Universal Orlando Transportation 101

Universal Orlando Resort offers guests a full vacation experience featuring three parks, seven hotels, and a shopping/dining/entertainment center. Guests staying at one of Universal’s onsite hotels have access to a number of benefits including early entry into the parks, free hotel package delivery, and our favorite, free resort-wide transportation. The relative closeness of most of Universal’s offerings helps make a visit to the resort far more manageable than it might seem. The use of complimentary transportation options can help streamline your trip even more, so let’s take a look at all of the ways to get around the resort.

Water Taxi

Guests staying at select Universal hotels have access to one of our favorite ways to get around the resort. Water Taxis are owned and operated by Universal and offer complimentary boat transportation between Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal CityWalk. From the CityWalk dock, guests can take a short walk to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Water Taxi service usually begins 30 minutes prior to early park openings, and run until around 2 AM. Boats are run roughly every 15 minutes and guests can expect a travel time of fewer than 10 minutes to their destination.

While the water taxis only travel between certain hotels, the service is available to all Universal Orlando guests. So if you’re staying at Cabana Bay, but have dinner reservations at Royal Pacific, you can utilize the boats to get to your meal. Be aware that you may be asked to present a resort hotel key to board in the later evening hours.

Shuttle Bus

The second option for Universal onsite hotel guests is the resort’s complimentary bus transportation. The shuttle bus is offered at all Universal hotels, including Endless Summer Resort which is off of the main campus. Shuttle buses begin service an hour before early theme park openings and operate until around 2 AM. For Volcano Bay, bus service runs from an hour before opening until an hour after closing.

Guests staying at Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort or Sapphire Falls Resort can expect buses to CityWalk and the theme parks to run every 30 minutes. Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura Hotel, and Endless Summer buses run every 15 minutes.

Walking Path

Guests of Universal Orlando also have a third option to get around the resort. Most Universal hotels have walking paths that lead to CityWalk and the parks. Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort, and Sapphire Falls Resort are all relatively close to theme park entrances and offer short walks from the hotel to the gates. Walking access is also available from Cabana Bay and Aventura, but these are a bit farther away and not as easy to use.

Guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura Hotel and Sapphire Falls Resort can enjoy a separate dedicated walking path straight to Volcano Bay. 

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Photos Courtesy Universal