My daughter has been talking and talking about Harry Potter ever since she started 5th grade. She had read all the books and now re-reading them again. So this gave us an idea that maybe we should take her see this Harry Potter world at Universal Orlando. I have heard many great reviews about it. So the planning begun since we had to figure out what we need to do for School spring vacation and most of the flight was pretty pricey due to high demand. If we were to book way ahead then it wouldn’t be too bad but since we didn’t really know if we were able to take the time off or not we end up doing this a month before. Luckily we found out that one of the airports that we could fly out of instead of Boston has a decent price and the parking fee was great. It turned out they have non-stop flight to MCO for a little bit more. So we decided to book the 2.5 hrs non-stop flight from BDL to MCO. This was great because usually the non-stop flight either cost a fortune or would be sold out at that time. So here is the breakdown of the cost.
Majority of the cost would be Flights, Hotel, and Car Rental:
Flight: Airline: Southwest: BDL-MCO-BDL non-stop flights
Mile/cash: 31,146 per person
Tax/Fee: $11.20 per person
Mile: 2 adults (31,146 miles) = 62,292 miles + 2 kids free using companion pass
Tax: 2 adults ($11.20) + 2 kids ($11.20) = $44.80
Hotel: JW Marriott Orlando Resort
Point/cash: 40,000 points/night
Tax/Fee: $25 resort fee
Point: 6 nights (40,000 points) = 240,000 points – 40,000 (5th night free) = 200,000 points
Fee: 6 nights ($25) = $150 (using Barclay Arrival plus mile to pay for this fee)
Car Rental: Hertz
Point/Cash: Using Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book
One week rental: $204
Activity/Entertainment: Universal Studio and Island of the Adventure (link to Universal Studio review: http://www.milesmining.com/universal-studio-and-island-of-adventure-april-school-vacation/)
Ticket price: $60 per person (Using Universal Orlando’s employee discount)
Entrance fee: 4 ($60) = $240
Lounge Access: The Club at MCO terminal A: free lunch and drinks while waiting for the flight out of MCO. We used the American Express Platinum benefit to obtain the Priority Pass which let you bring in 2 guests now for free.
Airport Parking Lot #4 at Bradley Airport in CT (BDL): $36
Total cost for 6 days trip to Orlando for 2 adults and 2 kids: (not including food)
Southwest mile: 62,292 miles
JW Marriott Orlando Resort: 200,000 points
Barclay Arrival mile: 15,000 points (-750 points back) = 14,250
Hertz: $204 through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Universal Orlando park fee: $240
Airport parking: $36
Total Cash: $44.80 + $204 + $240 + $36 = $524.80
Below are links to those credit card deals that made it all possible for us to go on this trip using miles/points and pay as little cash as possible. For $524.80 out of pocket cash is not cheap however, to be able to stay at a 5 stars hotel and fly non-stop flights during school vacation week, I believe it was a great deal.
Chase Southwest Personal Plus: current offer 40,000 miles but could get match to 50,000 points if asked after spending $1000 within 3 months.
Chase Marriott Rewards Premier credit card: current offer 100,000 points after spending $5000 within 3 months
Barclay Arrival Plus: current offer 50,000 points after spending $3000 within 3 months
Chase Freedom: current offer $150 cash/points after spending $500 in 3 months
American Express Platinum: current offer 60,000 points after spending $5000 within 3 months plus MANY benefits such as priority pass, $200 Uber credits, $200 airline incidental credits….etc….
Full disclosure: VanSon travel sometime earns compensation through affiliate links and referrals. You do not have to use these them, but we do greatly appreciate your support. We are actively trying to provide the most current offers/links/referrals that are available in the marketplace. All information published here is personal opinion and comes from personal experience. It is recommended that you seek independent advice before you apply for any product or service, which is described on the page/site.