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Universal Studios Planner
Baby Care: There are diaper-changing stations in many of the men's and women's restrooms, and a nursing station offers comfort and privacy at the park's first-aid station near the entrance. Baby supplies (diapers, food, wipes, and so on) are available at larger stores; ask for them at the counter, though, as they're not displayed on shelves.
Cameras: Just inside the main entrance, On Location is a shop with nearly everything you need for a picture-perfect vacation, including batteries, chargers, disposable cameras, and digital memory cards. This is also the pickup location for the souvenir photos taken in the park by Universal's squad of photographers.
First Aid: There are two first-aid centers: one just inside the turnstiles, to the right near the Studio Audience Center, and another directly across from the entrance to Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue.
Guest Services : Get strategy advice before visiting by calling Guest Services at 407/224-4233.
Lockers: Daily rates for lockers near the park entrance are $8 for a small unit and $10 for a larger one. There are free lockers near the entrances of some high-speed attractions (such as MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack and Revenge of the Mummy), where you can stash your stuff before your ride; they're available to you for up to 90 minutes total.
Lost People and Things: If you plan to split up, be sure everyone knows where and when to reconnect. Staffers take lost children to Guest Services near the main entrance. This is also where you might find lost personal items.
Services for People with Disabilities: Universal has made it as easy as possible for guests with disabilities to enjoy the park. It starts when you arrive in the parking garage, where you can rent wheelchairs or ECVs before making the long trek to the park entrance (though there's also chair rental at the entrance), and extends to guidebooks with icons indicating which shows feature sign language interpreters.
Guest Services (near the entrance just outside and inside the park) is the place to pick up assisted-listening and other devices, such as clickers that trigger closed-captioning. Other services include special viewing areas for people in wheelchairs, automatic doors, well-equipped restrooms, and walking areas for service animals. Be sure to pick up the Studio Guide for Guests with Disabilities (aka Rider's Guide), which is full of details on equipment and other services.
Accessibility information is posted at each attraction. Note that although ride lines can accommodate standard wheelchairs, often you'll be ushered into a waiting area while the rest of your party goes through the line. Many shows have seating to accommodate manual wheelchairs, but, in general, you'll have to transfer from your chair to ride vehicles.
Assisted-listening devices are available for Despicable Me, Shrek, Disaster!, Twister, MEN IN BLACK, Terminator, Beetlejuice,Animal Actors, and A Day in the Park with Barney.
Stroller Rentals: Just inside the main entrance, there are strollers for $15 (single) and $25 (double) a day. You can also rent small kiddie cars ($18) or large ones ($28) by the day.
Wheelchair Rentals: You can rent manual wheelchairs ($12 per day) at the parking garages and inside the main entrance. Because there are limited quantities of electronic convenience vehicles (ECVs, available in the park for $50), reserve one in advance. A photo ID and a $50 deposit on a credit card are required for wheelchairs.
Where to Snack: The three restaurants on the Universal Meal Deal here are Mel's Drive-In, a Happy Days–era soda shop–burger joint; Louie's Italian Restaurant (pizza, spaghetti, salads); and the Classic Monsters Café (pizzas, pasta, salads, rotisserie chicken). Full-service restaurants include Finnegan's Bar and Grill (Irish pub) and Lombard's Seafood Grille (seafood).
Among the self-serve restaurants are Richter's Burger Co. (burgers, salads); Beverly Hills Boulangerie for breakfast croissants and pastries; Schwab's Pharmacy for ice cream; and the Kid Zone Pizza Company for pizza, chicken tenders, and other kid-geared dishes.
VIP Tours. Universal has several VIP tours that are worthwhile if you're in a hurry, if crowds are heavy, if you're with a large group—and if you have the money to burn. The tours include extras like front-of-the-line access (that is, the right to jump the head of the line). You can also arrange for extras like priority restaurant seating, bilingual guides, gift bags, refreshments at check-in, wheelchairs and strollers, and valet parking. Prices cited here do not include sales tax or park admission, and may edge up in peak seasons.
Five-hour nonexclusive tours (i.e., you'll tour with other park guests) cost $169.99 per person for one park and $189.99 for two parks. Then there are exclusive tours for your group only. If you're traveling with up to 10 people, consider splitting the cost of an eight-hour tour customized to your interests, which includes a sit-down lunch at the park of your choice. The eight-hour one-park exclusive price is $2,399; two parks in eight hours will cost you $2,750. What does $4,250 get you? How about a two-day tour of both parks with backstage access and discussions on park history, decorating, and landscaping? And lunch. Universal Orlando, FL, 32819. 407/363–8295.
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