When our clients think about a theme park vacation in Orlando, they rarely consider the word 'relaxation' to be part of that equation. But, I am here to tell you, a vacation at Universal Orlando can be just that, relaxing! Below we have five key points going into great detail why you can truly enjoy your family time when visiting Universal and also relax at the same time!
1. The convenience here is huge! Almost all of Univeral's hotels offer very pretty walking paths that can take you from one hotel to another or to CityWalk, Universal Studios Florida, or Islands of Adventure. At night the walking paths are well lit. Another neat benefit of staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura Hotel, and Sapphire Falls Resort is that these hotels also offer a dedicated walking path straight to Volcano Bay. Water taxis are also available at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Taking a water taxi in the morning is a great way to start your day, it is relaxing with beautiful scenery. The water taxi takes you straight from the hotel to Universal CityWalk where you can then walk over to Universal’s Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida. There is also complimentary shuttle bus service from Endless Summer as well as all of the other resorts.
2. One of our favorite stress-free benefits of staying on Universal Orlando property is the complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Pass your traveling party gets when staying at one of their three Premier properties, Loews Portifino Bay, Hard Rock, and Loews Royal Pacific. While the Express Unlimited Pass is free to those guests staying in one of the above mentioned resorts, don't you worry, you can still purchase it as an add on to any ticket purchase whether your staying on property or not. This pass is worth its weight in gold, especially during peak traveling seasons and the summer when it is extremely hot out. This feature allows you to pretty much skip the stand by line and walk right onto the attraction! (Disclaimer - Hagrids is not one of those attractions available yet with Express Pass) I love being able to know that there is no type of planning we need to do to make a specific ride we may want to do, and have the ability to just enjoy ourselves and allow the magic to happen spontaneously, not because we have over scheduled ourselves.
3. Their flexible dining options! There is no need to worry or stress about making dining reservations months in advance when you are visiting Universal Orlando. You can always walk up to almost any restaurant and never wait more than maybe 30 minutes at the most. Plus guests staying at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel receive priority seating at select restaurants. (Disclaimer- this is subject to change and availability may be limited during peak times or some weekends). We also love their great dining plans. Unlike other Orlando area vacations, Universal Orlando's dining plan offers the flexibility of tailoring it to whatever guests need it. Your whole traveling party is not required to have it in order to participate in the dining plan.
4. They allow pool hopping! Guests staying in Prime Value, Preferred and Premier hotels can pool hop simply by showing their room keys at other resort pools. As we chatted above, guests can walk to other resorts by utilizing those walking paths or take boat/bus transportation between resorts. The only resort that does not offer pool hopping is the Endless Summer value hotels Dockside and Surfside Suites. They also offer complimentary swim diapers, pool noodles, sunscreen and ice water at many of their pools. Each pool offers a unique experience. We totally recommend allowing an extra day or two of your vacation completely dedicated strictly to enjoying pool hopping.
5. Volcano Bay, Volcano Bay, Volcano Bay! This is probably the most relaxing water park you will ever visit with a vast array of slides and attractions. Volcano Bay tackles the inconveniences of carrying tubes and waiting in long lines by completely eliminating them by utilizing their ground breaking technology called TapuTapu. It is an interactive bracelet that you'll receive when you enter the park, it is free and required to wear (you will give it back at the end of the day when you leave). How does it work? You will see the current wait time when you arrive at a ride and you will just touch your TapuTapu on the totem pole if you want to get "on line" virtually. After doing this you are free to grab a cocktail, something to eat or hang out in the lazy river or wave pool while your waiting for your TapuTapu to alert you when it's time to ride. You can also take shots at special photo spots and get photos taken automatically on select attractions. The bracelet will also open and lock your lockers with a tap, and you can even use it to pay for food, drinks and merchandise.
Depending on when you are reading this blog, some of the amenities and activities we discussed may be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but we hope to see them re-open in the future. Please make sure to check with your Starstuff Travel Planner to confirm any of the information and updates you may be interested in. To book your next Universal Orlando vacation reach out to a planner by clicking here!
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