Universal Fun for the Whole Family

By: Erica I. Peña-Vest

Universal Studios in Orlando

Universal Studios in Orlando Florida

With all of the free ticket offers for the military through ITT/ITR, we truly have no excuse not to visit some of America’s most popular theme parks this summer. Notably, Universal Orlando is full of fun and adventure for the whole family.

Universal Orlando is made up of two main parks. The first park is Universal Studios. This motion picture and television theme park opened in 1990 and used Steven Spielberg as its creative consultant. Its main theme is to allow the visitor to “ride the movies”. With state of the art rides, shows and attractions, Universal Studios stands out as a theme park filled with adventure. Currently featuring the Men in Black Alien Attack ride, which is the world’s first ride through an interactive video game, where the guest determines each ride’s outcome by their individual and collective abilities. Other popular attractions include Shrek 4-D, The Simpson Ride, and Revenge of the Mummy. Opening in 2009, the highly-anticipated Hollywood Rip Ride Rock-it is sure to be the talk of the town. Set to Rock music, I watched a video on what this ride would be like once completed and I guarantee you that you have never seen anything like it! It will be a favorite of you thrill seekers and something I will have to see in person to understand once built. It is truly going to be amazing!

Islands of Adventures, Universal Orlando’s second and newest park was also built with the help of producer / director Steven Spielberg. Opened in 1999, it has been home to some of Universal’s most thrilling rides and attractions. Set among the exotic coastlines of the oceans of the world, this adventure begins at the Port of Entry and continues through five themed islands: Seuss Landing, Toon Lagoon, Marvel Super Hero Island, Jurassic Park and The Lost Continent. All five islands offer parents and children alike a thrilling experience among their favorite comic book heroes, villains, cartoon characters, mythical creatures and prehistoric dinosaurs. This park is a favorite amongst kids and would be my recommendation if you had to choose between the two parks.

There will definitely be something for everyone to enjoy.

Universal City Walk should not be missed. Adjacent to the parks and an attraction of its own, Universal City Walk offers food, fun and excitement for the whole family. If you stopped by City Walk to do just one thing, you can’t miss dining at Emeril’s Restaurant. It is a culinary treat for your taste buds. One of a handful of restaurants the famous chef has nationwide, Emeril’s at City Walk gives you refuge from the hustle and bustle of the parks and treats you to a meal you won’t ever forget.

The best part of it all is that Universal Orlando is offering members of the military (active duty and retired) free admission to both parks! Discounted tickets are also available for your friends and family. Offer valid until December 2009. Contact your base’s ITT/ITR for more information. If you need any additional park advice or more information on Universal Orlando’s military promotion, log on to www.guidetofamilytravel.com for the latest information. Enjoy the summer!


MilitaryConnection.com is proud to be featuring the travel articles of Erica I. Pena-Vest to our users. Erica is a travel industry veteran with over ten years of experience in public and media relations. Erica has worked with hundreds of travel writers before becoming one herself in 2004. As a Navy wife, Erica understands the needs of military families and focuses her research and articles to travel deals for those in the armed services. Erica’s travel column is appropriated titled “Sweet Land of Liberty”. MilitaryConnection.com works hard to bring a multitude of resources and information to our audience. This site has thousands of pages of resources and information. There is something for everyone. Users refer to MilitaryConnection.com, as the “the Go To Site” for the military and veteran communities. When the next tour is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com