Back from vacation!

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by ilovetotravel1977, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. ilovetotravel1977

    ilovetotravel1977 DIS Veteran

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    I'm back from our 12-day adventure! I'm glad to be home. We had an amazing 7 nights at Pop and 4 nights at Cabana Bay.

    Back to the air miles grind to save for the next vacay! I'll be on the live chat about my missing STB miles asap tomorrow. I need to get that figured out stat.

    I've come to realize that each property provided a different experience.

    Disney Resort (Pop) - You are in a Disney bubble, 24 hours a day. Period.

    Universal Resort (Cabana Bay) - I felt like an adult on vacation. The diner/cafeteria used real dishes and cutlery. Food options were better and priced well. Their kids meals were lacking though compared to Pop. But their to-go case, snacks, drinks, etc were all lower priced. Starbucks right in the hotel. Pools were great, our section, Americana, had an actual white sand beach as well. Even after all of that, I missed having my magic band for paying for food, etc.

    If you have any questions, let me know and I will gladly help.
     
  2. ottawamom

    ottawamom The "Air Miles" Lady

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    Welcome home.

    Did you forgo mousekeeping at Pop. If so what was your experience with the security checks.
     
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  4. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Would you say it's worth it to stay at the Universal resort? We're only planning to do 2 days at the park, and with 4A/4C I'm still leaning towards an airbnb for all of us.
     
  5. prairiesarah

    prairiesarah Mouseketeer

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    Are you going at a busy time of year? We are taking our first trip to Universal in March. I have been doing extensive research into it. If you stay at one of their deluxe resorts (Portofino, Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel) you get Express Passes for both check in and check out day, so depending on time of year, it may be a benefit. The cost per express pass to buy them is expensive (typically over $100 per person per day) so when you factor in the cost of the hotel, it actually can be a good deal if the express pass is something desirable. You can check in early on the first day (apparently as early as 6am) and get your express passes even if the room is not ready yet, then it is valid through till midnight on the second day.
     
  6. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    We are going start of August (week of the Civic Holiday in Ontario). Kids are 7,8,10 and 10 so the express pass value is debatable, especially since it doesn't apply to the Harry Potter stuff (I think?)
     
  7. FishyMom

    FishyMom Earning My Ears

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    From what I've read, HP rides do take the Express Pass now. We went 3 years ago at the end of August and are now booked to go mid-July this year. Wouldn't go without the express passes. Start of August will be busy and you'll want them.
     
  8. ilovetotravel1977

    ilovetotravel1977 DIS Veteran

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    Yes, we did forgo. We were only at the resort one day and DH was in the room resting and someone came. He said he was doing room checks and they looked around, in the bathroom, etc and then left. Not sure if they came any other day though as we were at the parks from open until close. Our trash wasn't removed any day, so I'm guessing no one came (?) as some people have experienced.
     
  9. ottawamom

    ottawamom The "Air Miles" Lady

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    It's reassuring to hear a positive experience with the checks. The threads on the resort board are so negative, intrusive etc. Like you we won't be in the room much so I doubt we'll even notice if they have been there. With two rooms to pay for I can use the cash from Opting out of mousekeeping to good use. Did they put it on a card or did you just have it emailed?
     
  10. ilovetotravel1977

    ilovetotravel1977 DIS Veteran

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    We really enjoyed Cabana Bay. It was leaps and bounds higher as a value resort over Pop. We all agreed we'd come back and stay at this one.
    Buses came every 10 minutes, and it was actually multiple buses would be lined up to go to US/IOA and on the return as well, and the buses were never even close to being full. The bus stop at City Walk was right at the escalators.

    There is a walking path to Volcano Bay from the resort as well. You can see the big volcano from the pools.

    Cabs to the outlets were $12.

    We took the free shuttle from City walk to SeaWorld. Easy peasy. Just sign up for seats the day prior.
     
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  11. ilovetotravel1977

    ilovetotravel1977 DIS Veteran

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    We didn't have the Express Passes. Did all the rides regular lines. We did every ride in both parks. Did we have to wait some times for 30-45 minutes? Yes. But were there at a relatively slow time as compared.

    HP had single rider, Express and Regular. The locker situation at Forbidden Journey is so stupid. If you ride outside the 1 hour pre-entrance time period, try to coordinate someone holding the bags! We did all of the HP rides one morning, so it wasn't that bad. But we did go back to Forbidden Journey on the Saturday afternoon and it was a nuthouse!
     
  12. mort1331

    mort1331 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome back, sorry we missed you at POP. Our first time there. We were in the old rooms first night then switched to the new renovated rooms. Both are fine, the reason we switched was it was an assisted room with no tub and daughter was freeked that water was all over the floor where the toilet was. Liked the reno rooms. We did forgo the mousekeeping, used to not having it at DVC. The send you an email that you can open and show where ever you want to use the credit. I couldn't open my emails, stupid Hotmail. Saying I am not in my home area and to verify its me, well the only other email I have is a Hotmail too and it does the same thing. So no emails, went back to the front desk and they gave me a hard GC no issues.
    POP was nice, but we hit the cheer groups and other tour groups.
    Nice to hear about Universal, we plan on going next time.
     
  13. ilovetotravel1977

    ilovetotravel1977 DIS Veteran

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    I forgot to answer your other question.

    They emailed the voucher. We let our daughter use it towards Her souvenirs.
     
  14. ottawamom

    ottawamom The "Air Miles" Lady

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    Glad you both had a good time down south. Thanks for the updates on the GC for mousekeeping and the security checks.
     

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