Complete Guide to Universal Studios Orlando Transportation

Complete Guide to Universal Studios Orlando Transportation


Complete Guide to Universal Studios Orlando Transportation

This article is your complete guide to 2024 Universal Orlando transportation! Whenever booking a Universal Orlando vacation, you might be wondering how you’re going to get around the resort when going back and forth from theme parks. In this article, we will talk about all of the various Universal Studios transportation options and where you can find them, so keep reading if you’d like to learn more.

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!  If you are planning a trip to Universal Orlando be sure to check out the latest deals on Universal Orlando vacation packages and our discounted multi-day Universal Orlando tickets which include EARLY PARK ADMISSION to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Universal Orlando check out our Universal Crowd calendar! 

Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar

Universal Orlando Transportation


One of our favorite parts about staying on Universal Orlando Resort property is the ease of traveling from the hotel to the parks. Universal Studios transportation is a free amenity offered to all of those staying at an on-site hotel, or visiting one of the two theme parks or water parks. There are different options for transportation between the Universal Orlando parks and hotels depending on what tier of hotel you have booked with.

There are 4 different tiers of hotels ranging at Universal Orlando, with more convenient options of transportation to the parks.

  • Bus – Shuttle busses that pick up guests at designated stops and drop off at the CityWalk entrance
  • Water Taxi – A small boat that picks up guests at certain resorts and drops them off near the theme park entrance
  • Garden Walkway – Scenic walkway that connects a few Universal Orlando Resort hotels to an exit near Islands of Adventure

What are the hotels with free transportation to Universal Studios Orlando?

If you’d like to learn about all of the hotels near Universal that offer a free shuttle, we suggest reading our Hotels Near Universal Studios Orlando with Free Shuttle. For now, we are going to just show the Universal Orlando on-site hotels, and what their transportation options are to get into the theme parks or CityWalk.

  • Universal Endless Summer Resort – Universal Studios Shuttle Bus
  • Aventura Hotel – Universal Bus, Garden Walkway
  • Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Universal Bus, Garden Walkway
  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Water Taxi, Universal Bus, Garden Walkway
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Water Taxi, Universal Bus, Garden Walkway
  • Hard Rock Hotel – Water Taxi, Universal Bus, paved walkway
  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Water Taxi, Universal Bus, paved walkway

Related post: Complete Guide to Universal Disability Pass

Universal Orlando Shuttle Bus


The Universal Shuttle Bus is one of the most popular of Universal Orlando transportation options and can be used at any of the on-site hotels. Each hotel has Universal Studios free shuttle stations, where guests can pick up one of the rotating busses that stop periodically throughout the day. So no matter if you’re staying in the lower tier hotels, like Endless Summer Resort, or a Premier tier hotel like Hard Rock Hotel, a Universal Bus will be there to pick up guests consistently.

The Shuttle Bus to Universal Studios Orlando will pick guests up to take them either to the entrance of CityWalk, or to Volcano Bay, the Universal water park.

What is the Universal Bus schedule?

All Shuttle Busses begin picking up guests starting one hour prior to park open and run until CityWalk closes. The Universal Orlando park hours change and should be checked on the day of your trip to ensure you don’t miss your bus.

  • Universal Endless Summer Resort (Dockside and Surfside Inn and Suites) – Shuttle busses arrive every 15 minutes
  • Aventura Hotel – Shuttle busses arrive every 15 minutes
  • Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Shuttle busses arrive every 15 minutes
  • Portofino Bay Hotel – Shuttle busses every 30 minutes
  • Hard Rock Hotel – Shuttle busses every 30 minutes
  • Royal Pacific Resort – Shuttle busses every 30 minutes
  • Sapphire Falls Resort – Shuttle busses every 30 minutes

As you can see, the four hotels that offer the water taxi service have busses that come only every 30 minutes. That’s mostly because the water taxis do move faster, and more guests opt for taking those over the busses. But, that could be a major con if it is the preferred Universal transportation option and you’re staying at one of those hotels.

Related post: Guide to Spending One Day at Universal Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando Water Taxi


The Universal Orlando Water Taxi is a Universal Orlando transportation option. It’s only for guests at Preferred hotel tiers or higher. Many guests prefer this method of transport. Travel time is usually less than ten minutes. It drops off near the entrances of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure at CityWalk. This is the closest drop-off point in Universal Studios transportation. The water taxi operates during Early Park Admission hours. This is a big advantage for those using EPA.

Which Universal Orlando hotels have the Water Taxi?

  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Each Universal Orlando Resort hotel has their own water taxi dock, where guests will have to be subjected to a security screening before they board the boats. Each Universal Orlando water taxi can fit about 50 guests and move quickly between the hotels and CityWalk.

Related post: Guide to Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando

Can You Walk to Universal Orlando from the Hotels?


