This article is your complete guide to the best cheap hotels near Orlando Universal Studios. There are many choices for hotels when it comes to vacationing in Orlando, especially for Universal Orlando Resort. Luckily for guests looking to save some money, there are many different cheap hotels in Orlando near Universal.
That’s why we are going to share with you our top 10 best cheap hotels by Universal Studios 2023 in this guide!
We hope you find this post helpful. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time and money on your next Universal Orlando vacation. This includes access to the cheapest Universal Orlando vacation packages, as well as FREE park plans to save up to three hours in the parks!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Universal Orlando check out our Universal Crowd calendar!
Lodging can be one of the most expensive parts of a Universal vacation, and luckily, there are almost endless hotels in the Orlando area for those on a budget. In fact there are over 480 hotels in the Orlando area, so we’ve made sure to narrow down the very best cheap hotels near Universal Orlando for 2023. All of the hotels we’ve chosen to rank are within a 10 minute driving distance, and are less than $200 per night to book. We have also made it a point to pick some cheap hotels near Universal Orlando which also offer free shuttle service and continental breakfast when possible as these are two of the most popular questions we receive!
You will see that we have also included a mix between cheap off-site Universal Orlando hotels and the on-site Universal Orlando value resorts in this guide. So if you are strictly looking to stay at an on-site Universal Orlando hotel just be sure to check out our guide on the best Universal Orlando hotels right here! And we do find it important to note from the beginning that although many of the hotels on this list do offer free shuttle service to and from the theme parks nothing will be more convenient then the free shuttle service which comes with an official Universal Orlando hotel.
As a general a general rule of thumb, we tend to find the cheapest hotels near Universal Orlando to be the off-site hotels such as the Crowne Plaza Orlando, Best Western, Hampton Inn Orlando, and Comfort Suites. However on the flip side from our experience the transportation can sometimes be limited especially if you are trying to take advantage of early park admission in the morning or attend one of the evening events such as Halloween Horror Nights. So there have been times when we have had to take an uber or two on our vacation which can sometimes make it a wash when comparing the hotel prices.
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We are now going to go more in depth on why we ranked the cheap hotels near Universal the way that we did! We determined each rank based off of pricing, distances and overall quality of stay for each hotel.
Starting Rates: Starts at $84 per night
Dining Options: Complimentary continental breakfast only
Transportation: Free Shuttle Service
Distance from Universal: 0.15 miles from Universal Orlando
Important to know: The Best Western Plus Universal Inn is a rather basic cheap hotel near Universal Studios, with free breakfast and standard, non-impressive rooms. The reason is has made our list is because not only is is cheap, but it is also within walking distance to Universal Orlando. The Best Western is right across the street, so there is also a free shuttle that runs from 8AM to 5PM, every day. We highly recommend checking with the front desk when you get there to see if you have to sign up for the shuttle in advance!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $101 per night
Dining Options: Full breakfast, breakfast buffet and continental breakfast included
Transportation: Complimentary Shuttle
Distance from Universal: 1.2 miles
Important to know: While this Holiday Inn Express is rather close to Universal Studios, it is about a 30 minute walk and can feel pretty long. We would recommend signing up for the free shuttle to take you back and forth from the parks, as it will save you some time. This cheap hotel near Universal Orlando also has a huge and tasty breakfast, which many guests say is the best hotel breakfast in the area!
Starting Rates: Starts at $72 a night
Dining Options: Bar, Lounge, Breakfast (for a fee)
Transportation: Scheduled, paid shuttle to Universal
Distance from Universal: 2.7 miles
Important to know: The Crown Plaza hotel is truly one of the nicest, affordable cheapest hotels near Universal Studios. While we don’t love that you have to pay for the shuttle to Universal, and there is no free breakfast, we love that there is a bar and lounge to relax in after a long day at the parks. The Crown Plaza has a high class feel, for a cheap price, and if you’re visiting more than just Universal, it is rather centrally located.
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Starting Rates: Starts at $107
Dining Options: Free hot breakfast
Transportation: Free Shuttle to Universal Orlando
Distance from Universal: 1.3 miles
Important to know: The Hampton Inn is one of the cheap Universal Orlando Partner Hotels, which means you will have complimentary scheduled transportation to the parks and discounts on select merchandise and food! While the Hampton Inn still does have affordable rates, it is one of the more expensive choices on our list, so keep that in mind when booking for 2023.
