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  1. #21
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    On our last two vacations we visited Universal parks in addition to our Disney vacation. Last time we stayed at the Royal Pacific for the front-of-line and early entry perks and LOVED the hotel. We were so impressed with its beauty and pools, and the service was top-notch. If the Hard Rock is the same quality, you won't be disappointed staying there.

    We were pleasantly surprised the first time we visited Universal parks. We felt the theming and service was on par with Disney. However, we did almost everything we wanted to in one day at both Universal parks. If you're staying onsite, you could easily do everything in two days.

    Also, as you're paying for parking at the Hard Rock per day, you'll also have to pay for parking when you visit Disney parks. That will cost you $18 per night at the Hard Rock and $15 per day at Disney. If you split your vacation and stay at a Disney hotel for Disney park days, you won't have to pay for hotel parking or Disney theme park parking either. If you stay at the Hard Rock the whole time, added up, parking fees may tack on over a hundred dollars to your vacation.
    Many visits over 35+ years!
    DVC member since 2004 (SSR)

    Stayed at: Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Dolphin, PO Riverside, AS Sports, AS Movies, Saratoga, Vero Beach, Hilton Head, Aulani, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian.

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  3. #22
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    May 2003
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    Glad to hear you enjoyed Royal Pacific so much Aurora, that is where we are staying on our Universal portion of our trip in a couple of weeks.

    We have spent days at Universal on past trips but have never stayed on site. Really looking forward to it.

    Recent Trips:
    -OKW Aug 16 - Aug 23 / Royal Pacific Resort Universal Studios Aug 23 - Aug 26, 2013
    -Universal Studios Hard Rock Hotel Nov 14 - Nov 18, 2014
    -Saratoga Springs June 11 -18 2016

    Next Trip:
    -Port Orleans Riverside / Saratoga Springs Sept 8 - 17, 2017

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgmnut View Post
    Glad to hear you enjoyed Royal Pacific so much Aurora, that is where we are staying on our Universal portion of our trip in a couple of weeks.

    We have spent days at Universal on past trips but have never stayed on site. Really looking forward to it.
    You will love it. It was easily one of the nicest hotels we've ever stayed at! Don't miss the pool -- it's gorgeous, with beach chairs in the sand and palm trees, poolside bar, so relaxing!

    The restaurants are great too, and it's a leisurely walk to IOA.
    Many visits over 35+ years!
    DVC member since 2004 (SSR)

    Stayed at: Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Dolphin, PO Riverside, AS Sports, AS Movies, Saratoga, Vero Beach, Hilton Head, Aulani, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian.

  5. #24
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    I haven't stayed at universal so won't comment on the hotels. However, I did price the rooms plus the extra charges for a 3 night 4 day stay. Just to give a little perspective, staying at WDW I would be getting 2 rooms at a mod (so DD and fiance could have a little privacy and for 2 bathrooms). At universal I looked at getting 2 rooms, way to costly, then 1 bedroom with sofa sleeper, then 1 room with 2 bedrooms. While I don't have the figures in front of me I do remember noting that with all the extra charges I could stay in a dulex at WDW or spend a week at a mod at WDW. The prices at universal only look better if you don't pay for parking, also if you want to park hop at universal that isn't included in the tickets that come with the room so that is another charge. So after all this I looked at staying offsite near universal, still have to pay to park at their theme parks or be at the mercy of hotel shuttles. Just another consideration you have to pay to park at the hotels near universal. After considering my options decided to just stay at WDW and drive to universal.
    Back to OP's question if you can afford it and it will keep peace in the family do the universal as I am sure they are very nice hotels. Maybe you could make a deal to stay at WDW next trip.
    Three years in Connecticut and loving it
    Next trip in Jan 2017 I hope!

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Bus Driver View Post
    I haven't stayed at universal so won't comment on the hotels. However, I did price the rooms plus the extra charges for a 3 night 4 day stay. Just to give a little perspective, staying at WDW I would be getting 2 rooms at a mod (so DD and fiance could have a little privacy and for 2 bathrooms). At universal I looked at getting 2 rooms, way to costly, then 1 bedroom with sofa sleeper, then 1 room with 2 bedrooms. While I don't have the figures in front of me I do remember noting that with all the extra charges I could stay in a dulex at WDW or spend a week at a mod at WDW. The prices at universal only look better if you don't pay for parking, also if you want to park hop at universal that isn't included in the tickets that come with the room so that is another charge. So after all this I looked at staying offsite near universal, still have to pay to park at their theme parks or be at the mercy of hotel shuttles. Just another consideration you have to pay to park at the hotels near universal. After considering my options decided to just stay at WDW and drive to universal.
    Back to OP's question if you can afford it and it will keep peace in the family do the universal as I am sure they are very nice hotels. Maybe you could make a deal to stay at WDW next trip.
    You can sometimes get a AAA rate on the room, and Loews offers discounts on some dates and packages as well (usually with a three-night stay). Check out the Mousesavers.com website for details on Universal hotel discounts.
    Many visits over 35+ years!
    DVC member since 2004 (SSR)

    Stayed at: Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Dolphin, PO Riverside, AS Sports, AS Movies, Saratoga, Vero Beach, Hilton Head, Aulani, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian.

