When you’re planning your Universal Studios Orlando vacation, the two fundamental lodging options are on-site, where you can walk to the rides but will pay significantly more, or off-site, where you will have to take a bit longer to get to the park, but can save a decent chunk of money. The biggest problem with off-site is paying for parking and taking the time to drive — but a hotel that offers a free shuttle to Universal Orlando is the happy medium that can make the most of a vacation. Make the reservation at the same time that you buy your Universal Studios tickets, and you’ll be ready. Here are our suggestions for family-oriented rooms with good prices and free transport:
Just a few miles from Universal, the lauded Celebration Suites offers a heated outdoor pool, a game room, an in-room kitchen (or Continental breakfast), and rooms for up to 8 people.
CoCo Key Hotel
Right there on the famous International Drive, the CoCo Key is, as you might imagine, an island-themed resort that has its own water park. The rooms only go up to 4 people each, but up to 3 kids below 18 (!!!) stay free!
Doubletree at Universal Studios
Smack dab at the entrance to Universal Studios, the Doubletree Hotel awaits. The rooms are comfortable and clean, and the breakfast buffet is excellent (as are the three other restaurants). The rooms hold up to four.
Holiday Inn at Universal Orlando
The Holiday Inn also has a branch directly outside Universal Studios; this one offers an outdoor pool and kitchenette in each room in addition to the on-site dining options. Suites can hold up to 8 people.
Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa
Several miles south of Universal, the Lake Buena Vista is a little further away than most on this list, but is also a little less expensive — a great price-saving reservation to pair with your Universal Studios tickets. Rooms sleep up to 10 people, and there’s both on-site restaurants and kitchens in each suite.
Quality Suites – The Royale Parc
The Quality Suites can house up to 8 people in a suite, and while they’re not the closest place to Universal, they do offer one surprising (and useful!) benefit that no one else does — a free, full, hot breakfast to wolf down before you get on the free transport to Universal. That’s convenience!
Whichever you choose, we’re confident that getting a free ride to the park is the most economical and most effective way to enjoy Universal Studios Orlando.