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Why Stay At a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel

It's no surprise we love the Universal Orlando Resort hotels. Each of them are absolutely fabulous, with incredible theming, dining, recreation and pools ... you know how we frogs feel about pools. Of course, the Universal hotels also offer terrific park benefits for Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay. Even better, we offer room discounts for all of the official Universal Orlando hotels. With that intro as enticement, let's hop into all of the reasons to stay at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel.

Universal Orlando Hotel Benefits

Universal Orlando Hotel Locations:

Universal Orlando Hotel Benefits - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock HotelLoews Royal Pacific ResortLoews Sapphire Falls and Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort are all located on Universal Orlando property. They are all within walking distance of each other, all of the Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal Orlando CityWalk. I would know. On my last visit, I jog hopped to each one of them for a bit of exercise. The proximity to other major Orlando attractions and the International Drive area are also a great benefit to staying at one of these hotels.

Hard Rock Hotel is the closest to Universal Studios Florida. Loews Royal Pacific Resort is closest to Universal's Islands of Adventure. Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort is closest to Universal's Volcano Bay, and it has its own separate entrance. All official Universal Orlando hotel guests can use it, but it's easier to access from Cabana Bay.

Universal Orlando Hotel Room Types:

Official Universal Orlando Hotel - Loews Portofino Bay Room

There are a wide range of room types at the official Universal Orlando hotels. The Standard Rooms at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel are at least 450 square feet. Standard Rooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort are at least 375 square feet. Standard Rooms at Hard Rock Hotel are at least 375 square feet. Standard rooms at Cabana Bay are at least 300 square feet, although it has more family suites at 430 square feet. All of the hotels except Cabana Bay have Deluxe Level Rooms that are larger than Standard Rooms and offer slightly better views. Guests can upgrade to the Club Level and enjoy additional privileges such as access to private lounge access, free access to the fitness centers, continental breakfast and hors d'oeuvres. Each of the hotels except Cabana Bay offers several Luxury Suite options.

Official Universal Orlando Hotel - Cabana Bay Beach Resort 2 Bedroom Suite

Cabana Bay's family suites are at least 430 square feet and offer kitchenettes with microwaves and mini-fridges, as well as two queen beds and a full sofa bed. Additionally, Cabana Bay now has a limited number of 2-bedroom, 2 full bathrooms, 772-square foot suites that sleep up to 8. Many offer views of Universal's Volcano Bay, and they are fabulous!

Universal Orlando Hotel Amenities:

Official Universal Orlando Hotels - Sapphire Falls Resort Pool

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has three pools, a spa and fitness center, jogging and walking paths, eight dining options, on-site entertainment, a Starbucks, recreation opportunities such as BOCCE BALL COURTS and a game room, and children's activities. Loews Royal Pacific Resort has one lagoon-themed pool, poolside activities, a fitness center, on-site entertainment, six dining options, children's activities and a weekly dining event, WANTILAN LUAU. Hard Rock Hotel has a 12,000-square-foot ROCKIN' POOL (with underwater music and waterslide), a fitness center, jogging and walking paths, six dining options and children's activities. Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort has two massive feature pools, a water slide, a lazy river, a children's water play area, poolside activities, a BOWLING ALLEY, a fitness center, a Starbucks and an array of cuisine at its onsite restaurant. All of the hotels offer valet parking. All rooms are equipped with a refrigerator. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort has a massive, lagoon-style pool, poolside activities, a fitness center, multiple dining options, including a RUM BAR!

Early Park Admission:

All of the official Universal Orlando hotels offer Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (at either Universal Studios Florida or Universal's Islands of Adventure) and Universal's Volcano Bay one hour before opening. (You must have valid Universal Orlando admission.)

