Orlando is a city that thrives on tourist attractions. It’s easy to get around if you have a car. But not everyone wants to contend with commuter traffic plus the added rush of tourist traffic. What’s more, traffic is a problem all 7 days of the week since tourists and locals who run the attractions, hotels, and restaurants are moving around every day of the week. Ditching a car in Orlando can therefore be a very tempting prospect. But how do you get around Universal Orlando then?
Several Orlando hotels offer shuttle services to Universal and other tourist destinations. Shuttle transportation is an easy way to get to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk. We’ve put together a list of 10 Orlando hotels with shuttles to Universal Orlando. We’ve included budget as well as luxury resorts, so there’s something that’s bound to be right for your family.
While it’s not difficult to get around town, it can be expensive if you end up staying at the wrong hotel in Orlando. That’s why it helps to know your options when deciding on a hotel. By booking a hotel with a shuttle service to Universal Orlando, you can save money and leave the hassle of driving and parking to others.
Note: Some Orlando hotels have suspended their shuttle services to Universal Orlando during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please double check with the hotel directly before making reservations.
Does Universal Orlando offer a free airport shuttle?
Universal offers a SuperStar Shuttle Program for one-way and round-trip transportation between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Universal Orlando Resort Hotels such as Loews Portofino Bay Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, Universal’s Cabana Beach Resort, and more. The time taken for the transfer is approximately 30 minutes each way. This service is not free, however. The Universal SuperStar shuttle costs $39 per adult round trip ($29 per child 3-9 years) and $23 per adult one way ($18 per child 3-9 years).
How to get around in Universal Studios Florida?
Besides driving, there are other ways of getting around Universal Orlando. You can use the I-Ride Trolley, a tram system that makes more than 75 stops between SeaWorld in the south and the Orlando Premium Outlets International Drive in the north. The trolleys run 7 days a week, every 20 minutes, between 8 am and 10:30 pm. The cost for a single ride is $2.00 per adult, $1.00 per child (ages 3-9), and $0.25 for seniors (65+). Exact change is required (drivers don’t carry cash). You can also get a day pass for unlimited I-Trolley rides at $5 per person. A multi-day pass is $7 for 3 days, $9 for 5 days, $12 for 7 days, and $18 for 14 days.
Can you Uber to Universal Orlando?
If you’re headed outside of the International Drive resort area, then I-Trolley is out but Uber is an option. Requesting a ride to or from Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, or Universal CityWalk is easy through the Uber app. An Uber from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Universal Studios will set you back by anything from $25 to $75, depending on the time of day, traffic, the type of car you choose, and demand for Uber services.
What hotels in Orlando have free shuttles to Universal Studios Florida?
The third option to get around Universal Orlando is to stay at a hotel with a shuttle service. Here are the top 10 Orlando hotels with shuttles to Universal Orlando.
Super 8 by Wyndham Orlando International Drive
Located only 3 minutes’ drive from Universal Orlando, this budget hotel on International Drive offers a free shuttle service to Universal Orlando. The shuttles leave for Universal Orlando at 8:55 am and 11:50 am. Pick up is at 7:15 pm and 10:15 pm. The hotel also has a shuttle to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From here you can switch to Disney transportation to get to the other Disney World theme parks. This makes it a great option for families who want to visit both Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.
Best Western Plus Universal Inn
This is another Orlando hotel located close to Universal Orlando, just 3 minutes’ drive. All guest rooms have a coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator. Guests also enjoy free wi-fi and cable TV with HBO. But best of all, if you don’t have a car, this Orlando hotel has free shuttles to Universal Orlando.
Hilton Garden Inn Orlando International Drive North
It’s a centrally located mid-range Orlando hotel that is close to some of the city’s most popular attractions, including Universal Orlando. There is a free shuttle to the Universal theme parks. Other facilities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, and onsite bar.
Four Points by Sheraton Orlando International Drive
Located on International Drive, this hotel is only 1 mile from Universal Orlando Resort. Besides a free shuttle to Universal Orlando, this hotel also provides guests with a free shuttle to Epcot. From Epcot, you can catch Disney transportation to other parks in Disney World. Another great choice for people without a car in Orlando who want to visit both Universal and Disney.
Double Tree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando
If you want to be at the center of all the action in Universal Orlando, this hotel is seriously difficult to beat. Not only does it have first-class amenities including an Olympic size pool, but it also has an enviable location across the entrance from Universal Orlando Resort. Of course, given the location, the hotel offers free transfers to Universal Orlando. However, if you’re headed to Disney World, you’ll have to take an Uber or Lyft.
Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel
Free shuttle transportation to Universal Orlando and SeaWorld is not the only thing that draws guests to this budget Orlando hotel. There is an outdoor pool, two hot tubs, complimentary wi-fi, and an onsite deli and restaurant.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Orlando – Universal
This Orlando hotel with shuttles to Universal Orlando is very close to Universal Orlando Resort. You’ll get there in a jiffy (5 minutes’ drive). Free wi-fi, a fabulous fitness center, a swimming pool, and an onsite restaurant means this hotel ticks all the boxes for a great Orlando vacation.
Ramada Suites by Wyndham Orlando International Drive
Ideally located in the center of all the action on International Drive and less than a mile from Universal Orlando, this hotel has free shuttles to Universal Orlando. It is a great option for families or couples who want self-catering accommodations. All suites at this property feature a kitchenette. There’s also a swimming pool and a spa and wellness center.
Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Looking for a luxury hotel with free transportation to Universal Orlando? You can’t go wrong with the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. This Orlando hotel offers a free transfer service to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure. Universal’s CityWalk is a 5-minute walk away. What’s more, you also get Early Park Admission 1 hour before opening to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay.
Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel
If you want to quickly hop over to Universal CityWalk, Universal Studios Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, consider staying at the Hard Rock Hotel. Not only does this Orlando hotel provide complimentary shuttle busses to Universal Orlando, you can even walk over or take a water taxi to Universal CityWalk. And you get free Universal Express Unlimited Rides. You can skip the lines at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. But all this doesn’t come cheap. Room rates at the Hard Rock Hotel are $500 per night and above.
Let us know in the comments below if you have a favorite Orlando hotel with shuttles to Universal Orlando. We’d love to check some new properties out!