Universal Surfside vs. Dockside: Which Is Right for Your Stay

Choose between Universal Dockside's extra amenities or Surfside's smaller size.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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Costs for a vacation to a theme park can add up quickly with admission, hotels, food and souvenirs.

The Universal Orlando Resort has a way to help ease the blow to budgets, with two new wallet-friendly park hotels. The Surfside Inn and Suites and the Dockside Inn and Suites have the amenities and perks you would expect to find from a Universal Studios Orlando hotel.

Let’s take a look at whether the Surfside or Dockside is the right pick for you, the types of amenities they offer and the price points.

Is Surfside or Dockside better?

Although these two are sister hotels, no comparison of Universal Surfside vs. Dockside is complete without considering their differences. The main difference is the size of the two hotels.

While Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites has over 2,000 rooms, Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites is smaller at just over 750 rooms.

This disparity in size also makes its way to the amenities, with Dockside featuring two pools to Surfside’s one. The former also has six dining options, while the latter features four.

What to expect at Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites

Whether you’re looking to stay at Dockside or Surfside, you’ll certainly want to know what to expect at either resort. Here’s how things break down at the Surfside.

The rooms

Two room types are available at Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites. Depending on what you reserve, you’ll either have a standard room with two queen beds or a two-bedroom suite with three beds.

Both room types have high capacity; a standard room can sleep four, while a two-bedroom suite can sleep six.

The amenities

Surfside and Dockside have similar amenities, including a fitness center, pool, poolside activities and arcade. Shopping is also available, with a Universal Studios Store located in the lobby.

Aside from the physical amenities, people staying at Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites will enjoy special perks at the Universal Orlando Resort.

This includes early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (an hour before the park opens) and free transportation to and from the parks. You’ll also be able to use your room key for park charges, and anything you purchase can be delivered to your room for free.

The cost

Surfside is considered a value hotel, which means it’s one of the least expensive options available at Universal. Nightly rates start at $96 for a standard room and $144 for a two-bedroom suite.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Those who shell out for the more expensive hotels also enjoy complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Passes.

If you’re an annual pass holder, Florida resident or member of the military, you may also get discounted rates.

What to expect at Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites

There aren’t many differences between Dockside and Surfside, but since Dockside is much larger, this has an impact on your experience. Here’s what your stay at Dockside will look like.

The rooms

You can expect the same style of room at Universal's Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites as you’d find at Surfside. While the color palettes are different, there are still just two room types that’ll sleep up to four or six guests.

The amenities

Unlike Surfside, Dockside has two pools and a splash pad, too. There's also an arcade, fitness center, poolside activities and a Universal Studios Store in the lobby.

If you’re staying at Dockside, you’ll also receive early entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, free transportation to the parks and the ability to put charges on your room key and have purchases delivered to your room.

The cost

It’s not just in design that these two hotels are similar; pricing is the same for Dockside as it is for Surfside. Room rates start at $96 per night for a standard room and $144 per night for a two-bedroom suite.

Visiting Universal’s Dockside or Surfside resorts

If you’re interested in visiting the Universal Orlando Resort without breaking the bank, staying at either Dockside or Surfside may be a good idea. With room rates starting below $100 per night, you can enjoy the amenities of sleeping on-site without spending too much money.

While these two hotels are similar in most ways, the biggest difference is size. If you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate experience, Surfside may be the right option for you.

However, if you’re on the hunt for more amenities — and a splash pad for the little ones — Dockside may be a better fit. At nearly three times the size of Surfside, this hotel has more restaurants, more pools and more room for everyone in your party to spread out.

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