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Universal Orlando package through RC


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I know that both of my boys have been to Universal and loved it, although they are much older than your child. I have always thought that Universal was geared to older kids, but I could be way off. From other postings that I've read about the RC/Universal package, I'm not sure how many perks you actually get for booking them together, except for convenience. If my kids were that age again, I would opt for Disney. Just my opinion.

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35 minutes ago, Floski said:

But Disney ain't got Hogwarts!!!

 

:27_sunglasses:

But Disney will soon have Star Wars........

I would agree that Disney is better for younger kids.  However its huge and if you have never been it can be very intimidating.

Have you considered using a Travel Agent (TA)?  They can be very helpful with this type of package deal.

Without getting into the minutia of rack rates at Disney hotels, TA's can be very helpful in getting the best deal.

MEI is good and has worked very well for me.

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Your question regarding 5 yr old is prudent. We live in Florida and usually get annual passes most years. Starting from when our youngest was age 7. (Yes prior to that we did Disney, Sea World, and Legoland as great options)

Universal is a GREAT park(s) (better than Disney in my personal opinion). However, there will be much fewer things for the 5 yr old to do (specifically look at Universal Orlando's web page for height requirements). Universal Studios will have great simulator rides like Minions, and Shrek, and Transformers that he/she probably will be able to ride. And also the Woody Woodpecker kids coaster and the ET ride and possibly Men In Black (great family ride). Not to mention the animal stunt show and other "kids area" stuff. Lots of characters walking around as well. Not sure about the height requirement for the Diagon Alley ride (some rapid motion, short drops, and mostly 3-D story interaction). 

Islands of Adventure is probably not worth it for a 5 yr old. Much more focus on motion rides that have taller requirements. (But in my opinion the better Harry Potter area is still the Islands side, 2 coasters and the castle ride). Islands does have the great Dr Suess area for smaller kids, and there are some cool things in the Jurasic area (like the flying bird "swing" ride that is restricted to just smaller kids and their parents), and the Marvel comics area where you can sometimes get pictures with heroes and villans.  Again age 7-8 seems to be a great age to start here.

Beware, the parks are very crowded in the summer, and extremely hot & humid. Pace yourselves (build in sitting/rest times for the kiddos). Also, if you decide to do Universal parks on your own (apart from RCCL) I HIGHLY recommend you pay the extra $ to stay at either Hard Rock, Portafino, or Royal Pacific on-site hotels. Those hotels not only get you in and hr early each day to Harry Potter area, but also include FREE express passes for up to 5 people in a room, for each day (including check-in & out days). Those Express Passes easily double the rides you can cover in a limited time, and on a hot day, that means EVERYTHING.

Have fun & welcome to Florida.

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When I was a wee lad, we lived in Cocoa Beach and then Satellite Beach.  All of us kids were SO excited about Disney opening up...then we

moved in Jan of '71, only a few months before Disney opened.  :40_rage:  :61_sob:

 

Here we are, 46 years later, and I've never set foot in Disney nor Universal.

 

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Thanks for everyone's reply so far.  Our trip is in February 2018 so summer won't affect us. We have been to Disney parks before (our daughter whose 5 has been to the Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld once and Disneyland 3 times) so I was thinking of trying something different with Universal Orlando.  We have never done Universal Hollywood with her because of the limited ride selection for her.  She loves fast rides like roller coasters-her favorite ride at Disneyland is Big Thunder Mountain.  

I know Universal Orlando is big on Harry Potter but I have never seen any of the movies nor read the books so that isn't enticing me to choose that park over Disney World.  

My husband and I initially were thinking of Disney World but I saw the RC package with Universal Orlando.  I thought that the ease would make it easier but I think with the responses so far we may just stick with Disney.  

Thanks for everyone's reply so far!

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2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

This story brought a little tear to my eye.  I can't imagine not having gone to a Disney park as a child.

:58_disappointed_relieved:

I did not go to disney until 1992, when i saved babysitting money while my dh was in grad school.   I hyperventilated when i saw the castle and have now been 17 times!   It is my happiest place on earth,  and only rc ships keep me from going every year.   I have been to universal once to take in harry potter and that was amazing.   I think doing it on your own if you fly in and out of Orlando is very doable and easier than packaging rc.  We flew into mco, and didn't do disney, but you could do disney bus service and then find an uber or shuttle to the airport and then transfer, or even easier,  rent a car and drop it at port canaveral.   Jane

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7 minutes ago, Mrsbeaker1127 said:

Matt- It's a pre-cruise option - it's listed as Land and Sea with Universal Studios on the website.  It includes transportation from airport and then to port.  

 

The biggest issue I find with these tours is the timing.  Typically, you arrive well after the park opens and then only have a limited amount of time there before you must depart.  On top of it, you have no choice but to purchase the full price, one day ticket.

Not knocking Universal or Disney, just stating it's a poor value given the timing of the activity.  If this is your own day to visit and you will likely never come back for a full vacation to Universal or Disney, well, bite the bullet and do it.  But your money is better spent elsewhere and you should plan a land vacation to go to WDW or Universal to get a much better value.

