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-   -   Where to find the best rates on a universal hotel with or with out tickets? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3027566)

katrina1122 11-30-2012 10:14 AM

Where to find the best rates on a universal hotel with or with out tickets?
 
I've priced it out and for 3 nights in March we are spending $1220ish for the RPR with 3 day base tix for 2 adults, it just goes up from there. That's just nuts. We are spending the same amount for a 7 day cruise the next week. We will be doing wdw a few days in between and unless I can find a better rate we'll just stick to wdw for the whole week.

I will be in an ecv that does not break down to fit into a car so no driving. I'm concerned about offsite bus accessiblity issues, I can't seem to get any straight answers. We could walk from some, but would like to be closer, plus we like the early entry and Front of the line that comes with onsite.

I know 1220 may seem fine to some, but we'll be spending that much for 5 days in wdw in a shared 2 bedroom villa at animal kingdom lodge and we are paying the larger portion as we are getting the master bedroom.

I see there is a buy 2 days, get 1 free ticket promo going on, so I'm wondering if there are better rate sites for hotel only beyond universal's. I tried expedia last night and couldn't find the Universal hotels, so maybe i'm doing something wrong?

damo 11-30-2012 10:24 AM

The hotels aren't always on Expedia. Did you call the hotel and ask for rates? They can give you the AAA rate which isn't available online. You can also try Priceline. Aslo, Easter is at the end of March this year, so March prices are high due to many school boards having spring break.

The onsite hotels are not cheap. They are all deluxe hotels within walking distance of both parks with unlimited express pass access. If you compare this to WDW, you'll see that they are not expensive at all, in comparison. It is like staying at the Boardwalk or one of those other hotels between Epcot and DHS.

I know that doesn't help, but it gives you some perspective.

If you want to stay onsite, you don't have many other options. There are some very close offsite hotels such as the Holiday Inn, Doubletree and Hyatt Park.

Another alternative is to purchase on annual pass at $259 which will give you room discounts. If you give me your dates, I'll do some price searching for you.

RMulieri 11-30-2012 11:50 AM

The Universal hotels aren't always available on expedia or other travel search engines.Yes they are expensive,the problem is not only are the Universal hotels deluxe hotels, but MARCH is also Spring break time and the prices go way up.Staying onsite at a Universal hotel will give you early entry and the express pass for resort guests which a nice thing to have when the parks are busy( and they will be ) and they are all a short walk or boat away..There are some chain hotels in the area that are cheaper, but I am not sure how accessible they are to the parks when traveling with an ecv .

katrina1122 11-30-2012 01:00 PM

We'll be there March 10th - 13th, 2013 if we go.

I understand they are 'deluxes' in comparison to disney, but as I said we are staying in a 2 bedroom villa at the Animal Kingdome Lodge which is 'deluxe' for more days for less when divided by 4 people. That's what's really getting me.

I don't mind paying a little extra for the perks, but this is alot extra and we don't tend to spend much time in our room, so it's hard to justify, but I guess I'll keep looking.

I'll call about a AAA rate.

damo 11-30-2012 01:11 PM

A studio at the AKL is $493/night rack rate for the dates you would be going to Universal. A one bedroom is $685.

A standard room at the AKL is $407/night. The rooms are the same size, you can't walk to anything and you don't get unlimited express pass access.

So by comparison, the Loews hotels are a very good deal.

I imagine you rented points or something. You can't rent points at Universal unfortunately.

katrina1122 11-30-2012 02:21 PM

You are correct we did rent points, but were we staying in a room we'd have a 35% discount on it from a pin code I got, but we wouldn't be...as I said we don't stay in our room that much. We'd be at a mod or value.

We rented as it we are going with a large group to wdw, but they aren't doing universal.

I have to disagree though, I think universal is high as they offer no other option but 'deluxe'...hence looking for cheaper rates.

damo 11-30-2012 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katrina1122 (Post 46823846)
You are correct we did rent points, but were we staying in a room we'd have a 35% discount on it from a pin code I got, but we wouldn't be...as I said we don't stay in our room that much. We'd be at a mod or value.

We rented as it we are going with a large group to wdw, but they aren't doing universal.

I have to disagree though, I think universal is high as they offer no other option but 'deluxe'...hence looking for cheaper rates.

You can get much cheaper rates by looking at the offsite hotels. Many of them are also within walking distance. Check out the Doubletree and Hyatt Place. You won't get the perks like you do by staying onsite. If you want to get early park entry, you can book a package for an offsite hotel through the Universal website. That will give you the perk of early admission but you won't get express. You can often get nice rooms (comparable to the mods at Disney) for under $100. Unless you book it as a package through the Universal website though, you won't get the early entry perk.

Universal is building a new hotel (to open in 2014) that will be much more economically priced. It won't include the express perk either.

skmoore07 11-30-2012 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katrina1122
I've priced it out and for 3 nights in March we are spending $1220ish for the RPR with 3 day base tix for 2 adults, it just goes up from there. That's just nuts. We are spending the same amount for a 7 day cruise the next week. We will be doing wdw a few days in between and unless I can find a better rate we'll just stick to wdw for the whole week.

I will be in an ecv that does not break down to fit into a car so no driving. I'm concerned about offsite bus accessiblity issues, I can't seem to get any straight answers. We could walk from some, but would like to be closer, plus we like the early entry and Front of the line that comes with onsite.

I know 1220 may seem fine to some, but we'll be spending that much for 5 days in wdw in a shared 2 bedroom villa at animal kingdom lodge and we are paying the larger portion as we are getting the master bedroom.

