I really don't want to stay at Universal


Earning My Ears
Jul 16, 2001
but I'm getting nervous about getting a good discount on the Poly in August. I've never visted Universal but I think my dds 4 and 6 would like it and it's only for 3 days. Then we're off for the 4 day cruise. I can't imagine that their hotels coming close to the Poly or WL, where we've stayed before. Has anyone switched from a Disney deluxe resort to a Universal resort and thougt it was worth it from a rate and quality prespective? Are there any links that compare the Disney and Universal properties? Thanks
The HRH and PBH are fantastic hotels. They offer anything you could want and then some.Try something new. You won't be sorry. There are several posters on these boards who have left WDW and switched to HRH or PBH and were EXTREMELY happy. The express access to the park attractions is priceless.
OK, I'll tackle this one. Last September, we stayed at the Grand Floridian, an OKW one bedroom, and then two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel. OKW was the best of course, but we thought the HRH was nicer than GF. Much comfier beds, a bigger room, wonderful theming and decor. It was quieter, too. And my DD thought the pool rocked, literally! Walking distance to Universal and IOA is a big perk, but the Front of Line Access is the biggest perk in Orlando. I would not go to Universal any other way, in fact we're going to do it again. We haven't stayed at Portofino Bay, but it's supposed to be even nicer.
We're cruising in Aug too (7 day Western on the Magic) and we have decided to "defect" to HRH for four days prior. The rack rates are relatively reasonable but hoping for a discount nearer the time (although we haven't actually booked yet!).

The deciding factor for us was the Front of Line privileges and the chance to do something different!

Whatever you decide, enjoy!
I stayed in the Hard Rock in May 2001, then moved over to a 3 room Executive suite at the Dolphin. The biggest difference? No matter WHAT you pay for a room at Disney, you STILL have to wait on line.... :mad:

The Hard Rock was an experience. I enjoyed every single second I was there. We stayed 2 days and 5 days in the opulent suite. On the way home my son said he wished he stayed at the HRH longer... go figure.

It's hard to compare apples to oranges. What leans me towards the Hard Rock and PBH is the Universal Express perk. Nothing beats it. The location and that perk are the best thing offered in Orlando.

This is not like cheating on your spouse, folks. Believe me, it's worth the "defection"....
We have stayed at BWI and YC and Portofino Bay, and by far Portofino Bay was the better hotel, it was beautiful, the service was fabulous, the amenities were great, just the toiletries alone would make it a better hotel. The beds were comfy, it is really fabulous!!!!
Hi rugrat...we have been debating this same issue. We have had many to trips to Disney, but never ventured away from there. We too have stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian on our trip last year.

