vacation package pricing constantly changing...

acarsme123

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Is it common when trying to price out a Universal vacation package that the price fluctuates by $200 within the same week? I tried pricing earlier in the week for a March 2020 trip at Royal Pacific, and it was $200 cheaper Monday night. But when I went to look again today, the price had gone up by $200. This is the second time I've seen this happen...it always seems to fluctuate up and down by about $200.
 

acarsme123

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I should clarify I've been searching for the same days in March each time.....
But it seems depending on the night I'm searching the total package pricing fluctuates.
 

georgina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Have you tried pricing the room and tickets separately? I've never booked a package, but as rooms get booked up the prices do go up, March is a busy time. I don't think they have a set price for the package for certain dates, as you are seeing.
 
  • damo

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2001
    Room rates fluctuate a lot depending on occupancy, so that would make your package rates fluctuate.

    I never book a package. I always book room only. Too many cancellation and change fees with packages and there is really no benefit to getting a package.
     

    Wild4Walt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2008
    Are you pricing with Airfare? That could be the issue. Airfare can change daily ( and sometimes even within the same day ).
     

    acarsme123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 5, 2015
    So i think I figured out what happened.....when I did one search for vacation packages, the package it came up with staying at Royal Pacific only had single park per day tickets priced in. I'm glad I caught this because I was ready to book thinking that they had put the deal back again. But when I caught the issue, and I changed the tickets to the park-to-park ticket option, the price went back up by the $200 fluctuation I had been seeing. Very sneaky.

    I must say, I really think Universal's website and way of booking packages is absolutely horrendous compared to Disney World. I can tell easily with Disney exactly what I'm getting for the price, and packages are much easier to put together. I also don't see why people constantly say Universal is a better value than Disney. I think it's a complete ripoff from what I've been seeing. After about 5 days Disney essentially starts giving you the park tickets for free. I also can elect to stay at a cheaper resort at Disney and still be treated with FastPass selections. My wife and I were considering staying at Disney at one of the cheaper resorts and then driving to Universal for two days if that were cheaper than staying at Universal.....the tickets alone for Universal for all 3 of us plus express pass was quoting at $1200 for two days!!!

    I know this post must sound very negative, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around Universal's price justification compared to Disney, and why everyone always touts Universal as being a better value. It's completely the opposite when I analyze everything.

    Room rates fluctuate a lot depending on occupancy, so that would make your package rates fluctuate.

    I never book a package. I always book room only. Too many cancellation and change fees with packages and there is really no benefit to getting a package.
    I only had to put down a $150 deposit ($50 per person) doing a package as opposed to over $400 if I booked the Royal Pacific directly. And everything I was reading in the cancellation policy made it sound like you got a full refund as long as you cancelled 46 days out I believe. I know I've also had a lot of people say I can find cheaper tickets on that Undercover Tourist web site....they seemed slightly cheaper, but not by much, and I'd rather have the piece of mind knowing I'm booking through the official site so there's no issues.
     
    Last edited:

    damo

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2001
    So i think I figured out what happened.....when I did one search for vacation packages, the package it came up with staying at Royal Pacific only had single park per day tickets priced in. I'm glad I caught this because I was ready to book thinking that they had put the deal back again. But when I caught the issue, and I changed the tickets to the park-to-park ticket option, the price went back up by the $200 fluctuation I had been seeing. Very sneaky.

    I must say, I really think Universal's website and way of booking packages is absolutely horrendous compared to Disney World. I can tell easily with Disney exactly what I'm getting for the price, and packages are much easier to put together. I also don't see why people constantly say Universal is a better value than Disney. I think it's a complete ripoff from what I've been seeing. After about 5 days Disney essentially starts giving you the park tickets for free. I also can elect to stay at a cheaper resort at Disney and still be treated with FastPass selections. My wife and I were considering staying at Disney at one of the cheaper resorts and then driving to Universal for two days if that were cheaper than staying at Universal.....the tickets alone for Universal for all 3 of us plus express pass was quoting at $1200 for two days!!!

