Are you trying to figure out the BEST way to park at Universal Orlando for your trip?
Admittedly, no one really talks about a really important factor when it comes to visiting the Universal Orlando Resort.
Normally, guests are either staying on property or at a good neighbor hotel nearby, so it’s not a concern.
If you are local or renting a car to get around the Orlando area, then this becomes a bigger concern because it’s not as cut and dry as one would think.
It can even get confusing and frustrating when you don’t know everything but of course, now you have me!
I have all the tea you need to prepare for parking at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, CityWalk and the hotels.
I will get you parked and off to the fun! Today, I’m going to touch base on the following:
- Variety of Parking Options and Pricing
- CityWalk Parking Rules
- Hotel Parking
- Visiting Hotels for Non-hotel Guests
- Tips for Parking at Universal Orlando Resort
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Parking Options at Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando allows you to choose from a different variety of parking options in their garage areas. The prices are per vehicle and can depend on your vehicle type.
How much is parking at Universal Orlando Resort?
- Regular Parking: $30
- Prime Parking: $50 to $60 (depending on the season)
- Prime Upgrade: $20 to $30 (depending on the season)
- RV/Bus Parking: $40
- Valet Parking: Between $30-$75
The parking complex boasts two multiple storied structures and a main transportation hub. This easily gives guests access to CityWalk and all three Universal Orlando parks.
The sections of the structures are named after a classic universal character and features rows and levels.
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Regular Parking and Prime Parking at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay
Let’s go into a bit more detail with each parking option. With Regular Parking, you will be allowed access to a spot in one of the parking structures.
If you choose to do Prime Parking, you will on one of the structure’s lower levels.
RV/Bus Parking and Valet Parking
RV/Bus parking is also in the structure but in a different area and on different level. Valet Parking is slightly complicated because your cost depends on how long you are parked.
Not to mention, availability is limited so make sure you want it when you arrive. Valet is in a separate area, but it is right up an escalator closest to the CityWalk entrance.
How much is Valet Parking at Universal Orlando Resort?
Now as far as Valet Parking, here’s what pricing will vary:
- Two Hours or less: $30
- Over Two Hours (Before 6 p.m.): $65 to $75
- Over Two Hours (After 6 p.m.): $40 to $75
Just weigh the options that works best for you and your budget!
Hotel Parking at Universal Orlando Resort
You may think that it might just be easier to park at one of the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels to avoid parking costs at the garage, you’re out of luck.
While every Universal Orlando hotel has their own parking structures, they do charge a nightly rate ranging between $18-$28 per day. This is if you’re a hotel guest.
You do have several risks if you are not a hotel guest attempting this idea. However, if you’re parking and staying longer than 30 minutes, then you will be looking at $45 plus tax.
If you wanted to pay that, you might as well do Valet parking entirely. And if you plan on taking the shuttle bus, you will also have to consider when the shuttle’s schedule.
Sometimes they only drop off/pickup at certain times and could be up to 2-3 times a day. If you do plan to take this into consideration when planning for your day, you should be fine.
Getting Through the Transportation Hub Area at Universal Orlando Resort
The hub is where you will end up once you have parked and made your way towards CityWalk and the parks.
Located here are the security checkpoints, featuring metal detectors and bag checks.
You will pick a lane, place your bags and metal items in a container and walkthrough the scanner while their bags and items are x-rayed.
This must be done or everyone’s safety in order to enter into CityWalk.
Coming from a Universal Orlando hotel, you will come across a security checkpoint on the sidewalks going towards CityWalk or before boarding a water taxi.
While sometimes it may seem busy and backed up, security is usually very efficient and thorough. Just be patient and let the security do their jobs.
What’s the deal with Accessible Parking at Universal Orlando Resort?
Accessible parking, from my understanding, is located on level three of the parking garage. You next question may be, how does accessibility parking work at Universal Orlando?
A friend who utilizes the accessible parking informed me that you will need to inform the parking attendant upon arrival, who will ask you to turn your hazard light on, while leading you to the designated lane.
To make it easier, you will also have the ability to rent wheelchairs on this level if need be.
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Is there any kind of free parking available at Universal Orlando Resort?
Parking is free to all guests after 6 p.m., as long as it’s not a Halloween Horror Nights evening.
Another time you will be able to get free parking is if you are seeing a matinee showing at the Universal Cinemark theater.
You will still have to pay upon arrival, however, if you show your parking ticket AND movie tickets at the box office, you will be reimbursed.
Now I have only done this once personally, so you will be reimbursed in the manner in which you paid.
What are the Universal Orlando parking hours and what’s the address?
The parking structure is usually open when the parks are open and closes about an hour after CityWalk closes.
Here is the address you will want to put into your GPS to get you directly to the parking structure:
- 6000 Universal Boulevard Orlando, FL 32819
Please remember that on certain occasions, Universal may open the parking garage early for special events like attraction grand openings.
Are there any parking discounts at Universal Orlando Resort?
Annual Passholders get discounts (mainly free unless you upgrade your parking option) on parking dependent upon their pass type.
This discount applies to the parking structures only and NOT hotel parking and does not apply for event nights.
Premier Annual Passholders can Valet Park for free (when available) while Preferred Annual Passholders can Valet Park at a 50% discount.
UGH! My car needs a jump! Can Universal help me?
Yes! You can actually get a free battery jump from a Universal Orlando Team Member if you get stuck in the garage.
You can call for help on one of the security phones on every level of the structure and let a parking attendant know.
I’m driving from the Orlando International Airport (MCO), any Perks for me?
You will still have to pay for regular parking and a voucher is required as proof.
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I need to leave Universal for a bit. Do I have to pay again to park?
No, you only pay once per day per vehicle. Just show your receipt from the same day and you’ll be good to go!
How can I avoid paying for Universal Orlando parking?
The only true option is to be dropped off or picked up at the designated area.
If I recall correctly, if you’re doing a ride share vehicle, the drop off/pick up is near the Jurassic Park level of the parking structure.
Now if you are being dropped off by a taxi, you’ll be dropped off in an area nearby the transport hub.
Because of where these lanes and drop off/pick up areas are, drivers won’t have to pay a fee.
Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide
Final Thoughts on Parking at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay
And there you have the basics of parking at Universal Orlando Resort. Compared to their competitors, the pricing offered is fairly standard and affordable.
But ultimately, I have covered everything you need to prepare for parking at this awesome and epic resort.
I touched on pricing, accessibility, valet, discounts and much more, making it that much easier to travel solo to the very best destinations Orlando has to offer you.
Do you think that Universal’s parking structure, security, and policies are fair and affordable? Let us know in our Facebook Group today!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
About the Author
About the Author
Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.
She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.
She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.
(Original Article Date: February 18, 2022/Updated by Editor on June 27, 2023)