Universal Orlando Resort for Geeks – the Best Spots for Your Fandoms

Special thanks to Universal Orlando Resort for hosting me to explore their parks. This in no way shapes my opinions in this post. 


You might know if you’ve been following my adventures for any length of time, that I am a Florida resident living in Atlanta. Having grown up in Florida has given me a lifetime of experience when it comes to visiting Universal Orlando Resort and Halloween Horror Nights. Simply put, I’m a fan. Last week I hit the road with Kia Niro to escape Atlanta for some of my favorite thrills and fandom at Universal Orlando Resort. I hit Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Halloween Horror Nights 27 for a dose of my favorite geeky highlights. Per usual, it was loads of fun, with an epic side of Horror. Here are my highlights.


Universal Orlando Resort for Geeks


The Best Things to do at Universal Orlando Resort for Geeks


If you’ve never been to Universal Orlando Resort then start planning now. Of all the fun and geeky places to get your fandom fix, this is at the top of the list. With themed worlds after Harry Potter, the Simpsons, Marvel and Jurassic Park, you’ll find yourself in fandom heaven. Not to mention finding cool buys at one of their many gift shops (one of my favorite things to do).


Islands of Adventure – My Favorite Highlights


Islands of Adventure is always a blast whether you’re a film fan or not. It’s full of thrilling rides for all ages and has a few places to cool off from the Florida heat.


Marvel Island


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Marvel Island


Marvel Island is always my first place to visit when I go to Islands of Adventure. It’s right at the front of the park and offers a great place to get your blood pumping for the day. Whether you’re seeking thrills like the Incredible Hulk roller coaster or you just want to meander through awesome gift stores where you’re sure to find some fan picks, this is geek heaven. It feels like a page from a comic book especially when the Marvel characters come out on their ATVs for photo ops.


Rides Include:


  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Marvel Island


Stores Include


  • Spider-Man Shop
  • Marvel Alterniverse Store
  • Comic Book Shop

Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Marvel Island

Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Marvel Island




  • Kingpin’s Arcade
  • Spider-Man at the Alterniverse Store (photos)
  • Meet Spider-Man and the Marvel Superheroes

Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Marvel Island

Dining Options


  • Cafe 4
  • Captain America Diner


Jurassic Park


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure


I grew up to Jurassic Park and have been a fan of the film franchise since. Being able to spend time in a world themed to one of my favorite films is a treat. It takes me back and lets me share this with my son who is a fan now too.


Rides Include


  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Pteranodon Flyers


Stores Include


  • Dino Store
  • Jurassic Outfitters




  • Jurassic Park Games
  • Raptor Encounter


Dining Options


  • Pizza Predattoria


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade


Ask any Harry Potter fan on the planet where they want to be and they’ll tell you the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is a place that never gets old. From its meticulously crafted gift shops to Hogwarts itself, I always feel like I’m inside a Harry Potter film when I’m here. And the Butterbeer is always a treat.


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Hogsmeade


I always go to Islands of Adventure first and make Hogsmeade the last stop of my day so I can take the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley. I can easily spend three hours covering all of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So keep that in mind if you’re planning your trip.


Rides Include


  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • The Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade Station
  • Hogwarts Express


Stores Include


  • Ollivanaders
  • Owl Post
  • Dervish and Banges
  • Honeydukes


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Hogsmeade




  • Frog Choir
  • Triwizard Spirit Rally


Dining Options


  • Hogs Head
  • Three Broomsticks


Universal Studios – My Favorite Highlights


Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios


Universal Studios is where it all began. Before Islands of Adventure, CityWalk, Volcano Bay and Halloween Horror Nights, this is where the magic happened. And much of that magic still remains while other parts of the park have been expanded and upgraded. There’s something special about walking down Hollywood Boulevard that brings you from Florida to California in an instant. The same goes for San Francisco, London, and New York City. You can never go wrong with a bit of magic, fandom, and adventure in one place. Here are my favorite geeky things to do at Universal Studios.


Diagon Alley


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Marvel Island


I’m a mega Harry Potter fan so this is at the top of my list. Plus, it’s always the first stop when I’m coming off the Hogwarts Express from Islands of Adventure with my two-park pass. The trip to the King’s Cross London Underground station is pure magic, but when you step off, it’s like being in London for real! I love bringing our interactive wands, checking out all the stores, taking loads of pictures and taking in all the hidden Easter eggs. I mean, where else can you be a wizard and get Butterbeer ice cream? Want to know more about things to do in Diagon Alley? Check out my Diagon Alley highlights here.  


Rides Include


  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hogwarts Express Kings Cross Station
  • Hogwarts Express


Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios, Diagon Alley


Stores Include


  • Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes
  • Ollivanders
  • Sugarplums’ Sweet Shop
  • Wands by Gregorovitch
  • Shutterbutton’s
  • Gringotts Money Exchange
  • Quality Quidditch Supplies
  • Magical Menagerie
  • Scribbulus
  • Borgin and Burkes
  • Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment


Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure, Hogsmeade




  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Gringotts Money Exchange
  • Ollivanders
  • Knight Bus


Dining Options


  • The Fountain of Fair Fortune
  • The Leaky Cauldron
  • The Hopping Pot
  • Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment
  • Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour


The Simpsons


Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios, The Simpsons


Another classic fandom for me is the Simpsons. This show has spanned most of my life and the Simpson’s World at Universal Studios really brings it home. They have everything from Duff Beer to the Kwik-E-Mart to feed your fandom. And if you look close, you’ll even find the Delorean from Back to the Future.


