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Everything You Need to Know About Universal Orlando Parking

Everything You Need to Know About Universal Orlando Parking

The most important thing you need to know about parking at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is that they play the Jaws theme song on one of the levels. Okay, maybe that’s the most important thing to ME considering it’s one of my favorite films OF ALL TIME. But I still thought it was worth mentioning.

When compared to Disney, I think Universal Orlando parking is spectacular. Here’s everything you need to know about Universal Orlando parking, including how much it costs and what to expect from the moment you enter the parking garage. Let’s go!

How Much is Parking at Universal Orlando? 

Parking at Universal Orlando is divided into different tiers. These daily cover costs for different tiers include:

  • Regular Parking: $27
  • Bus/RV Parking: $32
  • Prime Upgrade: $33
  • Prime Parking $60

Guests utilizing either Avis or Budget car rentals from the Orlando International Airport can receive a voucher for a complimentary update to prime parking upon paying for regular parking. 

Self-parking is free for guests after 6:00 pm except during Halloween Horror Nights, as well as for matinee moving showings from 11:00 am-6:00 pm with a purchase of at least two or more matinee tickets from Universal Cinemark. However, this comes with a caveat. Guest will be required to pay for regular parking upon arrival, but will later be reimbursed when they present their parking receipt at the movie theater. 

It’s important to keep in mind that prices for preferred parking may increase during popular times, such as during summer break and the holiday season. 

Valet Parking at Universal Orlando

The price for valet parking at Universal Orlando Florida varies depending on the time of day and how long you’re visiting. Here are the breakdowns: 

  • Before 6:00pm: $27 for 2 hours; $75 for over 2 hours
  • After 6:00pm: $27 for 2 hours; $40 for over 2 hours; $50 for over 2 hours during Mardi Gras concert night celebrations

Universal Orlando Preferred annual passholders will receive 50% off their first valet, depending on availability, whereas Premier Annual Passholders will get free valet parking on every visit (again, subject to availability). 

How Accessible is the Parking at Universal Orlando?

If you or anyone else in your party needs assistance, you can rent a wheelchair at the park’s transportation center located in the parking garage. 

You can also let a team member know that you need accessible parking upon entry and will then be guided to the nearest available spot. 

What if I’m Only Visiting CityWalk? Do I Still Need to Pay for Parking? 

Unfortunately, yes. Unlike other theme parks in the area (hint, hint, Disney Springs) that have their own parking garages/areas, Universal Orlando uses one for all of their theme parks, water parks, and CityWalk. This means that if you visit CityWalk before 6:00 pm (except during Halloween Horror Nights), you’ll have to pay at least $27 for regular parking, even if you’re just visiting one of the gift shops real quick. 

How to Get to Volcano Bay from the Universal Orlando Parking Garage

Guests planning to spend the day at Volcano Bay will have to park on the first level of the parking garage and board the complimentary Volcano Bay shuttle. 

How Much Does it Cost to Park at a Universal Studios Hotel? 

Like the parking garage, parking costs at Universal Studios Orlando are categorized into four tiers depending on the resort you’re staying at. Like Disney, Universal Orlando resorts are categorized due to their cost and amenities:

  • Premier: These are the most expensive resorts and include Portofino Bay Resort, Royal Pacific Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel. Guests at these resorts will enjoy priority seating at Universal restaurants, complimentary water taxi transportation to CityWalk, and Universal Express Unlimited, which allows you to skip the regular one time per participating attraction. 
  • Preferred: This includes the Sapphire Falls Resort. Guests staying here will be able to book a variety of different suiters, and enjoy gorgeous theming. 
  • Prime Value: This includes the Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Guests at these resorts will not have access to complimentary water taxi transportation but will have free shuttle transportation to the parks or the option to walk over. 
  • Value: This includes the Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Guests will enjoy spacious, ocean-inspired rooms, dazzling pools, free shuttle transportation to the parks, and on-site pizza delivery for those exhausting nights where you don’t want to leave your room. 

Parking at Universal Studios resorts varies depending on how they’re valued:

  • Premier hotels: $28 per night
  • Preferred hotels: $26 per night
  • Prime Value hotels: $18 per night
  • Value hotels: $15 per night

Can I Get Free Parking With Hotel Stay and AP at Universal Studios Orlando?

Unfortunately, no. While being a Universal Studios AP holder offers excellent benefits, including discounts on rooms and dining, all guests will have to pay for parking in some way, shape, or form, including at the hotel. 

Read more: Guide To Harry Potter Wands at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Parking Hack

If you want to reduce the costs of parking at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, then we have some tips for you: 

1. Visit After 6:00 pm

While this might not be doable if you’re planning a week-long vacation, visiting after 6:00 pm is a great option for Florida locals or those who just want to squeeze in an extra ride or two before their vacation wraps up. 

2. Use a Rideshare Service

While you’ll still have to pay, utilizing a rideshare service for larger parties is a great way to save money because you may be able to split the cost up among everyone in your group. Or, if you were traveling to Florida in an RV, this can save you a ton of money since you’d normally have to pay $32 per day.

Guests using rideshare services like Uber will be dropped off and picked up at the Uber Zone in the Jurrasic Park Garage. 

3. Stay Off Property and Take a Shuttle

Many off-site hotels offer complimentary transportation to and from Universal Studios. Granted, many of these shuttles abide by specific pickup/drop-off times, but if you don’t mind that, this is a great option to save some money. 

Even though you’re still going to be paying for parking at an off-site resort, they’re usually a lot cheaper than what you’d be paying at Universal Studios when all is said and done. 

4. Stay at Universal Studios’ Value Resort

Another option you have is to stay at one of Universal Studios’ value resorts, such as the Endless Summer Resort. Parking is $15 per night per registered guest so if you park there and use complimentary transportation to and from the parks, you’ll be saving on average $12 a night than you would if you were driving yourself to and from the parks every day. 

Keep in mind this option is only good if you have a reservation at the hotel. Guests without a reservation could be paying up to $45 for over 30 minutes. So this really only works if you’re local and planning on spending a long weekend at Universal Studios. Or, if you want to split your stay between Disney World and Universal.

Read more: Universal From Walt Disney World: How to Double Your Vacation

What’s Your Experience Been Like Parking at Universal Studios Orlando? 

I’ve personally always found the parking at Universal Studios to be more relaxed than other theme parks in the area. Parking attendants make it easy to find and park in your spot and the walk to the security center isn’t long, especially if you park on the third floor. 

What do you think about the parking at Universal Studios in Florida? Do you think it could be improved?