Thinking sun and warmth for an escape from Michigan this winter?

Trying to decide if your kids are ready for a trip Universal in Orlando?

We visited with our kids, ages 7, 10 and 12 this year and have a few things for you to consider as you decide.

1- Do you LOVE Harry Potter?

Even if you answer NO to every other question on the list below, this one trumps them all. Harry Potter lovers will want to spend loads of time exploring Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, drinking butter beer and immersing themselves in all things magic. Go for Harry Potter and you’ll all be happy. It’s worth it to go park to park so you can ride the Hogwarts Express.

Harry Potter Universal Orlando

2 – What’s your thrill level?

Universal Orlando is usually considered a good destination for older kids because there are a lot of thrill rides and simulator rides. The Jimmy Fallon ride is pretty tame, but some of the other simulators and coasters (Hulk!) are downright intense. If you have thrill-lovers who are tall enough, Universal Orlando is an easy choice. But even if you aren’t into thrills, there is still something for you.

3 – What about little kids?

A lot of thought has gone into keeping little kids happy at Universal. Dr. Suess has a huge, cool section, as does Curious George. Even better, these areas are fun for the big kids, too, when they want a breather from the big rides. And for the little kid in each of the adults, there are themed areas for you, too.

4 – Who will ride with who?

One thing to consider is riding arrangements for your group. If one adult loves coasters and so does a big kid, great. If mom and dad want to ride together and the kids don’t want to, or are too small, then ride swap is a great option. Divide and conquer is another method we used when two people wanted to do one ride while another wanted something different.

5 – Do you love water parks?

Volcano Bay, Universal’s new water park, is like none we’ve ever seen before. You wear a wristband that acts like your ticket – and keeps your place in line. With kid-dedicated areas, this was a super family-friendly day that everyone loved.

There’s no doubt that you have many options when it comes to how to spend your time in Orlando. Our family did the Disney thing when our kids were younger and finally gave Universal a try this year. I’m really glad we did, because we all love Harry Potter. If you can work through the list of questions above and come up with positive answers, your family is ready for a trip to Universal Studios!