Hi. I am wondering if anyone has splurged on the VIP experience and if it was worth it. If I read the terms correctly, it looks like it can't be used for Harry Potter stuff, so if you have these passes, was it difficult to see that stuff since you would be part of a small group being toured around? I'm trying to determine if they are worth it. Definitely not ready to add that on yet!
I haven't taken the VIP tour and don't know how this fits into your budget. However I will tell you this. The Express Pass that you get with a Deluxe hotel is TOTALLY worth it. So if you are not doing that but thinking of VIP - I would definately splurge on Deluxe and Express Pass
That's a good tip. Do I have to be staying at a Universal resort to get an Express Pass, though? We are staying at a WDW resort and coming over for a day.
You can pay for it but staying a night can be much cheaper pedpending in the size of your group.
Agreed with @PrincipalTinker
Not knowing ANYTHING about what your other plans are etc. And having been a WDW truist - believing that anyone who would go to US should not be allowed back on WDW property - I have changed my tone. US is awesome.
I would highly recommend staying at a deluxe for at least one evening at US. US - if you can - should warrant two days. They are GREAT parks.
Last time we went we went to US first for a few nights and then over to WDW for the balance. I can't say enough good things about the Portofino.
If you stay onsite at Universal, you get express passes for your day of checkin and your day of checkout. So the cost of one night gets you express pass benefits for two days.
We are splitting between Uni and WDW on our next trip, and are staying onsite at Uni for our first few nights. Adding up the benefits of the express pass lines, early entry into at least one of the parks for HP stuff, and ease of getting to the parks from hotel for an early morning, it just made more sense for us.
We are planning a car service from MCO to Royal Pacific at Uni, will likely take a cab or car service over to WDW, and will take DME to the airport for free. In all, costs of rental cars were going to be north of $350 for the week, and two car services or taxis are less than half that. Plus no costs to park at Uni.
The child and I don't do well in the heat, so being able to bypass a lot of the line-standing with the express passes was a big deal. We had also considered coming over from WDW during the day, but being able to take a mid-day pool break at the hotel was also a significant consideration for us.
Plus, we found that the deluxe level of Uni hotel was still more affordable than a Disney deluxe hotel. And, we were easily able to use points and rewards to book at Uni. We got a free night with Amex points, and I was actually able to get a second night at more than 50% off with my hotels.com free night redemption (I booked two reservations at Royal Pacific and contacted them to link the reservations, they are very nice and will try to keep us in the same room). I feel like there were multiple options to apply points and rewards to the Uni stay that maybe aren't available for Disney? At any rate, the Uni stay onsite ended up being very reasonable, and it looks like a very nice hotel and nice pool.
if you are looking for a car service we used Destination MCO - they were great! It is the preferred vendor for Portafino (perhaps also RP. You can book via the concierge at the hotel even if you are not staying concierge
We are using Destination MCO, actually. We're not sure what time we'll be moving from Uni to WDW on check out day, and the car service has been very friendly/helpful about being available to get us on fairly short notice if we decide to go that way. I'm not sure if they're who would be outside RPR if we just grabbed a car when we were ready to leave.
we did the same at Portafino - they just had several black cars ready and boom we left. But did use MCO to get to Portafino and from Swan back to the airport. Have a great time!!!