I've never been to US. Disney too much this year for us. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by hippiechick72, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. hippiechick72

    hippiechick72 Earning My Ears

    Feb 19, 2008
    Well, to my surprise then disappointment, my hubby was going to take us to Disney again this year. He was thinking since they had the Buy 4nights get 3 free plus a $200 gift card for going that we could go. However, even with that deal it's going to cost more than last years trip.

    So....the lady at AAA asked me about Universal Studios. I have never been there. What's it like? How many days do you recommened. We have an 11, 5, and 2 yr old. To me it looks like jsut two different parks. Are they big? I don't want to go all the way to FL(we live in OH), jsut for something that is going to be boring for the kids after the first day.

    Please help!
  2. Poohbug

    Poohbug Sherlocked

    Oct 26, 2006
    Wow, I'm sorry you can't find a good deal with the 4/3 deal. We are saving a chunk of change on that deal.

    Universal is great and I think the kids will love it. My limit at US and IOA combined is three full days. I always go in low season and have time to do rides multiple times during those three days. If you are going to stay for a week maybe you could go over to Sea world a day.

    The older two kids will be able to go on everything but the big coasters but the 2 yr old will be limited to the playgrounds and shows.

    I personally try to wait until my kids are 4 or older before I take them to US so that they can go on most of the rides, but many people still have fun taking younger kids.
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  4. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

    Apr 12, 2005
    I think the first thing to do is to check out the website to see LOTS of information about Universal. Also...check the stickies at the top of the board and read some of the trip reports.

    I would recommend a minimum of three days to do everything you want to do without having to rush and stay onsite if at all possible. The unlimited Express Plus access is worth it alone. It will spoil you!

    Universal is two parks...Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. You will find lots for your kids to do and I doubt seriously they will get bored.

    Once you do some research, come back and ask specific questions and we will be glad to help!

    The website address is: www.universalorlando.com
  5. LilMommyBug

    LilMommyBug DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2002
    You should go! It's lots of fun. Your kids will NOT be bored - there are even cool water play areas for your little one...the Seuss rides, etc.
  6. patster734

    patster734 DIS Veteran

    Apr 4, 2004
    What are the parks? Universal has 2 parks: Universal Studios (US) and Islands of Adventure (IOA). Be sure to look at Universal's website that MetroWest supplied to get an idea of the rides and shows at each park. The parks are adjacent to each other and its about a 5 minute walk or so to get from one to the other.

    How long? I suggest 3 full days too. That give you 1 day at each park and another day to explore/do everything else (Citywalk, the onsite hotels, etc.)

    Where to stay? Universal has three great hotels onsite: The Portofino Bay Hotel (PBH), The Hard Rock Hotel (HRH) and The Royal Pacific Resort (RPR). The PBH is usually the most expensive, while the RPR is least expensive. All 3 hotels have boat service to Citywalk, and a dedicated walking path to Citywalk. If you choose to use the walking path, the PBH hotel has the longest walk. For offsite, there are a few nearby hotels that provide transportation to Universal. We prefer onsite at the RPR because of the convenience and the Front of the Line (FOTL) perk (unlimited access to the Express line at most rides). Staying onsite will also give preferred seating at many restaurants at Citywalk. Pool-hopping is also allowed between the 3 onsite hotels.

    What's Citywalk? Citywalk is the central hub for Universal. It connects the two parks with the on-site hotels and to the parking garage for those driving from offsite locations. There are several shops and restaurants in Citywalk. It also has an AMC movie theater.
  7. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

    Aug 11, 2000
    If money is limited, there are some good offsite choices. The Universal website should list some of them.

    If you do stay offsite, you might want to consider a rental car. You have to pay big parking fees but the convenience can't be beat.

    I don't believe that the kids will find Universal boring at all. Superheroes, Nickelodeon characters, Shrek, dinosaurs and so on - they should like at least some of that.
  8. trainingupmy4princes

    trainingupmy4princes DIS Veteran

    Jul 31, 2008
    I would check the height limits on the rides and how tall your kids are. We went last December and our 3.5 YO was not able to ride much at IOA and was not happy sitting in the waiting areas all day. The one thing we were used to at Disney was for childswap I could get a childswap FP and than take the little one to go play somewhere and then DH and the older kids would come over and I would ride with the boys. At Universal we had to sit in these waiting areas which is not much fun for a toddler. JMO I think when all the kids are older and taller we would like to try Universal again.

    My sister who only has a 10 YO was not happy either as her daughter is a thrill rider but short for her age. She was able to ride everything at Disney but unable to get on all the big roller coasters at Universal due to height. :confused3 I did notice the height limits are higher there. For example my 3 YO loved the water raft ride at AK but was unable to ride the one at Universal.
  9. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

    Aug 11, 2000
    The coasters and even the water ride is way more intense at Universal than at WDW. If these are important, it's a good point to check height first.
  10. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    the child swap system at universal is fantastic.

    the ones in your group that do the ride first, can repeat the ride again when you do the child swap.
    it's not limited to how many can reride.

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