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Universal Studios Florida – More Good Things To Know About . . .


Guest Services
The friendly folks at Guest Services can answer just about any question you have. If you have a problem or complaint while in the parks, seek out the Guest Services office at the front of the park (in the Front Lot at USF and in Port of Entry at IOA). If you have a question you can call (407) 224-4233 and press the number 9 to speak with a Guest Services representative. You might want to program this number into your cell phone.

Happy Hour
Boozers rejoice! Most, if not all, of Universal Orlando’s bars have generous happy hours. Times vary with the season. Some places may have happy hour from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., while others will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., allowing for extended discount drinking. What’s available at what price also varies but half price domestic drafts and margaritas are fairly standard offerings.

Leaving the Parks
You can leave either park at any time and be readmitted free the same day. Just have your hand stamped on the way out and look for the “same day reentry” line when you come back. You will also have to show your ticket again, since some tickets only allow admittance to one park. Those with annual passes can skip this formality. Most people use this system when they visit the restaurants in CityWalk or go back to the hotel for a quick afternoon nap, but it’s a good idea for Mom and Dad to have their hands stamped when leaving the park for the day, just in case you need to check back with Lost & Found.

Lockers
Electronically controlled lockers are available at both parks and allow unlimited in-and-out all-day access. They cost $8 or $10 a day, depending on size, and accept both bills and credit cards. The more “aggressive” rides restrict what you can carry with you, so lockers are provided and their use is mandatory. They are usually free for a short period of time, which varies with the length of the lines. After that, a hefty fee is charged for each half hour or so of use, to a daily maximum of $14. Should you overstay your welcome you can usually find a sympathetic ride attendant to open them for you; otherwise, you will have to pay to retrieve your stuff. Water-related rides also provide lockers, but charge a flat rate of $2 per hour.

Pets
If you have pets, inform the attendant when you pay for your parking and you will be directed to the Universal Studios kennels. Pet boarding is $10 a day (one pet free for annual passholders) for each animal and the accommodations are comfortable, if not precisely luxurious. You supply the food, they supply the bowl and water. However, Universal’s staff will not feed or care for your pet; they won’t even touch it. If your pet needs to be walked or fed at specific times, you must return to the kennel and take care of it yourself. Kennels close two hours after park closing; after that, you’ll have to appeal to Security to spring your pet. Pets are not only welcomed but pampered at the resort hotels. See Chapter Five: The Resort Hotels.

Phone Numbers
Although most are mentioned elsewhere, here is a handy list of important phone numbers:

General Info: (407) 363-8000
TDD Line: (407) 224-4414
Guest Services: (407) 224-6350 - Main number (407) 224-4233 - USF and IOA
Lost & Found: (407) 224-6355 - USF (407) 224-4245 - IOA
Universal Vacations: (407) 224-7000 or (800) 711-0080
Audition Hotline: (407) 224-7622
Jobs: (407) 363-8080
Event Hotline: (407) 224-5500
Merchandise: (407) 224-5800
Hard Rock Hotel: (407) 503-7625
Portofino Bay: (407) 503-1000
Royal Pacific: (407) 503-3000

Priority Seating
Some restaurants in the parks and most in CityWalk offer “priority seating” which is subtly different from a reservation. It means that the restaurant will give you the first table that will accommodate your party that becomes available at or after the time you requested.

Shopping by Phone
Forgot to buy a souvenir for you favorite uncle? Want to get a video preview of the parks? You can take care of both through Universal’s mail order department. Call (407) 224-5800 (there is no toll-free number) and they will help you shop.

Smoking
Florida state law prohibits smoking in all restaurants. Smoking is not permitted in lines to the rides and attractions either. In fact, Universal has tried to take things a step further by limiting outdoor smoking to specified areas, marked on the maps with purple signs bearing a lit cigarette symbol. This system has met with only partial success and complaints about smoking in non-designated areas are frequently heard. Bear in mind that many foreigners visit Universal Orlando and most of them come from countries where America’s fetish with secondhand smoke seems quaint, if not downright absurd.

Visiting the Resort Hotels
The resort hotels offer plenty of atmosphere along with good restaurants and bars. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy them. Feel free to stroll over from CityWalk or the theme parks for a meal or drinks or just to look around. Or take the complimentary water taxis from the dock in CityWalk; some people don’t realize that they are open to all and not exclusively for hotel guests.

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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