From wine to flannel and beyond, it’s true that there are multitudes of things that get better with age. You might be surprised to hear that theme parks are one of them. When you re-experience theme parks as an adult, you get to live by your own schedule without being constantly under your parents’ watch, and you can enjoy activities that you probably didn’t even know existed. Because of this, we’ve rounded up 5 of our favorite reasons why visiting Universal Orlando is even better as an adult.
Is there a better way to cool down in the beautiful sunshine than day drinking at a water park? Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando’s resident water park, boasts a selection of “delicious grownup fare.” You can purchase classic draft beers at pretty much every establishment in Volcano Bay, but you’re really going to want to frequent the aquatic-themed Dancing Dragons Boat Bar and Kunuku Boat Bar, both of which feature specialty tropical cocktails and frozen drinks, including the Volcano Bay rum punch, the pineapple pomegranate Collins, the Blue Hawaiian, and the Blanco Kalarita. Indulge in sophisticated adult beverages while cooling off with the abundance of water-based activities and attractions on offer at this park.
Hogwarts has a whole new meaning when you’re over 21. At this point, Harry, Ron, Hermoine, and all their friends have grown up, and so have you, and there are several eateries in both lands of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley where you can find the most magical adult beverages. At The Fountain of Fair Fortune, Hog’s Head, Leaky Cauldron, Three Broomsticks, and The Hopping Pot, you can sample wine and beer in addition to some themed alcoholic libations: Hogs Head Brew, Dragon Scale, Wizard’s Brew, and Fire Whiskey. And even though it doesn’t have any alcohol in it, you will still want to make sure you try Butterbeer, available at pretty much every place that sells beverages in the entire Wizarding World.
Now that you’re an adult, you’re not restricted by the whims of parents who want you to get to bed early. You can finally experience the nightlife around Universal Orlando – which can be found in its CityWalk district – to the fullest. At this downtown district, you can eat and drink to your heart’s delight at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar (which has over 80 wines, beers, cocktails, sakes, and spiked milkshakes on its drink menu), the New Orleans-inspired Fat Tuesday, and the vintage Vegas-themed Red Coconut Club. You can then belt out your favorite tunes at CityWalk’s rockin’ karaoke club, or even get a tattoo at the Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company. A personal favorite attraction in CityWalk is the Hot Dog Hall of Fame, where you can eat hot dogs to excess and try iconic franks from all around the country at once. (And there are no parents around to stop you from eating junk food!)
Fall is just around the corner, and one of our favorite American fall pastimes is absolutely the spooky holiday of Halloween. On select nights from September 6, to November 2, Universal Orlando shines brightly (or darkly?) with Halloween Horror Nights, the “world’s premier Halloween event,” which has been awarded Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Halloween event 11 times. This year’s theme is all about the horror movies of the ‘80s, with its ten horrifying haunted houses deriving inspirations from cult classic films such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Ghostbusters. Universal Orlando even warns that this attraction may be too intense and for children, and is not recommended for those under the age of 13. And before you decide to check out the attraction itself, you can get to know the actors at the Scareactor Dining Experience, a classic character meal with the actors playing monsters of all sorts. Now that you’re an adult, you can handle the terror that exists at Halloween Horror Nights – but, we certainly won’t judge you for emitting a scream or two in the process.
Even though you’re not in the lush vineyards of Napa Valley or Tuscany, Universal Orlando provides you with the experience to participate in a wine tasting as though you are. Every once in a while, the Hard Rock Hotel hosts Wine Riffs, nights “when music, wine and food collide.” Wine Riffs, however, are not as stuffy as you’d normally anticipate a wine tasting to be. Each tasting features a different winery, an elegant multi-course menu (with everything from appetizer to dessert), and a DJ who plays music custom to the particular personality of the evening. Wine Riffs are few and far between, so make sure you plan your trip so that you’ll be able to attend one. Upcoming ones include Kobrand Italian Wines on August 9, Susana Balbo Wines (from Argentina) on September 20, and Selections by Master Sommelier Andy McNamara on December 6.
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