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Old 05-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
denisegold
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Our Game Plan (your input/opinions, please!)

We are going to Tampa in June (family visit) but decided to take a quick side trip to the Universal Parks. (I won the 7 day pass during the superbowl, which is spurring me on to end up probably spending a ton of money- I know that was the evil plan of the Universal marketing firm all along...)

So my admission is free. Here is the rest of my plan: it's my husband and 12 year old daughter. I thought I would:
buy two 1 day/2 park passes ($85 each)
buy three 1 day/2 park express passes ($32 each)
and buy 3 all day 2 park meal passes ($24 each)

This way I figure we can do all the rides we want in both parks in one day, pay $24 each for all day food (I know drink are extra) and be done in one exhausting day. We have all been to both parks before (probably not in about 4 years) so we will know our way around, and know which rides we don't want to bother with (which saves time, too). We will stay in Orlando the night before (so we can get there early) and also the night of, so we can just go back to the hotel and sleep late the next morning.

Does anyone see any major flaws in my plan, or have any tips/advice? Am I missing anything? The date we plan to go is Tuesday June 16, so I am hoping it won't be super crowded, but I am willing to buy the express passes.

TIA!!!
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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The only thing I would suggest is to wait until you arrive to purchase Express Plus passes...you may not need them so you could save that money. If you get there at opening, you should be able to do the major attractions w/o too much of a wait and since you're going during the week, the crowds will be lighter than a weekend.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denisegold View Post
We are going to Tampa in June (family visit) but decided to take a quick side trip to the Universal Parks. (I won the 7 day pass during the superbowl, which is spurring me on to end up probably spending a ton of money- I know that was the evil plan of the Universal marketing firm all along...)
I know what you mean. My free ticket is costing me another $800 with three more tickets, rooms at RPR, etc. It's worth it though!
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #4
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Unless you're huge eaters I would skip the meal plan. Its not available for breaksfast and I found when I was there in April most counter service meals with a drink ran about $10. Unless the parks are open late and/or you plan to eat three meals on the meal deal I didn't think it was worth it. Also, don't forget if you have AAA to bring your card for the 10% discount.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:27 AM   #5
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Unless you're huge eaters I would skip the meal plan. Its not available for breaksfast and I found when I was there in April most counter service meals with a drink ran about $10. Unless the parks are open late and/or you plan to eat three meals on the meal deal I didn't think it was worth it. Also, don't forget if you have AAA to bring your card for the 10% discount.
Thanks for that tip- we really aren't big eaters (average, I'd say). And I do have AAA. I can't believe it got by me that you get a 10% discount on food with AAA. You're post is very helpful, thank you!
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #6
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I know what you mean. My free ticket is costing me another $800 with three more tickets, rooms at RPR, etc. It's worth it though!
Now I'm thinking about staying at RPR (and not spending the $102 on 3 express passes, but stay at a nicer hotel that includes the express pass). I can get a room at RPH for $211 (plus tax).
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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You would definitely want to plan your day very precisely to do it like this. Some new things have been added since your last trip and the dynamics change.

For example, it's only been two years for us and I'm mulling over how to deal with the Simpsons ride.

I agree that it might be wise to skip the meal plan. I'd personally take the time to have lunch in Citywalk to recharge and then counter service later on.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Now I'm thinking about staying at RPR (and not spending the $102 on 3 express passes, but stay at a nicer hotel that includes the express pass). I can get a room at RPH for $211 (plus tax).
Remember also that just one night at RPR will get you two days worth of unlimited express. the day you check in and the day you check out.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:03 AM   #9
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This way I figure we can do all the rides we want in both parks in one day,
I don't think I saw anyone else address the fact that the Express Pass is good for one time on each ride/attraction. So, you can't do each ride multiple times as often as you want. Your Express Pass card will be scanned and you can't use it again for the same ride/attraction. The only way you can ride multiple times is by staying at one of the 3 Universal resorts.

Now, I'm not a Universal expert, but have been twice and am returning next month! So, one of the other experts here may want to chime in on this. I've heard that sometimes the TM's don't scan the Express Pass, but that's certainly not something you could plan for.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:36 AM   #10
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If you're seriously thinking about the RPR, I would do that. Save the $100 from buying 1-time use Express and get Unlimited Express for both parks for two days.. plus stay at a great resort for the difference of the cost.

Also, if you're not big eaters, don't do the meal deal. You can have an amazing meal at Mythos plus another meal for around the same price.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denisegold View Post
Now I'm thinking about staying at RPR (and not spending the $102 on 3 express passes, but stay at a nicer hotel that includes the express pass). I can get a room at RPH for $211 (plus tax).
Did you call the hotel directly to see if that is the cheapest rate? If not call about the AAA rate for the room. I think staying on-site is a great idea. You will be able to do all you want (and more) with the ease of unlimited FOTL.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
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My suggestion... If you can do 2 days then stay onsite. If not then just wait and see if the parks are crowded before buying express. Last few times we went we stayed onsite and lines were non existant. So sorta a waste of $250 ish.

I would also skip the meal deal...Perhaps have a lunch in parks and have dinner after closing at Citywalk.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:59 AM   #13
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I don't know how much money you are spending at the other hotel but I would do this. Use your AAA card to get the best deal on the room. They also might have the 7 day tickets for cheaper than $99 that's online. Yes that $15 more pet person but since you are staying onsite you will have 2 days of FOTL. So take it easier, ride your favorites over and over, and have some relaxing time by the pool. That's how I would do it turn one fast day into 2 enjoyable days.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:44 PM   #14
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I don't know how much money you are spending at the other hotel but I would do this. Use your AAA card to get the best deal on the room. They also might have the 7 day tickets for cheaper than $99 that's online. Yes that $15 more pet person but since you are staying onsite you will have 2 days of FOTL. So take it easier, ride your favorites over and over, and have some relaxing time by the pool. That's how I would do it turn one fast day into 2 enjoyable days.
I totally agree
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:08 PM   #15
denisegold
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Thank you for all the replies. What a great community.

I have decided to forget about the meal deal. I will book to stay one night onsite, and (obviously) get the better express passes included from the hotel. (now can anyone tell me why i love the silly dancing banana so much??)
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