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Old 11-17-2012, 08:31 PM   #286
australiankaren
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so a cunning plan is hatching...

I am now trying to add 2 nights at UST in orlando to my trip.....Dh wants to see harry potter, so i thought tack it onto the end of the cruise rather than cut into my WDW time during the week we are there...whats another $1000 and 3 days
havent told him yet...but will slip it into the conversation at some stage....

so where should we stay in universal......out of the 3 onsite hotels????
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:22 PM   #287
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Love how these budget trips just grow and grow, but for what it's worth, we loved hard rock hotel, just don't go the extra for club level, (that you would hate I'm sure!!)
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:56 AM   #288
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We thought Royal Pacific was lovely and was certainly the nicest hotel room we were in for our trip!
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:59 AM   #289
australiankaren
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thanks guys

i have now convinced him to stay 4 nights so we can enjoy the parks at our leisure as well as the adult entertainment at night....

Some quick questions:
at lowes hotels onsite do you pay for parking??
is it worth paying for express fastpass thingy??
should we hop between parks or do one per day?
which park first?
what great restaurants should we check out at the city walk?
what hotel has the best pool??

I do enjoy overplanning for new locationsand him setting a budget is just a suggestion in my books
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:00 AM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren
I am now trying to add 2 nights at UST in orlando to my trip.....Dh wants to see harry potter, so i thought tack it onto the end of the cruise rather than cut into my WDW time during the week we are there...whats another $1000 and 3 days
havent told him yet...but will slip it into the conversation at some stage....

so where should we stay in universal......out of the 3 onsite hotels????
We will be at universal for 3 nights after our cruise too we are going back to royal pacific resort. We loved it there last time, very relaxing, loved the pool area (they dont have the loud underwater music like at hard rock) and we really enjoyed the onsite food options. Staying onsite is so much easier for access to the parks and you get early entry every day and free unlimited front of the line passes with your room key (essentially a kttw card) everyday including check in & check out days

Plus shuttle to mco is only 30 pp return or they have a town car to take you or you could hire a car i guess..
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:10 AM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren
i have now convinced him to stay 4 nights so we can enjoy the parks at our leisure as well as the adult entertainment at night....

Some quick questions:
at lowes hotels onsite do you pay for parking??
is it worth paying for express fastpass thingy??
should we hop between parks or do one per day?
which park first?
what great restaurants should we check out at the city walk?
what hotel has the best pool??

I do enjoy overplanning for new locations
My understanding is you will pay for parking. but the express front of the line thingy is free if you stay onsite. i recommend the hopper .. It is not much more and gives you flexibility if you decide to change things up.

I think royal pacific has the nicest pool. I have heard noise complainrs about hard rocks pool and complaints of uncleanliness at portofino (go figure, with it being the more expensive hotel).

Bubba gumps at citywalk is nice but so is emerils. There is a larger emerils at citywalk and a smaller one at the royal pacific and some of those dishes are in room service as well. Also there os a margaritaville at city walk .. Nice strong margaritas in big glasses

I recommend islands of adventure first. The theming is awesome especially in wwohp and get a frozen butterbeer regular ones are ok but frozen are just amazing.

I chronically overplanned for our trip as my sis is a huge hp fan so if you have questions feel free to ask
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:22 AM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia1506

We will be at universal for 3 nights after our cruise too we are going back to royal pacific resort. We loved it there last time, very relaxing, loved the pool area (they dont have the loud underwater music like at hard rock) and we really enjoyed the onsite food options. Staying onsite is so much easier for access to the parks and you get early entry every day and free unlimited front of the line passes with your room key (essentially a kttw card) everyday including check in & check out days

Plus shuttle to mco is only 30 pp return or they have a town car to take you or you could hire a car i guess..
Alicia, have you thought about how you're going to get from the cruise terminal to Universal?
We're staying at Universal for 3 nights before the cruise (probably RPR since it's the cheapest), but aren't sure how we'll get from Universal to The Fantasy. I'm sure there are plenty of shuttle/town car companies out there but wouldn't even know how to start to find a reliable and affordable one.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:31 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
Alicia, have you thought about how you're going to get from the cruise terminal to Universal?
We're staying at Universal for 3 nights before the cruise (probably RPR since it's the cheapest), but aren't sure how we'll get from Universal to The Fantasy. I'm sure there are plenty of shuttle/town car companies out there but wouldn't even know how to start to find a reliable and affordable one.
I was just about to ask the same thing.....because if we have to pay for car parking, and we really arnt going to leave UST for the 4 days it may be easier to get a shuttle from the port to the hotel and then to the airport.....any ideas???

