Universal Orlando Resort offers a range of hotels for guests to choose from, including the two newest additions, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites. While both hotels are similar in concept, they do vary slightly in a few key areas. Let’s look at the differences between Surfside vs Dockside at Universal Orlando to help you decide which hotel is right for you.
Both Surfside and Dockside are located on Universal Blvd just outside the perimeter of the central Universal Orlando resort area. As such, transportation to the parks is via Universal’s complimentary bus system. Buses run continuously between hotels every 10 to 15 minutes. It’s about a 10 min bus ride.
Room and Hotel Size
Both Surfside and Dockside offer well-appointed rooms with a beach-inspired theme. Each have standard rooms that are 315 square feet and suites that are 440 square feet. The two-bedroom suites include a kitchenette area, a picnic table, and a bathroom with separate bath and vanity areas, offering ease of comfort and privacy for the duration of your stay.
Surfside is a smaller resort with only 750 rooms compared to Dockside which has over 2000 rooms. Surfside is easier to get around due to its smaller size. Dockside has two pools vs Surfside’s single pool and has a few additional poolside amenities. Dockside also has a larger lobby and food court. However, as with most larger hotels, it can seem busy at times.
Both Surfside and Dockside offer an impressive array of amenities for their guests. Both hotels feature large pool areas, fitness centers, and food courts. The food courts at both hotels offer a range of options, including pizza, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Plus, there’s a Starbucks on-site at both hotels for those who need their caffeine fix.
It is worth noting that Dockside dining options have more variety but also slightly more expensive items. The same is true with the gift shop where you’ll find slightly more options at Dockside. The game room is slightly larger at Surfside…if that moves the needle for you.
As with other Universal Orlando resorts, guests who stay at both Endless Summer resorts will receive other exclusive benefits including early park admission to the theme parks, complimentary resort-wide transportation, and charging privileges with their room key.
One of the biggest advantages of both Surfside and Dockside is their affordability. Room rates at both resorts start at under $100 per night, making them both excellent options for guests on a budget.
Overall, both Surfside and Dockside are excellent choices if you’re looking for the most cost-friendly way to stay at a Universal Orlando property. Amenities like early park admission and free transportation make either of the two Endless Summer resorts a really attractive option. If you’re trying to pick one of the two resorts, however, it appears Surfside is your best option. While Dockside offers slightly more amenities, it also suffers slightly due to its sheer number of rooms – and thus, higher guest count. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Both resorts offer fantastic value when it comes to an Orlando theme park-adjacent hotel.
Take the Next Step
If you’re looking for the easiest way to plan a vacation to Universal Orlando, might I suggest a theme park travel planner. I’ve spent years learning the ins and outs of theme park vacation planning and would love to help you plan your next visit to destinations like Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Universal Orlando. I can also help with non-theme park vacations like Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani Resort.
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