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Looking to go to Universal for three days before we get to Disney. Which hotel out of the three do you all recommend? I haven't a clue about anything Universal since we have never been before. I feel the boys are finally all old enough to enjoy it, so we are going to try it. Any help would be great!! Thanks in advance!
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I loved my stay at Portofino Bay. The rooms are HUGE! It is an easy walk around the lake to the parks. Hard Rock did not appeal to me on our tour but I did like the look of Royal Pacific. (Especially the adorable frog statues that line the entrance bridge! )
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Royal Pacific is a lovely hotel. You can take the boat or walk the trail along the water to get to the parks and CityWalk. We did both methods. RP is closest to IoA. If you want to take a day to go to SeaWorld, you can sign up for the free shuttle. Do it a day in advance. I really enjoyed Universal since CityWalk is right next to your hotel. In the evenings, we went to movie theater, ate at both sit-downs and quick service, shopped, listened to a live band, etc.
Location: Panhandle of Florida - The Emerald Coast
Concierge Level: 4
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We're staying at the Royal Pacific this time to see what an onsite hotel stay is like. But last spring we stayed at a hotel on International. There are loads to select from and they're a 5 minute drive at most to Universal parks. It was way less $$$, so I'm hoping I don't regret our choice this time around. If money is a factor, then you may want to check some of those. We were at the International Palms, not fancy, more like a Best Western, but our room was clean and a huge, and we had a view of the parks. There was a Sheraton right beside us, and too many others to count. Also, there was an IHOP right near where we turned to go to the parks so we were able to grab a good, reasonably priced breakfast to start our day.
We stayed at Royal Paicific and it was great. Why pay more when your not in your room. I also walked around all of them, yes Portofinio is beautiful, but I found it far away and a bit to spread out for us. We loved to be able to walk to/from instead of using the boats.
1989+1993 Carribbean Beach,1996 ASS+Dixie Landings,1998 DL,2000 CB Hurricaine Floyd!!,2001 DL,2003 CS,2004 WL,2005 POR,2006 seven night eastern carb. disney cruise!!!,2006 Halloween Liki Tiki,May 2007 off site Orange Lake,May 2007 AKL,Sept 2007 CS,Oct 2008 Halloween ASM,May 2009 PC+ a seven night eastern carb. cruise,Feb 2010 GCV,BCV + BLT Sept 2011; OKW 8/12;Kindani 9/13: POR 3/13; Jambo Club Level & SS 6/14; Poly studio 8/15, GF villa July 2016;Blt + AKK June 2018
The hard rock and the portofino bay deluxe rooms are a better size for a family of 5 than the royal pacific as they have the 2 queens as well as the sofa bed. We are doing the hard rock as my teenagers wouldn't forgive me if we didn'tdidn't
I've stayed at the Portifono Bay and Royal Pacific. Both are beautiful hotels with exemplary customer service and I thought even the Royal Pacific, which is least expensive was nicer than the deluxes I have stayed in at WDW.
I found the resorts uch quieter than Disney Resorts and there were fewer small children running wild, one of my complaints about my stays at Disney resorts. I cringe when kids run and climb where they shouldn't and scream in the halls. I have seen too much of it at Disney but preferred the more relaxed settings at Universal.
I have not stayed at the Hard Rock because of my aversion to lots of noise.
We are fortunate enough to be able to stay at Shades of Green on Disney property. We have done that once, are doing it again this September and we have also stayed at Royal Pacific but thought it was was overpriced for what you got vs what you get at Disney.
I've stayed at Portofino & Royal Pacific and have seen the rooms at Hard Rock. I know my kids would love Hard Rock for the "coolness factor" but I would choose Royal Pacific again without hesitation. Portofino was very nice and would be nice if it were just me & DH but I don't think my kids would appreciate it for the additional cost. My DD loved the pool at Royal Pacific and I agree that it feels close to a Disney deluxe resort.