When it comes to selecting a hotel or resort to use for your vacation, a lot of factors come into play. When you are making a trip to a theme park such as Universal Studios Orlando, there comes a big question of should you stay on theme park grounds or would it be better for you to choose an option that is nearby but off ground. We are going to help you by sharing with you all of the Benefits of Staying at a Universal Orlando Resort.
What are the Universal Studios Resort Hotels?
The Universal Studios Orlando Resort lineup offers a variety of options for lodging ranging from value hotels up to luxury and high end resort options and there are a lot of great perks and opportunities included with your stay at a Universal resort. Today I am going to be sharing with you what you can expect when staying at a Universal Studios Resort and the benefits included with your stay.
The Universal Studios Orlando property offers its guests 8 resorts to choose from. As I mentioned before, these resorts range from value costs starting at $91.00 per night ranging up to luxury resorts starting at $372.00 per night. Here is a quick run through of the resorts on Universal Studios property hotels:
The Endless Summer Resort
This is a two-part value hotel option. There are two hotels in this resort including the Dockside Inn and Suites as well as the Surfside Inn and Suites. While these two hotels are separate entities, they share their amenities including pools, a fitness center, and more making it a combined resort known as the Endless Summer Resort. Rooms start at $91 per night for both of these resorts.
Universal’s Aventura Hotel
This is a great resort to choose if you are planning to visit all three Universal Studios parks as it is in a great location to accommodate all three locations. It is still considered a great value with rooms starting at $132.00 per night.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
This resort is great for those that love nostalgia. It is a classic 1950’s and 1960’s themed hotel providing fun and comfort for guests choosing to stay there. Similarly, to the Aventura Hotel, it is still a great value with rates starting at $132.00 per night.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
A stay at this resort transports you directly into the Caribbean Islands. A stay here will provide you with a relaxing tropical experience with beautiful waterfalls and scenic views. Rates are a bit higher than the aforementioned resorts starting at $202.00 per night.
Loews Royal Pacific Resort
A stay at this resort is a great way to enjoy both the theme parks on property but also provides the opportunity to enjoy the beach and waters without leaving the comfort of your hotel. Here you will find a lagoon style pool surrounded by a beautiful white sandy beach. Room rates start at $312.00 per night for a stay here.
Hard Rock Hotel
If you are a fan of Rock n Roll, the Hard Rock Hotel will be a great option for you! Here you will enjoy luxurious rooms and suites as well as all the Rock n Roll history and memorabilia that you can imagine. Rooms start at $358.00 per night.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
The Loews Portofino is the most expensive resort that is on Universal property but it is a truly beautiful experience. The hotel is themed to celebrate the history and culture of Italy making it a very luxurious and romantic experience. Room rates for this location start at $372.00 per night.
Benefits of Staying at Universal Studios Orlando Resort
When staying at a Universal Studios resort, you are offered some great benefits to take advantage of at all levels and price ranges. Here are some of the great benefits offered to Universal Orlando Resort guests:
Early Park Admission
Staying at any of the Universal Orlando resorts offers the opportunity for guests to enter the park early each day of their stay. You can choose to enter your choice of Universal’s Volcano Bay waterpark or Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventures up to 1 hour early to scheduled park opening time. Early Admission hours are limited to select rides and attractions but it is a great way to kick start your day with a few rides without the long wait times that you may experience throughout the day.
Free & Easy Transportation
As a guest at Universal resorts, you are offered the opportunity for free transportation to and from parks, Universal CityWalk, and your hotel. This makes travel convenient, quick, and affordable. Transportation options include shuttles as well as Water Taxis.
If you are someone that loves to purchase merchandise or souvenirs during your visit, a great perk of being a resort guest is that you can make your purchases and have them sent directly to your hotel, saving you the hassle of lugging around your purchases throughout the park.
Room Key Card
Being a Universal Resorts guest makes paying for your trip so simple! With your stay, you have the option of charging any expenses including dining and shopping experiences to your room with your room key card. This makes things so simple having all of your expenses wrapped up into one simple payment.
