Everyone loves going to a theme park on a nice day. Taking the family on thrilling rides, getting some tasty park snacks, looking at all the fantastical attractions together- what could be better?
Everyone hates are surprise fees, extra money coming out of pocket that wasn’t anticipated. Also long, hot walks to and from the car doesn’t help in the summer. If you feel lost with no clue what to do next, you will want to read this guide.
Plan ahead so that everyone in your family is comfortable and you aren’t faced with anything that may spoil the day. Don’t get stuck heading to the park without having budgeted for parking your vehicle or knowing where to leave it.
Universal Orlando parking boasts one of the largest lots in the world, so there are many options in a range of prices to fit any need. If you’re planning a trip to Universal in Orlando, follow these steps to prepare for parking.
Universal Orlando Parking
The first thing you need to know about parking at Universal is that they make it extremely easy to drive yourself there. The address is 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, Florida. Use your GPS or Smartphone and once you get off at the exit, follow the giant signs to the parking garages. It may be helpful to have a map ready for reference.
(Note that there are different addresses for the hotels within Universal. So reference your hotel directions if you are staying in the resort itself. You may have different parking access than visitors coming for the day.)
You’ll first be stopped at the toll booth to pay. If you have a handicap placard, let the booth attendant know and they’ll direct you to ground-level parking. If you are driving a non-standard vehicle like an RV or bus, they’ll point you to RV parking, if you are choosing to valet your car, there will be signage to follow or ask the attendant.
Using the Parking Garages
For the majority of guests parking in standard parking, you will be directed into one of the two multi-level parking garages. From there, follow signs to City Walk.
To get into any of Universal’s parks or attractions, you’ll want to take the City Walk on foot. Everyone parks in the same general area- the massive, but nicely designed, 10,200 space parking garages.
If you’re thinking, “We want to park near Harry Potter World,” understand that all the parking to get into the resort is at their localized parking garages. However, there is a section of this parking area for guests heading to Volcano Bay, so follow the signs to meet the shuttle in that area.
City Walk will lead you to the three different entrances you can choose from. If you need to return to your vehicle, you have re-entry permissions, so you can leave the park to go to your car and come back in at any time.
Different Types of Parking and Their Cost
The second thing you need to know about parking at Universal is that there are many options available to you and your family. Standard parking for standard vehicles starts at $27 per day in the two parking garages. RV or bus parking starts at $32 per day.
Though these base fees are not outrageous, all parking fees experienced a bump in price recently. These rates increased by $1 while Prime parking saw a $10 increase on top of the same raise last year. Prime parking is on the ground level and gets you as close as possible to the entrance of City Walk. It now costs $60 per day.
If you plan to use the valet service, there are a few options. If you’re taking a quick trip in and will only be at Universal for 2 hours or less, the rate is $27. But if you plan to spend some time there, the rate jumps to $75 for the day.
How to Get Free Parking at Universal
There are a few ways to get free parking at Universal, but they may limit your day in other ways. All standard vehicles are welcome to self-park for free if they enter after 6 pm. This is a great option because the park is generally open until at least 8 pm, if not 9 pm or 10 pm during peak season.
You can also get free parking if you’re going for a matinee movie. If you buy two or more tickets to Universal Cinemark from 11 am to 6 pm, they will reimburse your parking fee upon entry to the theater.
For discounted rates, search online for coupons or rent a car from Avis or Budget for 25% off. There are also other ways of going to Universal if you choose not to drive yourself.
Alternatives to Driving Yourself
You certainly don’t need to bring your car to the Universal parking lots if you would rather not. There are many shuttle options from nearby hotels, so if you’re staying at one of these places, ask the front desk for information.
If you live close or are staying locally somewhere else try Uber, Lyft, or other rideshares. These options may reduce the amount you pay to get there and drop you off in a location closer to the entrance of City Walk.
Make Your Visit to Universal Hassle-Free
So now that you know everything about Universal Orlando parking, you should be fully prepared to plan your adventure to the resort. Decide what kind of parking you want to purchase, and be prepared for the fee when you get there.
Having a route through the park pre-planned may help you pick a spot when you arrive. Having everything in place is the best way to make sure the whole family will have an amazing time. Sign up for our newsletter for more fun adventure tips and tricks!