10 Tips for Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay Reopening

Yesterday, we shared our top tips for the reopening of Universal Orlando’s main theme parks. Today, we’re bringing you some photos and tips for the fabulous Volcano Bay water park, where “water is life…and life is joy”!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

Before you venture out to begin your carefree island life at Volcano Bay – home of the Waturi, according to legend – you’ll need to know a few important things:

1) Social distancing markers are located everywhere and you’ll want to be aware of them. You should also be prepared to know your temperature will be taken. Lastly, masks are required by everyone – guests and Team Members alike – BUT not to worry! Once you enter the park, you may remove them to enjoy your day, not to mention the soothing waves of Waturi Beach!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

2) Unless staying onsite at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which has a private entrance to Volcano Bay, buses will help you embark on your journey. Onboard, you’ll be seated 6 feet apart by a Team Member and masks are required.

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

3) Island signage abounds, so no need to take notes! ; )

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

4) Once you arrive at the entrance to Volcano Bay, masks are still required by all and you’ll be welcomed plus provided with your own sanitized, waterproof TapuTapu wearable – designed specifically and exclusively for use in Volcano Bay. With its Virtual Line and TapTu Play capabilities, TapuTapu allows you to live on Waturi time and feel as one with the island’s carefree way of life.  The only difference is, you’ll receive yours from a Team Member who is masked and gloved;  and just as before, Tapu Tapu’s are yours to use for the day!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

5) Once inside, the fun and relaxation truly begins as masks are only required beyond this point by the lockers, at food venues, or in merchandise stores; just be aware the Waturi respectfully request you maintain social distancing in these areas as well.

In the larger restaurants with seating areas, parties are seated one at a time and at an appropriate distance from everyone else, and Team Members are carefully sanitizing the tables at all venues after each use as well!

Courtesy of Derek Funk

6) The Waturi have a new rule: only 10 guests are permitted at a time in the locker area, so visitors are asked to send one guest from your group in with your belongings. Lockers are also yours for the day!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

7) Here among the sparkling waters, even life jackets are replaced after each use and taken away by a Team Member for proper sanitizing before reuse.

Courtesy of Derek Funk

8) We are happy to report you can still kick your visit up a notch by renting a private cabana for up to 10 people! Relax, unwind and enjoy the charms of your own personal cabana space in paradise with extra-comfy seating, concierge service and more. Each retreat offers padded lounge chairs, a small refrigerator stocked with bottled water, complimentary fruit and snack basket, towel and locker service, plus concierge service with an exclusive menu of food and drink delivered directly to the cabana. Who can ask for anything more?

Well, there is one thing…

Courtesy of Derek Funk

9) Ice Cream! Koka Poroka is Volcano Bay’s ice cream stand and is renowned for offering this Waturi fusion of flavor! PRO TIP: Don’t miss this delicious treat!

Courtesy of Derek Funk

10) Volcano Bay is THE perfect place to visit in the Florida Summer sun…as masks are not required in the pools, while relaxing on your loungers, or while exploring! You’ll truly enjoy an immersive water theme park full of thrills, relaxation, and one-of-a-kind attractions in a beautiful, tropical setting.

Courtesy of Derek Funk

We’d like to give a BIG shout out to thank our FABULOUS Universal Orlando Representative, Derek Funk, for all of the great photos and information we’ve shared with you yesterday and today, and hope you enjoyed this virtual tour!

Contact Vacations with Character® and let us help you plan your escape! Visit https://universalvacationplanners.com/ for more information or to reach out and drop us a line!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional
Vacations with Character is proud to have the distinction of being an Authorized Vacation Planner for Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood

Let Yourself “Whoa” at Universal!

Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood have a new campaign slogan for this year and here’s why we ♥ it!
Comedians Kenan Thompson and Arturo Castro Headline Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood’s New Brand Campaign “Let Yourself Woah” – Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

Universal Orlando is one of the most magical places on earth! It’s a land of fantasy, thrilling experiences, and fun family time. It’s a place to reconnect, catch up, laugh, de-stress and feel like a kid again. When you visit, you’ll be entertained, amazed, and “whoa’d”. And that’s why the new slogan — “Let Yourself Whoa” — is so perfect!

