Need Universal/Disney Advice

I’ve been planning our WDW vacations for years. Very comfortable with the process. This year, family wants to spend some time at Universal. DS (19) bored with WDW. He wants to hold off until 2020 when there are new things to experience. DD (17) and DH are adamant about spending time at WDW. Planning family trip for June 2019. Currently booked at BLT (my favorite because of the 2nd bathroom in the 1 BR villa). I find Universal’s website and pricing to be very confusing. We went there once in 2012, before Diagon Alley was complete), but we stayed off property. Kids were in the “Harry Potter Obsession” stage of life at that time, they had recently read all of the books and saw all of the movies, so it was very exciting for them. I found the remainder of Universal to be very loud, very hot (no shade), and I couldn’t ride most 3D things because of dizziness (vertigo). I really prefer staying in a villa, because of the kitchen, and the ability to be up very early (4:30 AM, eating breakfast) while others sleep. There do not appear to be any “true” villas with kitchens on Universal property. However, the hotels do look beautiful. If you go with club level at one of the big 3 so that you can get breakfast, you are actually paying more than we are paying at WDW for a villa with the current Fun and Sun room offer. Here is my question (finally, sorry!), have any of you experienced people ever stayed at WDW and just used Uber or Lyft to visit the Universal parks as day trips? Would you advise against this? I know I would have to factor in the cost of the express pass, which is pretty expensive. I just hate the idea of switching hotels. (I am not a light packer)! Thanks!

Have you thought about booking an hotel room at Universal to get the EPs but just using it as a ‘day room’ and not staying there overnight or just staying for one night but without vacating your WDW villa? …sort of thinking of it as EPs with a free room? That would give you time to retreat to the room for some peace and tranquility and because the hotels are so close to the parks, the other members of your family can come and go as they please.

That’s what I have planned in March- spending one week at Disney and one night in the middle of the week at USO. We’re not checking out of our Disney hotel, just taking an overnight bag to the Royal Pacific. It may seem like a waste to have two rooms for one night, but we got 4 express passes for two days for less than $450. Also, since Mardi Gras is going on, we can spend the morning at the park, hang out in the room in the afternoon and then be within walking distance of going back out at night for a couple hours to enjoy the evening’s festivities…

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I am going to Orlando in April and am doing just that - my hotel is POR, but we are going to Uber to Universal two of the 5 days.

Thank you all for your replies. I understand what you are saying now that I see the cost of buying the unlimited express passes. It makes sense to just book a room. Just for clarification though @eredmister, are you saying that if I book one night, I will be able to use the EP’s for 2 days?
On a separate question, the UT website says that Portofino does not have refrigerators? What about Hard Rock and Royal Pacific?

Yes, check in day, from about 7 am and check out day…all day.

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I am at Portofino right now in a Club Queen room and we do have a mini fridge.

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Can you fit wine bottles in them?

I love that you have your priorities straight :smile:!

Yes, you can fit wine bottles, I will be better prepared next time.

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I have stayed in a Deluxe Queen room (not Club Level) at Portofino 2x and we had a mini fridge both times. Plenty of space for water bottles.

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Okay, thanks! I thought it was odd that the rooms at Portofino would not have refrigerators. Here is the link to the UT profile of Portofino Bay:
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/loews-portofino-bay-hotel-at-universal-orlando-hotel/#frog-family-review
If you scroll down under the “Keep in Mind” section, it says “Rooms do not include refrigerators”.

Thank you for replying!

These are the basic amenities included in every room from the Loew’s PB website. It lists a mini fridge :):grinning: but no freezer portion. I think you can feel safe that a fridge will be in the room.

Guest Rooms

Standard Amenities:

  • 300-thread-count, 100% cotton bed linens
  • Complimentary turndown service upon request
  • Complimentary* wireless internet access in each guest room and most common areas of the hotel
  • Cotton signature bathrobes and 100% combed and ringspun cotton terry towels
  • Julien Farel skin and body care products
  • Flat Panel Television including HD channels
  • Hair dryer and make-up mirror in bathroom
  • iHome clock radio with docking station
  • In-room safe
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Keurig Coffee Maker featuring gourmet coffee and assorted teas
  • On Demand in-room movies, and video check-out (fees apply)
  • Mini refrigerator
  • Separate bath and vanity area with two sinks available in most guest rooms
  • Smart room technology for automated heating and air conditioning
  • Three telephones—bedside, desk, and bathroom—each with dual voice lines, data port, and voicemail
  • Upgrade to Premium Plus^ wireless internet access for optimal entertainment and business needs

Maximum occupancy of 3–5 depending on room type and rollaway†.

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Thank you!

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