If you are wondering the difference between Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida compared to the one in Hollywood, California, look no further. I have all the answers for you right here.
Both parks are great to visit, and have a ton in common. However, due to Orlando having two parks, they most definitely have more to see and do. It would be easy to keep things fair and leave Orlando’s Island of Adventure out of this, but it can not be done. Reason being, there are attractions that both of Orlando’s parks, have that are included in Hollywood’s Universal Studios, and some that are missing from it all together.
So, to keep things organized, here is a list of what is included in, and missing from, for each park.
#1.) The park layouts
Orlando: Both of Orlando’s parks are set up in a big circle. Therefor, you can go around and around and find everything you need.
Hollywood: Hollywood’s park is set up in a circle as well. However, there is both an “upper” and “lower” lot. When you enter, you are in the upper lot. To get to the lower lot, take the many escalators marked “lower lot” down to the lower level. You will find the escalators as you enter Springfield and they will bring you to three rides: Jurassic Park, The Mummy and Transformers.
#2.) The Prices
Both Parks are around the same price. The tickets, the food, the souvenirs…. no big difference. However, it is important to note that because Orlando has two parks, you must buy two separate tickets to gain access to both, or buy one ticket and choose one park to enter.
In regards to food prices, Orlando has a handful of dining plans that you can buy that will actually save you money.
#3.) The “Lands” / “Zones”
When I say “land” or “zone” I mean the themed parts of the part such as Seuss Land or Harry Potter World. It is not just the ride itself, but the restaurants, shops or surrounding game booths are all dressed to fit the theme. For example, when in Harry Potter World you can ride the Flight of the Hippogriff. You can also eat at The Three Broomsticks, visit Ollivander’s Wand Shop and walk around feeling like you are inside one of the books.
Both Parks include Springfield (the Simpsons), Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade, and Seuss Landing. Though, Hollywood may have only had Seuss Landing for Christmas.
In Orlando you will additionally find, Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, their World Expo, Jurassic Park, King Kong’s Skull Island, Toon Lagoon, Marvel Superheros, The Lost Continent, Production Central, New York, Hollywood, Woody’s Kid Zone, San Fransisco and Jurassic Park.
Besides the zones that both parks have in common, Hollywood does not split their parks split into “worlds” or “lands”. However, you do walk through streets that are dressed like New York or Boston.
#4.) The Attractions
Both Parks have the following rides that are exactly the same, or may have very subtle differences: The Simpsons Ride, Animal Actors, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Transformers, Despicable Me, Shrek 4-D, Fast and Furious Supercharged, and The Twirl and Hurl.
They also Both have Revenge of The Mummy, however the ride is a bit different from one park to the other.
Orlando is home to the following rides: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, The Hogwarts Express, E.T. Adventure, Terminator 2 Judgment Day, Men in Black, Woody’s Kid Zone and Roller Coaster, Barney, Curious George, The Horror Make-up Show, Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York, Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, Fear Factor Live, The Blues Brothers, Me Ship the Olive, Ripsaw Falls, Bilage-Rat Barges, The Hulk, Doctor Dooms Fear Fall, Spider-Man Adventures, The High in the Sky Trolley, Caro-Suess-el, The Cat in the Hat, If I ran a Zoo, The Fifth Voyage of Sinbad, Poseidon’s Fury, Camp Jurassic, Pteranodon Flyers, King Kong and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
What Hollywood has that Orlando does not is, The Walking Dead Attraction, The Studio Tour, Super Silly Fun Land, the Special Effects Show, and Water World.
There may be some new attractions added since I have been, but after comparing the maps these are the attractions I both found and remembered.
As far as finding your favorite characters in the parks…you can do it in both…well, you use to be able to.
Recently, in case you have not heard, Disney just bought out Marvel. Apparently, they made a deal that on the east coast (Orlando), the Marvel Universe could be kept. However, on the west coast (Hollywood) it must go.
Thus, you may now only be able to find your favorite superheros in Orlando.
As for all the other characters, such as Shrek, the Minions, the Grinch, ect… You can find them in Both parks.
There are SO many places to dine while at the parks.
In total, Orlando has around 59 places to eat, 33 are in Universal Studios and 26 are in Islands of Adventure. Hollywood has at least 25. This includes restaurants, cafes, bakeries, ice cream and quick stops.
As I said before, Orlando has several dinning plan options that can save you money while in the parks. Just be sure to read the conditions for each plan. This may come in handy so that you don’t stand in a long line to buy a fancy treat that you can not use your meal plan on, because it is considered merchandise and not a meal plan snack.
To be honest, there are WAY to many to list when it comes to similarities or differences. Therefore, feel free to use google if you are looking for specifics.
It may seem strange to add parking as a category. However, you may find it helpful.
In Orlando, the parking garages are huge. It can be a good walk from your car to the park. Preferred parking is the way to go and worth the extra fee if you want to save time.
In Hollywood, it seems that parking is right at the gate. Compared to Orlando, the parking lots are small and the preferred parking is basically next to the regular parking. Not worth paying the extra fee.
This list was not to prove which park is better. It was a general comparison for people who genuinely want to know all the differences.
To be fair, Orlando is much bigger than Hollywood. They have more rides, dining and entertainment. Both parks have their perks, but if you are going to choose one to splurge on, go with Orlando. If you are a big Harry Potter fan, Orlando is also your best bet since you get Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley (but know they are in separate parks so you need two tickets).
Overall, the parks are a lot of fun and a great way to spend the day.