Best Way To Book A Trip To Universal Studios Orlando
Booking a trip to Universal Studios Orlando for the first time can be confusing, especially if youre looking to make the trip one to remember or adhere to a strict budget.
In our experience, the best way to book a trip to Universal Studios Orlando depends on the type of trip. If youre staying on-site, book a vacation bundle. If youre flying, bundle your flights and hotel together. If youre making it a part of a vacation to Florida, then book things separately.
Weve had experience booking trips to Universal Studios Orlando in various ways for various reasons.
So with that, we wanted to share the lessons we learnt and some tips & tricks you need to know before booking that all-important vacation.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Universal Orlando
If youre not sure when to plan your next Universal vacation, Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.
Guests can also beat the crowds with our Universal Orlando tickets! All guests who purchase their tickets from The Park Prodigy will get Early Park Admission to Universal Orlando! This could save you a ton of time in the parks and avoid buying express passes!
Universal Studios Orlando Early Admission Package
Temporarily not available. There are other Universal Orlando Resort hotels other than the ones listed above , and you can stay at any of them to enjoy extra benefits AND bundle your stay with tickets for extra savings. My favorite reason to stay on the Resort is for one-hour early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universals Volcano Bay . Just keep in mind that different hotels offer different benefits.
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Look For Deals On Vacation Packages
Not only will Universal run deals on vacation packages during the off season however it can be one of the cheapest ways to visit Universal Orlando. The main reason is guests might be able to take advantage of up to 30% off a vacation package depending on the time of year you visit. The second being some of the Universal Orlando hotels come with free express passes. Although the hotels typically cost more per night the savings on the express passes along with the opportunity to skip the lines will allow you to get so much more done in a short amount of time.
How Much Does A Trip To Universal Studios Orlando Cost
How much is an average trip to Universal Studios? Well there are so many considerations and you can do Universal on more of a budget, or an all-out luxury experience.
I think it is important to have an idea of cost, although there are so many variables involved. I will say, Universal is not really a budget vacation, but there are ways to do Universal in a variety of price points.
Universal Orlando Hotels vary from budget to luxury. I priced out two packages for a family of four, with two adults and two children ages 12 and 10, my kids ages! This family is going to stay on property at Universal for 5-nights in July 2021 and plan to visit all 3 parks for four days .
NOTE: PRICES ARE ACCURATE AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING AND ARE TO BE USED FOR COMPARISON PURPOSES ONLY. TO GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR FAMILYS TRAVEL DATES.
Value Package Includes: 5-nights at Universal Cabana Bay in a Standard Room, Round Trip Airport Shuttle Service, Early Morning Hours to Wizarding World of Harry Potter, four days of three park tickets with park-to-park, and Cancel for Any Reason travel protection = $2749.72
NOTE it is $554/day to add Unlimited Express Pass to this reservation. Thats an extra $2216 for the entire stay
Luxury Package Includes: 5-nights at Loews Portofino Bay in a Despicable Me Kids Suite , 4 days of 3 park tickets , Round Trip Airport Shuttle Service, Early Morning Hours to Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Cancel for Any Reason travel protection = $5991.39
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What Extra Charges Add Up When You Are At A Disney Resort
As with any vacation, even if you stay at a Disney Value Resort and book a trip during a time when the price of a Disney World ticket is relatively lower, there may be extra charges that occur when you are staying at a Disney resort and booking a Disney World vacaiton package. Here are some to be aware of:
- In-room dining
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Benefits Of Booking Universal Studios Packages With Orlandovacationcom:
- We have won The best of Orlando Online Travel Agency and Booking Site Award for the past 5 years.
- We offer the best and simplest cancellation policy in Orlando. View our reservation policy.
- After you reserve your tickets, your price wont go up even if the Theme Parks raise their ticket prices after . This can save you hundreds of dollars on your next vacation.
- We simply ask for a small $50 deposit to reserve your booking.
BUILD YOUR OWN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS VACATION PACKAGE
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Universal Orlando Premiere Hotels
Three Universal Orlando resorts fall in this category Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort. These are the top tiers of Universals resorts. These resorts offer extra theming and larger room sizes. Guests staying at these resorts also receive the benefits of other Universal Resorts plus complimentary Unlimited Express Passes and priority seating at select restaurants.
Universal Orlando Value Hotels
Two Universal Orlando resorts fall in this category. These are Universals Endless Summer Resorts Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites. The perks of staying at Universal Orlandos Value hotels include the following: Early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter up to one hour before park opens. Complimentary transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Resort-wide charging privileges with room key. Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel. As well as complimentary club-to-club access to select Universal CityWalk venues for the length of your stay.
