I have been lucky enough to travel to Universal Orlando several times over the past few years. Most of the trips have been with my family – days filled with family fun and rides that the kids love.
But I’ve also been thrilled to be able to experience Universal Orlando in another way. Instead of packing up the entire family and heading to Orlando, I’ve planned a few getaways of my own.
Once or twice a year, my friends and I head to Universal Orlando for a Girls Getaway. It’s a great way to get away for a weekend, catch up with old friends, and enjoy another side of Universal.
This trip, we stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, an awesome, retro resort created in a 1950s and 60’s theme.
We love everything about Cabana Bay – the 10-lane Galaxy Bowl bowling alley, the fun Bayliner Diner, and the Atomic Tonic and Swizzle Lounge bars. The family suite we stayed in had a complete sitting area, kitchenette area and a sliding wall that separated them from the bedroom and bathroom. Check out the fun design:
I have to say, though, that our favorite thing on this trip was enjoying a fruity cocktail beside one of the amazing heated pools.
And though it’s cold and bleak at home, last week in Orlando it was gorgeous poolside!
After we enjoyed an afternoon by the pool, we headed out for dinner and fun at CityWalk. Our first stop – the brand new, gorgeous NBC Sports Grill and Brew.
Dinner was absolutely wonderful! Everything about the NBC Sports Grill and Brew was amazing – from the enormous, open rooms, to the open-air portion of the kitchen visible from the first and second floors, the almost 100 different flat-screen TVs playing all of the best games, to the extensive food and drink choices.
Check out just some of the awesome dishes we tried – from the pretzel that’s bigger than my head (literally) to the roasted corn on the cob, to the salads, entrees and desserts. Every single thing we tried was outstanding and the service (LOVE Cris!) was absolutely perfect.
The NBC Sports Grill and Brew was a great start to a night at City Walk!
After our amazing dinner, we headed over to enjoy some nightlife.
One of the best things about going out to CityWalk and staying on property is not having to worry about transportation. We took the shuttle from the Cabana Bay Resort straight over to City Walk and back again at the end of the night. No cab/Uber fare, no tips, no worries about driving if we want to have a cocktail. It’s so nice!
We have a little tradition of starting the night off at Rising Star now. The first trip my friends and I made to CityWalk, we skipped Rising Star because it’s karaoke. We assumed that it was the same kind of karaoke that we’d seen before – sometimes ok, sometimes not ok, but not something you’d want to do on a big trip to Universal.
But now we know better – Rising Star is so different and so much better than any other karaoke you’ve seen before.
First, there’s a real band instead of cheesy music. There are actual back-up singers with choreographed dance moves. (I kid you not, I enjoyed watching them every bit as much as I enjoyed the singing.) And there are two stories of people cheering, dancing and singing along with the singers. It’s a LOT of fun!
Rising Star is so much fun, in fact, that it is now the place that we start every CityWalk night. On this trip, we followed it up with dancing at the Groove one night, live music at the Red Coconut Club one night and the last night we just didn’t want to leave and ended up closing the place down. Rising Star is definitely a must-see if you’re ever in the CityWalk area!
Of course we couldn’t come to Universal Orlando Resort without enjoying the theme parks, right?
We spent almost our entire day Friday enjoying both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Without our kids along on this trip, we were free to do the rides we wanted to do. For me, that involved some really big roller coasters and quite a few trips on the very cool Revenge of the Mummy ride.
We were able to take our time and really enjoy the impressive Harry Potter attractions in the afternoon. Universal spares no expense when it comes to their rides and attractions, so it was nice to be able to really take a closer look at everything as we walked. The details across both parks are amazing, but I’d have to say that my favorite areas are definitely Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Even after multiple trips to both, I still see new things with every trip. They’re both incredible!
After a wonderful day at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, we were thrilled to be able to end the night on an amazing note – with the Blue Man Group.
The first time I saw the Blue Man Group, I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t sure if it was just music, or a mime show, or what. And now that I’ve seen the Blue Man Group four times, I still don’t really know how to describe them other than to say that I love them! There is a lot of music, a lot of hilarious skits, crowd participation and more. My friends and I laughed through the entire show and really enjoyed ourselves.
I haven’t had so much fun in a very long time and can’t wait to go back. Be sure to consider Universal Orlando for your Girls Getaways as well as family trips!
For more information about an awesome vacation at Universal Orlando Resort, visit UniversalOrlando.com!