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Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

Palatine, Illinois
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Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

Celebrating my birthday in early March with my adult daughter. We went to all of the parks during her childhood. We will go to Universal to see the Harry Potter section as that is new to us.

We will arrive very late on Friday night and depart very early on Monday morning (6am flights). I think it might be best to stay at an airport hotel to facilitate those logistics. As much as I would like to stay on one of the properties, I don't like the idea of car rental returns so early with the stress of airport check-ins etc.

Looking for opinions about the traffic early Saturday and Sunday mornings to the theme parks. I will rent a car.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of...
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Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL
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1. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

Most people wouldn't stay near the airport for the attractions. And if you rent a car you'll still need to get and return it if you are staying near it. Universal is only 20-30 minutes away. If you want to stay on property do it. You don't even need a car especially if such a short visit. Save the rental fee, possible hotel parking, and theme park parking fee and just hop in a cab, uber, or do a shared van shuttle to/from the airport

Va
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2. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

If you are planning on returning the car the night before and taking the hotel shuttle to the airport, it isn't a bad idea. The reality is there won't be any stress that early in the morning. Roads will be empty and you will have no issue with your car return (assuming you are using one of the major companies).

I agree with the idea of taxi/uber and stay on site. Then you don't have to deal with a car unless you are planning on more than just Universal over the weekend.

US
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3. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

I don't see a benefit to a rental car + airport stay. I'd just stay at Universal and probably take a taxi from the airport and an Uber or Lyft back to the airport. It'l be faster to do that than deal with a rental car.

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4. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

The benefit is that the hotels around the airport have great prices and its an easy drive to the parks. We prefer LBV but we also stay at airport hotels pretty often and still go to the theme parks-Homewood Suites MCO and Residence Inn MCO have great prices (often 30% less than their LBV counterparts),breakfast is included and they have full kitchens.Very easy when you have early morning flights or arrive late at night

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Palatine, Illinois
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5. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

We are likely to go to Animal Kingdom one day and Universal the next, I woudn't be staying on property anyway. Getting an Uber at midnight and 4:00 am is no doubt at the increased rate. A two day car rental is $32, probably less than one way in the Uber. Assuming the hotel's airport shuttle runs at those hours, I think an airport hotel is a good choice at less than $150/nt.

Is the traffic heading to either park from the airport going to be a problem on Saturday or Sunday mornings? In most cities those days have light traffic. Not sure about Orlando.

Edited: 06 February 2017, 19:14
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Orlando
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6. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

The only time we run into heavy traffic on I-4 is if we go back to the airport at rush hour (4pm-6pm) and even then, it still moves.

Valley Stream, NY
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7. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

Note that both universal parks have Harry Potter areas, so if you're going for one day you'll need a one day park to park ticket (this also lets you ride the train between the two areas).

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Orlando, FL
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8. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

I think the airport hotel is a good choice but keep in mind the parking fee at Animal Kingdom & Universal when your factoring in your weekend rental. I just booked a suite for 1st week of March near Disney for $140 a night so you can get a reasonable rate around the parks and they would have shuttles to the parks as well as airport so you can avoid the car rental. Guess it comes down to whatever you are most comfortable with.

Va
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9. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

I think when you add up the real costs, you might see things different. That $32 per day car is not costing you $32. It is going to cost you closer to $50 per day with airport taxes and fees. You then have to add in the costs of fuel and parking. Your $32 per day car rental will end up costing you about $225 for your weekend. That is a lot of taxi money.

Considering you are now including Disney, you could look into a Disney resort that has included transportation. Then your only transportation costs are from Disney to Universal which would be about a $20 each way Uber ride. Of course there would be some wait time since it is shared transportation.

If you are still set on a car then I would probably look for a hotel near the convention center/ Sea World. You will be in the middle of Universal/Disney and about a 20 min ride from the airport that is all highway.

It seems to me with a trip this short that you may not want to go cheap on transportation and spend a little more in a way that is more convenient. Taking an airport shuttle when you arrive, then taking it back to the airport the next morning to get your car is a waste of valuable time. You are going to spend more time with your logistics than enjoying the parks. Considering what that is going to cost you for 1 day tickets, you may want to spend every second there.

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10. Re: Staying at airport hotel a bad idea for short weekend visit

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