Having had the pleasure of travelling to the Universal Orlando Resort multiple times over the past decade (both with and without children) it’s safe to say that we have the packing list down!
In this comprehensive article, we’ll be covering everything you need to pack for your trip to Orlando, and subsequently for your days at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.
This guide is broken down into different sections; clothing, accessories, toiletries, documentation, electronics and baby / toddler to help ensure you have everything you could possibly need for your incredible trip.
How much clothing you need to bring to Orlando, and subsequently the Universal Orlando Resort with you is going to depend on how long you’re visiting for. If you’re only visiting for three days, then between five and seven outfits should be enough.
However, if you’re coming from the UK then it’s likely you’ll be visiting for two weeks with Universal Studios Orlando only making up three days or so of your trip.
In that case, we recommend (based on personal experience) bringing a couple of Universal Studios based t-shirts (if you have them) and then other more generic clothing items which can be worn in multiple situations / locations throughout your trip.
The base of your outfits at Universal Studios is likely to be t-shirts. Depending on your style you may wish to wear Universal-themed t-shirts or a generic brand.
When it comes to Universal-themed t-shirts you can either buy your t-shirts in advance (which is often the cheaper option) or purchase them from one of the many stores at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Free Universal Orlando
Printable Packing List
Our comprehensive Universal Orlando packing list can be both customised and printed for your convenience.
Personally, we often opt to do a mix of the two. Purchasing the majority of our Universal items in advance (to save money) and then picking up the odd t-shirt during our trip as a souvenir.
Vests & Tank Tops
If you’re visiting Universal Studios during the summer months then you may want to interchange your t-shirts with vests and tank tops.
However, if you do be sure to cover your shoulders in sunblock and reapply regularly as the sun can be incredibly strong during these times, and your shoulders can burn easily.
As such you may still want to consider packing a skirt or a pair of shorts. We like a pair that’s got good pockets (ideally with zips) so we can store a bank card and our mobile phone in them safely and access them quickly as and when required.
While denim shorts are a great option as they are slightly thicker providing additional warmth during the early evenings, they aren’t ideal for the beach (getting sand off denim is a nightmare!) or if you get caught in the rain (since they take hours to dry).
Instead, we look for a pair made of cotton, ideally with some stretch in the waist (for when we’ve had too many margaritas).
Pants & Jeans
If you’re visiting Universal Studios during the summer then you may only pack a single pair of pants. If you’re visiting Florida in winter then you’ll want to pack, jeans, trousers and leggings are always a good choice and will likely make up the majority of your outfits.
Depending on your style, you may want to bring a variety of different pants including;
- Smart or dark denim: ideal for meals in restaurants or more formal activities
- Casual leggings: perfect for sports and theme parks
- Linen pants: a good idea for the beach and around the pool
- Relaxed denim: ideal for keeping it casual on cooler days
- Joggers: a great choice for keeping warm and relaxed in a rare cold spell
Dresses, playsuits and jumpsuits are ideal for casual daytime activities or formal evening attire depending on the style and in most cases are lightweight and pack small allowing you to bring a range of options on vacation with you.
You’re going to want to pack comfortable underwear for your trip to Orlando. In this case, how many pairs you’ll need will depend on how long you’re visiting.
If you find that you don’t have enough pairs to cover your trip then you’ll also want to think about packing a travel-sized laundry detergent.
Not only is it important to wear comfortable shoes for Universal Studios, but it’s also just as important to wear socks which have been made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials to keep your feet cool and dry.
You’ll likely be walking in excess of each and every day you spend at the Universal Orlando Resort. It’s therefore incredibly important that you wear comfortable walking shoes that are able to support your feet and ankles.
We typically find that sandals and flip-flops begin to rub with excess walking around the parks causing blisters. However, we still bring them for days around the pool and trips to the Volcano Bay waterpark.
Depending on the time of year you’re visiting Universal Studios you may also want to pack a light jacket. Especially if you’re planning on staying for the fireworks at Universal Orlando which take place just before the park closes at around 8pm / 9pm.
Of course, carrying a jacket around the parks with you can be annoying, however, thankfully there are a number of lockers at the Universal Studios parks where you can store your jacket and other items throughout the day.