i am getting quotes of $179.20 p night plus $22 tax...so $200 a night for royal pacific...is this cheap????also do you buy your tickets from undercover tourist??They are $40 cheaper for 4 day hopper than the online prices....reliable???

so we plan to be there sept 29-oct 3 2013........is the halloween party too scary for me..as i hate horror things???

so many questions.....

oh and heres the link to mousesavers UST page ...http://www.mousesavers.com/discounts...als/#powerpass
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:49 AM   #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren

I was just about to ask the same thing.....because if we have to pay for car parking, and we really arnt going to leave UST for the 4 days it may be easier to get a shuttle from the port to the hotel and then to the airport.....any ideas???

i am getting quotes of $179.20 p night plus $22 tax...so $200 a night for royal pacific...is this cheap????also do you buy your tickets from undercover tourist??They are $40 cheaper for 4 day hopper than the online prices....reliable???

so we plan to be there sept 29-oct 3 2013........is the halloween party too scary for me..as i hate horror things???
I was thinking of buying my tickets from undercover tourist. I've read so much about them, I can only assume they're reliable.

I watched a few You Tube vids of the Halloween party and think it looks terrifying. Rather than pay good money to be on edge all evening, I think I'll happily settle with Mickey's version instead. :-)
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:53 AM   #295
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ah yes, the transfers. yes. i have a cunning plan for this also

we are going to be using disney's magical express port transfer service. $70 pp return, which is a little expensive, but since this is our first cruise, we wanted to keep it all in the family and it's all rolled into the quote we got for the cruise, so it's not really an 'extra cost' per se... they will pick us up from the hotel/airport (we are staying at the mco hyatt) at the regular magical express check in spot (i am given to understand) and whisk us away to the port, and then return us to the airport after the cruise.

we will then cunningly board the mears shuttle (30 pp return) from the airport down to universal studios (drops you right at the front door of the hotel) and takes us back to the airport when we are (not) ready to go home.

this may seem a little convoluted (ie, disney shuttle from mco - port canaveral return, then mco - universal return) but it works out much cheaper than any towncar/limo/private shuttle option i could find to go from mco - port canaveral, then port canaveral - universal, then universal - mco). so that is my plan.

this way we are fully taken care of from point a to b to c without having to rely on outside companies we have never used before which may be unreliable
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:01 AM   #296
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No problems here with undercover tourist!

As for the Halloween thing, just know they call it Halloween horror nights, not "not so scary Halloween party" - we didn't do it because it was pouring rain, ... Well that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Shuttle from the port would be easiest, no point paying for a hire car you are not going to use.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:59 AM   #297
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we had been planning on going with a vacation package from universal, which included accomodation, tickets and the onsite perks & transpo for approx $550 PP for the 3 nights.

now i'm thinking might be worth scoping for accomodation + tickets separately

edited to add: the universal fast pass (front of the line ticket) can be purchased separately if you book an offsite or non participating hotel, and gives you front of the line access to each attraction, once.

if you stay onsite at the hotels, and you book your vacation as a package through universalorlando.com, you get unlimited front of the line access for each day of your stay for free, plus the other perks too. i've just weighed up the prices, and it will work out for us to book our vacation package (hotel + tickets + transfers directly through universalorlando.com)

regarding dining, this link may be helpful:

http://www.visitorlando.com/magicaldining/restaurants/

during september, orlando celebrates 'magical dining month' where select restaurants serve a prix fixe menu of 3 courses for $30pp - a lot of the universal/citywalk restaurants participated this year, so might be something to consider for those going to universal/disney (yes, some disney restaurants also participate) if you are looking for TS for a fixed price
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:30 AM   #298
australiankaren
I do love me my free H20...thank you Mickey.....DVC member BLT & VB....I HATE #MYDISNEYEXPERIENCE
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia1506
we had been planning on going with a vacation package from universal, which included accomodation, tickets and the onsite perks & transpo for approx $550 PP for the 3 nights.

