Planning a Universal Trip and need a bit of advice

Thursday, August 28, 2014 7:30 PM

I'm planning a spur of the moment (kind of) trip to Universal the first week in November since I scored a round trip ticket on Frontier from CVG to Orlando for $75 total and am trying to decide on a hotel. My wife and I are currently comparing the newer Cabanas to the Royal Pacific. If we ended up staying at the Cabanas and buying the basic express pass it would be $140 cheaper than staying at the Royal Pacific with the included unlimited express pass. For those that have stayed at both or have knowledge of them, is it worth $140 to stay at the higher rated Royal Pacific?

Speaking of express passes, does anybody know how the crowds are at Universal the first week of November? If the crowds are typically light and the express passes aren't needed I think that would make our decision. Thank you to anyone that has input on this.

On a side note it rubs me raw that Universal still charges you for parking when you are staying on sight. If anybody knows a way around that problem I'm all ears :)

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Thursday, August 28, 2014 8:02 PM

I'm with you with the on-site hotel parking fees!

The first week of November should be pretty light crowds and a really great time to go! Halloween Horror Nights extends into that very first week of November, but the big crowds will be at night during the actual event. If you're not opposed to doing single rider, I would skip the express passes for sure

As for the hotel, is that $140 more a night or total stay? And at Cabana Bay is it a normal room or one of the suites? If the $140 more is total, it might be nice to go for that so you do have that perk of unlimited express, especially if it is just a standard room at Cabana Bay.

Last edited by JulieSFO, Thursday, August 28, 2014 8:08 PM
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Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:35 PM

It is $140 total. However if we opt not to buy the express pass it is really more like a $340 swing.

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Friday, August 29, 2014 7:51 AM

I found the best rate for Royal Pacific at Cheap Tickets. It may have been a one time deal, but it beat everywhere else by a couple hundred bucks for a 4 night stay just last week.

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Friday, August 29, 2014 9:24 AM

First week of November (once you get past the last weekend of HHN) - totally quiet. The big benefit of Express at that point is getting to skip some of the longer queues...but at Universal, that can also be one of the bigger drawbacks.

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Friday, August 29, 2014 12:46 PM

Thanks for the info Chaindog and rollergator. We are flying down Sunday Nov 2ns and I believe the last day for HHN is Saturday Nov 1st. So we should be clear of that. If it is really that dead that week then maybe we will also consider looking off property since we will have a rental car anyway. Of course then we wouldn't have early entry into Potterland, but once again if it the park is empty that week then we might not need that either. Decisions, decisions.....

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Friday, August 29, 2014 6:10 PM

The only issue is everybody is at Potterland. We did early entry on Tuesday and got on Gringotts at 8:11. Then took the train over to IOA and waited about 30 minutes for Forbidden Journey followed by breakfast at Three Broomsticks and a couple walk on rides on the Dragons. Took the train back to Universal at around 10:00 and Gringotts was at 105 minutes while the Mummy was a walk on without the Express Pass! The only real lines were Transformers and Rip Ride Rockit, which kind of sucks anyway.

We enjoyed the Royal Pacific, but if you don't mind a little waiting you could save some big money staying off site.

On a side note, be careful renting a car there. Depending on which agency you use, some are slick at jacking up the price with add-ons and pre-paid gas.

Last edited by Chaindog, Saturday, August 30, 2014 9:31 AM
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Friday, August 29, 2014 6:15 PM

Agree about rental cars. We've always rented from Alamo for Orlando trips, never had a problem.

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Friday, August 29, 2014 6:52 PM

Moar teh Mummy ridez!!!1!

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