Additional Perks of Staying at Premier Resorts
While staying at a Premier resort is a pricier expense, you receive additional perks with your booking. The Premier Resorts on Universal Property include The Loews Royal Pacific Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Additional benefits include:
Free Express Unlimited Ride Access
As a guest of any of the premier resorts, you will receive a free Express Unlimited Ride Access Pass for each day of your visit and for each member of your party. The Express Unlimited Ride Access pass allows you to skip the line to many attractions at Universal theme parks and hop on right away or with a significantly shorter wait time. This is a great perk coming in at a value of $129 per person, per day!
Priority Seating when Dining
Another great perk to a stay at a Premier Resort is the benefit of priority seating when dining. If you are dining at a restaurant on Universal grounds, you will get priority seating allowing for shorter wait times for those delicious eats!
Expert tip: Even if you are not planning on staying your whole stay at a Universal Resort you might want to look at booking a 1 night stay at a premier hotel. When you stay at a Premier hotel everyone in that room gets FREE Universal Express Pass for the day of check in thru the day of check out.
So if you are going to Universal for 2 days, you will save a lot of money booking a night at a premier hotel for a night. That will give you Universal Express pass for two days in the parks. Normally it is $100-$300 per person depending on when you are visiting the parks. You can get a Premier hotel room that will get your whole family that is staying in the same room FREE Universal Express Passes, which is a lot cheaper then buying 2 days of Express passes, and many times even cheaper then buying one day of express passes.
As you can see, there are a ton of really great benefits to staying on property when visiting Universal Studios Orlando. I personally think that with the convenience, the quality of resorts offered, and the added benefits, it is well worth the cost of staying at a Universal resort. If you have been looking for the perfect place to stay during your trip, I hope that this has provided you with some insight and information you need to make an informed decision.
Universal Studios FAQ
There are many questions that people ask about visiting the Universal theme parks and to make life easier I am giving you the answers to them here so you can better plan your trip and of course doing things the easiest way is making sure you have all the answers to the questions you are probably thinking about.
What are the Universal Themeparks?
- Universal Studios Florida
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- Universal’s Volcano Bay
What is the Cheapest Universal Hotel?
The cheapest hotels on Universal property are Endless Summer Resorts which has Dockside and Surfside. From there the next 2 lowest cost per night hotels are Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Adventura.
What are the best times to Visit Universal?
Weekends no matter what time of year is going to be busier than weekdays. While the best times to go are September and November (excluding Thanksgiving week), January, and February. If you are going other times of the year you want to avoid the weekends as much as possible. The weekend days are when we like to plan our down days where we just spend the day at the resort or at the pool. Visiting during the week even during busier times you will find less crowds and cheaper prices than going on the weekend days.
How Much is Parking at Universal Studios Orlando?
Parking for the theme parks is $26 per day.
Is it Cheaper to buy tickets online?
Yes. Even if you are buying them from the Universal website without a deal you will get them cheaper online than you will at the entrance gate ticket booth.
Can you do both Universal Parks in one Day?
While I do not recommend it, it is possible to do it. If doing so I highly suggest getting the express pass so you can avoid long lines and get thru your list of to do rides. The walk between the parks is easy, but our favorite way to go between the parks is using the Hogwarts Express (as my kids call it the Harry Potter train). If you are going to attempt both parks in one day I suggest getting there as early as possible, going thru one park, and then taking the Hogwarts Express and doing the second park in the afternoon.
How Many Days is best at Universal Studios?
Personally, I think 4 days is the best amount of days. On days 1 and Days 2 do all of your must do and must see things one park at a time. Then day 3 slower pace but checking off anything you didn’t get to on the first 2 days even if it means jumping back and forth and then day 4 being the day you go and do the rides that you loved the most again.
If you are a Harry Potter fan then I would keep days 1 and 2 the same, then day 3 spent divided between the 2 Harry Potter worlds and day 4 for anything you missed or want to do again.