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Are Express Pass Upgrades Worth It
This is a bit subjective as it depends on how much time you have and how much you love rides. If you only have one day, but want to see as much as possible, getting a 1-day, 2-park ticket with Universal express passes upgrade is arguably worth it. This will allow you to skip the lines on almost every ride. Ive personally been able to do both parks in a single day with an express pass upgrade.
Now, lets say you just love rides and want to go on as many times as possible, then an express pass upgrade is obviously worth it. For example, one time when I was at Universals Islands of Adventure, the regular wait time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was 75 minutes. With my express pass, I was able to go on four times in 75 mins. Yes, I like Harry Potter a lot.
Getting To Universal Orlando From Mco
Universal offers the Universal SuperStar Shuttle between MCO and the resort. Click that link for our review. The roundtrip cost is $39 per person.
Besides being a shuttle, this service is nothing like Disneys Magical Express service . There is no luggage pickup or delivery service, for example.
Alternatively, an Uber from MCO to Universal Orlando should run you about $20 to $30. This means that with two or more people, it will probably be most cost efficient to use Uber .
You can book other popular shuttle services, like Mears shuttles, or grab a taxi. Finally, for $2 per person, you could take about 2 hours and use public transportation to get to the resort, but we definitely see no reason to recommend that.
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How To Save On Universal Tickets
Tickets are expensive for theme parks and can be over $100.00 a day. If you add park to park tickets or express passes your daily price goes up even more, then times it by the size of your party and you can be spending a lot just to enter the park.
You can shop around for tickets to find your best price. I suggest starting with Universal Orlando Resort website. These prices will show you any deals they are offering and will give you a base line price.
Next I would check out an authorized ticket resale like Get Away Today. We are affiliate partners with them and always check their deals before purchasing tickets.
Look For A Flight Leaving On Tuesdays Wednesdays Or Saturdays
Those days tend to be the cheapest to travel. Booking your actual ticket on a Tuesday mid-afternoon about 3 PM to 4 PM has been said to be the best time to book flights.
The industry is usually updating prices and for some reason Ive been lucky when it comes to booking flights during that time.
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Gate Prices For Tickets
The prices of Universal Studios Orlando tickets rise and fall based on season and demand. If traveling during peak season, it is wise to purchase tickets in advance to avoid surge pricing.
While there are a variety of ticket options, here are some current ticket prices for some popular Universal Orlando tickets bought online, in advance, directly through Universal.
Unlimited Express Passes Another Secret
Universal Orlando has three stunning on-site hotels that offer complimentary Express access: Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Hotel. For any number of reasons, many guests visiting Universals parks dont consider the option of staying on-site at one of these properties, but they should! Forgetting about the unbelievable benefit of Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay, in some cases it just makes sense to stay on-site when you break down the numbers. Lets look at a similar scenario to the one above.
My wife and I are going to Universal Orlando and two of its theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. We are heading there for Fourth of July 2018, and we know it is going to be crazy-busy from looking at the Universal Orlando crowd calendar. We want to do it right with park-to-park admission tickets and Express Passes. We are going to be traveling from July 3rd through the 5th, and were getting three-day tickets for the parks.
In addition to tickets, we also need a place to stay. Because we know were already going to be spending lots of money on admission, we decide we are going to find a moderate two-star hotel in the area thats where well save money!
So, lets take a look at what this could potentially cost us:
Two-park, three-day park-to-park ticket = $284.99, plus tax and fees.
One-day park-to-park Express Pass = $119.99 on July 3 and July 4, $129.99 on July 5 $369.97
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Are Universal Studios Florida And Universals Islands Of Adventure Connected
Universal Studios Florida and Universals Islands of Adventure are separate parks, but are connected to each other via the Harry Potter-themed Hogwarts Express. You need a Park-to-Park ticket enabling same-day access to both parks to ride the Hogwarts Express between the parks.
How do you buy Universal Orlando discount tickets?
*Photos are courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Travel Packages
Get full access to the UOR Crowd Calendar, Lines Mobile App, Touring Plans and More!
“Our TouringPlans subscription was a lifesaver on our trip. One of the busiest days of the year, and we never waited longer than 20 minutes!”
– Smith Family, KY
- Travel Packages
Universal frequently offers vacation packages includinghotel accommodations and park tickets via its in-house travelcompany, Universal Orlando Vacations. You can book a packageyourself by calling 877-801-9720 or by visiting universalorlandovacations.com, or you can contact your preferred travel agent. UniversalOrlando Vacations booked more than 45 days in advance requireonly a $50-per-person deposit that is fully refundable until 45 days out after that, the penalty is$200 per package, though some event tickets may be nonrefundable.