Free Universal Express Unlimited:

Official Universal Orlando Hotels - Universal Studios Hotels - Universal Express Kiosk

Select Universal Orlando hotels offer guests Universal Express℠ Unlimited that allows them to bypass the regular lines at the participating rides at Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure.  Universal Express Unlimited is valid for the entire length of stay, including days of check-in and check-out,  and there is no limit to the number of times you use it. You get your Universal Express℠ Unlimited pass by inserting your hotel room key into one of the hotel kiosks. (You must have valid Universal Orlando admission.)

We cannot understate the value of Universal Express Unlimited. This skip-the-line perk is one of the best ways—if not the best way—to experience the parks. And if you know you will need or want Universal Express passes, it is almost always way more economical to stay on-site than stay off-site and purchase these passes separately. Here are more tips on when to use Universal Express.

Transportation:

Official Universal Orlando Hotels - Universal Studios Hotel - Boat Transportation at Universal CityWalk

Guests of the official Universal Orlando hotels can also take advantage of free transportation to and from Universal Studios,  Universals Islands of Adventure, Universal's Volcano Bay and Universal CityWalk. There are two forms of complimentary transportation: water taxis and shuttle buses. When your frog legs are tired of hopping, free transportation is a life-saver. (Watch a video of the water taxi ride from Loews Portofino Bay Hotel here.)

Additional on-site hotel benefits include resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card and priority seating at select restaurants throughout both Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk.

Priority Seating:

Guests staying at Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel, Lowes Royal Pacific Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel receive priority seating at select restaurants. Note that this list is subject to change and availability may be limited during peak times or some weekends. Call 407-224-FOOD (3663) for more information.

Universal Studios Florida

Finnegan’s Bar and Grill

Lombard’s Seafood Grille

Islands of Adventure

Confisco Grille

Mythos

Universal CityWalk

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food

Bob Marley — A Tribute to Freedom

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Emeril’s Orlando

Hard Rock Cafe

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville

Pat O’ Brien’s

VIVO Italian Kitchen

Portofino Bay Hotel

Bice Ristorante

Mama Della’s Ristorante

Trattoria del Porto

Hard Rock Hotel

The Kitchen

Palm Restaurant

Lowes Royal Pacific Resort

Emeril's Tchoup Chop

Island's Dining Room

Jake's American Bar

Official Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

Official Universal Orlando Hotel - Universal Studios Hotel - Royal Pacific Resort Lobby

Premier

Preferred

Prime Value

Take a video tour of Universal Orlando's hotels:

Have a question about the Universal Orlando hotel benefits? Want to share your favorite Universal hotel? Drop us a line in comments below! And be sure to check out our Where to Stay in Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline.

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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1–50 of 62 comments
Sep 13, 2018 at 8:17 a.m. Colette McGee Says...

I have read that when we check in you take our credit card to hold an amount for incidentals and use of the mini bar. Is this true? How much do you hold against the card? what is we don't bring a card with us how much cash do you hold as a deposit?

Reply
Sep 20, 2018 at 4:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colette!

This varies depending on hotel, and we definitely recommend calling to verify. At most places, a credit or debit card is required to put on hold.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 23, 2018 at 9:45 p.m. Katreina Says...

Do the Universal resorts allow the use of floats in the pools? I know Cabana Bay allows them in the lazy river and even sells them but I wasn't sure about the actual pools or if they were allowed in any other resort pools. Thanks.

Reply
Aug 28, 2018 at 4:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katreina!

We believe so!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 18, 2018 at 11 p.m. Kelly R Says...

We have stayed there before getting a package deal. This time we are planning on buying UT tickets and booking the hotel ourselves. Will we be able to link the UT tickets once we arrive? I assume we can but thought I would ask to make sure.

Reply
Aug 22, 2018 at 12:05 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kelly!

Yes! You can link your tickets at anytime. We recommend doing so as soon as possible so you're prepared for the park :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 18, 2018 at 8:40 a.m. Bella Says...

Hi Guys - Love your website! Can you tell me if Universal accommodate staying at multiple hotels during your stay? We've thinking it would be cool to split our 14 night stay between HRH and Sapphire Falls, and were wondering if Universal will move your bags etc like Disney does when you split your stay there?

