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  1. #1
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    Default Universal Orlando?

    I just spontaneously booked a family vacay for the end of May/beginning of June for Universal. We did Disney last year and had a blast, but the kids said they wanted bigger roller coasters. They really aren't that into Disney, but they are into Universal movies. I think they will enjoy it more. I got some cheap flights and booked a resort/ticket package through Costco. I am normally a super-researcher, and I did not research AT. ALL. It was kind of freeing, but now I am freaking out a bit. Does this take mega planning like Disney? I hired someone to do that for me since I didn't have time. It was the best money every spent. We have a 4 day/2 park ticket, planning to skip the water park. DH has an insulin pump and the kids don't really like water parks, so I don't think anyone will be upset over that.

    I know nothing about Universal, so any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Where are you staying? If you’re at Hard Rock, Portofino or Royal Pacific, there’s nothing you need to do because Express Passes are fabulous and come with your room. Just bop around as you please.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains

  3. #3
    jgenie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Universal is so doable with minimal planning. Such a different game than Disney. If you’re staying at one of the hotels with Express Passes you’ll be fine. If your package is for one of the other hotels, I would plan to be at the parks at opening to make the most of your time and avoid being shut out if the parks meet capacity.
    for Carmen

  4. #4
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    Seconding what everyone said so far; Universal is by far the easiest Disney related to plan and book for.


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    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  5. #5
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Just beware Universal is not really a “bigger roller coaster” place. Each park has 1 roller coaster. There are a few other typical theme park rides but most of the rides at both parks are simulator type rides. There is still a lot to see and do especially if your kids are into Harry Potter but just wanted you to be able to manage expectations with respect to roller coasters.

    Staying at a hotel that gives you an express pass is absolutely worth it. We only did 1 day per park which was plenty for us but you will have time for a slower pace or afternoons by the pool with 4 days.

  6. #6
    newnana is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    You will be fine. I mean really fine. When we did DW, I over the top planned to make sure we got to do everything DD wanted: meal reservations and other meal options near where we would be when not reserved, detailed itineraries (with delineated downtime) , spreadsheets of what we wanted and where it was and how to navigate the easiest/fastest routes.

    When we booked Universal for my Harry Potter loving DD, I was trying to do the same thing and due to other circumstances, just could not. At all. It was great! As others have said, staying on property made a huge difference. We were able to go to the HP stuff first thing before it got crowded. Left mid day when crowds/lines were more onerous and relaxed at the hotel pool. Back in the evening with lower crowds and as many rides/shows as she wanted before bed.

    Stuff DD wasn't into the theme of, she still loved the ride. Men in Black was one our favorites. DD is not into roller coasters, but had a blast with the theming, food, and the rides she did try. We booked 4 days with the park hopper, no water park and it was more than enough time to do everything we wanted multiple times with lots of relaxing time. It was much much much more relaxing for me than DW and only having a super rough plan (I want to ride X first today!) and the rest is gravy was really fantastic for us.

    We didn't have COVID to work around, but for us, it was an ideal vacation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    Where are you staying? If you’re at Hard Rock, Portofino or Royal Pacific, there’s nothing you need to do because Express Passes are fabulous and come with your room. Just bop around as you please.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    We are staying at Cabana Bay, and I know absolutely nothing about it!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnana View Post
    You will be fine. I mean really fine. When we did DW, I over the top planned to make sure we got to do everything DD wanted: meal reservations and other meal options near where we would be when not reserved, detailed itineraries (with delineated downtime) , spreadsheets of what we wanted and where it was and how to navigate the easiest/fastest routes.

    When we booked Universal for my Harry Potter loving DD, I was trying to do the same thing and due to other circumstances, just could not. At all. It was great! As others have said, staying on property made a huge difference. We were able to go to the HP stuff first thing before it got crowded. Left mid day when crowds/lines were more onerous and relaxed at the hotel pool. Back in the evening with lower crowds and as many rides/shows as she wanted before bed.

    Stuff DD wasn't into the theme of, she still loved the ride. Men in Black was one our favorites. DD is not into roller coasters, but had a blast with the theming, food, and the rides she did try. We booked 4 days with the park hopper, no water park and it was more than enough time to do everything we wanted multiple times with lots of relaxing time. It was much much much more relaxing for me than DW and only having a super rough plan (I want to ride X first today!) and the rest is gravy was really fantastic for us.

    We didn't have COVID to work around, but for us, it was an ideal vacation.
    This sounds perfect. After this year, I just want to have some fun and relax. Disney was fun, but it was exhausting.

  9. #9
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukeypur View Post
    We are staying at Cabana Bay, and I know absolutely nothing about it!
    If budget allows, you’d love Royal Pacific and the Express Passes. But Cabana Bay is a lot of fun. Really good themeing!


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains

  10. #10
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    Jun 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    If budget allows, you’d love Royal Pacific and the Express Passes. But Cabana Bay is a lot of fun. Really good themeing!


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    I just went with whatever Costco was offering, no research at all. It had good ratings on Costco and TripAdvisor so I went with it.

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