Universal Orlando Resort’s on site hotels close to the parks and come with great benefits.
I highly recommend staying with at a Universal Resort Hotel, the close proximity and added benefits like early park entry can’t be beat!
You’ll find Universal’s rooms to be cheaper than comparable Disney World Rooms. For example, Universal’s Preferred Hotels are often priced like Disney’s Moderates.
About Staying On Universal Orlando Resort Property
There are several Universal Orlando Resort Hotels right on property in a few different price/amenity categories. Staying at a Universal Hotel on property resort comes with a few great benefits. The most important of which is location! No commute time, no parking garage! Most Universal Orlando Resort Hotels are located within easy walking distance to Universal’s parks.
Check out this table listing the amenities that you’ll receive or be eligible for when you stay at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel:
|Free Universal Express Unlimited||X|
|Priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort||X|
|Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay||X||X||X||X|
|Free Water Taxi transportation to Universal’s theme parks and CityWalk||X||X|
|Free Bus transportation to Universal’s theme parks and CityWalk||X||X||X||X|
|Resort-wide charging privileges with room key||X||X||X||X|
|Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel||X||X||X||X|
|Universal Orlando character appearances||X||X||Cabana Bay Only|
|Golf Universal Orlando program||X||X||X||X|
|Complimentary access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk for the length of stay||X||X||X||X|
Universal Orlando Resort breaks their resorts down into four categories. From cheapest to most expensive these are:
Value Resort Hotels
There are two Value Resort Hotels on Universal Orlando Resort Property. These are the lowest priced of Universal’s resorts and understandably have the lowest level of amenities and are furthest from the parks.
These two resorts are some of the Universal’s most price-friendly hotels, with prices starting at around $75 a night during the cheapest price season.
The Endless Summer Resorts are located off of the main Universal Resort campus. They are actually located about three quarters of a mile to the ease across Interstate 4. The only way to get to the parks and Universal CityWalk is by bus.
The Endless Summer Resorts are the newest Universal Hotels and are in perfect condition. They are shiny and sparkling.
Being entry level resorts, they have entry level amenities such as: Quick Service food courts, an arcade, playground, heated pools, pool bar, luggage service, in room safe, iron and board, and coffee makers.
These resorts are removed from the main Universal Orlando campus, being on the other side of Interstate 4 from the theme parks, Volcano Bay, and CityWalk. A bus ride is required to get the the main campus.
Prime Value Resort Hotels
There are two Prime Value Hotels on Universal Orlando Resort Property. This is the next step up in the level of amenities.
These two hotels are the next step up in price from the Values, with prices starting at around $140 during the cheapest price season.
Cabana Bay features 2,200 rooms, including over 900 family suites. While Aventura has 600 rooms.
Prime value hotels offer all the benefits of the value resorts plus one extra perk: a private entranceway to Volcano Bay.
There is one Preferred Resort Hotel on Universal Orlando Resort Property.
Sapphire Falls Resort is a AAA Four Diamond–awarded hotel.
This resort is another step up in price, coming in with a starting price of about $200 during the cheapest price season.
There are three Premier Resorts on Universal Orlando Resort Property.
As the name suggests, these are the premier hotels of Universal Orlando. They are decorated exquisitely based upon their overall resort theme.
These resorts are at the top of the Universal Orlando lineup!
Rates for Royal Pacific start at about $270, Hard Rock at about $315, and Portofino Bay at about $330 during the cheapest price season.
The major benefit of staying at one of the Premier Hotels is the complimentary Express Pass that comes with your stay.
Resort Hotel Locations
The main campus of universal studios resort is located on the west side of Interstate 4. Located on the main campus are all of the resort hotels except the Values, both theme parks and Volcano Bay, Universal CityWalk, the main bus station, and the parking structure. Central to the main campus is the waterway which connects the theme parks, Universal CityWalk, in the Premier end Preferred Resort Hotels.
Complementary boat transportation is provided between the Premier and Preferred Resort Hotels and Universal CityWalk along the waterway. Each resort has its own dedicated boat(s), they do not share routes.
It is possible to walk between all locations on the main campus.
The Prime Value Hotels (Cabana Bay Beach Resort & Universal’s Aventura Hotel) are slightly removed from the main campus as they are not on the waterway. The Adventura is attached to the far side of the Sapphire Falls Resort. It’s a little bit of a hike to get to the Sapphire Falls boat dock to catch the water taxi, or to continue on walking to the theme parks. The Cabana Bay Beach Resort is located across a street called Adventure Way from the Adventura in Sapphire Falls Resort. It is possible to cross the street using crosswalks to get to the new Sapphire Falls boat dock. Complementary Bus transportation is available from these two resorts.
As mentioned above, both of the value resorts are located on the other side of I-4. The only way to get to the main campus from here is via bus.
Universal Studios Orlando Resort’s Bus Station
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Universal Orlando Bus Station here.
Universal’s Bus Station is located between the parking structure and CityWalk. It’s not big or impressive and also functions as a pick up and drop off location for a ride hire services, non-Universal hotels, and local traffic drop off’s.
After exiting the bus from your resort you will take an escalator up to the elevated walkway from the parking structure. here you will process through security, and then walk through CityWalk in order to reach the theme parks.
What bothers me about universal’s bus station, displaying total lack of customer service, is the way those paying lots of money to stay at Universal’s Hotels are treated during high-volume periods. The escalators from the bus station Bring you right to the entrance to the security checkpoint, which during low volume periods you can just walk right through and up to the checkpoint directly from the escalator.
However during very busy periods, Universal security personnel block off where you would walk directly into the security checkpoint area and force you to walk all the way out to the parking garage past the long line of people who have parked in the garage and are now waiting to process through security. When you arrive at the garage you will then get in the end of this long line. In my opinion this is no way for Universal to treat those who are staying at their hotel’s, but because the bus station mixes universal hotel’s bus riders with off-property guests, universal feels they need to take this measure.
For this reason I don’t usually stay at the Value Hotels or Cabana Bay Resort. I stay at the Premiers, Preferred, and Adventura where I can catch the boat or walk.
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