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jimjack

Disney Star Wars / Universal Orlando Help !!

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First off I did a search and found some threads but most were outdated. So figured would start new one for my question.

I was considering doing a quick trip to Orlando maybe this fall or winter. I have no kids and me and my wife are middle aged but enjoy theme parks. So plan is to go in middle of the week while school is in and hope things not crowed. Interested in the new Star wars Disney thing and possibly Universal Studios. Only want 2 nights and can hit 2 parks in 2 days. HOWEVER after doing some searching Im not even sure how anybody can figure out where to go or where to stay without going broke. My head hurts from just looking at all the theme parks and trying to figure out what goes where and what has to have a separate admission ticket. Not to mention where to stay- I have no problem paying up for a few nights since only staying 2 nights but jeez these on site places are crazy. Anyways before I just can the hole idea and just go to Vegas I figured I would ask if anybody been around the block on this type of stuff and mention and quick and easy ideas or places ? I don't want to have to do all kind of home work and take out a loan to go to Disney for a few days. Not sure how you families with kids do this for a week at a time. Im exhausted and more confused now from 30 minutes of looking.  Also I assume parks wont be too crowded in fall or winter during school ? I don't have patience to stand in line for a hour to ride a coaster.   Thanks in advanced.     

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Thanks- I actually didn't see that thread , not sure how I missed it.  The one I was looking at had last post was from 2017 ….     

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the problem with a short trip like this is you are dividing your time between 2 properties that both prefer that you stay on their site

If you are young and like thrill rides and not a pixie duster (i.e. a disney freak like us), then I would focus most of your time at Universal. If you only want to hit the Star Ways stuff at WDW then you devote a 1/2 a day and uber over and back. 

Lets start with Universal. UO (Universal Orlando) is 2 really good theme parks for adults. Unlike anything at WDW, they are actually right next to each other and even connected by a Harry potter train in the back. As someone who goes to both resorts, UO has the golden ticket—their Express Pass, that is actually an included perk if you stay at 1 of the 3 deluxe category resorts (Hard rock, Portifino Bay and Royal Pacific). For a young couple, I would recommend Hard Rock as the vibe is cool and its is actually the closest to the parks. With the Express Pass, you can basically walk on any ride, anytime through a special line that is considerably shorter. When we go in the summer (prime crowd levels), we dont wait more then 15 minutes on anything. If you are short on time, i highly recommend this b/c you can literally knock out both parks in 1 day if you want. 

UO has some killer roller coasters,  screen based ride (with 3d glasses) and some unique technology based rides. Overall, if I am looking for trill over nostalgia, UO wins hands down.  Disney is great, but it is so spread out and 'family oriented' the real thrilling rides are spread out across their 4 parks. If you want cutie castle and mickey ear photos and that "I'm a disney kinda adult kid" vibe, then obv you are going to get that over at WDW. 

As for the WDW stuff....SW land is not open just yet so it is hard to calculate exactly what the wait times and crowd levels will look like. But again, just like UO, WDW makes it easier for people who stay on their property to access stuff, so it would not shock me if they offer some perk once it opens for their guests. However, that said, I would not be jumping through too many hoops there b/c there will only be 1 ride open (the millennium falcon ride which is already open in California with mixed reviews)—Edit: If you go after the new year, the 2nd ride will be open and I expect a lot more crowds there then as people are waiting for the full experience.

You could do 1 night at universal and 1 night at WDW, but is it really worth moving for that time—checking in and out of resorts? 

I would plan on being there early, like an hour before the park opens, and make a bee line to Galaxy's Edge ( the name for SW Land). If you want to experience the cantina, you need to make a reservation on line at disney's web site, same for if you want to build a light saber, but I mean its $200 and I can do that with a flashlight and a wrapping paper tube. The park it is in is on the smaller side, so once you do the star wars stuff, there are maybe only 2-3 rides that are must do's there anyway. 

That said, no one really knows what to expect once the full land opens. They may give preference to WDW Resort guests, they may not, no one knows yet. Thats why I say focus on universal, relax, enjoy the parks and City Walk (their bar district), and if you can get to star wars without a 10 hour wait, then do it. 

Hope that helps, feel free to ask  any other questions 

 

 

Edited by glvsav37
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2 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

Isn't it just plain nuts right now with Star Wars land just opening?

its not officially open yet. Still in cast member previews. I believe the last week of august will be the official guest opening. 

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5 hours ago, jimjack said:

First off I did a search and found some threads but most were outdated. So figured would start new one for my question.

I was considering doing a quick trip to Orlando maybe this fall or winter. I have no kids and me and my wife are middle aged but enjoy theme parks. So plan is to go in middle of the week while school is in and hope things not crowed. Interested in the new Star wars Disney thing and possibly Universal Studios. Only want 2 nights and can hit 2 parks in 2 days. HOWEVER after doing some searching Im not even sure how anybody can figure out where to go or where to stay without going broke. My head hurts from just looking at all the theme parks and trying to figure out what goes where and what has to have a separate admission ticket. Not to mention where to stay- I have no problem paying up for a few nights since only staying 2 nights but jeez these on site places are crazy. Anyways before I just can the hole idea and just go to Vegas I figured I would ask if anybody been around the block on this type of stuff and mention and quick and easy ideas or places ? I don't want to have to do all kind of home work and take out a loan to go to Disney for a few days. Not sure how you families with kids do this for a week at a time. Im exhausted and more confused now from 30 minutes of looking.  Also I assume parks wont be too crowded in fall or winter during school ? I don't have patience to stand in line for a hour to ride a coaster.   Thanks in advanced.     

Any chance you are a veteran? If so, check out Shades of Green.

