When taking a family vacation in the Orlando area, it is very common to want to experience the theme parks in the area, including all the Walt Disney World parks, as well as Universal Orlando.
There are so many great benefits to visiting both groups of theme parks as both have different things to offer for their guests, and with them being so close to one another, it is worth it to make your trip that much more fun and exciting.
While we know that both parks are located in the Orlando area, you may be wondering just how far Disney World is from Universal? Can you see both in a day?
We’re sharing just what you can expect when it comes to commuting between Disney World and Universal parks.
This post is part of our Dinsey & Orlando series of family travel advice
- Why Should You Visit both Disney World and Universal Studios Parks?
- How Far is Disney World Property from Universal Studios?
- Transportation Options Between Parks: Disney to Universal
- Frequently Asked Questions Getting From Disney to Universal
- More Handy Tips for an Orlando Vacation
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Why Should You Visit both Disney World and Universal Studios Parks?
As we mentioned above, both parks have very different experiences, and each has something unique to offer to families. Most associate Disney Parks with kids’ and family-style events and attractions based on classic and current Disney movies and shows, including Peter Pan, Beauty & the Beast, and more.
Family is what Disney caters to. A great place for fun for all ages. Universal has a reputation for being more of a teen and thrilling theme park with more adventurous attractions based on your favourite feature films, including Jurassic Park, E.T., the Fast & Furious Franchise and more.
If your family has a wide range of ages within your group, visiting both parks is a great way to cater to everyone’s idea of fun. We always recommend visiting both properties if you have the means and opportunity because it will make your trip that much more fun and entertaining.
You can find a detailed guide to all the theme parks in Orlando and which age group they’d best suit over here.
How Far is Disney World Property from Universal Studios?
Both Disney World and Universal Studios properties are in the Orlando area. They are relatively close to one another, but Disney World Properties are technically located in Kissimmee, a surrounding area of Orlando, while Universal Studios is located directly in Orlando. Both properties are quick trips from one another, and there are many options for travelling.
According to GPS, the properties are approximately 9 miles from one another. However, the time required for travel can vary greatly depending on the method of transportation, the route you select, the weather and the time of day as this will determine the amount of traffic you can expect.
You can expect the journey to take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. This map provides an approximate guide, noting your leaving point in Disney may vary, where as all vehicular traffic for Universal arrives at the transport hub.
Transportation Options Between Parks: Disney to Universal
There are many means of transportation for travelling between the Disney World property and the Universal Studios Florida property. Some of your available options will include the following:
- Of course, you can transport yourself to and from the properties if you have chosen to drive your car into Orlando or have rented a vehicle. This option provides you with the most control over your trip, as you are able to decide when you would like to travel and the route you feel most comfortable taking.
- Keep in mind, if you choose to self-transport, you do have additional expenses, including gas as well as parking fees
Parking fees at Universal Studios Property are as follows
- General Admission Parking if you arrive prior to 5:00 pm: $30 per vehicle
- General Admission Parking if you arrive after 5:00 pm: $10 per vehicle
- Preferred Parking (closer to the entrance) if you arrive prior to 5:00 pm: $50 per vehicle
- Preferred Parking (closer to the entrance) if you arrive after 5:00 pm: $20 per vehicle
- Front Gate Parking: $70 per vehicle at any time of the day
You’ll find all our best parking tips for Universal Orlando here
Parking fees at Disney World Parks are as follows:
- $25 per day for cars and motorcycles that will fit in standard parking spots, per theme park (if you change parks during the day, you pay again
- $50 for preferred parking. This will bring you closer to the entrance of the park and require less walking.
- $30 for Oversized vehicles. This will include vehicles such as a camper, RV, Limos, buses, misc
For more detailed parking information, plus tips and tricks on parking charges at Disney World, check out this article.
While Disney World and Universal Studios will not transport to one another using their park services, both offer shuttle services to their properties if you are a guest of their resorts at no additional cost to you.
Additionally, many hotel options in the Orlando area offer shuttle services to both properties. Some of these services are an additional fee to guests, while others offer this as a complimentary service.
For more information and a list of hotels that offer shuttle services, click here
With services such as Uber and Lyft, you can have a ride to either property at your door within minutes. Rideshare programs are a great way to have transportation without worrying about finding a parking spot or paying parking fees.
