Endless Summer Dockside resort along with Endless Summer Surfside resort are the two newest resorts at Universal Orlando. With a great starting price for both single rooms and suites. This resort seems like a slam dunk for a family on a budget looking to visit Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, or any of the other Orlando theme parks.
Today I will be reviewing my recent stay at Dockside. I booked the room with my Universal annual pass and got a great rate for a two bedroom suite during the second week of December. It was under $100 per night during the week.
Unfortunately for me, there was a cheerleader competition in the area and it seemed like all the teams were staying at the same hotel as I was. So as you would expect it was rather noisy but if you have kids you are probably a little use to it. I have a daughter so I can deal with a little extra noise from excited girls competing.
Overall, I was very happy with the room, pool, and fitness center. Other than those three things I was very disappointed. It could be because I just finished an 18 hour drive from Philly and visited much more crowded than expected theme parks. Or a number of other things I will touch on below. So let’s get to this review.
The two bedroom suite at Universal’s Endless Summer Dockside resort is a great size for a family of four to six. It has three full size beds. One bathroom room and a small “kitchen” area.
The beds were pretty comfortable. They are a little on the harder side but that’s how I personally like them. The pillows were also on the firmer side.
You will find a total of three beds in the two bedroom suite. Two full beds in the “main” area and one bedroom in a room with a door. I believe all the beds were full size beds. Sorry no queen beds in this room.
In the two bedroom suite at Endless Summer Dockside Inn and Suites you will find one bathroom. The shower was nice and big in the bathroom. However, the overall size of the bathroom was a little on the smaller size. It did make it for a tight fit when trying to change in the bathroom after getting a nice hot shower.
The water temperature was perfect although it did take a minute for it to get there. Once it got up to temperature it held it with no problem.
The water pressure in the shower and sinks were a little lacking. That could be because I was on the eighth floor. However, that didn’t impact the flushing power of the toilet.
Right outside the bathroom and next to the one bedroom is two sinks. There was plenty of room for the two of us to get ready at the same time. You and your family should also have no problem.
In the two bedroom suite you have a small dining area. There is a table that seats four. A small fridge and microwave. We did have a couple plates and bowls in the room but I would bring my own next time. They were plastic plates and not great for the microwave.
The table was a nice addition to find in the room. It makes eating in the room much easier. It beats sitting at a small room size table or one of the long desk that you find in most hotel rooms.
Around the room you will find plenty of outlets. Each outlet also has a USB plug so no worries if you forgot your wall charger. This was definitely nice to find. While most hotels are starting to add the USB plugs. Not all have one so having one in almost every outlet was nice to see at Endless Summer Dockside Inn and Suites.
Overall, the room was amazing. You can comfortably move around without being on top of each other. Having a separate bedroom is also nice for us parents. You can have a little privacy while on vacation.
Around the Resort
Endless Summer Dockside Inn and Suites is a large resort. There are two large pools here. One outside of each building. Both pools are a decent size too.
Not sure if the pools are heated but they felt nice even in the beginning of December. You will also find plenty of chairs around the pool area along with a place to grab a drink or a bite to eat. The pool isn’t fancy but it will suit your needs. Plus you can walk across the street and use the other pool at Endless Summer Surfside Inn and Suites.
However, you will NOT be able to use the other pools at Universal’s other resorts. Besides, it would be a pretty long walk anyway.
Endless Summer Dockside also has a food court where you can grab breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pier 8 Market is where you would go for that. I didn’t really enjoy it at all.
There are no markers for lines so you will have people cutting in front of you. Plus half the time you don’t even know where the line even starts. It is a complete mess.
As for the food they serve it seems like their big item is the Chicken and Waffles. Again, we were not impressed by it at all. Both the chicken and waffles tasted bland and it took us over 20 minutes to get our food.
One good thing to say about Pier 8 Market would be the seating. There are plenty of tables around. Even when it was super busy you could still find open tables.
Another thing to note too is they do not offer an Annual pass discount. Cabana Bay Beach Resort does. Not sure why Endless Summer does not.
Endless Summer Dockside Inn & Suites also has a nice little gym. Don’t get that wrong. It’s not small by any means. Sure compared to some of the other resort’s gyms it is small.
But don’t worry about that. They have everything you are looking for when trying to get a quick workout in before you hit the parks or after a long day at them.
The last place I wan tot touch on is the Universal Studios Store. This is a decent size store and has a good amount of Merch in it. Just keep in mind that while they have a lot of stuff.
Some things you will have to get in the parks. Plus don’t wait till your last day to pick up something you really liked. There is a good chance it will be sold out or worse, come in the day after you left.
I also want to say that the staff were not helpful at all and they all looked angry. Sure it could be because the resort was packed full of families and cheerleaders. However, I am sure it is just as packed if not more packed in the summer months.
Like I stated about about the lack of lines at Pier 8 Market. Mobile Check-in had the same problem. The check in desk are so far away from the Mobile Check-in sign that it isn’t uncommon to see people walk right by you and up to one of those workers.
Getting around to the Theme Parks
Endless Summer Dockside along with Surfside are the newest resorts at Universal Orlando. There are also the furthest away from CityWalk. No you could walk from Endless Summer and catch up with the Garden Walk at Universal Orlando. Walking will take you at least 30 minutes.
You also won’t find much shade either walking to the theme parks. At least not half of the way since you would be walking along Universal Boulevard. You are better off driving or grabbing the bus.
The Universal Orlando resort buses are a great option to take. It’s only a short bus ride from Endless Summer Dockside to the drop off location in CityWalk. It’s around a 15 minute trip once the bus starts to load you until you get dropped off.
Depending on the time of day it can take you anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes or more if you are driving. So it really depends on how you like to get to the theme parks. One other thing to note is the buses come around every ten minutes or so. Much better than what we have been seeing over at Walt Disney World.
Endless Summer Dockside Inn & Suites is not a bad place to stay for your Universal Orlando vacation. While I did have some issues. They were not major ones that would prevent me from booking another night or two at this resort.
It really has everything you need on a budget to enjoy your Universal vacation. Transportation to and from the theme parks. A food court and gym. Plus two pools. Overall I think I would give Endless Summer Dockside a three out of five stars.
Have you stayed at Endless Summer Dockside or Surfside? Let us know in the comments below. What resorts do you like staying at when planning a Universal Orlando Vacation? We can’t wait to read where you like to stay.