We want to chat with you for a bit about why you want to stay on-site at the Universal Studios Florida theme parks. The options for the Universal Orlando Resort are some of the most reasonable on-site accommodations out there in terms of the perks for staying on-site.
We stayed on-site on our last trip. Never again will I stay off-site for the Universal Orlando Resort when visit Universal Studios Florida. It was completely amazing in every way.
We have stayed on-site at Disney World, which is a great option too, but the biggest benefit was that the cheapest Universal Studios hotel was much nicer and much more luxurious than an expensive Disney World resort.
That was one of the best benefits to me. I didn’t have to shell out a ton of money to feel like I was staying at a 5-star resort!
Now don’t get me wrong. When I am at Disney World, I want to stay on-site, even if the rooms are like a Motel 6 with a Disney overlay for the cheap option. I don’t mind and the total experience makes up for the lack of nice rooms.
But I was surprised the first time we stayed on-site at Universal Orlando. I paid less per night than the Disney hotels, but the rooms and resort were 5 times nicer! In our transition from Disneyworld to Universal Studios on our trip, I felt like we had gone from a Motel 6 to The Ritz-Carlton in the same day.
So let me share with you why you want to stay on-site at Universal Orlando Resort.
Reason #1 – The Price
Many people think that the biggest savings comes from not staying on-site. This is certainly true for Disneyland and even for Universal Studios Hollywood.
But in Florida, this is not true. The cost of the accommodations is super stellar, especially compared to the perks.
But you can stay on-site for around $100-$125 a night!
Start by booking their most affordable resort – Cabana Bay. Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort is a close second. There are also three more resorts that go up in price, plus a brand new resort opening in 2018 that will also be on the lower affordable end. So three budget resorts and three pricier resorts, but all a good value compared to off-site hotel chains. We can book Cabana Bay for around $100 – $125 a night in the off-season and about $150 for Loew’s Sapphire Falls resort. There are not many hotels in general that are much less than this in tourist areas, so the cost was totally worth it.
To get some great deals on rooms, whether in off-season or peak-season, sign up for the Universal Orlando Resort email promotions and watch those emails. These deals, combined with going off-season, combined with their “stay more, save more” deal, means you can get a dramatic savings. This deal drops the price of your room even more if you are staying 4 or more nights or 7 or more nights. We personally stayed for 7 nights exactly, so we were able to book the lowest price with all of these methods combined.
Check out the video of us trying out the new Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort:
Reason #2 – The Free Transportation
Just like Disney, Universal Orlando Resort offers free transportation all around their resort.
They do not have free airport transportation, which would be awesome, but the other forms of transportation are just as valuable. We flew into Florida, so we didn’t have our own vehicle. Once we grabbed an Uber from the Disney resort to the Universal Orlando Resort, we didn’t need to worry about transportation.
There are shuttle buses and water taxis to Universal Studios and Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. We did not need a vehicle the whole time. For our family, this saved us a HUGE amount of money in car rentals, in Uber costs (just the one time to/from the airport) and the convenience of being on site.
The water taxis are a much faster ride than they are at Disney. Transportation by water is very efficient at Universal Orlando Resort. The buses were a little slow, but we also walked as the hotels are close to the parks. It was nice that everything was so close together.
Reason #3 – The Accommodations
I already mentioned this in my opening, but just in case you didn’t catch it: The on-site resorts are AMAZING!! Even the cheapest on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort is a 5-star resort. It was like a first-class experience the whole time. Every one of the 5 hotels on-site has an amazing pool with water slides. This is where we spent all of our non-park time.
We stayed at the Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort. The whole hotel was incredibly beautiful! I was feeling so relaxed and pampered just by staying in such a beautiful place. I have visited many theme parks and I was surprised by how nice these resorts were for the price.
Reason #4 – The Amenities
This is what is truly awesome about the Universal Orlando Resort – you can stay at any of the on-site hotels and enjoy the amenities and pools at all of the hotels. No joke!
So…as you can imagine, we stayed at the one of the cheaper of the 5 hotels, but got to enjoy the pools, hot tubs, water slides and amenities of all 5 hotels. And since they are all very close together, we could walk or take a water taxi. It was quite simple and fast.
All of the pools had water slides. Cabana Bay had a lazy river that we spent a couple of hours rotating around and around and just relaxing. All of the pools had a “beach like” atmosphere with white sand and graduating water. Some of the resorts had poolside games, bars and activities.
One night, we bought s’mores kits and roasted marshmallows and had s’mores from the fire pit, while digging our feet in the white sand. It was amazing!
Some of the pools also had kiddie splash pads and areas too, perfect for those little ones. We seriously took full advantage of this benefit! Disney does not allow resort hopping, so I am so grateful that Universal does as this was a highlight of our trip.
We share a video of one of our nights at Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort, including the s’mores night!
Reason #5 – Ticket Upgrades
But the reasons why you should stay on site gets better….
So not only did can you enjoy all of the resorts, including the luxury 5-star expensive on-site resort pools and amenities, many of the resorts offer free ticket upgrades!
At certain times and during certain promotions, guests staying on the on-site resorts can often get free express pass upgrades on their tickets. These are basically “front of the line” tickets, where the lines are significantly shorter. This makes the cost of staying on-site that much more affordable and worth it.
Reason #6 – Early Entrance
If the reasons couldn’t get any better, they just have. As a resort guest, you get free early entrance into the parks. I said “free” but it is a benefit that cannot even be purchased from anywhere. Only resort guests get 1-hour early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay. Trust us, you will want this perk at both of these hot spots! That early 1-hour made all of the difference in the world at Volcano Bay.
Reason #7 – Convenience
This really is a reason to consider. In everyday life, we pay good money for convenience. Well, why not save money, get the perks and the convenience all in one? Staying on-site makes for a much more convenient, relaxing trip.
That is a priceless reason!
In this 30-minute video, I share the perks and benefits between the two current value resorts of Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls resort! Enjoy!
We will be sharing lots more videos and tips for your trip to Universal Orlando Resort! We have so much to share, but I have to limit my tips to very specific things, or these posts would be books!