Help with Hotel


Mar 27, 2009
Hi! I know that somewhere, this has probably been discussed ad nauseum, but I can't seem to find a great answer for this by searching. We are flying in on a Sunday night, getting in late. I didn't want to book our Universal hotel for that night, because we are doing either RP or PB and it's too expensive for a night that won't include the park on that day we arrive. (Does that make sense?) We can't use the passes on Sunday, so it doesn't make sense to get the hotel that first night. We were thinking of flying in, getting a cheaper hotel and then getting the Universal hotel for our stay for Monday through Weds night (we leave early on Thursday). Does that plan seem to make sense? If so, do you have recommendations for a hotel that is super close to Universal so that getting over to the Universal hotel in the AM with luggage isn't a huge production? Thanks so much for the help and advice! I appreciate it!

PS We have no flexibility in our schedule, sadly. We are adding this on as a bonus visit after a softball tournament in LA. We have to arrive Sunday night, and we have to leave Thursday morning. :(


DIS Veteran
Jan 12, 2015
When our flight arrives late, we usually just stay at the Hyatt at MCO. You can retrieve your luggage or have the hotel do it. You can walk straight to the hotel. We like to grab breakfast at the Starbucks or the breakfast buffet at the Hyatt restaurant.

Sue M

DIS Veteran
May 27, 2009
I’ve done this and have stayed at The Doubletree across from Universal, and last trip stayed at The Fairfield Inn closest to Universal. I liked both, but Fairfield has breakfast included so that was a nice start. I’d get Uber or Lyft in the morning to transfer if I were doing it again.
From Fairfield I used Marriotts Town Car Service. It was actually an suv. But was very unhappy with driver. He did nothing, Bell Service on both ends did all the loading and unloading. I had a quote before we left. When we got to Portofino (a 3 min drive) he had nerve enough to add on to price. When questioned he said it was because we had a lot of luggage. Later in the day I phoned Fairfield and told them what happened.
  • J'aime Paris

    Living happily ever after
    Mar 7, 2008
    I've considered staying at an alternate hotel when arriving late, but always end up just staying at Universal for the ease of it all.

    I don't like being "homeless" the next day. Universal hotels have a 4pm "room should be ready" check in time. It's possible your room could be available earlier, but don't count on it.

    We like taking a mid day pool break, so it's nice to be settled the night before, even if it's late.


    Universal Fan-atic
    Apr 10, 2012


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 21, 2003
    Like the OP, I prefer to stay less expensively when arriving late. I would go with one of mjhtvchick's recommendations, except we had a bad room at the Comfort suites near Universal once and I didn't sleep well (noisy air conditioner which smelled funny and aggravated my allergies). There are a lot of hotels nearby, I think the Rosen Inn has gotten decent reviews.

    SA mom

    DIS Veteran
    Apr 15, 2012
    We’ve stayed at the Four Points right on Universal Drive. First thing in the morning, we check into our onsite hotel. Loews has been really great about having a room ready for us by mid day, but we may have just been lucky. We’ve also moved back on our last night if we have a flight that requires us to leave for the airport early. This will be our first trip that we are staying all nights onsite.
  • Minnie1222

    Oct 25, 2018
    It makes perfect sense not wanting to pay for a full day at an expensive hotel if you're just going to sleep there for a few hours. If our plane arrives late, and especially when traveling without my husband, the kid(s) and I usually stay at the Hyatt Regency inside MCO. It saves us a few hundred dollars and obliterates the fret of taking a cab in the dark hours of Orlando.


    Jan 19, 2017
    We do the same. We always arrive late and check into a Hampton Inn and check out early and go straight to our hotel at Universal. The only time we didn’t do this was when we stayed at Cabana Bay because the prices were comparable with staying offsite. We also always have a car so why pay parking for an extra night also? I would rather save the $400 or more and stay offsite the first night.


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