Super excited and going next week- just a few questions.

TaurusNYY

1st timer, going back for more :D
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
We will be staying at SF Mon-Fri. the 2 for 3 park package seems like a very good deal.

Is it best to buy the tickets beforehand, will the ticket booth offer the 2 for 3 deal? Will the price be the same or cheaper online? We plan on going to Universal at opening, will get the tickets at the booth delay us much?

Do the 2 for 3 tickets allow for re-entry to the same park you attended that day? Just wondering if we are stuck with not being able to go back to hotel for a break.

I see that the weather next week shows scattered thunderstorms - which is why I was concerned about buying out tickets there instead of online- how much does rain and thunder affect peoples trip planning?

How important do people find Unlimited versus the Express pass? I am wondering if it is worth the extra cost.

Thank you so much in advance.
 

nkereina

Last chance to lose your keys.
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Do the 2 for 3 tickets allow for re-entry to the same park you attended that day?
Yes. Can't speak to buying there vs. buying in advance. We always buy in advance.

how much does rain and thunder affect peoples trip planning?
It rains so much there, people have to go with the flow. It might keep some locals away from the park, but otherwise, it is what it is.

How important do people find Unlimited versus the Express pass?
They are both express passes, just different levels. The unlimited express pass is the top level which you can purchase, or you would receive if you stayed at one of Universal's three deluxe resorts (Hard Rock, Portofino, Royal Pacific). The next level down from unlimited allows you to ride each EP eligible ride one time per each day you purchase it. Of course, unlimited you can re-ride as much as you want.

We find express pass very important, especially during the summer months when its busy and people are being drawn in by the new Hagrid ride. While the Hagrid ride doesn't offer EP currently, it still is like to draw people into the parks making other attractions busy. If traveling late August, I wouldn't be surprised if Universal sees a spike in attendance due to people coming in for Disney's Star Wars opening. In addition to this, EP moves you through quickly so its less time spent outside baking in any outdoor queues in the summer heat. It also allows us to sleep in and tour the parks at our leisure, not having to strategize.

If you're considering express pass, it would behoove you to price out how much it would cost to move to one of the resorts that offer it versus paying for it. The price difference may be negligible and it would also put you at a resort that's in closer proximity to the parks. You might even want to consider a split stay, doing only one night at a resort that offers EP, because you get EP all day on your check in day and check out day. This is more cost effective for many.
 

Lynne G

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Highly suggest buying from an authorized reseller, like Undercovertourist, and get emailed the tickets. You can then print them out and use at gate, or take to guest services to get a credit card sized ticket. Undercover's prices are good, they are real tickets, and its prices include tax, which Universal adds at end of purchase, not included in its price, like Undercover does. It is a great deal, and the best part of staying onsite is you can go back to your room or the pool and enjoy there, to recharge, to go back to the parks. Easy walk or boat ride.

Oh, and if you feel like getting the express pass, most suggest you buy it in the parks. The price generally does not change, and since there is no refund after purchasing, and they are date and park(s) specific, you may not want to buy them ahead of time. Lots of places to buy them around the park, and I usually don't see long lines at most of the places they sell them at.

Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great time. SF is a beautiful hotel, and nice to have 5 days in the parks.
 
  • skylock

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2010
    Tickets are $20 more if bought at the gate vs the universal site.

    You can also check out some of the discount sites. Undercovertourist.com or visitorlando.com are two you can check out.

    You can leave and reenter as needed.

    I think it rains every day in florida. Usual for just a short time. You might want to stop by a dollar tree and pick up a couple of rain ponchos to have in your bag. We usually just take a break and get something to eat. In 30 years I can only remember a couple of times there was rain most of the day.

    Express pass is good for one ride per attraction. Unlimited is well, unlimited rides all day. If you are considering either, I would check into upgrading to one of the top tier hotels that gives unlimited express as a perk. I would stay in one of those at least a couple of days. Even one night will get you two days of unlimited express pass.
     

    TaurusNYY

    1st timer, going back for more :D
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2011
    Thank you all for replying - I was playing with the numbers and it does seems like a better deal to at least stay one day at a top tier hotel since you can get 2 days of EP. My questions is this though- We arrive Monday evening to SF, say if I then wanted to get a room for Tuesday-Wed at Portofino. Are we then checking out of SF in the morning and taking our bags to Portofino to get our room bands for EP? I know check in is usually at 4 but how early can you get your bands or key for EP? Is this a big process or seamless given we want to leave from there to go to Universal? Also, what happens to our luggage during this time while we are gone, does Portofino have a place to store it? Are we basically nomads until 4pm check-in or can we come back to the hotel and access our luggage or use any services (pool, dining? I am assuming the same process is done the next day depending if we are going back to say SF for the remainder of our stay. Any help or guidance would be appreciated - want to have it all laid out to sell it to the family :D Thank you in advance.
     

    skylock

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2010
    You can do check in and get your room keys around 7 in the morning. They will hold your luggage until you can actually get in your room.
     

    TaurusNYY

    1st timer, going back for more :D
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2011
    UPDATE-
    Ok, I happened to call Universal about the 2-3 park ticket plan and found out they are extended it till July 31, I also was able to get all my questions answered as well :D Just wanted to mention that to save others time and energy. Thanks Skylock as well. Thats exactly what they told me. My only question was at the end of my last day with them if I need to technically return the room key to the hotel or does it just get deactivated? I ask this because my plan would be to return to SF after this, either way this seems like a good plan.
     
  • skylock

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2010
    You do not need to return the keys. In fact, I am looking at mine from my last trip a few months ago as I write this.

    (My lanyard hangs on a hook behind my computer monitor.)
     

    Lynne G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2009
    I think they only offer bag transfer help between RPR, Hard Rock and Portofino. But yes, if you do not want to keep your room at SF, then you have to check out of SF and into the Portofino, then check out of the Portofino and then into whatever hotel you are going to next. Check out tends to be 12 noon or so, at the latest.

    Depending on how expensive it is to keep both rooms that night, you may just want to not check out of SF, and just check in to the Portofino with a day bag. You can check in around 6am, at the earliest. Even though you may not have a room ready, they will give you your room key, as it can be used for early entry to one or both of the parks (your hotel will tell you which, or if both parks have it. Right now it seems to be only IOA). Also, once you have it, you can go right to your room when ready, and you can also use it to enjoy the pool and ameneties of the hotel. They tend to send you a text to tell you room number is ready. Sometimes I never get that text, so a short stop at the front desk is needed.

    Oh, and dining at the hotels can be by anyone, not just those staying at that hotel.

    I keep two rooms for one night when my kids want to go to Mickey's party, I book a Disney room and keep my Universal, or Sea World area room, for a same one night during our longer stay. I budget for the double cost of two rooms for one night. Convenience is worth it to me.

    And I am like Skylock, my old room key is in my lanyard that I keep in my travel bag. And the keys are cute, they have characters or a theme on them.
     

    bedientes

    Just Lookin'
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2019
    Is it best to buy the tickets beforehand, will the ticket booth offer the 2 for 3 deal? Will the price be the same or cheaper online? We plan on going to Universal at opening, will get the tickets at the booth delay us much?
    My first time returning to UO in 2016 after a long time away, I was worried about "committing" to buying the tickets online so I waited to buy at the gate. We spent sooooo long in line and my daughter was so sad. Never again. I mean, now I have AP, but I would definitely avoid buying tickets at the gate if you can. It will delay you.
     

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