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I agree with most of what @glvsav37 said. With no kids, it depends on if you and the Mrs want to ride thrill rides. If so, skip WDW. Most of WDW is set up for smaller kids with just a few adult rides. To save money, you can also get some hotels off property and get some pretty sweet deals during the off season. 2 days with fast pass and you can see pretty much everything at Universal and Islands of Adventure.

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15 hours ago, glvsav37 said:

its not officially open yet. Still in cast member previews. I believe the last week of august will be the official guest opening. 

I knew it was close. I wasn't exactly sure when. 

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Thanks for all the great tips form everybody. Much appreciated. I guess to sum it up - don't waste my time right now with any Disney  --wait until more Start Wars stuff opens up as that would be only reason for me to do Disney. Hammer the both Universal spots in my 2 days.  Sounds like a plan to me. Only one more question since some of you appear to be experts there lol... if I go to Universal during the week (not weekend) and go say in fall while school is in, is there any reason to purchase a fast past to avoid lines? I don't mind paying for it but hate to waste the money if there are no crazy lines during the week. thanks again to all.

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9 minutes ago, jimjack said:

Thanks for all the great tips form everybody. Much appreciated. I guess to sum it up - don't waste my time right now with any Disney  --wait until more Start Wars stuff opens up as that would be only reason for me to do Disney. Hammer the both Universal spots in my 2 days.  Sounds like a plan to me. Only one more question since some of you appear to be experts there lol... if I go to Universal during the week (not weekend) and go say in fall while school is in, is there any reason to purchase a fast past to avoid lines? I don't mind paying for it but hate to waste the money if there are no crazy lines during the week. thanks again to all.

what dates are you targeting? Wide range is fine. I have a crowd prediction resource I can check (and clearly a problem). I dont travel there during the school year, so I can't be sure w/o checking. 

 

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15 hours ago, UncleZen said:

I agree with most of what @glvsav37 said. With no kids, it depends on if you and the Mrs want to ride thrill rides. If so, skip WDW. Most of WDW is set up for smaller kids with just a few adult rides. To save money, you can also get some hotels off property and get some pretty sweet deals during the off season. 2 days with fast pass and you can see pretty much everything at Universal and Islands of Adventure.

:thumbup:

also, dont forget, w/o kids you can also spend more time enjoying some of the bars and nightlife both UO and WDW offers. UO has City Walk right there with Margaritaville, maybe someone cool is playing at the Hard Rock, Fat Tuesday's, Rising Star Karaoke, as well as some cool bars in the different resorts.  

WDW has Disney Springs with some awesome dining locations and bars. Dis Springs is bigger then City Walk with more shopping and such. 

Each is free to walk around and enjoy even if you are not staying on property. And most tables at all the restaurants at Disney Springs can be reserved via open table the same day unlike other WDW resort and theme park restaurants that guests book months in advance 

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22 minutes ago, jimjack said:

Thanks for all the great tips form everybody. Much appreciated. I guess to sum it up - don't waste my time right now with any Disney  --wait until more Start Wars stuff opens up as that would be only reason for me to do Disney. Hammer the both Universal spots in my 2 days.  Sounds like a plan to me. Only one more question since some of you appear to be experts there lol... if I go to Universal during the week (not weekend) and go say in fall while school is in, is there any reason to purchase a fast past to avoid lines? I don't mind paying for it but hate to waste the money if there are no crazy lines during the week. thanks again to all.

I would not purchase tickets and add the Express Pass - in my experience, it is much cheaper to buy the basic ticket and stay at one of the Universal properties (glvsav37 listed them above) that offers the Express Pass for free. 

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3 hours ago, ThreeThousand said:

I would not purchase tickets and add the Express Pass - in my experience, it is much cheaper to buy the basic ticket and stay at one of the Universal properties (glvsav37 listed them above) that offers the Express Pass for free. 

You only need to stay onsite at Universal for 1 night to get the Express Pass for 2 days.  You go to your hotel in the morning, check in and get your tickets with the pass, but your room will not be available yet.  You come back whenever you want to get the key to your room.

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22 hours ago, glvsav37 said:

:thumbup:

also, dont forget, w/o kids you can also spend more time enjoying some of the bars and nightlife both UO and WDW offers. UO has City Walk right there with Margaritaville, maybe someone cool is playing at the Hard Rock, Fat Tuesday's, Rising Star Karaoke, as well as some cool bars in the different resorts.  

WDW has Disney Springs with some awesome dining locations and bars. Dis Springs is bigger then City Walk with more shopping and such. 

Each is free to walk around and enjoy even if you are not staying on property. And most tables at all the restaurants at Disney Springs can be reserved via open table the same day unlike other WDW resort and theme park restaurants that guests book months in advance 

I can't speak for the Universal restaurants and bars, but Disney Springs is pretty darn impressive. The food and drink are outstanding and some good shopping too. 

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19 hours ago, The Flying Turtle said:

You only need to stay onsite at Universal for 1 night to get the Express Pass for 2 days.  You go to your hotel in the morning, check in and get your tickets with the pass, but your room will not be available yet.  You come back whenever you want to get the key to your room.

this is a good point, but it depends on when you plan on getting to the resort. If you are only staying for 1 or 2 days, you should be packing pretty slim, 1-2 bags at most. If you get to the resort early enough...say before 10/11ish, leave you bags with bell services, get your tickets and express pass (which is your room key but they can give you that before your room is physically ready) and hit the parks. After 4, take a break, get into your room, and such. By then you'll have at least knocked out 1/2-2/3 of the park. Eat a nice meal at City Walk or your resort and go back for a night tour.

The next day, check out and leave your bags with bell services again, and hit the parks doing what you missed or want to re-ride. With Express pass, you can easily do anything you want multiple times.

Tap out when done and head over to Disney for the night (assuming you booked 1-2 resort nights there).  
 

 

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