One of Universal Orlando’s Newest Resorts Now Accepting Reservations for 2019 Opening

OK. It’s still a little more than a year away but anticipation is great and Universal Orlando Resort fans are counting the days for this newest and the MOST AFFORDABLE hotel option coming to Universal!

The design is being referred to as “Universal’s Endless Summer Resort” because of it’s surfing and beach theme that will have families thinking they are at a beach resort (actually will be two resorts).

Universal Orlando Endless Summer Resorts
Photo Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

The Endless Summer Resorts represents an new category for Universal’s on-site hotels – value resorts. They will be the most inexpensive rooms offered by Universal Orlando Resort. Cabana Bay Beach Resort and the new Aventura Hotel are considered Prime Value resorts being located closer to the theme parks and offering direct access to Volcano Bay. 

Endless Summer Theme

The Endless Summer actually consists of two different hotels: Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites. Surfside Inn and Suites will consist of 750 rooms and will open in August 2019. Dockside Inn and Suites will be huge with 2,050 rooms and will open in phases throughout 2020. 

The Location

Surfside Inn and Suites is being built on a 64-acre piece of land that was once Wet ‘n Wild Orlando. Wet ‘n Wild Orlando was purchased by Universal in 1998 and closed and demolished in 2016. The location is approximately a five-minute bus ride from Universal Orlando theme parks. Surfside Inn and Suites will occupy the land that was the Wet ‘n Wild park itself, while the Dockside Inn and Suites will occupy the space that was the water park’s parking lot and offices. 

Dining

All we know so far is that Surfside Inn and Suites’s will include at least one poolside bar, a food court, and possibly a coffee bar.

Most Recent Press Release

The most affordable hotel option at Universal Orlando Resort is now accepting reservations. Opening in August 2019, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites will be the first hotel in the destination’s new Value hotel category, with rates starting at less than $100 per night. It will offer a hotel option for families looking for theme park thrills, exclusive benefits and a seamless Universal Orlando vacation experience at the destination’s most affordable rates.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Brought to life by the award-winning Universal Creative team, Surfside Inn and Suites will offer nightly rates starting at just $73 for a seven-night stay and $85 per night for a four-night stay in a standard room. The hotel will feature 390 two Bedroom Suites that sleep six and start as low as $111 per night for a seven-night stay.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

“This hotel checks every box – quality, family-friendly suites and exclusive benefits that only come with staying in one of our hotels at a value that is simply unmatched in Orlando,” said Vince LaRuffa, Senior Vice President of Resort Sales and Marketing at Universal Orlando Resort. “With the addition of this new Value hotel category, we now offer a hotel for every style and budget.”

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Guests at Surfside Inn and Suites can take advantage of exclusive Universal Orlando hotel benefits to enjoy an epic vacation, including:

  • Early Park Admission – allowing them to breeze into one of Universal Orlando’s three amazing theme parks an hour before everyone else
  • Complimentary shuttle bus transportation to and from the theme parks and Universal CityWalk
  • Destination-wide charging privileges with their room key
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to their hotel

Families needing a bit more room will find it easy to relax in the spacious 2 Bedroom Suites, which sleep six comfortably and feature a kitchenette and separate bath and vanity areas. It’s the perfect home-base for families of any size to experience all that Universal Orlando has to offer.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

The 750-room Surfside Inn and Suites will feature a relaxed and fun surf vibe with beach details woven throughout the experience. It will be the destination’s seventh hotel in partnership with Loews Hotels & Co.

Sister property Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites will add 2,050 rooms and suites when it opens in 2020. Both hotels will be located minutes away from Universal Orlando’s three theme parks – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay – as well as its dining and entertainment complex – Universal CityWalk.

To book a stay at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, visit UniversalOrlando.com or call 800.BE.A.STAR (232-7827).




Visiting Orlando and Someone Gets Sick! Oh No! What Do You Do?

As much as we plan and prepare and worry and fret, one thing we all know about a family vacation – expect the unexpected. When you are planning your dream vacation to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando, you never plan on a family member getting sick while you are there.

medical concierge orlando

Many visitors travel from other parts of the country or other parts of the world that don’t normally experience the extreme heat and humidity that is common to the Orlando/Florida area during the summer months. This heat and humidity can cause all sorts of health concerns for even the healthiest of individuals. Even when visiting during other times of the year – stuff happens! Someone comes down with a cold, you trip into your resort room twisting your ankle, your child falls and breaks an arm (don’t laugh – this happened to me!) you eat something that just doesn’t agree with you.

