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Old 12-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
JaydaNicole
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Hotel Advice??

I am desperately in need of some advice. DD14, DS12, DD's friend 15, & myself have a trip planned (flights booked) for July 6-16 (10 nights). We have always stayed at a Value and didn't leave property....strictly Disney & I was content to let them do all the driving. Usually, we get some kind promotion (free dining or room discount, but I am not counting on there to be too many deals in July). This trip, we are planning to do both Disney & Universal. I REALLY want to stay at Hard Rock Hotel at least 1 night (maybe 2) because it would be a splurge for us, plus I want the front of the line access. Also, I am thinking of staying at Art of Animation as we have not been there yet and it is new (& affordable for us). I would like to start at Disney (4-5 nights), then HRH (1-2 nights), & back to Disney to finish the trip. I have also been reading such great things about Bonnet Creek and it seems to be nicer accommodations for a good price. I just can't decide!!!

Here's our ticket situation. My kids & I have 5 park days left on a non-expiration ticket. Plus, we do have at least that many left on our water parks & more ticket. DD's friend will have to buy Disney tickets once we decide. ALSO, I have 7-day unlimited entry for both Universal parks & Wet-n-Wild for all 4 of us. It looks to me I should have planned a longer vacation

Will we want more than 2 days at Universal? I'm thinking so, but there onsite is so expensive.

Looking to all you planning experts out there.....HELP!!! Throw some ideas my way! How would you split this up?

TIA
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
NHKristy76
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IMHO, I think 2 days at Universal is plenty... I was there in June with a 3 day pass and felt like 2 days would have been better.

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Old 12-02-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
Sue M
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Instead of going back and forth, I'd do all Universal then go to WDW for the rest of the trip.
When we did Universal last we stayed at HRH for 1 night, giving us 2 days of Front of the Line, and then moved over to The Doubletree right outside of Universal. They have excellent bus/shuttle service to Universal and SeaWorld.

It doesn't make sense to me going back and forth. Unless I misread your post.

AoA looks really cute. We looked around and had lunch at their food court in August. The Mermaid section wasn't open yet so we couldn't explore that area.

At AoA you'd still have the WDW perks, and at Bonnet Creek you'd have their off site bus service, and drop offs. I don't know much about their shuttles, but have heard people were happy there. Maybe they had rental cars? But then you'd have to add the cost of rental car + parking fees at the parks.
Good luck planning!

I did like the 3 day Universal Pass, we did 1 park a day, then on 3rd day we revisited our fav attractions at each park.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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Two days at universal with staying on site should be plenty. We personally like the royal pacific hotel more than the hard rock. It's cheaper (although not much) if you want to save some money.

I think bonnet creek looks great and we would stay there in a heartbeat but we always have our own car. My understanding is that shuttle service is ok but it is not comparable to WDW onsite.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #5
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A few years ago, my friend and I decided to spend a night at Royal Pacific, in the middle of our WDW stay. We both had studios at BWV, but figured if we could get a decent rate at RPR, we wouldn't mind leaving the studios empty for that one night. We got a fairly good rate..it was an AP rate since one of us had the AP over there.
We took what we would need for the night and next day, in backpacks, and took the Mears shuttle over. With four of you traveling, it might make more sense to get either a cab or a towncar service. Then, you could bring a larger bag for your things as well.
We found that two days was more than enough. We spend the entire first day at both US and IoA. Then, the next day, we were ready to leave by 3pm!!!

It would all depend on transporation for me. If you start at US/IoA, then you will have to get from MCO to your US resort. Then, you have to get to AoA at WDW. You can take DME back to MCO at the end of your Disney stay though.

If you go to US/IoA midway, you will be able to DME to WDW, then towncar or cab over to US/IoA and back again, and DME back to MCO. Probably about the same costwise I guess.

Going to US/IoA in the middle of a WDW stay is kind of fun. It breaks up the time at WDW, and allows you to finish your vacation in the 'magic'.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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We do both WDW and Universal all the time. My advice is to start at Disney because it's more stressful with the walking and FPs. Universal is a great way to relax a couple of days before going home. I would check into the Hard Rock the night before your first day at IOA ( The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). On site guests are able to get into the park 1 hour (8am) before other visitors. Go straight to The Wizarding World because there is not front of the line for the ride. It really helps. Then the next day, sleep in and visit Universal Studios at your leisure.
We used to do Uni first and then WDW but it was a killer. Doing Uni last has helped us to feel refreshed and not as beat when we get home.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
JaydaNicole
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Royal Pacific

Curious as to why you like Royal Pacific better than HRH (besides price). We haven't stayed at any & theming seemed fun with music piped underwater at pool at HRH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboysmom View Post
Two days at universal with staying on site should be plenty. We personally like the royal pacific hotel more than the hard rock. It's cheaper (although not much) if you want to save some money.

I think bonnet creek looks great and we would stay there in a heartbeat but we always have our own car. My understanding is that shuttle service is ok but it is not comparable to WDW onsite.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:52 PM   #8
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We've stayed at both RPR and HRH and while RPR was nice, HRH was hands down way nicer all around. Better rooms, amenities, restaurants, service. In July, rates can be pricy, but HRH actually feels and acts like a true deluxe resort.
I would spend the money to do HRH, but I agree with a pp to do it at the end of your trip. You will not want to go back to a Disney value after your stay at HRH. And that's coming from an AoA lover!
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:12 PM   #9
JaydaNicole
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I am liking the idea of only moving once during the trip vs. twice, but being a Disney Freak, I was thinking I wanted to start & end my trip at WDW. Also, I was hoping to use Magical Express to & from the airport. I think I saw somewhere that a cab from WDW to HRH is around $35 each way. If we stay at HRH at the end, we would still have the $35 from WDW to HRH, but would also need to pay cab from HRH to airport. Any idea what that costs?

Have you ever went to Wet-n-Wild? If so, opinions?


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We've stayed at both RPR and HRH and while RPR was nice, HRH was hands down way nicer all around. Better rooms, amenities, restaurants, service. In July, rates can be pricy, but HRH actually feels and acts like a true deluxe resort.
I would spend the money to do HRH, but I agree with a pp to do it at the end of your trip. You will not want to go back to a Disney value after your stay at HRH. And that's coming from an AoA lover!
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