12 Days 'til our first trip. Give me your best tips!

Good morning!

Heading down in 12 days, me (61 yr old) with 12 yo gs and 8 yo granddaughter. Husband had to cancel due to a detached retina and not cleared to fly. :roll_eyes:

We are staying at Royal Pacific, club level, for 6 nights. We have express passes, early entry, photo package. I have the Unofficial Guide, and the Lines app loaded. I know this seems like a looooong trip for UOR, but we are hoping for midday pool time as well as some relaxation.

Give me your best tips, please! Restaurants in the park? Do I have to carry around cups to use the freestyle machines? Transportation intuitive? Thoughts on the club lounge?

Any and all input appreciated, and YES, I am reading the other threads and learning a ton!


(Edit: We were also gifted passes for a day at SeaWorld, so that should break up our time nicely)


Mythos, Leaky Cauldron/Three Broomsticks, Central Park Crepes, Wimpys, Green Eggs and Ham and Today Cafe are all great options.

Only if you want to use the freestyle machines for unlimited soda.
There are other options.
The actual freestyle machines dispense free chilled water into any cup.
You can also ask for free iced water at any QS station and there are bottled sodas, exclusive beers and speciality drinks available throughout the parks.

From the RPR it’s a super relaxing water taxi journey into City Walk, or a beautiful walking path right along the waterway.
In inclement weather, when the boats don’t run, there will also be bus options to transport you to the rotunda.

Sorry about DH not making the trip.
Hope you have an excellent time! :sunny:


You should have an amazing, relaxed trip with six days! With Express Pass you’ll have no need to rush to anything. You just need to decide on your strategy for Hagrid’s. We like to hit rope drop for Early Entry but there are a lot of other options like going around 11 am or close to closiing time.

We love Three Broomsticks and Leaky Cauldron, though prefer Leaky Cauldron. Also like Today Cafe in USF. Citywalk has some great restaurants. Out favourites are Cowfish and Antojitos. Toothsomes has a lot of good appetizers. We’ve made a meal out of just those.

Have a great time!


I’m an AP / regular visitor. I will say that six days is a lot! However, it’s going to let you go at a leisurely pace…

• It’s great that you’ve downloaded the Universal Orlando App!
The parks no longer offer paper maps. The app is your key to navigating the parks. Plus, it will give you ride wait times and mobile ordering food options. Some places, like Minion Cafe, want you to use the app to order food to your table.

• At your hotel there is a “Vacation Planning” desk. If you need to pick up any tickets / passes you can get them there instead of waiting in a long line at “Will Call / Guest Services”.

At this desk you can also get a packet of coupons for discounted food, merch and activities in CityWalk. In particular there’s a good coupon for the mini golf! With six days you should do golf one night - it’s better when all the stuff glows in the dark.

• If you can stay out late you MUST ride Hagrid’s at night! Like when it’s really dark - like after 9pm. (With it being summer it’s a long day, but worth it at least once.)
Also, Jurassic Park River Adventure is way better at night!

• Pack a set of clothes/shoes just so you can get soaked at Toon Lagoon one morning. Plan a morning to ride a few things at IOA then head over to Toon Lagoon after 10am to ride Popeye & Bluto Barges and Dudley Doo-Right each like 4 – 5 times each and be completely soaked! Then go back to the hotel to change and have lunch! Those water rides are fun, but will drench you even in one ride. You might as well go crazy and get soaked. It’s a hoot!

• You’ll have enough days & Express Pass (UXP) that going to rope drop is optional. The biggest reason to go early, IME, is the HEAT!! :hot_face: :hot_face:

It’s worth getting up at 6:30am - 7am to take advantage of Early Park Admission (EPA) to be able to take a break at lunch. Then come back after 4pm to stay until close. You can enjoy the pool, rest or whatever. Getting out of the sun is key to a good Florida vacation! :rofl:

Having the UXP means you will only wait about 33%-50% of the posted waits.

Places to eat that are good value and delicious:

CityWalk - Antojitos, Breadbox Sandwiches, Red Oven Pizza – Try to learn to Mobile Order!

(The kids will enjoy Toothsomes! I find it to be “just ok”. However, they’ll love the milkshakes & etc…)

Islands of Adventure - Wimpy’s / Green Egg & Ham Tots, Three Broomsticks

Universal Studios - Central Park Crepes (sweet) / All WWOHP food, Minion Cafe

• Stay Hydrated & wear sunblock. I realize that you know all that, but I see so many :lobster: :hot_face: people.

• You will be able to pool hop & I’d suggest you take them over to Cabana Bay. It’s got a lazy river, slides and such. It’s 1950 “Americana” themed.

• The premier hotels have the BEST table service food. On Wed. & Friday nights there are magicians that go to table-to-table at “The Kitchen”. I really like the food. It is a little pricey at dinner. This is my favorite place for a breakfast buffet. It’s got everything you can imagine for $32.00 Adult | $17.00 Child (ages 3 - 9)

• A good number of the attractions are notorious for causing motion sickness. Go ahead & pack Dramamine! I don’t have an issue on a lot of things, but even I take it to be safe. Sometimes Forbidden Journey or The Simpsons will make my head spin!

• There is a luau at your hotel! Have you looked into that?

To break even on the cost you have to drink 3 sodas minimum per cup. If you are a big soda drinker it may be a value. I bring a refillable sports bottle. The Freestyle Machines give free ice & water to everyone. You’ll need it!


Thank you so much! Do restaurants take reservations (like ADRs at Disney?)
Everything seems more laid back than planning a Disney trip.
I think we will be bringing collapsible water bottles instead of soda…
Hubby is definitely disappointed. He was going to be the “hang out with the 8 year old while Mormor and the 12 year old go on rollercoasters” guy, so we’ll have to figure that out, too!


Thanks! We knew it was a long trip, but it might be our only, so, why not?


The table service ones do.
They’re mostly available to book on the app, but a few need their own website.


Wow, darkmite2! That was so informative and helpful, thank you!
We do plan on early entry, midday rests, and back in the evening. I didn’t know about the mini golf, the kids will LOVE that!
My grandson’s skin color is “milk,” so I am VERY loaded up on sunscreen :slight_smile:

Pool hopping is a thing, huh? See, this is why I ask the questions!

I believe the luau is only on Saturday, and we are arriving Sunday, so that’s a no, sadly.

Thanks again for your wealth of info!


There are two courses.
One is haunted house themed and the other is alien themed.
Both are outdoors.

There is also a bowling alley in Cabana Bay and a cinema in City Walk if you need any rainy day activities.
All the resorts have arcades too.