Reply
Aug 22, 2018 at 12:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bella!

They are not able to transfer your luggage for you, but there is an on-demand chauffeur service available and the bell hops will take the luggage to your room once you arrive at the new resort. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 17, 2018 at 7:05 a.m. Colette Says...

Hi if I am staying in a universal hotel and family members are not, are they able to visit me and utilise the facilities at my hotel. if so is there a charge.

Reply
Aug 22, 2018 at 12:16 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colette!

They are allowed to visit, but we don't recommend having large groups take advantage of the accommodations.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 7, 2018 at 7:33 a.m. Colette Says...

Hi Thanks for the response regarding family visiting me at the hotel, however I was referring to my family consisting of 5 family members joining us as the Hard Rock Hotel for a meal. I didn't mean for them to stay over just utilise the restaurant or sit at the pool. if you could clarify this that would be great.

Reply
Sep 7, 2018 at 8:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colette!

Of course your family can come join you for a meal at the Hard Rock!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 14, 2018 at 11:53 a.m. colette Says...

hi thanks for that, one other question does the hotel take a deposit at check in. if so how much is it as I have read it can be as much as 3000 dollars.

Reply
Sep 20, 2018 at 4:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colette!

This varies depending on hotel, and we definitely recommend calling to verify. At most places, a credit or debit card is required to put on hold.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 30, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. SHARON DEPREY Says...

my husband and I are thinking of coming to universal for a full day and night on our way to bahamas ..it is our 40th anniversary. what would you feel a good itinerary would be,,we are planning on staying on the grounds and he has never been here

Reply
Jul 30, 2018 at 4:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon!

Sounds like a blast. We LOVE staying on-site at Universal ... all of the hotels are gorgeous! Cabana Bay is our favorite. Check out our planning guide for a good idea of where to begin, and be sure to check out our discounted tickets and hotels!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 27, 2018 at 2:39 p.m. Pete Says...

Hello. looking right now at booking ahead for either first 2 weeks of December 2019 or first 2 weeks of January 2020 staying at Universal, which time would be quieter & would I still be best ghetting a hotel with the express pass?

Reply
Jul 30, 2018 at 8:35 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pete!

We can't guarantee that the Express pass deal will still be included with staying on-site, but we haven't heard anything stating otherwise. Those two time frames should be quite similar in terms of crowds, but we do certainly recommend visiting in December to enjoy the holiday entertainment.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 26, 2018 at 12:16 p.m. Shawn Says...

Hi,

Planning to come for last week of Augest. Is it a good timing for Orlando.

And when I book on site hotels,is park admission's are free or I should buy separately and how much is it? Some question for Express pass if I buy separately?

Reply
Jul 26, 2018 at 8:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shawn!

Park admission is not included, even if you stay on-site. You can purchase discounted tickets on our site, and Express passes here. Our Crowd Calendar predicts that the last week of August is a great time to visit!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 22, 2018 at 12:47 p.m. Jimmy Says...

Going the week of Thanksgiving this year. How is the temps of the pools during this time of the year?

Reply
Jun 23, 2018 at 12:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jimmy!

Orlando tends to stay pretty warm during November, and all of Universal Orlando Resort's pools are heated year-round (as needed) so no worries!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 20, 2018 at 1:06 p.m. Regena Says...

We have never stayed at one of the resorts because we own a timeshare in Orlando but we definitely visit Universal annually since I was in my 20’s! Now my kids are grown and we have grand babies and we still do the visit! This year I’ll be my 3 year old grandson first trip there! Can’t wait to share the experience with him! I definitely recommend having a plan to make good use of your day! Utilizing the resources from here and Universal make the trip painless! Big crowds make a difference when you have kids with you so definitely recommend using the crowd calendar!

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 11:27 p.m. Amanda Jenkins Says...

Wow! Those hotels are amazing! Portofino looks especially awesome.

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 4:43 p.m. Shellie Sakash Says...

