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Old 05-17-2013, 12:05 AM   #1
myxdvz
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Need Help on Planning a US/IOA Trip

Hi everyone,

I've just rearranged our trip and have booked 2 nights at RPR so we can get onsite benefits like FOTL access and EMH.

Check-in: 12/4
Check-out: 12/6

I have a few questions:
  • How are the crowds like at this time? I specifically moved us during the weekday to avoid crowds.
  • Hours are not out yet. Based on previous years, what do you think the hours would be?
  • Is there any benefit to booking a vacation package? I booked our hotel directly from Loews.com and the rates are the same. Cancellation dates seem to be better booking directly with Loews (5 days vs 45 days).
  • What's the best place to buy tickets? I checked the US website and Undercovertourist. I am hesitating to buy tickets because I was hoping for the free 3rd day but that's only good until June 30. Should I wait to buy until closer to our date?
  • We have tickets to MVMCP on 12/5. How long is the drive from US to MK?
  • For a few $ more, I am thinking of just getting the PowerPass but I don't see the 2014 calendar yet. Thoughts? We have a June 2013 WDW, a Nov-Dec 2013 WDW/Cruise/US and an April 2014 WDW trip, and it might be better to just get an AP. We have WDW APs.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:25 AM   #2
macraven
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great time to do the parks, low crowds.......
the hotel perk for the express line usage is wonderful even if the parks are not crowded.

you can go thru the regular lines for some of the rides and catch the big picture.

you do miss out on some things when you go thru the express lines.
mummy, spiderman, dr doom are 3 rides i use the regular lines for early morning.
then i skip to the express lines when the park crowds start growing.

hours for this year in early december should be similar to last years.
you can pull the calendar up on the uo website and see 2012's park hours.

if you don't want to wait, buy your tickets thru UT.
you can always upgrade them to a power or preferred pass once you are in the parks.
you will pay the difference of your original price to the current pass prices.

it only takes a week to get tickets thru UT.

so, you have time to purchase tickets if you want to wait for any deals that might come out.

booking a package for the onsite hotels has its disadvantages.
cancellation policy is rigid.
booking room only allows you to cancel 6 days out from arrival.
there are fees when you make changes on a package.

the package is room and tickets.
if you book a package with the breakfast deal, you aren't getting the best deal. just my thoughts..

december 5th is a thursday.
i'm guessing to give yourself at least 45 minutes.
the drive, if without traffic, could be 22 minutes.
parking the car and taking the tram into the TTC and then monorail or boat to MK could run you at least 20 minutes.

i suggest you plan on being at the MK early and not when the party is to begin.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:39 AM   #3
myxdvz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post
great time to do the parks, low crowds.......
the hotel perk for the express line usage is wonderful even if the parks are not crowded.

you can go thru the regular lines for some of the rides and catch the big picture.

I was told that I don't actually need the hotel perks for this time. So maybe instead of paying $$$ onsite, I should just stay at WDW (I have DVC). Thoughts?

you do miss out on some things when you go thru the express lines.
mummy, spiderman, dr doom are 3 rides i use the regular lines for early morning.
then i skip to the express lines when the park crowds start growing.

hours for this year in early december should be similar to last years.
you can pull the calendar up on the uo website and see 2012's park hours.

if you don't want to wait, buy your tickets thru UT.
you can always upgrade them to a power or preferred pass once you are in the parks.
you will pay the difference of your original price to the current pass prices.

it only takes a week to get tickets thru UT.

so, you have time to purchase tickets if you want to wait for any deals that might come out.

I just read from a few threads here about the Costco 3x ANY DAY tickets for $140. I'm going to try and find those.

booking a package for the onsite hotels has its disadvantages.
cancellation policy is rigid.
booking room only allows you to cancel 6 days out from arrival.
there are fees when you make changes on a package.

the package is room and tickets.
if you book a package with the breakfast deal, you aren't getting the best deal. just my thoughts..

OK. This was what I thought as well. We'll continue booking separately.

december 5th is a thursday.
i'm guessing to give yourself at least 45 minutes.
the drive, if without traffic, could be 22 minutes.
parking the car and taking the tram into the TTC and then monorail or boat to MK could run you at least 20 minutes.

i suggest you plan on being at the MK early and not when the party is to begin.

Right, I think we can start getting in at 4pm even though the party starts at 7pm



Thanks!
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Kids: W(2), X (9), Y(7), Z(5)
Dec 2006 - X DLR / May 2010 - XY WDW, ASMo / March 2011 - XYZ DVC/DCL (AKV, Dream, OKW, Hilton) / Jan 2012 - XYZ DLR, PPH, VGC / June 2013 - WXYZ WDW, BCV/BWV / Oct 2013 - HKDL / Nov 2013 - WXYZ WDW/BLT/WBC, DCL/Magic / Mar 2014 WDW/OKW /
June 2014 HHI

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Old 05-17-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
macraven
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I do agree with you that the hotel perks are not a necessity since you are going that first week in december.

since you are not going on the weekends, you should be fine.


if you leave the motherland resort early and arrive at the darkside entrance gate to the park 35 minutes before it officially opens, you will have a head start on those coming into the park later in the morning.

there are many times the TM's do allow those waiting for the 9:00 opening, into the park 15 minutes early.

if you have a car, the parking cost will be $15 at UO.



some of the cosco specials expire june 30th.
contact your local cosco to see which UO tickets they have.


the hard ticket parties at the motherland do allow you to enter at 4 when the party begins at 7:00 pm.
I have gone that route too in the past.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post
I do agree with you that the hotel perks are not a necessity since you are going that first week in december.

since you are not going on the weekends, you should be fine.

Sorry to butt in, we're going the same dates at OP. Well, we have a mixed trip Dec 1-12th. We are staying off site. I just want to be sure, I expected pretty much the whole trip would be easy going. We've done this time of year for Disney before and even weekends are easy. Are weekends at Universal pretty crowded then? We haven't decided what days we'll be doing what, if Universal is extra busy on weekends I'll avoid it then
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
RedHotAssets
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If you have DVC, I'd definitely do that and just buy the express pass separately. Staying at a Universal hotel is only worth it if you're going to be at the parks for a few days, for me then it's kind of worth it just to stay at the hotel and be able to use the express pass.

Universal Studios shouldn't be a problem on the weekends. Islands of Adventure might be a bit more crowded because of WWHP. If you're able to do IoA on a Friday, I'd recommend doing that.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHotAssets View Post
Universal Studios shouldn't be a problem on the weekends. Islands of Adventure might be a bit more crowded because of WWHP. If you're able to do IoA on a Friday, I'd recommend doing that.
Thank You!! I'm hoping the crowds are even lower since they announced a new addition to WWHP. Maybe people will hold off their trips but being right after Thanksgiving I know it's slow enough.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
damo
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You shouldn't need any express passes for beginning of December. It is a great time to go. Weekends may be a bit busier because Transformers and Simpsons will still be relatively new, but not too bad.

I still prefer staying onsite though. It is great being right there and eliminating any travel time.
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