As we go through the hum-drum moments in every day life, sometimes we just need a release, to recharge our batteries, and get back to being our best selves. We need some fun and excitement in our lives… and what a better place than Universal?

Comdeian Kenan Thompson – courtesy of Universal Partner Community

One of the new faces of this year’s campaign, Kenan Thompson, has been part of the NBC Universal family for years. Denielle Ricci from our Universal Partner Community recently caught up with him and here’s what they had to say:

Q: Tell me about the experience of being a part of the new “Woah” campaign for Universal Parks & Resorts?

I gotta tell ya, it’s been incredible. There’s a lot of love here in Orlando, and it’s been incredibly nostalgic for me because this is where I had my very first job. We’ve been prepping 20 feet away from where I spent my teenage years growing up here. I’m really excited to roll this out and see how people respond to the whole “Woah” of it all. I think it’s going to be really fun.

Q After experiencing the parks and working on this campaign, what does “Woah” mean to you?

“Woah” means to me exactly what these parks do for you on a daily basis. Every ride really delivers that “Woah!” I brought my family here and we went on all the rides and afterward, I was like “Woah” every single time.

Comedians Kenan Thompson and Family – Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

Q: You have a history with NBCUniversal. You filmed your show “Kenan & Kel” in Orlando, you’re a part of “Saturday Night Live”…how would you describe the experience of filming in a theme-park environment?

[A guest shouts, “We love you Kenan!” Kenan responds, “Thank you! Mad love for you.”]

That sums it up! That has been my experience working in a theme park. When I think back, I’m thankful that it was Universal. Coming back to a place that is so familiar has been blowing my mind these past few days. I had a chance to take my picture over by the old filming soundstage. I could have cried because it’s just a special place in my heart. It’s been a long road back and to be a part of such an awesome campaign for one of my favorite places – is like “Woah.”

Q: What is your favorite “Woah” moment so far at Universal Orlando Resort?

I gotta say it has to be Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. We rode it a few times, and I think it’s one of the most creative roller coasters in America. I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t ridden it, but you can’t even guess what happens next. The twists and turns and ups and downs – that’s all I can tell you. That’s my favorite, hands down!

Q: What is your favorite ride at Universal Studios Hollywood?

At Universal Studios Hollywood, Jurassic World is strong…super strong! I seriously felt like I was right in one of the movies. And seeing all of those giant dinosaurs lunge at you is so cool – and they look so realistic. The giant Mosasauraus, the Indominus rex – and of course that drop! It’s an awesome water ride that gets you soaked to the bone.

Are your ready to “Let Yourself Whoa?” Contact Vacations with Character® and let’s talk about your next amazing getaway to Universal! We have some special savings to tell you about including discounts on tickets, plus we are EXPERTS when it comes to Universal vacations. Visit us at our website for a free quote: https://universalvacationplanners.com/ or reach out and drop us a line!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional
Vacations with Character is proud to have the distinction of being an Authorized Vacation Planner for Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas in Universal Orlando!

Universal Orlando is gearing up for a beautiful holiday season! Take a sneak peek at some of the decorations going up around Islands of Adventure and find out why YOU need to vacation in Universal Orlando this holiday season.
Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

There’s so much fun to be had during the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort! Add in fun decor, special attractions and adorable shows, and it’s no wonder why it’s a “must do” for many families each year.

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort
Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

Who doesn’t love the Grinch?! You can catch him in The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular daily. This adorable live performance is a retelling of the classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™. Afterward, you can even meet the maven of mischief himself for an autograph and photos!

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

The Cat in the Hat attraction is getting in on some holiday action!

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

If I Ran the Zoo, I’d decorate them too!

