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Family Trip

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
This is early days but I'm in charge of booking everything and these are the headlines:

  • 8 Adults and 3 kids (2 are under 4)
  • Late June for 2 weeks
  • Disney and Universal
  • Staying on site
I'll also be returning in September for another family trip with my wife's family with 6 adults and 1 kid with the same headlines as above minus the date.

I think getting an AP for Disney and Universal is the way to go for my wife and I who will be going on both.

With the Disney AP and the hotel discounts, would I be able to apply that to all the rooms I book?

Do I get a 15 seater and drive everybody about or use Magical Express and Uber?
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
At which point is Disney Dining worth it?

Pricing things the now and it’s working out about $48 a person per day for the table service option.

it’s also working about an extra $150 for a week at Caribbean Beach over Pop. Is this worth it?

Last question, at DL, I noticed it was possible to upgrade your ticket to an AP, if I buy a room, ticket and Disney Dining, can I upgrade this ticket at WDW?
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,765
At which point is Disney Dining worth it?
Unless you like character meals/buffets (gross), never.

it’s also working about an extra $150 for a week at Caribbean Beach over Pop. Is this worth it?
I'm DVC, so can't help much here. Considering neither location has a transportation benefit (they're all busses, right?), it would be a non-issue to me.
The new pop redo looks nice from pics, but that's up to you.

Last question, at DL, I noticed it was possible to upgrade your ticket to an AP, if I buy a room, ticket and Disney Dining, can I upgrade this ticket at WDW?
I assume you mean a WDW ticket then upgrading it to a WDW AP?
If so, yes, all you need is a ticket to upgrade to an AP at WDW. It's called "Bridging" and it's actually better than buying an AP outright.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
I stayed at Pop last time and enjoyed it but even though the rooms claim to sleep 4 people, it would be tight.

I’ll be going back in September for another family trip and I figure the amount of air miles I’ll generate booking everything, I may be as well getting an AP and having a few more cheap travels in 2021 and try and enjoy some of the 50th celebrations.

I need to look more into the dining. I figure it’s going to be the easiest way and with 11 people, booking tables 6months out will be a hell of a lot easier than just showing up hoping for the best.
 
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TheDr

Rookie
Mar 8, 2019
124
Scotland
I think getting an AP for Disney and Universal is the way to go for my wife and I who will be going on both.
I can't answer on the Disney side of it, but we upgraded our 14 day Universal tickets to the Premier AP last October. It was honestly the best thing we did. You get the express pass after 4pm and free valet parking too (which is nice). Plus your discounts and 1 HHN ticket per pass. We went again in July this year and the price of the AP worked out about the same as buying 2x 14 day tickets for each trip, but obviously with the 14 day tickets you don't get the extras

Do I get a 15 seater and drive everybody about or use Magical Express and Uber?
With the amount of you going you're probably better just getting Ubers / busses. That way if you wan't to do something yourselves then you can
 

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
Unless you like character meals/buffets (gross), never.


I'm DVC, so can't help much here. Considering neither location has a transportation benefit (they're all busses, right?), it would be a non-issue to me.
The new pop redo looks nice from pics, but that's up to you.


I assume you mean a WDW ticket then upgrading it to a WDW AP?
If so, yes, all you need is a ticket to upgrade to an AP at WDW. It's called "Bridging" and it's actually better than buying an AP outright.
Pop has access to the Skyliner, same with Caribbean Beach Resort.

The weird thing is that Coronado Springs is coming in $30 cheaper that Pop Century when I do Disney Dining plus it comes with a $100 gift card. Obviously this doesn't come with Skyliner access but it's cheaper and bigger and I think it's just been renovated as I looked at it last year. Quick service Disney dining is working out at $22 a person per day which sounds like a good deal.

Another weird thing, it's working out cheaper to fly premium economy than standard economy if we book everybody at once.

For the Universal part, I think Cabana Bay is going to be the safe option.

I can't answer on the Disney side of it, but we upgraded our 14 day Universal tickets to the Premier AP last October. It was honestly the best thing we did. You get the express pass after 4pm and free valet parking too (which is nice). Plus your discounts and 1 HHN ticket per pass. We went again in July this year and the price of the AP worked out about the same as buying 2x 14 day tickets for each trip, but obviously with the 14 day tickets you don't get the extras



With the amount of you going you're probably better just getting Ubers / busses. That way if you wan't to do something yourselves then you can
I'm still on the fence about a 15 seater, I don't know if the hotels or parks charge extra to park it. Uber seems like the obvious choice but with 11 people, I don't know if it's going to be a pain or not.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
Pop has access to the Skyliner, same with Caribbean Beach Resort.