My kids are 14, 11 and 5 so we are looking for something new and when I started reading this board....I was convinced! We are doing the HRH in June. Can't wait to try the FOTL! :D
We've always been very loyal to WDW, and I never had any desire to go to Universal; however, my hubby was there last year on business, and he's been bugging me to go there. So....we shortened our stay at WDW (Dolphin) and are now spending our last 2 nights at Portofino Bay, mainly because of the Front of the Line feature. That is really going to affect WDW - it seems like so many people are doing the same thing. I'm getting really excited now about Portofino Bay - I was a little worried at first.
The FOTL ROCKS HRH was wonderful too. The room is lovely but I still felt like I didn't really start my vacation until we went to the POLY. I think that is was just a old habit. I am not a fan of thrill rides so all I do is wait for the rest of my family but I did love riding on Spiderman with no wait. It was worth it jusst for thatreason. The pool was great but my kidsa re past the pool thing now. Teenagers????
I have stayed at Poly, CR, WL, VWL, BC, and I can say that I truely thought HRH was as good as any of the above, in fact, better (with VWL 1 bedroom the exception, not studio). And on top of superior amenities, FOTL (as stated in above posts) is a no-brainer for us.
We always stay @ the PBH--but I wished to inform you of the Grand Opening of the New Loews Resort this JULY 15, 2002~! Call the US resorts line, and inquire! They have rooms starting @ $99.00 (AND THIS IS A 4-STAR PROPERTY) per eve, $109.00 for a POOL VIEW! This resort offers a water taxi to the Parks, and also VIP access all day to most attractions! IT's an asian-themed resort, with tall fields of bamboo and rice fields as you approach by car. The lobby sits on the other side of a huge bridge (inside) with a Koi pond and stream/falls! It's spectacular, and the best deal @ U-Studios Fla!:D
I just booked RP in Aug for 109.00 pool side - staying for 2 nights until going to AKL when the rates change on the 25th. You may want to look into the Entertainment club rates - HRH and PBR did not have any on the weekends(they may during the week), but RP still did. May be worth the purchase of a book if you don't have one - we buy one each year from our PTA fundraiser and use the coupons locally. I have also used the national upgrade coupon from the book for my car rental and saved a lot there too.
I am truly looking forward to our first venture away from Disney this year. We are staying at the HRH and I think the FOTL feature is out of this world! We were impressed with the pictures of HRH, that we changed our ressies from garden to pool view. I can't wait! I can't imagine that you will be disappointed.
Express line access is the reason we're doing it... we were going to do 7 nights at a 2 BR villa at OKW and 1 night at a suites motel near USF... that was until I learned of the "perk"... a perk that is just too much to pass up. Not even having ever been to USF... I know about lines... and if there's a way around them, I'll pay for it.

When I asked my wife and kids if they'd like to shorten OKW to 6 nights and stay 2 nights at HRH, the response was unanomous... let's do it!! From the posts here it looks as though we've made the proper choice... we don't get to FL often, and if we're going I want to do it right... 2 days of USF and IOA with express line access sounds wonderful to me... not to mention what sounds like great accomodations at HRH... we can't wait!!!!

Thanks to all the regulars on this board that post so much great info for newbies willing to read and learn from your prior experinces and mistakes!! It is appreciated!!!

HRH and Portofino blow the Poly and WL away...the service is wonderful..you will love them..and the front of the line access at the parks can't be beat.....give yourself a treat and try it...you will be hooked!
I totally agree. We've stayed at both WL and Poly for twice the price than we spent on HRH. We will never go back to those overpriced Disney resorts again but we are returning to HRH for our second stay in April. MUCH, MUCH better value for the money. ( and the rooms are huge!) My teenage children were totally in awe by the resort and they have been at most of the disney resorts. The entire family agrees that it's Universal for us from now on.
I have to agree with the other posters! We are DVC members and have stayed at Boardwalk and Old Key West. But we split our time in Orlando between Universal and WDW almost every trip - we love Universal and IOA and the FOTL perk you get by staying on site is the icing on the cake. We have stayed at both Portofino and the Hard Rock. They are both beautiful hotels although we lean a bit more to the Portofino. The grounds and landscaping are beautiful and the hotels are first class - you can't go wrong staying at either of them!
Have to agree with everyone, we've stayed at almost all Disney deluxes properties except the GF and the PB and the HRH at the very least are equal. Add in much better rates and FOTL access and they just flat out beat them. We own at DVC but have ventured to try PB and HRH, this summer we are staying at the RP. Can't Wait!!!!!!!:D Service hads been great at both resorts and they keep their rooms in tip top shape!!!
In October we split our stay between the Grand Floridian and Portofino Bay. We were VERY surprised at how lovely the PBH was and would DEFINETELY stay there again! :) My Mother in law stayed at the Hard Rock at the same time we were there and her room was very nice. We enjoyed dining at both resorts and the HRH pool is awesome!!

Give PBH and HRH a try. You won't be disappointed, they are fantastic!!!! :D :D :D :D
Last year we stayed at the Beach Club and then the Portifino and i thought the Portifino was superior!!!!! And thats just the size/niceness of the rooms and resorts. When you factor in the best perk of all-Front of the line access and the cost being less to me i would much perfer the Portifino than the wdw hotels ive stayed at. I havent stayed at the HRH but im looking forward to doing so some day.


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