1/2 day Universal: is staying at Express Pass hotel worth it?

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by alon86, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. alon86

    alon86 WDW bound in Sept 2019

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Hi! My family of 8 will be staying at a Universal hotel for 1 night before our Disney DVC stay.

    We will have from 1-8pm to spend at Universal (if we're lucky - flight lands at 11:30am). Primarily going to Universal for all things Harry Potter. This is our first time at Universal.

    Planning to stay at Lowes Royal Pacific, which is $639 for 2 rooms (1 night). This will give us the Express Pass to use in the parks.

    Alternatively, we would stay at the Fairfield Inn, which is for $245 for 2 rooms (plus free breakfast).

    Is the $400 for the Universal Express pass worth it, because we will only be a the park for 6-7 hours? Would love to hear people's thoughts.

    Thank you!
     
  2. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    317
    When are you going and what is the make up (age-wise) of your group?
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. alon86

    alon86 WDW bound in Sept 2019

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Late September - group is 4 adults (me, DH and my parents) and 2 kids, DD10 and DD6
     
  5. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    317
    In my experience (we've done 3 late September trips over the past 4 years), probably not. The crowds are usually quite low and there are only limited rides in HP world. HP is much more about the "experience" - shops, wands, food, etc., - where EP is not going to help you. The ONLY thing that might be an issue is the new Hagrid roller coaster. But at this point, there is no information about how long the waits will be and if (or when) it will have an EP option.

    Unfortunately, you are probably limited by your 6 year old from using the single rider lines, but you can maybe pair single rider with child swap (if needed). I'm not sure how that works as I don't travel with kids.

    I'm assuming that you are NOT going on a day scheduled to have a horror night. Again, that might change my answer as the Studios side closes at 5 p.m. on those nights and causes HUGE back-ups for the Hogwarts Express. Depending on the day of the week, however, keep an eye on the Universal calendar. Last year, they added an extra Wednesday night during our trip and I was NOT happy.
     
  6. alon86

    alon86 WDW bound in Sept 2019

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Thanks. We actually will be there on a halloween night, and were planning to do just that- taking Hogwarts Express around 4-5pm to IA. I also just cross posted this on the Universal board, since i just now found it. :)
     
  7. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    317
    Ugh! if it is a HHN night, I'm just not sure if it will be worth doing Universal at all. If you are landing at 11:30, after getting your luggage and whatever ground transportation you are taking (rental car, I assume) and getting to Universal (parking and checking into your Universal hotel to get your EP if that's the way you go), you are actually looking at closer to 1:30-2:00 at the earliest. That gives you 2-3 hours in Diagon Alley and then whatever time it takes you to get on the Hogwarts Express (which even with EP will be CRAZY - been there, done that, have that nightmare) and then just 2-3 hours at best in Hogsmeade. With this plan you would be missing the Hogwarts Express from IOA to Studios, which is a different experience. And that is without ANY stops for either lunch or dinner.

    While the parks are generally less crowded during September, there is a bump up on the afternoons as people start arriving for HHN.

    Your mileage may vary, but trying to do this sounds to me like a VERY stressful start to your vacation.
     
  8. alon86

    alon86 WDW bound in Sept 2019

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Thank you - This is all really good to know/think about. Maybe we head to US another day that week and start the Disney vaca a day earlier. I appreciate your insight! Hmmm....
     
  9. Lewisc

    Lewisc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    18,914
    DVC units are rarely available before checkin. Hotel guests at the 3 original universal hotels can use the hotel Express passes on the day they checkin and the day the check out. I suggest spending 2 days at universal.

    You could stay at universal's newest resort, endless summer. The cost will be much less. You wont get the Express passes but you'll get early admission which will help.

    Consider having at least one person getting an AP. You may be able to get a room discount
     

Share This Page