Buying preferred annual pass does not guarantee a discount. Was mislead by reservations department and then owed full amount. Not a great way to end your trip.

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 3:21 p.m. Margaret Says...

Love, love, love Portofino Bay!

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Denise Says...

Hope to bring my daughter here soon...it is her wish vacation.

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 1:31 p.m. Ronda Says...

Hey! Is the Express availible for FREE at the Cabana hotel? Because that is game changer lol

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ronda,

Free Universal Express is only offered at Loews Portofino Bay, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Hotel. Universal's Cabana Bay does offer Early Park Admission, though!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 14, 2018 at 6:43 p.m. Joanne Gallagher Says...

I am going to be staying at Aventura for Christmas 2018. Am I able to use the facilities at the other resort hotels? Thanks

Reply
Jun 14, 2018 at 11:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Joanne!

Yes, you can! If you are staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel, you can use all of the amenities at the others.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 30, 2018 at 9:27 p.m. Shenise Says...

Hi!!

We are traveling to Orlando at the end of June for three days before our cruise (Bahamas here we come!!!)We are traveling with our 7 year old daughter. I am having the HARDEST time deciding between staying at a Disney resort or an Universal studio resort. We plan on going to at least one park and are leaning more towards universal as our daughter is now tall enough to ride almost all of the rides and LOVE rides. However I also want to give her the Disney feel that I know you could get at a Disney resort even without going to Disney. Any thoughts??

Reply
May 30, 2018 at 10:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shenise!

That's such a tough question! We prefer staying on-site at whatever park we're visiting. It's more convenient and makes it feel more like vacation. We recommend staying at our fave, Cabana Bay, at Universal! Save a Disney hotel for a Disney trip (we love them too!)

Reply
May 18, 2018 at 6:05 p.m. Adam Beckstead Says...

Hi,

Are we able to use the fitness centers at all the on site hotels if we staying at the HRH? Thank you

Reply
May 22, 2018 at 6:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Adam!

Yes, you are! We just called to double check. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 9, 2018 at 12:18 p.m. Sharon Says...

Hello, I am thinking of booking a trip to Kennedy Space Center while staying at Universal. It says it picks up at the Universal Resort Bus Loop. Is this close to a particular on site hotel? Thanks

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 9:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon,

The bus pickup is at the Universal CityWalk parking complex. The closest hotels would be Loews Royal Pacific and Hard Rock Hotel!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 7, 2018 at 2:10 p.m. Tony Says...

Hi and thank you for this post! I was just wondering if the on site hotel key also gets you into City Walk bars and restaurants at night without a cover charge? Or will I still need to buy a party pass to check out all the bars in one night?

Reply
May 10, 2018 at 10:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tony,

It depends on the hotel you stay at. Portofino Bay, Hard Rock and Royal Pacific all provide complimentary access to certain live entertainment venues at CityWalk!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 6, 2018 at 8:46 p.m. Holly Says...

The express pass and the transportation to universal, are those valid for the full day of check out, also?

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 10:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Holly,

Yes, you'll be able to use them both on day of check-out!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 21, 2018 at 4:53 p.m. Colette Says...

I'm doing to be staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, and as such I've heard that I can use the facility at the other universal hotels including transport between them. Will this also include the new aventura hotel on international drive?

Reply
Apr 24, 2018 at 10:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colette,

Yes, you can use the other Universal Orlando hotel pools, restaurants, etc., and there is also a shuttle that will provide transportation to the parks!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 11, 2018 at 12:10 p.m. Colette Says...

Hi thanks for that, i know you get free transportation to the parks, i was wondering if you offer transportation to other Universal Hotels. For example I am staying the Hard Rock Hotel can i get hotel transport to the Cabana Bay Resort if i wanted to use their facilities

thanks

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colette,

Yes, you can take a water taxi from CityWalk to Universal's Cabana Bay Resort!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 8, 2018 at 5:36 p.m. Bobby Says...

