Universal Studios Orlando is a must visit when we are in the Orlando area. In fact, we are annual passholders to Universal Orlando. If you’re here, you’re probably considering doing Universal Studios while you’re on your Disney vacation.
To be clear, there is absolutely no harm in visiting other attractions during your Disney vacation. In fact, I suggest it! Make that vacation longer and get some time at Universal Studios in. I love me some Harry Potter!
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Are Universal Studios and Disney World far from each other or close?
Depending on where you’re staying within the Walt Disney property, Universal Studios is 8-14 miles away. The travel time is a separate fact. I-E4 is the main highway used to get between the two and it can get congested, meaning what time you’re going does matter.
You can assume that the drive will take anywhere from 20-35 minutes. It’s super important to get this estimate right when planning your vacation.
However, getting between the two is very straightforward. I’ll be walking you through the different options and what I prefer to do.
Getting to Universal Studios from Disney World
Some people appreciate the traditional way of taxi. Mears is the leading company in Orlando but there are many. You can call or download the Mears Mobile App to schedule taxi service from Disney World to Universal Studios. You can expect the trip to cost about $50 each way.
Renting a Car
You might have rented a car for your entire vacation, which I do all the time because it makes sense sometimes. But for those of you who just want a car for the few days you are visiting Universal, Disney’s Car Care Center located near Magic Kingdom Park offers guests the services of Alamo Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. It could be the perfect option for you.
You can expect to spend about $50 renting a vehicle but should also factor in the cost of parking at your Disney resort and parking cost at Universal.
If you do get a car from Disney’s Car Care Center, you can have them drop it off to you at your resort, just don’t forge to request it!
Is there a shuttle from Disney World to Universal Studios?
There is definitely the option of a shuttle when you are trying to get from Disney World to Universal Studios. While it’s still a more popular method of travel between these two locations, most times it is more expensive and can take much longer.
Again, I’ll point you to the Mears Transportation Group because they do operate one of the most popular, and most available shared shuttle services in all of Orlando.
Rates are charged on a per-person basis. A round trip fare from a Disney resort or location, to Universal, is $23 for adults and $23 for children. Children 3 and under are free. When you book, you have to choose your pick-up and drop-off times, losing some flexibility.
If you are using the shuttle, you’ll share with guests who have scheduled similar pick-up times, so it will be similar to a carpool. It can also take a little bit longer depending on the number of stops.
I can still remember when Uber first launched. Since day one it’s been a phenomenon across the country. It’s everyday people like you and me, using their own vehicles to transport passengers to wherever they need to go.
It’s very simple to setup and use Uber. It’s an application that you download on your phone and then use it to request a ride by inputting your destination. Before you request the Uber, you will be able to see the full cost.
Luckily, I have a full guide on setting up and using Uber while you are on your Orlando vacation. I use Uber just about every time I’m there for one reason or another (outlets anyone?).
How much is an Uber from Disney to Universal?
When taking an Uber from Disney to Universal Orlando, keep in mind that you can wait anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes for your Uber to arrive. It just depends on what drivers are in your area, and how close it was.
The cost will be between $18 – $27 for 3 adults depending on the time of day. Usually the vehicles are sedans, meaning any more then three seats will require a bigger vehicle and a bump in the rate.
An UberXL fits up to 5 people and is usually an average of $6 more than the standard UberX.
How do I get to Universal Studios from Disney World?
My want to drive depends on my vacation. When I travel to Europe, I don’t want to drive. Now at Disney, it depends. Sometimes I am completely ok renting a vehicle, and sometimes I am completely against it.
I enjoy being driven around and not having to worry about a thing. That means that 9 times out of 10, I am using one of the methods above to Universal Studios from my Disney resort.
My go-to 100% of the time is Uber. It’s usually 2-3 of us and it’s inexpensive. I like to go to Universal at my own pace (which is usually very early or in the evening), so booking a shuttle at an exact time is not for me.
Can you stay at Disney and go to Universal?
The short answer is you can.
As a Disney World guest, you are entitled to free transportation around the Disney property, but that’s the only transportation that Disney provides.
Why? Well, Disney doesn’t want you to leave their property at all. It’s understandable, but don’t worry, like we reviewed above, there are various ways to get to Universal Studios from Disney World.
As a DVC member, I almost always stay at a Disney resort and I almost always also go to Universal Studios. There is nothing stopping you from making that trip outside of knowing how to.
You can add your visit to Universal anywhere within your trip. Use a Disney vacation planner to plan out your trip high level.
When you’re building your trip to Universal into your itinerary, you should treat it just like any other theme park day. There’s going to be a lot of walking, a lot of fun, and just an adventure day. Make sure to build in rest days into your vacation.
How many days do you need for Universal Studios and Disney World?
Universal Studios has two theme parks and a water park: Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and Volcano Bay. Even if you’re skipping the water park, I think two days at Universal is needed to experience it all. However, you can get away with one park ticket of course. Especially if you plan to return one day!
Is it worth going to Universal from Disney World?
I love going to Universal Studios and highly suggest it. We are huge Potter heads. You will have a great time exploring the world of Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, Jurassic Park, and more.
Avoid comparing the two brands because they over two different things in the shape of theme parks. I’ve definitely made that mistake myself and it kind of made that one visit a little clunky. No good. No one can recreate the Disney magic but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good!
No matter how you choose to get to Universal from Disney, the visit will be worth it. It makes sense to do as much as you can while you’re in the Orlando area. And though I love Universal, I don’t think it’s worth a separate trip on its own. It is however worth building in some days for Universal into your Disney trip.