It may not be the first thing you think of when you think of visiting Universal Orlando, but for first time visitors to the Orlando theme park parking is a hot topic. That’s why Best of Orlando has decided to break down the many different parking options and tips for Universal Orlando Resort, which includes access to Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk.
When you first arrive at Universal Orlando there are two huge parking garages for all three venues (the Universal hotels have their own parking lots, as well as RV/Bus lots, and valet lots), but no matter where you go during your day, you won’t have to move your car again until you leave. That’s easy enough, right? It’s definitely not as hard as you think.
Once you get in to one of Universal Orlando’s parking areas, you have five parking options:
General – General parking is the most economic option and allows you to park in one of the two Universal Orlando parking garages. This is a good option, if you arrive early, you can get a good spot near the hub. If you arrive later, the distance to the entrance varies.
Preferred – A step up from general parking, preferred parking will get a spot closer to the central transportation hub (which usually takes about 5 to 8 minutes to walk from your car to the hub, then about 15 more minutes to get from the hub to the entrance of either theme park). Even though you should get a better spot, we still recommend getting to Universal early, a good rule of thumb.
Valet – Valet at Universal Orlando is available and will get you closer to Universal CityWalk entrance with their own security station (so you don’t have to get in the long lines that can form at the regular security bag check area,) and at only about a ten-minute walk to the theme park entrances as opposed to that 15 minute walk if using the other options. Plus, Tesla and Clipper Creek charging stations are now available in the valet parking area to any guests who valet park their electric vehicles.
Red Carpet Valet Service – You can upgrade your valet and have your car parked even closer to the entrance than regular valet. This red carpet service also guarantees your vehicle in less than 5 minutes, and if there is a line at the valet; you get to skip it and hand your ticket to the next attendant.
RV / Bus Parking – RV, campers, and bus parking have their own parking lot. Follow the signs to find the area.
After 6pm Parking – Also good to keep in mind, Universal Orlando has introduced free self-parking after 6 p.m. for all guests, except for busy nights like during Halloween Horror Nights and other special events. Please note, additional restrictions may apply and subject to change without notice.
Save your receipt for reentry – If you leave Universal Orlando and decide to come back that same day you do not have to pay for parking again. Just make sure you hang on to your receipt.
Take a picture of your Parking Section – Now, most people can remember where they parked their car usually, but if you’re spending multiple days at Universal Orlando Resort, which I suggest, so you can see everything they have to offer; you’ll be parking in the garage many days. This is when I might get confused on where I parked because days can start to blend. But alas, easy solution to the problem, take out your phone and take a picture of the section (Hint: family & friends can join the photo too!)
Be the First with Good Timing – If you want to be one of the first people to enter the theme park, not including guests with early entry access. You’re going to want to account for your parking travel time. Usually, it can take anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes to get from your car to the entrance of Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios. Keep that in mind, when you are planning your morning. The parking garage opens at 6:00 am, so you can be parked and ready to go well before the opening.
Help! My car…. – So the light in the car was left on all day, you can’t find your car, or any other vehicle assistance, Universal Orlando will take care of you. There are call boxes throughout the parking garage, where you can call a parking attendant for help to get a battery jump or something else as a courtesy.
Drop-Off – If you would like to be dropped off at Universal Orlando, and not pay any parking fees, then proceed to the bus parking lot to be dropped off. There are escalators that will take you to where you need to go. After, this is the same spot where you can get a taxi to take you back.
Kennel Services – Travelling with your dog or cat? You can board your pets for the day by following the signs to the RV and Camper parking lot, where you’ll find the kennel in the left side corner.
Strollers on Moving Walkways – Don’t do it. It’s not allowed. If you have a stroller please do not use the moving walkways.
Moving Walkways Etiquette – Just like traffic, if you decide to stand on the moving walkways, please remain on the right side, and let guests walking on the moving walkway pass on the left side.
Now that you know the ins and outs to parking at Universal Orlando you can find discounted tickets to the Orlando theme park right here on Best of Orlando.
Orlando, FL – 11/8/17
By: Jena Pugh and Alex Mateo