Planning a trip to Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Resort? This page has all the information you’ll need to move between your parks and the hotel, including photo tours of the transportation options between Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal CityWalk Orlando, and the Universal Orlando theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure). This page also includes information on how Sapphire Falls guests can access Volcano Bay, Universal’s water theme park, as well as the complimentary shuttle service to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park.
How do I get from Sapphire Falls Resort to CityWalk, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure?
Sapphire Falls offers three methods of getting to CityWalk and Universal’s theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Each method has its own positives and negatives, which we’ve detailed below for your convenience.
Universal’s complimentary water taxis begin operating 30 minutes before Early Park Admission and run continuously until 2:00 am every single day of the year. Most of the resort hotels have their own dedicated water taxi, so you will be picked up from the hotel and brought directly to the CityWalk dock every time, and vice versa. However, there is just one dock at CityWalk where all boats arrive and depart.
This is a very convenient and quick way of getting from Sapphire Falls to CityWalk, as you won’t have to wait longer than 15 or so minutes for a water taxi to arrive, and the ride itself is only 5–10 minutes long. The views as you float along the canal are beautiful, too! Additionally, you’ll be able to trade the sometimes hectic and crowded CityWalk main entrance security hub for the security screening at the water taxi dock.
The garden walkway connects Sapphire Falls with Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and CityWalk. The walk from Sapphire Falls to CityWalk is roughly half a mile long, with plenty of scenic views along the way and no streets to cross. Once you’ve made the trek, you’ll arrive at the side entrance located near Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
Like the water taxi option, the garden walkway will allow you to trade the main CityWalk entrance security screening for a much less crowded screening at the side entrance. For that reason, along with the relaxing and energizing nature of the walk, we highly recommend the garden walkway for your journey to CityWalk and the Universal theme parks. However, if you’re in a time crunch, the water taxis may be your best bet – especially if you’re headed to Universal Studios Florida, which is a slightly longer walk than CityWalk or Islands of Adventure.
Themepark shuttle buses
Universal operates a bus service that runs continuously between the resort hotels and the general guest drop-off area near the Universal parking garages. Because the bus drop-off location puts 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 bus drops you off (an elevator is available here). Note that ECV rentals are still only available inside the parks. We recommend you check with your hotel’s front desk to confirm bus services and pickup times.
The ride itself is only about 10–15 minutes long. However, you’ll want to be aware that when leaving Universal to go back to Sapphire Falls, the line can get long at peak times (typically when both theme parks are closing). Additionally, you’ll have to go through the main security screening on arrival, which can add more time to the journey than the less crowded water taxi and garden walkway security screenings.
How do I get Volcano Bay?
If you’re traveling to Volcano Bay from Sapphire Falls, you have two options: taking a dedicated shuttle bus or traversing the garden walkway. The shuttles arrive approximately every 30 minutes and will drop you off directly at the water theme park. Alternatively, you can take the scenic route by following the garden walkway to Cabana Bay Beach Resort and walking from there straight to Volcano Bay. This will be a much shorter walk than the one to CityWalk and the dry theme parks, only taking about 5–10 minutes, depending on your pace.
How can I get to SeaWorld and Aquatica?
Universal’s hotels provide complimentary scheduled transportation, called the Connector Shuttle, to SeaWorld and Aquatica (SeaWorld’s water park). We emphasize scheduled because it is very important to understand that the bus does not run continuously; rather, in general, it picks up and drops off once in the morning and once in the evening – check with any Vacation Planning Center desk to reserve pick-up and drop-off times for your visit.
Sapphire Falls garden walkway – photo gallery
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort: Dining & lounges
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort: Pool area
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort: Public spaces
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort: Rooms
- Sapphire Falls Resort: Distance from the parks