On site hotel mania


Earning My Ears
Jun 24, 2000
As I read these boards, I am amazed at how the common opinion is that if you dont stay at either
the Hard Rock or Portofino and get FOTL access than you are in for a pretty tough time at the parks. I have read here that with FOTL the parks can be covered in two days, so it makes it worth it... I have read also that
the Express pass machines dont work that well...so FOTL is the absolute way to go or be prepared to stand on lines all day...
I have noticed that many questions go unanswered about other hotel options unless answered by a moderator, because this board is being eaten up by Hard Rock Hotel questions and announcements of great rates...Don't take this the wrong way people, we all get excited about great rates and hotels but there is a chance that one could have a good time if not
lucky enough to stay at an on- site hotel, right?
Isnt the purpose of a great vacation to relax and have fun, and not worry how fast you can go?
Just my opinion folks...Whats yours???
Although I am staying onsite with a great rate...I agree with you. I don't like to get on the Disney resort boards for the same reason.
Good points. I always advise people to avoid times like Christmas week, Spring Break and the summer. If you hit UO at an off time and follow some common sense touring strategies (like getting there reasonably early) you don't have to knock yourself out to see the parks.

I for one have tried to alert folks on this board to the alternate hotel choices along Major Boulevard (where I am writing from now). Here you can get a perfectly good room, with a complete kitchen yet, for about $40 a night (unless, of course, you insist on coming during a busy time).

But if you are looking for a 4-star experience then staying at HRH or PBH is the obvious way to go. I stay at both on a regular basis and when I win the lottery I'll ALWAYS stay there.

Kelly Monaghan
Author of "Universal Orlando: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure" and
"The Other Orlando: What To Do When You've Done Disney & Universal"
<img height=100 src=http://www.theotherorlando.com/images/use.jpg> <img height=100 src=http://www.theotherorlando.com/images/orl3.jpg>>
Even though I have gotten a great rate for HRH, I do agree with you. I have stayed at the Holiday Inn and the Delta Resort when visiting US/IOA and have had a wonderful time. I think it depends on the vacationers hopes for their vacation. Mine is, just to have a great time with my family and I think that can be done no matter where we stay. ;)
Since this board is specifically about Universal parks and hotels I think that's why that's all you find here. There is another board called "Orlando Hotels and Attractions" where there are lots of people that can tell you about off-site hotels. The Disney Resorts board is just that - Disney resorts!! (remember the David Letterman bit where he went to the "Just Bulbs" store and asked for shades? Then the "Just Shades" store and asked for bulbs!! :))

I don't answer about the other hotels because I haven't stayed at them so I don't have an answer!! When I was a kid we always stayed at Days Inn motels at the cheapest rate my folks could get! Since I've been an adult and gone on my own trips I've done it both ways. Several years ago we used to stay off-site - either with friends who lived in Orlando or a condo. But now that I've stayed on-site I wouldn't do it any other way and my DH is the same. The main thing for us is we both hate to drive and get stuck in traffic and worry about rushing to make it here or there on time. That's why it is truly a vacation for us to stay on-site.

But if you ask me about the drive to WDW from my friend Hugh's house I can answer!!

<img height="200" src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/disdebbie/Mickeyandus.jpg">
Debbie, Bill & Becca with unidentified friend - July, 2000
Well,all I can tell you is that it gets real hot in htose lines in the summer, don't underrate FOTL.My wife has bad knees, we were able to use
a special pass last year, we did not wait in any line more than a couple of minutes, it allowed us to stop and rest, we passed lines mid-day of at least an hour. it is amazing how your tour patterns change when you go to the front, you do what everyone really wants to do you ride spidey and MIB about a dozen times, or whatever ride youreally like. Lets face it I know that the disney properties are beyond the reach of a whole lot of folks but if you can get the ent. rate, you can swing the HR for a night or two.It is comparable to getting the Poly or one of those for the same price. The break in the aft. for a dip in the pool is hard to put into words, but for those not used to Florida in the summer it is hotter than#$$$ Besides you can get FOTL for two days for one night, or three days for two nights, not a bad deal.Just my opinion...
I couldn't agree more. If I couldn't get FOTL I wouldn't go! I went to Disney 2 years ago and vowed I wouldn't return because vacation time is too precious to waste standing in lines. Sure enough when I returned to Orlando in March I did not go to Disney, because I won't stand in lines. In my opinion, it just isn't the way to spend your vacation. We went to Universal and IOA because we got FOTL by staying on-site. I can honestly say that I would not have gone otherwise. I would find somewhere else to go! There are a lot of other places to go on vacation than Orlando. The whole idea is to relax and have fun, and that just doesn't happen when your waiting all day!
I think people are like me, they recommend things that made them happiest! :)

I stayed at the Radisson in '99 and was always suggesting people stay there until I stayed at the HRH last month. I paid about $30 a day more to stay at the HRH, but it was worth it due to FOTL.

