When to make reservations and buy tickets

We are planning to go to Universal and stay 2 nights on site prior to our week at Disney. We will be there in July. When is the best time to make those reservations and from whom? Directly through Universal? AAA? Same question for purchasing tickets - probably 3 day tickets.

I book directly through Universal’s website. I book the annual passholder rates (you can save up to 40%) so that is the only place to get them. You might want to look at getting 1 AP so you can get the discounts as well, some are about the same prices as multi day tickets. I just booked for March 27-30 a few weeks ago when the rates came out.
I buy 1 AP from Universal, and then the rest of the family tickets from Undercover Tourist. They have great promo tickets usually, have used them for years without issues.

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Wahoohokie, would you mind sharing where you found the APH rates? I’ve been waiting to book my room, checking every day and all I can see on Universal’s site under the annual passholder hotel page is travel dates through Feb 14. What am I doing wrong? https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/annual-passes/your-annual-pass/index.html#hotels-and-packages

You aren’t doing anything wrong, the Universal website seems to have the issue. Here is how to get around it:
On the Passholder page choose the Hotels & Packages tab. Then you will see Exclusive annual passholder offer. Click on “Start booking”, yes I know it says for Cabana Bay and only in February. On the page that comes up, put in your dates and search. Cabana Bay will show up with the discounted rooms. Next hit the “Back to hotels” button just above the picture of Cabana Bay and all of the Universal hotels show up. Pick your hotel, the AP rates will show up on the next screen. They are available through the end of May right now. For our dates in March, Royal Pacific has no rooms with AP rates, but Hard Rock and Portofino Bay do. We are paying $65 a night less to stay at Portofino Bay with a bay view than a standard room at Royal Pacific, which is an amazingly great deal.

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Wahoohokie, THANK YOU!!! Worked like a charm! Got a pool view room for $140 less per night than a standard at rack rate for the same dates (3/19 check-in). Pool view was the lowest available for APH rate but hey, if we must have a pool view I guess we must. :wink: Seriously, thank you so much again for taking the time to walk me through that! Very much appreciated!


You are welcome! Glad there was still availability for your trip.