If you’re planning on spending the day at Universal Orlando’s waterpark Volcano Bay then you’ll want to be sure to pack a swimsuit.
The item we most commonly forget when travelling is pyjamas. It’s easy to overlook this essential item when packing for a trip, but it’s important to remember that comfortable sleepwear can make a big difference in getting a good night’s sleep which you’re definitely going to need before spending a day at the Universal Studios theme parks.
Alongside your clothing, there are a number of essential accessories you’re going to want to bring with you when travelling to the Universal Studios Orlando Resort. These accessories will help you stay comfortable, prepared, and entertained throughout your trip.
While there are “human driers” outside the water rides at Universal Studios, they cost money and often have a large queue.
Therefore instead we recommend packing a travel towel. These small microfibre towels are perfect for drying off quickly and can be stored away in your backpack with ease.
The water park, Volcano Bay provides towels for a fee. As such if you’re looking to visit this park then you’ll either want to bring a towel of your own or some extra Universal Orlando spending money so you can rent one.
Refillable Water Bottle
Keeping hydrated during your time at Universal Studios is essential. The sun in both Hollywood and Orlando is no joke, and even if you’re visiting the parks during winter, you’ll still be doing a lot of walking.
With bottled water inside the Universal Studios parks costing upwards of $4.49 plus tax, save yourself some money and pack a reusable water bottle.
Reusable water bottles can be filled up for free at one of the many Coca-Cola Freestyle machines or water fountains located throughout the parks.
Backpack / Fanny Pack
Depending on the number of items you plan to bring with you into the Universal Studios parks you’ll want to look at using either a backpack, a fanny pack or both.
Since we now travel to Universal Studios with a young child, a backpack is essential (kids require so much extra stuff!). However, we often also bring a fanny pack with essentials too. That’s because fanny packs are typically allowed on rides at the Universal Orlando Resort. While larger bags such as handbags and backpacks are required to be placed in a locker.
Another great way to protect yourself from the sun while visiting Universal Studios is to wear a hat. You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors during your visit, and I speak from experience when I say you often can’t feel your scalp or the back of your neck burning until it’s too late.
If you’re looking to purchase fizzy drinks during your day at Universal Studios then consider investing in a Coca-Cola Freestyle refillable cup.
These cups can be purchased at a number of locations across Universal Studios for a fixed price and entitle the owner to an unlimited number of free refills on a combination of 200+ drinks throughout the day.
Universal Orlando refillable cups can then be reactivated (both if you purchased them during your trip or on a previous vacation) for an additional, albeit cheaper price on subsequent days.
Given that you’ll be spending the majority of your time outdoors at Universal Studios it’s a good idea to pack a pair of sunglasses.
Personally, we opt for a cheap, basic pair to take to the parks as I have been known to lose them, forget them or accidentally damage them during our visits.
A cooling towel is another great way to stay cool during your day at Universal Studios Orlando, especially if you’re visiting during the hotter months.
These towels are designed to be soaked in water and then placed around your neck or over your head (much like a bandana) where they help to evaporate sweat and keep you cool.
Given that the Universal Studios Orlando Resort is situated in Florida, the theme parks often benefit from long, hot summers. However, they also experience the odd thunderstorm, especially in the afternoon and especially between July and October.
If you’re caught out in one of these storms, a poncho will help to keep you dry until it passes. While ponchos can be purchased from a number of locations inside the Universal Studios parks they are often significantly overpriced compared to online or at a nearby store.
As you might expect, Universal Studios Orlando food prices are higher when compared to supermarkets or even similar restaurants in Orlando. However, thankfully you are able to bring food and drink with you to Universal Studios, provided that it meets the theme park’s rules and regulations.
Packing your own snacks and drinks either from home or from a nearby grocery store is a great way to save money without compromising on your visit. Especially if you have young children or special dietary needs.
Some of our favourite snacks to take into the parks include;
- Granola bars
Hotel Room Key
If you’re staying onsite at the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando then each person will need their hotel room key to gain early park admission. Without this, you’ll be turned away and asked to wait for general admission.
