I always recommend staying onsite at one of Universal Orlando’s 8 resort hotels during your vacation, but now it is even more important than it was previously. The park capacities are limited at this time. When Universal counts how many guests they allow in the parks each day, all onsite guests are included in that count and guaranteed entry with their park admission. Onsite guests also receive early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay, one hour before the park opens.

What to Expect at the Resort

Checking In – When entering the resort, you need to wear a face covering and temperature checks are given upon arrival. You will be given a wristband to wear in the color for that day.

They ask that one person wait in line and check in for your group.

Pro Tip: Bring a travel size pair of scissors to cut the wristband off at the end of each day.

Face Coverings – They must be worn around the resort at all times when walking around inside or outside in the main areas. You may remove them when in your room, seated in a dining area or in the pool area. If you are leaving your table to pick up a mobile order, your face covering must be worn.

Pools – You may remove your face coverings. Life jackets are available for you to use and are sanitized after each use. A large bin is available to put used life jackets in to be sanitized. In the pool area, they ask that you are respectful of other guests and social distance when choosing a seat and in the pool. Pools are currently open 9 am – 10 pm. If a resort has more than one pool, some pool areas may be closed or have limited times they are available.

Dining – In Food Courts, Marketplaces, and Restaurants, face coverings are required and social distancing markers are located in lines. Seating in the food courts and restaurants is spaced out to every other table and some areas may be closed.

Transportation – Transportation to and from CityWalk and the parks is available to use. You will be required to have a wristband from your temperature check to take the transportation. Depending on the resort, you can take either a shuttle bus or boat. There is also a walking path available and easily accessible from most of the resorts.

Which Resort should I choose?

There are 8 onsite resort hotels with different theming and amenities.

  • Value – Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites (Dockside Inn and Suites reopening TBA)
  • Prime Value – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel
  • Preferred – Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
  • Premier – Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel reopening TBA)

All of the resorts include these onsite perks:

  • Early Park Admission To The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before the 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
  • Enjoy Complimentary Club-To-Club Access To Select Universal CityWalk Venues for the length of stay. All guests need to do is show their room key to receive entry into the clubs

Premier Resorts include these additional perks:

  • Free Universal Express Unlimited
  • Priority Seating At Select Restaurants Throughout The Resort

While my family was at Universal, the crowds were low and wait times weren’t very long. We stayed at Loews Royal Pacific Resort which offered the complimentary Universal Express Unlimited with our stay. While we may not have needed it since most rides did not exceed a 30 minute wait at that time, we still loved having it because it basically gave us front of the line access for the rides. Since we didn’t know what the crowds would be like in advance, it was worth it to us to have it. We were able to do so much more during our 3 park days. If your budget allows it, I recommend staying at a hotel that offers the Express Pass with your stay, especially if you know you will be visiting at a busier time of the year.

When deciding if now is the right time for you to make travel plans, I always recommend that you consult your doctor first and refer to the current CDC guidelines. Visitors from out of state should be aware of and comply with government guidelines regarding travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines before visiting the Universal Orlando Resort. When you’re ready to travel, I’m ready and I can’t wait to help you plan an amazing vacation to the Universal Orlando Resort! My services are always complimentary when you book your vacation with me. Thank you for supporting my small business!

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