Universal Express Pass Thanksgiving Weekend

Lop460

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
We’re starting to plan our trip starting Thanksgiving weekend 2020. It’s a long way off but trying to make it work for all people involved, we have to start planning early and our first planning meeting is this weekend. This year we’re adding Universal onto the beginning of our Disney trip. We plan on doing the two Universal Parks the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. Looking at this years prices for Express Pass Unlimited at that time I see it’s $180 which is really steep. I know we can wait until we get to the parks to buy the Express Pass but we still need to budget if that might be necessary. I also assume if it’s that high that they’re expecting really heavy crowds those days. My question is do you think it probably would be necessary to buy them. Most in my group are pretty sensitive to long wait times. They probably won’t want to wait too much more than an hour for anything besides a Harry Potter ride. We are considering getting a couple nights at one of the Universal Resorts for the free Unlimited Express Passes. Our issue with that is someone in our group is dead set on staying at the Disney resort for the whole stay.
 

macraven

Proud Redhead
Moderator
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
You could book one night at a premier hotel as a throw away room
You hotel card would give you two days of unlimited ep
(Check in and day you check out)

Stay/ sleep at Disney and drive to UO

Kind of a headache to have two reservations but some families do the double bookings during holiday times
 

stardust190

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
I'm curious to hear the feedback as we are in the exact same boat as you. We will leave the Friday after Thanksgiving 2020 and will tack Universal on to a Disney trip for Harry Potter. I've been debating the Express Pass trying to see if we need it. I'm still not sure if we will go to Universal the Saturday after Thanksgiving or try to go mid-week sometime. I have looked at the cost and I think for me a throw away room is the most cost effective. I'm still trying to decide if it is really necessary. I'm leaning towards it being necessary if we go Saturday/Sunday, but maybe not if we go mid-week. We'll be in FL for 8-10 days so we can be a little flexible.
 
  • bchbetha

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    Leave the Disney die-hard back at Disney and move the rest of the crew to Universal. :) It's a great way to finish off a trip- hotels super close to the parks (like 5 minutes) and express passes that are far superior to fast passes. You'll want Express Passes that weekend and staying onsite (vs just a throw away room) is the way to go!
     

    soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2012
    We did that weekend last year. We stayed at Hard Rock. It was busier than any of our summer visits, Memorial Day weekend, Columbus Day weekend, and Spring Break. I would absolutely get EP. Like others have said, stay at a deluxe and get early entry and EP. Even the EP lines were some of the longest we have seen.
     

    soniam

    Wooden leg named Smith...
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2012
    Plus, I personally think the UO hotels are nicer and a better value than WDW. The ability to walk to either park is also amazing!
     

    Mrsjvb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2007
    EPs are so totally worth it. a night at a deluxe for a typical family is probably cheaper.
     
  • Danadanes

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2014
    We do thanksgiving week for the last 3years. Last year was the busiest by far and it got busier as the week went on. It’s not disney at thanksgiving busy, but it is crowded.
    If you are going without express pass, the best day is either Monday before, or thanksgiving day morning. Thanksgiving day gets crowded about 12 or 1 and stays busy after that.
    I wouldn’t do it without express pass if I had only a day or 2.
     

    Lop460

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Our first day in Orlando will be the day after Thanksgiving. I was under the impression that crowds would be high from then through Sunday then should slow down to a pretty average amount from Monday through the rest of that week which would be the conclusion of our trip on the second Sunday after Thanksgiving.
     

    glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    Staying on site at UO is a game changer. Not only does it give you unlimited ep and ee, but it’s like staying at CR and walking to MK, or staying at BW and walking to EP. Totally makes a better stay. If someone in the group wants to go back to WDW and the rest want to stay at UO, why not just everyone do what they prefer? I wouldn’t think the person who didn’t want to stay at UO would want to force everyone to do what they wanted- would they?
     

    Lop460

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Luckily we were able to come to a consensus tonight. We’re going to do a night at the Royal Pacific for unlimited express pass for two days at Universal then go to the Wyndham Bonnet Creek for the reminder of our stay. We have friends that have a time share there and they give it to us for next to nothing. In the end the price difference made her see the light.
     
  • glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    I’m so happy for you! You will love having the easy access to the parks and the ep! Have a great trip :)
     

    Chickinvic

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    Do yourself a favour and book at one of the Universal Resorts that provides unlimited express pass since it will be a zoo that weekend. Have fun!!!
     

    LandoBlanco

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 22, 2018
    I've done that weekend in the past and am doing it again this year. From what I remember, the crowds were pretty crazy on Saturday, but Sunday wasn't as bad. If you do the express pass, definitely look into staying one night at one of the resorts that offer it as a perk. If you stay Saturday night, you get the pass for Saturday and Sunday for everybody on the hotel reservation. Royal Pacific is usually the cheapest option of the resorts that offer express pass.
     

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