We all know there are emergency medical facilities that we can drive to or taxi to. We all know that sometimes you just don’t feel good enough to leave your hotel room. Drum roll please . . . enter The Medical Concierge®

The Three P’s of Vacation Planning

When planning a trip to any of the Orlando theme parks, especially during the hot and humid summer months, it’s important to remember the three P’s:

Preparation

  • Bring with you common over-the-counter medications in TSA-compliant packaging: pain relievers, decongestants, cough syrups, motion-sickness pills. All of these items are available for sale on the theme park properties but at a cost much higher than you will pay at home
  • Stay cool! Many people underestimate the power of the Florida sun. Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, finding shade or wearing hats, and applying sunscreen regularly will keep you moving throughout the day
  • Most attraction areas in Orlando allow guests to bring snacks and other food with them. Healthy options, like watermelon, carrot sticks, and celery, can put back the nutrients lost during the day. Bring and drink lots of water.
  • Don’t wear new shoes. Blistered feet on a theme park vacation can ruin everything!

Pacing

  • Theme Parks are exciting places, especially when it’s your time to ride the latest thrill ride or catch up with your favorite character. But too much hustle from place to place can drain you quickly.
  • One loop just around the walking perimeter of the Magic Kingdom, Universal Orlando or SeaWorld Orlando can be several miles. Take advantage of seating opportunities or take in a show experience to give everyone—especially little ones or senior citizens—a break from the exploration.
  • Parents and adult family members like to enjoy the specialty cocktails exclusive to the parks. But too many at a time can cause problems with digestion and other important functions of the body. Slow down and enjoy responsibly!

Physician

  • Should health issues arise, it doesn’t have to mean the end of the family fun for the trip
  • One convenient option available at the front desk of most hotels on and off the Theme Park sites is The Medical Concierge
    • Preferred Medical Provider for Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and over 123 hotels and various tour operators, travel assistance companies, and vacation homes
      • Minutes away from Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in the heart of Greater Orlando
    • Accepts domestic and international Insurance
    • Services
      • Team of Board Certified, Florida-licensed pediatric and family practice physicians
      • Administers urgent care in the comfort of visitor’s hotel rooms, vacation homes, event venues.

About The Medical Concierge 

Founded in 1980, The Medical Concierge gives guests 24/7 medical assistance directly in their hotel or at the company’s medical clinic steps away from Universal Orlando Resort. From high-grade equipment like in-room X-rays and ultrasounds, free transportation to the clinic, and quick access to medications and testing directly from the board-certified and licensed physicians, The Medical Concierge and specialist partners strive to take care of everything, so guests and their families can take care of getting better.

The Medical Concierge has established itself during the last four decades as the preferred medical provider for the most storied hospitality companies in the Orlando operating area, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Four Seasons Resort Orlando, and nearly 123 other hotel and vacation home properties.

Domestic and international travelers across the nation and around the world have found comfort with The Medical Concierge, the preferred Medical Provider for over 123 hotels and various tour operators, travel assistance companies, and vacation homes. The Medical Concierge works closely with international travelers, providing translation services and direct insurance billing to keep their vacations stress-free. Healthcare assistance is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with medically trained staff available to answer your call, address your concerns, and assist with selecting and scheduling the service best suited for your medical needs. Should circumstances present you with a need for urgent care services while in Central Florida simply look for the gold bell of The Medical Concierge.

After contacting The Medical Concierge, the medical personnel will assess your medical needs and assist with options that accommodate your medical concerns or requirements. You will be assessed by phone using your description of symptoms. The staff will then schedule one of their physicians to come out to see you at your hotel, resort, or vacation home any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients are typically seen within 2-2 1/2 hours of being scheduled.

After a doctor arrives on site, they perform tests, diagnose, and treat you. Medications are prescribed and dispensed within the room, eliminating the need to find a pharmacy. Follow-up visits are performed within 24 hours if deemed necessary.

Cost & Insurance

The Medical Concierge takes most insurance and if necessary will provide you with a medically coded receipt. Their self-pay prices are set with a traveler’s budget in mind as they strive to provide the most value for your dollar.

