Cancelled Disney, Changed to a Universal Vacation!

nicolebridget22

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Originally my DH and I were going to stay at Disney's AKL for 2 weeks in the beginning of September...but then the Star Wars bomb was dropped. We were devastated that the "late fall" opening we were trying to avoid, turned into a SUMMER opening. Crowds, and masses of people, trigger my anxiety so we really only felt like we had this very, very small window of September to visit, and then justlikethat they slammed the window shut on me. This was the first time I felt personally victimized by Disney (yes, really, I cried).

We considered just going anyway, and hiding out in our beautiful hotel when park crowds got to be too much, only to find out AKL is under refurbishment and the expensive savanna view we would be paying for is compromised by construction vehicles, porta potties, and animals that aren't roaming as freely due to noise and activity. Disney is giving me all the signs that it doesn't want to see me this year. I'm not interested in paying 10K for a vacation of standing in lines, getting constantly herded and jostled around in waves of sweaty bodies. I may have cried again.

But we realized all is not lost! We love Universal and have never been able to see everything there at a reasonable pace. Why not a whole week at Universal instead? We booked a week at Portofino Bay (club level!), and got our park passes, for about a third of what we would spend at Disney! And now I'm REALLY looking forward to our trip. The stress is gone. No ADR's, no FP's! The freedom! We're going to be able to just...go on rides, many rides, multiple times and...just...go eat food...WHEN WE FEEL LIKE IT? Now I'm remembering all the things I love about Universal: everything HP, The Mummy, ET, JP, the Raptor Encounter, Mythos, HHN, Suess trolley, Spiderman, Hulk! OMG frozen butterbeer!

Thanks Universal for saving my "happy thought" (my vacation) and giving me hope again!
 
Last edited:

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
Sounds like everything is going to work out for you!!

Glad to hear all is not lost.........PB is beautiful and September is a fabulous time of year.

Yep, Universal is a very relaxing vacation.......with EP no planning necessary........you’ll have a blast!!!
 
  • mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    Originally my DH and I were going to stay at Disney's AKL for 2 weeks in the beginning of September...but then the Star Wars bomb was dropped. We were devastated that the "late fall" opening we were trying to avoid, turned into a SUMMER opening. Crowds, and masses of people, trigger my anxiety so we really only felt like we had this very, very small window of September to visit, and then justlikethat they slammed the window shut on me. This was the first time I felt personally victimized by Disney (yes, really, I cried).

    We considered just going anyway, and hiding out in our beautiful hotel when park crowds got to be too much, only to find out AKL is under refurbishment and the expensive savanna view we would be paying for is compromised by construction vehicles, porta potties, and animals that aren't roaming as freely due to noise and activity. Disney is giving me all the signs that it doesn't want to see me this year. I'm not interested in paying 10K for a vacation of standing in lines, getting constantly herded and jostled around in waves of sweaty bodies. I may have cried again.

    But we realized all is not lost! We love Universal and have never been able to see everything there at a reasonable pace. Why not a whole week at Universal instead? We booked a week at Portofino Bay (club level!), and got our park passes, for about a third of what we would spend at Disney! And now I'm REALLY looking forward to our trip. The stress is gone. No ADR's, no FP's! The freedom! We're going to be able to just...go on rides, many rides, multiple times (!) and...just...go eat food...WHEN WE FEEL LIKE IT! Now I'm remembering all the things I love about Universal: everything HP, The Mummy, ET, JP, the Raptor Encounter, Mythos, HHN, Suess trolley, Spiderman, Hulk! OMG frozen butterbeer!

    Thanks Universal for saving my "happy thought" (my vacation) and giving me hope again!

    Sad that your vacation will not be what you had planned but glad that you have decided to make the best of a bad situation - you will have a great time at Universal!
     

    sandam1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2016
    And you should have money left over to upgrade to an annual pass (if you haven't already, you should) and come back for another trip or two. Hint: Christmas at Universal is fabulous and everyone raves about Mardi Gras.

    Kudos to you for taking lemons and making lemonade! You are going to have a wonderful trip.
     
  • tessa671

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2019
    Blessing in disguise. After dozens of Disney trips I am a Universal convert. Disney is just too hard, now. Planning and scheduling and coordinating and getting to rides and meals on time. I am over it. Universal is so relaxing. DD12 and I were there in May and we actually SAT AND ATE BREAKFAST at an outside table in the park and watched everyone walking to HP. It was so enjoyable. At Disney we would have been racing around trying to get on rides before the lines got long and constantly on our phones trying to get a new FP. I barely pulled my phone out at Universal. I am already planning for 7 days next year and adding DD3.
     

    glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    Blessing in disguise. After dozens of Disney trips I am a Universal convert. Disney is just too hard, now. Planning and scheduling and coordinating and getting to rides and meals on time. I am over it. Universal is so relaxing. DD12 and I were there in May and we actually SAT AND ATE BREAKFAST at an outside table in the park and watched everyone walking to HP. It was so enjoyable. At Disney we would have been racing around trying to get on rides before the lines got long and constantly on our phones trying to get a new FP. I barely pulled my phone out at Universal. I am already planning for 7 days next year and adding DD3.
    We love both Disney and UO, but this is exactly why when we split trips between the two, we do Disney first. It’s NOT a relaxing vacation, but UO is! We LOVE UO and love not having to have a plan, just go with the flow....
     

    bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi we stayed at Portofino club level last summer and loved it. It is probably our favorite hotel there. We love Universal for all the same reasons. We can't wait to go back.
    You will love Portofino and the club level. Personally for me it is by far the best club level I have been too.

