida’s iconic Christmas Tree.
Maybe the largest draw is Winter in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which options distinctive decor and projections on Hogwarts Fort. There are additionally decorations round each parks in Seuss Touchdown, Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, Hollywood, New York, and San Francisco.
How Many Days?
This one goes to differ broadly primarily based on a couple of variables. The most important one is how receptive your celebration is to the kind of points of interest which can be outstanding at Common Orlando Resort, specifically, curler coasters and screen-based simulators. That’s reductionist, and there are various extra issues at Common than these sorts of rides, but when your celebration is averse to both, doing greater than 2 days at Common goes to be powerful.
In case you love coasters or have teenagers, you’ll be able to simply spend 3 days or extra at Common Orlando. Heck, I’m not large on curler coasters or simulators, and I can simply do 2 days (and even 3) at Common. Likewise, should you love Harry Potter, a number of days at Common might be simple. The 2 Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter alone can fill a very good chunk of the day. I imply, Diagon Alley has a fire-breathing dragon…not liking dragons is distinctly unpatriotic.
Islands of Journey additionally has a Jurassic Park space, which is principally a tribute to our best nationwide treasure: dinosaurs. It’s not so good as a actual Jurassic Park (that may be just like the San Diego Zoo meets the Lincoln Memorial meets Tokyo DisneySea), but it surely’s an pleasing space to discover. In different phrases, there’s a lot to do should you’re an “ambiance individual” on the Common parks.
Then, there’s additionally the query of how a lot “further” trip time you might have. Assuming you’ve already allotted your time at Walt Disney World and are “different stuff” to spherical out your journey to Florida, I’d most likely look to spending extra time at Common than different parks like SeaWorld or Busch Gardens. That’s private choice and all of those parks undoubtedly aren’t attempting to perform the identical factor, however I discover the Disney and Common parks to be in a special league than the entire relaxation.
Common Orlando Park Tickets
In case you’re in search of a deal on park tickets, Get Away In the present day will prevent essentially the most cash on Common Orlando tickets. That is very true should you’re doing an extended journey, as Get Away In the present day has a ‘Purchase 2 days, get 3 days free’ particular. With increasingly to do at Common Orlando, spending a number of days within the parks is very advisable–particularly should you’re staying in a close-by lodge and wish to do some partial days (additionally advisable).
I’m a fan of the Park-to-Park tickets should you can swing spending further. It is because Common did one thing actually ingenious when it constructed Diagon Alley, and that was connecting the 2 Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter by way of the Hogwarts Categorical.
You may solely journey this prepare from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley (or vice-a-versa) if in case you have the Park-to-Park ticket. I’m no Harry Potter fan, however the expertise of coming into a prepare station in London, strolling by means of a wall, after which taking a prepare to Hogsmeade is fairly superior.
In case you’re going for simply sooner or later and don’t need the park-to-park tickets, one of the simplest ways to save cash on Islands of Journey and Common Studios Florida tickets is just going to be shopping for tickets on-line on Common Orlando’s web site. The Common tickets bought on-line could be printed at residence and used on the turnstiles–that means no ready in line to buy tickets or trade vouchers.
Categorical Go is Common Orlando’s model of Genie+ or Lightning Lanes (a technique to skip the strains) and is out there as a ticket add-on or with choose lodge stays. You should purchase two styles of Categorical Go, common or limitless. The common model lets you skip the road as soon as per eligible attraction in both park, and begins at $80 per individual. Common Categorical Limitless provides line-skipping privileges, because the title suggests, a vast variety of occasions per attraction, and begins at $110 per individual.
Beneath are the eligible Categorical Go points of interest in every park.
Common Studios Florida
- The Bourne Stuntacular
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- E.T. Journey
- Quick & Livid – Supercharged
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hollywood Rip Experience Rockit
- Hogwarts Categorical
- Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
- Males in Black Alien Assault
- Race By New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Revenge of the Mummy
- The Simpsons Experience
- Transformers: The Experience-3D
- Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
Islands Of Journey
- The Wonderful Adventures of Spider-Man
- Physician Doom’s Fearfall
- Dudley Do-Proper’s Ripsaw Falls
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- The Excessive within the Sky Seuss Trolley Practice Experience!
- Hogwarts Categorical
- The Unbelievable Hulk Coaster
- Jurassic Park River Journey
- Poseidon’s Fury
- Cranium Island: Reign of Kong
- Storm Power Accelatron
These are the most well-liked points of interest in every park, with two vital exceptions. Each of the 2 latest and hottest curler coasters, Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Journey in Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will not be eligible for Categorical Go.
Not like Genie+ or Lightning Lanes, there isn’t a tech element to Categorical Go. Whereas it’s considerably costlier, it’s additionally frictionless. You merely go as much as the attraction and use your Categorical Go entitlement. There’s nothing to order or trouble with in an app. Categorical Go includes zero display screen time and complications–however you’ll pay much more for it!
Whether or not Categorical Go is definitely worth the cash largely relies upon upon what day of the week and season you’re visiting, and the way you worth your time v. your cash. Personally, we’d not pay for Categorical Go most days. Nevertheless, we additionally keep away from weekends and holidays, arrive for park opening, and make the most of an environment friendly park itinerary.
In case you actually need Categorical Go, take into account staying at an on-site lodge that provides Categorical Go along with your keep. Limitless Categorical Go is out there on the Common Premier class resorts–that means Royal Pacific, Onerous Rock Resort, and Portofino Bay–that are Common’s most costly inns.
All three of those are good, on par with Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts, and customarily price much less. They’re nonetheless dear, however they’re cheaper than Disney’s higher-end inns, and are arguably definitely worth the cash–particularly in order for you the Limitless Categorical Go perk or a very good location inside strolling or boat distance of Islands of Journey and Common Studios Florida. In case you’d be staying at a pleasant lodge anyway, this trio is undoubtedly worthy of your consideration.