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Starting Rates: Starts at $83 per night
Dining Options: American Grill Restaurant, Gelato Shop, Pizza, Burgers & More, Starbucks, Sunshine Cafe
Transportation: Complimentary Universal Partner Hotel Shuttle
Distance from Universal: 0.9 miles from Universal
Important to know: The DoubleTree is another one of the cheapest hotels near Universal Studios where walking is definitely an option. There is a safe walking bridge right at the edge of the hotel parking lot, which takes about 10 – 15 minutes to get to Universal walking on. The shuttle offered at the DoubleTree is scheduled, and should be checked on return times, as it doesn’t run continuously throughout the day. We also love the amount of dining options at DoubleTree, as it will truly feel like a vacation with just staying there!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $130 per night
Dining Options: The Guild Restaurant and Bar
Transportation: Transtar Taxi
Distance from Universal: 3.5 miles
Important to know: The Castle Hotel is by far the most expensive one of the cheap hotels by Universal Studios Orlando. The Castle Hotel is a Marriott Hotel, but beyond any other Marriott you’ve ever stayed in. This hotel actually looks like a castle (with spires and everything!), with a luxurious feel for an affordable price. The biggest downfall is that there is no shuttle bus to and from the Castle Hotel, but it is rather close that a taxi or rideshare wouldn’t be too expensive.
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Starting Rates: Starting at $93 per night
Dining Options: Free hot breakfast, free coffee in lobby
Transportation: Complimentary Scheduled Shuttle
Distance from Universal: 2 miles
Important to know: The Comfort Suites isn’t a luxurious or elegant hotel, but it is clean, has great service and staff and great reviews! Comfort Suites is truly one of the best cheap hotels near Universal Studios Orlando, FL because there are so many included free perks. The Universal Shuttle, breakfast and self parking is free and there is no resort fee, so whatever price offered is what you have to pay. We love that there aren’t a bunch of hidden fees, which makes your stay so cheap!
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Starting Rates: Starts at $86 per night
Dining Options: Garden and Grill Lounge, no free breakfast
Transportation: No shuttle, taxi or rideshare
Distance from Universal: 1.9 miles
Important to know: The Wyndham at I Drive is so high on our list, because it truly has some of the best rates for cheap hotels by Universal Studios Orlando. The reviews of the Wyndham at I Drive are exceptional, and rave about the service and staff that work there. We love that there is a saltwater pool, which is a huge benefit for those wanting to relax in the sun. Unfortunately, there is no complimentary shuttle, but guests have noted you can Uber or Lyft for about $8 one way to Universal!
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Starting Rates: Starting at $132 per night
Dining Options: Pier 8 Market, The Wave Maker’s Pool Bar, The Oasis Beach Bar, Starbucks, Sunset Lounge
Transportation: Free Universal Shuttle Bus
Distance from Universal: 2.2 miles
Important to know: Dockside Inn and Suites is one of the 8 official Universal Orlando hotels offered for guests to book and is the sister hotel of Surfside Inn & Suites. All guests staying at Dockside Inn and Suites get Early Park Admission with their stay, which means getting into the parks one hour before regular park open. There is also a regular scheduled shuttle bus that picks up guests every 20 minutes, which is super convenient and reliable. We also feel like the different varieties of suites here make this one of the best Universal Orlando hotels for large families!
Starting Rates: Starts at $132 per night
Dining Options: Beach Break Cafe, Sand Bar, Starbucks
Transportation: Free Universal Shuttle bus
Distance from Universal: 2.2 miles
Important to know: Our pick for the best cheap hotel near Universal Orlando is Surfside Inn and Suites. Both Surfside and Dockside Inn and Suites will have the same pricing, room size and overall feel, but we prefer Surfside. Surfside’s feels more calm than Dockside Inn and Suites, and we prefer the dining at Surfside which gives it an edge. You will also get to use the free Universal shuttle bus and get Early Park Admission with your stay, which are the biggest perks.
A: Yes, there are actually many hotels that you can walk to Universal Orlando from. Most of our hotels are within a mile from the parks, and offer walking paths, sidewalks or free transportation to make your way there!
Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.
If you’re ready to plan your trip to Universal Studios, be sure to check out Universal Orlando Tickets! Not only will you save money vs buying direct, but all of our Universal Orlando tickets come with some amazing benefits which can help save you up to three hours in the parks!
And to stay up to date on everything going on inside the theme parks be sure to check out our partners at Themeparktoday.com!