    I know this post must sound very negative, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around Universal's price justification compared to Disney, and why everyone always touts Universal as being a better value. It's completely the opposite when I analyze everything.


    I only had to put down a $150 deposit ($50 per person) doing a package as opposed to over $400 if I booked the Royal Pacific directly. And everything I was reading in the cancellation policy made it sound like you got a full refund as long as you cancelled 46 days out I believe. I know I've also had a lot of people say I can find cheaper tickets on that Undercover Tourist web site....they seemed slightly cheaper, but not by much, and I'd rather have the piece of mind knowing I'm booking through the official site so there's no issues.
    Cancelling 45 days out isn't the issue, cancelling 45 days in could be.

    Depending on when you are going, consider purchasing an annual pass. It will get you big room discounts and the prices are amazing.
     
  • JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    You will have zero issues with tickets from Undercover Tourist. They are wonderful to work with. If you book a one night stay at PBH, HRH, or RPR the EP for two days are included.

    I booked through hotels.com and have modified my reservation several times when I found a better rate or needed to adjust my dates. I will say that the closer I've gotten to our trip, the higher rates have generally creeped up.

    Four my family of four, park tickets and hotel stay were much less expensive for Universal than Disney. It's one reason we are skipping Disney this trip.
     

    bumbershoot

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2007
    Most people here, at least, don’t book packages. Booking room-only and getting tickets at UCT yields nice savings IME over packages.

    After about 5 days Disney essentially starts giving you the park tickets for free.
    No they don’t. Most of us also go to Disney and know that’s not true.

    And it’s irrelevant since Uni doesn’t sell 10 day tickets.

    If you want to go longer at universal, just buy an AP.

    Looking at my trip in February. Current prices looking just now...
    5 day base tickets for universal from UCT: 262.95
    5 day base tickets for WDW from UCT: 440.36


    Basic annual pass for UO if I wanted to go longer? 304.99 plus tax. And I’d be eligible for hotel discounts with it.

    I'd rather have the piece of mind knowing I'm booking through the official site so there's no issues.
    Lol.

    UCT has gone to bat for people having issues over at Disney, when the CMs were telling lies and being ridiculous. UCT not only was incredibly responsive to the person I’m specifically thinking of, but then had meetings with Disney to clear up their lack of comprehension of tickets, value, and upgrade value.

    UCT is amazing.


    What you mention, about tickets plus EPs being expensive, is exactly why we suggest staying at a deluxe and getting hotel and EP included.
     

    bumbershoot

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2007
    And FWIW it’s normal when using an interface that’s new to you that a person might have issues.

    I rarely look at either the Disney or universal package booking interfaces, and I therefore have troubles with both.

    Disney assumes I want tickets for a certain amount of days and I have to remember to read the page and choose what I want. Same with Universal Vacations.

    I have to read the page. Every time I go through. Either one.

    I had a feeling that the fluctuations you were seeing were because of that, but couldn’t figure out how to say it lol. Glad you realized the issue.
     

    TommyJK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2015
    So i think I figured out what happened.....when I did one search for vacation packages, the package it came up with staying at Royal Pacific only had single park per day tickets priced in. I'm glad I caught this because I was ready to book thinking that they had put the deal back again. But when I caught the issue, and I changed the tickets to the park-to-park ticket option, the price went back up by the $200 fluctuation I had been seeing. Very sneaky.

    I must say, I really think Universal's website and way of booking packages is absolutely horrendous compared to Disney World. I can tell easily with Disney exactly what I'm getting for the price, and packages are much easier to put together. I also don't see why people constantly say Universal is a better value than Disney. I think it's a complete ripoff from what I've been seeing. After about 5 days Disney essentially starts giving you the park tickets for free. I also can elect to stay at a cheaper resort at Disney and still be treated with FastPass selections. My wife and I were considering staying at Disney at one of the cheaper resorts and then driving to Universal for two days if that were cheaper than staying at Universal.....the tickets alone for Universal for all 3 of us plus express pass was quoting at $1200 for two days!!!