I am coming to Orlando for a Cheer Competition in Disney. And we will spend some time in Disney world but I like the prices of the Universal Hotels. Is it crazy to stay at Universal hotel and spend the majority of time in disney?

Reply
Apr 8, 2018 at 11:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bobby!

We're HUGE fans of both Universal and Disney hotels, and don't blame you for wanting to stay on Universal property. However, Universal is about 20+ minutes from Disney, depending on traffic, so it will add extra time to your commute. It will also add an extra cost for you to rent a car or Uber to the parks, since staying on Disney property offers free transportation. Here are a few other factors to keep in mind. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Reply
Apr 4, 2018 at 12:53 a.m. Norma Says...

Hello. We will be staying at the Loews Sapphire Falls. Do we need to buy the shuttle service from the airport to the hotel? It's on the website where I am trying to make my reservations.

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 11:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Norma!

You can add Universal's SuperStar Shuttle on to your trip for convenient transportation to and from Orlando International Airport.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 2, 2018 at 12:53 a.m. Thomas Says...

I am staying at the Portofino Dec 3-6 2018, I know check in is at 4pm but I would like to visit the park and use my express pass on the 3rd. Will I be able to leave my luggage when I get there about 9am and get my express pass/tickets and enjoy the park that day?

Your site is so amazing!

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 11:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Thomas!

Absolutely! You can leave your luggage to be stored at the hotel while you go play in the parks. Enjoy :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 30, 2018 at 11:32 p.m. Monica Says...

Hi! I am planning a trip for my 10-year-old son and myself. I want to go to Universal Studios as well as Magic Kingdom. I just read everything I could at your website and your replies are thoughtful and helpful. What is best: stay at a Universal Studios hotel and use an Uber for Disney and the Florida Mall or stay at another hotel, rent a car and drive everywhere?

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 11:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Monica!

Great question! If you're planning on adventuring throughout Orlando at Disney, Universal and shopping destinations, renting a car sounds like a great option regardless of where you stay. On the other hand, taking an Uber would help you avoid parking fees at the parks. Go with whatever sounds more convenient to you!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 26, 2018 at 12:43 p.m. Megan Says...

Because we are a family of five, our only choice is the family suite for the dates we are going to be in Orlando. My question is if we stay at the cabana bay, can we still use the pool at the hard rock?

Reply
Mar 27, 2018 at 4:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

Yes, of course! While staying at any of the official Universal Orlando Resort hotels, you're free to hop to each of the resorts' pools!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 25, 2018 at 4:41 p.m. Jennifer Says...

We are a family of five staying for one night which hotel with express passes available would be best to choose with a standard room adding a roll away?

Reply
Apr 26, 2018 at 12:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

Loews Royal Pacific Hotel offers the Express Pass benefit, as well as sleeps up to 5 people in standard rooms with a rollaway bed. This hotel is less expensive than the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel that also both offer the Express Pass benefit. They are all three great hotels, so it's really up to you on which one you want to choose!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 14, 2018 at 2:35 a.m. Donna Says...

Can you bring in your own cot instead of paying the hotel for theirs for an older child ?

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 11:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Donna!

Yes, you can!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 9, 2018 at 1:53 p.m. Michelle Says...

Does universal offer a shuttle from the airport? Also is there a shuttle from the universal to Disney?

Reply
Feb 9, 2018 at 2:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle!

Universal offers a shuttle from Orlando International Airport if you are staying on-site at one of their hotels. There is not a shuttle from Universal to Disney. We recommend using Uber or Lyft!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 6, 2018 at 10:07 p.m. Hannah Says...

I was wondering do Cabana Bay Beach Resort still have the free shuttle to SeaWorld Orlando because my family wants to not rent a car because it is a lot of money and the only place we really need to go to from Universal is SeaWorld just wondering. Thank You

Reply
Feb 7, 2018 at 2:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Hannah!

