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motraveler
12-23-2008, 06:18 PM
I am planning a trip March 1st -6th with family. Me, hubby and a 2 yr old and 4 yr old. Was planning to take advantage of the buy 3 nights get 2 nights free. Nickhotel and the cheapest Universal on-site are about the same price including tickets and transportation. (12-1300) We are leaning towards Nickhotel b/c of the great pool area for the kids. (We don't plan to go to Disney this trip...did that last year).

After reading through these boards I saw that Marriot Horizons has a cool pool area, but it is more expensive and doesn't appear to offer transportation to the parks...but it did get me thinking there might be other hotels/resorts with neat pools for the kids that might be better recommended than NickHotel? Or is Nickhotel a good option? My biggest complaint about it is that it isn't very close to Universal. So, I thought I would ask if there are other places that have a neat pool, is affordable, and offers free transportation to the park.

One other question...I think my kids would love Sea World...is 2 and 4 a good age for this park?
Thank you so much for any information you can provide!!!

motraveler
12-23-2008, 06:22 PM
Oh, and other thoughts on if I'm crazy for not staying on-site with young kids? Is being able to walk to the parks better than taking a shuttle? Do you think we'll need the express line thing at this time (should be before spring break, right?)

Metro West
12-23-2008, 06:26 PM
After reading through these boards I saw that Marriot Horizons has a cool pool area, but it is more expensive and doesn't appear to offer transportation to the parks...but it did get me thinking there might be other hotels/resorts with neat pools for the kids that might be better recommended than NickHotel? Or is Nickhotel a good option? My biggest complaint about it is that it isn't very close to Universal. So, I thought I would ask if there are other places that have a neat pool, is affordable, and offers free transportation to the park.

One other question...I think my kids would love Sea World...is 2 and 4 a good age for this park?
Thank you so much for any information you can provide!!!I think you would be very wise staying onsite at Universal...if the NickHotel is the same price. You would get unlimited Express access to help with the lines and free transportation to Sea World...which your kids would love!

The NickHotel is designed for kids and there are always LOTS of kids running around making noise. If you're OK with that, I wouldn't be...but that's me. ;)

You really should give the Universal onsite resorts a try...you won't be sorry.

motraveler
12-23-2008, 06:36 PM
I think express lines would be great as well.

The other plus to staying at Nickhotel that I forgot to mention is the 2 bedroom suite. That sounds nice....as I don't want to go to bed at 8:30 with my kids...though now that I say it outloud...maybe that doesn't sound so bad!

I'm not a huge fan of dealing with everybody elses kids...do you think Nickhotel will be overrun with kids that time of year?

Are the pools at the Royal Pacific (is that the name of the cheaper universal hotel?) anything to keep the kids attention? (zero entry etc). I guess I could use the hotel at Hard Rock where there is a beach? (isn't that where the beach is?)
So many deciding factors...I'm getting lost in them all.

francie57
12-23-2008, 07:03 PM
The pool at the Hard Rock is part beach and regulare pool. The beach side it walk-in and gives you access to the entire pool. There are also two water slides at the end that are fun for the kids. They allow life vests for kids on the slide. We love the rooms at the Hard Rock also. They are really big and like that it is so close to the parks. The FOTL benefit is worth staying on-property at any time. You would be able to get on rides with the kids quicker and do their favors over and over with no wait. We go mid-August every year and even though the crowds are not bad we really enjoy the FOTL benefit.

damo
12-24-2008, 02:58 PM
I think staying at the Royal Pacific Hotel onsite would be great fun for your little ones. They have such a neat kids area for playing in the water and you are so close to everything.

I find when we are at the parks, everyone goes to bed early, so having the privacy doesn't really matter.

donaldduck352
12-24-2008, 03:28 PM
I think express lines would be great as well.

The other plus to staying at Nickhotel that I forgot to mention is the 2 bedroom suite. That sounds nice....as I don't want to go to bed at 8:30 with my kids...though now that I say it outloud...maybe that doesn't sound so bad!

I'm not a huge fan of dealing with everybody elses kids...do you think Nickhotel will be overrun with kids that time of year?

