7. Go cashless with TapuTapu
Disney have always been the leader in technology at their parks. Nothing can beat the MagicBand for convenience, but TapuTapu comes very close.
Every guest gets a TapuTapu on check-in at Volcano Bay. It’s like a watch – a bulky one at that – but a clever one.
With TapuTapu, you check-in at a ride entry and if the ride is busy, it gives you a return time. That’s right – no queuing! Simply return at your allocated time and get on!
But did you know you can use your TapuTapu to pay for stuff?
Download the official Universal Orlando app and head to the Wallet section in the menu.
Link your Universal ticket (if you haven’t already) and add a credit card to make any purchases from.
You can now ditch your real wallet and walk round Volcano Bay with just your TapuTapu! The nice folks at check-in will have already linked your TapuTapu to your entry ticket. Simply touch it to any contact-less terminal in the park to make a payment!
Don’t forget - everything you buy still costs real money and Universal will ask for their TapuTapu back when you leave!
6. Grab a Gelato sandwich from Italy
Love ice cream? Love chocolate chip cookies? Hate having to choose one or the other?
With a Gelato sandwich from Italy, you don’t have to! And no, I’m not telling you to fly from Florida to Italy; that’d be bonkers! I’m talking about the Italian pavilion at Epcot.
Nestled around a man-made lagoon, you’ll find World Showcase – restaurants, shops and rides from around the world, grouped into “lands.” Cast members working within a land come from the country it represents, and restaurants within a land serve food from that country, so it’s a truly immersive experience.
As you enter Italy from the American side, you’ll find an unassuming coffee shop. Look a little closer and you’ll see they do Gelato – genuine Italian ice cream.
Ask for a Gelato sandwich – a scoop of your favourite flavour of Gelato sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. It’s a sweet way to pass the time while you’re waiting for the fireworks to start!
5. Watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
After you’ve got your Gelato sandwich, find a spot around the lagoon to watch the EPCOT fireworks – Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.
It’s not the only mention of fireworks in this list of things to do in Florida, but it is my favourite.
Illuminations is a firework, laser and light display that takes place on the World Showcase lagoon. It usually starts at 9pm. I’ve found the best spots are in either Italy or Germany – get a space at around 7:30pm next to one of the numbered buoys.
If you’re taking a camera, make sure it has a good zoom to capture the detail on the globe in the centre of the lagoon.
When the show is over, they play the soundtrack to the show (which you can buy) as guests leave the park. This touch makes for an emotional visit – one you may not “get” until you experience it.