Unfortunately, there is not a shuttle from Cabana Bay to SeaWorld. We recommend grabbing an Uber or Lyft ... it's super close by!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 15, 2017 at 12:31 p.m. Tamara Says...

Hi. Is it better to purchase the tickets online ahead of time or at the Lowes hotel? Do you getter better perks by purchasing from the hotel?

Reply
Dec 19, 2017 at 11:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tamara,

There are no special benefits in purchasing the tickets at the hotel. Check out our Universal Orlando tickets for special discounts and deals!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 3, 2017 at 5:12 a.m. Jamie Says...

Was wondering what the perks of staying at a Universal partner hotel like Homewood Suites by Hilton? Is the early admission or express pass available here?

Reply
Dec 7, 2017 at 2:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jamie,

Early Admission and Express Passes aren't offered through the Universal Orlando partner hotels, unless you book a Universal Orlando vacation package. If you book a package, then you'll receive Early Admission. Some Universal partner hotels offer bonus benefits that include discounts on Universal Orlando merchandise, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and they also provide transportation to the parks.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 18, 2017 at 7:14 a.m. Chris Says...

If i have a non registered guest visiting my hotel room can they use the free transportation from universal resorts to the theme parks and back

Reply
Dec 22, 2017 at 8:29 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris,

Yes! Transportation is free for all.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 16, 2017 at 5:50 a.m. Robin Says...

What select hotels offer the Universal Express passes?

Reply
Nov 17, 2017 at 2:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robin,

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort all offer the Universal Express Unlimited pass.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 5, 2017 at 3:26 p.m. Kim Fettig-Olsen Says...

We are planning a 4night, 5day vacation to Orlando Jan. 21st -26th 2018. Both my teens are Autistic 13 and 16, My 13 yr daughter wants to do everything Harry Potter..my son could care less. Both don't care for roller coaster rides but are fine with gentle rides...like " small world or Peter Pan". We would like to do 2 days at DW and 1 day at Universal..but my son may need an afternoon break from the crowd back at the hotel. I'm wondering if we should stay at a Universal hotel vs DW.. or even a Disney springs hotel. We stayed at the Port Orleans-French quarter at our last visit 3 yrs ago and both kids did fine with the fast pass option they had then. Is that still available? Is there another option out there for kids with Autism...16 yr old would only need it for the Harry Potter stuff..he finds it scary. Won't need it for the DW portion of our trip. Thank you

Reply
Nov 5, 2017 at 2:25 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim,

Fastpass+ is still available.

If you son needs a break, we recommend staying at a convenient hotel for your Disney World part, and another one near Universal. Remeber, we sell discount Orlando hotel rooms!

Also for your son, ask about Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass, which may provide him with accommodations for attractions and wait times.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 1, 2017 at 2:56 a.m. Michelle Says...

We are looking at staying June 14-16, 2018 and will have a full three days at the two parks (not doing volcano bay). Is the express pass still a necessity or will we be ok since we have the three days? Thought about just doing express pass last day because it is cheaper. Will give us one day to malke up what we missed or re-ride our faves. Cabana bay with one day express still come in cheaper for 6 than royal pacific.

Reply
Oct 1, 2017 at 8:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

On our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting high crowds during your visit. Your one-day Express Pass plan is a great idea if you can't afford all 3 days.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 6, 2017 at 5:57 p.m. Zak's Travels Says...

Just returned from Universal Studios Orlando vacation, we stayed at Universal's Cabana Beach Bay Resort hotel which was great. It's a 50's themed hotel, that has large pools, a diner style food options and a lazy river. We went to all 3 of the theme parks including Volcano Bay. As guests of the Cabana Bay Hotel we were allowed the enter all of the theme parks one hour before they opened to the public which was a huge bonus as we did not have to dealt with long lines to get on the big rides such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, the Hulk and the Krakatau aqua coaster at Volcano Bay.