Yes you can! And it’s only about a 20 minute walk from the farthest resort to CityWalk. One of the only hang ups with Universal Orlando transportation is that, it can be slow! Some guests prefer to walk to the theme parks because of either crowding when loading the bus, or it just taking too long. Luckily, you can walk to the parks if you don’t want to take a boat or bus to Universal Studios Orlando with designated walkways.

Where are the Universal Orlando walkways to the theme parks?

The most popular walking path is the Garden Walkway, which starts at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and passes Aventura, Royal Pacific and Sapphire Falls on its way to CityWalk. The total walk will take you about 20 minutes, if you’re starting at Cabana Bay and brings you into CityWalk, right by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. There are signs all along the Garden Walkway, so you won’t get lost. On top of it, there is beautiful lush landscaping along the whole trail, making for a gorgeous walk.

If you opt out of using Universal transportation for either Portofino Bay or Hard Rock Hotel, there is a paved sidewalk that brings guests right by the entrance of Universal Studios Florida. As for Endless Summer Resorts, they are the farthest from the parks, and you can use public sidewalks to cross the I-4 and head into the parks.

There is also walking paths that connect Cabana Bay, Aventura and Sapphire Falls hotels right to Volcano Bay water park.

Related post: Universal Cabana Bay vs Endless Summer Resort Guide

What is the Best Universal Orlando Resort Transportation Option?


While that is completely up to you, it looks like the water taxis are among guest’s favorites, as they are quick and convenient. The only downfall to the water taxis is that they are only offered for hotel guests staying in the Preferred and Premier hotels.

Second to that, we would probably recommend walking over using the Universal Orlando bus transportation if you are able. While you can’t control how quickly the busses move, you can control how quickly you can walk. With every single Universal Walkway taking 20 minutes or less, you can get into the parks quickly, as both walkways exit very close to the theme parks.

If you’re looking for Cabana Bay transportation to the parks, we would use the walkway for Volcano Bay, but it might be smart to consider the bus for the parks. The Garden Walkway starts at Cabana Bay, making it the farthest from the theme parks.

With that being said, on hot days the walkways can be unbearable in the Florida sun. Whereas, the Universal Shuttle Bus will always be reliable and have air conditioning. Just note you will have to walk from the entrance of CityWalk into the parks, which is about a 5-10 minute walk.

Related post: Complete Guide Inside Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

What is the Transportation from Orlando Airport to Universal Studios?

Universal Orlando hotel shuttle

If you are coming from the airport and looking to get to Universal Orlando Resort, there are a few ways to get there, but unfortunately they are not free. You can always book a ride with the Universal Orlando Superstar Shuttle. The SuperStar Shuttle picks you up from the airport and can take you to any of the Universal on-site hotels. You can also book with Mears, who offers a variety of options for paid transportation from Orlando Airport to Universal Studios. There are also a number of rideshare apps that are popular in the Orlando area that can take you to any Universal Orlando hotel.

Related post: Complete Guide to the Universal Superstar Shuttle

Universal Orlando Transportation FAQ


Q: How long is the walk from Cabana Bay to Universal?

A: The walk from Cabana Bay to Universal is about 20 minutes long. You can find the Garden Walkway at the edge of Cabana Bay property, and it passes Aventura, Sapphire Falls and Royal Pacific Resorts.

Q: Do Universal Orlando hotels have bus transportation?

A: Yes, there is a Universal Studios Shuttle that picks up guests at designated bus stops at every single Universal Orlando hotel. Guests are shuttled from their hotel to the entrance of CityWalk, where you can walk to either theme park.

Q: Does Universal Orlando offer transportation between parks?

A: While there is transportation to and from Universal Orlando hotels, the two Universal theme parks are so close together that there is no transportation between them. Universal Orlando has been known to open up a shorter walkway between the parks in Seuss Landing and by Rip Ride Rockit, but there is no monorail or bus between them.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Universal Orlando?

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.

Are You Ready to Plan Your Next Universal Orlando Trip?

If you’re ready to plan your trip to Universal Studios, be sure to check out our Universal Orlando Tickets! All multi-day Park Prodigy Universal Orlando tickets will get you into the park one hour before regular park guests with Universal Early Park Admission! And to stay up to date on everything going on inside the theme parks be sure to check out our partners at! 

Nik Chapman

Nik Chapman is the executive editor and one of the main content creators for The Park Prodigy blog and social media pages. With a lifelong love for Disney and Universal, Nik immersed herself in the Orlando area for three years to fully indulge in the magic of the theme parks. In between going to the parks and creating content for The Park Prodigy, Nik also hosted a Disney themed podcast with her two best friends and helps run multiple Disney-themed social media accounts which help over one million people per year. Drawing from their experience as a local Florida resident, Nik brings a unique perspective to the world of theme parks.