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Tell me about universal?

Discussion in 'Universal/Islands of Adventure' started by keith, May 20, 2013.

  1. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    So we've stayed in Disney A LOT. Pretty much all the resorts and know what to expect.

    Universal is an odd one for us because we don't do coasters/thrill rides and it's always seemed as if they have less to offer in the way of shows and the like. We've not even done the Harry Potter area because it seems a lot to spend for a small area given I dont think we'd do much else at IOA.

    However this December we're thinking of a few days at a hotel. We could easily just do Disney but I keep coming back to Universal. One thing I did like about universal was citywalk in the evening, nothing like that at Disney any more!

    So, Im thinking perhaps I should look at a few nights at a universal hotel. That would give us early entry to the HP area I believe? We could do citywalk in the evening and there's a luau I think which we'd quite like to try.

    So what are the hotels like? which is the best?
     
  2. Britchick
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    Britchick Cast Member

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    I've stayed at RPR and PBH, I loved them both and personally they knock spots off of Disney Hotels. In PBH we had a bay view club room, really comfy beds and club lounge staff very attentive. Offerings were not as plentiful as the RPR. Italian luxurious feel to the resort. RPR was more relaxed, we had a king suite on the club level which was great for 4 of us but a regular room would be fine for 2. Offerings very plentiful with a Polynesian feel, lounge can get a bit more full in our experience but if you are nice to the staff then the pre dinner wine flows quite nicely. You can walk or ride to the parks, it's a nice boat journey but at peak times can be quicker to walk. We enjoyed our meal at Margaritaville. I found citiwalk very loud though. I'm not a huge fan of the universal parks, US IMO needs a big update, Harry potter was good in IOA but not much for me to do in the parks. We tended to get there for rope drop and be out of the park by lunch, found 4 days of this and we were done. It's personal opinion really but we are more Disney people. Front of line has been fantastic and maybe if we hadn't had that it would have taken us longer.
     
  3. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Thanks Brit, it sounds like you're a lot like us in that regard. I'm thinking a couple of days would see us through with what we needed to do at Universal. The polynesian themed resort sounds interesting!

    Citywalk IS loud you're absolutely right but I like the buzz, mad as it sounds :lol: I love walking round, the various restaurants etc. Pat Obriens and so on. I wish they'd move it to Disney or Disney would resurrect nightlife at Pleasure Island.
     
  4. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    I love Royal Pacific!! It's beautiful.

    When staying on site at Universal, I don't think you need more than 2 days. 3 days tops. You can get everything done so quickly. It's also one of the few places I've ever stayed that I truly feel like I don't need a car. Everything is very easy to get to.
     
  5. Britchick
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    Britchick Cast Member

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    we stayed there 5 nights under their scheme where it's cheaper to stay for longer. Didn't make financial sense to stay for a shorter period of time.
    I liked the RPR more i think, the luau is there, we didn't go as sitting outside eating in August weather is not my idea of fun lol. Don't forget there is a charge for parking - $17 per day i think. I wasn't arguing as somehow we managed to get the King suite for £500 for 5 days..i reckon it must have been a glitch. I liked the pool too, fantastic nachos and ice creams and they bring round complimentary fruit from time to time. In the lobby at check in time they have different soft punch you can help yourself to, it was really nice ;)
     
  6. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    We are big fans of Universal but then again we are coaster junkies and thrill ride lovers, so just about everything suits us. We always stay over at one of the hotels for 2 nights. We have done Hard Rock (which we loathed) and Royal Pacific (which we love).
    I should qualify my opinions though as maybe HRH wasnt a great choice for us for several reasons. I suppose the clue is in the name but the music was continuos and loud and our room was absolutely filthy when we arrived. I wont tell you what the bathroom was like as it would require censoring but the room furniture was chipped and being in a corner room we had a dangling dripping drainpipe outside wasn't great either. It was supposed to be a pool view but that would have required binoculars. The corridors never seemed to be clear of laundry carts and pizza boxes lying on the floor. The food choices were nowhere near as good as RPR. Apart from the restaurant The Kitchen, breakfast was only available in the ice cream parlour (again loud music). I think though our opinion may have been also affected by the continuos rain from Tropical Storm Fay as it rained and rained and the hotel did a very bad job of keeping up with the constant stream of wet bodies and feet coming in and out of the hotel. In any case we were all glad to leave and that included my music loving teenagers. So that is a very one sided opinion. Sorry to all HRH lovers in advance.
    RPR - we love that hotel and the fact that every time we have been able to get a room with a view of Dr Doom and The Hulk. We loved waking up each morning and opening the curtains to see the Hulk and Dr Doom doing their warm up runs. The rooms are a little smaller than HRH but not noticeably so. We loved their coffees in the room - very good quality and certainly better than the coffee in moderate and deluxe Disney hotels. The hotel is luxurious and an oasis of calm. The QS breakfast at the Orchid Court lounge was lovely - a good selection of croissants, muffins, pastries, cereals and the like and from what I remember you can have refills of coffee. The coffee is very good. It is a beautifully themed area and the seats are very comfy. I havent eaten anywhere else in the hotel so cant tell you about that. We havent used the pool or bar either.
    We love Citywalk in the evening and are looking forward to trying the new Mojito Bar.

    http://www.partythroughtheparks.com/citywalk/2012/4/7/mojitos-rum-bar.html

    Mags
     
  7. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    Well now I want to try Universal!!
     
  8. Britchick
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    Britchick Cast Member

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    Well do it then ! And stay at RPR!
     
  9. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah! it sounds good doesn't it?
     
  10. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    RPR is gorgeous. I think it's a swankier Polynesian. We get a AAA or an APH (annual pass holder) rate
     
  11. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    oo they do aaa rates too? mmmm tempting!
     
  12. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    Yes sir, they do. You usually have to call for those
     
  13. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    :lol: another decision to make, before, middle, or after :wink:
     
  14. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    arghrrghrghrghrhgrghrgh :lol: middle of the stay would be nice in some ways :/
     
  15. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Not sure why but I always felt that there was something missing at US and IOA. maybe I'm so used to Disney magic.

    However I won't mind trying out transformers ride minions ride:)

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
     
  16. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Are you planning on going this year Jeff :D
     
  17. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Nope not enough time as we are only in Florida for a week before going on cruise :-(

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
     
  18. Tishypops
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    Tishypops Addicted to Mickey

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    It is something we have toyed with a lot, we have fine universal parks before and enjoyed them but I don't think I could spend more than 3 days out if a two week holiday there.
    We thought about doing 2 nights at a universal hotel mainly for the FOL pass you get, that was our plan when looking at next year but since bringing it forward that idea has been scrapped but I am thinking September we shouldn't need it anyway.
    I do want to try a universal hotel at some point and I am actually going to see if as an agent I can get a day pass to have a look round this time so a) I can talk to my customers about them and b) I can suds out which one I want to stay at hahaha


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Oreo
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    Oreo Addicted to Mickey

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    We did universal and IOA last year. We had bought a 14 day pass which worked out a few dollars more than a two day pass.

    We spent a day and a half there in total.

    I was disapointed with Harry Potter (apart from the main ride itself). Jurrasic Park is my favourite but even that has seen better days. Again the same with Marvel. As for Universal Studios, there is no organisation or logic to their park, you have Men in Black next to Simpsons and what was Jaws. And then in the middle of the streets you have this huge red rollercoaster that works on 40% of the time.

    Personally, if you're looking for a park full of rides and food Universal and IOA are you place. If you're looking for the immersive experience stick with disney.
     

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