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Old 06-17-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
jediobiwan
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Exchange Express Passes for Onsite

So, my brother is financing a trip to Disney and Universal from June 30-July 13. I didn't realize he was ordering tickets when he was and he got two days worth of two park express passes for 5 people. He has the express passes as he chose FedEx instead of print at home. According to multiple calls to Universal, we can book an onsite hotel and get a refund on the express passes when we get to Orlando and return them. My question, and I doubt anyone here was ever foolish enough to go this route, is has anyone else had experience with returning express passes? Money is tight enough that it would really suck to get a hotel and still be stuck with the express passes. Although I just thought while typing this to check and the hotel cancellation date would be July 5, so I guess we could get all the money for the hotel back if worse comes to worse. Just wanted to get some expert advice before we book tomorrow!

Thanks!

P.S. The difference in price for the express passes he bought and just staying onsite is $336
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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I would get them to send you and/or get a customer service ticket number that you can reference. Normally you can't return them or change the date but if you have this then go to guest services with that information and you shouldn't have an issue.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:51 PM   #3
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I'd call them and ask. Sometimes you can change things before you get there.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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if you bought the express passes from the UO website, there should not be a problem to exchange them for a refund if you stay onsite.


if you choose not to book onsite, you'll probably own those 5 sets of express passes.


do ask for a confirmation letter/email of being allowed to obtain the refund on those tickets and take your confimation room booking when you go to guest services for the refund.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I talked to a few different people who said it won't be a problem but I will ask for something in writing/ a reference number.

One more question. What exactly does early entry entail, is it available both check in and out day, and any general tips for a Universal Noob? Maybe that was more than one. Whoops!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediobiwan View Post
Thanks everyone. I talked to a few different people who said it won't be a problem but I will ask for something in writing/ a reference number.

One more question. What exactly does early entry entail, is it available both check in and out day, and any general tips for a Universal Noob? Maybe that was more than one. Whoops!
the reason we all suggested you get it in writing or a reference number is to back you.

you don't want to book an onsite room, and after the fact find out the express passes will not be returnable.
in most cases they are not.

but since you were told you could do a refund if you stay onsite, be safe about it.

any guest in the hotels can have early entry to the parks.
you do have to have a park ticket.

you are allowed to enter IOA one hour before it officially opens.
the parry hotter section of the park will be open.
the rest of the park will not be opened.

many will check into the onsite hotel before 7:30 in the morning.
get their room key, then go to the hotel kiosk to have their express pass made, then go to the park for EE.

you only need your room key to show at the gate to enter the park early.
a sign will be up to show you will gate to go to for EE.

each day you stay onsite, you are allowed early entry.
on check out day, you also are allowed EE.

hotel guests also are allowed to use the express lines for the shows and rides.
check out day also includes that ex line unlimited usage and EE.

priority seating is also a perk in citywalk restaurants since you are a hotel guest.

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Old 06-17-2013, 11:08 PM   #7
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Thanks Mac. Last question (I think) Probably getting a Hard Rock res, is parking separate from the regular decks for day guests? Will having two cars and one reservation make a difference?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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from the website:


Choice of self or valet parking is available.

Overnight Guests
Self Parking: $18 plus tax per night
Valet: $25 plus tax per night

Day Guests
Self Parking: $20 plus tax
Valet: $30 plus tax

*Rates subject to change without notice


parking for hotel guests begin at midnight.
that means on your checkout day, you won't be paying for that day of hotel parking.
if you have 2 adults on your room ressie and both have cars, then both pay the overnight hotel parking fee.


if you have guests visit in the daytime with you at your hotel, it's over $20.

it would be cheaper for them to pay for the garage parking for the day.
talking about the garage parking lot for the park guests or city walk guests.


before you say, oh my goodness..........parking at UO is cheaper than some other places.

i went to chicago for a meeting at a holiday inn on friday evening.
for 2.5 hours of parking at that hotel, i paid $34..
if i would have spent the night there, it would have been about $50 per night.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediobiwan View Post
Thanks Mac. Last question (I think) Probably getting a Hard Rock res, is parking separate from the regular decks for day guests? Will having two cars and one reservation make a difference?
Yes...Parking is separate and each vehicle hasta pay. Stinks.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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I think I almost understand. We have a townhouse rented so we will probably let my little sister stay overnight at Hard Rock without a car with her. Should we park both cars at the regular garage both days or is it cheaper to park "overnight" at the hotel even though we will be taking the cars away at night? Also, is HR parking the surface parking I can see right next to the hotel or is that for TMs? Sorry for the noob questions :D
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:43 PM   #11
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I don't mind paying for parking. Just want to make sure I know when/where/how much to pay. Since we aren't staying onsite at Disney either, we will be paying for two cars each day there as well. We *could* all fit in one car but with five of us we may murder each other in the 15-20 minutes it took to drive to the parks.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediobiwan View Post
I think I almost understand. We have a townhouse rented so we will probably let my little sister stay overnight at Hard Rock without a car with her. Should we park both cars at the regular garage both days or is it cheaper to park "overnight" at the hotel even though we will be taking the cars away at night? Also, is HR parking the surface parking I can see right next to the hotel or is that for TMs? Sorry for the noob questions :D
hrh guest parking is on their site.
it's surface parking, no garage.

if you are not going to have cars with you once the park closes, park in the garage for a few bucks less.
if you are not going to have the cars at HRH, then when you check in tell them you don't have a car with you.


from the website:



The enclosed parking garage utilizes moving sidewalks, escalators and elevators, on-site wheelchair rental, and an on-site kennel. Vehicles can leave the garage and return the same day by stopping at the toll plaza upon re-entry and presenting their parking ticket.