    I know this post must sound very negative, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around Universal's price justification compared to Disney, and why everyone always touts Universal as being a better value. It's completely the opposite when I analyze everything.


    I only had to put down a $150 deposit ($50 per person) doing a package as opposed to over $400 if I booked the Royal Pacific directly. And everything I was reading in the cancellation policy made it sound like you got a full refund as long as you cancelled 46 days out I believe. I know I've also had a lot of people say I can find cheaper tickets on that Undercover Tourist web site....they seemed slightly cheaper, but not by much, and I'd rather have the piece of mind knowing I'm booking through the official site so there's no issues.
    Having not used either Universal's or Disney's site to book anything in quite some time, I figured I'd try both out to see how different they are, and what prices were like to compare things.

    Seeing as it appears you were looking to book one night at RPR in March for a couple of days in the park (unless I read things incorrectly in your first post) I gave the following a shot on the Unversal site:

    - Went to the site, clicked to book a package, entered the date for a one night stay with tickets (I picked March 11th for my one night). I picked all hotels to search (as opposed to RPR as the all hotels is the default). Entered in number of people and the ages of 2 kids.
    - On the results page, it gave me first the option of Endless Summer, and it noted it comes with 2, 3 Park, Park to Park tickets, as well as noting the early entry for a total of $1,655.41. But knowing you're looking at RPR I just scrolled down to that option which noted $1,936.64 and ialso happened to note in it "FREE* Universal Express Unlimited ride access to SKIP THE REGULAR LINES!" So everything seems pretty straight forward so far.
    - When I clicked on "Select" for that, it then allowed me to select my room type for various different prices (i.e. standard room said + $0. And then it showed the up-charge for different other room types like Water View, club access etc.). So far, so good I'd say. So I just picked the standard room and it gave me quick summary. Showed the same price ($1,936.64) and listed 4 quick summary items:

    • Hotel – Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Wed, Mar 11 to Thu, Mar 12
    • Add-on – 3-Park 2-Day Park to Park Ticket
    • Add-on – Early Park Admission
    • Add-on – FREE Universal Express Unlimited ride access

    - So from here I could easily just go to checkout, or I could scroll down and change the types of tickets if I wanted to, but I didn't see anything "sneaky" going on there? It would clearly state where the other option I would select was a "Base" ticket or "Park to Park" ticket, or "Single Park" ticket.
    - So in the end I could get to checkout in as little as 3 steps (or a couple more if you are messing around with changing ticket types or adding other options)

    Now doing the same on Disney:

    - Start out by selecting dates and members going. Select "All Resorts" (so pretty much the same step as Universal).
    - Then it took me to the hotel selection option (same as Universal's site). First option it gave me was "Pop Century". I decided to just go with that (even though it's a Value resort as opposed to what I picked to Universal which was a Deluxe resort for RPR)
    - Then in my own experience it got "difficult" I would say as once I picked a hotel, My next option was to choose between "Room", "Package" or "Special Offer" for "2020 Gift of Magic Room Offer". Great, special offer so I'll pick that! So I pick my room type, but when I get to the next step to pick tickets, the only options I get are "No Tickets" or 4 day tickets or more. I had not option to select a 2-Day ticket.
    - I'm guessing I couldn't buy 2 days tickets with the "Special Offer" but nowhere did it say that anywhere. Not even sure it's true?
    - So I had to go back, pick "Package" instead and it would allow me to pick 2 day tickets. So I did that and it allowed me to proceed how I wanted.
    - The subsequent steps for other add-ons were the same pretty much as Universal.
    - Total package price was $1604. If I pick a Deluxe resort more in line with RPR (Cheapest I could choose was Animal Kingdom) and re-do the steps, my total comes to nearly identical to what I picked for Universal.

