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View Full Version : split stay... which first?


Lees3rwe
09-12-2011, 02:47 PM
Hey everyone:

We have been to Disney twice and I am considering a split stay in June 2012 with 3 or 4 Disney days and 3 or 4 days at Universal and LegoLand.

Most people are saying that we will need to swap hotels for the two legs of the trip to get the most from the benefits.

My question is: Which part should we do first?

Universal/Legoland or Disney?

coastermom
09-12-2011, 03:13 PM
I always do Disney first and then do Universal and stay on site . I stay at Disney first then move to Universal . The reason to do this is one Disney gives you the extra magic hours and the bus transportation is amazing !! Universal is great because of the express pass !! that is worth all the hastle of moving resorts ten fold !! :thumbsup2 Just my opinion !

Lees3rwe
09-12-2011, 03:41 PM
Thanks coastermom.

I just priced rooms at Universal and for June 12-14 with no discounts I am looking at $627.76.

If I get the 3 day 2 park passes as Costco for $139 each, do I still get the onsite perks or do you have to purchase everything as a package?

Also, is the dining worth it? We will have full dining for our 5 days at Disney, so it really isn't neccesary to eat well on these days... LOL.

Thanks for any help!

zack123
09-12-2011, 06:10 PM
I'm no expert, but you can definitely do a room-only reservation, through Universal, Loews, or a third-party site (Expedia). Your hotel room key is what gets you unlimited Express and the other perks, so I don't think it matters where you bought the admission tickets as long as you have them (hotel rates do not include admission to the parks). Note this applies only to the three on-site hotels; to get early admission to IOA at an off-site hotel, you need to book through Universal.

When I priced things out for my own trip, it was cheaper to buy everything separately than to get a package.

One thing you might ask others about, is if it might be worth it for you to purchase a preferred annual pass. Annual passholders can get some really good discounts on the rooms at different times of the year, plus discounts on tickets for other people, and merchandise. The benefits to you will vary at different times of the year though, and I'm not sure they've published the rates for next year yet. If you have several people in your group and are staying a few nights, the savings might be worth it. Only one person in your group needs an annual pass to get the discount on the room.

Lees3rwe
09-12-2011, 07:06 PM
thanks!

Moon Child
09-12-2011, 07:07 PM
I always do Disney first and then do Universal and stay on site . I stay at Disney first then move to Universal . The reason to do this is one Disney gives you the extra magic hours and the bus transportation is amazing !! Universal is great because of the express pass !! that is worth all the hastle of moving resorts ten fold !! :thumbsup2 Just my opinion !

That's what we do too! And we're doing it again in 18 days! :lovestruc

Metro West
09-12-2011, 07:20 PM
Disney first and then Universal. Having unlimited Express access as an onsite Universal guest will spoil you and you won't want to stand in the lines at Disney.

macraven
09-12-2011, 08:14 PM
i stay at the motherland onsite then transfer to the darkside hotels.

it is like having two separate vacations.


if you have AAA, you can use that for a great room discount.
it also allows you 10% off of food and merch in the parks.
some places in city walk will honor AAA for the discount too.

Lees3rwe
09-12-2011, 09:00 PM
I do have AAA, I called and they said to call back in January for the discounts... :(

gschmerl
09-13-2011, 08:41 AM
Definitely do WDW first and then stay on site at Universal. If you do it the other way around you will really resent having to stand in all the lines at WDW..

Zim
09-13-2011, 08:59 PM
I concur! This is how we always do it too... the Magical Express at the airport is priceless on the way to the Disney hotel.

And the Express Pass is so nice on the back end of the trip. It also feels more relaxing at Universal after wandering 4 to 6 parks (depending on if you did Water Parks at Disney) to just have two parks right next to one another (and right next to the hotels!) to wander at our leisure. I always feel like at Disney I have to coordinate all the extra magic hours, the reservations for the free dining we always sign up for, and often find ourselves on buses and monorails constantly on the go. Universal just seems to be a nice, more calm way to end the vacation without feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation.

MrsMud
09-14-2011, 05:59 AM
I was going to post my opinion, but it's really the same as what everyone else is saying. Definitely do WDW first. You will enjoy it a lot more when you haven't beeen spoiled yet by FOTL! Plus, you will have more energy at the beginning of your trip and for Disney, you need it. I am somewhat of a compulsive planner at Disney. I have the ADRs, the park maps, the touring plans, etc. I know which park to go to, what time to get to the front gate, which fastpasses to get when, what time to hit the shows, where and when to eat lunch, etc, etc, etc. Believe it or not, when at Universal I just...relax! We stay onsite, take the bus or walk over to the parks when we feel like it, go to whichever park we feel like, go on whichever rides in whichever order we feel like..you get the point. Oh, and we also spend a fair amount of time kicked back in the adirondack chairs or under the plane at Margaritaville sipping margaritas ;)!

Have fun!

bobbie68
09-14-2011, 03:28 PM
Hi,

I would like to add. We are going in June 2012. We want to do just two days at IOA. My husband wants to stay on-site to get the perks. Also my husband loves magic express. What we decided to do is we are going to check in at Disney on the 16th at one resort, hang out and enjoy it. On the 17th we are going to move over to RPR for one night then go back to POR for the rest of the week. I know it seems like a lot of moving but in order to do magic express both ways for the airport it was the best option. I will be taking a taxi from Disney to Universal.

Good luck with your planning.:goodvibes

Brooke4
09-15-2011, 10:22 AM
Definitely do WDW first and then stay on site at Universal. If you do it the other way around you will really resent having to stand in all the lines at WDW..

I agree. We did this in 09 and it was a wonderful trip!

momto3pirates
09-15-2011, 02:24 PM
We have done split stays the last 2 summers but we do Universal first. The main reason is on the last day of the trip, we check our bags with RAC and head off to a park or DTD and don't have to worry about luggage on the way home. Come back at our ME time and get on the bus.
We also find Disney to be more laid back part of the trip, maybe because we know it better, but it is nice to end the trip on that note.
We are planning our next trip over Thanksgiving 2012. It will be Disney first only because we need the extra days advantage booking DVC 11 months out for that week.