Until I experienced FOTL, I thought my vacations to DL, WDW, and US/IOA were pretty terrific. Now I know better. What FOTL does is let you slow down and enjoy the parks. You don't have to waste time in lines and then try to make up that time by being in the parks from opening to closing. We come from very far away and due to the terrible cost, we had a tendancy to try and get our money's worth...which meant seeing as much as possible. We resented waiting an hour in line and felt that we were wasting not only time but MONEY! Last month with FOTL we were able to take naps, stroll, not rush...really vacation...and so if I now push staying on-site, it is for a reason. For us, it made a totally different and better vacation! :D

BTW I hope DL with only 3 on-site hotels, picks up the idea. ;)
I think this FOTL "mania" is a legitimate obsession. I am not able to spend much time on my feet and long lines are not only an annoyance for me but a physical impossibility.

I, too, have stayed at other places, the Radisson, the Suburban Lodge, the Holiday Inn I-Drive, the last time I paid well to take the VIP tour so I wouldn't HAVE to stand in line and would do it again if it weren't for this onsite perk.

On the other hand, I don't see this as the same as the Disney Resort hotel obsession. This perk beats any perk Disney offers hands down. I have stayed onsite at Disney, and will again in May, but I WISH I had booked my entire trip at the Hard Rock, because FOTL is worth it!

I also feel that this perk is NOT going to be permanent, so I want to jump on it while it is available.

Also, realize that a very small percentage of Universal's guest are privy to the kind of information offered on this board. Just by being here you can save money, time and sanity. It's like being in the "in crowd"...

Let everyone else go elsewhere. WE have the inside track! :D


Mother of Michael
Proverbs 3:5-6


<font color=purple>Co-Moderator of the Community and Universal/IOA Boards</font color=purple>

I don't usually go to florida 2 years in a row, I like variety but this perk is too good to pass up. I also think this is a one shot deal FOTL all day . If you snooze you loose!!

Mom of teens
We have been to Orlando twice before - both times the last week in January. We never had to wait in lines and it was fabulous. Seeing the length of the queue lines, I know I never want to be there when the lines are at capacity. Now our DS is too old to miss school for a week, so next year we will be going during his spring break, 2nd week of March. We are staying onsite solely for FOTL. I'm hoping that FOTL is still in place then.
So exited about FOTL. Keep your fingers crossed that this is still ongoing in October, when we go. Can't Wait. The family is looking forward to this FOTL access. Can't wait to enjoy the pool at HRH. Love reading info. on this board because it just get us more excited and we appreciate everyones insight. :cool:
To be honest, I was initially staying off site untill I came to this board. I had been on the Disney Boards 2 years ago while planning my first trip to WDW. I ended up having the inside track on many things..and our trip was so well planned because of all the assistance, tips, etc. from the board.

So...after viewing the video about Universal/IOA we decided to go. I remembered this Universal board and decided to come here and try to learn some things. Initially I had gone to the official site and saw that the HRH was going to cost me atleast 189/night. And..although the FOTL thing sounded great...it was too much. But because of this board I learned of the entertainment rate of 117/night...and decided to book. We'll just have pizza an extra night..and breakfast in the rooms...and less souveniers..but it will all be worth cutting those costs for Front of the Line!! How or why would anyone pass up the opportunity to have this PERK?! Our vacation will be so much more relaxing this way!
And it was thanx to this board that I am soooo looking forward to my vacation.

I too am looking into other hotels just in case our vacation money isn't available, so when someone mentions another hotel I usually check it out and I'm very grateful. But nothing can beat the ease and convience of staying on site at WDW, and I'm sure it'll be the same for USO/IOA. (2 years ago we did stay off site for the first 2 nights and on site the rest of the time; and the difference was HUGE!!)

ok, just this newbie's opinion. ;)

CindyZ in CT, and Mom of 3!
I totally agree that FOTL is an unbelievable perk. We just got back and it really made our vacation, especially during the parks most busy time...Easter Week. I know that everyone is dreading the day that Universal cancels or curtails the all day FOTL access. Personally, I think that the program will guarantee that their hotels will stay full year round. Many, many people we talked to at US & IOA last week did not know that hotel guests had such perks and wished that they had made the choice to stay on site. I think that as more and more people know about it and are spoiled by it, it will be very difficult to take away. (wishful thinking?)Meanwhile, we are going back in August to enjoy it one more time and then we will wait and see what happens.


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