Our Game Plan (your input/opinions, please!)

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by denisegold, May 18, 2009.

  1. denisegold

    denisegold Mouseketeer

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    We are going to Tampa in June (family visit) but decided to take a quick side trip to the Universal Parks. (I won the 7 day pass during the superbowl, which is spurring me on to end up probably spending a ton of money- I know that was the evil plan of the Universal marketing firm all along...)

    So my admission is free. Here is the rest of my plan: it's my husband and 12 year old daughter. I thought I would:
    buy two 1 day/2 park passes ($85 each)
    buy three 1 day/2 park express passes ($32 each)
    and buy 3 all day 2 park meal passes ($24 each)

    This way I figure we can do all the rides we want in both parks in one day, pay $24 each for all day food (I know drink are extra) and be done in one exhausting day. We have all been to both parks before (probably not in about 4 years) so we will know our way around, and know which rides we don't want to bother with (which saves time, too). We will stay in Orlando the night before (so we can get there early) and also the night of, so we can just go back to the hotel and sleep late the next morning.

    Does anyone see any major flaws in my plan, or have any tips/advice? Am I missing anything? The date we plan to go is Tuesday June 16, so I am hoping it won't be super crowded, but I am willing to buy the express passes.

    TIA!!!
     
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  3. Metro West

    Metro West <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue> Moderator

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    The only thing I would suggest is to wait until you arrive to purchase Express Plus passes...you may not need them so you could save that money. If you get there at opening, you should be able to do the major attractions w/o too much of a wait and since you're going during the week, the crowds will be lighter than a weekend.
     
  4. La2kw

    La2kw DIS Veteran

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    I know what you mean. My free ticket is costing me another $800 with three more tickets, rooms at RPR, etc. It's worth it though!
     
  5. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

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    Unless you're huge eaters I would skip the meal plan. Its not available for breaksfast and I found when I was there in April most counter service meals with a drink ran about $10. Unless the parks are open late and/or you plan to eat three meals on the meal deal I didn't think it was worth it. Also, don't forget if you have AAA to bring your card for the 10% discount.
     
  6. denisegold

    denisegold Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for that tip- we really aren't big eaters (average, I'd say). And I do have AAA. I can't believe it got by me that you get a 10% discount on food with AAA. You're post is very helpful, thank you! :banana:
     
  7. denisegold

    denisegold Mouseketeer

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    Now I'm thinking about staying at RPR (and not spending the $102 on 3 express passes, but stay at a nicer hotel that includes the express pass). I can get a room at RPH for $211 (plus tax). :surfweb:
     
  8. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    You would definitely want to plan your day very precisely to do it like this. Some new things have been added since your last trip and the dynamics change.

    For example, it's only been two years for us and I'm mulling over how to deal with the Simpsons ride.

    I agree that it might be wise to skip the meal plan. I'd personally take the time to have lunch in Citywalk to recharge and then counter service later on.
     
  9. re121258

    re121258 Mouseketeer

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    Remember also that just one night at RPR will get you two days worth of unlimited express. the day you check in and the day you check out.
     
  10. mareed

    mareed DIS Veteran

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    I don't think I saw anyone else address the fact that the Express Pass is good for one time on each ride/attraction. So, you can't do each ride multiple times as often as you want. Your Express Pass card will be scanned and you can't use it again for the same ride/attraction. The only way you can ride multiple times is by staying at one of the 3 Universal resorts.

    Now, I'm not a Universal expert, but have been twice and am returning next month! So, one of the other experts here may want to chime in on this. I've heard that sometimes the TM's don't scan the Express Pass, but that's certainly not something you could plan for.
     
  11. nerdboyrockstar

    nerdboyrockstar <font color=purple>Mouseketeer<br><font color=gree

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    If you're seriously thinking about the RPR, I would do that. Save the $100 from buying 1-time use Express and get Unlimited Express for both parks for two days.. plus stay at a great resort for the difference of the cost.

    Also, if you're not big eaters, don't do the meal deal. You can have an amazing meal at Mythos plus another meal for around the same price.
     
  12. ATAfamily

    ATAfamily "We can stay up late swapping manly stories, and i

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    Did you call the hotel directly to see if that is the cheapest rate? If not call about the AAA rate for the room. I think staying on-site is a great idea. You will be able to do all you want (and more) with the ease of unlimited FOTL.
     
  13. Jonny_Duck

    Jonny_Duck DIS Veteran

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    My suggestion... If you can do 2 days then stay onsite. If not then just wait and see if the parks are crowded before buying express. Last few times we went we stayed onsite and lines were non existant. So sorta a waste of $250 ish.

    I would also skip the meal deal...Perhaps have a lunch in parks and have dinner after closing at Citywalk.
     
  14. Bluer101

    Bluer101 Waiting till vacation comes!

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    I don't know how much money you are spending at the other hotel but I would do this. Use your AAA card to get the best deal on the room. They also might have the 7 day tickets for cheaper than $99 that's online. Yes that $15 more pet person but since you are staying onsite you will have 2 days of FOTL. So take it easier, ride your favorites over and over, and have some relaxing time by the pool. That's how I would do it turn one fast day into 2 enjoyable days. :thumbsup2
     
  15. ky07

    ky07 <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    I totally agree :thumbsup2
     
  16. denisegold

    denisegold Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for all the replies. What a great community.

    I have decided to forget about the meal deal. I will book to stay one night onsite, and (obviously) get the better express passes included from the hotel. :banana: (now can anyone tell me why i love the silly dancing banana so much??)
     
  17. donaldduck352

    donaldduck352 <font color=red><marquee>Proud Redhead</marquee><b

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    You will love RPR..They got a resteruant called the Islands that serve a breakfast buffet for around(I think)$18 per person.We do this and keeps us going allday except for some popcorn as a quik snack.Also the sipper cup is a great deal.It costs $8 and refills are .89 allday.They are good indefenatly!!:thumbsup2
     
  18. denisegold

    denisegold Mouseketeer

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    Ok- update and thanks to all who have replied.

    I just booked one night at RPR, I had to ask for the AAA rate (wasn't offered until I asked) but it was about $30 less than their best rate.
    No need to buy express passes.
    I am taking everyone's advice and skipping the meal plan thing.
    We will stay in Orlando the night before our RPR reservation (a Holiday Inn we have stayed at before- $50 for the night) then we can get up early, drive over to RPH and get our FOTL passes.
    I will buy two 2 day/2 park passes ($95 each at AAA- $99 online at Universal)

    So my free 7 day pass that I won during the superbowl is only going to cost me:

    About $400, plus meals. Hey- that's not too bad! We were going to be in Tampa that week anyway, so at least I'm not "paying" for airfare, so to speak. (and we use my mother in laws car when we are in Florida, so we save on a rental car). :banana:
     
  19. Metro West

    Metro West <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue> Moderator

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    Very good...glad you were able to work everything out and save lots of money! :thumbsup2
     
  20. Bluer101

    Bluer101 Waiting till vacation comes!

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    That's great! Now with 2 days there you can slow down and enjoy. :thumbsup2
     
  21. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    Don't forget that you can pool hop too. If you have time, check out the Hard Rock pool - that one is great.
     

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