In-Room Services

Typical services provided during a resort house call include:

  • Breathing Treatments
  • Dermabond Wound Closure
  • Diabetic Evaluation
  • Influenza Screening
  • IV Therapy
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Mobile X-Ray & Ultrasound
  • Prescription Service

Medical equipment can be rented, scheduled in advance, and delivered to your hotel:

  • Bath Safety Equipment
  • Motorized Scooters
  • Portable Oxygen
  • Wheelchairs

If you would prefer to see a physician at one of their private urgent care clinics, you can schedule an appointment. They have clinics conveniently located throughout the greater Orlando area just minutes from major attractions.

Typical services provided at one of our clinics:

  • Chiropractor
  • Dental
  • Dermatology
  • OB/GYN
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedic
  • Psychiatry

Getting sick while on vacation in Orlando doesn’t have to ruin your entire trip and have you traveling all over Orlando in a taxi – The Medical Concierge to the rescue! Hide this number away in your wallet on your next trip just in case: 855-932-5252




Do You Use the Universal Orlando APP?

Most of us know when we visit that other theme park in Orlando that is run by a mouse to use their APP for planning, helpful tips and necessary information. Until recently, I had no idea that Universal Orlando had a similar APP you can use. It isn’t as large and doesn’t do as much as the other one many of us use, but I would bet with time it will expand and be an even better tool for Universal Orlando visitors than it already is.

Universal Orlando App
Photo Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Whether you’re still planning your trip or already there, the official Universal Orlando APP is a must-have. It can be downloaded for either your iPhone or Android device.

Here’s what you can use the APP for:

1. Virtual Wallet

With the app’s Virtual Wallet you can purchase and redeem park tickets, Universal Express passes and have them handy and available in one convenient spot on your phone.

TIP: You can set up your TapuTapu wearable as a payment method when visiting Universal’s Volcano Bay.

2. Interactive Maps

Find your way around without going in circles with the APP’s detailed Interactive Maps. You can set filters for all of the park activities and offers to help you find what you need – including restrooms.

TIP: You can also view ride wait times, showtimes and dining venue hours.

3. Favorites List

With the Favorites List on the APP, you can create an itinerary with your favorite top attractions. Set alerts for when the wait times are low!

TIP: You can even view all of your itinerary items on a personal itinerary map.

4. Parking Reminder

Oh no! Where did we park the car? The APP lets you set a parking reminder to find your car by section, level and row.

5. Updates and Special Offers

With the APP, you can receive all the latest updates on attractions, schedule changes, special offers and special events.

The best part is the Official Universal Orlando Resort APP is FREE for you to download. Get it now for  your iPhone or Android device and start planning!




My Favorite Rides at Universal Orlando Resort

Not everyone heading to Orlando is going to Walt Disney World! There are lots of people, like me that head to Universal whenever they can too!. 

Universal Orlando Favorite RidesUniversal Orlando Resort has lots to choose from – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Island of Adventure, Universal’s Volcano Bay and Universal CityWalk. Each park has its own feel, themes and rides and it’s hard to choose just a few. So, what are some of my favorite rides?

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: Harry Potter fans have had a fully immersive experience since the first Wizarding World was opened in 2010. Since then Universal has been giving fans jaw-dropping fun, and with Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, located in Island of Adventure, fans get to travel through Hogwarts Castle, take part in a Qudditch match, and even escape a Dementors.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: This ride has become a cornerstone in the way Universal makes rides. Spiderman has won Best Dark Ride by Amusement Today 15 out of 16 years. That alone makes it a ride worth adding to your must ride list.

Revenge of the Mummy: This ride is a dark ride and coaster combined that features amazing animatronics and physical thrills. To add to its excitement the ride plays with psychological scares as well.

E.T Adventure:  E.T. Adventure is a classic ride from one of the most successful movies of all times. This ride is the last remaining ride from when the park first opened in 1990. While a slower pace than many rides at Universal, it is a relaxing ride that everyone should ride. Be sure to listen to what E.T. says at the end of the ride.

Men in Black: Alien Attack: This dark ride starts with an introduction from Will Smith himself. As the ride starts, aliens are appearing from everywhere and the riders need to shoot each one. Each seat has a gun and each rider receives points for shooting the aliens. The car travels through the ride, occasionally stopping and then spins around. It makes hitting the targets a little harder.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This ride takes you on a treacherous journey into the dark heart of the jungle, prehistoric predators and fearsome creatures attack your vehicle from all sides. Your expedition guide fights them back with all their might.

