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Old 01-23-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
100AcreWood
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Advantages of staying onsite in October?

My family knows a ton about Disney but we've never tried Universal. I feel like I'm starting over! We're planning a 4 night cruise in October and thought this would be a good time to check out Universal for 2 days after the cruise.

What are the advantages of staying onsite at Universal?

We are a family of 5 - kids are ages 11, 5, and 7 by October. Would love any input!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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We LOVE staying onsite. You are close enough to walk or take a short boat ride to any of the parks. Most importantly staying onsite gives you early entry (1 hour) into the parks where select attractions are open. Most notably the Harry Potter area. It's great to be able to ride everything there and be heading somewhere else when the crowds roll in. Also, you get Front Of the Line access which is similar to fastpass but only for onsite guest or those who pay a high amount for it. So, you skip the standby lines and walk on most attractions (a few aren't included.. Forbidden Journey being one). I've never waited more than 15 or 20 minutes with FOL and we've been during some busy times.
That alone is worth the price of the onsite hotels for us.
All 3 properties are very nice.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:11 AM   #3
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Walking distance to both parks
Beautiful Deluxe resorts at sometimes less than Disney Deluxe costs
Express pass for Resort guests( FOTL)- There is NO free version to offsite guests .It is good at all rides and shows except( Pteranodon Flyers, Forbidden Journey ,Ollivanders wandshop,Rip Ride rocket).No return windows, no little pieces of paper and virtually little to no wait
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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And don't forget early entry for HP.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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if you book an onsite room for october, you might want to avoid the weekends.
hhn is held on select dates in october and it brings in crowds.


you would have so much more fun staying onsite during the week.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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If staying onsite over a weekend in October, how far in advance should we book our room? We'll have older teens in our group who would probably enjoy HHN.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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If staying onsite over a weekend in October, how far in advance should we book our room? We'll have older teens in our group who would probably enjoy HHN.
try to book before mid september.
hotels do book up quickly for weekends due to hhn.
early september would be better.
there are some that book earlier than that.
such as me who books in january for the october stay.....


i guess it really depends on which weekend you are planning in late september/ october.
the late sept, begining october hhn dates, don't have the crowds as large as mid october and on do.





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Old 01-31-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thank you for all of your help! Two more questions - we are looking at staying on a Thursday and Friday night. Do the hotels ever offer discounts when you get closer to your stay (like Disney hotels)?

And we have three kids so we would need a rollaway bed for an extra $25. How is the bed? Is it a true Twin size bed? We recently stayed at a Courtyard and they gave us a rollaway bed and it was pretty awesome. Perfect for my oldest dd.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100AcreWood View Post
Thank you for all of your help! Two more questions - we are looking at staying on a Thursday and Friday night. Do the hotels ever offer discounts when you get closer to your stay (like Disney hotels)?

And we have three kids so we would need a rollaway bed for an extra $25. How is the bed? Is it a true Twin size bed? We recently stayed at a Courtyard and they gave us a rollaway bed and it was pretty awesome. Perfect for my oldest dd.
Prices often change. You should watch them regularly. If a lower price shows up just give them a call.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100AcreWood View Post
Thank you for all of your help! Two more questions - we are looking at staying on a Thursday and Friday night. Do the hotels ever offer discounts when you get closer to your stay (like Disney hotels)?

And we have three kids so we would need a rollaway bed for an extra $25. How is the bed? Is it a true Twin size bed? We recently stayed at a Courtyard and they gave us a rollaway bed and it was pretty awesome. Perfect for my oldest dd.
Just like Damo said, the prices do change so check often. Be careful how you book. We booked a package deal and the only way to get the price difference was to let our package go and wait 3 weeks for a refund, since we had already paid it in full, and then re-book it. We had reserved a king and the only thing left was a 2 queen room. Since we were a week from leaving and we didn't want holds on our card we just kept our reservation. We know for next time!

We went for HHN and booked our room in June only because we wanted a certain tower, floor and view. The price went down about $100 but like I said above, it wasn't worth the hassle.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:30 AM   #11
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Thanks! Currently the rate is $254 per night (not including the rollaway). I can't see to find any information on their typical rates. I assume this is pretty standard and seems reasonable to me.

Should I book and lock in the rate and date and then keep checking?
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100AcreWood View Post
Thanks! Currently the rate is $254 per night (not including the rollaway). I can't see to find any information on their typical rates. I assume this is pretty standard and seems reasonable to me.

Should I book and lock in the rate and date and then keep checking?
Check out the date & rate threads. It shows prices, dates and the discount used.

2012 --> http://www.disboards.com/showthread....=date+and+rate

2013 --> http://www.disboards.com/showthread....=date+and+rate



This is the link to the seasonal rate page on Universal's site.

http://www.universalorlando.com/Hote...nal-Rates.aspx


Staying onsite was worth every penny when we went this past October. We spent $30ish on food at Publix getting PB&J, chips, water, granola bars, snacks and other stuff. We did early entry, went to the hotel for lunch/quick nap, and were able to stay til closing time and enjoy a nice dinner on Citywalk or the parks. It was great being so close to the parks where it was just a quick walk or boat ride away.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100AcreWood View Post
Thank you for all of your help! Two more questions - we are looking at staying on a Thursday and Friday night. Do the hotels ever offer discounts when you get closer to your stay (like Disney hotels)?

And we have three kids so we would need a rollaway bed for an extra $25. How is the bed? Is it a true Twin size bed? We recently stayed at a Courtyard and they gave us a rollaway bed and it was pretty awesome. Perfect for my oldest dd.
Book it now to avoid disappointment. discounts on the weekends of HHN are few and far between for dates i've booked over the years. I currently have AAA rate booked and was told (as last year) it'll be the same APH rate. Stays of three days stays & up may garner better stay & play rates depending on length of stay as date nears.

it's been a few years but the last time i rented a rollaway it was a true twin size with thick mattress; not exactly in good shape, but i'd likely due for replacement.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMichelleee View Post
Check out the date & rate threads. It shows prices, dates and the discount used.

2012 --> http://www.disboards.com/showthread....=date+and+rate

2013 --> http://www.disboards.com/showthread....=date+and+rate



This is the link to the seasonal rate page on Universal's site.

http://www.universalorlando.com/Hote...nal-Rates.aspx


Staying onsite was worth every penny when we went this past October. We spent $30ish on food at Publix getting PB&J, chips, water, granola bars, snacks and other stuff. We did early entry, went to the hotel for lunch/quick nap, and were able to stay til closing time and enjoy a nice dinner on Citywalk or the parks. It was great being so close to the parks where it was just a quick walk or boat ride away.

Hope this helps!
Thank you! That was really helpful. I'm going to take everyone's advice and book it now. We're only staying 2 nights so it's unlikely we would get any discounts based on last year's reports.
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