I see there is a buy 2 days, get 1 free ticket promo going on, so I'm wondering if there are better rate sites for hotel only beyond universal's. I tried expedia last night and couldn't find the Universal hotels, so maybe i'm doing something wrong?

I would try universals partner hotel Homewood Suites by Hilton. I have never stayed their but it was once the #1 hotel in Orlando on trip advisor and is now #19 of 329. It is where I will probably stay when we go next time. I checked the dates you were looking at and it would be $782.12 for those nights including your park tickets. The hotel includes free hot breakfast buffet, shuttle to the parks, wifi, fridge, microwave, and a full kitchen, as well as the evening managers reception Monday thru Thursday featuring lite dinner fare, beer, wine, and assorted beverages. So you would only really need to worry about paying for your lunch each day. It is within a mile of the parks.

I have been to both parks and highly recommend Mythos if you want to eat out. It is inside Islands of Adventure and is only open during lunch and you would probably have to make reservations. Its definitely worth the extra money and was rated the best theme park restaurant when we were there a few years ago.

Not sure if you have ever been there before or what you are into, but we really enjoyed universal studios more than islands and we spent most of our five days there, so I would start their first unless you believe you would be more interested in islands.

Good luck. I how you enjoy you're trip!

macraven 12-01-2012 04:18 PM

if you want offsite, check out the Drury Inn.

price is great, convenient to the parks, can't say anything against this place.

if you have ever stayed at a Drury Inn, this one near the parks is set up the same as the others.
It's not a large chain, but when you can find a DI in your vacationing area, go for it.

check them out online.

damo 12-01-2012 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by macraven (Post 46830864)
if you want offsite, check out the Drury Inn.

price is great, convenient to the parks, can't say anything against this place.

if you have ever stayed at a Drury Inn, this one near the parks is set up the same as the others.
It's not a large chain, but when you can find a DI in your vacationing area, go for it.

check them out online.


We stay at the one in Charlotte when we travel down to SC. It is wonderful!

Not sure if the Drury Inn can be booked as part of a package through www.universalorlando.com and it is not within walking distance.

macraven 12-01-2012 05:26 PM

damo, this summer DI had their own private shuttle to the parks.
it was free.

they discount for AAA members too.

if i stayed offsite, i more than likely would use DI.

the one in the st louis area, where i am originally from, also has the dinner show at their DI hotel.

macraven 12-01-2012 05:37 PM

here is their website:
https://wwwc.druryhotels.com/Propert...?Property=0152

this page shows you the discounted programs they accept:
https://wwwc.druryhotels.com/Propert...omBooking=True

notice that canadians get 15% discounts off of rooms.

the place is about 2 miles from UO


this hotel is on the UO for packages for offsite resorts.
(it's a partner hotel)


one thing i like about DI is :


Special Features
This is what free tastes like! Wake up each morning to a free Hot Breakfast! Take your pick from a selection of great breakfast items including scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy, sausage and make-your-own Belgian waffles. In the evening, join us at the 5:30 Kickback® for free hot food and cold beverages. Our rotating menu features a variety of hot food, including chicken strips, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, baked potatoes, broccoli cheddar soup and more! Plus, beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks are served everyday. Theres something for everyone at Drurys 5:30 Kickback. It's a snack for some, meal for others and free for all!

The big game just got bigger! Thats because youll find Flat Panel LCD TVs in every room! Kick up your feet and enjoy the view!

damo 12-01-2012 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by macraven (Post 46831210)
damo, this summer DI had their own private shuttle to the parks.
it was free.

they discount for AAA members too.

if i stayed offsite, i more than likely would use DI.

the one in the st louis area, where i am originally from, also has the dinner show at their DI hotel.

And they are dog friendly too!!!

lol, we should do a commercial for them.



I see that the Drury Inn is available through Universal as a package, so there would be early admission. However, not sure if the OP's ECV could get on the shuttle though and the website says the shuttle isn't available for early admission. So there goes that idea.

Indy Denise 12-02-2012 07:42 AM

I just want to add what I learned:

I was looking to go to Universal for one night pre Disney. My main concern was early entry into HP. My date is July 8 2013, right smack in the middle of the busy season. I am a certified crazy planner and park commando.

I checked out the offsite partner hotel packages. I was looking at around $1100.00 for 4 ( everyone 17 or older ). The park tickets included were only 1 day 1 park for 1 day only. You can't delete them off your package,but you can add more days (at gate prices ) I also assume the early entry was only for one day as you needed to pick your early entry day when you book.

Then I looked onsite. One night at Hard Rock, cheapest room. I would buy my own tckets through Mapleleaf ( 2 day 2 park passes). It priced out at $973.00 !!! So, early entry for two days!

Last night I called to book my room using the AAA discount. Royal Pacific's rack rates were $314.00, with the AAA discount it went to $285.00. Hard Rock did not have a great rate so I choose RP.
( I really love HR but since this is such a short trip I am sure I will happy with RP ).

Then add in the FP, which will I lOVE LOVE LOVE ( I don't have to be commando and just go with the flow! ) ...the fact you are right there etc...City Walk at night after napping early evening...etc

Staying onsite was the best deal !!!!!

katrina1122 12-03-2012 11:22 AM

Thanks everyone.

DH and I have decided that offsite would be the best option, but with the ecv it just gets too crazy confirming accesible shuttles, etc.

So....
Since we just spent 10 days at an extended stay starwood hotel and may be spending more while our house is repaired from Sandy destruction, we are going to skip Universal and stay at Swan/Dolphin for free and do WDW for the week.

We'll hit universal some other vacation when we aren't adding on 5 days in wdw and 7 days of a cruise as well. Then we can stay onsite and the cost won't be as shocking, lol. I'll keep that call for AAA tip in mind for sure though.


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