Daily parking fees per vehicle:
Regular Parking $16.00*
Florida Residents Free after 6:00 pm with proof of residency
Proof of Florida Residency: please provide one of the following:
Driver's License
Florida State-issued ID card (must have Florida address)
Restrictions apply, not valid during special events.
Preferred Parking $22.00
RV/Bus Parking $22.00

*($5.00 between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm.* - after 10:00 pm parking is free)


there is no overnight parking in the garage.
cars can be towed if left there.

city walk closes at 2:00 am

i don't know when they do the final check on the garage but assume it would be completed around 3:00 am.

if you have car trouble and contact garage security, they will work with you and not tow your car during the night.


shove one person in the car trunk and let the other 4 sit in the car.
save yourself $16 and use one car..........
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:24 AM   #13
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Sounds like we will just park in the garage. I have room for five in my car, the problem being that it's a mid sized sedan and I'm 6'2". To say I don't leave much leg room might be an understatement. Also, depending on how annoying the sibling are, we may leave and come back at certain times Is the parking garage open early in the morning? (Pre EE and time to check in?)
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediobiwan View Post
Thanks Mac. Last question (I think) Probably getting a Hard Rock res, is parking separate from the regular decks for day guests? Will having two cars and one reservation make a difference?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jediobiwan View Post
I think I almost understand. We have a townhouse rented so we will probably let my little sister stay overnight at Hard Rock without a car with her. Should we park both cars at the regular garage both days or is it cheaper to park "overnight" at the hotel even though we will be taking the cars away at night? Also, is HR parking the surface parking I can see right next to the hotel or is that for TMs? Sorry for the noob questions :D
Parking for each hotel is at each hotel. The big lot around the front of HRH is HRH guest parking.

At RPR it's a big lot across from the entrance of RPR.

At Portofino it's a garage with multiple levels, with just a tiny bit of parking you might see on the satellite view.

The parking for citywalk, which is the theme park parking, is entirely separate, in a different place altogether.

When we stay onsite, we don't go near the theme park parking lot; we park our car at our hotel and walk/pedi-cab/boat over to the parks.

BUT financially, here's the deal. If you park at the hotel as a hotel guest, they charge at midnight. So you check in on, say, August 1 and pull in to the lot (you use your keycard to open the gate, if I recall correctly...though honestly we used valet at HRH so I don't KNOW that is true there) and they charge at midnight as it goes to the 2nd. If you just have that one night booked, all you have to do is be out of their parking lot before midnight, and you've gotten two days of parking at the hotel for ONE fee.

If you park at the theme park lot, you're paying for two days of parking.

If you're using googlemaps, just know that they have the Universal area labeled ALL wrong, by the way.



Remember you'll have to book rooms that are adequate for the people in your party; you can't get the EP or early entrance to Wizarding World for anyone not on the reservation.


Because I know you're probably having to convince the family that this is OK, look here: http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hard-R...tel/index/faqs


Quote:
Q: I realize check-in does not begin until 4:00 PM, but I wanted to use the Universal ExpressSM Unlimited pass to skip the regular lines before that

A: Please arrive as early as you like the day of check-in and our front desk agent will be happy to pre-register you and assist you with your Universal ExpressSM Unlimited pass.

From another area on the Loewshotels.com site:

Quote:
Deluxe On-site Hotel Guests Enjoy Exclusive Theme Park Benefits including:

SKIP THE REGULAR LINES with Universal ExpressSM Unlimited ride access* in both theme parks - a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day^ (valid theme park admission required). It's the fastest way to ride  enjoy unparalleled access all day long, as often as you'd like!


Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal's Islands of Adventure® one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required). This is your opportunity to experience some of our most popular attractions before nearly all other guests.

*********

On-site hotel privileges good for hotel stay as indicated on the room key card and Universal Express Unlimited pass. .......Early Park Admission begins one (1) hour prior to Universals Islands of Adventure regular scheduled park opening for on-site hotel guests and is valid 7 days a week for travel through 12/31/13; valid only at select Islands of Adventure attractions: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey", Flight of the Hippogriff", Dragon Challenge" and Caro-Seuss-el".

Ha, that last bit about Caro-Seuss-el I did not know!
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:44 AM   #15
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OK, is re-entry OK from the hotel lot? For instance, we will show up for check in early July 10 and park two cars in the lot. After checked in, we will go have fun in the park (we have five people and their will be five on the reservation). Then at night, only 2 of our party will actually sleep in the hotel, and the two cars will be offsite with us where we are staying the rest of the trip. We will return to the HRH lot the next morning (July 11) have fun in the park again. Then we will leave that night. As long as we only get charged for one night per car, that's a good bit cheaper than being in the garage for two days and more convenient for check in/check out purposes.

Thanks again for all the help!
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