A great alternative or addition to a rain poncho is an umbrella. While they are often not as effective at keeping you dry as a poncho, an umbrella does offer some protection from the rain and can also provide much-needed shade on hot days.
Another great way of staying cool in the sun during the hot summer days at Universal Studios is with a handheld fan. These fans are available in a range of different styles and formats and often take either two AA or AAA batteries.
There are a number of water rides at the Islands of Adventure theme park that could see you get very, very wet. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting the park, you may dry off quickly or be able to use one of the human dryers to help.
However, in other cases, you may want to bring a change of clothes to wear at Universal Orlando and a plastic bag for any wet items of clothing to prevent them from causing damage to other items in your backpack.
A lanyard is a great way of storing your park ticket and hotel key safely during your visit to the parks.
While these are one of the best Universal Orlando souvenirs, they are often four or five times more expensive when compared to similar lanyards that can be purchased either online or from a nearby store.
Much like the Universal Studios Refillable Cup programme, Universal also offers a refillable popcorn bucket that allows you to get discounted popcorn refills throughout the day.
While the initial cost of the bucket is around $12 plus tax (depending on whether you purchase it from Hollywood or Orlando) popcorn lovers can often recoup this initial cost and then some when taking advantage of the offer.
Wand & Hogwarts Robe
If you’ve been to Universal Studios before then you may have already purchased popular souvenirs such as an interactive wand or an official Universal Studios Harry Potter robe.
In that case, it’s a great idea to pack these to use during your time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside the Universal Studios theme parks. Most interactive wands have a battery life of between four and five years – and if your wand no longer works you can take it to Olivanders for a replacement.
When packing for your Universal Studios Orlando vacation it’s important to remember to bring along essential toiletries to keep you feeling fresh and clean throughout your trip.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Bringing a toothbrush and toothpaste is essential when travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort. With all the delicious food and drinks available at the park, it’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean throughout your trip.
Bringing a hairbrush is a small but important item to pack when travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort. With the heat and humidity in Florida, it’s important to keep your hair tangle-free and looking its best throughout your trip.
We recommend choosing a brush that is lightweight, compact, and easy to pack in your luggage. You may also want to bring some hair ties or clips to keep your hair off your face during your visit to the parks.
This one should be pretty self-explanatory but don’t forget to pack and reapply sunscreen often while visiting the Universal Studios parks. Even on days when the weather is overcast, the sun is still incredibly strong.
With thousands of people visiting the Universal Studios Resort each and every day, it’s likely a lot of hands have touched handlebars, rails and souvenirs before yours.
As such consider packing a small bottle of hand sanitiser to help keep you and your family safe from bacteria and germs.
Motion Sickness Medication
There are a number of motion simulation rides inside the Universal Studios parks. While these rides are generally very well made, they can sometimes trigger motion sickness in those susceptible to it.
If you or any members of your party suffer from motion sickness, then I recommend packing some medication (wristbands also work for many people) just in case you need it.
First Aid Kit
No matter how well you plan or how cautious you are, accidents can and do happen. As such it’s a good idea to pack a small first-aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic wipes and painkillers just in case anyone in your party injures themselves during your day at the parks.
If you’re visiting Universal Studios during the hotter months then there’s a good chance your lips will become dry and chapped.
To combat this, we recommend packing chapstick or lip balm to help keep your lips moisturised throughout the day.
Wipes & Tissues
No matter how old you are, there will be times during your visit to Universal Studios when you’ll need to wipe your hands or face (or someone else’s).
As such we recommend packing a small packet of wet wipes and tissues just in case. These come in handy for everything from wiping up spills to dealing with runny noses.
Last but not least, you’re going to want to consider bringing some deodorant to the Universal Studios theme parks with you.
With the hot weather and all the walking around you’ll be doing, it’s inevitable that you’re going to start to sweat and potentially smell at some point during the day.
Gold Bond Powder
If you’re prone to chafing then Gold Bond Powder is an absolute lifesaver. This powder helps to absorb sweat and moisture, which in turn helps to reduce friction and prevents chafing.
