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Old 01-25-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Should we stay at Universal or not?

Hi everyone! We are a family of 6 travellling, from Europe, to Orlando in May for 3 weeks. A teen boy who will turn 16 in May and 3 girls, age 7, 5 and 2 (the 2 year old sleeps in a cot). We have been to Orlando twice before 2009 and 2011, never to Universal. In 2009 we stayed a week at Disney - it was too much in every sense (!), and in 2011 we did 1 day at Disney, which was great thou required military precision!! We stay off-site in a hotel apartment.

What are your thoughts on staying the last 4 days of our holiday at one of the Universal on-site hotels? (We have a week but would be too expensive). We will not be holidaying for another 2 years and our teen may not even want too me with us then! Is there enough for the 3 girls to do in Universal? We have no problem splitting into 2 groups for the day and The Boys heading off 1st thing, and meeting around the pool in the afternoons. We don't normally get to go out in the evenings as too much travelling with young children. It seems if we stay at Universal we can potter around in the evenings? Am thinking it will be a lot more relaxing than Disney, even thou they are probably better suited, age-wise, to the latter.

All opinions/direction very much appreciated.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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The only rooms at all three resorts that will allow you to have 6 in a room are the suites at Portofino Bay Hotel. That really limits your choices and may help with your decision as they are quite pricey.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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The only rooms at all three resorts that will allow you to have 6 in a room are the suites at Portofino Bay Hotel. That really limits your choices and may help with your decision as they are quite pricey.
Thanks Damo! Hmmmmmmm. Thought we would be able to do 5 plus 'baby/toddler in cot'. Not a good start! OK so............ what are your thoughts otherwise please?
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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Thanks Damo! Hmmmmmmm. Thought we would be able to do 5 plus 'baby/toddler in cot'. Not a good start! OK so............ what are your thoughts otherwise please?
You can do an offsite package through www.universalorlando.com that will at least get you early admission. It really helps and you can choose a hotel that will accommodate six people.


There are some really good deals to be had through the UK travel sites. You can get a room cheaper over there than here. Maybe you can get a good price on a onsite suite.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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the onsite hotels have to comply with the fire ordinances in Orlando.
they only allow 5 to a room with the exception to the one room at pbh that damo posted.

this number 5 includes little kids too.

you probably could find something off site that will allow more than 5 in a room.

the only other option would be to book 2 rooms onsite at UOR.



i hope you find something that will work for you.
you'll all have a blast at universal!
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:00 AM   #6
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Thank you Damo and Macraven for the advice, will endeavor to stay on site and take your recommendations, it's only 4 nights and if we can get a good(ish) price will go with it. Can yee please let me know - as in 'the bigger picture' - if this is a good idea at all given the ages of the 3 girls? i.e. to forgo dashing around for a day at Disney and put that money into a more relaxing time at Universal - park morning / pool afternoon / citywalk strollin? Is there 'enough' for a couple of half days at Universal for them please?? I won't be getting them up for the extra early hour, but the FOL passes may come in handy, even thou the queues shouldn't be too bad mid-May. There is lots for the teen, it will be his 16th birthday during those 4 days, just wondering about the girls.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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there are play areas that the 5 and 2 yo will really enjoy.
perhaps the 7 yo will have fun with them too.

fievels playground, barney show, curious george play area, animal actors show.

check out these links from the UO website:

http://www.universalorlando.com/Ride...0little%20kids

play areas:

http://www.universalorlando.com/Them...lay-Areas.aspx

if i ran the zoo at ioa:
http://www.universalorlando.com/Ride...n-the-Zoo.aspx

more on kids shows:
http://www.universalorlando.com/Show...0little%20kids

for the 7 yo:
http://www.universalorlando.com/Them...0little%20kids

site for curious george:
http://www.universalorlando.com/Ride...0little%20kids


i know i over lapped some of the above but thought the pictures in them would help you decide if your children would enjoy them.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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you will enjoy staying on site.
so very easy to return to the hotel for a break at the pool.

there are pool games for children and adults with prizes.
adults at rph win a 'drink', the type you don't share with kids........unless you want a soda..

city walk if fun for some kids.
there are limited types of amusement there for your littles.

city walk is very colorful and decorated nicely.

the restaurants have childrens' meals available.
coupons are another subject that we can cover later.
there are some out there for city walk for the buy an adult entry, get a kid meal free.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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Hi Macraven and thank your for ALL your time. Have read back thru a pile of threads and am up-to-speed! Really liked how you explained your 19-day split Autumn holidays at 'The Motherland' and 'The Darkside' - both new terms for me! You are soooooooooo right about the commando style/sleep not an option at Disney. We had a week there in 2009 (Wilderness Lodge and Grand Floridian), and while they may have been 2 of the most relaxing hotels, it was the full-on assault of the parks and that Disney Dining Plan that did our heads in! It's so expensive that you just have to have a plan to get 'value for money' and we've had enough of the running around stress!! That's why we only did 1 day in 2011, and are now wondering should we just put that 1 day into The Darkside instead.

