I love the perks that come with the onsite hotels at Universal Orlando. Back in my cheerleading days, we had competitions at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. Because of this, we stayed at the park hotels. Which hotels, you ask?
The prices at these places can be a tad pricey during peak season. But, the hotels come with a list of perks that I believe are worth the price.
- Free Express Pass to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. This pass allows you to skip the long lines and join the lucky people who have the fast pass. If you were to purchase this pass, it costs $89 (on top of the normal ticket price of $136 per person for a one day pass).
- Early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You get in an hour before the crowds. With the new addition of Diagon Alley, these areas in the parks get swarmed with crowds fast and early. The line for the new ride, Escape from Gringotts, can be upwards of a five hour wait.
- Priority seating at CityWalk restaurants. After a long day at the park, who wants to stand in line to wait for dinner? Yes, dinner. The restaurants at CityWalk get packed. Your stay at one of the above hotels gets you on a short list for dinner. If you love food like me, this perk is pretty amazing.
- Complementary water taxis and shuttles back to the hotel. If your feet are sore and your legs are tired, take one of the complementary means of travel to your comfortable bed.
- Prime location. You’re right by the parks and attractions. You want to go to CityWalk? It’s a short walk, bus or boat ride away. You won’t waste a lot of time traveling to your destination and paying for additional parking.
These are just the major perks that come along with staying at a Universal Resort. If the early admission and fast pass doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know how else to entice you!
If you don’t want to pay the sticker price of the deluxe hotels, Universal Orlando just opened up a budge resort for patrons as well. Welcome to Cabana Bay Beach Resort! If you stay here, you will lose some of the perks. You will no longer have priority seating or an express pass for the rides.
When planning your trip, it’s all about preference. Do you need the fast pass? Does the priority seating mean that much to you? If not, Cabana Bay sounds like it could be a good fit for you. It will keep you close to the park and other attractions. If you’re a hardcore thrill ride fan, the fast pass is 100% worth it. The lines can be terribly long and, if you’re traveling with kids, the wait can feel even longer.
Take a good look at what you want to accomplish on vacation and see if a Universal Resort is right for you and your family. The price may be worth it!