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Which Universal Orlando Hotels Have Water Taxis?

When planning the ideal trip to Universal Orlando, potential visitors often wonder how they can get to and from the various theme parks.

Getting around Universal Orlando is quite easy, as onsite hotel guests can walk to the parks and CityWalk using a dedicated walkway.

Several transportation options are also available for visitors who don’t want to walk from their hotels to the parks, with the water taxi being the most unique and exciting.

Hotels offering water taxi services include the Sapphire Falls Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, the Royal Pacific Resort, and the Portofino Bay Hotel. Water taxis travel from the hotels to the dock at CityWalk, giving guests easy access to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. This service starts 90 mins before the parks open and runs approximately every 15 minutes until 2:30 am.

Taking the water taxi is a true Florida experience – guests can get to and from Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, all while enjoying the sunny Florida weather.

Continue reading to learn more about the hotels offering water taxi access, its schedule and accessibility, and the answer to commonly asked questions about the service.

How Many Hotels at Universal Orlando Offer Water Taxi Service?

Water taxi in the water near the Hard Rock Hotel in Universal Orlando

Four hotels at Universal Orlando offer water taxi service to the CityWalk dock.

From there, guests can walk a short distance to the entrances of Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure.

Water taxis are available at:

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Portofino Bay Hotel
  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Each resort has an easily accessible dock, and guests can either walk there or take alternative transportation.

Here is a brief description of each Universal Orlando hotel that offers water taxi service.

As one of Universal’s Premier properties, the Loews Royal Pacific Resort delivers a luxurious resort with a tranquil vibe.

Guests can get lost in this little slice of paradise, surrounded by palm trees and Polynesian-inspired decor.

The Hard Rock Hotel is a timeless Premier resort at Universal Orlando that pays homage to good old rock and roll and showcases music artifacts.

Visitors may recognize the name as Hard Rock Hotels are found throughout the United States, and all boast one thing in common – a high-class experience with a relaxed vibe.

Guests who want a taste of Italy without traveling abroad will appreciate the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel with its inviting on-site cafes, stunning decor, and exquisite scenery.

This Premier property at Universal Orlando offers guests an elegant and enchanting atmosphere that emulates the beauty of the Portofino seaside.

Surrounded by palm trees and stunning scenery, guests can indulge and relax in the tropical paradise that is the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

This Caribbean-themed Preferred hotel provides visitors with a home away from home where they can unwind and recharge between visits to the parks.

It’s also worth noting that while Universal’s Aventura Hotel does not have its own dock, it’s located right next to the Sapphire Falls Resort and takes just a few minutes to get from the lobby to the boat dock at the Sapphire Falls.

How Far is the Dock From the Hotels at Universal Orlando?

Four Universal Water Taxis by the dock near the Universal Globe and entrance

Walking to the water taxi dock is a mere ⅓ mile from the Royal Pacific Resort, so guests can arrive in a matter of minutes.

The Hard Rock Hotel is roughly a five-minute walk from its dock, and the dock at the Sapphire Falls Resort is about seven minutes away by foot.

The Portofino Bay Hotel has the longest walking time to get to the dock, at around fifteen minutes.

Guests who cannot (or don’t want to) walk can arrange pick up at the main entrance of the Sapphire Falls, Hard Rock, or Portofino Bay hotels and be brought directly to the dock within a few short minutes. 

What is the Schedule for the Universal Orlando Water Taxi?

Water taxi sailing on a lake during sunset

The best thing about the water taxis at Universal Orlando is the constant convenience.

The water taxi service runs 365 days a year (weather permitting) and offers extensive hours so that guests can make the most of their time at the parks.

The first water taxi departs 30 minutes before Early Park Admission (90 minutes prior to regular opening hours).

Early Park Admission is available to all hotel guests (and is a perk worth taking advantage of to avoid long lines at participating attractions).

Water taxis run every 15 minutes, so excited parkgoers never have to wait too long for the next one to arrive.

The last water taxi departs the CityWalk dock at 2:30 am.

How Long Does the Water Taxi Take at Universal Orlando?

It takes between 5 and 15 minutes to get to or from a participating Universal Orlando hotel to the CityWalk dock via water taxi.

Depending on how long the boarding and departure process takes, the total trip time still shouldn’t exceed 15 minutes.

During the short journey, guests can marvel at the bay, scope out the beautiful ocean life, and enjoy the sunshine as they look forward to spending the day at the parks.

Does the Water Taxi Service at Universal Orlando Come With Any Fees?

Guests staying at the above mentioned hotels receive complimentary rides on the water taxi.

Visitors can access the water taxis anytime during regular operating hours, as often as they’d like.

Is the Water Taxi at Universal Orlando Handicap Accessible?

The water taxi is handicap accessible, and there are roll-on ramps to ensure the safe transport of all guests who require the use of mobility devices such as wheelchairs.


Four hotels at Universal Orlando have dock access for the water taxi – the Royal Pacific Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, the Portofino Bay Hotel, and the Sapphire Falls Resort.

The boat docks are only a short walk from each hotel, and it takes between 5 and 15 minutes to arrive at the CityWalk dock, where guests can access both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

The water taxi operates every 15 mins, starting 30 mins before Early Park Admission and running until 2:30 am (Early Park Admission typically starts one hour before regular opening hours).

There is no fee for the water taxi, and the boats are easily accessible to guests with reduced mobility.