With an attitude that's distinctly non-Disney, Universal has created nightlife for adults who want to party. The epicenter is CityWalk, a 30-acre entertainment-and-retail complex at the hub of promenades that lead to both Universal parks.
When it comes to retail, much of the merchandise includes things you can find elsewhere—and most likely for less. But when you’re swept up in the energy of CityWalk and dazzled by the degree of window-shopping (not to mention the fact that you’re on vacation and you’re more inclined to spend), chances are you’ll want to drop into stores selling everything from surf wear and cigars to tattoos and timepieces.
In addition to stores, the open and airy gathering place includes an over-the-top discotheque, a theater for the fabulous and extremely popular Blue Man Group, and a huge hall where karaoke's king. There's a New Orleans bar, a Jamaican reggae lounge, a casual Key West hangout, and the family-friendly Hollywood Drive-In Golf, a pair of fun-filled 1950s sci-fi movie–themed miniature golf courses. On weeknights you find families and conventioneers; weekends a decidedly younger crowd parties until the wee hours. If you arrive before 6 pm be prepared to pay $20 for parking; after 6 the parking fee drops to nothing. Now the money you save can be invested in a Party Pass, the one-price-all-clubs admission that starts at $11.99. You can upgrade to a Party Pass-and-a-Movie for $15, a Party Pass-and-a-Meal for $21, a Movie-and-a-Meal for $21.95, or a Meal-and-a-Mini-Golf Deal for $23.95.
At AMC Universal Cineplex, with its 20 screens (including IMAX), there's certain to be something you like—including nightly midnight movies. Call for showtimes or other information. 407/354–3374 (showtimes only), 407/363–8000 (Universal Orlando main line) www.universalorlando.com.