If you’re prone to blisters then it’s also a good idea to bring some blister balm or plasters with you when visiting the Universal Studios parks.
This balm helps to soothe and protect your feet from further irritation, which in turn can help to prevent blisters from forming or getting worse.
If you’re someone who experiences periods regularly then you’ll want to pack your period supplies of choice. Of course, if you forget, or run out during your trip then most brands are available in the nearby grocery stores.
Packing your travel documents is one of the most important steps when preparing for a trip to Universal Studios Orlando Resort. Whether you’re travelling domestically or internationally, you’ll need to bring a variety of documents to ensure a smooth and stress-free trip.
Theme Park Tickets
When travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort, it’s important to bring your theme park tickets with you. You can purchase tickets online or at the park entrance, but having them in advance can save you a lot of time and hassle.
If you’re based in the UK I recommend buying your Universal Studios Orlando park tickets from AttractionTix. They have the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.
If you’re based in the US or Canada I recommend Klook for your Universal Studios Orlando tickets. They have the most competitive prices and a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.
Bank Cards & Credit Cards
I hate to break it to you, but you are likely going to need to pay for something during your visit to the Universal Studios parks.
Whether it be;
- The occasional Butterbeer
As such you’ll want to go ahead and make sure you bring either cash, a bank card, or both with you to the parks.
ID / Passport
If you’re looking to purchase alcohol during your visit to Universal Studios then you’ll want to ensure you have a certified form of identification. The most common forms of ID accepted at Universal Studios are;
- Driving Licence
- Birth Certificate
If you’re travelling with a child under the age of three (who therefore doesn’t need a ticket to the Universal parks) then it’s a good idea to bring ID for them too, just in case their age is questioned.
When it comes to packing for a trip to Universal Studios Orlando Resort, it’s important to consider which electronics you’ll want to bring with you. From your phone and camera to your laptop and tablet, there are a variety of devices you may want to use while travelling.
While being on your phone all day while visiting the Universal Studios parks is less than ideal, there are some times you’re going to want the device available – often for both convenience and security.
Some of the ways in which I use my phone while visiting the Universal Studios parks include;
- Taking photos inside the parks
- Checking wait times for roller coasters
- Ordering food from Mobile Order friendly restaurants
- Keeping track of where my friends / family are
- Ordering an Uber / Lyft back to the hotel
- Taking a photo of where we parked
- Playing games while waiting in line for a ride
Portable Power Charger
You are going to use your mobile phone (cell phone) a lot during the long days at Universal Studios. We use our phones to;
- Check wait times for rides & attractions on the Universal Studios mobile application
- Order an Uber or Lyft to / from the park
- Mobile order food to save us from waiting in line
- Taking photos & videos
- Texting friends & family to see where they are inside the parks
- Playing games during long lines for rides
Sadly, however, even modern-day phones often struggle to keep up with this demand. Given this, we highly recommend packing a portable power bank and an associated USB cable.
In recent years these portable battery charges have become increasingly smaller and more powerful with many being able to take a smartphone battery from 0% back to 100% in a couple of hours.
Depending on your preferences you may also want to bring a camera with you to the Universal Studios parks.
We bring a Sony A6400 (and occasionally a Canon G7X Mark III and GoPro) and multiple camera lenses with us on trips to Universal Studios so we’re able to capture high-quality images for the site to share with you.
As such we know first-hand the damage and risks associated with bringing camera equipment (especially expensive equipment) into the parks and would in most cases recommend bringing a smartphone with a good camera instead.
Depending on what or who you’re travelling with you may also want to bring an Apple AirTag with you to the Universal Studios parks.
This can be put inside your wallet, backpacker or stroller to help you locate it if it’s lost or stolen or attached to a child’s shorts or placed inside a shoe so you’re able to locate them should they ever get lost.
If you’re travelling from outside the US to Universal Studios Orlando Resort, you’ll need to bring an international plug to charge your devices. These adapters are small, lightweight, and easy to pack in your luggage.
Phone USB Charger
One thing that’s easy to forget when packing for any trip is your mobile phone USB charger. For this reason, we picked up a couple of spares that we now leave in all the bags that we travel with regularly.
