There are eight hotels on Universal property, all operated by the Loews hotel group, totaling 9,000 rooms, and for the first time, some of them come cheaper than comparable hotels just blocks away. Even its higher-priced ones come with strong advantages.

Most Universal hotels are within 15 minutes’ walk of the parks (the cheapest ones, at Endless Summer, require free a 4-minute shuttle ride instead), and three are connected by a free boat that runs continuously into the wee hours. Guests can use their room keys to make charges throughout the resort, they get into Harry Potter an hour early, and at three hotels, they can join the Express line at the two parks’ best attractions—that perk has the effect of freeing up a vacation schedule.

Guests can also drink and dine all night at CityWalk next door. Use the hotels’ website to find deals, which can grant discounts of 20 to 30 percent on specified nights; the website also posts floor plans of all room types.

The Universal property is hemmed in by lots of real-world restaurants where prices are realistic, and free shuttles to SeaWorld are provided once a day. So unlike cloistered Disney, when you’re at Universal, you’re linked to the real Orlando, and there’s more food flexibility. At Easter and during the December holidays, rates are, of course, higher. But there are no resort fees!

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.