    We just did come back from staying at AKL savannah view club level and were very pleased. The construction was much better than reported now.

    I hope you enjoy your trip and glad that you are happy with your outcome!
     

    Captainkidd76

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2017
    Wise decision. We've been at Disney since July 6, and we're leaving 2 days early and heading to Universal. We can't deal with the crowds, food lines, planning every second of every day anymore. And Disney cast members have been miserable since we've been here.
     
  • jhoannam

    Planner-aholic
    Joined
    May 12, 2014
    Wise decision. We've been at Disney since July 6, and we're leaving 2 days early and heading to Universal. We can't deal with the crowds, food lines, planning every second of every day anymore. And Disney cast members have been miserable since we've been here.
    I’m sorry, glad you have the option the leave early and do other fun things.
     

    karylrocks

    I know it's only rock 'n roll but I like it.....
    Joined
    May 15, 2001
    We also changed our plans from WDW to Universal - we have not been to UO since before HP opened and I have been wanting to go. Since we are west coast we do Disneyland often enough and the idea of WDW was stressing me out, it has been five years since I was there and the planning is just getting too daunting. Have a great trip!
     

    UOAP

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 19, 2019
    Originally my DH and I were going to stay at Disney's AKL for 2 weeks in the beginning of September...but then the Star Wars bomb was dropped. We were devastated that the "late fall" opening we were trying to avoid, turned into a SUMMER opening. Crowds, and masses of people, trigger my anxiety so we really only felt like we had this very, very small window of September to visit, and then justlikethat they slammed the window shut on me. This was the first time I felt personally victimized by Disney (yes, really, I cried).

    We considered just going anyway, and hiding out in our beautiful hotel when park crowds got to be too much, only to find out AKL is under refurbishment and the expensive savanna view we would be paying for is compromised by construction vehicles, porta potties, and animals that aren't roaming as freely due to noise and activity. Disney is giving me all the signs that it doesn't want to see me this year. I'm not interested in paying 10K for a vacation of standing in lines, getting constantly herded and jostled around in waves of sweaty bodies. I may have cried again.

    But we realized all is not lost! We love Universal and have never been able to see everything there at a reasonable pace. Why not a whole week at Universal instead? We booked a week at Portofino Bay (club level!), and got our park passes, for about a third of what we would spend at Disney! And now I'm REALLY looking forward to our trip. The stress is gone. No ADR's, no FP's! The freedom! We're going to be able to just...go on rides, many rides, multiple times and...just...go eat food...WHEN WE FEEL LIKE IT? Now I'm remembering all the things I love about Universal: everything HP, The Mummy, ET, JP, the Raptor Encounter, Mythos, HHN, Suess trolley, Spiderman, Hulk! OMG frozen butterbeer!

    Thanks Universal for saving my "happy thought" (my vacation) and giving me hope again!
    You are going to have a great time! I love how stress free Universal trips are. In fact, I keep trying to plan another Disney trip and when I run the numbers it is just mind boggling so we just keep going back to Universal.
     

    Mousefan mom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 21, 2015
    Originally my DH and I were going to stay at Disney's AKL for 2 weeks in the beginning of September...but then the Star Wars bomb was dropped. We were devastated that the "late fall" opening we were trying to avoid, turned into a SUMMER opening. Crowds, and masses of people, trigger my anxiety so we really only felt like we had this very, very small window of September to visit, and then justlikethat they slammed the window shut on me. This was the first time I felt personally victimized by Disney (yes, really, I cried).

    We considered just going anyway, and hiding out in our beautiful hotel when park crowds got to be too much, only to find out AKL is under refurbishment and the expensive savanna view we would be paying for is compromised by construction vehicles, porta potties, and animals that aren't roaming as freely due to noise and activity. Disney is giving me all the signs that it doesn't want to see me this year. I'm not interested in paying 10K for a vacation of standing in lines, getting constantly herded and jostled around in waves of sweaty bodies. I may have cried again.

    But we realized all is not lost! We love Universal and have never been able to see everything there at a reasonable pace. Why not a whole week at Universal instead? We booked a week at Portofino Bay (club level!), and got our park passes, for about a third of what we would spend at Disney! And now I'm REALLY looking forward to our trip. The stress is gone. No ADR's, no FP's! The freedom! We're going to be able to just...go on rides, many rides, multiple times and...just...go eat food...WHEN WE FEEL LIKE IT? Now I'm remembering all the things I love about Universal: everything HP, The Mummy, ET, JP, the Raptor Encounter, Mythos, HHN, Suess trolley, Spiderman, Hulk! OMG frozen butterbeer!

