This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure you have an easy, quick and reliable experience whilst using the Virgin Atlantic Holidays website. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details, see our cookie policy.

Skip to main content Virgin holidays logo
  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

How to holiday at Universal Orlando Resort

How to holiday at Universal Studios Florida

What Jay Goodrow, our East Coast Operations Manager, doesn’t know about getting the most from a Universal Orlando Resort™ holiday isn’t worth knowing. 

Hi Jay! Let’s get straight to it: what are the advantages to staying at a Universal Orlando Resort (UOR) onsite hotel over, say, somewhere on I-Drive?

Universal offers an amazing collection of hotels, which come with exclusive onsite benefits, such as complimentary transportation to Universal’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk™, plus Early Park Admission. Some of these hotels also include Universal Express Unlimited™ (your ticket to skipping queues on some of the most popular attractions) and Priority Seating at a bunch of popular restaurants. And, with all of this just a stones throw away from Universal CityWalk™, there’s never a dull moment.

How easy is it to get from the airport to UOR hotels? 

Very. If you are driving or using a shuttle or private transportation, Universal Orlando Resort™ is only located 25 minutes from Orlando International Airport. Directions are straightforward, using only main interstate roads. It’s so easy you could get there blindfolded — obviously, do not attempt this!

Would you tell us about the different UOR hotels and how they speak to visitors’ different budgets and vibes?

Universal Orlando Resort™ hotels are designed to meet the taste and needs of any guest. Each one caters to the needs of families and couples alike, offering amazing dining, unique accommodation, recreation and activities. Even the great-value hotels designed for fun and affordability include indulgent features like lazy rivers, fitness centres and bowling alleys. It can be hard to find these types of amenities even in premium hotels elsewhere in the Orlando Area.

Would you tell us all about the 3 Park Explorer Ticket and why it’s a great way to do UOR?

Well, you’re getting three Universal parks for the price of two (including Volcano Bay™ water theme park), plus complete flexibility to enjoy all the excitement they have to offer. This ticket was created with UK guests in mind. Brilliantly, it frees you to re-visit your favourite attractions — as it’s hard to catch all the thrills and excitement on your first go!

How easy is it to get around the UOR between parks and hotels?

Universal Orlando has a fantastic shuttle bus and water taxi transportation system in place to ensure seamless movement between parks, resorts and its popular Universal CityWalk™. Or, if you enjoy a leisurely stroll, there are plenty of lush tropical paths that connect select resorts to the parks too.  

What time do the shuttle buses and water taxis run until?

Right up until 2:00am, allowing party animals to enjoy the clubs and venues at Universal CityWalk™ until final call.

Say you’re staying at an UOR hotel — can you use the facilities at different hotels?

Absolutely! By selecting Universal Orlando Resort™ you have access to all of the fantastic swimming pools, gyms and dining venues at each of the hotels. In fact, some of the best restaurants in Orlando are located in Universal Orlando Resort™.

Where are your favourite places to eat around Universal CityWalk™, and why?

It really depends on what day of the week it is. To watch the hottest sports events, it’s the amazing NBC Sports Grill & Brew™, featuring unique twists on American classics. Tuesday is definitely a Vivo Italian Kitchen™ kind of night. Save the weekends for some reggae fun at Bob Marley — A Tribute to FreedomSM. Looking for the best margarita in town? Try both Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food™ and Jimmy Buffett’s® Margaritaville®, then decide.

Can you tell us about some of the special seasonal events Universal Orlando Resort puts on for visitors throughout the year?

I’ve lived in Orlando for 20 years now and, as local, I’ve never missed out on these two popular events:

On select dates from February to April you can experience the authentic New Orleans Celebration known as Mardi Gras, featuring outrageous performers, colourful costumes and mouthwatering Cajun cuisine. All the festivities are included with admission, right down to performances from some of the biggest names in pop, rock, country and R&B.

With Halloween Horror Nights, Universal has turned being terrified into a night of fun and laughter! You’d think having been there and done that, nothing would scare me anymore, but they manage to catch me off guard every year, usually while I’m laughing at someone else for being spooked. You’ll definitely want to consider a Frequent Fear Pass or a multi-day Explorer ticket including Halloween Horror Nights, as one night of is simply not enough — you’ll be dying to go back!

In your opinion, why should you book your Universal Orlando Resort holiday with Virgin Holidays?

Well, your Virgin Holidays adventure begins in our v-room lounge at the airport, with eats, drinks and a play area. Touch down in Orlando and our dedicated staff will help you get to your hotel. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is featured as one of our favourites, with exclusive benefits for our guests, like complimentary self-parking and guaranteed late checkout. Universal’s Aventura Hotel will feature an exclusive lounge reserved solely for Virgin Holidays guests staying at any Universal Orlando Resort hotel. Light refreshments and free WiFi will be available throughout the day there.


Tagged in:

  • Universal
  • Florida
  • Family
  • City and shopping breaks
  • Favourites
  • Travel tips
  • Through the eyes of a local
  • Family fun
09 Apr 2018 | Virgin Holidays


There has been an error

Please try again

Text Message

There has been an error

Please try again


Thanks, we'll be in touch soon

How can we help?

Let’s get started. Please choose an option below.

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9646.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice

Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by email. 

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Let’s talk

If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646 or chat to us on SMS/Whatspp via Manage my booking.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility

Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans

We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned

If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon

To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?

You can contact our team by emailing to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

I am currently on holiday and I need to speak to someone

The easiest way to contact us while you are away is via WhatsApp. To get the conversation started, click the link and type "hello” .

or you can get in touch with our in-resort team during local opening hours

Find contact details for your location

Outside of local resort office hours you can call us in the UK +44 (0) 344 472 9626 (option 2) or email us

If you are in the USA or Canada please email:

We're flying you to

Explaination text....

Continue to

Need help?

Talk to an expert

Call us directly

Feel free to call us directly on
01234 567784
Our travel experts are on hand to help you book your next holiday.

Send us an email

Feel free to email us directly on
We will try to respond to your email within 24 hours.