Dependent on the time of day and the availability of drivers, the costs of these services can vary greatly. Still, you can save on costs by sharing a vehicle with other riders or searching for coupon codes/promotions.
*The average cost of Uber/Lyft services is typically between $15-$30 each way.
The price will increase and waiting times can vary if you are looking for a family-sized/XL vehicle.
With the introduction of rideshare programs, taxis have become a little less popular, but they do still exist and are an option if you’re looking for transportation.
Again, this is another option that the cost will vary depending on the circumstances, but you can call around to local taxi services or catch a taxi driving by to get the current rate and expected cost of your trip.
Book a Private Transfer
A relatively new service you could try is “GetTransfer” – using the GetTransfer App, you can advance request a transfer and drivers bid on your journey – choose your timings, pick up point and destination and the type of vehicle you’d like.
With this type of transfer, you can even book your times in advance; you’ll just need to arrange an appropriate pickup point.
Next to free shuttle services from hotels, public transportation is probably going to be your most affordable means of travelling. Orlando actually offers several options for public transportation. These include:
- The LYNX Bus Service
- LYMMO Downtown Circulator
- Bike Share/Scooter Share
For more detailed information on Public Transportation in Orlando, visit the Orlando Public transit site
Frequently Asked Questions Getting From Disney to Universal
As we mentioned above, it can vary depending on a variety of factors but on an average day, it is about a 15 to 20-minute ride from Disney World properties to Universal Studios.
No shuttle service is directly through either Disney World or Universal Studios, which will transport you between the two properties, but there are third-party shuttle services that will transport you between parks.
The most popular shuttle service around Orlando is the Mears Transportation Group. You can choose to book a shuttle service with Mears either by calling 855-463-2776 or booking online at https://www.mearstransportation.com.
They will transport from any of the Disney Parks and resorts, as well as many surrounding hotels, to the Universal Studios Bus Depot. You can choose to book either a one-way or a round trip.
The quickest and most direct route to travel from one property to another is via the I-4. If you are travelling from Disney Properties to Universal Studios, you will hop on the I-4 E ramp, and you will exit the highway on exit 75-A toward International Drive.
If you are travelling from Universal Studios to Disney World, you will get onto the I-4 going West, and you will get off on exit 67 toward Epcot/Disney Springs.
The cheapest way to travel between parks is either using public transportation or your hotel’s shuttle service. While this may be the cheapest option, keep in mind that it may be a rather lengthy travel time as you may have to wait for shuttles or busses to arrive, and there may not be one readily available at the time you are looking to travel.
The quickest option for travelling between parks is going to be to drive yourself. You have the freedom to go when works best with your schedule, and you can choose to travel during times when traffic is not so heavy.
As we mentioned above, however, while this option may be the most efficient, it may cost you the most in the long run as well due to gas and parking fees.
We hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need when it comes to travelling between the Universal Studios property and Walt Disney World properties and that this has given you some tips and tricks for making the best choice for your family while perhaps saving you a little money.
More Handy Tips for an Orlando Vacation
As frequent visitors to Orlando and central Florida, we also have these useful guides that may help you in planning your perfect theme park vacation.
- Beginners Guide to Universal Orlando – ideal for first-timers deciding between eh different parks and on-site accommodation options
- Disney Accommodation for Larger Families – got 5+ to sleep? Avoid needing two rooms by choosing one of these larger family resorts and still staying on-site
- Hotels with Shuttles to Universal – not just Universal’s own hotels, learn about partner hotels and nearby properties that make it easy to access Universal
- Things to do in Orlando that AREN’T Theme Parks! – want a bit of a theme park break? Discover these fun indoor and outdoor ideas in central Florida
- Packing for Orlando – Your Ultimate Guide to What to Wear on a Disney Vacation to maximize comfort and style – plus top tips for sensible clothing choices at Universal Studios
- The Best Type of Theme Park Shoes You’ll Want to Buy – trust us when we tell you it’s all comfort over style!
- Items we always pack in our Disney day bag – plus the best types of backpacks to use for a day out at Disney (trust us, with kids, you’ll need a good one!)
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