The weird thing is that Coronado Springs is coming in $30 cheaper that Pop Century when I do Disney Dining plus it comes with a $100 gift card. Obviously this doesn't come with Skyliner access but it's cheaper and bigger and I think it's just been renovated as I looked at it last year. Quick service Disney dining is working out at $22 a person per day which sounds like a good deal.

Another weird thing, it's working out cheaper to fly premium economy than standard economy if we book everybody at once.

For the Universal part, I think Cabana Bay is going to be the safe option.



I'm still on the fence about a 15 seater, I don't know if the hotels or parks charge extra to park it. Uber seems like the obvious choice but with 11 people, I don't know if it's going to be a pain or not.
Coronado vs. Pop....not even in the same league...The Skyliner isn't that valuable...................Can't beat CBBR. Dollar for dollar, it's the best resort in Orlando. and...with The Universal deluxes getting lots more expensive (and no more Rewards Program), I'm seriously considering moving up to the premier AP, which has limited Express after 4:00 PM, and spend the bulk of my Universal vacations at CBBR instead of the deluxes. I can still cross the street and use the water taxi, visit the cool bars and restaurants at the other resorts. Going on two vacations a year of 20 nights plus total, I can save a ton of money by staying at CBBR and basically have nearly the same experience. I think CBBR is more than worth the $20 or $30 a night that I'd pay at the new hotels. CBBR resort layout, amenities, pools, and location is worth that and more.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
Coronado vs. Pop....not even in the same league...The Skyliner isn't that valuable...................Can't beat CBBR. Dollar for dollar, it's the best resort in Orlando. and...with The Universal deluxes getting lots more expensive (and no more Rewards Program), I'm seriously considering moving up to the premier AP, which has limited Express after 4:00 PM, and spend the bulk of my Universal vacations at CBBR instead of the deluxes. I can still cross the street and use the water taxi, visit the cool bars and restaurants at the other resorts. Going on two vacations a year of 20 nights plus total, I can save a ton of money by staying at CBBR and basically have nearly the same experience. I think CBBR is more than worth the $20 or $30 a night that I'd pay at the new hotels. CBBR resort layout, amenities, pools, and location is worth that and more.
The Skyliner would be nice but it's only for half the parks and I've not been overly impressed with the travel times as well.

That's my thinking. Universal seems like such an easy decision with CBBR compared to the complexity of Disney. CBBR offers the perfect environment for families, the location is still excellent with Volcano Bay next door now. I think we're only planning 2 or 3 days at the dry Universal parks and being the time of year, it will be open later as well so it should be plenty of time to get things done. We could even pay for Express and still be cheaper than staying at the deluxes. A close proximity to Strongwater Tavern is also high on my priorities.

My other plan was to pay the difference for my parents to stay at Hard Rock and upgrade my wife and I and then just say we're all sharing a room. 5 guests to a room, we all get Express and everybody else can go back to CBBR. I'm sure it's frowned upon but a cheaper option.

I've just realised that Laura and me will be upgrading to an AP anyway so going for the Premier AP so we can use the Express Pass after 4 is actually a great idea.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
The Skyliner would be nice but it's only for half the parks and I've not been overly impressed with the travel times as well.

That's my thinking. Universal seems like such an easy decision with CBBR compared to the complexity of Disney. CBBR offers the perfect environment for families, the location is still excellent with Volcano Bay next door now. I think we're only planning 2 or 3 days at the dry Universal parks and being the time of year, it will be open later as well so it should be plenty of time to get things done. We could even pay for Express and still be cheaper than staying at the deluxes. A close proximity to Strongwater Tavern is also high on my priorities.

My other plan was to pay the difference for my parents to stay at Hard Rock and upgrade my wife and I and then just say we're all sharing a room. 5 guests to a room, we all get Express and everybody else can go back to CBBR. I'm sure it's frowned upon but a cheaper option.

I've just realised that Laura and me will be upgrading to an AP anyway so going for the Premier AP so we can use the Express Pass after 4 is actually a great idea.
Premier...especially if you're going on two separate trips....and food discounts too. If you pay for your whole gang at dinner, that could be some big money savings.....and CBBR has that entrance ramp right onto I4....saves a lot of time for day trips to SW, Disney etc.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
Flights are booked and number of people going is revised.

Instead of 11, it's now 9 with two people staying for 9 days instead of 16.

We've got a stay at Disney planned from the 18th - 24th June and then heading up to Universal.

