Switching Universal Hotel mid-trip

For those of you who have switched to a premiere Universal Hotel for the express passes mid-trip, can you help give me an idea of what to expect:

I assume you arrive at the premier hotel check in desk at 6 AM (ha ha) so you can get your hotel cards for the express pass before early admission - I’m assuming they wont have the room ready, so you’ll store your bags there? Is that right? Then they call you when the room is ready & you can go back to bring your stuff up?

Then, considering the express pass is good for check in day & check out day, do you wait to check out until the park closes to check out? Will the hotel key card work if you’ve checked out?

I ended up getting a value Universal hotel for Sunday night. Then premiere for Monday (for Mon-Tues express passes). Then back to value for Tues & Wed (going to the water park Wed). Then back to premiere for Thurs (for express passes Thurs-Fri). Am I crazy?


I don’t know how early the earliest check in is. Most of the times, my room wasn’t ready when I checked in early in the day, but I got a text later in the day with my room number.
You can store your bags at luggage services if your room isn’t ready yet.
Check out time is 11:00 AM. Once checked out, you can store you bags at luggage services. The Express Passes are good until park close on your checkout day.


Thanks so much! If you store the bags at luggage services, will they bring the bags to the room when it is available?

They did it pre covid. I don’t know what they are doing now.

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They did not bring the bags to my room at Royal Pacific in February.

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Yes at the Hard Rock Orlando


How many days are you doing for Universal Orlando? If you are doing 4 days, it may be cheaper to get annual tickets, particularly since this gives you a discount at their hotels. You might want to check this link to see the APH (Annual Pass Holder) hotel discounts to see if it will help you. This way you could likely stay at just one of the premier hotels instead of switching several times, which is frankly a pain (in my opinion) because of the packing and unpacking.



Not crazy. We are doing something similar. Cabana Bay Tues - Fri. (with a day at the water park, or maybe two mornings) Hard Rock Friday night. Offsite Sat night. Royal Pacific Sun. night. Offsite Mon night.

We got passholder discount for the Premier stays, but those two offsite nights save us $350, and each of them comes with two free meals. Cabana Bay was a passholder special of $104 for family suite.


I did buy Annual passes :slight_smile: which is how I could afford staying at the Premiere hotels with the discount! TOTALLY WORTH IT. After doing the math, I saved almost $1400 on my trip. The passes are worth it for the flexibility and the discounts!

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Is the transportation between the hotels difficult? I’m a little stressed about that part… Are taxi’s or Uber available onsite?

Easy with uber/lyft. Doing the same thing between value and premier hotel for my mid-may trip.

Are there usually taxis available outside the resorts? If we are doing the switch early morning for 8am EA, can we expect relatively short wait for a taxi or under around ~7am?

I was told in another thread that the taxis are not outside, you have to call and request a ride.

Thank you tashabt. In that case we’ll just get a uber.

Can you upgrade your day tickets to a seasonal annual pass at Cabana Bay? Or do you have to go to the park? Thinking about doing a throw away room for the express pass.

I believe each hotel (at least the premiers - not sure about Cabana Bay) has a ticket desk in the lobby. However, just to be clear, CB does not have EP because it is not a premier hotel. Only Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Hotel do.


We purchased our tickets and hotel (Royal Pacific ) through Undercover Tourist for our June trip. If we upgrade to an annual pass once we arrive, can we still apply the hotel discount to this trip?

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No, there are only a certain amount of rooms available for the discount and you must book it ahead of time.


You don’t need the AP to book an AP rate, only to get the rate on checkin. If there are still AP rates available (which there may not be - they run out a couple of months in advance) try rebooking your room with the AP rate. Then upgrade to an AP at the ticket desk when you arrive at the hotel, then check in to your room. That is what I was advised to do for my upcoming trip when I didn’t have an AP. (I have since purchased an AP.)


By the way, here is the link for the AP rates. It is not intuitive to find:

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