July travel deals for Universal Studios, Disney World, Waikiki Beach
Headed to Universal Studios Hollywood this summer to explore the new Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle or Jurassic World — The Ride? Before you go, consider purchasing a California Neighbor Pass. For $149, you’ll get to choose any day for your first visit — and then you’ll get to return free to the park on more than 175 days (including select weekends) over the following nine months. A single-day general admission ticket this month starts at $124, so this is definitely a deal. The Neighbor Pass allows guests to experience all rides/shows in the park and includes general admission discounts for family and friends, plus discounts at several Universal CityWalk restaurants and shops. “Everyone is considered a neighbor to Universal Studios,” said a park spokeswoman, so there are no restrictions on eligibility. The pass will be offered at least through the end of summer. Buy one online at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/tickets.
The seven Disney Springs Resort Area hotels at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida are offering special “First Responders” and “Teacher Appreciation” rates through Sept. 3. Responders include U.S. police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMT), paramedics, 911 dispatchers, doctors and nurses. Teacher discounts go to daycare, preschool, kindergarten through college teachers and their support staff. Discounted rates start at $75 a night (plus a $25 nightly resort fee) at the Wyndham and go to $129 nightly (plus a $13.50 daily fee) at DoubleTree Suites. (Both hotels charge for overnight parking: $20 at Wyndham, $22 at DoubleTree.) The Appreciation deals include “Extra Magic Hours,” which gives guests (with valid theme park admission) extra time each day, either before the park opens or after it closes. Guests with valid theme park tickets also get 60-Day FastPass+ benefits so that they can reserve access to select attractions and shows up to 60 days in advance. All seven hotels provide shuttle transportation to Walt Disney World theme parks. Learn more and book online at disneyspringshotels.com/first-responders or disneyspringshotels.com/teacher-appreciation.
The historic Arizona Biltmore Hotel, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix, is offering a hard-to-resist all-inclusive package through Aug. 30. The value of meals and waived fees alone exceeds the $269 starting rate for the package. The deal includes accommodations, breakfast for two (up to $50 per day), lunch for two (up to $62) and dinner for two (up to $120 daily). The package waives parking and resort fees, with a combined value of about $50 per day. Guests who book the all-inclusive deal also get a 20 percent discount on a la carte spa services and retail shopping at the resort. Celebrating its 90th birthday this year, the Biltmore has eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, a full-service spa and multiple dining venues and offers an array of summer activities, ranging from dive-in movies to Happy Hour History Tours. Learn more and book online at www.arizonabiltmore.com/special-offers.
Another sizzling summer deal in Phoenix: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa, an oasis at the base of Camelback Mountain, has rates starting at $159, with resort and parking fees waived (a $60 value). The deal is valid through Aug. 25 for minimum two-night stays. In high season, couples pay about $500 a night to stay here. The resort has an award-winning restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner all summer long. Its mother-of-pearl-tiled pool reflects its glamorous history, when the resort was a favorite of Hollywood glitterati. There’s a full-service spa, and guests can join daily complimentary tai chi and yoga classes, plus history and art tours of the resort and lawn games. Learn more and book online at royalpalmshotel.com.
Play it cool at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, where the Mountain Playcation package offers rooms starting at $99 for Sunday through Wednesday night stays through August. That’s half off the standard midweek summer rate. The resort levies a $20-per-night resort fee, which covers self-parking, Wi-Fi and access to the spa and fitness center, plus daily fitness classes. Enjoy hiking, swimming and poolside movies. Some nearby activities, including boating and zip-lining, cost extra. Learn more and book online at www.lakearrowheadresort.com/lake_arrowhead_resort_deals/mountain_playcation_rates.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is back with a super suites sale. Even with the resort’s hefty $45-per-night resort fee tacked on, you’ll get at least 35 percent off regular suite prices. Pay as little as $327 per night (including the resort fee) for junior suites in the Tapa Tower. (Those rooms usually go for $515 nightly, including the fee.) Add another $45 per night for parking. To get the suite deal, you’ll have to book between noon (PST) on July 9 and 8 p.m. July 15 for stays Aug. 25 through February 2020. Full payment is due at the time of booking and is nonrefundable. Learn more and book online at www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/suitesale.
ResortPass, which offers pool, spa and amenity access at luxe hotels across the country, is offering an exclusive discount to our column readers. Get 10 percent off bookings the entire month of August by using the code DIVEIN10. A ResortPass is a perfect escape for travelers who are unexpectedly stuck facing a long airport layover. For example, if East Coast weather has wreaked havoc with your Lindbergh Field flight, a ResortPass valid at the Sheraton on Harbor Island (starting at $20, before our discount) will ease the pain. Need an escape from a multiday family outing at Disneyland? Find your ResortPass serenity in a cabana ($70) at Delta by Marriott in Anaheim. Or simply opt in for five-star luxury at a fraction of regular prices: At Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, for example, the least expensive overnight stay is likely to exceed $400; a day at the spa with a ResortPass (and our discount) would run $45. Find ResortPass hotels and book online at www.resortpass.com.
DaRosa is a freelance travel writer. Find more of her articles at www.AlisonDaRosa.com. Prices quoted here are subject to change. Restrictions and blackout dates may apply, and all deals are subject to availability.
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