    So my experience on the above is that Both the selection process was about the same (But Disney's was worse in this specific attempt because the default "Special Offer" wouldn't let me pick the park tickets I wanted and wouldn't explain why), and the prices when comparing similar quality hotels was almost identical.
     
    Last edited:
  • damo

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2001
    Having not used either Universal's or Disney's site to book anything in quite some time, I figured I'd try both out to see how different they are, and what prices were like to compare things.

    Seeing as it appears you were looking to book one night at RPR in March for a couple of days in the park (unless I read things incorrectly in your first post) I gave the following a shot on the Unversal site:

    - Went to the site, clicked to book a package, entered the date for a one night stay with tickets (I picked March 11th for my one night). I picked all hotels to search (as opposed to RPR as the all hotels is the default). Entered in number of people and the ages of 2 kids.
    - On the results page, it gave me first the option of Endless Summer, and it noted it comes with 2, 3 Park, Park to Park tickets, as well as noting the early entry for a total of $1,655.41. But knowing you're looking at RPR I just scrolled down to that option which noted $1,936.64 and ialso happened to note in it "FREE* Universal Express Unlimited ride access to SKIP THE REGULAR LINES!" So everything seems pretty straight forward so far.
    - When I clicked on "Select" for that, it then allowed me to select my room type for various different prices (i.e. standard room said + $0. And then it showed the up-charge for different other room types like Water View, club access etc.). So far, so good I'd say. So I just picked the standard room and it gave me quick summary. Showed the same price ($1,936.64) and listed 4 quick summary items:

    • Hotel – Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Wed, Mar 11 to Thu, Mar 12
    • Add-on – 3-Park 2-Day Park to Park Ticket
    • Add-on – Early Park Admission
    • Add-on – FREE Universal Express Unlimited ride access

    - So from here I could easily just go to checkout, or I could scroll down and change the types of tickets if I wanted to, but I didn't see anything "sneaky" going on there? It would clearly state where the other option I would select was a "Base" ticket or "Park to Park" ticket, or "Single Park" ticket.
    - So in the end I could get to checkout in as little as 3 steps (or a couple more if you are messing around with changing ticket types or adding other options)

    Now doing the same on Disney:

    - Start out by selecting dates and members going. Select "All Resorts" (so pretty much the same step as Universal).
    - Then it took me to the hotel selection option (same as Universal's site). First option it gave me was "Pop Century". I decided to just go with that (even though it's a Value resort as opposed to what I picked to Universal which was a Deluxe resort for RPR)
    - Then in my own experience it got "difficult" I would say as once I picked a hotel, My next option was to choose between "Room", "Package" or "Special Offer" for "2020 Gift of Magic Room Offer". Great, special offer so I'll pick that! So I pick my room type, but when I get to the next step to pick tickets, the only options I get are "No Tickets" or 4 day tickets or more. I had not option to select a 2-Day ticket.
    - I'm guessing I couldn't buy 2 days tickets with the "Special Offer" but nowhere did it say that anywhere. Not even sure it's true?
    - So I had to go back, pick "Package" instead and it would allow me to pick 2 day tickets. So I did that and it allowed me to proceed how I wanted.
    - The subsequent steps for other add-ons were the same pretty much as Universal.
    - Total package price was $1604. If I pick a Deluxe resort more in line with RPR (Cheapest I could choose was Animal Kingdom) and re-do the steps, my total comes to nearly identical to what I picked for Universal.

    So my experience on the above is that Both the selection process was about the same (But Disney's was worse in this specific attempt because the default "Special Offer" wouldn't let me pick the park tickets I wanted and wouldn't explain why), and the prices when comparing similar quality hotels was almost identical.
    I wonder what the price difference was if you picked a WDW hotel that was within walking distance to a park or on the monorail?
     

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