If you wish to be taught extra about this line-skipping choice and the way it compares to Walt Disney World’s counterpart, see our information: Common’s Categorical Go v. Lightning Lanes & Genie+ at Walt Disney World.
By far the most typical questions we get regarding Common Orlando Resort is: “what’s one of the simplest ways to get from Walt Disney World Common.” The reply is that there are plenty of choices, however by far one of the best is Uber. We coated this in depth in our Uber v. Rental Vehicles at Walt Disney World article. Right here’s the pertinent portion of that submit:
Prior to now, the best choice we’ve discovered for individuals who don’t have rental automobiles the period of their journeys is both renting a automobile on-site for the day, or taking an expensive shuttle. Neither is cost-effective or all that interesting, particularly if you add on that parking price.
For many who aren’t renting a automobile at some point of their journey, Uber or Lyft are the unquestionable finest choices for getting from Walt Disney World to Common. The one-way price of an Uber or Lyft from Walt Disney World will differ relying upon your precise location, usually costing below $25 every manner and taking 20-25 minutes.
As for airfare, rental automobiles, and different fundamentals, right here’s my normal data: for locating low-cost airfare, we suggest ITA Software program by Google. It’s essentially the most strong airfare search engine on the market, though you’ll be able to’t e book by means of it. It offers you latitude in selecting a number of airports to see if close by airports would possibly supply higher pricing, and lets you try a calendar of dates for journey.
There are some good eating places in Common Studios Florida and Islands of Journey, however as an entire, I don’t assume the culinary expertise is on par with Walt Disney World’s. The unquestionable highlights, in my thoughts, are the counter service eating places in Diagon Alley (Leaky Cauldron) and Hogsmeade (Three Broomsticks) and the desk service restaurant, Mythos, which is a superb worth.
Different in-park eating places at Common Orlando that we like embrace the In the present day Present Cafe (for lighter choices) and Krusty Burger (for the precise reverse). Really, there’s one thing for everybody within the Springfield space, which has quite a lot of eating choices drawn from The Simpsons.
On the snacking entrance, you’re clearly going to wish to strive Butterbeer–maybe all three varieties (frozen, scorching, and common). A lot of the different snacks we take pleasure in are additionally within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour and Honeydukes.
One other factor you would possibly wish to take into account is buying a refillable Coke Freestyle mug. I’ve completed this, however I can actually put down the Cokes to make it definitely worth the cash. I’m certain some day I might be toothless, however hopefully that’s a minimum of 5 years away. These Coke Freestyle machines situated all through the parks are additionally a handy technique to get free water that’s chilly and tastes nice.
Different Issues to Do
Volcano Bay is Common Orlando’s water park. It’s themed to the South Seas and incorporates a big volcano (therefore the title) within the center with water slides in it. For Walt Disney World followers, it’s a bit like Hurricane Lagoon water park blended with Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Adventureland.
All of the rides at Volcano Bay characteristic a Digital Line as a substitute of conventional standby queues. You faucet in along with your TapuTapu wearable (assume MagicBand) to seize a journey time. Then go float, swim, splash, eat, store or chill out round Volcano Bay. Your TapuTapu will inform you when it’s your time to journey.
Along with the 2 theme parks and Volcano Bay water park, there’s CityWalk. That is Common Orlando’s buying, eating, and leisure advanced, which is loads like Disney Springs. The massive distinction is that you simply stroll by means of CityWalk to entry Common Studios Florida or Islands of Journey, and it’s extremely simple to exit the parks and eat lunch or dinner at CityWalk. No bus mandatory!
There’s additionally plenty of comparatively new eating at CityWalk, equivalent to Bigfire, Voodoo Doughnut, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, and VIVO Italian Kitchen–amongst different issues. Toothsome is a fan-favorite for its excessive milkshakes and dessert concoctions (in addition to the enjoyable steampunk theme), and Voodoo Doughnut is an absolute must-do. With that mentioned, we expect the sleeper hits of the record are Bigfire and Cowfish, each of which provide nice meals at cheap (by theme park requirements) costs.
One closing be aware on points of interest is that there are quite a few points of interest that don’t enable luggage, however present free lockers close by for storing backpacks, cameras, young children, and no matter different random junk you may need on you. These are fairly handy and there are bigger lockers you’ll be able to pay for on the entrance of the park, however the level right here is for these of you who’re used to bringing a small U-Haul price of stuff into the Walt Disney World parks: you’ll be able to’t try this at Common. Pack for the parks a little bit lighter.
I feel that is most likely a very good start line should you’re planning on visiting Common Orlando Resort as an add-on to your Walt Disney World trip. If you need to see a few of these subjects coated in larger depth, please let me know within the feedback. We’re planning to deal with extra on eating, particular occasions, and Common Orlando information within the coming months, so keep tuned for extra of that!
Want journey planning ideas and complete recommendation in your go to to Central Florida? Be certain to learn our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Information for the whole lot about these parks, resorts, eating places, and a lot extra. For normal updates, information & rumors, a heads up when reductions are launched, and way more, join our FREE electronic mail e-newsletter!
Are you visiting Common Orlando Resort in 2023? Excited for Epic Universe or different rumored additions within the subsequent few years? What about Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s, or the brand new rides which have not too long ago opened? Have a favourite on-site lodge at Common? Do you like staying on-site at Common, or commuting from Walt Disney World? In case you’re a first-timer, is there anything you’d prefer to know? Likelihood is if in case you have questions nonetheless, so does another person! Please share your ideas within the feedback