Holiday Decorations Going Up at Universal Orlando Resort – photo credit: Derek Funk

If you have never thought about visiting Universal Orlando for the holidays, you should! There’s so much to see…so much to do! Here’s a few more highlights of the seasonal events:

RELATED: Celebrate an Epic Holiday at Universal Orlando and Create a New Tradition

  • Experience Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ as Diagon Alley™ and Hogsmeade™ are transformed with festive decor and special entertainment. The Frog Choir sings seasonal melodies and there are special treats and drinks to share. Then, at dusk a dazzling projection of holiday spirit, The Magic of Christmas, unfolds on Hogwarts™ Castle.
  • At the Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast, choose from irresistible entrees and get your camera ready. The mischievous Grinch™ himself will make the rounds, stopping to pose for photos and share hilariously snarky small talk. (Separately ticketed experience.)
  • Merry and Mayhem combine as the Minions join Santa Claus in Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a favorite treat that also features characters from Madagascar and Shrek. It’s not to be missed!
  • The best-selling holiday artist of all time also visits Universal Studios as Mannheim Steamroller returns for live performances on select nights and it’s included (yes, you read that right!) with your Universal Studios Florida admission. Concert Dates are Saturday and Sundays: Nov. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15.
  • From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, all the traditional feasts and festivities are happening in the onsite resorts plus a few surprises! Enjoy classic favorites like ornament decorating, and visits with Santa along with tree and menorah lighting ceremonies. You can also take a break from cooking and savor delicious holiday meals at acclaimed restaurants as well as additional activities for the whole family. You might even catch some rockin’ holiday parties!

    Create more memorable holiday moments and contact us for a free quote! We offer a best-price guarantee, never charge fees, and our experience is priceless!

Be sure to stay tuned for more info and live updates to come as we get closer to Thanksgiving. We’ll be venturing into the the parks and resorts and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional


What Time Is It?

It’s time to Party! We say “Mardi” ….you say “Gras”.

A Mardi Gras performer in a striped outfit raises his arms in front of a float
Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort


The holidays are behind us and Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early Spring. What a better way to celebrate in 2019 than Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort!  It’s Florida’s biggest party and it runs from February 9 – April 4  every night this year at Universal Studios Florida!

Hungry for a taste of New Orleans?

A guest enjoys a beignet at Mardi Gras.
Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Experience it every day beginning at 4 pm in The French Quarter Courtyard,  a space dedicated to “N’awlins Style Food and Spirits”.  Some of the bayou’s best, authentic dishes will be available for purchase such as jambalaya, beignets and more — all in tasting sizes so you can sample a variety of Cajun and Creole cuisine.  And don’t forget to check out the specialty cocktails created just for this event!

Craving some music for your soul?

Check out the sounds of real Louisiana jazz, blues, and zydeco bands:

  • Feb. 9–17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • Feb. 18–27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • Feb. 28–Mar. 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • Mar. 19–Apr. 4: New Breed Brass Band

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without a parade!

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Watch the confetti and countless beads fly while you enjoy nightly parades featuring colorful costumes, stilt walkers, dancers and street performers as they get in touch with their “wild animal side”, the theme of this year’s floats.  There’s even a special viewing area for petite party goers in the The Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Area, located in front of the Brown Derby Hat Shop.  Access is available beginning one hour before the parade starts.

Where and when to see it:

Parade starts at 5:15 pm on the following dates:
Feb. 21
Mar. 4

Parade starts at 6:15 pm on the following dates:
Feb. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Mar. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8

Parade starts at 7:15 pm on the following dates:
Mar. 3

Parade starts at 7:30 pm on the following dates:
Mar. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
Apr. 1, 2, 3, 4

Parade starts at 7:45 pm on the following dates:
Feb. 9, 16, 17, 23
Mar. 2, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31

You can’t have a great party without great music!

Macklemore, Pitbull and More Performing at Universal’s Mardi Gras 2019
Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

On select nights of Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras, catch performances from some of the biggest names in pop, rock, country, R&B and more at the Music Plaza stage beginning at 8:30 pm.

Here’s the latest line up:

  • February 9 – BUSH
  • February 16 – Gavin DeGraw
  • February 17 – Dan + Shay
  • February 23 – Macklemore
  • March 2 – Sabrina Carpenter
  • March 9 – Becky G
  • March 10 – Sean Paul
  • March 16 – Steve Miller Band
  • March 17 – Ziggy Marley
  • March 23 – NF
  • March 24 – Pitbull
  • March 30 – Bazzi
  • March 31 – To be announced

Whether you’re spending time with family or enjoying fun with friends, we can help you get your party-animal on by putting together the perfect vacation package for you! Reach out to your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professional or request your FREE quote by clicking here!