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Where to stay?

Melbourne, Australia
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Where to stay?

Hi fellow TA's,

My Husband and I are heading to Florida for 12 days in Jan 2015. We will be flying into Orlando on the 1/1 and leaving from Miami on the 12/1. We are wondering where the best places to stay is (closest to the parks)? We will probably do at least 2 Disney parks and 2 of the Universal studios parks. Being a busy time of year, we were thinking of staying at the hard rock in universal studios as they offers free transport and also express passes into rides. We were thinking of then moving to another hotel close by to Disney parks.

Would love to know everyones thoughts on this.

We are still undecided on how long we will be in Orlando and Miami, we love theme parks, having fun and also the beach.

Thanks :-)

Limerick, Ireland
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1. Re: Where to stay?

Anywhere on I Drive is good

Whats your budget per night ? ( in U.S. Dollars please )

Arriving New Years day will be more expensive

because its a Peak travel time

If you can arrive 1 week later you will get cheaper rooms

and not so busy.

Melbourne, Australia
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89 posts
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2. Re: Where to stay?

Around $185USD?

We have to come around that time as our flights are already booked :-(

Im a teacher so unfortunately my holidays are set times!

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Where to stay?

bump

Graysville...
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4. Re: Where to stay?

The Express pass for Universal is great when staying on site. If not staying on site look into purchasing a ticket with it included.

The one nice thing about staying on site at Disney especially during a busy time also is that you get to reserve your fast passes 60 days ahead where if you stay off site it is 30 days.

Not unless you went to Miami during the first part of your trip so that Universal and Disney might not be as busy during the second half of your trip.

Some people like to stay at Disney the whole time and then book Mears shuttle and Universal ticket together from the Universal website. Mears will pick you up from your Disney hotel and take you to Universal for the day and then take you back.

Melbourne, Australia
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89 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: Where to stay?

Thank you!

We were thinking that by staying at the parks we will be then eliminating (some) of the crowd issues and we also get transport included!

We were thinking of staying at Loews Royal Pacific resort and then move onto either Disney allstar Movie resort, Disney Sports Resort or Disney Pop Century.

Has any one stayed at the above places? Any recommendations.

We would love to do Miami and then Orlando, but our flights are already booked.. fly NYC to Orlando then Miami. We then go home from Miami!

Thank you!

Auckland
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6. Re: Where to stay?

Hi Teeks89,

We stayed at WDW (onsite and offsite) and also at Universal late last year. It was fabulous!

Onsite at Disney, we stayed at the Art of Animation Resort and Bay Lake Tower. We booked the Art of Animation through the Disney website. It is a pretty new resort and we thought the Disney theming was amazing. The basic rooms have two double beds and are in the "Little Mermaid" section (the other sections are family rooms and were a lot more expensive). We found the Disney Transportation efficient and did not spend much time waiting for the buses (although we were not travelling in peak season). We booked Bay Lake Tower by renting DVC points through http://www.dvcrequest.com/dvc_rentals.htm. It was so easy and worked out to be very reasonable when compared with renting a deluxe resort room through the Disneyworld website (the main differences were that the DVC rentals were not serviced daily, but they did have a small kitchen which was handy - there may have been other differences, but not that we noticed!). I have had a quick check of prices in the first week of January and there are a lot of options under $200 US (the prices listed on the website are the prices you pay also - no need to factor in tax). The best thing about Bay lake Tower was the transportation options to the parks - you could walk or take the monorail to Magic Kingdom, or take the monorail or bus to the other parks. If I got to do it all again I would definitely rent points for a deluxe resort.

We bought our Disney passes through Undercover tourist - they deliver internationally for free. We were able to link these passes easily to our hotel bookings and access the fastpass+ system. Consider booking your Disney passes asap as the prices seem to go up every year - maybe around June (?). If you are not sure how many days you will need at Disney you can always purchase the minimum that you think you might need and add extra days to your pass when you get there (just make sure you do it before the end of the last day on your ticket).

We also stayed onsite at Universal at the Royal Pacific Resort. We paid extra to upgrade to club level which was really more for convenience than anything as we travelled with our two children and it made breakfasts and evening snacks so much easier. They also offered other food and drinks during the day (including bottled water and cans of soda which you could take into the parks). We found the RPR ok but not great. After staying at the Disney resorts it felt like it was missing something. I would possibly go with the Hard Rock Hotel if I was doing it all again. The express pass you get by staying onsite was great by the way! Make sure you get it in the lobby of the hotel before you get to the park as we saw a few people who didn't realise and had to go back.

It looks like it will be an amazing trip! Have fun planning : )

Graysville...
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7. Re: Where to stay?

If picking a value resort at Disney then my first picks would be Art of Animation or Pop Century. I have heard that Pop has their own bus, not sure about A.O.A., but would guess that they would also. The other three share one. Not a big deal though, they are all right next to each other, but sometimes they fill up faster.

We have stayed at Royal Pacific and it was really nice. We were even in their cheapest room on the dog floor and still have a fab time. I didn't care for Hard Rock personally when we visited. It was nice, but just not my taste. We fell in love with Portofino, but all three are nice resorts. There is also the new Cabana Bay resort which they do NOT offer the express passes with your room stay, BUT take the cost into consideration because I priced out the room with buying a Universal ticket with express passes and it actually came out to be cheaper than the Portofino, but my kids insisted on staying at the Portofino still. Cabana Bay does not have the boat shuttle though, just bus, where the other three have boat access to the parks.

We have also stayed off site and it is nice also, but for us it is only nice if you have a car and if you are visiting other parks or can save a good bit of money when it isn't during a busy time. During a busy time I think it is worth it to stay on site.

Melbourne, Australia
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89 posts
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8. Re: Where to stay?

Thank you guys! Will have a look at DVD :)

Really excited for the trip and I will be looking at booking through Undercover tourist as well :P

9. Re: Where to stay?

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