The Complete Guide to CityWalk at The Universal Orlando Resort

Universal’s CityWalk is the “epicenter” of the Universal Orlando Resort which features shopping, dining, and some of the best entertainment venues in all of the Orlando area.  Fortunately, there is no admission cost to visit CityWalk, the only price you have to pay is admission inside the venues themselves.

What makes Universal different from other Orlando theme park operators is that it is fairly self contained and very pedestrian friendly.  Although there is boat and bus transportation offered, guests can literally walk from one end to the other in short order.  As a result, CityWalk is central hub between the theme parks, hotels, and the parking area which most guests pass through on their way to any of the resorts locations.

Hours of operation at Universal’s CityWalk vary during certain times a year but are typically 8:00 am to 2:00 am during most of the year.

How to Get to Universal’s CityWalk 

From downtown Orlando, the best way to get to CityWalk is to take Interstate 4 to either the Kirkman Road or the Adventure Way exits. From the Orlando International Airport, guests should take the Beachline Expressway (528) west to Interstate 4, then head east (it’s actually north in this area) to the Universal Boulevard exit.  You know you are getting close when you see the Krakatoa volcano at Universal’s Volcano Bay water park.

A number of off-site hotels also offer complimentary transportation to and from the Universal Orlando Resort.  The pick up and drop off area is located just outside of the parking garages and beneath the walking bridge which provides access to CityWalk.

Parking at Universal’s CityWalk 

Garage parking is available just on the opposite side of Universal Boulevard.  There are two multi-story garages that provide parking not only for CityWalk, but also for Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. There is an elevated walking bridge which provides access to CityWalk where guests will have to pass through a security checkpoint before entering the property.

Universal offers regular self-parking and upgraded “Prime” parking, which brings you closer to the waking bridge.  Valet parking is also available with different pricing based on the time of day.

Universal Orlando Parking Costs as of January 2023

  • Regular Parking:  $27.00 per day
  • RV / Bus Parking: $32.00 per day
  • Prime Parking: $40.00 to $60.00 per day
  • Prime Upgrade: $13.00 to $33.00 per day
  • Valet before 6:PM:  $27.00 for 2 hours and $40.00 to $75.00 for over 2 hours
  • Valet after 6:PM: $27.00 for 2 hours and $40.00 to $75.00 for over 2 hours
  • For Preferred Annual Passholders: 50% discount

After 6:00 PM, guests do not have to pay for regular self-parking (not valid during Halloween Horror Nights).  Additionally, there is free regular parking with the purchase of two matinee movie tickets (11:00 AM to 6:00 PM).  Parking fees will need to be paid in advance and then reimbursed upon presentation of a parking receipt.

Universal also offers complimentary vehicle assistance to their guests when parked in their garages.  Guests can notify one of the roving parking attendants or use a security call box located at the end of each parking section.

Unique Entertainment & Attractions

Beyond just shopping and dining, there are a number of unique entertainment experiences located at Universal’s CityWalk. 

Hollywood Drive-In Golf

The Hollywood Drive-In Golf consists of two 18-hole miniature golf courses with completely different theming.  Guests can choose between the Invaders from Planet Putt (themed after an alien invasion) or The Haunting of Ghostly Greens (themed after a haunted house).

The cost for an adult (ages 10 and up) for 18-holes is $16.99 per person and children ages 3 to 9 is slightly less at $14.99 per person.  To play an additional 18-holes the price is $13.99 per person.

Both courses are loads of fun and offer differing challenges than the traditional miniature golf course.

Universal’s Great Movie Escape (all new)

Opened in late 2022 replacing The Groove nightclub, Universal’s Great Movie Escape is more than just your typical “escape room”.

  • Back to the Future: OUTATIME
  • Jurassic World: Escape

Prices start at $49.99 per person or $300.00 per party for private groups of up to eight people.

Universal Cinemark Movie Theater

Universal’s Cinemark features the latest state-of-the-art technology for its projection and sound systems with all 20 theaters offering 4K digital projection and RealD 3D.  Guests will experience wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screen and surround sound using the THX Certified XD experience.

Luxury seating is offered along with extendable footrests and cup holders, so you can enjoy hot food along with a full liquor bar at the concession stands.

Free parking is offered for matinee movies showing between 11:00 am to 6:00 pm (with two or more tickets, restrictions apply).  Be sure to check the “Dinner and a Movie” deal that Universal offers which starts from $28.12 per person.  Guests can enjoy a movie as well as dinner from a select menu at certain CityWalk restaurants.

Click here for showtimes and to buy tickets.

Hard Rock Live Orlando

Hard Rock Live Orlando is one of Orlando’s top venues for music performances and live events.  With seating for up to 3,000 guests, Hard Rock Live brings in some of the biggest artists & entertainers and offers the latest in sound and lighting technology.

