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Old 01-29-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
Maple17
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What would you do?

We will be at US/IOA on Feb 17 and 18. We are currently booked to stay offsite. To stay on site for the night of the 17th would cost us $304 at the cheapest hotel. I know that the benefits of staying on site are enormous but I just can't imagine spending that kind of money on 1 Night. We are there during Presidents weekend so I know it will be busy. What would you do? We will be staying at the offsite hotel before and after our Universal days so we would also have to pack up all our stuff for 1 night.

If we did stay on site on Feb 17 how would we get early admission on that day without being checked in yet? I have read on here that the early admission and express pass are good for the day you check-in and check-out. Could we check in before 8am??

Thanks in advance for any insight/answers!
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:50 AM   #2
buckeev
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My two-cents...On the surface...it may seem like a big waste of money, but, it is kinda like "buying time".
The Express Pass, especially on a busy day, will increase you ability to enjoy many more rides. Or, enjoy your favorites multiple times in a much more tolerable time frame. As for the check-in...you can check in as early as you want. Your room may, or may not be ready, in which case they will still get you your Express Passes, and will even store your luggage in a secure room until the room is ready. You can compare the On Site Express perks and prices to the "Add on purchase" Pass, and decide if you want to go that route, but they are quite pricey, and usually end up costing much more than the room rate.
Also, like you mentioned.if you have park tickets for the day you check in and the day you check out, you will be able to use the Express Pass on both of those days.
Tip...if you do arrive at the hotel early, make sure to have you Park bags/tote bags, etc. easily accessible to avoid having to dig them all out while standing in the hotel lobby. (voice of experience here......)
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
If we did stay on site on Feb 17 how would we get early admission on that day without being checked in yet? I have read on here that the early admission and express pass are good for the day you check-in and check-out. Could we check in before 8am??
Yep. You do the checkin process and get the keycards, stash your bags with bell services, you go get your express pass picture taken and head on to the parks!

The info is even on the page for each of the onsite hotels, if you go to the loews website. I was going to check the rates for you (here), and quote the page about the benefits for you, but the Loews site is down right now.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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We are considering doing this but only using the room as a day room to maybe enjoy the pool and take a midday break. We are currently booked in a 2 bed 2 bath condo and squeezing into a hotel room is not appealing but we may look into booking the room for the perks!
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
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I agree with the PPs. We stayed at the HR for two nights at the beginning of our Disney stay once and it was a great decision. I actually think its more worthwhile to stay on property at UA than disney (and this is from a stay on property only disney nut!).
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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OP, have you called and asked for a AAA rate? It would help a bit.

I, too, would bite the bullet and stay onsite.

I would check in at around 7am and give them your bags and head for the WWoHP. They will take your cell phone number and call you when your room is ready (if it is ready early). I really don't think you will regret it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Is there any chance someone in your party would be returning within the year? There is an AP rate available.

Last edited by LJF; 01-30-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #8
Maple17
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Thank you everyone for your insight. I am leaning towards booking an onsite room for 1 night even though spending that kind of money on a hotel stings! I think it will be worth it.

We will have a rental vehicle - how much do they charge to park at the resort?
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
Maple17
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Originally Posted by LJF View Post
Is there any chance someone in your party would be returning within the year? There is an AP rate available.
No, we won't be visiting again within the year, unfortunately. Too far for us to go.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
Maple17
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What are the rides that you CANNOT use the express pass for?
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #11
Maple17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo View Post
OP, have you called and asked for a AAA rate? It would help a bit.

I, too, would bite the bullet and stay onsite.

I would check in at around 7am and give them your bags and head for the WWoHP. They will take your cell phone number and call you when your room is ready (if it is ready early). I really don't think you will regret it.
We don't have CAA (we are from Canada). I think I will bite the bullet and go for it. Thanks for your advice!
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
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I see that right now the difference between the 304 rate and the AP rate is only $70. Drat. Definitely not enough of a difference to warrant an AP.


But I think of it this way...you can check in VERY early in the morning. You get access to every amenity of the hotel, along with early entry, and express pass (by the way, Ollivander's also doesn't accept the express pass, in case that was on your list). You can swim at any of the pools onsite. And you get this access for the whole day of checkin AND the whole day of checkout. The parking fee is annoying IMO (though totally in line with normal downtowns of many big cities), BUT they charge it at midnight. So as long as your car is out of there before midnight on checkout day, you're only charged ONCE. This is most excellent in my opinion.

Changing hotels is annoying for some, that's for sure. But I found that just planning for it makes it a bit easier. Maybe your offsite hotel can hold your bags until you come back, and you can just pack what you need for the two days in a smaller bag or two? If not, know that the Universal hotel's bell services will keep your stuff during the day you checkout, no problem.


With all that, it can easily feel a lot more "worth it", IMO.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:49 PM   #13
Maple17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
I see that right now the difference between the 304 rate and the AP rate is only $70. Drat. Definitely not enough of a difference to warrant an AP.


But I think of it this way...you can check in VERY early in the morning. You get access to every amenity of the hotel, along with early entry, and express pass (by the way, Ollivander's also doesn't accept the express pass, in case that was on your list). You can swim at any of the pools onsite. And you get this access for the whole day of checkin AND the whole day of checkout. The parking fee is annoying IMO (though totally in line with normal downtowns of many big cities), BUT they charge it at midnight. So as long as your car is out of there before midnight on checkout day, you're only charged ONCE. This is most excellent in my opinion.

Changing hotels is annoying for some, that's for sure. But I found that just planning for it makes it a bit easier. Maybe your offsite hotel can hold your bags until you come back, and you can just pack what you need for the two days in a smaller bag or two? If not, know that the Universal hotel's bell services will keep your stuff during the day you checkout, no problem.


With all that, it can easily feel a lot more "worth it", IMO.
Good to know about the parking, thanks!
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