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Old 06-19-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
JZCubed
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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'Signature' Stay at Universal - Best Discounts?

I am hoping some of you folks who are well traveled to Universal Orlando can give me some suggestions, advice, and/or enlightenment.

I plan on going with my wife & toddler who will be just 5 y.o. in Spring 2014 for a four-nite stay after having been at Disney for a five-nite stay - a 9-nite vacation. My toddler is over 40" now. Regardless, we've never been to Universal and would like some of your 'pearls of wisdom' be bestowed upon answers to our questions.

My family & I thank you in advance.

My wife & I are partial to the musical theme at Hard Rock since we met at a concert. But we get a better deal at Loew's Portofino through American Express.

After a cursory look at hotel rates through Amex & Universal - my wife won't like sandy pool at Hard Rock - from both an amenities point of view and aesthetics, it seems that my best deal is by taking comparable discounted room rate at Portofino, instead of Hard Rock. Then Amex provides added discounts ($100 food credit + free breakfast). Also, courtesy 12pm check-in, which is good since I'm coming from Disney by cab; and 4pm check-out, which is good if we want to maximize departure day.

Since we are planning to be there for 4 days, I have contemplated purchasing an Annual Pass to see if I can extract a better discount/deal.

Any suggestions for on-site hotel discounts?

Is Annual Pass going to provide as good a discount as other sites?

Food Discounts. We do Signatures at Disney and use Tables in Wonderland.

At Universal - Bice & Emeril's for dinner. Lombardi's & Mythos in the Parks.

Are these places part of Annual Pass discounting or does Universal have another program?

Thanks again.
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Akershus (3.0-stars* Food; 5* princess interaction). blueZoo (4.5* - Best (Sea) Food w/o jacket required), Boma (4.0* buffet breakfast*), Bongo's (3*), California Grill (3.5*food; 5*- Best View), Cape May Cafe (4* charcter breakfast w/ Goofy), Captain's Grille (2*), Chef Mickey's (2* food; 5* characters), Cinderella's Royal Table (2.5* food; 4* characters), Citrico's (3.5*), Coral Reef (3.5* food; 4.5* for the view), Crystal Palace (2*), 50's Prime Time Cafe (2.5*), Flying Fish (3.5*), Grand Floridian Cafe (3*), Hollywood Brown Derby (3*), House of Blues (3.5* - BBQ), Il Mulino (4*), Jiko (3.5*), Le Cellier (3.5*), Les Chefs de France (3*), Marrakesh (3* - Best Value/bit noisy; 4* belly dancers), Narcoossee's (3.5*), Rainforest Cafe (2*), Rose & Crown (2.5*), Sanaa (4.0* - View of Animals on Savannah), Sci-Fi Theatre (2.5*), Shula's Steakhouse (4*), Sleepy Hollow (4* Qwik Serve chicken waffles & coffee drinks), Tamu Tamu (4* - Qwik Serve Hidden Gem) Victoria & Albert (5*- Best Service/Tasting Menu), Wave (3*), Yak & Yeti (2*)
-- Items in BOLD are personal favorites.

On my 'to dine' list: Artist Point (Nov, 2014), Monsieur Paul (2015?), Ohana (2016?), Yachtman's Steakhouse (2015), & Spice Road (2014?).
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
macraven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZCubed View Post
I am hoping some of you folks who are well traveled to Universal Orlando can give me some suggestions, advice, and/or enlightenment.

I plan on going with my wife & toddler who will be just 5 y.o. in Spring 2014 for a four-nite stay

My family & I thank you in advance.



After a cursory look at hotel rates through Amex & Universal - my wife won't like sandy pool at Hard Rock - from both an amenities point of view and aesthetics, it seems that my best deal is by taking comparable discounted room rate at Portofino, instead of Hard Rock.

Since we are planning to be there for 4 days, I have contemplated purchasing an Annual Pass to see if I can extract a better discount/deal.

Any suggestions for on-site hotel discounts?

Is Annual Pass going to provide as good a discount as other sites?

Food Discounts. We do Signatures at Disney and use Tables in Wonderland.

At Universal - Bice & Emeril's for dinner. Lombardi's & Mythos in the Parks.

Are these places part of Annual Pass discounting or does Universal have another program?

Thanks again.
for me, i prefer Tchoup Chop over Emerils of City Walk.
Mythos, Bice both good.
Lombardi's can be great or just okay. (depends on your food)

don't over look some of the restaurants in City Walk.
check them out at www.citywalk.com


what are your dates besides just saying spring next year?

School spring breaks run from early March thru April.
Easter is at the end of April next year.

the parks/hotels can be crowded during spring break and up to Easter.

May can have crowds on Fridays.
local schools do field trips to the parks then.

APH rates can cover the spring time depending on dates.
hotels reach a decent occupancy level without discounts then.
Loews promo of Stay More Save More is decent if you have a stay of 3 or more nights onsite. this code is available to the general public.
AAA also allows for room discounts.
call AAA or UOR for the amount.
it is not published on the UO booking site.


PBH, Italian flair, has lovely pools including a quiet one.
RPH has a south seas ambiance.
HRH is about the music.


to get an idea of what type of discounts that have been happening in the past year, check out this years (and 2012) date&place thread.

you'll get an idea of what discounts were available, and what the room/hotel rate became.


no idea of room rates, discount codes that will be available next year at this point.


the Preferred Annual Pass allows a 10% discount on food and merch in the parks and some city walk venues.
the Premier Annual Pass allows a 15% discount as above.

ap room discounts vary on the %age based on dates and room types.
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