Looking for opinions and advice on best lodging and ticket choices for my family

Our family has been to WDW several times in the past 2.5 years, so we are decently knowledgeable about Disney. We are considering some time at Uni before our beach trip in June, and my head is spinning. If we go, it would most likely be June 7-10 with a half park day on the 7th and full days on the 8th-9th. I’m having some sticker shock right now from resort rates. At WDW, we stay value, mod if we find a great rate, or Swolphin on SPG points. I’d love to stay at Royal Pacific the 8th-9th to get EE and EP, but it’s so much more than we have ever paid for a room at WDW. Our focus would be HP, but I’m sure we would like to do as much of the parks as possible. I love the thought of EP, but I’m concerned about paying the cost and then not using it much. Simulators make me ill, and DS10 is not a thrill seeker. It would be nice for DH to be able to do the things we won’t though. I’m wondering if our best plan might be to stay at Four Points for free on SPG points and then purchase EP for just one day. But then we won’t get EE for HP. We could also stay at CB 2-3 nights and purchase EP for a day. That would get us early entry but cost 400-600 more than Four Points. Ahhhh! Too many options, and I can’t seem to figure out what would work best for us. Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated. Experiences from staying at Four Points would be great. We would have a vehicle and park to park tix. That’s about all we’ve been able to make decisions on. :slight_smile:

We went two years ago for a Universal quick trip before our Disney vacation and stayed at Royal Pacific. It was a nice resort - I really enjoyed the quick trip to parks and we did go back and swim for a mid day break.

However, my family was not into the thrill rides. My kids were 2 and 6 at the time and my husband does not like coasters. The express pass was really nice for even things like Dr. Suess or Men in Black but we didn’t use it to its full capacity. And would have been fine without it. If you want to buy one for just one day - that should cover those rides that you would use. My family was also not cooperative to be there for early entry so we didn’t use that either. I did both Harry Potter rides with minimal waits. I did FJ as a single rider and then did the castle tour to see the line. Single rider is fine because you can’t see the person sitting next to you anyway on that ride vehicle. Then I did Gringotts towards park close with maybe a 20 minute wait. I also go to walk out of a relatively empty Diagon alley.

The convenience was really nice at a Universal resort but a free stay is hard to beat.

I suggest taking a look at the different days. Last time we went - we wanted to go to US last, however by going at the beginning of our vacation - I was able to save about $300. So look at some alternate dates at the beginning / end of your vacation.

Take a look at the total cost. What is the Hotel vs what is an offsite with purchasing EP.

Also look at Hotels.com or loweshotels.com etc. That is what we did and it worked out great!!! You do NOT need to book via US website.

Also remember you are going from a WDW value to a US Luxury - so it is reasonable to believe there is a price increase.

We LOVED having the EP - we didn’t plan a THING. If we wanted to go on MIB 3 times in a row we would (and did).

EP is amazing, but I understand it can get pricey. Personally, I would not pay extra to stay at CBBR simply to get EE. I don’t feel it’s worth the money for that extra hour. If you can stay at a resort with EP, it will definitely save you time. We saw huge time savings in areas like Suessland, where there are no thrill rides and only tamer rides. With 2.5 days, I feel you will be able to see and do everything you want to do, even without EP. You will just have to wait longer. So, if the money seems too much handle, I wouldn’t worry about it. But if you are looking for a totally relaxed, low stress visit, EP will be the way to go.


Time is money on vacation. And although no vacation is worth dept - we usually try to sub in some things for others so that we can maximize the relaxation.

I could not agree more! I just save a little longer to be able to have things like EP to lower my stress level.


We work very hard (as mots people do) and for vacation - I want to enjoy and reduce stress - refill my cup. I am spending money - so I want to FEEL like I am getting value for my money. Sometimes that means saving a bit longer and spending a bit more on those things that I put value in. Other things I can skip. I have no issue in eating breakfast in the room. I don’t need to parkhop in WDW, I can eat something less expensive on the menu. I can cut things out here and there that I don’t care about so I can splurge on those things that I do care about.

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Thanks for all the advice! It helps to hear others experiences. At this point, I think we’ve decided to stay one night at Four Points followed by two nights at CBBR. The reviews for Four Points scare me a little, so we’re going to do just one night to check it out. We went back and forth on stepping up to a premier to get EP. We think we’re going to upgrade our tix to the Preferred AP when we get there and just accept that we may not do everything or do everything multiple times this trip. We’ll plan to come back in Nov and/or March, and we’ll know better for those trips if a larger price tag that includes EP is important to us. DS10 has a hard time with thrill rides and new rides in general. Fear of the unknown and all that. I have motion issues, so I may be green the whole time. Simulators are not my friend. I hope we’ll be happy to take it easy on this first trip. I have a sneaking suspicion that DS will want to spend most of his time in the WWoHP. We’ll see if this plan changes if any of the grandparents want to come along. Thanks again!!!

glad to be of help.

So, we also had some sticker shock planning our first Uni trip. I did rationalize the deluxe quality of Royal Pacific, the ease of transport to parks, and the express unlimited pass. One hard thing about WDW had been telling kiddo that a ride is one and done because I’m not spending 45+ minutes in line in the heat, so being able to ride again in a shorter line will be awesome.

I found that you can book the Uni resorts with Amex points - you don’t need full points for your stay, but can get credit toward the overall cost. I actually booked a “split stay” (same hotel), using free hotels.com night for one part and Amex points toward the rest. Tickets through Park Savers are also cheaper.