Staying onsite at Universal Orlando Resort

Hi guys and welcome to my first ever Dis After Dark blog post 🙂 

Have you stayed onsite? … At Universal, I mean. No? Well let me tell you about it !

When I visited Orlando with my parents in my teen-rock years, I’d look at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal and think “YES ! WHEN I AM OLD AND RICH AND MARRIED TO A ROCK STAR THAT IS WHERE I AM GOING TO STAY !” i’m old(er)….and not rich…and certainly not married to a rock star (unfortunately)…but I stayed there anyway – and it was AWESOME.
So awesome in fact, that I think I’ll probably stay onsite at Universal each time I visit, until the sight of Hogwarts Castle and The Hulk from my hotel window bores me (if that’s even a thing?!)

If you’ve been on any Disney/ Universal planning forums you’ll see endless amounts of people who enjoy booking 1 or 2 nights onsite at certain hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort, and rave about receiving free express passes. (Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay and Royal Pacific) These are the premier and preferred hotels.

Considering express passes start at $59.99 per person for a two park ticket – Universal are giving you a great deal ! 

But express passes are definitely not the only perk of staying onsite.
It takes five minutes to walk from Hard Rock to the entrance gate of Universal Studios.  Five minutes of gorgeous palm trees, lagoons and butterfly gardens. You even get your own little bag check desk.

The pool area is fab and never seems over crowded, they show movies at night on a huge screen above the pool and the bars serve the BEST margaritas I’ve ever had (shout out to Rob the bartender for giving me a 2 week hangover and then face-timing my mum – *embarrassed* ) 
Cabana Bay even has it’s own lazy river !

The restaurants are world class. If you love Italian food, Mama Della’s in Portofino bay, actually have opera singers serenading you whilst you eat their fantastic dishes! Cabana bay has an entire food court – so even picky eaters like me are guaranteed to find something that they’ll enjoy.

What’s more, is you even get to enter the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter a whole hour before it opens !

If you’re a lover of Universal and you haven’t stayed onsite, I 100% recommend looking into it.

Check out my video below for more on why I love staying onsite!


And don’t forget to check out my water taxi POV video here :

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