Getting Around at Universal Orlando Resort

13087205_10154059354277488_1962085265953715163_oUniversal Orlando Resort is made up of two theme parks, a shopping and dining district, and four (soon to be five) resort hotels. For those staying at one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels, there’s transportation connecting the theme parks and CityWalk with each of the resorts, so it’s easy to get around during your vacation.

Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, are incredibly easy to hop between because they’re only a 5 minute walk from each other. CityWalk, the resort’s shopping and dining district, is located between the two parks. Once you’re at CityWalk, you can get to either of the parks very easily.

Each of Universal Orlando’s on-site resorts offers continuous complimentary transportation to CityWalk from 6AM – 2AM each day. The Hard Rock Hotel, the Portofino Bay Hotel, and the Royal Pacific Resort have water taxis that take guests from the hotel to a dock at CityWalk, just outside the entrance to Universal Studios Florida. They arrive about every 15-20 minutes. The new Sapphire Falls Resort, opening this summer, will also have water taxi service.

The Cabana Bay Beach Resort has buses that take guests from the resort to the drop-off area outside CityWalk, and guests then walk through most of CityWalk to get to the parks. The resorts with water taxis have a bit of an advantage because they’re closer to CityWalk, and drop off closer to the entrance to the parks. We found that the bus service from Cabana Bay was very prompt, though, and we rarely waited more than 5-10 minutes for a bus. You will have to walk farther to get to the park entrances, though. All of the resorts also have walking paths to get to CityWalk, including Cabana Bay, though that path can take about 20 minutes to walk.

The on-site hotels aren’t the only ones that offer transportation to the parks. Universal Orlando has many Partner Hotels in the surrounding area, and most also offer shuttles to and from the parks. They drop off/pick up in the same area that Cabana Bay’s shuttles drop off. Keep in mind that most Partner Hotel shuttles do not run continuously and may have a limited schedule. Some have an extra fee, and some do not run for Early Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Those staying at an on-site hotel can also take advantage of complimentary transportation to nearby attractions. If you want to visit Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sea World, or Aquatica, there are free shuttles available at each of Universal Orlando’s on-site resorts daily. These do not run continuously and have limited space, so guests need to make a reservation with the Attraction Ticket Center at their hotel.

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I’m Elizabeth, and I’m a planner, a vacation enthusiast, and quite the nerd. Even better, I’m dedicated to helping you plan an unforgettable vacation without all the stress. I like to say that I specialize in nerd travel – to me, being a nerd has always meant being unashamedly passionate about the stories I love. This is why I love planning for my favorite destinations – these are places that can take you right into the world of your imagination and make it real. If you’re just a grown-up kid like me, you’ll love these destinations, too. Whether you’re imagining fairytale castles or adventures with wizards and dragons, I can help you make it happen! I’m putting all that I’ve learned about vacation planning and my nerdy love of fantasy to work for you, so that you can write your amazing vacation story. Visit my blog to learn more about how you can get help planning your next adventure, and come visit me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for even more vacation fun and tips. Contact me at to start planning.

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