Upcoming trip in February...how to prepare/questions?

ExcessiveIdling

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Edit: I've done some forum searching and the answers I have found I have placed in bold if the answers are not correct please advise

Greetings!

Me, my wife and 10 year old daughter have an upcoming trip Feb 14th through the 18th. The last time my wife and I were there was about 10 years ago without our daughter. I ended up doing the recent promotion but also tagged in an annual pass for myself which helped reduce the price even lower. I have a few questions I'm hoping anyone would be able to answer. So without further ado in nor particular order:

Travel questions:
We'll be flying Spirit (had the best flight times for our schedule) so I'm wondering what needs to be done in order to actually get on the plane? I.e. How do I get my tickets? How do we expedite our 'adventure' through tsa? What else may have changed since our PRE covid visit? We are all fully vaccinated.

When we arrive at MCO as we are taking the universal studios superstar bus, do we need to grab our checked luggage or does the bus take care of that? we have to get our own luggage

If anyone happens to know, what is the 'standard procedure' after getting off the plane at MCO with the superstar bus?

Resort/Universal studios IoA questions(staying at cabana bay poolside):
Where do I get my annual pass as well as my wife and daughters tickets? (we bought them all already as part of the package and did opt for park to park)

Is front desk the best place to go to get our room information?

I've opted for a poolside view, are there any sections that are better/closer to the main entrance and/or bus pickup drop off to get to the parks I should request? Americana section as per forums seems to be the 'best' for proximity

I've also purchased an unlimited express pass for the 17th. Knowing its Mardi Gras, but middle of the week how busy could it be?

General Questions:
How is the weather this time of year? Coming from ohio I'm figuring florida will be warmer but curious as to if we'd be in the rainy season (I know Florida is ALWAYS rainy...but wondering if worse...we lucked out with no rain our last trip there)

Any additional tips to make this well needed vacation for two hospital workers and a daughter who's never been on a plane or to any park short of Cedar Point?

Much appreciated for ANY additional information, tips, constructive criticism or even some sarcasm lol

Be safe all!
 
Last edited:

CAPSLOCK

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
There should be a separate ticket desk at CBBR to pick up your AP / tickets.

Went that week 2018. Weather was perfect! Rained about 2hrs in 10 days, highs mid 70s to very low 80s. Crowds also high, much more so than I expected mid-week.
 
  • bchbetha

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    I wish you had asked us before you booked all the things. :) The shuttle is overpriced. You could have done a car service (like Tony Hinds), Uber, Lyft or taxi and gotten door to door service (no stopping at other hotels, no waiting for other passengers) for less money. If your booking is refundable, consider that. Saving time and money is always a good thing. :)

    When Spirit flights go well, they are fine. Just read up on all of the fees and make sure that your luggage etc. isn't going to cause the cost to increase. When the flights go badly, they can be a big problem. They don't have deals with other airlines if their flights get cancelled. And they don't always operate every day on some routes so a cancellation could mean traveling more than a day later, if things go badly. But, we'll stay optimistic!

    For that many days, i probably would have skipped EPs or opted to stay at a different hotel (or book a throwaway room at one of them). But, that money is spent so I will just wish you lots of fun!

    We've been then before and it has been chilly. No rain, just chilly. If you have some of those cheapie stretchy gloves, toss them in your suitcase. It was 38 degrees in the morning for early entry and only got to mid 50s. We wound up quickly buying some Harry Potter hats for extra warmth. Hopefully you will have better weather but do come prepared for a chill. Even 50s felt warm in the sun but once the sun went down it was chilly!

    Tip? Before you spend anymore money, ask questions over on the main Universal page. This one is in the hotel section. We can help you plan and spend money where it needs to be spent.

    Oh, and book some lunch reservations some days. It'll be nice to have no lines for food/ tables. Or book some dinners in CityWalk. :)
     

    GoofyDad_4427

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2017
    I've also purchased an unlimited express pass for the 17th. Knowing its Mardi Gras, but middle of the week how busy could it be?
    It sounds like your purchase is already complete, but if it isn't, you may want to look at booking a throwaway room at one of the resorts that offers the free express passes. If you book one night at the resort, you get free express passes for BOTH check-in and check-out days. So for example, if you paid ~$300 for the express passes for one day, but instead could book a room for one night at Royal Pacific for ~$300, by booking the room instead you'd actually get express passes for 2 days. People call it a throwaway room because they don't actually use the room so they don't have to move all their stuff, they just use it for the express pass perks.
     

    ExcessiveIdling

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2015
    Thank you all for the information so far. Just wanted to toss out a good news update!

    After reading these comments yesterday, this morning I called universal and called to see what my options would be to upgrade to a premium resort for just a day and then cabana for the rest. While on the phone with Universal I instead asked what it would cost to just upgrade for the whole trip.

    Update: NOW staying at Loews Royal Pacific Resort!

    I thought it was going to be about $600 or so more based upon manually pricing it out on the website but instead we’re actually get a little bit of money back! I believe between 1. Cancelling the shuttle bus (ty for the advice!) and 2. Getting 1 annual pass we were able to do this! Now I just have to hope the flight goes well as well as luggage and get an Uber and we should be all set!

    Any information on Uber/Lyft or any other transportation from MCO to Royal Pacific for the Feb 14th-Feb 18th time frame?

    Again ty all for all the information so far!
     

    CAPSLOCK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2017
    It's Orlando - Uber/Lyft drivers are crazy plentiful. Figure roughly 5 min wait after you request a driver - it may be more (about 10min was the most I waited, on I-Drive on Halloween evening) but you pretty much want to be ready when you hit the button. It was literally 1min at a Universal Hotel once, the Uber driver was just sitting in the parking lot waiting.
     

    CAPSLOCK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2017
    Also - random tip - be aware that the 2 water rides (Popeye barges & Dudley Doright log flume) will leave you soaked through to the undergarments. They're a lot of fun, just plan accordingly. Jurassic Park River Adventure will get you spritzed to wet on the top half, but generally not anywhere near as wet as the other two - we'll ride JP pretty much any time but plan a dedicated "drenched" time for the other 2.
     
  • PoohNFriends

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2010
    Glad to hear you were able to adjust your trip w/some tips from here!
    We flew Spirit to Jamaica in Oct. We were very nervous, bc we had a stop in Fort Lauderdale so another chance for something to go wrong. But we made it there & back w/just a 1/2 delay on our final leg.
    Verify what you must pay for ahead of time vs what the website recommends you pay for since their fees can really add up. Checked bag weights are 40 or 50 lbs depending on what you buy.
    Download the app to have electronic tickets or you should be able to print them. You'll likely check in at your airport using a Spirit kiosk, tag your bags, then drop off. Going thru TSA won't be any different.
    When you get to MCO, get your bags then go to the ride share doors, request pick-up using Uber or Lyft; both are equally plentiful at MCO.
    Your express passes will be part of your room keys. I'm not sure where you get park tix thru a package, but RPR should have a ticket desk so you don't have to use guest services at the park entrance.
    Being in the hospital setting, I'm sure you're well-versed on covid & masks. I bought us a pack of kn95 for adults & k94 for my 3 yo since cloth & medical masks aren't as protective right now.
     


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