This is your complete guide on where to stay at Universal Orlando for your next family vacation! Deciding where to stay on your Universal Orlando vacation can be difficult. Especially when balancing the perks of staying onsite at Universal, or saving a couple dollars by staying off-site. Luckily, there are 8 different Universal Studios Orlando resort hotels to choose between ranging from budget to luxury! Each of these hotels on Universal property come with their own perks, making your Universal Orlando vacation the most epic.
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 Universal Orlando tickets which include EARLY PARK ADMISSION to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
So if you are ready to learn all about where to stay at Universal Orlando, read on!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you need help picking the best time to visit Universal Orlando for your next vacation be sure to check out our Universal crowd calendar!
There are many benefits of staying onsite at Universal Orlando, which can be a real game changer if you’re in for a busy theme park week. Each Universal Orlando resort has its own theme, with wonderful décor, varieties of rooms and suites and more. There are also an array of amenities, like world-class pools and unique dining experiences making hotels on Universal Orlando property one of a kind.
Not to mention, Universal is almost always running a Universal Orlando vacation package deal or promotion throughout the year and guests can also enjoy some amazing universal Orlando benefits!
Related Page: Discount Universal Orlando Family Vacation Packages
So, what hotels are in Universal Studios with the best perks? If you’re looking for where to stay when going to Universal Studios Orlando, there are 8 different Universal Orlando hotels guests can choose from. Each Universal hotel comes with unique amenities, restaurants, recreation and more, making sure you will have a once in a lifetime experience.
We are going to talk about the amazing benefits of staying onsite at Universal Orlando next.
Related Page: Shop Cheap Universal Orlando Hotels
One of our favorite things about Universal Orlando resort hotels are how close they are to each other and to the three different parks. Nearly all 8 of the onsite hotels are within walking distance, where both Endless Summer Resorts (Dockside and Surfside) are a very short bus ride across the interstate. No matter what resort you choose, you will be within 20 minutes of a short walk to any park. Below are the most common questions we receive when deciding where to stay at Universal Orlando based on transportation.
Without a doubt the two most convenient hotels when trying to walk to the two main parks at Universal Orlando is the Hard Rock hotel and the Loews Portofino Bay hotel. These two amazing resorts also offer quick boat service to and from the parks. It’s also important to note that the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort are only an extra 10 minute walk.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel are closest to Volcano Bay, close enough to have a separate entrance to the water park. Hard Rock Hotel is within a reasonable walking distance to Universal Studios Florida and Loews Royal Pacific Resort can get you to Islands of Adventure pretty quickly by foot.
The best part is that even if you aren’t feeling a longer walk, you can hop onto a free bus shuttle or boat which will bring you right to the entrance of CityWalk. The transportation is quick and easy, making it one of the best Universal Studios benefits.
Taking it one step further we understand that transportation is such an important part of deciding where to stay when visiting Universal Studios Orlando, but luckily even the value hotels offer free transportation too! You will have several options for free transportation throughout the resort, but please note it will be different depending on where you stay.
The Premier and Preferred Universal Orlando Resorts have water taxis docked right outside, where the Prime and Prime Value resorts only offer bus shuttles. There are also beautiful garden walking trails that guests can find that will lead straight into CityWalk. This is especially nice if you have to walk up and get into the parks bright and early with Early Park Admission. Get a jump start to your day with this Universal resort benefit starting at around 7am, with revolving transportation until about 2am.
Related Article: Off-site Universal Orlando Hotels with Free Transportation
If you’ve wondered about where to stay at Universal Florida, Early Park Admission could be a HUGE perk for resort guests. Of course, if you’ve purchased tickets from The Park Prodigy, you’re used to this perk with our special tickets. All guests who are staying on property at Universal Studios Orlando have access to this perk no matter which hotel you stay at!
One hour before the park officially opens for guests, those with Early Park Admission are allowed to enter The Wizard World of Harry Potter. Why it is one of the best perks of staying at a Universal Studios hotel is that many of the most popular attractions are located in the Wizarding World. That means you can knock off some of the highest wait times before the park is officially open. Please note – you must check the app to see which park, Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure, is offering Early Park Admission that day.
Related Page: Discount Harry Potter Tickets with Early Park Admission
Every single hotel on Universal property has a set of its own unique amenities and recreation options. Cabana Bay Beach Resort is one of our favorites when deciding where to stay at Universal Florida if you’re looking to utilize onsite amenities. While all of the Universal Orlando Resorts have pools, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is almost a mini water park. With a lazy river, cabana rentals, sparkling pools and more, you can almost spend a whole day just relaxing! Aventura Hotel, which is right across the street, has sleek, modern pool designs with roof top restaurants and even a Starbucks.
The Hard Rock Hotel lives up to its name with an incredible rockstar pool, the best on-site dining options, fitness center and more. Loews Portofino Bay boasts for a high-class experience with a fitness center and spa, beautiful views right on the waterfront and delicious Italian style food in 8 different restaurants.
Some of the best onsite Universal hotels happen to be the Loews Sapphire Falls and Loews Royal Pacific Resort, where both take you into a tropical paradise. You’ll find garden views, sandy beach pools, tropical drinks and so much more at either Loews Hotel. Loews Royal Pacific Resort has some of the best lounges of all hotels on Universal property. So it is important not to rule it out.
Related Article: Hotels with Free Transportation Near Disney Springs
All Universal Orlando premier hotels come with the best perk offered at the Universal parks. The Universal Express Pass Unlimited is valued at $109 per person. Meaning that each person who is registered to a premier hotel gets a Universal Express Unlimited pass that is redeemable at participating rides in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
That allows you to ride as many Universal attractions as you want, as many times as you want. That’s why staying at Universal hotels with Express Pass is an amazing idea. They may be pricier, but unlimited attractions? That can’t be beat. Especially with newer attractions coming in 2022, lines are bound to be long and take up most of your day.
This is another Universal onsite hotel benefit for those staying at a Premier Universal Hotel. But those who are staying at Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort or Loews Portofino Bay have priority seating at select restaurants throughout the parks. While this can be a great perk of staying at these hotels on Universal property, it is important to note that this perk can be subjective. It is always smart to call the Universal reservation phone line to confirm you can be accommodated beforehand! 407-224-3663 to confirm any details.
Related Article: Is the Universal Express Pass Worth it?
We all know stretching a budget is an important part of any vacation but what about when deciding where to stay when going to Universal Studios Orlando? The two best Universal Orlando hotels for families looking for a value resort is the Universal Endless Summer hotel and the Universal Cabana Bay beach resort. Both resorts have rooms that start around $100 per night, and of course offer free transportation to and from the Universal Orlando theme parks and Citywalk.
However what we feel really sets these hotels apart is there large selection of family suites. Both hotels have suites which can fit up to 6-8 guests, and you can still book these rooms for around $176-$200 per night which can save you a ton of money on your next Universal Orlando vacation. Be sure to check out our complete guide on the Universal Cabana Bay resort vs Universal Endless Summer to weigh the pros and cons of these two budget hotels when visiting Universal Orlando.
Related Article: Guide to Universal Orlando Butter Beer
Last but not least we are going to look at another important question you might be asking yourself and that is, is it better to stay in a Disney or Universal Hotel? And as a general rule we do find that the Universal Orlando hotels will be cheaper than Disney hotels across the board from the premier resorts to the value resorts. We also find that Universal Orlando hotels provide more value from an added benefits stand point as well as guests can enjoy an extra hour for early park admission when compared to a half hour for Disney.
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 our Universal Orlando Tickets! All 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 Themeparktoday.com!