Well...vacation plans change

While this isn’t 100% done deal yet (as in, we are still working on the details), it appears our planned family vacation to “up north” in Michigan this summer is being canceled. It was actually my daughter’s “dream vacation” for a while. And so, she is graduating from high school this year. We booked a rental house around Traverse city, planned some relaxing days and activities, etc.

And then, last night when I took my daughter out for dinner for Valentine’s Day (well, the day after, but in honor of), she confessed that she would rather go back to…you guessed it…Florida! Universal Studios, to be specific.

So, time to reactivate my Universal Touring Plans account and start looking for vacation home rentals, etc. To be clear, this particular trip is a budget trip, compared to last year’s trip…which means finding very inexpensive accommodations, and likely not eating much in the parks at all, and only 4 days in the parks. No Disney! (Which is somewhat of a shame since I’ll still have my AP active for Disney during this trip.)

Now…I want to be clear…I did NOT pressure my daughter into this at all! It was all her! In case people were wondering. (Having said that, I’m still secretly…well, not so secretly now…happy to be returning to Universal instead of “up north”.)


Ok this is sweet, Ryan. It’s something my Dad would have done. Good job.


Heartwarming. Especially since I’ve been a Universal fan.

Those houses you posted in the other thread looked really awesome. I wish I knew enough about our Disney 2022 trip to book one of those now.

Universal (and Orlando!) is always a good choice!! There’s a current thread on the UOR Lines app that has info on house rentals near Universal if you’ve renewed your Universal TP.

Hey Ryan!

  1. Great you took her out for Valentines Day, I took my mom out when my dad was traveling one time. One of my favorite memories.

  2. Who will be part of the trip?

  3. I’ll be running an article soon about UOAP discount rates, since it’s on site you don’t have to worry about rental cars and such. Keep that in mind vs a rental house (unless it’s a TON of people).

  4. Any other questions for us?


Trip will be me, my wife, my daughter and DS11 for sure. Very possibly my son and his wife as well. My other two adult sons likely won’t be able to come.

I found a house rental that will be about $1000, all told, for 5 nights. 4 bedrooms. Private pool and hot tub.

We will be driving, so no need to rent a car!

Appreciate the offer. At this point this is old hat. Don’t need anything… although I do wonder when the UOR app is going to get the same remake the WDW lines app did! :wink:


FANTASTIC! Damn nice deal too! You got this down.

I’m asking the same questions but I’m just a humble blogger! :joy::rofl:


Yay! I’m looking forward to reading this trip report! I knew you’d be back sooner than you thought.

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Well he already had the Super Liner Bros trip last week.

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This is going to be a busy year for him! :joy:

We are looking at going the week of May 16. Probably will do May 17-20 as UOR park days. So, drive down May 15, arriving May 16. Then four park days, where we are pretty much there at RD and leaving by about 2:00 pm each day. Make dinner in the house. Head to DS one (or more) evenings. But house itself has some games and the pool and hot tub. Anyhow, drive home May 21 & 22.

There is a slight possibility that my DS21 will be able to join us, but it is hard to say. He is graduating from college this year, and won’t know about if/when he will start a new job. So we’ll have to wait and see about that one!


Okay. House is booked. We went with a very slightly more expensive house than we were looking at, but not by much. Also, we decided to add one extra “cushion day” to the house rental since we can bookend the week with travel days.

So, the trip so far is looking like:

May 15-16: Drive from Michigan to Orlando.
May 17-20: Universal days
May 21: Extra day to do whatever, or a “rain make-up” day.
May 22-23: Drive home.

We just talked about maybe going over to Boardwalk and look around while I use my AP to ride Ratatouille (maybe) and then come out with a bunch of goodies from Les Halles or something. In the meantime, the rest of the fam could take a ride on the Skyliner, etc.

Also, the one ADR will be (assuming we can book it) at Olivia’s. It is what my daughter wants. Hopefully Thursday evening.

I know, I know…these plans are so basic, since we discussed this 1 1/2 days ago. You’d think we were newbies or something.


WOW! What a change in events! And May is so soon!!! How exciting!

I like the Epcot treats plan, solid use of your AP.

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That house looks amazing! Suddenly, I want to travel…

The idea of a house while visiting Disney seems like such a good idea, but seems silly for just the three of us. Do Liners ever share a houses on vacation? Particularly one with a preteen girl? Just an idle thought.

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We’ve also rented a Condo. For us, typically 3 bedroom, but there are plenty of 2 bedrooms as well. You can get condos at locations that have some nice resort amenities for significantly cheaper than staying on-site.

But I will admit, it is easier to do Disney on-site with just 3, as to compared to our family. We have 5 kids, after all. :slight_smile:

ETA: Having said all that…there is something nice about just walking out the glass door and slipping into the pool and hot tub!


Truth be told, it is a fairly basic house. There are much nicer ones…but we are really trying to keep this trip on a strict budget. We had budgeted for a trip to up north in Michigan for a week, so we’re trying to keep this trip on par with that trip.

But if this were a bigger budget, I’d probably pick a nicer/larger house in a community that has a large pool and maybe a lazy river or other on-site things to do.

Yes, we did a condo for our first UOR visit. It was nice having a 2/2, particularly since we are all introverts. Those pools look nice, though. Also, with lots of people in the house, the house becomes cheaper per family. I think we’ll mention the idea to some of our friends.

BTW, here is a house we contemplated. We actually really love the look and theming, as well as the price. But we decided to try to limit to houses that had a 100% refund policy at 15 days out. Many are 30 or 60 days. (This one was I think 30 days.)

Often, people will go kind of over-the-top with their theming inside their rental homes. But this Star-Wars themed home was very well done. One Star Wars lovers would appreciate, but even those who don’t care two hoots about Star Wars would like:


I need that shower curtain!