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Old 06-09-2013, 02:41 PM   #16
glocon
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I have got to agree with everyone above. Once you have done UO while staying onsite, you will not want to do it any other way ever again. You just feel pampered and relaxed.

And nothing can compare to the unlimited ep's. Nothing.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #17
ultimate_ed
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I'll have to pile on to the on-site love - and I don't even make our first visit until next week!

For both our previous visits to the World (stayed at the Poly) and the Land (stayed at one of the nearby partner hotels), we've lived by the strategy of hitting rope drop and staying until lunch time, back to the hotel to relax and swim through the afternoon, then return to the parks in the evening.

It has made for rather relaxing and low stress park visits. After hanging out for months on "the dark side" getting ready, I'm looking forward to enjoying all the parks and resorts have to offer. Particularly here during the summer, with the AP discount on the room and the unlimited express pass, staying on-site was the easiest decision of my vacation plans.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=TaylorsDad;48568427]Yes and she recruits another agent every time someone stays onsite.

We usually do only value hotels at Disney but hate to do anything but onsite at Universal. There is a reason why everyone recommends that if you do a split stay of Universal and WDW you do Universal last- You really will get spoiled by the convenience and the perks and dread having to go back to planning every detail of your day at WDW well in advance (and I am saying this as someone who loves WDW also). My only caution is once you stay onsite you will not want to visit any other way.[/QUOTE]

Or go to another park. I was a diehard Disney fan until we stayed onsite at Universal. I still love Disney but every time I start looking to book our next WDW vacation, I end up booking Universal instead. You can't beat the express pass, no ADR's, and the closeness to the parks. Plus, with the APH rates, the rates can't usually be beat either.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:43 AM   #19
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We're staying off property for our next trip because the money is just too tight, and I'm bummed about it. Fortunately, we're going the first week of October, so I don't anticipate large crowds.

This trip will also be split between visiting Universal and Disney (Food and Wine at Epcot and the new Fantasyland upgrades at Magic Kingdom), so staying off-property is more reasonable.

But if I could afford it, I'd stay on property as I typically do, especially if planning a Universal trip only.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:04 PM   #20
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Worth every penny! We love the Portofino-my husband will actually relax there. We head to the parks when we feel like it, use the express pass, eat a leisurely lunch, go back to the room for a while, and go back to the parks, all the while actually enjoying a vacation. And if we can only go for a day or so, we check in early on the one day and just spend the one night, then stay until after dinner the next night. Worth it for the express pass alone. . . .
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:22 PM   #21
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Speaking of staying onsite, we definitely want to and are going Oct 15-19. Is there a chance any new vacation packages will be released before then? The HP package that includes a 3rd day free has travel by 6/30, I wonder if it will be extended until end of the year for example? Scared to book bc then a better deal will come out.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldoogie View Post
Speaking of staying onsite, we definitely want to and are going Oct 15-19. Is there a chance any new vacation packages will be released before then? The HP package that includes a 3rd day free has travel by 6/30, I wonder if it will be extended until end of the year for example? Scared to book bc then a better deal will come out.
It's typically better to book everything seperate than with a package. Packages require a down payment that's usually lost should a cancellation occur. With just a hotel reservation, a full refund is issued if cancelled more than 5 days before the planned visit. If you are an AAA member, a FLA resident, an AP holder, or in the military, you can possibly find a room rate comparable, if not better, that a package rate for the room. You might also find a Stay More, Save More rate for your date. You can check rates at Loewshotels.com. However, the AAA rates usually don't display, so you might need to call to see if that rate is available for your stay.

For park tickets, check both Universalorlando.com and Undercovertourist.com (also a great place for Disney tickets) for the best price. Your local AAA office might also have competitive rates if your a member.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #23
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Hmm we don't have AAA but my Mom does, can I use her membership you think?
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #24
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It is totally worth it to stay onsite. The convenience of the universal resorts to the parks is amazing if you are used to WDW. And as others have said, the whole atmosphere is so laid back at universal that it makes a wonderful change. Even though we will always go to WDW parks as well as universal, I did try to convince dh to stay at Portofino for this entire upcoming trip, instead of just the universal portion!
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #25
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Definitely worth it. We stayed at RPR 6/2-6/6 and enjoyed it. Early entry to IOA for Harry Potter was great. We all loved that ride. Then we would spend the morning doing other rides, go back to the hotel to relax a bit and then back out again. We had the park to park tickets so we could do both parks on the same day.
The hotel was a nice short walk away or nice short boat ride.
Can't wait to go back.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #26
sharon_wv
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I agree.... Totally worth it!

I just wanted to give my opinion, as just back from our first Universal Stay... definitely worth staying onsite for sure! The lines were pretty tough if you didn't have them this past week; I was so thankful we did.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:00 PM   #27
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Jumping on the proverbial pile to share my onsite love.

Would not stay there any other way!! Resorts are top notch AND you get FOTL. It truly adds a priceless value to be able to slow down and "smell the roses" or in this case the mummy dust. We are also hooked on club level so we are always back to the resort on time for beer o'clock, and have a day or two that are strict pool and enjoy the resort days.

We tour Disney this way too, but have to give up seeing a lot of attractions.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:26 PM   #28
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Just got back from the Portofino stay Thursday night and was, as always, thrilled with the resort. They are doing some resort renovations that take from the beauty of the outside but not so much as I was bothered, more that I noticed sine we've been there so many times. since my son was about 5 (10 yrs ago) we've been adding UNI/IOA to our trip for the last 2 days. It is substantially more expensive but since the room key gets guests fast pass privileges for the day of arrival & the day of departure the expensive 1 night worked fine given the cost of the tickets and time saved (all finished 1 park in 1 day with fast passes). On the plus side they handled my request for newly diagnosed handicapped status kindly and since it was open gave us a nice big room in an easily accessible spot. I don't love the fact they charge so much to park on property but we needed the car so that's that. Also we love the pizza by the pool and they offered free ice water with fruit in it at the pool, which is fantastic, still a favorite after all these years.

In order to balance the Portofino splurge I booked us our last night at the MCO Marriott for $83 and was very pleased. This spot also charges for parking so My husband dropped off the rental after check in and took the shuttle back to us and we not only got our $15 for the night back but Alamo gave us another $15 for early drop off. All in all the $380 +83 -45(savings) beautiful pools and time saved made things worth it for us. the shuttle the hotels offers for free was perfect and sleeping in a bit was a wonderful break, the hotel is about 5 min from the airport cutting down on wasted time & stress - the kids played in the pool for hours and we saved $ by having Pizza Hut delivered to us at the hotel.

I've been to Royal Pacific and Hard Rock too and, seriously, all are fabulous- we just happen to prefer this one.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #29
kohlby
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We love staying onsite. However, there is the extra cost factor. So we always do a split stay - part onsite and part off. It's a good way for us to save some money and still enjoy being onsite. We actually go during the off season and still find it's worth it. It would be a necessity for us during the regular season though! The transportation is so easy onsite.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldoogie View Post
Hmm we don't have AAA but my Mom does, can I use her membership you think?
If she's going too, then sure. If not, then I doubt it. They may ask to see your membership card when checking in. You can still check the AAA rate without one, and if the savings are big enough to cover the cost of an AAA membership, get a membership. Having an AAA membership will then get you 5 to 10% off of meals and non-alcohol drinks at most restaurants, and the same percent off of souveniers. The card typically pays for itself, especially if your not an AP holder, which also has food/drink/souvenier discounts.
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