Joshua Counsil

Published: June 28, 2008 at 10:21 AM

This is excellent, and I've always considered the Universal online unlimited ticket to be a phenomenal deal. The problem is that I can rarely convince family and friends to see Universal for more than one day, and plus we go in the moderate season when lines never see more than 40 minutes (and even that is very rare).

Guess I'll never have the chance to flash my VIP card and skip the line, like so many politicians.

Scott Thatcher

Published: June 28, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Excellent report. Thank you Robert. I'm so glad you and your family have had such a good time. I've heard that once you get a taste of the front of line pass, you'll never want to go anywhere else again without it. I'm going to PBH in September, was not looking real forward to it, till I read your report. Now I can't wait!!!!!!!
James Rao

Published: June 28, 2008 at 11:07 AM

I hate to say I told you so, Robert, but....

From James Rao on April 22, 2008 at 4:22 AM
I think with Universal Studios, Citywalk, and Islands of Adventure, you owe it to yourself to go ahead and stay on property for a few days at one of the Universal resorts (Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, or Portfino Bay). The proximity of the entertainment (walking distance for the most part), combined with the included Universal Express perk that comes with your room key, makes touring the parks an absolute breeze. Go when you want for a long as you want, and then head back to swim and relax when things get hectic.

We stayed at Universal for four days at the Royal Pacific and could not have been happier."

Glad to know my family's trip was not a fluke!

Brian Emery

Published: June 28, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Thanks for posting, I enjoyed it.
Robert Niles

Published: June 28, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Hey, James, I *always* listen to what folks on the site have to say. Good call.
Mark Hollamon

Published: June 28, 2008 at 1:13 PM

My wife and I live in Orlando just about 20 minutes from USF, but try to stay at the Royal Pacific at least once per year to keep the "Pampered Tourist" feel to our life!

There really is no better deal than the front of the line room key experience! We discovered this before we even moved to Orlando. You can literally have a two night stay and leisurely walk through both parks and ride all you want as much as you want and NEVER have to rush, PLUS have time to catch a movie or rest up for the clubs at night!

Marc Ricketts

Published: June 28, 2008 at 2:17 PM

"On Universal Orlando's website, I found a seven-day, two-park ticket for $90."
What's amazing is that this is a better deal than they had in 2005, when we paid the same for a 5 day ticket. And I bought them months in advance, maybe even late 2004, because I didn't think that deal would last.
Larry Zimmerman

Published: June 29, 2008 at 6:23 AM

From the picture, I'd say you were a floor above our rooms when we stayed there in early May. We loved it! Our experience pretty much paralleled yours, except for the parking thing. We never had a problem self-parking, and always got a spot up close to the main road. The one-two punch of Universal's parks and Loew's hotels present Disney with SERIOUS competition when it comes to value, theming, and convenience; I actually voted for IoA as best park based on the great time we had last month.

This does not, of course, mean I'm not going back to Disney just means I'll be liberally sprinkling my theme park dollars among THREE contenders... Busch Entertainment, WDW, and Universal.

Deidre Dennis

Published: June 29, 2008 at 9:52 AM

The first thing that stood out to me about your report, Robert, was that you had the feeling your family was theme parked out. After a couple of days after our recent trip to BEG, we decided that we're skipping a theme park vacation next year and doing a road trip to Yellowstone and other national parks.

At any rate, I am not theme parked out. In 2010, we definitely plan to go back to Orlando. When we went in 2006, we stayed 10 nights at a WDW value resort because it's cheapest, on site and we only spend sleep time in the hotel. We splurged on the express plus pass at Universal and it was AWESOME. Especially after your report, I'm now thinking about splitting our time between the two hotels. There is nothing like that front of the line pass, particularly when you're with children and that humidity down there. You feel like you can go at a much more relaxed pace, and that makes your trip all the more enjoyable.

Lee Mak

Published: June 30, 2008 at 11:08 AM

great to know...thank you for the detailed review of the place. It look slike any other hilton with a carribe' flair. Not exactly the Poly, but for 200 a night, I am all about it.
Kathy Whitaker

Published: July 2, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Personally I think that charging a huge per day parking fee for walking around in the dark on a service road in order to get back to your room is unreal..We too, had to do this and will never stay there again due to this flaw at the Royal Pacific. Service vans whizzed by us while we were trying to bring in our packages (butts sticking out our open doors) in the dark. Found out walking through the Luau pavillion was quicker but embarassing. Couldn't believe they made me pay for this...Also, those water taxis are aggravating to an extent..