Universal Studios is a must-do item on most tourists’ vacation bucket lists for Florida, and for good reason. With so much to do and see, a visit here takes no less than an entire day! It’s one of the largest titans in the entertainment industry and is worth a trip to the city all on its own. But before you start rushing to Orlando, you need to have a solid plan in place on what to do upon arrival, especially when it comes to transport.
Most visitors to the city arrive in their own vehicles or a rental to make the most of their time and enjoy the drive down the boulevard. The only issue with this is the hassle it poses when you’re visiting the more crowded destinations and attractions like Universal Orlando.
Where Can I Park at Universal Studios Orlando?
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There are many things to know before parking at Universal Studios Orlando, one of which is how to reach the parking area itself. The Universal Orlando Parking Address is 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819. Once there, just follow the signs to make your way into Universal’s gigantic parking area.
The parking area is complete with two multi-storeyed garages that give you direct and easy access to all the theme parks within the property (except for Volcano Bay). Volcano Bay visitors should head to the first level of the parking complex, and then follow the signs to board the complimentary shuttle to the water park.
Parking sections in the complex are named after different Universal characters like King Kong, Jaws, and E.T. Each section’s name is followed by a 3-digit code which signifies your level and row number. For instance, “Spider-Man 321” means you’re parked in row number 21 on the third level of the Spider-Man section. This makes it easy to remember the exact location of your car after a long day of adventures.
A quick 5-minute walk from your car to the central transportation hub will take you to security. Once you’re through, it’s on to CityWalk and then to your theme park for the day!
Pro tip: Snap a photo of your car’s location to help you at the end of your day.
Accessible parking at Universal Studios Orlando and parking RVs and electric vehicles
Accessible parking is available for those who need assistance. Just ask one of the attendants at the toll plaza to guide you to one inside the parking garages and they’ll be happy to help.
Accessible parking spaces are allotted on the third floor of the parking plaza, from where you will not need to use escalators or elevators to reach the central security hub, the wheelchair rental, or CityWalk. Universal’s amazingly designed system ensures maximum convenience and accessibility for all.
If you’re arriving in an RV or an electric vehicle, you will be glad to know that there are designated parking spots provided outside the main garages.
Follow the signs for valet parking to find the designated area right outside Universal Blvd. Here, you’ll be able to park as well as charge your electric vehicle for an additional charge.
Is There Free Parking at Universal Studios Orlando?
You might already know that Universal offers free parking in the evenings (more on this below!), but did you know that guests who purchase at least two tickets for shows between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. can also take advantage of free parking?
This means that if you’re visiting Universal Cinemark for a matinee show with at least one other person, you can avail of free self-parking! To do this, first pay the parking fee at the garage and then after the movie, show your movie tickets and your parking receipt at the box office and avail your free parking.
If you happen to leave the parking complex in between but plan to come back during the same day, you just need to show the same-day receipt at the toll plaza and you won’t be charged again.
How Much Does It Cost To Park at Universal?
Visitors get to choose between General and Prime parking during their visit. General parking and Universal Studios Orlando parking costs $27 for the whole day and offers you a spot in Universal’s parking complex, however, this is also the type of parking spot that is the farthest away from the park entrances. This means you’ll have a longer walk ahead of you, with more elevators and escalators in your way.
The more expensive Prime parking gives you the advantage of parking closer to the entrances, saving you both time and energy. At $60 a day, Prime parking saves you up to 15 minutes of walking time, allowing you to get straight into the action!
Just make it a point to arrive before morning rush hours, because any later and you might have to park further away from the entrances; sometimes even farther than General parking!
Valet and rental parking at Universal Studios Orlando
If you want to avoid the hassle of finding your own spot within the park premises, valet parking Universal Studios Orlando is a great (albeit expensive) option. Valet parking brings you closer to CityWalk and is separate from the parking garages, ensuring more safety if that’s a concern.
It starts at $27 for 2 hours and an additional $75 for more hours past that if it’s before 6:00 p.m. and $40 if it’s after 6:00 p.m. During peak hours like park closing, you should expect a little waiting time before you can get your car. After your visit, please tip the valet driver.