  7. #26
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    You are better off staying on Disney property and using a shuttle or car service or renting a car to drive to Universal. Universal hotels charge for parking your car while you are a guest at their hotel. Something about that rubs me the wrong way, especially when Disney provides complimentary bus service from the airport and delivers your bags to your room for you. That's just my opinion.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Bus Driver View Post
    I haven't stayed at universal so won't comment on the hotels. However, I did price the rooms plus the extra charges for a 3 night 4 day stay. Just to give a little perspective, staying at WDW I would be getting 2 rooms at a mod (so DD and fiance could have a little privacy and for 2 bathrooms). At universal I looked at getting 2 rooms, way to costly, then 1 bedroom with sofa sleeper, then 1 room with 2 bedrooms. While I don't have the figures in front of me I do remember noting that with all the extra charges I could stay in a dulex at WDW or spend a week at a mod at WDW. The prices at universal only look better if you don't pay for parking, also if you want to park hop at universal that isn't included in the tickets that come with the room so that is another charge. So after all this I looked at staying offsite near universal, still have to pay to park at their theme parks or be at the mercy of hotel shuttles. Just another consideration you have to pay to park at the hotels near universal. After considering my options decided to just stay at WDW and drive to universal.
    Back to OP's question if you can afford it and it will keep peace in the family do the universal as I am sure they are very nice hotels. Maybe you could make a deal to stay at WDW next trip.
    Park Hopping is not included when staying at Disney Hotels either. You have to pay extra for that also.

    What people who have not stayed on Universal property are missing is that all three of Universal Hotels are deluxe not moderate. So if you want to compare Disney prices to Universal prices you must look at the Poly & Grand to be looking at apples to apples. Anything else is not an accurate comparision.

    Also, FOTL access all day long is a huge perk as is not having to take transportation to get to a park. That alone saves you at least an hour to two hours everyday if you park hop.

    The only thing that does bother me at Universal is paying for parking, but we travel a lot and most of the better hotels charge for parking.

    For people who are bothered by the parking charge.....here is what we do.....we don't get our rental car until we are checking out of the hotel.....while at Universal you do not need a car at all....everything is a very easy and short walk. We never pay for parking and the hotels have a Hertz counter right in their lobbies. Plus other rental car companies will pick you up from the Universal Hotels and bring you to their cars.
    Rita (aka NJGIRL)

  9. #28
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    Your right I should have said in my post that I always included parkhopping in the cost of a Disney trip. Also I should have mentioned that in 2014 Universal will have a value/moderate. So once again I will be pricing a vacation there. You are also right that Universal hotels are not the only ones to charge for parking, years ago when I took my first trip to WDW I did a comparison onsite vs offsite the little extras like parking costs got me to try staying onsite. I have also looked into renting a villa or condo offsite for a large group if I were taking 7 or 8 that would be a way to go. 3/4 bedrooms 2/3 bathrooms a full kitchen and usually a pool. However DD feels differently she has always stayed onsite and really enjoys it. So now I have decided to go with DVC which will keep everyone in my group happy and help keep costs reasonable, at least for me. I know everyone has their opinions about DVC. And I will say to OP do what makes since to you and yours. What will make you happy, and relax its a vacation
    Three years in Connecticut and loving it
    Next trip in Jan 2017 I hope!

  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJGIRL View Post
    Also, FOTL access all day long is a huge perk as is not having to take transportation to get to a park. That alone saves you at least an hour to two hours everyday if you park hop.
    This is true, and if you're staying at Disney and plan to purchase a FOTL pass at Universal, that is a big additional cost per person. Plus, if you're buying the pass, you only get one FOTL privilege for each attraction that offers it, as opposed to unlimited FOTL privileges if you stay at a Univeral hotel. So yet another thing to consider.

    IMHO, if you're planning to visit Universal and Disney, split stays are the most cost-effective!
    Many visits over 35+ years!
    DVC member since 2004 (SSR)

    Stayed at: Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Dolphin, PO Riverside, AS Sports, AS Movies, Saratoga, Vero Beach, Hilton Head, Aulani, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian.

  11. #30
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    Mar 2013
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    Default WDW or Universal?

    We have stayed at both Disney and Universal and although we thought the Universal was very nice my husband and I both agreed it's missing the Disney Magic
    2015 - All Star Sports
    2013 - All Star Music
    2012 - Universal (Royal Pacific)
    2010 - Caribbean Beach
    2009 - Caribbean Beach
    2006 - All Star Sports
    2005 - All Star Sports
    2004 - All Star Sports
    2003 - All Star Sports
    1999 - Fort Wilderness

  12. #31
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    I actually think we got a pretty good deal for our package at Royal Pacific, it didn't really break the bank to add it on to the end of our trip. There are 4 of us and each got 2 day passes, no hopper. We kept it basic, a standard room, no special views. FOTL access was the key factor! As others have said, if you stay offsite you have to buy express pass with only 1 FOTL access each ride, or buy the VIP pass which gives offsite guests unlimited access at a heafty cost. We did VIP 2 years ago, but considering how busy it was and wait times we avoided, still glad I did.

    I think we will enjoy the convienience of visiting and staying onsite, being within walking distance of the parks. We have done the drive back and forth before, getting a rental mid week for a couple of days. At the end of the day you still have to drive. This way we either just walk or hop on the shuttle boat.

    We are avoiding parking fees by using Quicksilver Towncar Service to go from Disney to Universal, and then Universal to MCO a few days later. Using DME to OKW on arrival.
    Between the cost of a rental car and daily parking, Towncar Service is still cheaper.

    Recent Trips:
    -OKW Aug 16 - Aug 23 / Royal Pacific Resort Universal Studios Aug 23 - Aug 26, 2013
    -Universal Studios Hard Rock Hotel Nov 14 - Nov 18, 2014
    -Saratoga Springs June 11 -18 2016

    Next Trip:
    -Port Orleans Riverside / Saratoga Springs Sept 8 - 17, 2017

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