My next 2 questions are:

Coronado Springs or Caribbean Beach Resort? CBR is coming in about £200 cheaper.

The two people who are leaving early will only have 2 full days at Universal with a half day for when they arrive and the morning for when they leave. I'm thinking that Express Pass is essential for this time of year to get everything done so do they stay Cabana Bay and buy Express or stay at a premier hotel?
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
Flights are booked and number of people going is revised.

Instead of 11, it's now 9 with two people staying for 9 days instead of 16.

We've got a stay at Disney planned from the 18th - 24th June and then heading up to Universal.

My next 2 questions are:

Coronado Springs or Caribbean Beach Resort? CBR is coming in about £200 cheaper.

The two people who are leaving early will only have 2 full days at Universal with a half day for when they arrive and the morning for when they leave. I'm thinking that Express Pass is essential for this time of year to get everything done so do they stay Cabana Bay and buy Express or stay at a premier hotel?
CBR because of the gondolas & ease of transportation. I've stayed there often and really like the resort, but it has gotten a tad too expensive for something that's on CBBR level or a bit below. .
 

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
CBR because of the gondolas & ease of transportation. I've stayed there often and really like the resort, but it has gotten a tad too expensive for something that's on CBBR level or a bit below. .
Double checked again and the availability is an issue. Coronado is working out quite a bit cheaper and it’s an upgrade to a preferred room. Caribbean is a pirate room and about 25% more.

Coronado it is.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,245
Pittsburgh area
Double checked again and the availability is an issue. Coronado is working out quite a bit cheaper and it’s an upgrade to a preferred room. Caribbean is a pirate room and about 25% more.

Coronado it is.
Pirate rooms are overpriced. They're really nothing special.....Coronado makes sense if the price is a decent bit cheaper. CBBR & Coronado are, for all intents and purposes, equal, except for the Skyliner.
 
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Apr 26, 2018
346
It’s all booked and now I can do the relaxing part of the trip, Universal.
I think the universal premium hotels are worth it for the unlimited express.

I don’t think you priced it properly if you think cabana plus unlimited express for 9 people is cheaper than premium hotels. (Unless you are spending most of your stay away from universal studios and IOA. )

Unlimited express is highly underrated if you want to do things more than once and are going to be in US and IOA a bunch. Our family once rode Popeye 12 times in a row, for example. 75 minutes of hilarious stupidity we will never forget, and great fun being 100% soaked, and watching people get on in nice clothes and heels and stuff, only realizing they are screwed once they look at us and the ride has started. I believe the line was about 20 minutes, but with on site express it was a walk-on each time.

It depends on what you value more and my group likes to ride, ride, ride, and max out the attractions. If we were spending more than one day OUTSIDE of US and IOA, it does start to be a waste of money. But we spend all our time in the parks and city walk.
 

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
I think the universal premium hotels are worth it for the unlimited express.

I don’t think you priced it properly if you think cabana plus unlimited express for 9 people is cheaper than premium hotels. (Unless you are spending most of your stay away from universal studios and IOA. )

Unlimited express is highly underrated if you want to do things more than once and are going to be in US and IOA a bunch. Our family once rode Popeye 12 times in a row, for example. 75 minutes of hilarious stupidity we will never forget, and great fun being 100% soaked, and watching people get on in nice clothes and heels and stuff, only realizing they are screwed once they look at us and the ride has started. I believe the line was about 20 minutes, but with on site express it was a walk-on each time.

It depends on what you value more and my group likes to ride, ride, ride, and max out the attractions. If we were spending more than one day OUTSIDE of US and IOA, it does start to be a waste of money. But we spend all our time in the parks and city walk.
For the 10 days we’ll be at Cabana Bay, we’ll be at the dry parks 4 days max. It’s going to cost an additional $2000 minimum to stay at the cheapest premier hotel. With 2 people to a room, it would need to cost over $250 a day per person for Express to justify staying at a premier hotel.

Sure, you could book two rooms at Royal Pacific and two rooms at Cabana and say we’re all staying in Royal Pacific and use the Express Pass from that but even that’s $125 a day per person and it breaks up the group.

Add in the fact that my wife and I will be upgrading to a preferred AP and will get Express after 4 anyway, I just don’t see the value.

I’ve stayed at Hard Rock before, I loved it but this is peak season with prices to match.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,756
Glasgow
Looking at park tickets and everywhere has dropped in price.

The 14 day WDW ticket is going to be £60 ($80) cheaper for 2020 compared to what I paid for 2018.
 
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