now i'm thinking might be worth scoping for accomodation + tickets separately

edited to add: the universal fast pass (front of the line ticket) can be purchased separately if you book an offsite or non participating hotel, and gives you front of the line access to each attraction, once.

if you stay onsite at the hotels, and you book your vacation as a package through universalorlando.com, you get unlimited front of the line access for each day of your stay for free, plus the other perks too. i've just weighed up the prices, and it will work out for us to book our vacation package (hotel + tickets + transfers directly through universalorlando.com)

regarding dining, this link may be helpful:

http://www.visitorlando.com/magicaldining/restaurants/

during september, orlando celebrates 'magical dining month' where select restaurants serve a prix fixe menu of 3 courses for $30pp - a lot of the universal/citywalk restaurants participated this year, so might be something to consider for those going to universal/disney (yes, some disney restaurants also participate) if you are looking for TS for a fixed price
Thanks for all the info
DH is mega pumped re universal, as he thinks it will be more adult than disney....so 4 nights will be great, and we read somewhere they encourage pool hopping between resorts...score!!!!!
The halloween thing looks terrifying and there is no way i am going to that...so i think that will be the night we eat at nascar....

Re shuttles and car hire....i wonder if i get an AP does that give me free parking at the resort???
So pricing things up for the 4 nights
$800 accom at pacific royal
$300 4 day hopper ticket thru undercover
Plus meals.....

A tad expensive but since we are using our WDW AP from this year, that saves us $800 in wdw tickets ......works out well.....

I am worried DH wont enjoy it, but hey gotta be in it to win it.

Now off to lowes site to sort parking issues.....
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:57 AM   #299
australiankaren
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Www.aaasuperride.com

They have a deal on $38 return orlando hotel/ airport to port return..min 2 passengers

Havent seen any reviews so dont know what they arke like..but looks like a decent deal
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:28 AM   #300
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I asked on the Universal forum about hotel specials and was told there very well could be some for September stays that are even better than the ones being offered now. Apparently if you book online directly with Loews, it's quite easy to cancel and rebook if something cheaper comes up.
I was also told that having an AP for Universal might entitle you to an even cheaper hotel rate, but no guarantees.

Alicia, your plan of combining a Disney cruise bus with a Universal shuttle is one I have considered despite the added travel times and cost. I've seen the cute little video (on You Tube) that the Disney bus shows it's passengers on the way to the Port. It would be really cool for my son to see that and find out that Mickey and friends have also packed to come on this cruise with us. :-)
However, I've also heard that with a town car I can get to the Port much quicker (and cheaper) and can check in earlier than the passengers arriving by Disney bus. I'm quite keen to go to open-house at the kids club and film my son in there before too many other passengers arrive. Will have to do some investigating into the company Karen just found to see if they're reliable. My biggest fear is not getting picked up at all and having to splash out on a taxi the whole way.

I have to be honest, this whole trip is starting to do my head in. I love planning usually, but normally there are clear cut answers to all my questions. But with this holiday it's far from the case. Even all the experts here on Dis seem to disagree what is best to do . For example, with Disney right now I am trying to decide:

Should I book a book a room-only rate now and then cancel and rebook if something better comes along? Alternatively, should I be looking at booking a package that includes tickets now instead? Or perhaps I should just forget about it all until specials are actually released and then book then? Am I taking a gamble with the exchange rate if I don't pay for more things now? (Don't worry, I'm not expecting an answer to that one). And what about AP's and TIW cards and dining plans...? And don't even get me started on my indecisiveness over which hotel to book. Too many questions all at once. (I feel like placing one of those crazed looking emoticons here, but App doesn't have them)

I contacted Dreams Unlimited on Wednesday night (Tuesday night their time) about possibly transferring my cruise. I'm thinking they might also be the best way to go with the WDW booking. However, they haven't got back to me yet and I'm surprised. Do they normally take more than a few business days to respond? I'm not known for being patient.
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Last edited by WanderlustNZ; 11-18-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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