Two weeks at Disney and pop out for everything else. Split stay between WDW and Universal. Start and finish at Disney with Universal in between. And the last one adding in a few nights at a Seaworld Hotel. My ideal involves 5 different hotels but when you consider the savings of staying longer in one place, only 2 hotels looks appealing.
Anyone? I was thinking that begining and ending at Disney would be nice and that means free transport to and from the airport. However the price difference between 5-7 nights is sometimes negligible, so it makes sence to just stay at 2 hotels.
I would think about the pros of staying at a number of different hotels (new places to eat on site) vs the work of packing and unpacking. If the majority of your time will be spent in parks, then the hotels just become a bed to crash on. I love staying in the bubble, but hate packing and unpacking. Good luck
I’d love to stay at 4 different places, AKL for AK & MK, BC/Swan for EP & HS, Renaissance for Seaworld and a Universal hotel. I see it as 4 different bubbles but I think its too expensive. I think I might book our flights and the last week at Universal and then see about renting DVC points. Another option is the French quarter with free dining that does make economical sense. They are all lovely thoughts to be mulling over.
I would definitely stay on site at WDW and Uni because there are some valuable perks at both. Seaworld doesn’t “own” a hotel, so I don’t know if there are perks to be had there. I hate changing hotels, so I would do it as little as possible. Plan 2-3 days at Uni (possible an extra if you plan on doing Volcano Bay) and 1 at Sea World (and additional days if you plan on doing Discovery cove and/or Aquatica). The rest at WDW. Of course you could also take a day and go to Tampa to see Busch Gardens…
We had a room at Disney for the full 2 weeks. We decided to stay at Universal later on, and just booked a random night there during our trip. That gave us 2 days, and we also did 2 day trips over there.
That’s what we do when we stay offsite - 3 days UOR, SW, BG and the rest at WDW.
Thanks @bswan26 @missoverexcited @SoTangled Our stay is the 2 weeks leading up to easter, so the first week is probably average crowds and the second will be heaving. Should we do Disney or Universal first, bearing in mind we will have express passes for Universal, but our kids will only be 7 & 9. I had thought Universal last but Diagon Alley & Hogsmead will be rammed packed which will make it rather hard to wander, soak up the atmosphere and cast spells. Any Thoughts please?
Having never been to either park during peak season, I’ll defer to people with first-hand experience…
I haven’t been during horribly busy times, just normal summer crowds. But I’d say Universal is probably your best bet in the busier second week. It won’t be as busy as WDW and Express Pass means you don’t need to plan as much. If you’re staying onsite you can do early entry to the Harry Potter areas.
We go to WDW and Universal almost every year for spring break, and every 3rd year that falls around Easter (my kids’ spring break is always first week of April regardless when Easter falls). Anyway, I would plan Universal and anything else non- Disney for the busier, closer to Easter week. Disney may be more enjoyable the first week you are there. The express passes make huge crowds no big deal. You want to take advantage of early entry for HP areas, then get the heck out of those areas for the busiest parts of day, and then back in the evenings as crowds thin at Universal at night, unlike at WDW.
We have also switched it up and been at WDW over Easter (and will be again this year) with Universal further from Easter, so it is completely doable if it works better this way for you. For 2 weeks my ideal stay would be 4 nights at a Universal hotel with express passes (maybe 3 days total in park plus 1 more if planning Volcano Bay), and then the rest of the time at a Disney hotel, with as many days at WDW as you can fit in (we go 7-8 days at WDW, and it is never enough, even with 2-3 at Universal before or after).
Also, people worry a lot about spring break and Easter crowds, but honestly we have never found it to be a big deal. The heat and humidity often bother us more than than the crowds. Plus Disney is prepared for large crowds, so has long hours and full staff ready to go. This is a much better situation to me than what has happened the first 6 weeks of 2018 based on what I have been reading on Chat- huge crowds but short park hours and understaffed situations. Spring break has been great compared to this!
Your info was great, thank you. Next year easter is late so we will probably hit both spring break and Easter crowds. If I book now I will just do flights and Universal at the end, leaving the begining free to maybe pick up free dining or a stay longer discount. Do you do Seaworld or Discovery cove?
Your plan sounds great. We spent 1 day at Sea World in 2015. We had a good time, but the kids haven’t asked to go back. We have never gone to Discovery Cove, but it does look amazing.
I’m still undecided, I think we’ll be going Tues 2nd - Tues 16th April 2019, as those flights are likely to be cheaper. So we’ll catch spring break. but gone before Easter. I think we’ll do 5 nights at AKL hopefully with free dining, 3 nights at Beach Club, and 6 nights at HRH or Royal Pacific, where we’ll take 2/3 day trips from. However I can’t decide on the order, whenever I think I’m sure, I change my mind again. Any thoughts please?
I think, if it were me, I would probably do AKL first, then HRH/Royal Pacific, and finish with Beach Club.
I think I would also do what I could to rent points for AKL and BC, rather than cash in hopes of free dining. YMMV on the value of that proposition. Once I had my AKL and BC stays nailed down via points, then I would fill in the days at HRH/Royal Pacific.
Just one girl’s opinion.
I think that’s what I’m leaning towards, it’s a toss up between ending with the best pool or express passes at Universal. I’m from the UK so our free dining offer comes out this April for next year and usually includes dates that yours doesn’t. If I get it then there is some sense in staying at the BC straight after AK, or doing our day trips from WDW instead of Universal.
I can see that making sense. I would be sure to price out (in advance) what the difference in cost is between paying rack rates to receive free dining and the cost to rent points. Then see if the free dining is even worth the $$.
Either way, sounds like a fabulous trip!
It works out about the same, which makes me lean towards Disney, but renting points would mean I could do AKL for a couple of nights before BC. Thanks for your advice.