Where should I book my package?

hey everyone! I’m an avid Disney World goer… but this is my first time to Universal. I am planning to go with my family of 5, my brother’s family and my parents during the holidays. Where does everyone like to book their packages? I am thinking one of the Premier Hotels for the perks. But I’m not sure where to look for the best prices. Do you book the hotel and tickets together? separately? I’d love a resort with the most conveniences, so if you have recommendations, let me know.


My favorite is Hard Rock for its location, pool and express passes. I like it more than Royal Pacific. I honestly prefer Portofino for the hotel itself but it’s further away and hard rock location wins out. Plus it’s a smaller hotel in general which I prefer. I usually book thru Universal or the hotel site and lately I’ve been buying my tickets thru places like undercover tourist to save a few bucks. But others are working AP tricks so I’ll let them comment about that.

I’ll add I much much preferred cabana bay to Endless summer if you do choose one of the moderate/value resorts and I’m about to give Aventura a try in Oct as I’m only going to HHN RIP tour so I didn’t need express pass and thought I’d try out the rooftop bar. Depending on when you’re planning I can update my thoughts on it post trip (I’m going halloween weekend.)


Awesome, thanks for the info. I’ll look at Hard Rock because location is really important to me. WHen I go to disney I prefer staying at the Swan/Dolphin so I can walk to some parks and buy my tickets separately with Undercover Tourist, so all that you said makes sense to me!

I love Epcot area too for the same reason. Walk to two parks!

Royal Pacific is about the same walk at Hard Rock and a little cheaper if that matters. It’s bigger and has a convention center and the rooms are a little smaller. No pool slide either if the kids care.

You can walk from Cabana Bay too btw. It’s similar to the walk to DHS from Epcot hotels. Only ones you can’t walk from are Endless Summer.

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First I’ll say I’ve had good experiences with the Touring Plans travel agency, they will help you with lots of your questions and it won’t cost more than booking on your own (and you might save some money).

Hotel and tickets can be booked separately. If you go on your own with booking you can use the universal site.


We have only stayed at Hard Rock but we love it. We book hotel and tickets separately.


I, too, am a Touring Plans travel agent user. I just booked my first ever Disneyland Trip with them. It’s been a very positive experience. I’m usually a “mega” planner because I know WDW so well. With DLR I felt a bit intimidated. My Touring Plans agent knew all the answers to my questions and is an active Disneyland visitor. (A lot of other travel agents haven’t been anywhere other than WDW. You can request a TP agent that goes to Universal often!)

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For the holidays I 'd highly recommend a premier. I prefer RP over HRH.

One question a TA can really help with is knowing if the passholderhotel rates are already out for your dates. If they are out already they will be gone. But if not, a TA can book the room and then try to switch it to passholder rates.

Check for the cheapest pass that isn’t blocked out for your dates. Good chance it will be cheaper.

If you get the passholder hotel rate but a pass isn’t cheaper then you cam just upgrade one ticket to a pass

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That’s a great point! You can get the cheapest Annual Pass - “Seasonal Pass” for $349. That for both parks (not Volcano Bay) . The blackout dates don’t conflict with your trip.

That’s the same rate as four days of park tickets. If you then stay at a Premier Hotel you’ll get Express Pass included . (with at least 4 guests in the room it pays for itself versus buying ala catre)

It would possibly save you money on tickets and get you an AP hotel rate. Heck, you may like it so much you pop back down sometime in the next 12 months after your trip with your APs!

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We ended up doing three trips. Plan was one week-long trip, then a little less than a year later maybe popping over during out Disney trip.

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