I have to admit, I never thought I’d stay onsite at any resort. I always believed it was out of budget, and a complete rip off. Of course, it took a trip to Loews Sapphire Falls resort, Universal Studios new onsite hotel to prove me wrong.
There are three different hotel categories onsite at Universal Orlando. Each one designed to suit a different budget.
Premier (the best of the best!) – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel & The Hard Rock Hotel
Preferred (in the middle) – Loews Royal Pacific Resort & Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
Prime Value (cheapest onsite option) – Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Bare this in mind, as some reasons are going to be exclusive to a certain tier of hotel. However, don’t worry I’ll be sure to point all exclusives as we go…
Having previously stayed in a villa in Kissimmee and a hotel on I-Drive. I can’t begin to tell you the difference the location makes to your vacation. An for more reasons you might think;
Firstly, you’re going to have to hire a car. That’s going to take time, and it’s going to cost money. Not only is it going to cost money to hire, it’s going to cost money to park. If you’re from the US this might not be too much of a problem. In fact you might even be travelling to Orlando in your car.
However, if you’re not from the US you’re going to have to learn the rules of the roads if you don’t already.
(and no doubt argue as you try to navigate the five lines of traffic).
If that wasn’t enough of a benefit. Let’s talk about the time!
No more walking in a heard to the car park. No more driving 30 minutes back to your villa. Instead, you can finish your day at the park and be snuggled up relaxing in your bed a few minutes later – Now that’s surely what a holiday is all about?
2. Complimentary Transportation
Each hotel is within easy walking distance of Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk.
However, why walk when you have the option of either a complimentary scenic water taxi or bus? (in some cases, both!)
3. Early Park Admission
All of the hotels onsite at Universal Orlando Resort offer early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (and starting 25th May Universal’s brand new water park, Volcano Bay will be doing the same!)
You may wonder exactly why you’d want to get the park early when it’s often open for 10 – 12 hours a day. But honestly, the ability to visit Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade without the wand-wavers is a serious blessing. It also ensures you can get some pretty fantastic photos of the almost deserted park and skip ahead in the queues for the rides.
4. Room Purchasing & Complimentary Delivery
Upon arrival at your hotel you’ll be asked if you want to leave your credit card on file. They will then link this to your room. It allows you to buy all the food, drink and merch you could possibly desire both at the hotel and at the parks.
Meaning there’s absolutely no need for you to carry around any cash.
However, that’s not the only merchandise associated benefit. If you stay onsite at Universal Orlando then you can also have your park purchases delivered directly to your hotel. When you’re walking miles in the sunshine state the last thing you want to be doing is lugging around bags of stuff – trust me!
Instead you’re left with the ability to enjoy yourself without worrying if you’ve got everything or running back to get that bag from the locker.
5. Skip The Lines At The Parks (For Free!)
If you’re a regular visitor to the Universal parks then you might have seen the Universal Express Unlimited pass. This pass allows you to skip to the front of the queues for 90% of the major rides at both Universal Parks. Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Hogwarts Express, are excluded.
The cost of a Universal Express Unlimited pass varies. However, a pass costs as much as $150 per person during the late December Christmas holiday rush.
All this makes for a huge saving, and a great bonus to your theme park vacation.
However, if you’re considering buying Universals Express Unlimited passes when visiting the park(s) then it’s certainly great value for money to stay in one of these hotels. With five people in a room you’re going to save up to $750!
Just remember you’ll still need your standard park ticket to enter the park.