Universal CityWalk: Tips, Tricks, Ins and Outs
The “Epicenter of Awesome,” Universal CityWalk, which is adjacent to Universal Parks & Resorts, is a hub of activity where you will find fun and trendy places to shop and dine, set your sights on unique architecture, enjoy year-round activities, entertainment and nightlife, street performers, theater, live music and more!
Buzzing with activity, morning, noon and night, Universal CityWalk is also the place to be after the theme parks close for the day. And as Orlando locals, we’ve got the inside scoop for you on everything you need to know for a great time at Universal CityWalk.
Get Your Dine On
Delicious food, tantalizing drinks and state-of-the-art venues will beckon as you visit Universal CityWalk. Here are our top picks:
- Pat O’Brien’s: Serving up Cajun favorites and dueling pianos, Pat O’Brien’s is the place to be! Don’t leave without trying their infamous Hurricane cocktail… but maybe just stick to one – they are potent!
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville: One thing you can always count on… shrimp on the grill and margaritas in the blender. And fantastic music.
- Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: Dine on authentic Mexican street fare, take a selfie as it’s the perfect spot for a photo op, and live it up with Antojitos live mariachi band.
- Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen: An eatery, drinkery and confectionery … dine on rich, indulgent plates from Chicken Bourguignon to Apple Pie Crepes. A 19th-century Steampunk-themed restaurant, make sure to ask them if Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome is around! Try her milkshake!
- NBC Sports Grill & Brew: Approximately 100 high-definition screens immerse you in a stream of sports coverage as you drink and dine.
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: Enjoy a host of Southern favorites, from award-winning baby back ribs to fried chicken, fresh fish dishes and homemade desserts.
- Bob Marley–A Tribute to Freedom: Jamaican-influenced delights like Oxtail Stew, Sun is Shining Grilled Chicken and a Taste of Jamaica appetizer platter are fan favorites. Note – call ahead to make sure they are open to the public on the day you’re planning to dine. They close for private events.
While you’re enjoying all that CityWalk has to offer – don’t forget that you are at a Universal-themed park, which is basically English for “movies and entertainment.” While it’s hard to narrow down the favorites, our top picks include:
- Universal Cinemark: Catch the newest releases on 20 big screens with state-of-the-art projection and sound systems that put on an incredible show. Each theater comes with all-stadium seating and high-backed rocking chairs.
- Blue Man Group: This world-renowned act is nothing short of a comedy show, theater act and concert, all rolled into one.
- Hollywood Drive-In Golf: Combining 1950s sci-fi horror flick with miniature golf is a recipe for fun and success! Choose between two interactive18-hole mini-golf courses: The Haunting of Ghostly Greens and Invaders from Planet Putt.
- The Groove: Whether you’re a local or popping into town for a vacay, this multi-level dance club is for everyone! Boasting the latest in sound and special effects, The Groove ha several themed full-service bars, video screens, and even offers exclusive VIP seating and table service.
- Red Coconut Club: Think vintage Vegas nightclub. This lavish ultra-lounge is Cuban flair meets Tiki chic. Explore two levels of music and dancing. Known for their signature martinis, specialty drinks, extensive wine list and VIP table service.
- Rising Star Karaoke: Grab the mic and belt it out at this karaoke club. Sing alone or share the love with talented backup singers and a live band (in the evenings from Tuesday through Saturday). On Sunday and Monday evenings, sing along to recorded tracks.
Tips and Tricks
You want to get the most out of your Universal CityWalk experience… and you can easily do that with these insider tips and tricks:
- Make reservations and dine at off-peak hours. This will make sure you have less wait time and more fun time! This goes for reservations, too.
- Try something new: Yep, there’s a Cold Stone Creamery and a Burger King at Universal CityWalk… stop at your local chains when you’re home so you can try something new while you’re here
- Seeing a show? Plan accordingly. Make extra time for dining around your event – especially if you did not make reservations.
- Discounts! Are you an Annual Pass holder? Have it at the ready and ask where you can use it for discounts. Many shops, restaurants and attractions offer special pricing for pass holders. The more you use it, the more those discounts add up.
- Bring sunscreen! Yes, you’ll be in and out of shops and attractions, but this is Florida and you will burn, even in January. So… bring sunscreen.
Book Your Vacation Home Accommodations
No matter when you hit the streets of Universal CityWalk, the sun will probably be shining. Even in the winter, Florida temperatures can reach into the 80s or higher. After your action-packed day at CityWalk, come home to Encore Resort at Reunion. Our guard-gated community features modern, beautifully decorated 3- to 13-bedroom homes with backyard pools, washer/dryer units, and fully equipped kitchens, plus our resort-style amenities, including our AquaPark and free shuttle. Each of our homes offers ample room for you to socialize or relax and unwind – not to mention, the perfect place to plan the week’s activities.