By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







Review: Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, Continued



By Dave Shute

(This is the second page of this review.  For the first page, click here.)

LOEWS ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT: BEST PLACES TO STAY

The Royal Pacific is laid out like a big Y.

See the not-so-great map below (It’s a photo of a sign; I could not find printed maps to scan…)

The ends of the Y are three room towers, themselves Y-shaped.

The tower on the upper left–labeled 23, and known as Tower 2 or the Leeward Tower–is the least convenient to the pool and boat docks/walkways to the theme parks.

The other two towers–22 on the lower left, known as Tower 1 or the Windward Tower, and 24 at the right center, known as Tower 3 or the Royal Tower–encircle the pool and are closer to the boat dock and theme park walkway.

The boat dock to the parks is just visible as the green point labeled 19 at the bottom of the map.

The walkway to the parks follows the upper part of the same lagoon (barely visible on the map) the boat dock is located on, and heads leftwards past the Windward Tower (on the map) along the boat canal to Islands of Adventure.

Convenience to the pools, the boat dock and the theme park walkway makes the Windward Tower the best of the three options.

GETTING TO THE THEME PARKS–AND ESPECIALLY THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER

You can take the boat or walk.

The boat is more fun and easier.

For most families, walking is faster unless the boat has no line and is ready to leave when you arrive.

Either way, once you are moving, getting to the entrance to Islands of Adventure takes about 5-10 minutes.

My trip, carefully but not thoughtfully designed to put me first in line for the wand choosing the wizard at Ollivanders, went as follows:

  • Walk from my ground floor Leeward Tower room to the boat dock: 4 minutes
  • No line for the boat at 7.28a; 4 minute wait for the boat to leave
  • 6 minutes to the dock at Universal’s Citywalk, between NASCAR and the Hard Rock, with a very entertaining boat skipper
  • Realize at 7.43a that I left my room key locked in my room, so won’t be able to get in for the early admission to the Wizarding World
  • By 7.57a I had walked back to the Royal Pacific, gotten a dupe of my room key, and returned to the boat dock
  • This time there was a longish line for the boat, but I got on the next (8.01a) departure anyway, was back at the Citywalk dock by 8.06a, and in Hogsmeade by 8.16a

MORE ON THE ROOMS AT THE ROYAL PACIFIC

As noted on the first page of this review, Royal Pacific rooms are on the small side and hold four.

As you enter, the split bath will be on one side and the closet and connecting door on the other.

The bath has one sink (this compromise lets the bedroom space be a little bigger) and a semi-screened cutout between the sink area and the bedroom.  This cutout will be a negative for most families, as it limits the ability to manage noise and light from the sink area.

In the bedroom area you’ll find two queens and an upholstered chair on one side.

The other side has a largish round table with two chairs, and a credenza with drawers, a small TV, a mini-bar (but no separate fridge) and a coffee maker.

(You can order a mini-fridge for an additional fee.)

As noted on the first page, there’s no balcony.

These rooms are adequate for a family of four.

There’s enough space, but no more than enough.

The theming of the rooms (and the room towers) is scant; one could be anywhere.

MORE ON THE ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT

The best overall features of the Royal Pacific are its pool, its general theming, its price, its access to the parks, and all the sit-down dining options it provides.

The pool is particularly a marvel, and in its size, meandering, distinctive areas, and decoration has few peers at Walt Disney World.

My photos of the pool–on this and also on the first page of this review–don’t begin to do it justice.

The Royal Pacific is pet-friendly and takes a European attitude to smoking.

It has price seasons similar to those at the Disney World resorts.

Before Harry Potter opened, additional discounts were widely available.  They are now much less common.

Military families may find special discounts at various times of the year. See Universal Parks Military Discounts.  Some specific 2011 Universal military discounts are here.

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2 comments

1 Rachel { 02.06.14 at 9:17 pm }

Hi Dave!
I know you typically don’t offer advice on things Universal… but I thought you may be able to help me with my predicament! Our family is going to WDW in August and I have everything mapped out using your fabulous itineraries, suggestions etc. That is, until my dear son decided he MUST go to WWOHP at Universal. Being the wonderful parents we are we’ve agreed (OK, we want to see it too)!
I know you recommend getting a room @ Royal Pacific so you can utilize their early access and get their version of fast passes. We are fine with double booking a room…as we already have reservations @ Art of Animation for the week. My problem lies that we only have one day to fit this in. (Tuesday 8/12 of our trip). We will be at Epcot all day Monday and have a full day planned @ Magic Kingdom for Wednesday. I know with the new Hogwarts Express opening its going to be tight so we want to make the most of our time there.
My dilemma:
Should we head over to our hotel @ Royal Pacific on Monday evening (after Illuminations) so we can get to WWOHP first thing in the morning, or should we just drive over there early the next day? I’m kind of at a loss for what to do. I know you mentioned if we book a night we can utilize the day of check in and check out so it shouldn’t matter if we book it for Monday or Tuesday night right? (Since we plan to tour the park on Tuesday).
Thanks so much for your voice of reason. I’m sure I’m making this harder than it needs to be, at least I hope I am 😉

2 Dave { 02.07.14 at 9:37 am }

Rachel, you should check in the first day of your RP visit. You can check in as early as 7a–which then immediately gives you all privileges until midnight of your check-out day.

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