Welcome to Orlando Informer’s coverage of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, the first value on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort (not to be confused with Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel, which are prime value properties). We’ll be expanding and updating this page as we inch closer to the new addition’s grand debut, which will begin in August 2019.
There are two very important items to keep in mind when discussing this new hotel complex. First and foremost is its location: it is being built on a 64-acre plot of land that used to house Wet ‘n Wild Orlando, the 1977 water park that Universal purchased in 1998 (and demolished in 2016) – meaning it’s a good five-minute bus ride away from the main Universal Orlando campus. While this might seem like a bit of a drive, it’s actually not that much longer – if any at all – than the trip from Cabana Bay Beach Resort to CityWalk and the two theme parks, which form the heart of Universal Orlando.
Secondly, Endless Summer actually consists of two different hotels: Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites. The former consists of 750 rooms and will land in August 2019, while the latter is a massive 2,050 rooms and will open throughout 2020; its first phase is currently scheduled for the first quarter of ’20, while its second is slated for Q3. And, yes, once Dockside is fully up and running, all Endless Summer guests will have access to its additional slate of amenities, which will include two more pools.
(In case you were wondering, while this may be the first Universal resort to contain multiple venues, it actually isn’t the first to open in different phases; Cabana’s two courtyards bowed three months apart, with its tower expansion following three whole years later.)
OI fun fact
Surfside Inn and Suites will sit on the land that formally housed Wet ‘n Wild itself, while the larger Dockside Inn and Suites will occupy the space that was dedicated to the ex-water park’s parking lot and ancillary buildings (such as employee offices).
A word on value versus prime value hotels
As already noted, Endless Summer Resort represents an entirely new category for Universal’s on-site hotels: value, which now joins the ranks of premier, preferred, and prime value. This may cause guests some confusion, so we figured we’d spend just a moment to clarify what the differences between the two value classifications are.
The “value” part of their designations means that, as one might expect, these three (four, really) venues offer the most inexpensive room rates to be found all across Universal Orlando Resort. Where the “prime” part comes into play is in two benefits that both Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel offer that Endless Summer doesn’t (and, in fact, can’t): closer proximity to the theme parks and direct access, via private entrances, to Volcano Bay (which, if you’re planning on going to the water park, is actually a huge perk – waiting to be transported via shuttle can take a fair chunk of time, particularly if one does so from CityWalk as opposed to from any of the other hotels).
Is Endless Summer still an on-site hotel?
Given that Universal’s Endless Summer Resort will be sitting on its own little chunk of land out on Universal Boulevard, one is inclined to ask: is the new value hotel actually on-site? In a word, yes.
Endless Summer will still offer the same level of theming and service that can be found at the other six Universal properties, along with – more importantly – the same bevy of benefits, such as Early Park Admission, resort-wide charging privileges, and package deliveries to your room. And as far as the distance from the parks and CityWalk goes, it actually is extremely comparable to that of Cabana Bay, with the only difference being what is on the land that lies between the hotels and CityWalk’s transportation area. Yes, this, in turn, will affect the walk from the new resort to Universal proper, but, then again, we don’t expect a number of guests to make that attempt in the first place – after all, most don’t walk from Cabana, and the company laid out a nice pathway for that very purpose.
(We should also add that having non-contiguous parcels of real estate to build upon will now be the name of the game for Universal in Florida, as the main area’s approximately-725 acres have all been [largely] accounted for, and the company keeps scooping up additional tracts of land further on down the road – as we’ve noted in our Endless announcement article here.)
Theming at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
Because Endless Summer is the single most inexpensive on-site resort – with prices starting at $73 for a standard room (if one takes advantage of the “stay more, save more” multi-night discount during certain times of the year), it’s almost exactly half the price of Cabana Bay – the theming won’t be anywhere near as pronounced as what one can find at, say, Sapphire Falls Resort or Portofino Bay Hotel (although it should still offer up more than the minimalist-by-design Aventura Hotel, we should add). Expect to see a sun-surf-and-sand vibe running all throughout Summer’s grounds (or, as Universal likes to put it, the hotel complex is where “the sun, surf, sand, and water meet”), with an emphasis on vibrant colors, “towering” exterior murals, and a pretty sizable beach.
Oh, yeah – that beach. Making this new hotel unique among Universal’s lineup is its proximity to the lake that the Wet ‘n Wild water park used to wrap itself around. Not only will the company take advantage of this natural beauty by having it provide some pretty spectacular views from Surfside and Dockside’s rooms, look for the company to also potentially offer some interesting activities out in its waters, such as boat rentals.
Rooms at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
Universal has yet to talk much (if at all) about Dockside Inn and Suites, which isn’t that surprising, given its further-off opening date. That means we’ll just focus on Surfside Inn and Suites for the time being.
Surfside’s 750 rooms will include the following types:
- Standard rooms
- Standard double room (sleeps up to four)
- Double room with pool view (up to four)
- Standard two-bedroom suite (up to six)
- Two-bedroom suite with pool view (up to six)
- Two-bedroom suite with water view (up to six)
The two-bedroom suite is, really, the star of the show here. One of its two bedrooms will house two queen beds, while the other, separated one will feature a single queen (which is how it can sleep up to six). It will feature a kitchenette and dining area, a bathroom with separate shower and two-sink vanity areas (so that the whole family can get ready at the same time), and, perhaps most interestingly, a “cool” picnic table for some family time (which looks like it’ll be located in the bigger bedroom).
Prices for the standard rooms, as previously mentioned, will start at $73, while the two-bedroom suites will begin at $111.
Surfside Inn and Suites rooms – photo gallery
Dining and lounges at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
All that Universal has said thus far of Surfside Inn and Suites’s eateries is that they will include at least one poolside bar, a food court, and – perhaps most intriguingly – a coffee bar (does this mean there won’t be a Starbucks on-site? We’ll have to wait and see).
Amenities at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
Transportation at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
The water taxis that service all of Universal’s premiere and preferred hotels won’t, of course, extend all the way down Universal Blvd to Endless Summer Resort, meaning that shuttles will be the only method of transportation from the new resort to Universal Orlando proper – just as with the prime value hotels.
On-site benefits at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
This newest value on-site hotel will carry the full complement of on-site perks that its two counterparts, Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel, offer: Early Park Admission to both The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay, resort-wide charging privileges with its room keys, and the ability to have packages sent directly to its rooms.