Family of four with kids 11 and 8. Been to Disney several times but Universal newbies. Looking for some advice on a trip to Universal Sat. Feb. 18 to Weds. Feb. 22, which falls over President's Day weekend. We arrive mid-afternoon Saturday and were planning on theme parks on Sunday and Monday and relaxing/Cape Canaveral on Tuesday/Weds, with an early evening flight on Weds. Right now, I have Cabana Bay booked for Sat., Mon, and Tues. nights, and Royal Pacific for one night (Sunday night) so that we get Express passes for Sunday/Monday. Is it a big deal to move back and forth between the two hotels? Should I get a second night at Royal Pacific (it is sold out on Saturday, but could get Monday night)? Can we leave our rental car at Cabana Bay (with cheaper parking) if we switch? Also thought about just doing one night Cabana Bay, one night Royal Pacific, and then two nights off site. Any thoughts on this? Would love some advice from people who have been. Thanks!
So I am not an expert in your particular situation - but will give you my insight based on what we did.
Do what you can to stay at RP for the Express Pass - especially over President's weekend you will find the fast pass invaluable. So I would do what you can to stay there. I would also probably avoid staying off site - could you save some money - sure - but time is money and by staying on site - you benefit from convenience.
I am not sure if you can keep your car at one place or the other. I would think not - but just ask and I am sure they will be as accommodating as possible.
To save some money - buy your tickets through another broker - such as undercover tourist. I would also look at the other deluxe resorts for availability. We stayed at Portefino and can't say enough nice things about it. I would also suggestion buying items ala carte (tickets, room) as you can probably save $$ by doing so. Also check out sites like hotels.com and Trevago for room availability. I cannot underscore how nice the express passes are.
The great thing is - counter to WDW - you do NOT have to plan with the express pass.