Family theme park visits are expensive, but choosing the right hotel can slash hundreds from the total price.
AOL toured Universal Orlando's first-ever "value" hotel, which offers rates as low as $73 a night for a 7-night stay. Despite the low room price (which fluctuates based on the seasonality and duration), Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites isn't skimping on the amenities, boasting a massive pool, 2-bedroom suites and an under-$10 cocktail menu. Here's what else to know before booking:
No entree meal at the hotel costs over $12. Whether or not you're traveling with a carload of kids, the ultra-affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner prices are a big selling point. A long day at Islands of Adventure requires plenty of fuel. Oh, and because it's worth repeating, those cocktails — frozen and rocks — really do remain under $10.
You can get in early to the parks. Staying at any Universal resort property gets you early admission, which is particularly crucial during peak season. Our tip? Download the official mobile app, and as soon as you get into the park, join the virtual queue for the most popular rides. You'll be given a return time, cutting down possible hours-long waits. In June 2019, the regular line for the brand-new Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure topped 10 hours! (It is a pretty great coaster.) You can buy advance park tickets here.
The two-bedroom suites, which include a kitchenette and dining table, will still come in under budget. At $111, you're almost certainly not going to find anything comparable, especially in such short distance to the parks and CityWalk. They'll sleep up to six people.
Shuttle service may allow you to skip the rental car entirely. Flying in and out of Orlando from out of state typically necessitates a rental car, but the shuttle service, which can be booked in advance, is reliable and saves you parking fees. There's complimentary transportation between the the hotel and the parks.
In addition to a huge pool, there's a cool game room, a food court, and an impressive-looking fitness center. In other words, you're not missing out on just about anything you'd see at a higher-priced resort hotel.
Keep in mind that pets aren't invited. Your dog won't be able to join in on the excitement, but to be fair, a lot of people are allergic. (And the rule is pretty standard for nice hotels.) The hotel opens June 27, 2019, and you can book here.
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- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Universal Orlando's most affordable resort hotel features an under-$10 cocktail menu