The hotel offers free shuttle bus service that we spacious, cool and run on time. I posted videos of our entire trip my Youtube channel. Check it out! Especially if you have never been to either Cabana Bay Resort or the theme parks. Will also be posting videos with tips

and food reviews. We cant wait to go back next year!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5HWNrY6kIH1FfOixL7FC9Q

Reply
Aug 26, 2017 at 5:12 p.m. Craig Says...

????????Family of four (16/10 yr old kids) looking at Universal-area for 7-8 days (Dec 28-Jan 4). Have bought Disney tix via your site in the past. Looking for insight on hotel and Universal tix pkgs from Undercover Tourist. Likely 3-4 days of Universal, park to park, and express. No pets and no interest in access for the hour before opening. Maybe a day at Seaworld also. Given our Universal needs (hotel/tix) can you sum up value proposition of on-site hotel vs your off-site partner hotels to account for hotel and tix? Any special considerations we should keep in mind? Thank you!

Reply
Aug 28, 2017 at 9:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Craig,

You're visiting during an extremely busy time. Staying at one of the top-tier Univeral Orlando hotels will give you free Universal Express Unlimited passes. Staying at a hotel near Universal will save you money on the room. However, the Express Passes (which we do not sell, unfortunately) will be more expensive during your visit. We have plenty of discount Park-to-Park tickets that will save you money. Have fun!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 15, 2017 at 5:28 p.m. Holly Says...

I see you like the Saphire Hotel more than Royal Pacific? Can you explain why? We have only stayed at Universal once and it was at the Royal Pacific

Reply
Aug 21, 2017 at 10:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Holly,

We like both of the hotels. Sapphire Falls can be cost-effective for families that want to stay on-site. With a Royal Pacific stay, you get free Universal Unlimited Express passes. It really depends on your family's needs.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 15, 2017 at 5:25 p.m. Holly Says...

How does the preferred dining work if you are staying onsite? Assume that means without a reservation or does it mean to get a reservation.

Reply
Aug 16, 2017 at 8:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Holly,

Preferred dining means that you'll be seated ahead of other parties when you walk-up at select restaurants. We definitely recommend reservations if you know where/when you want to dine.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 28, 2017 at 12:25 p.m. Sinead Says...

Do you have a list of the restaurants that you can use the preferred seating in?

Reply
Aug 28, 2017 at 8:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sinead,

Yes! We just added them into the post. You'll find them just past the Transporation section.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 2, 2017 at 9:44 a.m. Sinead Says...

Thanks

Reply
Jun 17, 2017 at 9:57 p.m. Catherine Says...

Do they still do the express passes if you stay at the universal hotel because when having a look for a holiday next year and staying the the hard rock there was no mention of the express pass.

Reply
Jun 18, 2017 at 5:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Catherine,

Yes, you will receive Universal Express Unlimited by booking the Hard Rock Hotel.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 29, 2017 at 12:47 a.m. mdtravel Says...

While the Port sounds wonderful, I think I'm going for the one that is closest the park. It sounds like it is walkable vs. the water taxi. So we can walk right out of the hotel and walk to the park vs. walk out of the hotel, wait in a line, wait for the taxi to get there, get to the park. Thoughts?

Reply
Jan 29, 2017 at 5:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi MD,

Yes, you can walk to main gates of both parks or take the water taxi.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 27, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. mdtravel Says...

I am looking to go to Universal for two days with my six year old daughter...just me (dad) and her. We're going primarily for Harry Potter related fun. I'm not saying that this is the case, but if budget were not a consideration what hotel would you recommend for us? I think my primary wish would be to be close to the park so we can get there to take advantage of the extra time before opening, and perhaps pop back to the hotel mid-day for a break.

Reply
Jan 27, 2017 at 8:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mdtravel,

If budget is not a consideration, then stay at Portofino. It's their top hotel, and a Frog Family Favorite.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 13, 2016 at 2:52 p.m. Laura Says...

Good Morning, traveling 2 parents & 2 teens; do any of the resorts have a kitchenette, that has a small stove and fridge? Id like to cut some cost and also some downtime from the rush, rush, rush.

