First full week of March??

mamamelody2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
So we were supposed to be at UOR right now, but unfortunately my daughter was very sick for two weeks (not Covid) and we had to cancel. We are now looking at March 5-12 as she is a college senior and that is her spring break. We will also be bringing our high school freshman who will miss a week of school (his school is fine with this). This is the 2nd trip for DH and I, first trip for our kids. Daughter especially is SUPER excited for the Harry Potter stuff. YES, we know this is the beginning of the busy spring break season in Orlando.

SO, Touring Plans seems to think crowds will be quite similar at that time to what they predicted for this week. High on the weekends, medium to low during the week. However, the hotel prices are nuts. We were planning to stay at Portofino this week in a deluxe room with a AP rate of $340/night with tax. Currently March 5-12 would be $556/night Savvy Traveler for that same room. Ouch. A Dockside 2 bedroom suite is $200/night, which is reasonable, but of course no Express Pass. Can we survive without it? I am considering just doing Dockside, then maybe one night throwaway at PB for 2 days of EP on Sunday and Monday. Any chance for a decent AP rate on a EP hotel? I thought AP rates were usually same as Savvy Traveler, you just don't need to stay so many nights to get it. Am I wrong?

We do not need to do ride after ride after ride. We are especially interested in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. We will explore and do spells. The rides we are most interested in are Velocicoaster and Hagrid's, so no EP available on those anyway. We are from Michigan, so will just enjoy having some sun and warmth. Definitely planning lots of pool time. We want to have fun but also relax. We don't want to return home exhausted.

Anyway, I guess I'm asking if you have experience at UOR that time of year, can we do it without EP if we manage our expectations? Kids will be willing to do maybe a couple rope drops, but generally not. Thanks for any insight!
 

wdwrule

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
I’m sorry I’m no help with crowd levels in March as I’ve never been there during that time… yet. We started going to UO for the first time ever this past August. I do want to add that we stayed at Dockside for the first night of our trip then stayed at PBH for the remainder of the trip. The 2bedroom suite at Dockside had TONS of space for our family of four… one kiddo college aged and other kiddo senior in high school. I think with AP rate we only paid around $130 for that room. It was so nice, bright, and clean with massive windows. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking a split stay might be perfect for you. First few nights at Dockside then PBH (or most nights at Dockside then last night or two at PBH). This will save you some money. The busses were plentiful at Dockside for us, including at park closing when we literally walked right onto a bus. I have to say though, we absolutely loved the walk from PBH to the parks and being in control of our own transportation… not to mention the quiet, quaint security check point. The atmosphere of PBH is just so lovely. It might be nice also to have EPs for at least a portion of the trip just in case… either at the beginning of the trip or near the end. I’m sure once AP rates come out for then, prices will go way down.

ETA: I hope your daughter is feeling better! So many things going around right now… stomach bugs and various viruses.
 

mamamelody2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
I’m sorry I’m no help with crowd levels in March as I’ve never been there during that time… yet. We started going to UO for the first time ever this past August. I do want to add that we stayed at Dockside for the first night of our trip then stayed at PBH for the remainder of the trip. The 2bedroom suite at Dockside had TONS of space for our family of four… one kiddo college aged and other kiddo senior in high school. I think with AP rate we only paid around $130 for that room. It was so nice, bright, and clean with massive windows. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking a split stay might be perfect for you. First few nights at Dockside then PBH (or most nights at Dockside then last night or two at PBH). This will save you some money. The busses were plentiful at Dockside for us, including at park closing when we literally walked right onto a bus. I have to say though, we absolutely loved the walk from PBH to the parks and being in control of our own transportation… not to mention the quiet, quaint security check point. The atmosphere of PBH is just so lovely. It might be nice also to have EPs for at least a portion of the trip just in case… either at the beginning of the trip or near the end. I’m sure once AP rates come out for then, prices will go way down.

ETA: I hope your daughter is feeling better! So many things going around right now… stomach bugs and various viruses.
Thanks for the reply! I think you are right a split stay may be the way to go. I would probably go 1 or 2 nights Dockside, 3 or 4 PBH, then 1 or 2 Dockside as we are not doing the parks day 1 or 8. Really hoping for decent AP hotel rates!

My daughter is doing much better now, thanks! Very disappointing, though, we were going to do HHN and were really looking forward to it.
 

wdwrule

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
That sounds like a great plan! It looks like your PBH nights will be weeknights which it seems AP rates are at their lowest weeknights, especially for deluxe. At least Mardi Gras will be going on then but I know… not the same. Maybe HHN next year. Glad she’s doing better!
 

martikus

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2010
That seems early for spring breaks so I’m surprised rates so high. We enjoy express passes so much we refuse to stay anywhere but one of the deluxe hotels. The conscience and how close make it amazing. So I’d pay more 🙃
 

mamamelody2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
That seems early for spring breaks so I’m surprised rates so high. We enjoy express passes so much we refuse to stay anywhere but one of the deluxe hotels. The conscience and how close make it amazing. So I’d pay more 🙃
That's what I thought! According to another website, that week is the first of the "spring break season."

DH and I did a split stay RPR/CBBR in June and that worked out well. I was happy with my June rate, and that was a very busy time, so hopefully they'll release some decent rates for March!
 
  • Like
Reactions: AJA


Connect

TODAY'S HEADLINES

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO VIDEOS




Top