Rock tower with theme park sign

The Complete Walking Guide to Universal Studios Orlando

Walking seems like the worst way to get around a giant resort, especially when that resort is Universal Orlando. As the biggest Universal Resort in the world, Universal Orlando is home to 3 theme parks, 8 property hotels and the CityWalk shopping and dining district. Walking can, however, be a convenience when you need it.

Our guide mostly focuses on walking to and from property hotels and their pathways but it also explores hotels that are close by as well as walking to and from the parking garage and LYFT/Uber drop off area.

We’re keeping this short and simple as we know most of you are interested in other transportation means that the resort offers.

Walking From Universal Orlando Resort Hotels To Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios Theme Parks

Walking from Universal Orlando Resort hotels to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios is possible and can be a convenient option for guests. Here’s some information about walking routes from the on-site hotels to the theme parks:

  1. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel: These two hotels are connected to the theme parks via a dedicated walking path known as the Garden Walkway. The Garden Walkway provides a scenic and direct route from the hotels to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. It typically takes around 10-15 minutes to walk from these hotels to the park entrances.
  2. Loews Royal Pacific Hotel: Sitting opposite of Portofino Bay and Hard Rock Hotel the Loews Royal Pacific Resort is closest to Islands of Adventure. Guests can use a direct walking path from the back of the hotel to CityWalk and essentially the entrance to Islands of Adventure. It typically takes 5-10 minutes to walk from this hotel to the park entrances.
  3. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is located slightly farther from the theme parks, and there isn’t a direct walking path from the hotel to the parks. However, guests can still walk to the parks by using the designated sidewalks and crosswalks. The walking distance from Cabana Bay Beach Resort to the park entrances is approximately 20-25 minutes.

Walking map from Portofino Hotel to theme parks

Walking path map from Portofino Hotel to theme parks

Walking map from Cabana Bay Hotel to theme parks

All “roads” lead to CityWalk so if you use any of these paths you will end up at or right by CityWalk.

Walking from Loews Sapphire Falls Hotel To The Theme Parks & CityWalk

Walking path map from Sapphire Falls to theme parks

Walking from Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk is a viable and convenient option for guests. The path to the theme parks is the same to CityWalk. Guests will go through security and into CityWalk near the theme park entrances.

    1. Islands of Adventure/Universal Studios: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is located in close proximity to Islands of Adventure. Guests can reach the park by following a dedicated walking path known as the Sapphire Falls Pathway. The pathway is well-marked and offers a pleasant walk through the resort grounds and scenic areas. The walking distance from Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to the entrance of Islands of Adventure is typically around 10-15 minutes. Add an additional 3-5 minutes to get over to Universal Studios theme park.
    2. Universal CityWalk: Universal CityWalk is also easily accessible from Loews Sapphire Falls Resort by foot. Guests can follow the same Sapphire Falls Pathway to reach CityWalk. The walking distance from Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to Universal CityWalk is generally around 10-15 minutes.

Walking From Aventura Hotel to the Theme Parks & CityWalk

Walking path map from Aventura Hotel to theme parks

Guests can walk from the Aventura Hotel to Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios and CityWalk if they follow a specific path via Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

You’ll need to walk over to the Sapphire Falls Hotel, enter the lobby and head straight with a slight right to the staircase just after the Planning Desk but before the restaurant/bar. Take the stairs down to the bottom floor and head past Amatista Cookhouse to go outside. This is where the walking path starts to the parks and CityWalk.

Technically you could also jump onto the boat transportation from here but you’re on a mission to walk so resist the temptation!

TIP: Upon checking in to your hotel, it’s recommended to check with guest services for the most up-to-date information and guidance regarding walking routes, travel times, and any potential changes or updates to these walking paths.

Walking from Universal’s Dockside Inn and Surfside Inn Hotels

It is not possible at this time to walk from Universal’s Dockside Inn or Surfside Inn Hotels to the theme parks or CityWalk. Guests staying at these resort hotels must take the provided SuperStar Shuttle or a LYFT/Uber.

Universal has not yet announced any intentions of connecting these hotels to the rest of the property via walking paths.

