Universal City Walk – An Affordable Day Trip
[This day trip has zero entrance fee] The sheer number of unique areas & activities around the Tampa Bay area is incredible. Believe this is where I’m supposed to use the #LiveWhereYouVacation hashtag. However, even in paradise, some days we need a change of scenery. This is why early-on I started a series called #LovingStPeteDayTrips , featuring activities within a 2 hr drive.
I’d be okay focusing on strictly on unique/obscure adventures, however we have a 6 year old. What’s on his mind? Hint: Less than 2 hrs away lies the equivalent of what Clark Griswold drove his family across the country to see. Yes, Disney. This isn’t really about Mickey Mouse nor Marty Moose though…
As a huge college football fan (this page will self-destruct in the Fall), I believe iron sharpens iron. Competing against great opponents makes you better. This applies in the business world as well, with Walley World pushing other Orlando attractions to become bigger & better to win you over. With Orlando so close, us locals reap the benefits of this competition. In comes Universal CityWalk with the tagline “Epicenter of Awesome”, an entertainment complex that’s worked hard for inclusion on your itinerary.
CityWalk is connected to Universal Studios Florida, even sharing the same parking garage. The key to making this trip ‘free’ is to arrive after 6pm, otherwise there’s a $28 parking fee. On our recent trip, we left St. Pete around 4pm and were parking near 6pm.
Hot Dog Hall of Fame and The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
Colt loves hot dogs, so we immediately visited the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. Outdoor dining with a ball park theme and more hot dog ‘styles’ than I knew existed. We then headed to The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen for desert. While they serve full meals (make reservations), you can also simply walk up to order deserts & milkshakes. We’re talking ie “Chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, marshmallow cream, graham crackers, jumbo marshmallow s’more” or “Vanilla ice cream, Red Velvet cupcake, raspberry sauce, sprinkles, whipped cream & cherry”. Just 2 of the 20+ deserts…
With all the lights, restaurants & shopping, we felt like we were walking around a sliver of the Vegas strip. There’s Hollywood Drive-In Golf, karaoke, Voodoo Doughnut, Margaritaville, Orlando, Bob Marley’s Tribute to Freedom, a sushi & sake bar, and so much more. Plus complimentary water taxi’s between the hotels, so of course use the opportunity to hop on board for a tour! #MakeFerrisBuellerYourSpiritAnimal
We thoroughly enjoyed our ‘free’ time at CityWalk and will return!
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Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL
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