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.
Due to restrictions from the COIVD-19 pandemic, CityWalk is open from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM daily. Valet parking is not available at this time and each restaurant will have limited seating available. The Blue Man Group and most nightclubs remain closed until further notice.
Facial coverings are required to enter and temperature checks are in place at the security area near the parking garages. All guests with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted.
Please note that construction is taking place to the stores adjacent to Cinnabon and the Quiet Flight Surf Shop. Universal has not announced what will occupy this space.
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 multistory garages that provide parking not only for CityWalk, but also for Universal Studios Orlando, 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 December 2020
- Regular Self Parking: $26.00 per day
- Upgraded “Prime Parking”: $40.00 per day
- Valet before 6:PM: $26.00 for 2 hours and $55.00 for over 2 hours
- Valet after 6:PM: $26.00 for 2 hours and $40.00 for over 2 hours
Valet parking and prime parking is free to Premier Annual Passholders while Preferred Annual Passholders get free regular self-parking and discounts on valet and Prime self-parking.
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.
Blue Man Group
If you have never seen the Blue Man Group, before than here is your chance at one of the home theaters at Universal’s CityWalk. The Blue Man Group is a family-friendly live stage show which is part rock concert, part comedy, and part theater performance. And the really crazy part is that the “blue” men never speak a single word during the entire show.
There are a number of props that they use to make music and involve the audience so make sure you sit up front in the “poncho section” to get the full immersion of the show.
Ticket costs depends on your seat location and typically ranges from approximately $40 per person to more than $100 per person for premium and poncho seating. There is a family four-pack currently offered for $196 as well as a “dinner and show” package. Check the website for current Blue Man Group offers.
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.
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.
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
- Antoijitos Authentic Mexican Food
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
- The Cowfish
- Hard Rock Cafe 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
- Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Dippin’ Dots
- Fat Tuesday
- Fresh Eats
- Fusion Bistro Sushi & Saki Bar
- Hot Dog Hall of Fame
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
- Moe’s Southwest Grill
- Panda Express
- 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.
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.
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.
Red Coconut Club
The Red Coconut Club is part lavish lounge and part glamours nightclub. This two story club has indoor and outdoor patio seating offers, signature drinks, as well as an extensive wine list. On select nights a live band plays the Top 40 hits, 80’s music, along with Latin and dance favorites. A DJ caps the night off from midnight to 2:00 AM.
Admission is $7.00 per adult and guests must be 21 and over to enter. A VIP experience is available with exclusive seating, express entry, and a dedicated server.
This multi-level dance club is the perfect place to get your “groove” on. The Groove has the latest in sound and special effects as well as a wall of videos screens highlighting the experience. Resident and guest DJ’s keep the party alive until 2:00 AM.
Admission is $7.00 per adult after 10:00 PM and guests must be 21 and over to enter. A VIP experience is available with exclusive seating, express entry, and a dedicated server.
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
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 for Eric who 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.
Dinner and a Movie Deal
Visitors to CityWalk can get a great meal on one of the many participating CityWalk restaurants along with a movie ticket to the Universal Cinemark theaters from $28.12 per person.
The meal includes one entrée (from a select menu) and one non-alcoholic beverage at several of the CityWalk Restaurants.
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.
Additionally, every New Years Eve CityWalk hosts a fantastic celebration called “EVE!” featuring gourmet cuisine, live bands, DJ’s, clubs, and the Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor. In this separately ticketed event, guests will enjoy a dazzling fireworks show and champagne toast at the stroke of midnight.
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 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”.