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Universal Hotel Perks - Worth it ?

Submitted by Mike Saperstein
Published: July 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM

We're going to WDW in January for a week, and love staying on-site at Disney. However we are planning to spend one day at Universal Studios, primarily to see all the Harry Potter stuff. We're a family of four with kids aged 8 and 10, and haven't been to Universal Studios since before the kids were born.

We would potentially consider staying at Universal one night of our trip if it meant getting perks that would help optimize our time at Universal Studios; in particular, not waiting as long for the Harry Potter stuff.

What perks (if any) do on-site Universal Studios hotel guests get ? And does anyone have experience with how well these perks help -- particularly with all the Harry Potter stuff ? And do we still get the perks the day that we've checked out of the hotel ?

All info and opinions appreciated, and thanks!

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From Robert Niles on July 28, 2014 at 3:57 PM

You will get one hour of really entry to both Wizarding Worlds on the day you check in through the day you check out. If you stay at the Royal Pacific, Hard Rock or Portofino Bay, you also will get an unlimited Universal Express pass which gets you front of line access to all rides, shows, and attractions except Gringotts, Forbidden Journey and Pteranodon Flyers. Again, that's for the day you check in through the day you check out. (You'll need park admission tickets for each day, of course. But Universal will sell them to you at the hotel for the online discount rate.)

Downside? You'll have to pay for parking each night if you keep a car at the hotel.

I've stayed there for one night before, and checked in *very* early (like 8am) to maximize our use of the Universal Express pass over the two days. No problem -- I just left the bags with the bell desk, which kept them until our room was ready. I didn't try checking in early enough to use the Wizarding World early access on the first day, but this was back before Diagon Alley opened, so we were happy with the early access to Hogsmeade on the second morning (after we checked out). Again, we just left our bags with the bell desk while we went to the park all day.

TL;DR Is it worth it? Yes!

From Anthony Murphy on July 28, 2014 at 5:48 PM

If you are only planning on staying one day. No

Then again, my family is not one to move from hotel to hotel like some in DVC or Disney World. Think of the Magic Bands!

If you want to do it, I would recommend doing it at the very beginning or end.

We went to Universal last year while staying at a Disney Resort. We didn't really feel left out

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