Water parks and day passes to hotels/resorts are likely a good alternative.

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I agree with Matt. Better to do it on your own, and if possible arrive a day early, stay close to the attraction you choose. The drive from the Disney/Universal/Seaworld part of Orlando is  less than an hour to Port Canaveral (not sure of time to Fort Lauderdale). Water park might be a great idea (though maybe not for February unless you are a very hardy soul from the far north). Seaworld really is a great park for younger kids especially, and their water park Aquatica greats GREAT reviews (I believe there is a hotel directly across from Seaworld that has some kind of express pass deal with Seaworld for guests that stay there). Universal did just open its new water park, but I don't have any first hand knowledge on that.

Legoland is closer to Lakeland, so its about  40 minutes farther than Disney, but it is a lot of fun, with appropriate coaster rides, for the 8 and under coaster junkies. It also has a water park. Legoland did not seem nearly as crowded to us as the other Big 3 parks, and tends to be much cheaper ticket prices. Just another option to consider. 

A good travel agent, like the one often mentioned here, can help with the best deals, accommodations, and transport. I February there should be some good off-season deals to be had. Good Luck.

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On 7/12/2017 at 11:10 AM, Mrsbeaker1127 said:

Has anyone done the land and sea package to Universal Orlando before their cruise?  If so, would you recommend it for a 5 year old?  We are looking at either doing this through Royal Caribbean or trying to plan a trip to Disney World on our own.  Any feedback would be welcome.  

 5 yrs old is too young for a full day at Universal Orlando imo. Seuss Land in Islands of Adventure is great for kids but it's really it for that park.  There are also some kid friendly rides in Universal Studios but in general 75% of those two parks are for older kids and adults.  Think paying to go to Magic Kingdom and really only doing about half of what they have in Fantasyland   I agree with Ocalarnd's thought on Sea World, that's a good option for younger kids and tends to be less crowded than Universal and Disney.  Have not been to Legoland so I can't comment.  

For transportation, doing two one way rental cars is a good option.  All the major rental cars will shuttle you from Cocoa Beach to the terminal.

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Our plan was to fly in Thursday spend two days somewhere in Orlando at one of the parks and then head to the port on Sunday.  

We live not far from California and have been to Disneyland and Legoland (both are my daughters favorite places to go besides being on a cruise).  From what everyone is saying we probably will rule Universal out.  

Does anyone know if the Legoland in Orlando is bigger or better than the one in California?  That is something we haven't considered yet.

thanks always for the advice and helpful responses!

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Does she remember Magic Kingdom?  It's different enough from DisneyLand.  If you do a Disney park, I'd avoid Hollywood Studios right now as it's under major construction.  You can go to Epcot and eat with the Princesses and ride the new Frozen ride.  That might be an option too.  

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I am sorry, I can't offer any comparison info between Legolands (with so many great parks in Florida, just haven't made it to CA). Perhaps online comparison on their websites?

Agree with mbk999 about avoiding Disney Hollywood Studios. Currently that park is a huge disappoint. For age 5, you can't really go wrong with Disney Magic Kingdom, or event maybe Disney Animal Kingdom (not so many coaster rides, but very good shows and interactive things).

If you just want a some coaster/rides fun without the full theme park expense, there is also a place called "Fun Spot America" in the heart of the major attractions area of Orlando, that is more like a carnival feel with some big rides (suitable for age 5 I believe). Its cheaper ($41 for single day), and you can stay at the one of the non-resort hotels and save $$. It also includes access to the adjacent "gator spot" (a closeup gator experience).

Again check the websites or I am sure a travel agency like MEI can help with putting something together to maximize your vacation time/value.

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On 7/12/2017 at 10:45 AM, tkltomp said:

But Disney will soon have Star Wars........

I would agree that Disney is better for younger kids.  However its huge and if you have never been it can be very intimidating.

Have you considered using a Travel Agent (TA)?  They can be very helpful with this type of package deal.

Without getting into the minutia of rack rates at Disney hotels, TA's can be very helpful in getting the best deal.

MEI is good and has worked very well for me.

I think "soon" is relative. It's still going to be a couple of years.

I'm working with MEI to book a post-cruise trip to both WDW and Universal. They had very competitive group rates on the hotels for Marathon Weekend and was quite surprised by their rates.

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I have never booked a Land & Sea with Universal.  Honestly I think its better to book them separately
The reason is, if the parks actually go on sale (Disney included) you cannot get that sale
usually if you are booked land/sea.   I've done a lot of Land and Sea options and work with
Disney as well, and most clients prefer this.  its pretty seamless too depending on what you want
Hope this helps and February is a great time to go, if you travel before 2/14 prices are even lower.

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20 hours ago, michelle said:

I have never booked a Land & Sea with Universal.  Honestly I think its better to book them separately
The reason is, if the parks actually go on sale (Disney included) you cannot get that sale
usually if you are booked land/sea.  

I had not realized that was the case. Good to know!

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