    Thanks Universal for saving my "happy thought" (my vacation) and giving me hope again!
    You made a very smart choice. I'm usually a ga ga Disney girl--but we just got back from our worst Disney experience ever. We totally planned to go next summer, and now I am looking and learning all about Universal for this reason! Disney was SO SO packed--worst I've ever seen. They did not have the park hours to compensate for the crowds. Even the FP line regularly took 15-20 mins...we paid over $600 for an after hours party and it was just swamped with people (and wait times to all major rides!). We felt so taken advantage of for what we paid. Enjoy--and I'd love to hear about your vacation afterwards! We've never been to Universal!
     

    Flyg1rl

    WWoHP *is* my Happy Place.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2018
    Never been to Universal? (shudder- LOL!) Seriously, though - the difference between the parks is subtle, but important. Disney is affectionately referred to as the Motherland. It is very welcoming and tries hard to please everyone with a mainly G to PG rated experience.

    Universal is affectionately referred to as the Darkside. It is solidly aimed more towards the PG to PG13 experience. People who need special accommodations, for whatever reason, sometimes struggle at Universal (although accommodations typically can be made with a little advance planning.) Also, due to greater focus on "thrill" rides, safety concerns can mean that people of size may not be able to ride as much, and I've heard it said that Universal doesn't have as much to appeal to young kids.

    To me, one of the biggest drawbacks to Disney is that I can't relax, and end up needing a vacation for my vacation. In order to feel like I got my money's worth, and didn't spend the bulk of my day paying to stand in lines, I need to know what I'll be doing every second of every day no later than 6 months in advance. Please keep in mind that this could be entirely due to my personality type - but I do not find Disney to be relaxing. Since I have teenagers, and don't need special accommodations, I love Universal. I love that I can spend my days relatively plan-less, wandering around, just enjoying the attention to detail - even when standing in lines (queues.)

    That being said, I've been to Disney 3 times, and enjoyed it each time. I plan to go back and explore Galaxy's Edge at some point, and I will likely be one of those grandmothers who plans trips with any future grandchildren. In the meantime, Universal (and the WWoHP) is my happy place. :wave:
     

    Captainkidd76

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2017
    To me, one of the biggest drawbacks to Disney is that I can't relax, and end up needing a vacation for my vacation. In order to feel like I got my money's worth, and didn't spend the bulk of my day paying to stand in lines, I need to know what I'll be doing every second of every day no later than 6 months in advance. Please keep in mind that this could be entirely due to my personality type - but I do not find Disney to be relaxing. Since I have teenagers, and don't need special accommodations, I love Universal. I love that I can spend my days relatively plan-less, wandering around, just enjoying the attention to detail - even when standing in lines (queues.)
    This. A million times over. It's what has driven us from Disney to Universal. In Disney's attempt to make things "easier" on guests, they have pushed some away. It's not just your personality type. If you want to do Disney the way it should be done, and go to restaurants you want to, ride all the rides you want, there is no relaxing. There is no spontaneity. There is no deciding, "Hey, instead of going to Epcot today, let's go to Magic Kingdom." Yes, you CAN do that, but it won't be an overly productive day. I will always love WDW parks, resorts, etc. But I just don't have the patience for it anymore. A vacation shouldn't be stressful, and that is exactly what WDW is now.
     

    BingoJoe

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2018
    This was the first time I felt personally victimized by Disney (yes, really, I cried).
    It's great you managed to book something you will enjoy more, but you do know that they were personally victimising you when they brought the opening forward don't you?

    The people that made that decision wouldn't know who you were at all, never mind making the decision to spite you! That just crazy!
     

    Raeven

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2015
    I know we talked about this a little already, but I just found your thread so I thought I’d comment.

    You’re going to love being able to take tour time at Universal! And Portofino Bay is gorgeous! I was pretty disappointed with the Star Wars date too, and hope it’s not too crazy, but our trip was already mostly Universal based. For a trip that was mostly Disney based I totally understand.

    Also resorts under massive construction can definitely have an impact on a trip too. We had to move from the WL one trip due to the construction noise right outside our window which was on a much more massive scale than they had told us beforehand.

    It's great you managed to book something you will enjoy more, but you do know that they were personally victimising you when they brought the opening forward don't you?

    The people that made that decision wouldn't know who you were at all, never mind making the decision to spite you! That just crazy!
    I don’t want to be rude, but I’m sure she knows that and I don’t think she’s being crazy.

    I took it more as she was just really upset because of how it affected their plans specifically. She only had a small window to go, and the dates basically changing to summer was pretty unexpected. We had to change around a trip before due to weather, and though I know the weather didn’t personally victimize me it certainly felt that way when I thought we’d have to cancel things :rotfl:
     

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