The beating pulse of the sunshine state is a sprawling complex of entertainment, dining and reverie set amidst a tropical lagoon, rollercoasters, and two of Orlando, Florida's most popular tourist attractions.
Read on to uncover our in-depth guide to Universal CityWalk.
We have the tips, the tricks, and the inside scoop on this high-energy destination that features a variety of over 20 restaurants, shops, and two interactive, miniature golf courses. It's not called the "Epicenter of Awesome" for nothing.
After a hard day of theme park hopping, you might be looking for a reprieve from the repeated wave of Transformer, Hulk, VelociCoaster™, and Harry Potter escapades. Universal Orlando Resort has the perfect antidote in CityWalk, ideally located between Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
Tag along as we uncover the best haunts and can't miss sites of this incredible village of fun. Guests can hop between parks and, along the way, enjoy a respite with heavenly treats at Voodoo Doughnut or the spirited dueling pianos at Pat O'Brien's®. In addition, CityWalk has an array of eateries like Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food™, VIVO Italian Kitchen, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Guide to Universal CityWalk Dining Venues
With so many choices and so little time, you'll want to know where to stop and refuel. Especially when you have a big group, you could be wandering around, debating where to eat, squandering precious moments.
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Save the day with our list of top-rated places. We've got you covered whether you're searching for a quick lunch or celebratory meal.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
Hold off on your Mexican cravings until you get here. With vibrant décor and made from scratch fajitas and guacamole, it's a top-notch crowd pleaser! Antojitos serves the best margaritas and has a live mariachi band on hand to liven the mood.
Hard Rock Café® Orlando
Rock and rollers will appreciate this fine establishment's live performances, music memorabilia, and appetizing entrees. Check out Buddy Holly's black glasses, Elvis' white sequined suit, and mementos from the Ramones, Pearl Jam, and U2. The patio even has a section of the Berlin Wall.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
Known for its carefree vibe, tropical drinks, and stacked burgers, this is the perfect cap to your day with great food and live entertainers. CityWalkers can also stop by the Margaritas To-Go Surf Shack window for a "Marg-on-the-fly."
NBC Sports Grill & Brew™
Sports addicts can catch up on scores and watch the latest games on high-definition screens while enjoying great appetizers like the Inside Out Jalapeno Peppers or the Loaded Nachos. NBC has a wide selection, from burgers and salads to seafood and pasta. Even picky eaters should be able to find something they like here!
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
Don't be deterred by the name. This quintessential Asian American eatery offers terrific food with a twist. Try a sushi burger combo, which brings together gourmet burgers and sushi plus beer and spirits in a lively, colorful space.
Red Coconut Club
This boho-chic nightclub has live music and dancing on one floor and scrumptious entrees on the second. The Club hosts outdoor patio seating with a stunning view of CityWalk's glittering lane.
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CityWalk also has delectable fast-food options and take-out windows for guests on the move, like the Burger King Whopper Bar, Hot Dog Hall of Fame, Moe's Southwest Grill, and the Red Oven Pizza Bakery, where the pizzas are cooked in 90 seconds or less.
Guide to Universal CityWalk Entertainment
In addition to the best bars, clubs, and dining, Universal City Walk's family venues will not disappoint. For the perfect low-key activity after hitting the parks, peruse our recreation guide for thrills, chills, and great laughs.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf
This is not your average miniature golf scene but an interactive foray into 1950s sci-fi and horror movie theme worlds. With special effects throughout, the synergistic putt-putt course is full of excellent sites that will keep you on your toes!
Bob Marley- A Tribute to Freedom
More than a restaurant, this museum-like dining hall pays homage to rock legend Bob Marley. Modeled after Marley's hometown in Kingston, Jamaica, diners see artifacts and photos and can experience video clips of the reggae icon. Also, after 10:00 pm, the place turns into an adults-only hot spot with a live reggae band or D.J. every night.
If cruising through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ has you feeling nostalgic for the silver screen, have no fear. You can slip into an air-conditioned cinema to catch all the latest blockbusters without leaving the park.
Universal CityWalk also provides free parking for matinee movie showings from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm with the purchase of two Universal Cinemark matinee tickets. (The Cinemas reimburse guests upon presentation of parking receipt.)
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Hard Rock Live Orlando
Feel like grooving out to a live band or comedy show? Universal guests can experience top musical performances in this 3,000-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio, a full bar, and a concession stand. Check the events page for special Hard Rock Live venues.