If you’re travelling to the Universal Orlando Resort with babies, toddlers or children then you’re going to need to pack some additional items.
If you have young children (typically speaking aged four and under) then a stroller will definitely come in handy during your trip to Universal Studios.
While the Universal Studios parks are relatively flat, there is still a lot of walking involved and having a way to transport small children or those with mobility issues will make your day much more enjoyable.
You’re welcome to bring your own stroller to the parks with you or hire one from the rental store near the entrance of each of the Universal Studios Orlando theme parks for a fee.
If you’re flying to the Universal Studios Orlando Resort then you’ll be pleased to know that TSA permits baby food in reasonable amounts in carry-on bags.
When it comes to visiting the Universal Studios theme parks, baby food is permitted. While glass containers are typically not allowed inside the parks we found that exceptions were made for baby food and Calpol (Tylenol).
When travelling to Universal Studios with babies and toddlers you’ll also want to bring along some diapers. Depending on how long you are staying in Orlando this may mean only bringing enough for the first couple of days and then purchasing some more from the grocery store.
If you’re travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with young children, don’t forget to pack swim diapers for the Volcano Bay waterpark and swimming pools at your hotel or resort. We recommend packing at least one swim diaper for every hour your child will be in the water plus extras, just in case!
Again, you could choose to bring enough swim diapers for your entire trip in your suitcase or pick up a fresh pack once you arrive in Orlando.
If you’re travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with a baby or toddler, a baby carrier can be a lifesaver. A carrier allows you to keep your child close and secure while walking around the parks, and it can also free up your hands for other things like taking pictures, eating, or browsing souvenirs.
When choosing a baby carrier for your trip, look for one that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and has adjustable straps to fit you and your child’s needs. Some carriers also have built-in sunshades or rain covers, which can be helpful in Florida weather.
Make sure to practice wearing the carrier before your trip to ensure that you’re comfortable and confident using it. With a baby carrier, you can enjoy all the park attractions without worrying about your little one’s safety and comfort.
If you have a baby or toddler who uses a pacifier, don’t forget to pack plenty of extras for your trip to Universal Studios Orlando Resort.
Pacifiers can be easily lost or misplaced, so make sure to bring enough to last throughout your trip. Consider packing pacifier clips to attach the pacifier to your child’s clothing and prevent them from falling on the ground.
When travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with a baby, it’s important to pack layers for the unpredictable Florida weather.
Vests are a great option for babies, as they can provide warmth when it’s cooler out but can be easily removed when the sun comes out (just remember to keep your little one in the shade at all times).
Look for vests made from lightweight, breathable materials that can be easily packed in your luggage and will keep your baby comfortable throughout the day.
When packing outfits for your trip to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with children, it’s important to consider comfortable, lightweight clothes that are easy to move around in.
T-shirts, shorts, leggings, and dresses are all good options for babies, toddlers, and kids. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and cover-up for water attractions, and an extra outfit or two in case of spills or accidents.
Keep in mind that the Florida weather can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight jacket or hoodie for cooler evenings.
Bibs are an essential item to pack when travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with babies and toddlers. They can help keep your little ones clean and dry during meal times, whether you’re dining at one of the on-site restaurants or having a quick snack on the go.
When travelling with a baby, a changing mat can be a lifesaver. Look for a compact, lightweight mat that can easily fit in your diaper bag or backpack. Changing mats are especially useful when visiting the parks, as you can use them to change your baby’s diaper in a clean and private area.
Bringing a thermometer is important when travelling anywhere with a baby (since we all know how common illnesses are, especially when travelling). Based on personal experience we recommend packing a small digital thermometer, which is easy to use and provides accurate readings.
If you’re planning on driving in Orlando, then you’ll want to check whether your car rental company is providing a baby or toddler car seat for your little one. If not (or if you’re travelling in an Uber or Lyft) then you’ll need to bring your own.
A baby monitor is a helpful gadget to bring when travelling with a little one. It can give you peace of mind while your baby is sleeping or napping in another room in your hotel room or vacation rental.
