Strongly considering a girls-only trip in February

I feel like I probably shouldn’t post this here, because you all will just enable my desire to add a 4th trip on our A/P.

My daughters (currently 8 & 6) have all of President’s Day week off for their school up here in Indianapolis. They did it last year and are doing it this year, and then discontinuing this random break (because honestly, it’s just kind of dumb and makes parents have to arrange childcare if they work). My husband works as a HS guidance counselor in a different school district and he only has President’s day off.

I’m considering taking just the girls and I and flying out ON President’s Day (Monday) and flying back on Thursday. We have Annual Passes, so no ticket expense, just airfare and hotel. Well, and transportation to/from MCO and food. I’ve never gone to Mardi Gras there and I think we’d like that. We’d probably stay at Cabana Bay, unless I can get an AP discount and move “up” to Sapphire Falls. It would be strange to not have express passes, but my girls are also content with using their wands and riding Seuss and Jimmy freaking Fallon twenty times, so we’d be okay.

How are crowds that week? I know the actual holiday weekend can be nuts, but would we be okay after that to get on some rides? It would be a very quick trip and the focus would be wands and the Mardi Gras parade. Maybe KidZone, ET, shows. I wouldn’t have the option of rider swap without my husband there, so no Velocicoaster or Hagrid’s anyway.

I might be crazy squeezing in another trip between Thanksgiving and June 2023, but I guess that’s why they make the AP’s so affordable-- it gets you traveling there more often.


You got that right. I say do it!

I also think the crowds will be manageable the week after.

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I could enjoy touring with your girls! :laughing:

I hope you take the trip. It sounds fabulous, especially not even having to consider Hagrid and VC. That should make early touring super enjoyable.


My daughters love love LOVE the pools too but I’m not expecting a lot of great pool days in February. I think it might be too cold. Which would be a bummer to be at Cabana Bay without good pool weather.

Aventura looks decent and we could pool hop in case the weather ends up nice, but I don’t think they even have bathtubs in any of the rooms. My 6 year old (will be turning 7 on the trip) still needs a bathtub at this point. I might have to research that.

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They do have a bowling alley though! :bowling:


IME and planning - It will still be very “steady” until Wednesday of that week. A lot of people don’t leave until sometime on Tuesday. So if you get there Monday afternoon / evening, you’ll still see the holiday weekend impact for bit. However, that Wednesday will be nice! If you could go on Tuesday and come back Friday that’s ideal!

Universal has suspended AP discounts on hotels. I haven’t seen one at all in 2022. However, they do offer a “Savvy Traveler” / “Travel Later” rate for the general public. Right now it’s going on for dates through December. I expect them to roll out the Jan. - March discounts later in the fall.

Rates right now for your dates are $264 / night at CB. Even the Endless Summer Resorts are $200+ / night. (A good indicator of expected and booked occupany)

IME - Universal really wants you to stay 4 nights to get a real deal. I’m not saying you can’t get a good rate for 3 nights, but I’d except to pay about $120+ more. (Which isn’t that much more than just adding the extra night! - That’s how they get me every time!!!)

I’m not saying don’t go. I’m still trying to cram one more trip in between December & Early Feb. (When my AP expires) However, I’m waiting to see what the discounts will be once the current deal expires.

IMHO - Don’t wait when that deal opens up. I’ve seen the rate go up $25 - $40 per night in just a day or two after it’s released. It only goes up more as the availability runs out.



All very good points. I know Tuesday-Friday is actually more expensive on flights thru Southwest, but I’ll need to crunch the numbers to see how much more expensive.

And I’m not really banking on an AP discount for the hotel since they seem so darn scarce. Although it feels like if they are offered, the only times I see them are for the non-deluxe resorts. I never see them for the deluxe resorts that include the express passes unless they’re like the presidential suite at over $1k a night.

Hmmm, I think I’ll price out a few options and at least pony up the one night to reserve to lock something in. I can always cancel. And as far as the Southwest flight goes, we are definitely doing a June 2023 trip for the whole family, so I can always cancel and use the flight credits towards that trip.

You’ve given me a lot to think about! All good points, thank you!


You got a 50/50 shot each and every day of it being decent weather for pools. It’s Florida. They have 85 degree winter days and it’s about half of them and the weather changes on a dime. In one weekend it might be too cold Friday and hot Sunday.

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I did a pool day last February. The pools are heated and very nice. It was low 70s and pretty ok.

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I would probably establish what I thought was a good budget, and if I could make it fit then I would go. If I couldn’t, then you were no worse off for trying. That is how we manage our girls trip to Disney in 2019. I knew what my expense could be and I couldn’t go over. Thankfully, the airline and the Rental House played along nicely. But I could not commit until I saw those pieces fall into place.


This is my thought too! I won’t decide until I see if SW Air and Universal do their winter sales and what that price might mean these days!

This is not true at all. AP rates are available throughout the fall.


Oh! Could you help me with a link? I’ve been scouring the Universal website this entire year. Every time I go to the UOAP discount page there are no AP hotel rates listed. I have been able to get those “Travel Later” rates though! They’re pretty good if you book early!

(This isn’t a troll, like me saying"prove it" or anything! I genuinely would love to get a better rate for my upcoming trips and a possible Feb. 2023 trip!!) Thanks!! :smiley:


They don’t show up past early September if you go through the universal site. You need the back door and even then it’s tricky when they do or do not have dates.

back door??!!?? I’m intrigued!!

UPDATE - Thanks for the link! Unfortunately, like you said the dates are"tricky" and there’s nothing different than the regular rates offered on the Universal site atm. I’ll keep checking!!

I can see the “AP rates” listed for the hotels. The problem is the rate is exactly the same as the standard rate, whether it’s a discount or not.

So AP rates are available like Joe said, but really no benefit at all. :crazy_face:


That usually means those rooms aren’t discounted. They may have other rooms discounted but not the basic rooms.


I had booked Hard Rock for the end of September about a month ago and was told to call back in mid-July to see if annual pass holder rates had been released as they were only releasing them about 2-2.5 months out. I want to say they came out a week ago for my dates but as @rctmsu2000 mentioned, they were only available for the non-premier hotels…that is, unless I wanted to upgrade to the Graceland Suite for the AP rate of 1600$/night instead of 2400$/night…ugh, no thanks.

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MVT has rates for this week. It’s the same week we have for vacation. We are flying in Monday and out Friday on Southwest.

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Ahhh, good call. I submitted an online quote request.

The odds I can swing Portofino Bay, even with a reduced price, are slim-to-none, but it cannot hurt to check out the rates. Although my husband MIGHT kill me if we can get a good price and go without him.