Visitors who rent from Avis or Budget get a free upgrade from General to Prime parking if the vehicles are picked up from Orlando International Airport. Just remember to collect a voucher before you collect your vehicle which you will show when you arrive at the Universal Studios toll plaza.
Pay the fare for General parking and make your way straight to a Prime parking lane! RV Parking is also available outside the premises and starts at $32 if you’re arriving with a big gang.
Where Is the Best Place To Park at Universal?
Your parking choice solely depends on whether you want to save time or a few extra pennies on your vacation.
General parking is the best option to park for those looking for an economic option. If you’re arriving in the morning, chances are you’ll find a good spot without much effort. For those arriving early in the day, Prime parking is a good option if making your way to the parks with ease is your number one priority. However, if you’re arriving late, this might be to your disadvantage.
Pro tip: Make sure you arrive about 30 minutes before the opening time of your park to skip long lines and wait times.
The level you park on does not matter as much as the row and how close it is to the entrance, so keep that in mind when you arrive. Prime parking is available on the third floor on both wings, and it’s the option that is closest to the security hub. This saves time and the distance you have to walk to reach CityWalk when you arrive.
Choose valet parking if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks to save a lot of time and effort. This will take you closer to CityWalk without having to worry about remembering your parking spots.
Can You Walk From Park to Park at Universal?
The first place you will arrive from Universal’s parking area is the Central Security Hub. From there you will have direct and free access to CityWalk or paid entry to Universal Studios Florida on the right and Islands of Adventure on the left.
Entry to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure requires you to purchase passes, either online or physically before you enter. If you plan to visit both parks, you’ll need a park-to-park ticket.
One option is to walk between parks on foot, if you have the will and energy between all the fun, that is! Otherwise, you can also board the Hogwarts Express from either one of the parks and you’ll be taken to the other park worry-free. The train is definitely the better option, in terms of time and effort so check that out during your visit.
Volcano Bay is not accessible by foot from any other park. The only way to get there is to park your car at one of the main parking garages and board the complimentary shuttle bus that takes you to the water park.
How Early Can You Park at Universal Studios Orlando?
You can park at Universal Studios Orlando about 2 hours before the park opening time. On special days, such as openings of new rides or attractions, the parking garages open as early as 3 a.m.
However, the recommended time of arrival is always about 30 minutes before the park opening and 45 minutes if you need to purchase park passes upon arrival. The walk from the parking lot to the security hub turnstiles should take you 15 minutes, giving you enough time to take it all in after you’re inside.
What Time Is Free Parking at Universal Orlando?
Aside from free parking for matinee viewers at the cinema, Universal also provides free parking for visitors in the evening.
If you’re arriving after 6 PM, General Parking is free of cost to all visitors, unless there’s a special evening show, such as Halloween Horror Nights or a Mardi Gras concert at one of the parks. Make sure you check the park schedules when you plan your visit to avoid confusion.
Want to make the best of your day by arriving early but don’t want to pay for parking? The next best option is to pick a nearby hotel to spend your visit in.
Most hotels in the vicinity provide complimentary parking for guests and if it’s close enough to Universal, you could just walk over to the boulevard! Some hotels also provide complimentary shuttles to the park, making it all the more convenient for you and your family!
Is Parking at CityWalk Free?
Unlike all the other parks in Universal Studios Orlando, CityWalk provides free entry for all its visitors. However, parking at Universal is centralized, which means you will still have to pay for parking.
Parking rates apply to all visitors at the parking garages so you will still have to pay $27 for General Parking, even if you’re only stopping by CityWalk for a few hours. Alternatively, you can also walk to the park if you’re up for it!
If you do choose to park, make sure you find a convenient spot near the security hub. The closer you are to the hub, the easier it will be when you arrive and when you leave.
If you leave and want to come back later in the day, say, to see the neons and the views at CityPark, make sure you have the same-day parking toll receipt from earlier and you won’t be charged again!
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