Connect with your friends, cut loose and let your star shine during a night of karaoke as you belt out hits with the world's top artists. The more serious entertainers can sing with a live band and backup singers! They also have delicious food and specialty cocktails for the fans.
Guide to Universal CityWalk Shopping
With all the putt-putting, karaoke, and reggae nights, don't forget you'll need the perfect souvenirs and gifts to commemorate your trip. Don't worry; CityWalk is an exclusive retail experience, and we have your perfect Orlando shopping strategy right here.
Universal Studios Store
Here you'll find countless gift ideas and Harry Potter collectibles with the largest Wizarding World of Harry Potter-themed area, not to mention other film souvenirs, books, and memorabilia with Spider-Man, Cat in the Hat, and Jurassic World merch. With over 8,300 square feet, this is the place to pick up vintage t-shirts, jewelry, keychains, and coffee mugs.
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Universal Legacy Store
Not to be outdone, this shop has the Universal goods, with 90s-inspired classics like Jaws and E.T. You can also find current movie hits, props, and iconic classic goods on all of Universal's finest films.
Pro Tip: Save your shopping until the very end, so you don't have to carry your bags all day.
The Smugglers Hold at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville
Parrot Heads will enjoy this haven of Buffet t-shirts, shot glasses, home décor, and flip-flops to take home and revisit your experience time and time again.
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Candy Smith at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
For tasty chocolate, truffles, and cookies, this shop has the perfect something souvenir for virtually anyone with a sweet tooth. But be warned, if you take a sample, your gifts may not arrive at their destination. Better buy a backup gift from the array of trinkets, knickknacks, and jewelry in the emporium's gift store.
Rock Shop at Hard Rock Café Orlando
Screenagers and rockers can find the perfect keepsakes amongst rock stars past, present, and future. The Rock Shop has band t-shirts, hats, glasses, and mugs.
Universal City Walk Hours
Universal Orlando's hours of operation vary by attraction and park. Check the website for current Park Hours. CityWalk is open from 8:00 am to 12:00 am, with some clubs and bars staying open a tad longer.
CityWalk Shuttle Hours
If you're staying at one of Universal's parks and don't have to worry about a car, you might wonder how late the shuttle buses run back and forth. The answer is: as long as the parks are open. Which is typically from 7:00 am until 2:00 am.
The drop-off destination is near the Universal parking garages. This convenient service runs every few minutes, with guests rarely having to wait for a bus.
Guide to Universal CityWalk Parking
Universal Orlando has two main parking garages for guests. Other options include standard, valet, and Universal Prime Parking. Universal also has accessible parking, electric car stations, and R.V. parking.
- General Parking: $27 before 6:00 p.m.
- Prime Parking: $60 before 6:00 p.m. (With Prime Upgrade: $23.)
- Valet Parking: $27 for less than two hours or $75 for more than two hours.
- R.V./Bus Parking: $32 per day.
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Pro Tip: Parking is FREE after 6:00 pm.
CityWalk is the park's central hub with easy access to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. Once parked, you don't need to drive between Universal destinations. And your parking validation is good all day if you leave and return.
For visitors staying on-site, the options are even easier. Guests can walk to CityWalk from the Universal Orlando Resort, take a shuttle from Universal's Endless Summer Resort or Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Hotel, or water taxi their way from Universal's Hard Rock Hotel. Parking fees never apply if you arrive via public transportation or stay at an official Universal Orlando Resort hotel.
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Universal Studios' two wings are split into three main sections with multiple parking levels.
- Wing One – includes Jurassic Park, King Kong, and Jaws
- Wing Two – includes Spider-Man, Cat in the Hat, and E.T.
Pro Tip: Take a photo of your parking section, row number, and parking garage. The two garages don't connect, so you want to ensure you're headed back to the right one. Your tired feet will thank you!
Plan Your Universal Orlando Vacation
With endless amusement and night-life options, CityWalk is an experience of exciting activities that include funky bars, nightclubs, and eateries, not to mention galleries, movie theaters, and bowling.
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Get ahead of the pack and start planning your dream vacation now! Tripster has easy solutions and discounted ticket options when ordering Universal Orlando Tickets. Plus, if you want to save some real currency, we have the best Orlando Vacation Package deals with other parks, hotels, and attractions.
Tripster is teeming full of facts about everything you might want to know about Universal Orlando. For a deeper dive into the park, check out our Insider's Guide to Universal Orlando Resort and our Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Orlando.
Have you been to Universal CityWalk recently?
We'd love to hear some recommendations and feedback on restaurants, shops, and unique experiences. Let us know in the comments below.