Rides Include


  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  • The Simpsons Ride


Stores Include


  • Simpsons Games
  • Kwik-E-Mart


Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios, The Simpsons




  • Simpsons Games
  • The Simpsons Character Zone


Dining Options


  • Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck
  • Duff Brewery
  • Lard Lad Donuts
  • Luigi’s Pizza
  • Krusty BurgerFlaming Moe’s


Geeky Extras


Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios


There are a few rides, stores and restaurants that are not themed after a particular world but are still really extra when it comes to fandom and geeky favorites. These are my picks:




  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • E.T. Adventure
  • Transformers the Ride 3D
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Men n Black Alien Attack




  • Betty Boop Store
  • Hello Kitty
  • E.T.’s Toy Closet
  • Cyber Image
  • The Tonight Shop
  • Supply Vault
  • The Film Vault




  • The Blues Brothers Show
  • Universal Orlando’s Horror Makeup Show
  • Meet the Transformers
  • The Delorean from Back to the Future




  • Mel’s Drive-In
  • Monster Cafe
  • Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror
  • Bone Chillin


Halloween Horror Nights 27 at Universal Studios


halloween horror nights review

Scare zone HHN27


To date, this is my favorite thing to do during the Halloween season. And I’m telling you, every year it gets better and better. Not all the houses blow my socks off, but most of them do. They spare no expense when it comes to bringing the horror from the films to the fans. I don’t go to get scared, I go to be a part of the scenes from my favorite horror franchises. This year was incredible. The scare zones were better than ever and the haunted house themes were some of my favorites to date (although I always loved the Walking Dead Ones). I was sad to see the last show of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure though. That was my ultimate low. Check out my full Halloween Horror Nights 27 review here.


More Interest


If you’re looking for something to cool off from the Florida sun I recommend heading over the Universal Orlando Resort’s all new water park, Volcano Bay. The island-themed park has 18 attractions allowing you to find relaxation and thrills all in the same day. And talk about stress-free, their innovative TapuTapu system gives guests a waterproof wearable designed to hold your place in a virtual line so you never have to wait!


About Kia Niro


I’ve been driving the Kia Niro Hybrid all year. It’s proven over and over again to be an incredible road trip car. I fill it up with under $25 and get an average of 500 miles. Driving from Atlanta to Orlando took just a little over one tank of fuel. That just blows my mind. Adventures are more accessible than ever before. I especially love the space, comfort, and technology in the cabin. And it has all the safety features I could want to keep me confident on the road no matter what kind of traffic or unfamiliar place I’m in. Its Harmon/Kardon speaker system gives me all the road trip tunes with quality and its hands-free features allow me to stay focused on the road. To learn more about the Kia Niro Hybrid check out kia.com.


Volcano Bay

Photo: UOR


Universal Orlando Resort is a geek mecca. It’s a place that never gets old to me. I love shopping, the adventure, and the countless photo ops, and I know you will too. For more information on planning your trip to Universal Orlando Resort check out their website at universalorlando.com. 


What’s your favorite thing to do at Universal Orlando Resort? Tell me in the comments below!


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

20 Comments on this post

  1. I am not sure I could pick just one thing. It appears that Universal Orlando Resort would be the perfect place for my family to visit though! Would be nice to get away from NH and experience some fun in the warm state!

    Brandy (@brandyellen) / Reply
  2. Our favorite thing to do is go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We are such huge Harry Potter nerds.

    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle / Reply
  3. I really couldn’t pick one thing. We are quite eclectic geeks, so we love to roam around and explore all the geekiness that Universal has to offer.

    Bill Sweeney / Reply
  4. Disney seems to have a little bit of everything for the geek in your family. I’m partial to Marvel Island.

    Makeba Giles / Reply
  5. Oh fun! I know I’d have to make a stop at the Wizarding World. I’m loving how many Marvel areas there are now too.

    Liz Mays / Reply
  6. My kids would really enjoy visiting Universal Orlando. They are both super geeks and proud of it!

    kellyhutchinson37920 / Reply
  7. My daughter has been asking to visit the Harry Potter area, maybe for Spring Break or this summer we can make it happen.

    Kristi / Reply
  8. My older kids definitely prefer these spots than Disney and other attractions that we usually go to. This is where they enjoy our vacation the most!

    AnnMarie John / Reply
  9. How fun! I love the super hero attractions and sounds like something my family and I would love to see.

    Claudia K / Reply
  10. This is great to know since my big kids are all geeks and we’ve never been to Universal. I was thinking maybe they’d be too old for it but from the looks of things, a trip to Universal would be pretty amazing and full of fun photo ops. Thanks for sharing such great information!

    Tonya / Reply
  11. I have never been to Universal Orlando, but it looks so amazing! My son would go crazy for the incredible hulk rollercoaster. I need to consider this for our next family vacation.

    Travel Blogger / Reply
  12. My daughter really wants to go to Universal to see the Harry Potter attractions. She is a big Harry Potter fan.

    Pam Wattenbarger / Reply
  13. There’s no doubt that this is for fans! I think there’s so much that you can explore here and a day won’t be enough!

    Carol Cassara / Reply
  14. This is a great guide! Will definitely add this to our list!

    Toni | Boulder Locavore / Reply
  15. We love Universal Studios! We were just there about a month ago.

    briannemanz / Reply
  16. This is so fun!! We can’t wait to go to Universal, I’m totally a geek so now I know all the best spots to hit!

    kristin / Reply
  17. Looks that you had an awesome day there and I love all your photos

    Aziel Morte / Reply
  18. I bet being there was so much fun and I’m sure my wife would love to go there soon.

    raul dereal / Reply
  19. The kids are older now, but I would still love to take a trip back to Universal with them

    CasaViloraInteriors / Reply
  20. Im lowkey a Geek! I am highly considering going to universal next month for the holidays I bet its festive there.

    Kiwi / Reply

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