Walking from the Parking Area to CityWalk and Theme Parks

Walking path map from parking garage to theme parks

Walking from the Universal Orlando parking areas to the theme parks is a common option for guests who have parked their vehicles been dropped off by a LYFT or Uber or taken the SuperStar Shuttle from their hotel:

  1. General Parking: Universal Orlando Resort offers general parking areas where guests can park their vehicles. The parking garages and lots are conveniently located near the theme parks. Once parked, guests can follow the signage and designated walkways to the theme park entrances.
  2. Preferred Parking: Preferred parking is also available for an additional fee. Preferred parking areas are typically closer to the theme park entrances, reducing the walking distance compared to general parking. Follow the signs and directions for preferred parking, and then use the designated walkways to reach the theme parks.
  3. Walkways and Signage: Universal Orlando Resort has well-marked and clearly labeled walkways that guide guests from the parking areas to the theme park entrances. Follow the directional signage, which often includes symbols and arrows to indicate the path to the respective theme park.
  4. Security Checks: Before entering the theme parks, guests will need to pass through security checks. Be prepared to have your bags and belongings inspected as part of the security procedures.

The walking distance from the parking areas to the theme park entrances may vary depending on the specific parking location and the chosen park. Generally, it takes approximately 5-15 minutes to walk from the parking areas to the entrances. This timeline can change based on when you are trying to head in. Theme Park guests in the morning can make this walk over 20 minutes mostly due to security.

Walking from off-property Hotels to Universal Orlando

Walking path map from hotels to theme parks

There are several off-property hotels near Universal Orlando Resort that are within walking distance of the theme parks. Here are some hotels you can consider:

  1. Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal: Located on Major Boulevard, Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal is within a 10-15 minute walk to Universal Orlando Resort.
  2. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando: Situated on Major Boulevard, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a short 10-15 minute walk from Universal Orlando Resort.
  3. Holiday Inn & Suites Across from Universal Orlando: This hotel is located on Major Boulevard, directly across from Universal Orlando Resort. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk away from the parks.
  4. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Near Universal Orlando: Positioned on Major Boulevard, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is within walking distance of Universal Orlando Resort. Typically takes around 20 minutes.
  5. Rosen Inn Closest to Universal: Located on International Drive, Rosen Inn is within walking distance of Universal Orlando Resort. While it may be a slightly longer walk compared to other options, it is still a feasible distance for those who prefer to walk.

Why Walk at Universal Orlando?

Universal Globe

As we said before, walking isn’t the best sounding option but there are certain cases where walking can actually be better than taking resort transportation. Here are a few scenarios:

  • Resort Shuttles: Sometimes the line are long for these shuttles so it may take you a few times to get on one. When you do, the shuttles drop you off at the main security area for ALL guests who are coming in via shuttle, parking garage and LYFT/Uber. The security lines here can get really long. Add in the walk through CityWalk and you’re at a guaranteed 25 minutes+.
  • Water Taxis: These are really fun to take but they only hold a limited number of guests and there can be 10+ minutes between the departing boat and the next arriving boat. The drop off location for water taxis is also a little inconvenient as you have to walk around the lake to get to either theme park entrance.
  • Security: Walking can also give you a much shorter security line compared to the main garage and shuttle area. Wait times are typically 0-5 minutes at the walking path entrances from hotels to the theme parks. During the day time there is typically no line.
  • Scenery: The walking paths around Universal Orlando offer some great views of the resort. Somethings, like around the river areas, cannot be seen unless you take the walking paths. Our favorite is the walk from CityWalk to Sapphire Falls Resort. Nice quiet walk with lots of cools things to look at along the way.

Overall walking can provide you with more flexibility and a “sure” timing unlink the water taxis and resort shuttles where several factors can through them off.

Walking Around the Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Archway entrance with trees

While walking can be a convenient option, it’s essential to consider factors such as weather conditions, physical abilities, and personal preferences. Here are a few additional points to keep in mind:

  • Comfortable Footwear: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be walking for a considerable distance.
  • Safety: Follow designated paths and use crosswalks when walking. Be mindful of traffic and follow traffic signals.
  • Accessibility: If you have mobility needs or require assistance, it’s advisable to contact Universal Orlando Resort or your hotel in advance to discuss any accommodations or alternative transportation options that may be available.
  • Weather Considerations: Keep in mind that weather conditions in Orlando can be hot and humid, especially during the summer months. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and consider taking breaks if needed. On rainy days, the shuttle or water taxi may be a better option if you aren’t prepared for the rain very well.

We always like to look at walking as a “we’re already doing it all day in the parks, what’s a little more?” kind of scenario. You can also use it as an excuse to get that dessert after you meal because you’ll “walk it off later.”

Overall though, walking around Universal Orlando Resort isn’t too crazy and can offer you some quiet time, great exercise and some flexibility.

So if you’re ready to get your walking on be sure to book your next vacation with a specialist and be sure to tell them you’re a Universal Walking Pro!