Universal Orlando Vacations also handles group sales if you wantto organize a family reunion at Cabana Bay, call 800-224-4489 andchoose option 3, or visit Universal Orlando Vacations Deals page.
Universal advertises its packages with enticing taglines like, TheWizarding World from only $119 a night! You have to do the math, though, because its difficult for package purchasers to save money overbuying à la carte unless they fully exploit every included component.
Heres an example. A Wizarding World of Harry Potter VacationPackage in late 2020 offered a family of four these components:
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Best Way To Book Universal Studios If Youre Flying To Orlando
If youre flying to Orlando for your Universal Studios trip, then you can save money either by bundling your flight and hotel or your flight, hotel and park tickets .
These savings apply whether youre planning to stay on-site in one of the Universal Studios hotels or off-site in a hotel elsewhere in Orlando.
These vacation packages can be booked with Universal Orlando Resort or on travel websites such as Expedia.
Bookings with Universal directly only allow you to book flights with hotels and park tickets, and these hotels are on-site only.
So if you are looking to save further by staying off-site or plan to only spend a selected portion of your vacation at Universal Studios, then this platform isnt going to be right for you.
I put together a dummy booking to highlight the potential savings available by utilising a flight, hotel and park ticket vacation package on the Universal Studios website.
This booking is based on two people with return flights from Boston on the 7th November to the 10th November .
The most affordable package presented to me by the Universal Studios website was the create your own vacation package, which came to $1,541.50
This package included
- 2 Return flights from Boston on Delta Airlines
- 2 Park to park tickets
- 3 nights at Universal Endless Summer Resort
Booking this same trip separately, I was able to find two return flights at $378.40 with Delta .
I could then book the same hotel for the same three nights for $407.
Tip #: Bring A Backpack And Rent A Locker For The Day
Packing a park bag is a particularly good idea if you plan on going on water rides or if you are visiting during a time of the year when the temperature changes considerably from day to night . Simply rent a locker for the day, and youll have your gear much closer, without having to carry it around all day.
The lockers at the front of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, and all throughout Volcano Bay, can be rented for a flat rate for the day , and you may open and close them as many times as you want on that day. See our complete locker guide for more information.
To put this into an example for you, when we are going to in February at Universal Studios Florida, and we know it may get cold in the evening, well bring a bag with jackets to the parks and rent a locker. After we stow our gear, we head over to Islands of Adventure and play for the day then, in the evening, when we come back to Universal Studios for the parade and/or concert, our jackets are waiting for us in the locker. This is a great way to avoid spending $50 per person on Universal sweatshirts. The same can be said for unexpected rain showers a few emergency ponchos that cost less than a dollar at your local grocery store may save you from buying $20 Universal-branded ones when the heavens open up. This is Florida, after all, but that daily afternoon summer thunderstorm can catch visitors off guard.
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Stay On Property At One Of These 3 Resorts My Favorite Universal Secret
This is one of the best tips for visiting Universal Orlando I have because staying on property makes all the difference in the world and is worth EVERY penny. Let me explain. At first glance, you might notice that you can find cheaper hotels near the Universal Resort in Orlando. But, lets take a closer look.
The three resorts on property include FREE Universal Express Passes for each hotel guest , early park admission, priority seating at many restaurants in City Walk and FREE transportation around the resort. The Universal Express Passes alone would cost you $84.99 per person x 4 guests = $339.96 per day. So, the $100 you are saving a night on your room is NOT worth it! Y
Staying on property at Universal Studios Florida also means you can take advantage of the beautiful walkways and boat rides available to hotel guests. Its a convenient way to get around!
Nearby Hotels: Tips Discounts & Deals
Staying off-site at a hotel near Universal can be a great way to save money. Compared to the on-site hotels you can get a room that is just as good, and in some cases better, at a price thats significantly easier on the wallet. All of these hotels offer FREE scheduled transportation to and from Universal Orlando.
Our top choice for offsite stays near Universal is the Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort. It offers excellent value and in a great location for exploring Orlando. Weve negotiated special offers for MouseSavers readers that make this hotel hard to beat.
If the Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort doesnt meet your needs or is sold out, we recommend the Embassy Suites Orlando , which also offers good bang for the buck.
If being within walking distance to Universal is important to you, check out the Doubletree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando.
Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort
Comfortable king rooms or queen rooms that sleep up to 5 include Wi-Fi, 32 LCD flat-screen TVs, a microwave and mini-fridge, coffee maker, hairdryer and an iron and ironing board. Larger 1-bedroom suites can sleep up to 6 people . The 1-bedroom suites feature a separate living room with a pull-out queen sofa sleeper and a private bedroom with two queen beds or one king bed an an additional TV.
Embassy Suites Orlando
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