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Old 06-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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Nervous -- don't know what to do

We have been thinking about surprising the kids with a last minute trip to wdw in August. I was pricing things out today and was surprised to find out that a 5 night/4 day stay at the Royal Pacifica was $700 less than Pop Century -- this includes park tickets and dining plans in both packages.

But, I'm nervous. We had not considered UO until now because of height requirements, but that isn't an issue now. One of my children is still pretty sensitive and gets scared easily. I am worried that the the rides will be over whelming.

My husband is also disabled. He will be using a power chair for our visit. He can transfer out easily, but has issues will long distance walking and standing. WDW has always been good to us with his disability. Will getting from the resorts to the parks be an issue at Universal. One thing I dread at wdw is using the busses and waiting for handicap space on them.

We are intrigued by the unlimited express pass. How short does this pass really make the lines? Do you walk on most rides or does it just make it more manageable?

5 days 4 night really doesn't sound like a long time a wdw, but I am worried that it will be too long at Universal. What do you think? Will we get bored of the theme parks with that amount of time? I thought of splitting our time in between wdw and uo, but that sounds more stressful than we want it to be.

Would it be worth it to buy 1 annual pass to get the ap discounts? Is there a place to go to check out all the different discount scenarios? I can't find ap discounts on the universal website.

Lastly, the express pass is worth it, right? A offsite stay at the embassy suites would save us $1000 vs. disney.

I truly am a lover of Disney. I almost feel like a traitor going over to Universal, but maybe it's time for a change.

Oh, and I know it will be HOT. How long does it take to get to the parks from the Royal Pacifica? We will plan to go back to the room to cool off during the day.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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Best part if staying onsite is how easy it is to get to the parks. RPH is a 5-8 min walk or you can take the boat. Best thing is that the power chairs just roll right into the boat, my dad never had to get off his. I think the ease of the onside hotels with the strollers and chairs is a huge plus.

The express pass is so worth the stay, 90 min wait and you walk on in 5-10 is a huge plus. You can ask for a GAC too but won't really need it staying onsite.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
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Depending on your check in date, the Annual Pass may be your best deal. Only one of your group needs it to be able to book and get the APH discount. Plus, you can get a discount at many gift shops and eating spots in the parks.
Royal Pacific is beautiful, we have stayed at RPR. & HRH and thoroughly enjoyed both.
Btw, I know what you mean about feeling like a traitor to WDW...(so we almost always try to do both when we go to Orlando.)
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
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We are going in Oct and I found a good deal on the Seaworld site -they have a bunch of vacation packages there that have free kids tickets (age 3-9) or free dining, etc. they also have a 5 ticket package that includes sea world, Busch gardens, universal, etc plus hotel. we actually bought our universal tickets at Costco for our last trip (3 park hopper days that you can use whenever up to dec 2015) so I went with the free kids package. We will stay at hrh for the first night of our stay to get the express pass and then move to the sea world hotel for the rest of the stay.

No wdw tickets but it was a good deal money wise for us for this trip - just something to check out.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:32 PM   #6
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I too felt like a traitor lol...but I must say that I really enjoyed our switch.
there are still plenty of things your child can do that are not to scary.
maybe instead of a split stay, you can use a day or two to visit WDW. but stay at UO. the express pass helps so much with getting to see everything, (your gonna wanna do disney first then UO bc of getting spoiled with EP)
my favorite part was parking my car and not seeing it the rest of my trip. I love disney, but I also dislike going on the buses and the time spent waiting for a bus etc.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:02 PM   #7
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you did the math and you come out ahead by staying at the darkside.

go with that and save money.
try something new now, you might really enjoy this new type of vacation.

there is no reason to feel like a traitor.

i've been doing the motherland since 1974 and the darkside in the early 90's.
i enjoy both parks and what they have to offer.

there is less walking at UO than at WDW.
the hotels are onsite and take very little time for you to reach the parks.

the power chair will be easy to use at all the UO sites.......city walk, boats, hotels, parks.

the unlimited usage of the express lines or shows, attractions and rides are wonderful.

the family holding rooms for child swap is ideal.
very comfortable for the entire family to use.

put the dates in for the hotel stay and use the promotion code APH to see what the discount for the room will be.

do the math on the room savings, ticket saving and see if you come out ahead instead of using the the SMSM promotion.

if so, then plan to buy the ap for one of the adults.
but book the room first online with that code.
you want to make sure you have the discounted room first.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:27 AM   #8
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Now that you see the price for the package, work it out a la carte. (although they are now starting a dining plan that is a LOT more like Disney's, so hey if that works for you, OK) If you want to check that out (and leave the dining plan behind), go here: http://www.loewshotels.com/en/bookin...BH,UEHRH,UERPR and use the code APH to see if there are AP rates during your stay. if so, you can book it. Then you can buy an AP at some point before your trip. You need Preferred at least.