In addition to public events, Hard Rock Live is used for corporate functions and personal events likes weddings and parties.

Click here to see the event calendar at Hard Rock Live Orlando.


Food & Dining at Universal’s CityWalk

There are more than 20 dining options at CityWalk which range from fast food to quick service dining to more formal table service.  

Table service options are as follows:

  • Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
  • Pat O’Brien’s Orlando
  • Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
  • Bigfire
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • The Cowfish
  • Hard Rock Café Orlando
  • NBC Sports Grill & Brew
  • Red Oven Pizza Bakery
  • The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
  • Vivo Italian Kitchen

If a sit down table service dinner is not what you are looking for, then there are a number of fast food and quick service dining options available at CityWalk.

  • Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
  • Bend the Bao
  • Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
  • Cinnabon
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Fat Tuesday
  • Hot Dog Hall of Fame 
  • Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • Panda Express
  • Starbucks
  • Voodoo Doughnut
  • Burger King Whopper Bar

Nightclubs, Lounges and Entertainment

Universal’s CityWalk has some of the best night spots throughout all of the greater Orlando area.  When it’s time to party, the clubs, bars, and lounges at CityWalk are the places to be.

CityWalk’s Rising Star

CityWalk’s Rising Star is Universal’s version of a karaoke bar where guests can sing along to their favorite tunes with the help from a talented array of backup singers and a live band (on select evenings).

Admission is $7.00 per adult.  Guests ages 18 and up are allowed from Sunday to Thurdsay while guests ages 21 and up are allowed on all days.  A VIP experience is available with exclusive seating, express entry, and a dedicated server.

Red Coconut Club 

The Red Coconut Club has become a themed night spot during select events like Halloween Horror Nights as well as Christmas & the holiday season.

Lone Palm Airport 

Parrotheads will enjoy a margarita or frozen drink in this outside tiki bar adjacent to Jimmy Buffet’s own seaplane.  This is the perfect place to people watch as you enjoy your favorite cocktail while sampling one of the tasty eats.

As Jimmy says, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom

After 9:00 PM this open air courtyard restaurant (which is a replica of Bob’s home in Kingston, Jamaica) transforms into a musical journey of the “King of Reggae” with a live DJ each evening.

There is a $7.00 cover charge at 10:00 PM and guests must be 21 and older to enter at that time.

Pat O’Briens

Similar to Bob Marley’s, this classic New Orleans experience transforms from a restaurant where guests sample crawfish and po’boys into a night of revelry with dueling pianos.

There is a $7.00 cover charge at 10:00 PM and guests must be 21 and older to enter at that time.

Shopping at Universal’s CityWalk

There are a number of retailers at CityWalk that offer everything from apparel and accessories to footwear, as well as souvenirs and memorabilia from the Universal Studios Store.

  • Quiet Flight Surf Shop
  • Hart & Huntington Orlando Tattoo Shop
  • Universal Studios Store and Universal Studios Legacy Store

Guest Services at Universal’s CityWalk

CityWalk offers a fully staffed guest services center and information booth located immediately after the entrance just adjacent to Cold Stone Creamery and the escalators.  

There is also a first aid facility and public restrooms which are located at the end of the hallway behind Cold Stone Creamery.

What do we like best about Universal’s CityWalk?

You can always feel the energy at CityWalk.  From first thing in the morning as guests eagerly make their way to the theme parks to later in the evenings when you will feel the party vibe, you know that CityWalk is a fun place to be.  

For the Endless Summer Florida family, here are some of the things we like best.

The Hard Rock Cafe Back Stage Tour

On a slow day at the Hard Rock Cafe, ask one of the staff members who (if time permits) will take you on an amazing backstage tour of Rock n’ Roll history.  You will get to see some rare memorabilia as well as the John Lennon private suite. 

If there is not a show at the Hard Rock Live, you will enjoy a tour of the venue as well as the green room.

Entertainment and Special Events

Universal hosts live DJ’s and special broadcasts of popular shows in their amphitheater.  Some of the prior broadcasts including the NBC Today show and Ellen.  

Proximity to On-site Hotels

After a long night of dining and clubbing at CityWalk, you can walk (or stumble) back to your hotel and be at your room in just a matter of minutes.

Valet Parking

Valet parking is available adjacent to CityWalk and can be accessed via Universal Boulevard.  You walk right out of your car and directly into the heart of CityWalk – it is the true Rockstar treatment!

Universal’s CityWalk is a great place to eat, drink, and just have some fun.  We feel it is more of a dining and entertainment venue and it gets very busy during the later evening hours from the “party crowd”.

Click here to visit the web site for Universal’s CityWalk.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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