There is nothing better than waking up to the sound of the Incredible Hulk Coaster roaring to life outside your window. Staying at any of the Universal Onsite Resorts gives you quick and easy access to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. With walking paths from every resort, convenient water taxi access, and the option to take a bus from Cabana Bay, you can be out the door and onto that roller coaster in just a few minutes.
2. Access to CityWalk
One of the best things about Universal Orlando Resort is how close everything is. In addition to being right next to the theme parks, you are also within walking distance of City Walk, Universal’s top spot for all things dining, shopping, and entertainment. With exceptional restaurants like The Cowfish, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, the world’s largest Hard Rock Café, and the new Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, there is something for every palette. CityWalk comes alive at night, with two themed mini golf courses, a movie theatre, and a wide variety of nightlife. Your day definitely doesn’t have to end when the parks close!
3. Express Pass
When you stay at Royal Pacific, Portofino Bay or the Hard Rock Hotel, you get Universal’s Express Pass included for every night of your stay. This pass allows you to skip the regular lines on most of the attractions at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The best part? It’s unlimited. If you are trying to max out your score on Men in Black, no problem, you can ride 10 time in a row if you want, all in the fraction of the time you would spend waiting in the stand-by line. Just show your pass at any of the participating attractions, and maximize your time in the parks.
4. Early Park Admission
With so much to do and see at both of Universal’s theme parks, I like to make sure I’m at the gates as the park opens. If I can get in to the parks before they open to the public, even better! Staying at any of the Universal Resort Hotels gives you access to certain sections of the park before they open, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is a huge bonus, especially since both of the big Harry Potter attractions don’t take Express Pass. Get there early, walk onto Forbidden Journey, then have breakfast at the Three Broomsticks!
5. Room Variety
Universal Orlando’s onsite hotels offer something for everyone. With 5 hotels in three resort categories, the variety available ensures that every family is able to stay in a room that works for them. Portofino Bay has the largest rooms of all the resorts, with standard rooms measuring at a minimum of 450 square feet, while Cabana Bay is big on theming, without breaking the bank. With luxury suite options and Club Level rooms available, there’s no limit the luxury you can experience.
6. Priority Seating at Restaurants
If you choose to stay at one of Universal’s deluxe resorts, you will get priority access to seating at many of the restaurants at CityWalk. Just show your room key to the host or hostess at the entrance to the restaurant, and your wait time will be significantly less, if you have any at all. Each restaurant has their own specific procedures for this perk, but you will be sipping on that Toothsome milkshake much faster than if you wait in the usual line.
7. Complimentary Merchandise Delivery
There is one thing that is a guarantee for every Harry Potter fan visiting Universal Orlando: you will want to buy everything. From wands and owls, to robes and Marauder’s Maps, the merchandise in the Wizarding World is incredible, and that’s before I even get to the rest of the parks! If you are staying onsite, you won’t have to worry about carrying your purchases around the park all day. You can send that bag full of chocolate frogs right back to your resort.
8. Pool Hopping
The pools at all of the Universal hotels are amazing, and the best part is, pool hopping is actually encouraged. Staying at Sapphire Falls but want to experience some underwater tunes for the day? Hop over to the Hard Rock pool for a dip. The theming and detail of all the pools is fantastic, and it’s even better knowing that you can experience all of them.
9. Golf Orlando Program
For those of you who plan on hitting the links while on your vacation, staying onsite at Universal gives you access to the Golf Orlando Program. Foursomes will receive complimentary transportation to the Grand Cyprus Golf Club and the Windermere Country Club, as well as free club rentals and range balls.
The theming at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is out of this world, and that extends to all of the resorts at Universal Orlando. Whether you want the retro vibe of Cabana Bay, the Italian romance of Portofino Bay, or the Caribbean paradise of Sapphire Falls, you will be immersed in fantastic theming from when you wake up in the morning, to while you “Ride the Movies” at two fabulous theme parks, all the way until your head hits the pillow at night.
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