Of course, there are rides that everyone will love at Universal. Rides of all kinds can be found throughout the different parks. There are rides for the speed demon and the tamest at heart, as well as some of the best rides around for little ones. My absolute favorite for kids (and kids at heart like me!) is The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. Sit back and relax as you wind your way above the imaginative buildings and rides of Seuss Landing. There are two different tracks your ride might take. One continues the story of the Sneetches, while the other takes you through the ABCs of your other favorite Seuss stories.

 

Do you have a some favorite Universal Orlando rides?




Everything You Need to Know About Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to visit in Orlando! For years I only visited those parks run by our favorite mouse, but in the last couple of years I’ve been making it a point to spend some of my time at Universal. The more I visit – the more I love it!

Universal Orlando Resort

All the Parts of Universal

  • Universal Studios Florida – Lots of rides and lots of adventure. Dodge evil villains. Defend the earth. Face a fire-breathing dragon. In this theme park, the movies come to life right before your eyes!
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Super heroes and magical creates!
  • Universal’s Volcano Bay – This is the BEST water park in Orlando!
  • Universal CityWalk – Dining and entertainment at it’s best! 

Children Under Three Get In Free – Single or double strollers are available for rent upon entering Universal Studios Florida

Sit Out, Then Swap – If your children are too small or don’t want to go on a particular ride that you’d like to experience, you can take advantage of the “child swap” program. Each ride and attraction has a child swap area where one member of your party can wait with the little ones while the rest of your party rides.

Universal Rider Guide

All the Resorts of Universal

The resorts at Universal Orlando make it easy to get to the parks and CityWalk. You can enter the parks an hour before all other guests. When staying at some of the resorts, you can skip the regular lines at most popular attractions with FREE Universal Express Unlimited to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

There’s a Universal hotel for every style and budget. 

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Celebrate the sweet life. Enjoy the beauty, charm and romance of a luxurious escape inspired by the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy. Tasty outdoor cafes and a serene harbor invite you to explore the colorful piazza. Three amazing pools offer different ways to relax. Incredible restaurants let you savor a deliciously delightful culinary tour of Italy.
  • Hard Rock Hotel – The coolest hotel on the planet. Live like a rock star and savor the perks of rock and roll royalty with impeccable accommodations, laid-back luxurious style and show-stopping service. 
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Experience a luxurious South Seas escape that perfectly combines tropical splendor and exceptional amenities. A sparkling lagoon-style pool surrounded by a white sand beach and swaying palms invites you to escape. Savor the culinary creations of a celebrity chef. Celebrate with a classic luau. Unwind with a one-of-a-kind dining adventure featuring locally brewed beers.
  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Step into paradise in the heart of the tropics. Blue waterfalls cascade over lush grounds and in the distance, calming sounds of steel drums call you to take in the scenic views, ease into island time and let go. Amid the ruins, passageways and pools you’ll find numerous Caribbean-themed dining options. 
  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Vibrant, retro style rooms and suites brilliantly designed for fun and affordability. Relax with a splash, surrounded by amazing iconic architecture inspired by classic Florida beach resorts of the 1950’s and 60’s. Two massive pools, a winding lazy river, a bowling alley and more.
  • Universal’s Aventura Hotel – Opening August 2018, this will be the modern and stylish place to stay. Spacious open areas will invite conversation and engagement while the 600 rooms reflect a clean, contemporary style. 

Each of the on-site resort hotels at Universal Orlando Resort has a supervised children’s activity center where kids can be dropped off in a safe, monitored environment while Mom and Dad enjoy a few hours out. An activity center is open every evening and offers movies, games, arts and crafts, and more for children ages 4–14. Please note that this service is only available to on-site hotel guests. There is a fee and advance reservations are suggested.

All Universal Orlando on-site hotels comply with accessibility requirements to ensure specially equipped guest rooms are available. Restaurants are wheelchair accessible, and all accessible guest room entrances include room numbers in Braille. Trained service animals are welcome. 

All About Dining

There are approximately 125 restaurants so there is something for every sort of eater! Dining plans offer different options, including full service or quick service – character dining – fine dining. No one goes hungry at Universal Orlando!

Annual Universal Events

  • A Celebration of Harry Potter 
  • Mardi Gras (Universal Studios) Feb. 3 – April 7, 2018
  • Rock the Universe (Universal Studios) 
  • Halloween Horror Nights 28 (Universal Studios)
  • Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s (Universal Studios)
  • Mannheim Steamroller (Universal Studios) 
  • Grinchmas