Split stay between Disney and Universal.... need some help :)


Aug 4, 2014
Hello from Norway :)
We are Disney "veterans" (maybe not quite veterans yet, but this will be trip number 14 since 2001)

DD (23) and I will travel to Orlando this summer and we wish to do a split stay.
We would also be together with my children and youth choir for at-least 3- 4 days since we will be doing a workshop and performance at WDW, so we need to be at Disney around June 29 - July 1.

I have been changing my plans A LOT and we have booked 14 days at Disney, but I think we would enjoy some days at a Universal resort.
So, here is my thoughts.. please feel free to share what you think.

Plan number 1 -
June 26 - July 5 - Stay at Disney (we have booked Port Orleans French Quarter, but I am thinking of changing to POP to save some money. (I have an AP at Disney and I booked POFQ with a bounce back offer)
DD get some good discounts on the Disney tickets because we travel with the choir.

July 5- 10 - Cabana Bay resort - 2 or 3 day tickets (park to park at Universal)
I have never stayed at a Universal resort before, but we love the 50`s theme at Cabana Bay, and it looks like a nice resort?

OR (plan 2) we could stay at Universal first and then move to Disney?
We would have to be at Disney June 29 or 30 to meet the kids and families in my choir.

I see that Universal has buy 2 days and get 5 days (tickets) but we can`t use them in July?

We could also upgrade our tickets to an AP?
Last time we went to Universal we only had 1 day and that was NOT enough.... (we love Harry Potter land)

What do you think... is 5 days at Cabana Bay or another Universal resort enough?
We would probably do some shopping and maybe a trip to the beach and Kennedy Space center some time on our trip.

AND we need some "down"/relax time also...
Should we stay 7 days at Disney and 7 days at Universal?

I should also mention that we have special needs and last time we went to Universal we got a disability card.

Thank you :)
Best from Adèle Marie


Apr 21, 2002
Well.. You've been to both parks, at least on the Disney side you should have an idea of how long you want to be there to do what you want.

The buy 2 get 3 free tickets are blocked out for July, so no, those won't work for you. Also the lower seasonal annual pass is also blocked out for July, so will have to get one of the upper tier ones. Or there may be international ticket options for you that are not available to the rest of us

July is busy of course, so will need to decide if want Express Passes... Cabana Bay hotel does not include them with stay, so would need to buy seperately or consider a deluxe hotel that includes them with stay. Again, see what is offered for international.

If your doing things outside of the parks, would do them during the lower hotel cost portion ( or possibly an off-site hotel if more than a couple days) since on site benefits won't matter then.

Check rates for your Universal portion as may have the Stay More Save More rate which gets cheaper there longer you stay, but those rates may be sold out for July by now.

Which order to do them is up to you and what is most convenient with the other activities.. but a lot of people will say to do Universal after Disney as there is less planning, therefore more relaxing, which may be needed after Disney.

Sue M

DIS Veteran
May 27, 2009
I would get at least a 3 day Universal ticket. We are staying there 10 nights. We’re in Canada and so an option for us is the 3 park unlimited Explorer Pass I think it’s 2 weeks length. I bought that for my daughter thru Universal. I’m buying an AP for me.

As to switching to Pop....meh. If it’s in your budget I’d stick with POFQ. It’s so much nicer in my opinion.
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Feb 11, 2009
    5 days at Universal is more than enough, IMO. I would spend the majority of your time at WDW because its a much larger resort. Its better to have extra days there, IMO. We usually do 7-8 days at WDW, followed by 3 days at Universal. We usually have express pass at Universal, which helps.

    Cabana Bay is a great resort. However, if you stay at one of the three deluxe resorts, you will receive unlimited express pass as part of your stay. This may come in handy during July. With 5 days, you'd have enough time to get everything done. But with express pass, you'd have time to re-ride things and not spend your time waiting in lines (and baking in the July Florida heat, in some cases). If money is a concern, I would switch to Pop to save at WDW, and spend the extra money on a deluxe resort at Universal. If you purchase an AP, there may be AP rates you can book for a deluxe resort as well.

    Also, we prefer to do Universal after WDW. Universal is much more relaxing and leisurely, so its a nice way to wind down after the WDW portion of your trip. It also helps to ease the sadness of leaving WDW!


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi I think 7 days at each is a nice split. Especially if you want some resort down time, Universal's resorts are awesome and you could hop around if you want to for pools. I go between the end of June and beginning of August and it is quite busy. I really felt it was good to have the express pass at that time. We love cabana bay and have stayed there every time we went either the whole week or a split stay.

    If you are okay with switching to Pop from POFQ to save some money I can throw another idea out there. You could look to get at least one AP for Universal which would give you the AP hotel discount. You could look into getting a "throwaway room" for one night at one of the deluxe resorts for the express pass for two days. It would be a lot less to do this then to decide to buy the express pass at the park.

    We did this two summers ago. We stayed at Cabana Bay for the week then mid week got a night at Royal Pacific for the express pass. We went that morning checked in got our passes and were on our way. Later on we went back to the resort to chill for a bit then left. We never slept there but it worked out nice knowing we had two days to use the pass.

    We have spent from 3 days to 7 days at Universal and feel we could always do more.

    I do agree with Universal after Disney however, if you are going to be there for the last week of June and can use the 2/3 day ticket promo you could do that instead.

    Good luck!


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 8, 2008
    We have done a number of split stays between Universal and Disney. We are a party of 9 (this summer) and we are doing 3 days at Universal and 6 at Disney.

    If your focus is on Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, I might suggest cutting your time at Universal down to 3 to 4 days and booking one of the three deluxe hotels to take advantage of the front of the line access (included with your hotel stay). The Royal Pacific Resort is typically your best bet for price (and it's fantastic!). We've stayed at all three, and all three are great!

    If you're also interested in going to Universal's water park - I would probably add a day (so maybe 3 days at US/IOA and 1 day at Volcano Bay).
    I'd probably do Universal First then Disney -- but that's just our preference.

    Just my 2 cents - enjoy.
  • eleda72

    Aug 4, 2014
    Thank you everyone for your replies...
    I think we have finally "landed" today and we are going to stay at POP for 10 days and 4 days at Cabana Bay with a 3 day park to park ticket :)
    Now just waiting for my TA to book it for us :)
    I am so exited for our trip :)


    Earning My Ears
    Feb 19, 2019
    Thank you everyone for your replies...
    I think we have finally "landed" today and we are going to stay at POP for 10 days and 4 days at Cabana Bay with a 3 day park to park ticket :)
    Now just waiting for my TA to book it for us :)
    I am so exited for our trip :)
    Sounds wonderful. We’ve stayed at cabana bay during the Christmas holidays and loved it. Also love POP, it was one of my moms favorites.


    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates