We have never stayed off site and I need help

alljess11

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
I am planning a Disney/Universal trip Jan 10-18 with DH and two adult (22) DD. We have never stayed off site and we have never been to Universal. DH does not want to drive a lot and we might even try to just do urber and lyft, (also never did these but my daughters have). I'd like a place to stay with two bedrooms and a kitchen. Is there anywhere midway between Disney and Universal? I am feeling so out of my element in planning this and we have also never gone in January so I am also worried about weather. I need help......
 

mjhtvchick

Universal Fan-atic
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
I am planning a Disney/Universal trip Jan 10-18 with DH and two adult (22) DD. We have never stayed off site and we have never been to Universal. DH does not want to drive a lot and we might even try to just do urber and lyft, (also never did these but my daughters have). I'd like a place to stay with two bedrooms and a kitchen. Is there anywhere midway between Disney and Universal? I am feeling so out of my element in planning this and we have also never gone in January so I am also worried about weather. I need help......
There are quite a few places to chose from - to help narrow it down a bit:

- where have you stayed on previous trips? (just to get a sense of your "style")
- about how many days do you plan to go to Universal?
- about how many days do you plan to go to Disney? What parks?
- anywhere else you plan to go? - other parks, waterparks, shopping malls?
- do you prefer something that feels more like a hotel/resort or more like a home?
- do the type/variety of onsite amenities (pool, bars, restaurants) mean much to you?
- if you were leaning more towards the "home" style - would you lean more towards a condo, townhouse, or full house?
 

alljess11

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
Okay, we have stayed at the following--Pop, Port Orleans, Coronado, Poly--and as you might guess the Poly was our favorite. I think we are doing 2-3 days at Universal and so 4-5 at Disney. We'd go to all the parks at Disney. We have always just done Disney from the magic express to and from the airport and never left. This should be our last family trip to Disney now that my twins will be 23 and almost college graduates. That is one reason I am thinking off site as I 'd like to have something with two bedrooms instead of us all staying in the same room. Amenities are not that important and I guess I want a kitchen..I don't really want to have to cook but at least we'd have some food for mornings and evenings. Any info would be great so thanks in advance for any advice.
 
  • Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    Why not stay at one of the many good hotels in the area that are NOT LINKED to Disney / Universal Guests .

    They are there ... look them up . Then you can have 2 or 3 bedrooms at good rates ... most are near good

    eating places ..... .

    Then your transport can be your choice
     

    alljess11

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2015
    I agree and if I knew what the good ones were I'd be all over it but I don't and I am not sure if there are any that are located conveniently between the two parks.
     

    kathy884

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2009
    I like to rent timeshare condos from owners if I am doing a Fri-Fri, Sat-Sat or Sun-Sun stay for a great deal on sites like Redweek.com or TUG2.net classified ads section, and FYI (uber/lyft is really easy). If it is a shorter stay, I often pay a lot more per night and do retail rentals at the same places or some place like a Residence Inn, but quality is still great and you get so much more for your money than onsite Disney.

    Here are some places that I have stayed and liked:

    Closer to Disney, but it's only a 1/2 hour to get to Universal
    -- Cypress Pointe Resort and Cypress Point Grand Villas (close to Downtown Disney and tons of restaurants, etc) -- they have lots of three bedroom/three bath condos. You can even walk to some food options. If you do this you might want to do the three bedrooms with the two masters and the two bedroom has a pretty small bedroom with just a double bed. There is a pull out bed too, though. You know what would work for you.
    --Sheraton Vistana Resort (down the road from Cypress Pointe) no any restaurants you can walk too, but some food options onsite (very nice two bedroom/two bath condos). Lots of activities -- They have little man made ponds so your patio or balcony will usually have a water view. You could have the master. Your 22 year olds could have the other spacious bedroom (two doubles).

    Very close to Universal -- 1/2 hour to get to Disney
    The Sunshine Resort -- condo itself super nice and a fabulous huge balcony (incredible). Didn't like the surrounding area as much. Had a thrill park you could walk to. Similar setup to the Vistana with bedrooms.

    Between Disney and Universal (by SeaWorld) -- We usually do SeaWorld, so like staying in this area. There are not a lot of restaurant options as close, but your distance between Universal and Disney is pretty equidistant.
    --Hilton Grand Vacation Club SeaWorld - great timeshare two bedroom condos (walking distance to SeaWorld, which I realize is not on your list)
    -- Of if you prefer a hotel, we on short stays have liked the Marriott Residence Inn SeaWorld (You can get two bedrooms). This has a king bedroom and a double queen bedroom and common area with mini kitchen. It's not as spacious and doesn't have a balcony or patio like the timeshares, but includes breakfast every day, has a restaurant there, etc. and fine pool area with hot tub. Grounds aren't as stunning or spacious as the timeshares, but this is a nice place.

    These are the properties we picked on our last five Orlando trips. We like multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, space to spread out and can recommend all of these.

    Here's one I haven't done before. It is a little more out of the way, so probably not as good a choice for you. We are getting a three bedroom/three bath here though for two nights in February (doing one day at the Magic Kingdom for about eight hours and having Orlando relatives come over to our condo and will order pizza and salad for dinner). After the mini stay we are doing a cruise on one of the big RCCL ships out of Port Canaveral. Anyway, to change things up are staying at this one: Grand Beach Phase I

    Uber and Lyft are easy to do in Orlando and our next super mini stay we are doing that vs. renting a car. Renting a care is usually less expensive, but uber / lyft is not too bad to budget if you don't like to drive in Orlando (I like driving there less and less these days, so am doing uber and lyft a lot more).
     
    Last edited:

    mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    Have a look at the two Sheraton Vistana properties - the "Villages" location on International Drive is about 15 min from both Disney Springs and Universal property. The "Villas" location is still about 15 min from Universal but only about 10 min from Disney Springs. You could also have a look at Floridays Resort which is also on International Drive and very close to the Vineland Ave Orlando Premium Outlets.
     
  • alljess11

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2015
    Thank you both! This give me a lot of options to look into and a little more focus. I was looking at Floridays Resorts but the reviews go from really great to really bad so that was making me a little nervous. Again I feel a little more focused in my search so thanks a lot.
     

    bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi I just did my first off site in a long time. We did Discovery Cove and the Sea World Parks, and then to a Disney resort. I agree one of the Sheraton Vistana resorts could be a good option. I stayed at the Sheraton Vistana in Lake Buena Vista in June and we loved it. I know Bonnet Creek gets a lot of good reviews as well as the Marriott Cypress I believe. We are planning on staying at the Vistana again, we had a great time. It is a very large resort but not hard to get around.

    https://www.disboards.com/threads/the-sheraton-vistana-resort-thread.3148502/page-99#post-60889700 This is a good thread to look at. I also posted a small trip report on here last month.

    Good luck
     

    cpfolk

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2011
    We recently stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott-Lake Buena Vista. It is situated between WDW and Universal. We chose the hotel because we needed a two bedroom/two bathroom suite. For four nights, the cost with parking was less than $700. It was convenient to get to the parks, and it had an awesome complimentary breakfast buffet each morning. After three visits staying on property, we found this hotel to be a pleasant surprise.
     

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