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Less riding. More rides.
Universal Orlando's hotels offer some great benefits
Guests walking the bamboo bridge to the Royal Pacific Resort's lobby see waterfalls and lush tropical plants
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Universal Orlando's Hotels

Besides the obvious benefits of staying close to the action (and remember the Universal parks are a short walk from all of the onsite hotels), having the ability to retreat to their rooms whenever they wish, and avoiding the hassles of commuting and parking, guests at Universal's on-property hotels get some incredible perks. If you're on the line and considering a lower-priced offsite hotel for your next Orlando vacation, consider the value you'll get by staying at one of Universal's three Loews resorts.

Speaking of lines, the resort's Universal Express program is complimentary for all on-property guests. (Day guests can purchase Universal Express go-to-the-head-of-the-line passes as well.) Here's how it works: Guests insert their room keycards into the machines in the lobby of their hotel, and the machines issue an Express pass. Show the pass at the entrance to ride attendants at nearly all of the attractions at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida and bypass the regular lines. Unlike Disney's Fastpass program (Universal once had a similar virtual queue program, but scrapped it), Universal Express pass holders don't have to make any reservations, and the program is good all day, every day. Talk about pampering! It's a ride lover's dream come true. This perk is especially welcome during the early summer and other peak seasons.

Free water shuttle. Citywalk and the two theme parks (which are all easily accessible from one another) are connected to the three hotels via a waterway. Water taxis make frequent pickups. Lovely walkways also connect the hotels to the theme parks. The farthest away is the Portofino, which is about a 15-minute walk.

Priority seating at many of Universal's restaurants.

Free delivery. Instead of schlepping theme park booty around all day, guests can have their items delivered to their rooms.

The room key doubles as an on-property charge card (especially helpful for cashless poolside guests).

Are you looking for hotel accommodations? Compare rates for Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel at About.com's booking partner, Kayak.

Photo: (C) Arthur Levine 2002, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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