Hard Rock or Royal Pacific


Apr 19, 2016
My friend and I are going to be at Universal in just under two weeks for our Dorian-rescheduled trip. Two adults, four nights with the first night currently scheduled for RP (standard room) before moving to Cabana Bay for 3 nights. However, I noticed that I could get a standard room at Hard Rock for $25 more.

We are arriving mid-day (probably getting to the parks around 2ish) and there are HHN that evening, which we will not be attending. My thought is that we will probably start out on the Studios side on our arrival day and do early entry at Studios the next morning so I'm wondering if the proximity just might make it worth it.

Thoughts? Pros/cons of either? We've never stayed at an EP hotel before so I have NO experience with either.

Lynne G

DIS Veteran
Mar 29, 2009
If 25 dollars is not a big deal to you, I'd book the Hard Rock instead of Royal. While the walk from Royal is not that long, it's end is closer to Islands, and definitely the walk to the Studios from Hard Rock is closer, even closer than the boat let off at City Walk. Nice hotels either way, and since Hard Rock has the least number of rooms, you shouldn't be too far from the walking path and boat launch. And just to say how much smaller, the boat launch at Royal is about twice the size of Hard Rock's one. I'd do it. I paid almost that amount ($24) for a 5 night stay at the Portofino last month, rather than Royal, as my adult kid and I like the Portofino more than Royal, but we have no issues staying at Royal if that spread in money was more, and usually Hard Rock is more (due to less number of rooms). I'll be at the Royal in a couple of weeks. Was the lowest priced of all 3, and I'm staying a week.

Whatever you decide, have fun. And I only do HHN one night.

Lynne G

DIS Veteran
Mar 29, 2009
Oh, and if you're arriving later in the day, suggest getting on the train around 4 or so, or otherwise the line is crazy, and they do stop the line, as it gets closer to 5. If you do go over to Islands, it will stay open at least a couple of hours later than 5, and you can get much done, with your EP, before it closes. Then you can stop in at City Walk on your way to the boat, or walking back, to eat and shop, if you'd like. Either way, stroll through CIty Walk, at night, it's pretty. Only issue you will have is many come from the garages, to go to the Studio for HHN, by around 3 or 4, and even after HHN starts, there are many still going to the Studios, crowding CityWalk on their way to the Studios. On a week day night, I would assume, not as busy. I've done both on an HHN night, taken the train (learned lesson, do it earlier, like around 4, or wait in huge line), or most of the time, I walk out, have some dinner in CityWalk, or if I'm not hungry, just go to Islands for some more fun and maybe eat a snack.
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Feb 11, 2009
    Agree with PP that the $25 upgrade to HRH would be worth it to me. Its a shorter walk so no need to wait for the water taxi, and the path dumps you practically at the entry gate for Universal Studios. We also love the laidback easy-going vibe there. They also have a great grab-and-go store on the ground floor, and we love the Kitchen - especially the breakfast buffet!


    Potions Master
    Feb 23, 2018
    I prefer Royal Pacific as it's probably my fave of the 3 EP hotels, but if you're not really going to make use of the hotel itself then Hard Rock is closer for all your plans.


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 1, 2010
    We love HRH! It's our favorite.

    HRH is so close to US, takes us about 3-5min to walk. It's great to be so close on a hot day. The pool is awesome and it's such a fun environment.


    Proud Redhead
    Apr 21, 2003
    I have stayed at both HR and RP

    Both are great hotels

    But I book with RP due to food choices
    Islands has the same breakfast set up as HR does

    RP has Jakes table service and pizza take out and is open until 2 am daily

    Orchids Court Lounge is a grab and go set up from 6 am
    Microwave and toaster available there

    The walk to City Walk eateries is about a 6 minute time
    I like the variety of places they offer

    Food choices is important to me on a 9 day vacation

    The Kitchen at HR is great
    But I don’t want to eat two meals a day there and plan it around the park hours

    Check the menus for the hotel restaurants and see if that influences you which hotel is better for you

    Wherever you stay, will be great
  • sandam1

    Apr 19, 2016
    The final decision was to switch to Hard Rock. Both my friend and I are intrigued by Hard Rock (proximity & theme) and decided to go for it.

    Thanks to everyone for their input!


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