What would you do?

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by Maple17, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    We will be at US/IOA on Feb 17 and 18. We are currently booked to stay offsite. To stay on site for the night of the 17th would cost us $304 at the cheapest hotel. I know that the benefits of staying on site are enormous but I just can't imagine spending that kind of money on 1 Night. We are there during Presidents weekend so I know it will be busy. What would you do? We will be staying at the offsite hotel before and after our Universal days so we would also have to pack up all our stuff for 1 night.

    If we did stay on site on Feb 17 how would we get early admission on that day without being checked in yet? I have read on here that the early admission and express pass are good for the day you check-in and check-out. Could we check in before 8am??

    Thanks in advance for any insight/answers!
     
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  3. buckeev

    buckeev RedNeck Mouseketeer

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    My two-cents...On the surface...it may seem like a big waste of money, but, it is kinda like "buying time".
    The Express Pass, especially on a busy day, will increase you ability to enjoy many more rides. Or, enjoy your favorites multiple times in a much more tolerable time frame. As for the check-in...you can check in as early as you want. Your room may, or may not be ready, in which case they will still get you your Express Passes, and will even store your luggage in a secure room until the room is ready. You can compare the On Site Express perks and prices to the "Add on purchase" Pass, and decide if you want to go that route, but they are quite pricey, and usually end up costing much more than the room rate.
    Also, like you mentioned.if you have park tickets for the day you check in and the day you check out, you will be able to use the Express Pass on both of those days.
    Tip...if you do arrive at the hotel early, make sure to have you Park bags/tote bags, etc. easily accessible to avoid having to dig them all out while standing in the hotel lobby. (voice of experience here...::yes::...)
     
  4. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Yep. You do the checkin process and get the keycards, stash your bags with bell services, you go get your express pass picture taken and head on to the parks!

    The info is even on the page for each of the onsite hotels, if you go to the loews website. I was going to check the rates for you (here), and quote the page about the benefits for you, but the Loews site is down right now.
     
  5. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    We are considering doing this but only using the room as a day room to maybe enjoy the pool and take a midday break. We are currently booked in a 2 bed 2 bath condo and squeezing into a hotel room is not appealing but we may look into booking the room for the perks!
     
  6. momto3gr8boys

    momto3gr8boys DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the PPs. We stayed at the HR for two nights at the beginning of our Disney stay once and it was a great decision. I actually think its more worthwhile to stay on property at UA than disney (and this is from a stay on property only disney nut!).
     
  7. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    OP, have you called and asked for a AAA rate? It would help a bit.

    I, too, would bite the bullet and stay onsite.

    I would check in at around 7am and give them your bags and head for the WWoHP. They will take your cell phone number and call you when your room is ready (if it is ready early). I really don't think you will regret it.
     
  8. LJF

    LJF Mouseketeer

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    Is there any chance someone in your party would be returning within the year? There is an AP rate available.
     
  9. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you everyone for your insight. I am leaning towards booking an onsite room for 1 night even though spending that kind of money on a hotel stings! I think it will be worth it.

    We will have a rental vehicle - how much do they charge to park at the resort?
     
  10. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    We don't have CAA (we are from Canada). I think I will bite the bullet and go for it. Thanks for your advice!
     
  11. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    No, we won't be visiting again within the year, unfortunately. Too far for us to go.
     
  12. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    What are the rides that you CANNOT use the express pass for?
     
  13. TheAviator

    TheAviator <font color=blue>I don't always live dangerously,

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    Yes you can check in early, but your room may not be available early, but one time I checked in as early as 9:30 I believe it was and they let me have a room. Are you positive its going to be crowded on those days? If not, you may chance the crowds not being too bad.
     
  14. Metro West

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

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    At the Studios, the Rockit coaster and at IoA, Forbidden Journey and Pteranodon Flyers.
     
  15. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Parking is $18/night.
     
  16. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    We were at Disneyworld last year over Presidents weekend and it was crazy. Maybe Universal won't be as bad.
     
  17. Metro West

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

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    I wouldn't count on it.
     
  18. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    I'm from Canada too. We've had an annual pass for years and years. The good thing about it is that it has a really low renewal rate, so even if you just go once a year, it can be worth it.

    President's weekend is pretty busy at Universal. I really wish they wouldn't have made our "Family Day" fall at the same time. We could have gotten such great discounts at the US resorts if they would have made it the weekend before or after.
     
  19. momto3gr8boys

    momto3gr8boys DIS Veteran

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    I wouldn't count on it as it's always very crowded. However the majority of visitors are from the NY/NJ/CT area since we are among the last places to still get that whole week off. But this year, most of the schools on Long Island and NYC (not sure about the others) are in session because we lost so many days during Sandy. That would be the only reason there may be a dip in numbers this year.
     
  20. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I see that right now the difference between the 304 rate and the AP rate is only $70. Drat. Definitely not enough of a difference to warrant an AP.


    But I think of it this way...you can check in VERY early in the morning. You get access to every amenity of the hotel, along with early entry, and express pass (by the way, Ollivander's also doesn't accept the express pass, in case that was on your list). You can swim at any of the pools onsite. And you get this access for the whole day of checkin AND the whole day of checkout. The parking fee is annoying IMO (though totally in line with normal downtowns of many big cities), BUT they charge it at midnight. So as long as your car is out of there before midnight on checkout day, you're only charged ONCE. This is most excellent in my opinion.

    Changing hotels is annoying for some, that's for sure. But I found that just planning for it makes it a bit easier. Maybe your offsite hotel can hold your bags until you come back, and you can just pack what you need for the two days in a smaller bag or two? If not, know that the Universal hotel's bell services will keep your stuff during the day you checkout, no problem.


    With all that, it can easily feel a lot more "worth it", IMO.
     
  21. Maple17

    Maple17 Mouseketeer

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    Good to know about the parking, thanks!
     

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