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Old 02-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
ruthgator
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Help me plan my trip... please...

Help stop my overthinking this...
We won't be doing WDW this trip. just Universal and... possibly another (legoland? Sea world?)
We (2 adults, 9yr old ds, 6 yr old dd) want to arrive Saturday June 2 and leave Friday the 8th. We will be driving and will arrive around noon on 6/2. We want to stay at one of the universal resorts (the cheapest) for one night (to get two days express passes at Universal) and at a condo-type (DH and I aren't good in a regular hotel room with the kids...) place the other nights. Maybe a condo place with a cool water slide/lazy river??? (Bonnet Creek??)

Also, do you know of any deals on tickets? I know about the Orlando flex pass (way too expensive for just a few days). What I found online was:
2 day universal park to park passes $136/$126 each (adult/kid)
Seaworld two day passes $71/$65 each
Universal and wet and wild water park $175 unlimited for 14 days

We have AAA for a discount at one of the onsite hotels… what is the best way to do this? The way I see it, we will need either 2 separate places or if the condo is cheap enough, then leave it empty one night so we don't have to pack/unpack for our one night at universal…

should we stay at the Nickelodeon hotel one night? seems spendy and reviews not so hot... please direct me, oh wise ones... thanks!
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
DisneyLoverUSA
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express passes

I would price out what BUYING the express passes would cost you for those days versus staying onsite in a Universal resort (around $300 a night minimum unless you have an AP)

The rest of the stuff I can't say. We have only stayed at a few places (listed in my sig) and never stayed at Bonnet Creek or in a Universal resort.

We have Universal/IOA and Sea World season passes because my husband I plan on going once a year without the kids and once a year with the kids so we will just buy them tickets before we go.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
ruthgator
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those express passes only allow you one 'line pass' per ride. if you stay on site, you get unlimited express passes per ride...
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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the best way to see US is definitely go with one of their hotels. that say they are expensive. especially if you want to see the Harry potter thing - think it opens early for onsite guest still.

since you want to do non-Disney stuff then would not stay at Bonnett creek.

there is Hilton Grand Vacation Club - across the street from SW - which I think would work better for you.

there are also a couple of Marriotts in the area.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
MattM
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As stated above, any of the Marriott Vacation Club resorts in the area would work out great for you, I believe.

Definitely give Legoland a try. It's a neat little park; worth the short drive down to Winter Haven. Be sure to spend some time in the city of Winter Haven too, maybe plan a meal there or something.

Side Note: I THINK you can get $10/off tickets to Legoland at Chick-Fil-A right now.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Like you said, you can buy express passes if you are not staying onsite. However, you only get one ride per person per ride. If you stay onsite, you can use your passes as many times as you want per ride. Regarding sleeping arrangements, I would not stay at Bonnet Creek since you are not going to Disney World. I have been to Universal Orlando many times and we have always stayed on site. The cheapest of the onsite hotels is the Royal Pacific. However, I must say that I have never paid $300 per night EVER for an onsite hotel. The price of the hotels do depend on dates. I would go to the Universal website and look at the available packages and special offers. Its like you have nothing against split stays. Maybe you can stay onsite for the days that you are going to Universal and then move to an other hotel or condo closer to SeaWorld and spend the remainder of your trip there. If you wanted to stay at a hotel near SeaWorld, I would suggest the Hilton Orlando (a bit more expensive) or the Renaissance at SeaWorld. The Renaissance is across the street from SeaWorld and you can walk there. There are often many specials available. If you want a condo then you can stay at the Marriott. I hope this helps!
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