For the kids - they loved their day at Disney, but equally (from your links) they will be perfectly entertained at Universal! And it seems a haven for The Teen! I had looked at the site but was getting side-tracked by the bigger rides too, so thanks for separating them out. And for your coupon offer of guidance. I think we will skip Disney - 7, 5 and 2 - they'll be happy anywhere!

PS Have Universal 1 and 2 day tickets gone up in price the last couple of years??
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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there is a special ticket now available.
buy a 2 day ticket and get the 3rd day free.
UT also has it for sale.


when you book a night at the onsite hotels, you get all the hotel/park perks for the day you check in and the day you check out.
which will be park perks up until the park closes on the day you have checked out.

i'm rushing right now as i have to get an errand done before our sleet starts.

i will be back later to answer your other questions.


oh, motherland, darkside, just a few vocabulary words from Mac 101..
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:46 PM   #11
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Macraven, even God rested on a Sunday!

Thanks for the ticket info. Had looked up UT and had seen the US/Canadian citizen 3 for 2 offer. Was the other non-citizen 3 for 2 just added, because I missed that one?! That's the 2 day park to park ticket, with a 3rd day free for $144.90/$134.95 (adult/child)? Am thinking of the 14 consecutive day park to park ticket, thru Attraction Tickets Direct for $171/$155 (adult/child). That's €127/€115 in case anyone is wondering where I got the figures from! That also includes taxes. Am thinking of this one because then we could go for a couple of days before we stay on site for the 4 nights, and check it out and then we wouldn't be leggin it around = half days / a bit of pool time. Does this seem like a plan?! We're not interested in Wet n Wild.

Thank you also for the tip on perks checkin in and checkin out.

Slainte!
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #12
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for $26.10 more for tickets, i think that is your answer right there!

tanks for the tanks......
i enjoy helping by sharing what i have already experienced.

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:58 AM   #13
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Sorted! One final question, would like to know what the Royal Pacific is your favourite on-site hotel please?
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:41 AM   #14
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i did enjoy hrh very much but once i stayed at rph, it won my heart.


the staff at rph are very very friendly and great at their job.
the go beyond what they job calls for.

the lobby is gorgeous.
very relaxing atmosphere, nice set up, large enough to hold the Orchid Lounge Court, Sushi bar, shops, front desk check in section, valet, concierge lobby, rest rooms.
everything that you need is located all on this one floor.
Valet employees on this 3rd floor very efficient.

the walk from the front door to the lobby is breathtaking.
the ambiance is amazing.

four places for food in the building, which is something i enjoy.
if i don't want to leave the grounds, i can find plenty of choices for food and beverage.

transportation for me is perfect.
the parks and city walk are about a 6 minute walk/ride from the hotel.
i enjoy having dinner at City Walk in the evening.
the walk there is not a problem for me.
it is lit up and security checks along the way.
makes me feel safe if i am alone.

activities at the pool are fun.
i am not much of a swimmer but do like to sit in the lounge chairs near the water and just read and relax.
you don't have to go to the Bula Bar if you want food or beverage.
the employees come to everyone to check on the guests' needs.

the room size at rph are larger than the moderates at the motherland.
if you book a standard room and have 4, you will have enough room if your group is 2 adults and 2 kidlets.
if you have 2 adults and 2 older teens, you can organize your belongings to help give you more walking space in the room.

the other 2 hotels do have larger rooms compared to rph.

i stay solo in a king suite so i have more room than i really need.
i have had stays in the standard rooms too in the past.

depending on the Tower and your room location, you can have marvelous views from your room.

the Star Service feature for all guests is a great thing.
need something and they handle it.


free wifi in the lobby and pool area.
wifi in your room is a pay service unless you have a Loews youfirst status.

free shuttle transportation to Wet & Wild, Aquatica and Sea World daily if you choose to hit other entertainment while you are a hotel guest.

i have to leave now for work but will end by saying the staff at rph always makes me feel welcome there and stive to make my stay a great one.

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
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very very friendly and great at their job.
they go beyond what they job calls for............ always makes me feel welcome there and strive to make my stay a great one.
And that is how I would describe your contribution (to our holiday) and Disboards!

Fantastic thanks!
- The note of safety is appreciated. I'm happy to hang out with The Little Ones when The Boys are gone off, at any time, and this is my top 'thing', so thanks for the mention
- I wasn't really able to get a sense of the lobby on-line, but your description says it all!! I like the idea of space, window shopping and general pottering-around in a relaxing and impressive setting!
- I'm also happy to 'dine-in' some nights and if the restaurants are good enough for you, they are sure good enough for me!
- I am not much of a swimmer either. In fact, I can go to Florida for 3 weeks and never get in a pool
- The excellent service is key. It sounds like they are nice people, who enjoy their job and enjoy making their guests stay memorable
- We are ready for Harry!!!
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