Universal CityWalk Florida Guide for 2023 & 2024
By James | Last updated November 24, 2023
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If you are looking for an exciting entertainment venue, then Universal CityWalk Florida is the place to go. Universal CityWalk Florida is a collection of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues like the Blue Man Group all within one area. It opened in 1999.
Some of the clubs also serve food and some of the restaurants have live entertainment so there is something for pretty much everyone. Most restaurants open around 11 am for lunchtime trade whilst a few do not open until the early evening. They typically stay open until around midnight or even later.
The clubs open between about 4 pm and 2 am though the dance clubs don’t open until 8 or 9 pm. Most of the clubs and restaurants are built along a single street called The Promenade with a few others located between the entrances to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
For Information on the Universal Studios and buying tickets for the parks, check out our dedicated post to save you money on buying Universal tickets here.
Universal CityWalk Florida Entertainment
There are three main entertainment attractions at the CityWalk besides the bars and music venues.
- Universal Cinemark – State of the art cinema
- Hollywood Drive-in Golf – Hollywood mini-golf game (two 18 hole courses)
- Universal’s Great Movie Escape – Escape game based on Universal movies (separate tickets)
Universal CityWalk Restaurants and Snacks
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville – a mixture of Floridian and Caribbean cuisine
- Bigfire – American cuisine
- Hard Rock Cafe Orlando – largest Hard Rock Cafe in the world with an amazing collection of rock and roll memorabilia
- NBC Sports Grill & Brew – Sports bar with a grill menu
- The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
- Cowfish – Sushi burger bar (sushi / beef burgers)
- Johnny Rockets – American cuisine
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – southern style shrimp, themed on the film, Forrest Gump
- VIVO Italian Kitchen – Authentic Italian cuisine
- Antojitos Cocina Mexicana – Authentic Mexican cuisine
- Chick Chick Chicken – Fried chicken snacks and meals
- Panda Express – Chinese takeaway
- Taco Bell – Mexican takeaway (taco’s/burrito’s etc.)
- KFC Express/Pizza Hut Express – the famous chicken and pizza takeaways
- Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs – Hot dogs!
- Firehouse Subs – Sandwich subs
- The Crêpe Café – Crepes
- Cinnabon – The famous cinnamon buns
- Mini Monster – Tasty drinks
- Sparky’s Mini Donuts and Chocolates
- Wetzel’s Pretzels
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
- Ben & Jerry’s – Ice Cream
- Popcornopolis – Popcorn and snacks
- Jamba Juice – Healthy blended fresh juice’s
Universal CityWalk Bar’s and Clubs
- Pat O’Brien’s Bar – duelling pianos, New Orleans cuisine and the famous Hurricane cocktail
- Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom – reggae club straight out of Kingston, Jamaica
- The Groove – high-tech disco, occasional Teen Nights during the summer
- Rising Star – karaoke bar with a live band
- Red Coconut Club – 1950’s Las Vegas dance club
CityWalk Admission and Special Tickets
There is no admission charge to CityWalk itself but most of the nightclubs have a separate $7 cover charge though usually this does not take effect until 9 pm in the evening. Check out our post on CityWalk tickets for more information.
Rather than paying a cover charge for each club, you can buy a one day CityWalk Party Pass which then gives you free admission to all the clubs though some special events still require a further charge. Note that many of the Universal theme park tickets include complimentary CityWalk nightclub access.
As well as the CityWalk Party Pass, you can also buy:
- Meal and Movie Deal which combines a movie ticket at the Cineplex and a meal (except Emeril’s)
- Meal and Party Deal which combines a meal (selected menu) and nightclub pass or
Getting to Universal CityWalk Florida
CityWalk is part of the Universal Orlando Resort and sits between the parking garages and the two theme parks, so rather cleverly for Universal, you have to pass through it each time you visit one of the parks.
If you are staying at one of Universals’ resort hotels, then a complimentary water launch drops you off by the main Plaza.
Like the parks, parking is in the parking garages but if you visit after 6 pm in the evening, then the parking is free. Also if you are just going to one of the restaurants for a meal, then you can get free valet parking (with restaurant validation) which covers you for two hours.
History of Entertainment Venues in Orlando
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the happening nightlife place in Orlando was the redeveloped Church Street Station district with bars, clubs and restaurants like Rosie O’Grady’s and the Cheyenne Saloon.
Disney’s Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney opened in 1989 and gradually took over. Church Street Station went into decline and several subsequent attempts to revive it have failed.
Unexpectedly in 2008 Disney closed down all the nightclubs and comedy clubs in Pleasure Island. It is believed Disney intend to make Pleasure Island a more family-orientated venue but as yet, they have not made any announcements regarding its future.