I was provided a discounted vacation during my visit to Universal Orlando Resort. All opinions are my own.
Our summer vacation was awesome! We spent about 10 days visiting Florida and 6 of those days were spent in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios Orlando! I’m a Florida girl. I have been to Orlando more time than I can count. My family lived there, so we would visit them and the parks all the time.
But this trip was amazing – probably one of the best family vacations we have ever taken – and I will tell you why! This is a quick overview of where we stayed and more. But I will be back with a recap of where to eat and what rides my kids loved. Plus some other tricks I want to share with you to make your vacation the best ever!
This was the first vacation we took where it wasn’t primarily to visit family. We stayed at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. This is a newer resort, and it is amazing! Plus if you are traveling with a large family – they have a room for you.
7 Reasons To Stay Onsite At Universal Orlando Resort
Early Entrance to the parks!
When you stay at an on-site hotel like Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, you can get into Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay 1 hour early! That gives you plenty of time to head to the back of the park and do as much as you would like – especially if you are a Harry Potter fan!
No need for a car!
This was such a great perk. Usually we stay with family, so we get up early, fight the Orlando traffic, park at Universal Orlando and walk to the parks. Not this trip! We parked our minivan on Tuesday and didn’t get back into it until we left on Saturday night!
We took a boat, shuttle, or a short walk back and forth from the attractions and our hotel. There was hardly ever a wait. We didn’t have to leave the park for entertainment, food, groceries, etc. It made it very relaxing!
FREE Universal Express Unlimited Pass:
This is a huge perk! You don’t have to wait in line! This would be my #1 reason to stay at an onsite hotel. It saves you so much time so you enjoy more rides during your stay! This perk is only included for guests at the three luxury Universal Resort Hotels (Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Sapphire Falls excluded) at no extra cost, allowing each person staying on-site an unlimited number of rides on any attraction which participates in Universal Express.
You can check out this comparison chart to see what resort is best for you!
Get Priority Restaurant Seating
When you are hungry you want to eat! But sometimes the lines at the restaurants can be long. If you don’t want to eat at an off-peak hour – just flash your room key, and you will get special treatment. Another option is to make reservations. Some Universal Orlando restaurants use OpenTable for online reservations, while others require calling ahead to make reservations.
Your Room Key is Your Credit Card!
If you don’t want to carry your wallet – just link a credit card to your room key! Plus you can have any of your purchases delivered to your room. (Bonus tip- Download the Universal App. You can find a coupon code to save $10 off $75 when you use your American Express card. Plus this app is so useful for many other things!)
Take a Midday Nap:
Walking around in the Florida sun is exhausting! When you stay onsite you can quickly get back to your hotel and rest. You could even grab something to eat, take a dip in the pool, and head back to the parks for a few hours before they close. You would never want to do that if you had to drive back to your hotel.
Relax By The Pool!
I have only stayed at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and we loved the pool! It’s the perfect way to relax and cool off after a long day at the park. This hotel had a slide and lots of shallow areas so that the kids could have more freedom to roam around the pool. We were also fascinated at the efficiency of the lifeguards. They were on top of things and they were very diligent to make sure nothing was missed during a shift change.
My kids loved the outdoor dining options next to the pool. The staff was extra friendly and helpful and the food was delicious!
The rooms were nice and spacious and we had a refrigerator to store our leftover and cold drinks!
You have several resorts to pick from during your stay. They have something to fit everyone’s budget.
- Premier – Hard Rock, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
- Preferred -Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort
- Prime Value – Cabana Bay Beach Resort
If you are thinking about going to Universal Studios Orland for a family vacation – bookmark these tips! I know that staying at an onsite resort really made this a much better vacation for our family. It was less stressful for me because food choices were abundant. They even have Moe’s, Subway, Panda Express, Burger King, Starbucks, and more cheap and quick options available at City Walk.
I was less stressed because I didn’t feel like I had to rush around the park because we had express passes. And I knew if we got tired we could go back to the resort and relax.
Visit Universal Orlando to book your next epic vacation!