While I will always be a Disney gal first and foremost, I must give credit where credit is due… there are some things that Universal Orlando Resort offers that Walt Disney World does not that I do believe gives Universal a leg up in some areas. 

1) Universal Express Unlimited Pass to Premier Resort Guests: Guests staying at one of three Premier Resorts at Universal Orlando Resort are given complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Passes. This means that these guests have access to dedicated lines at most attractions to skip the standby lines. While these three resorts are the three most expensive resorts on property, it is often cheaper to buy the park-to-park tickets and stay at one of these resorts for the complimentary Express Unlimited Pass than if you were to purchase the pass separately while staying at a lower category resort. Not only will you skip the lines, but you’ll be able to get on more rides in less time – leaving more time to enjoy CityWalk and relax at the fabulous resort pools!

2) Walkability: With the exception of the Endless Summer Resort hotels, everything at Universal Orlando is fairly walkable for an able-bodied person. Even when staying at Cabana Bay or Aventura, which are a bit further from CityWalk, there are still walking paths and excellent signage if you’d prefer to walk instead of taking a bus (or water taxi where available) to CityWalk. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure parks are also close to one another to walk to. And I do also love that CityWalk is the main hub connecting everything; it makes it so much easier to grab a bite or do some shopping outside of the parks without the added step of needing to get on a bus if you don’t want to. 



3) Pool Hopping: Did you know that not only does Universal Orlando Resort allow pool hopping, but it’s actually encouraged?! With the exception of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort which is a bit further from the main area of the resort grounds, guests staying at the other Universal Orlando Resort hotels are allowed to pool hop. Are you staying at Aventura but want to check out the beach pool at Portofino Bay? Go for it! Or maybe you’re staying at Royal Pacific, which has a cute play area for younger kids but no water slide – feel free to hop over to Cabana Bay to check out one of their two pools – one has a water slide and one has a lazy river! 



Are you team Universal Orlando Resort or team Walt Disney World? Either way, you’re sure to have an amazing vacation!!

Aly Hirst

Aly Hirst

Lead Travel Advisor & Certified Autism Travel Professional™ from Gilbertsville, PA.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a Disney-obsessed gal. Even though I didn’t take many Disney vacations growing up, I can remember requesting the old vacation planning videos that Disney use to send in the mail; I would watch them over and over again to learn every nook and cranny of the Walt Disney World Resort as well as the Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Lines. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity in college to participate in the Disney College Program for a semester – who didn’t want to spend a semester of college living and working at the Walt Disney World Resort? (Bonus for me – I moved down to Orlando in January that year so it was the best winter escape for me from snowy New England!)”

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