With that Preferred you get 10% off most food and merchandise.

The unlimited Express Pass is pretty amazing. I would say it's on the good side between walk-ons and just making it manageable. I've never been in August so I don't want to make a commitment there.

When staying onsite at Universal there's no big problematic travel between parks. There is a shuttle, but it's a little van, and there's no strong need to take it (unless you're stuck in a massive storm like we were and didn't want to walk and weren't allowed to wait for the boats which weren't running anyway). Everything is walkable or, well, rollable for your husband.

Our first time at Universal was 4 days, and it wasn't enough. We were at Royal Pacific and it was really nice.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by macraven View Post
there is no reason to feel like a traitor.
I don't think I will ever understand that thought.
**** Universal Orlando annual passholder since 2004! ****
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:33 AM   #10
I`ve bought one of those for this year....it`s in fuscia pink though......You`ll be able to see me from the air
It`s a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
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Originally Posted by Metro West View Post
I don't think I will ever understand that thought.
I don`t get it either.

OP 5 days 4 nights is not too long at Universal. You`ll have a blast. We stay for 17 nights and it`s never enough. And we don`t go near Disney.

Staying onsite will make such a difference to your trip as the RPR is just beautiful and so handy to get back to if you feel like a break from the parks when it gets hot.

The EP is worth it`s weight in gold And for your trip I honestly wouldn`t bother with Disney. You`ll enjoy Universal so much with staying onsite with EP you won`t want to leave
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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Just like most more days the better but everyone is different. When I go on vacation I want to slow down and have no real plans. I like to just go with the flow and do as you wish. If we want to sleep in than do it. This is one of the biggest things I think most enjoy about staying onsite. No worries , very laid back, and relaxing. Just like the new commercials say, "Vacation like YOU mean it!"

It's your vacation do it your way.
Royal Pacific is our second home. Portofino Bay is a close second now.
We stopped counting, too many trips. *
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:11 AM   #12
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First , there is NO reason to feel like a traitor..Disney is great and we love it , but Universal is just as great and we love it too..No need for guilt.Staying onsite makes it super easy and much more relaxing than staying onsite at Disney..The resorts are ALL within walking distance and/or a dedicated boat ride.The power chair can roll right on the boat.There is a shuttle, but most people only bother with it if it is storming and the boats aren't running.Express passes are worth it!!! Waits are walk on to minimal.We stayed 5 nights last time( and had a blast) and this time we are staying a week .Universal trips allow for more relaxing and resort time if you want it.We spent alot of time at the pool ( and pool hopping between the resorts is allowed and encouraged)
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #13
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Your family will have a great time! We love all amusement parks! We were also a mainly Disney only family too, but once my kids were tall enough and both were wanting some Harry Potter, well, just to say, we've been to USO three times now, and I am an Annual Pass holder.

The best thing to do is to do what is said above, use APH in the discount line and see if anything comes up. Right now, for 4 nights, the Stay More, Save More rate is pretty good. Depending when in August, the rates are reasonable for the deluxe hotels that the 3 onsites are. The Royal Pacific is the cheapest, usually. The other thing I found out is that calling the hotel directly for any changes is nice. I first reserved last year with a Save More rate, then the AP rates came out, and the AP rates were cheaper, so I called and changed my reservation. No issue.

You will get very spoiled by using the unlimited express pass that is free with the onsite hotel reservation. That pass is good from the day you check in through the day you check out. That's why many people do a one night, because they get 2 days of unlimited express pass usage.

Since you said one of your children is sensitive and may be scared of some things. it's best to go online and visit the Universal website, there's lots to view there and height requirements for all the rides are listed. Also, your child can view utube to see videos of the rides, you will find many. Finally, to get an idea of what food you would like during your stay, look at the food stickie at the top of this forum. It's current and has menus that may help you decide what restaurants you would be interested in.

I hope you do have a great time. There's no reason to not love other adventures in Orlando, and no reason to feel like a traitor. We like alot of what's to do in Orlando, and, as my kids are now a tween and teen, we like more than just Disney.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wdwlovin'family View Post
5 days 4 night really doesn't sound like a long time a wdw, but I am worried that it will be too long at Universal. What do you think? Will we get bored of the theme parks with that amount of time? I thought of splitting our time in between wdw and uo, but that sounds more stressful than we want it to be.
We just did a 7 night trip where we visited the parks 5 days. We also had Wet N Wild tickets with the Unlimited Express Pass. We still did not get to do everything we wanted. Of course we had 2 days that we only did half days at the parks. It was nice to go at a slower pace.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:50 PM   #15
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Don't feel like a traitor. We routinely do both and it's a blast.

How old are your kids?
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