Baby Friendly Sunscreen
When spending time outdoors with a baby, it’s important to use baby-friendly sunscreen to protect their delicate skin. Look for a sunscreen that is at least SPF 50 and made specifically for babies or children. Apply the sunscreen frequently throughout the day and make sure to cover all exposed skin.
Muslins & Blankets
Muslins and blankets are versatile items to pack when travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with a baby. They can be used as a burp cloth, swaddle, nursing cover, or even as a makeshift changing mat. Pack a few muslins and blankets to have on hand during your trip.
Florida is known for its afternoon showers, so it’s important to be prepared with a stroller rain cover when travelling to Universal Studios Orlando Resort with a baby. Look for a rain cover that is lightweight and easy to pack, and make sure it fits your stroller properly.
The Universal Studios rain policy means that the park doesn’t close for rain. Although selected rides may be suspended if there is lightning or thunderstorms in the area. As such it’s best to be prepared for all weather conditions so that you’re able to maximise your day at the park.
If your baby is teething, consider packing a few teething toys to help soothe their sore gums during your trip to Universal Studios Orlando Resort. Look for teething toys that are easy to clean and made from safe materials.
If you’re a nursing mother then you’ll want to consider bringing a breast pump on your trip to Universal Studios Orlando Resort since it can help you maintain your milk supply while on vacation, and allow you to store breast milk for later use.
Sterilising Tablets / Bags
If you’re bringing bottles or other feeding equipment for your baby, consider packing sterilising tablets or bags to keep them clean and sanitised. These products can be easily packed in your luggage and used to sterilise bottles and other feeding equipment in your hotel room or vacation rental.
If your hotel or vacation rental doesn’t provide a travel crib then you may want to bring your own. Even if the accommodation does provide a travel crib it’s sometimes worth bringing a travel cot of your own for familiarity (and hopefully a better night’s sleep for everyone).
Portable Highchair / Booster Seat
If you’re travelling with a baby or toddler who is eating solid foods, consider bringing a portable highchair or booster seat to use in your hotel room or vacation rental (if one isn’t already provided).
Universal Orlando Travel Planning Guide
🎟️ Where To Buy Tickets for Universal Orlando?
If you’re based in the US or Canada, I recommend Klook for your Universal Orlando tickets. Klook consistently has the most competitive prices. There’s also a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.
Meanwhile, if you’re based in the United Kingdom. Then I recommend buying your Universal Orlando theme park tickets from AttractionTix. I personally use AttractionTix when purchasing Orlando theme park tickets. That’s because AttractionTix consistently has the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.
🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Visit to Universal Orlando?
If you’re travelling to Universal Orlando for vacation, then travel insurance is recommended. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.
However, if a trip to Universal Orlando isn’t part of a vacation. For example, you live locally. Then travel insurance isn’t likely to be necessary.
🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Visit to Universal Orlando?
You don’t need to rent a car to visit Universal Orlando, as the resort has Uber / Lyft pick-up and drop-off points. However, if Universal Orlando makes up the majority of your vacation, then you may want to stay on-site.
Staying onsite at the Universal Orlando Resort comes with several perks. Including complimentary transport from the hotel to the Universal Orlando theme parks. In some cases, you can even walk from your hotel straight to the theme park gates.
However, if a trip to Universal Orlando only makes up a portion of your vacation, then you may want to rent a car. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental for all of my trips to Orlando.
🏨 Where to Stay When Visiting Universal Orlando?
If you’re spending the majority of your vacation at Universal Orlando, it’s a good idea to stay at a Universal Orlando hotel. Staying onsite at Universal Orlando comes with several perks, including;
- Early park admission
- Complimentary transport
- Complimentary Universal Express Passes (selected hotels only)
- Walking distance of the Universal theme parks (selected hotels only)
While staying onsite at Universal Orlando is great value for money, it can still be out of budget for many. Thankfully, there are several budget-friendly hotels close to Universal Orlando to choose from.
Meanwhile, if Universal Orlando only makes up part of your Orlando vacation, then you may want to stay elsewhere. Kissimmee, International Drive and Lake Buena Vista are all within a 40-minute drive of Universal Orlando.