Are the pools at the Royal Pacific (is that the name of the cheaper universal hotel?) anything to keep the kids attention? (zero entry etc). I guess I could use the hotel at Hard Rock where there is a beach? (isn't that where the beach is?)
So many deciding factors...I'm getting lost in them all.

Royal Pacific is the cheaper of the three but buy no means a cheap RESORT!!The pool is great, plenty for 2 and 4 year olds too do!!
Staying on-site does have the great perks and you dont need to be on a schedule for a schuutle bus..Once your there its instant vacation time..:thumbsup2

inkkognito
12-24-2008, 03:29 PM
I would stay onsite for sure! I'm lucky enough to be a local, but if I wasn't I'd be there just for the FOTL. Granted, if you're there at a slow time of the year the lins might not be long. But why take the chance when you can know that you're covered no matter what?

donaldduck352
12-24-2008, 03:39 PM
March is the beggining of spring break for some areas!!I expect the crowds to be fairly large!!

LilMommyBug
12-24-2008, 04:48 PM
Royal Pacific is NICE. Super nice... even as the "cheap one"

I have friends who stayed at the Nick hotel & were not impressed. I would check out the reviews of it on TripAdvisor.

gschmerl
12-24-2008, 09:05 PM
With a 2 and 4 year old, I would stay on site at the Royal Pacific. Their pool area is great for the little ones. Zero entry, a "ship" play area, etc.
With young children you can just walk or take the water taxi back to the resort and rest when they get tired during the day and then return to the parks when you want to.
Stayin on site at Universal is just so convenient...not to mention the all day express access!

macraven
12-25-2008, 06:29 PM
because your children are young, stay on site.
much easier to do a couple of hours at the parks then come back for naptime.
then, return to the park later in the day.

if you stayed off site, you have the hassle and down time of leaving the park for your car or shuttle to return to your hotel for part of the day.

the double tree is off site and close to the parks.
cheaper also if you don't think you can swing the rph cost.

read some of the trippies in the trip forum on other people's experience at the nick hotel.

motraveler
12-30-2008, 01:50 PM
I wasn't implying Royal Pacific was "cheap" I just couldn't remember the name when I was typing it up so I called it the cheaper one.

I took all your advice and booked the Royal Pacific. I'm sure we'll have a great time. Thanks for your help!!!

NashvilleTrio
12-30-2008, 02:33 PM
I took all your advice and booked the Royal Pacific.

You're going to have a great time, but be careful FOTL will spoil you. :goodvibes

Disneyhappy
12-30-2008, 03:04 PM
I wasn't implying Royal Pacific was "cheap" I just couldn't remember the name when I was typing it up so I called it the cheaper one.

I took all your advice and booked the Royal Pacific. I'm sure we'll have a great time. Thanks for your help!!!

I was just going to recommend that you book at RPR and then I read your thread I quoted. You will not be sorry in the least! The front of the line access plus the convenience of staying onsite at a very lovely resort is well worth it, especially if your offsite option was the same price. Have a wonderful trip!

stephaniebatesjones
01-03-2009, 12:03 PM
Just saw your post. I think you made a great choice by booking RPR. We stayed at the Nick Hotel last summer. I was not immpressed. The pool is nice, but it's not that awesome. The only thing is that they have a poolside version of double dare ( or something). It's only like twice a day and it's not elaborate or anything. They have several other nick activities (IE: movies, double dare shows, etc.) but you have to pay extra...and it's not cheap. The people that stayed there and really enjoyed it were families that did not really go to the parks. Staying at the hotel and hanging out in the pool WAS THE VACATION. No Parks. Another thing I did not like about the hotel was that there is a bar where the food court and the game room is. There were tons of kids running around without parents with them, and I saw a glass of wine and a glass of beer sitting on a side table unattended. Anyone of those kids could have picked it up and drank it. This was a night. You would think since it is a hotel geared to kids they would have people watching that sort of thing.

Also when we arrived it was late at night so there was not to many people checking in. When we were leaving, there were so many people checking in I thought that It must be some sort of convention group. But the Employee told me no, that it was just regular people checking in. To many people for me. We will never stay there again.

Next summer RPR. It is so worth it staying on site. Plus, we are spoiled by the FOTL access.

Metro West
01-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Plus, we are spoiled by the FOTL access. That does tend to happen. ;)