When you visit an Orlando theme park, you know you have to prepare for plenty of expenses. There’s shopping, dining, park tickets, and resort rooms to consider. But what about saving money – it it doable? One word: yes. Here’s the best free stuff at Universal Orlando Resort to help you save money on your next vacation.
Free Stuff at Universal Orlando – Glasses of Water & Ice
I know this fact for certain: hot, humid Central Florida heat can drain you of your energy and hydration. To combat both, ask for free cups of water at any theme park area serving fountain drinks. Ask for ice to cool you off as well. you’ll probably have to stand in a line with folks ordering food (unless it’s during off peak dining times), so choose one with a shaded queue.
Free Things at Universal Orlando – Universal Orlando Resort App
Want to check for wait times while queued up for another ride? Or maybe you want to map out a path to your next attraction. Download the official Universal Orlando Resort app before you visit, create an account, and get acquainted with it. Then, when you’re in the parks, you’ll be able to navigate them like a boss. The details are pretty cool, too, especially the Harry Potter areas.
You’re also able to purchase tickets and pay for purchases, too. My favorite feature: you can set an alert when a ride wait time is low and make a beeline for it! Additionally, during high crowd level times you can schedule a Virtual Queue time so you won’t have. to wait in the standby queue as long.
The official UOR app is available for both iOS and Android and is a snap to download.
Pro Tip: If you’re a Universal Orlando Passholder, when mobile ordering food via the app, scan the bar code on your pass and you’ll receive a dining discount as well.
Free Stuff at Universal Orlando – Garage Parking After 6pm
In 2017, UOR announced that it dropped the parking fee for its garages after 6pm (not including Halloween Horror Nights). Hit the garages before 6pm you’ll be paying:
- Prime Parking: $60
- RV/Bus Parking: $32
- Regular Parking: $27
Do I think paying for Prime Parking is worth the extra cost? For my family, no, but on high crowd levels it surely beats the extra leg work.
But after 6pm on a non-Halloween Horror Nights night, it’s totally free.
Free Things at Universal Orlando – Splash Pads
I remember when my daughter was younger. She loved playing in splash pads as much as swimming in a pool. Universal Orlando has a fun splash pad Universal CityWalk that you can totally take advantage of and don’t need a theme park ticket to do do.
So my advice is to take the kiddos already in their swimsuits or clothing that dries quickly and let them have a blast for a couple of hours. Just remember to bring towels and all of the changing items you may need for afterwards.
Free Stuff at Universal Orlando – Celebration Buttons
Why not announce to the world that you’re celebrating, right? Look for Guest Services and ask about the free buttons. They offer birthday and some holidays. Each button may be customized by writing on it with a permanent marker, or you can choose to leave as is.
Personally, I love it when I get a team member that has amazing handwriting skills and really makes mine look special.
Free Things at Universal Orlando – Universal Express Unlimited Passes
Thinking about purchasing an Express Pass during your visit? You may want to consider if you’ll be staying at an on-property resort first because higher tier ones offer a great perk: free express passes. Considering that each pass costs $119.00 plus tax per person, if you have 4 guests registered in your room that’s a savings of $480+ dollars a day!
These resorts offer free express passes with ticket purchase:
- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
- Hard Rock Hotel®
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort
To get them, you’ll need to check in and show proof of ticket purchase. Passes are good for each registered member of the room.
Free Stuff at Universal Orlando – Water Taxi Shuttles
If you don’t want to make the trek back to your on-property resort, head to CityWalk loading dock and look for the water taxis. They run between:
- Royal Pacific Resort
- Hard Rock Hotel
- Portofino Bay Hotel
They begin running from before the parks open to after closing – especially nice for when your feet are not happy.
Free Things at Universal Orlando – Wifi
A welcome addition to both theme parks and CityWalk is free wifi! Personally, I’ve never had any connection problems while using it in any of the parks and at CityWalk, so it’s always nice to save some data.
Also something to keep in mind: wifi is free at every Universal Orlando Resort and Volcano Bay as well.