Reply
Nov 15, 2016 at 3:39 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laura,

None has a stove, but Cabana Bay's family suites do have fridges, microwaves and small sinks.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 7, 2017 at 2:41 p.m. Chrissie Says...

I was wondering.... cabana bay family suits... does the mini fridge have a little freezer compartment? Some photos I looked at seemed that the answer was no, but I thought I'd be hopeful and ask someone who has stayed there.

Reply
Jan 13, 2017 at 3:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chrissie,

After hopping onto the phone with Cabana Bay, I learned that the mini fridge does not have a freezer compartment.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 26, 2016 at 5:45 p.m. MIchelle Says...

Hi - we are looking at staying at the Royal Pacific for one night to get the two days' worth of express passes. We are thinking of upgrading to the royal club rooms. We are planning on checking in at 7am on the first day to get the express passes for that day - do we know if we get to start using the royal club straight away, ie. can we go in and get breakfast on both that day and the next morning after spending the night?

Trying to decide if it is worth the extra money to upgrade to the Club rooms!

Reply
Sep 26, 2016 at 4:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

You would have access to club level as soon as you checked in, so if you checked in early enough for breakfast, you would have access! Do keep in mind that your room may not be ready, but you would be able to store your bags with the hotel until it was.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 27, 2016 at 9:34 p.m. Michelle Says...

Great thanks. Great website - have got loads of useful ideas for our visit next year.

Reply
Sep 23, 2016 at 6:53 p.m. caroline Dowling-Smith Says...

Hi we are totally new to the Orlando experience; we have provisionally booked from 2nd june to 16th. Will it be busy and would love to stay in a disney type hotel but prices all seem out of our reach!

Reply
Oct 7, 2016 at 2:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

You can check out expected crowd levels here.

There are many affordable options. If you want to stay on-site, Disney's Value Resorts will be the most affordable. We've put together this handy comparison tool for Disney's hotels.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 15, 2016 at 1:13 p.m. Deena DiGregorio Says...

Hi, my youngest son is autistic. I was wondering if Unniversal offered any special passes. Also, if Universal restaurants offer any special diet restriction plans?

Thanks, Deena

Reply
Sep 27, 2016 at 10:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deena,

Yes, Universal offers the Attraction Assistance Pass. It works similarly to Disney's DAS; you can check out our post on the AAP here!

There are many dining locations at Universal Orlando that accommodate to special diet restrictions. Universal recommends contacting them at least 14 days prior to your trip to make any special accommodations. If you aren't able to do that, you can also ask to speak to a chef or manager at any of the restaurants and inform them of the special diet restrictions. They'll be happy to make accommodations to the best of their ability. This is a helpful article on the matter!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 1, 2016 at 1:16 a.m. Lori Says...

We are staying at Sapphire Falls however attending an event at Hard Rock. Do we need to repay to park or can we use our Sapphire Falls room key to park at the Hard Rock?

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 1:05 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lori,

You would not need to have to pay for parking twice. You would just let security/valet know when you arrive at Hard Rock, and they would validate your parking.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 27, 2016 at 9:56 a.m. STUART HUTCHESON Says...

Hi, if you were planning onthe last week of April/1st week of May.. are the crowds low enough to not really need the fast pass??

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stuart,

Do you mean Express Pass? Yes, it should not be an absolute necessity at this time.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 20, 2016 at 7:36 p.m. STUART HUTCHESON Says...

Hi - If you've booked flights for end April/Beginning May would you say the crowds are light enough to mean that the onsite hotel benefits are outweighed by the higher price paid for the accommodation??

Cheers

Stuart

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:47 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stuart,

We always prefer to stay on site if we can afford it. At Universal, especially, the perks are great year round. That said, they are especially great during the busiest times.

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stuart,

We always prefer to stay on site if we can afford it. At Universal, especially, the perks are great year round. That said, they are especially great during the busiest times.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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