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Hard Rock Hotel Orlando: Distance from the parks

This page includes information and photo tours of the transportation between Hard Rock Hotel, Universal CityWalk, and the Universal Orlando theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. This page also includes information about the shuttle service from Hard Rock Hotel to SeaWorld, Aquatica (SeaWorld’s water park), and Wet ‘n Wild.

Distance from Universal CityWalk, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure

Hard Rock Hotel sits right next to Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios Florida. This makes it extremely convenient to move back and forth between the hotel, the restaurant and shops at CityWalk, and the two theme parks at Universal Orlando. At this point I recommend that you open the OI custom-made Google map using this link (it will open in a new window):

OI map of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels

It may be helpful to switch it to Satellite View.

As you can see from the map, Hard Rock Hotel is literally right next to Universal Studios Florida. You have three options for transportation, which will be explained below.

Transportation options to CityWalk and Universal’s theme parks

Here are your options to get from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal CityWalk and Universal theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure:

  • Water taxi: Universal’s complimentary water taxis begin operating 30 minutes before Early Park Admission and run continuously until 2:30am every single day of the year. Each on-site hotel has its own dedicated water taxi, so you will be picked up from the hotel and brought directly to CityWalk every time, and vice versa. (There is a single water taxi dock for CityWalk and the two Universal theme parks.) Below you can view an HD video of the water taxi service.
    • The water taxis are fun, but as you can tell from the map, they are hardly needed for guests staying at Hard Rock Hotel. In fact, it only takes about five minutes to walk from the pool gate at Hard Rock to the turnstiles at Universal Studios Florida.
  • Theme park shuttle: Universal also operates a shuttle that runs continuously between the three on-site hotels and the general guest drop-off area near the Universal parking garages, as seen on the OI Google map. Returning guests will note that this has changed as of 2013 — previously on-site hotel guests using the shuttle were dropped off at Celebrity Circle, just steps away from the Universal Studios Florida turnstiles.
    • Because the shuttle drop-off location puts on-site hotel guests at basically the same distance from the parks as day guests parking at Universal, it serves no function as a time saver. The only advantage may be for guests with disabilities who need to rent a wheelchair for the day, since wheelchair rental is available on the second floor of the transportation hub where the shuttle now drops off (elevator available). Note that ECV rentals are still only available inside the parks.
  • Garden walkway: This roughly 1/5 mile walkway brings you from the pool gate at Hard Rock Hotel to the CityWalk entrance next to Universal Studios Florida and back. The path is extremely easy to follow, beautifully landscaped, and safe because it never crosses any public roads. View the photo tours at the bottom of the post to see for yourself.

Transportation to SeaWorld, Aquatica & Wet ‘n Wild

Universal’s on-site hotels provide complimentary scheduled shuttle transportation to SeaWorld, Aquatica (SeaWorld’s water park), and Wet ‘n Wild. I have emphasized scheduled because it is very important to understand that the shuttle does not run continuously. Rather, in general it picks up and drops off once in the morning and once in the evening. The transportation service is called Super Star Shuttle. Here is an example of the schedule:

Super Star Shuttle sample scheduleSuper Star Shuttle sample schedule from Universal’s on-site hotels.

Water taxi ride from Universal CityWalk to Portofino Bay Hotel – HD video

The following video shows you exactly what it looks like to ride the water taxi from Universal CityWalk to Portofino Bay Hotel. It is included on this page because the taxi goes right past Hard Rock Hotel. You can also see the garden walkway very well, as it winds along the waterway during the entire route.

Garden walkway – photo highlights

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios FloridaWalk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios Florida.

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios FloridaWalk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios Florida.

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios FloridaWalk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios Florida.

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios FloridaWalk from Universal Studios Florida to Hard Rock Hotel.

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios FloridaWalk from Universal Studios Florida to Hard Rock Hotel.

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to Universal Studios FloridaWalk from Universal Studios Florida to Hard Rock Hotel.

 

Walk from Hard Rock Hotel to USF – photo gallery

Walk from USF to Hard Rock Hotel – photo gallery

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando: Live the rock ‘n roll lifestyle