First-time visitors to Universal Orlando often don’t know what to expect (besides amazing rides, movie references, and crowds).
One thing that surprises guests the most is the number of helicopters flying over the property.
There are so many that some visitors even find it concerning or suspicious.
The helicopters flying over Universal Orlando are private tours taking their clients over the park for a better view. These helicopters fly guests over other attractions in the area, such as Walt Disney World, Discovery Cove, and Old Town Kissimmee.
This article covers the reasons helicopters fly over Universal Orlando and how visitors to the Orlando area can ride in one.
It will also discuss the safety of heli-tours and how much noise you can expect from helicopters when visiting Universal Orlando.
Why Do Helicopters Fly Over Universal Orlando?
Seeing a bunch of helicopters flying over a theme park can be a bit surprising – and a little disturbing.
However, there’s no need to worry. These aircraft are helicopter tours showing guests an overhead view of the Universal property.
How Can I Take a Universal Fly-Over Tour?
Universal Orlando doesn’t offer fly-over tours but allows outside companies to take their clients over the property.
Visitors to Orlando can also find tours that take them over the Atlantic coast, Old Town Kissimmee, Gatorland, and other popular attractions in the Orlando area.
For more information about Universal fly-over tours, ask the concierge at your hotel for tips on finding the best deal.
How Much Does it Cost to Fly Over Universal Orlando?
The cost for a fly-over tour of Universal Orlando depends on the tour company, but generally speaking, a 10 to 15-minute helicopter ride is roughly $65 to $125 per person.
A 20 to 30-minute tour will typically cost between $125 and $225 per person.
Can Children Take the Universal Orlando Helicopter Tour?
Most heli-tour companies offering trips over Universal Orlando allow children of all ages.
Some companies offer discounts for children; however, tickets are usually the same price for everyone.
How Many People Can Go On a Universal Orlando Helicopter Tour?
The number of people allowed on a helicopter tour of Universal Orlando depends on the company.
Most companies allow two to four guests per flight and have a weight limit for each passenger.
Typically, no single passenger can weigh more than 300 lbs (136 kg), and the entire group cannot weigh more than 500 to 800 lbs (227 to 363 kg).
Contact your tour provider for more information, as passenger limits and weight restrictions vary by company and helicopter type.
Are Helicopter Tours Over Universal Orlando Safe?
Helicopter tours over Universal Orlando are popular and safe.
The fatal accident rate for helicopters is very low in the United States, at only 0.79 per 100,000 flight hours and the U.S. helicopter industry flies approximately 3 million flight hours every year.
Helicopter pilots undergo extensive training and licensing before they can fly passengers, and low-flying aircraft (such as helicopters) are regulated by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the State of Florida, and the City of Orlando.
If you still have concerns, the best way to confirm if a heli-tour company is safe and above board is to research them.
Don’t rely solely on a company’s website for information or reviews – many companies only highlight the best reviews on their websites.
It’s best to check several different sources, including independent review websites such as Google Maps, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
If you’re extra cautious, you can ask the tour company for the pilot’s name and Google them to confirm their credentials.
Will Helicopters Ruin My Stay at Universal Orlando?
Helicopters are often seen at Universal Orlando, especially during the busy tourist seasons.
However, it’s doubtful that helicopters will interfere with your vacation.
Some visitors have complained about the noise they cause, but most people don’t find them overly disruptive.
If you’re worried that the helicopters will bother you, visit Universal in the off-season when there aren’t as many tours.
How Can I Avoid Helicopters During My Universal Orlando Vacation?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to completely avoid helicopters when visiting Universal Orlando.
If you think they’ll be bothersome, don’t plan your vacation during peak seasons at the park.
The busiest times of the year at Universal Orlando (or any Florida tourist attraction) align closely with US school holidays and Halloween.
Visitors can expect the biggest crowds and the most helicopters during:
- Christmas Break (mid-December to mid-January)
- President’s Day Weekend (the third weekend of February)
- Spring Break (mid-March to mid-April)
- Memorial Day Weekend (the last weekend of May)
- Summer Break (mid-June to mid-August)
- Labor Day Weekend (the first weekend of September)
- Halloween (the week of October 31)
- Thanksgiving Break (the last two weeks of November)
Conversely, Universal Orlando is not as busy before and after major US school holidays (and Halloween), making the quietest times of the year:
- Late January
- Early February
- Early March
- Late April
- May (except for Memorial Day weekend)
- Late August
- September (except for Labor Day weekend)
- Early October
- Early November
- Early December
Do Universal Tour Helicopters Fly at Night?
Some heli-tour companies offer tours at night but most stop flying between 4 and 7 pm.
Wait, Isn’t It Illegal to Fly Over Disney World?
Heli-tour companies offer fly-overs of all major Orlando attractions, including Disney World.
However, many people believe that Disney parks have restricted air spaces.
This fact is mostly true – after 9/11, the US Government declared the areas around Disneyland and Walt Disney World as No-Fly Zones, and federal law now states that flying within 3 miles (4.8 km) or below 3,000 feet (914 m) of Disney parks is illegal.
Any helicopters flying over Disney World have received waivers from the FAA permitting them to enter Disney’s airspace.
Heli-tours operating over Universal Orlando are not subject to these laws as Universal Parks and Resorts is a division of NBCUniversal and is not owned by Disney.
The helicopters you see over Universal Orlando are taking visitors on sightseeing tours.
These aircraft are owned and operated by private heli-tour companies and are not affiliated with the Universal band.
Many guests see the helicopters as part of the park experience; others find them noisy and annoying.
If you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando and want to avoid the helicopters, book your vacation for the off-season.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Helicopters Fly Over Universal Orlando?
- How Can I Take a Universal Fly-Over Tour?
- Are Helicopter Tours Over Universal Orlando Safe?
- Will Helicopters Ruin My Stay at Universal Orlando?
- How Can I Avoid Helicopters During My Universal Orlando Vacation?
- Do Universal Tour Helicopters Fly at Night?
- Wait, Isn’t It Illegal to Fly Over Disney World?