Universal Orlando: Hotels and Parks

Jun 13th, 2008, 07:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 70
Universal Orlando: Hotels and Parks

I haven't posted here in a while, so hello, everyone. Nice to see the place going strong!!

We're a family of five headed off to Orlando next week. Kids are 16, 14, 11. Parents are bored senseless with Disney, so we're doing Universal this time.

We have little patience for lines, so we figured we'd stay at a Univeral hotel to get the Express Pass. Which Hotel is the best? Should we avoid Hard Rock to get some peace and quiet?

Are lines a problem in June such that the Express Pass acquired through the hotel is worth it? Are the Express lines truly "express?"

I have heard that the express pass can be bought separately but is not "unlimited." What does this mean? You only get to pick one ride for express and must wait in line for everything else? Heaven help us!

Is Islands of Adventure going to work for our youngest, who is maybe 4'10" tall? Are there things for kids who don't want to do huge rollercoasters or thrill rides?

Thanks, all!!!
cindysphinx is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 11:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 728
The express access that comes with a stay at park hotels allows access to virtually all attractions as many times as you wish. When the park is busy that access can save you lots of time.
The stand alone pass allows access to each attraction once.
Cannot tell you about the noise level at the Hard Rock, as we've stayed only at the Portofino, which is quiet.
hmmm is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 599
The parks should be pretty busy right now but if your staying on site I would'nt worry too much. The express pass (much to the dismay of those like us who choose NOT to stay on property) is truly express.
as mentioned the other one time express pass allows access once to each ride with an express lane. When you add up the cost for a family of 5 it would be cheaper to stay on site. Especially when you factor in that you wont need a car or to pay for parking.
As for your youngest at 4'10
he should be fine for everything. The hulk and dueling dragons are both 54" restrictioned.
Also a very IMPORTANT point. If you ride Popeye and Dudley Do Right plan to get soaked...not just wet. Remove your shoes for Popeye and wear clothes that will dry off fast. Our first trip we made the mistake and trust me you will regret not following this advice. Our shoes were wet all day and walking+ wet shoes= blisters
Speaking of blisters if anyone on your family is prone to blister (even if they aren't) check out this product before you go.
It is a silicone based product that comes in a stick similar to deodorant. You apply it to your feet at the beginning of the day. It reduces friction and prevents blister. We did 6 parks in 8 days our last trip ( we normally open to close) not a single blister!!! This stuff is amazing insurance.
panhandle is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 06:30 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,611
If you don't want to walk around in soaking clothing after those two rides (and the Jurassic Park flume ride), bring those small $1 rain ponchos; you will be glad you did.
Also, taking the singles line can be faster than the express pass; often you end up sitting together anyway.
sylvia3 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,786
We have stayed at the Hard Rock and the Royal Pcific. We loved them both. It is not really houd at the Hard Rock and the rooms are bigger there than at the Royal Pacific. If you are all staying in one room, go with the Hard Rock. It is a very short walk to the parks from the hotel.

The magic room key that gives you automatic express is priceless!!! It alwo gets you next available seating at restaurants in the parks and at City Walk.
schmerl is offline  
Jun 17th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 53
Here are some hotels that you can stay at to get the express pass for free:

miku is offline  
Jun 17th, 2008, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 71,028
I like Portofino.
starrs is offline  
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