Universal/WDW split stay? Easiest way?


DIS Veteran
May 3, 2011
Looking to do a split now that our oldest will be 12 and the Disney rides are just not cutting it for her. For those that do a split, what is the cheapest way to do this for a 7 night trip? Would like to spend most of our time at WDW but at least 2 Universal park days. Open to all suggestions.


DIS Veteran
Jan 27, 2016
3 park days is best at Universal (4 if you want to go to the awesome Volcano Bay!). Many feel like after the pace of Disney and the constant need to schedule that being at Universal (especially if you stay at a deluxe with Express Passes), it's like a vacation after a trip to Disney.


Jan 4, 2009
We are doing a Saturday to the following Sunday trip. Saturday-Friday morning at Disney (6 nights) and Friday-Sunday at Universal (2 nights). We aren’t planning on doing too much at Universal outside of the Harry Potter section as we are traveling with my niece and nephew who are 6 and 8 and obsessed with Harry Potter. We will probably do a Disney Park on Friday morning and hit Universal on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. We will be staying on-site at each park.

You may want to do 6 nights at Disney and 1 at Universal. That way you take advantage of the early entry at Universal and if you stay at a Premier hotel, the express pass.
  • Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Mar 12, 2016
    If you plan on doing two days at Universal, you can at the minimum book night day at Hard Rock, Royal Pacific, or Portofino for the benefit of not only staying on property and getting early entry, but also unlimited EP, as the benefits are included not only check-in, but also check-out date.


    DIS Veteran
    Jun 2, 2014
    My husband and I have done it "on the cheap" which is not really cheap at all:) We thought one day an the Stuidios side would be enough for us, so we taxied over, spent the day with EP's, and back. We did most of what we wanted to do in the Studios and HP but felt that we were missing a lot. It does cost a lot for one day tickets for one park with EP's but we did it.
    Then we decided to do what the above poster said, that is stay overnight at RPR and get 2 days of early entry and free EP's for 2 days. We only bought the tickets. We loved doing it that way. Either way is expensive IMO, but it is a wonderful place to see and experience. I would love to do a Universal trip only, but haven't convinced my husband yet:)


    DIS Veteran
    Nov 1, 2006
    My advice, if you're staying at one of the deluxe hotels at Universal (Royal Pacific, Hard Rock or Portofino Bay) is to do the Universal portion of the trip at the end. We did it at the beginning and my children were then really unhappy with the rides and lines at Disney. They kept wanting to go back to Universal for the "cool" rides and no lines.
  • soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Jun 22, 2012
    We almost always do split stays. For 7 nights, we would stay 2 or 3 nights at a Universal onsite deluxe hotel, to get the included unlimited Express Pass, and the rest onsite at WDW. We usually rent a car at the airport and return it there. Due to scheduling of WDW AM Extra Magic Hours, we usually do Universal first. However, since Universal is more relaxing and less planning, I prefer to do it last. Plus, it's closer to the airport for your return trip home. If you do WDW first, then you could use DME from the airport and rent a car near WDW to get to Universal and the airport. Universal hotels do charge for parking. When we do Universal first, I like to spend the last morning there at the parks and then head to Disney Springs in the evening for shopping, food, and The Void. That way you don't have to buy another park ticket for WDW. If you want only 2 Universal park days, then you could just stay 1 night at a deluxe hotel and get the Express Pass for your arrival and departure days. You have to checkin to the hotel first though. You might not get 2 full park days doing this due to travel time. Onsite Universal hotel guests get Early Entry. This is pretty much only for the Wizarding World. Depending upon which park has it and how Hagrid's is operating, you could use it for that. The rest of the Wizarding World has Express Pass. However, I like doing the interactive wand stuff during Early Entry when it's not busy.

    Check out how much you might save on the Universal hotel with an Annual Pass. They are much cheaper than Disney's. You can find the link to rates on the following thread.



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