Where to stay if going to Universal and Disney World
What's good for both?
My friend and I are planning a trip to the US in January next year. We are thinking of spending about a week in Orlando and want to do both the Universal Studios & Disney World parks. How many days do you recommend at each of the parks? Also, do you recommend staying on a Disney property for the whole of our trip (even on the days we will be travelling to Universal) or is there a hotel that is somewhere in between the two? We won't be renting a car. If we should stay on site at Disney world, which hotel do you recommend? We are most concerned about location and easily getting to each of the parks.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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From Tim W
Posted July 8, 2010 at 7:27 PM
I would change hotels. Stay on Disney property for the disney portion and universal property for that portion. As for how many days, I would say about 4 to 5 for Disney World. And 2 to 3 for Universal.
For hotels, I guess it depends on how much you are willing to spend. At Disney World, my favorite deluxe is Wilderness Lodge, moderate would go with Coronado Springs, and Value would go with All Star Movies. For universal I would suggest the Portofino Bay. Again, I guess that depends on how much your spending!
From Rob P
Posted July 9, 2010 at 1:04 AM
What works for us is to stay onsite at Universal before moving down closer to Disney.
To balance the costs we've stayed part of the time at an offsite Resort and then had a few days at somewhere like the Grand Floridian. The cost of the GF for 5 days would've paid for 15 days at one of the good hotels opposite Downtown Disney ( and the free bus network ). Probably wouldn't do that again but wanted to do it at least once.
Staying onsite at Universal is always good as you can forget the car. Particularly in the evening if you want to let your hair down and not drive. You also get to use your room key as a fast pass at the Parks and for priority seating at most of the restaurants in CityWalk.
At Disney it's different as you have all the transport you need. That said we've always liked being close to Downtown Disney. You can walk from your hotel for drinks and eats in the evening .....if you can drag yourself away from the Parks that is.
On our first trips to Orlando we simply stayed offsite near Downtown Disney ,or in a house off the 192 ,and drove to Universal and Seaworld. It's only minutes up the freeway anyway.
Just about anyplace on 192 in Kissimmee is a good spot. If you stay north of 535 your even better, you can avoid the highways with surface streets if there is a accident or back up.
A lot of hotels on Irlo Bronson Highway (192) tend to offer weekly deals in the off seasons and often have more amenities. Such as shuttles to Disney and the other theme parks for guests, no charge microwaves/fridges, free internet and more. Some even tend to have full size kitchens depending on the hotel you choose.
International Drive also isn't bad, your only about 10 miles from Disney and if you can avoid staying on the North End you won't have as much traffic or noise.
parkway international is right off 192 about a block away from the I4 on ramp. 2 minutes to disney and 10 from universal and seaworld. its not fancy but they are well apointed two bedroom villas, with full kitchen and whirlpool tubs in the master bedroom. charleys stakehouse is a 2 minute walk, plus theres a seafood and sushi place in the parkway mall.
I can only recommend hotels on-site at either resort as I am not too aware of off site hotels since I do not prefer them. If you want to get the free Express Pass for the Universal parks I would stay onsite at either Portofino Bay (if money is not much of an issue) or Royal Pacific (if your budget is not grand).
If you want to get all of the benefits of staying onsite at Disney, I recommend either Contemporary or Wilderness Resorts if money is not an issue or Animal Kingdom Lodge if you want to make the most out of what your budget can accost to.
dolphin and swan
It depends on how much money you want to spend on the hotels as well!
My good ol reliable choice is Port Orleans. Not familiar with Universal
Kylie - We've stayed at Port Orleans, Coronado Springs, & Wilderness Lodge at WDW -- I'd recommend all three. At Universal, we've stayed at Portofino & Hard Rock -- these two are more expensive than most, but I'd highly recommend staying on-site at Universal. You CANNOT beat the Express Pass lines and early entry for WWoHP! It's the only way to go in my book!
From Rob Owens
Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM
I usually stay in the Lake Buena Vista area which seems to be central for Disney and Universal. Most of the off-site hotels tend to provide a free shuttle bus to all four Disney Parks and Universal is only a short taxi ride away. Check before you book though obviously.
From Rob P
Posted July 14, 2010 at 4:12 AM
Rob makes a good point about the courtesy buses on offer at a lot of the hotels. It means that ,if you can fit in around the schedules, they make it relatively easy to get to the Parks wherever you are staying.
You have to be sure, though, that they go to all the Parks and not just WDW.
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