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  1. #1

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    Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    I know. I know. I still feel dirty too.
    However we went. I bought an AP ($99 v. $68 for one day). I went. I saw. We ate tons of food (abused the meal plan).
    So here we go.

    Universal Studios

    This park just sorta starts...no entry...no immersion. Worst of all it is so small...nothing is hidden away...its all visible from one end to another. Fun, but not impressive at all. Biggest irk...the sets were all so off in their scale...like...yuk!



    Revenge of the Mummy
    Wow. All I am going to say is what the hell was that? Are we in New York? How did we get to Egypt? Is this a mummie's tomb or a museum? What is happening on this ride? Why are we going backwards? Why did we stop again? Why is the ceiling on fire? What just happened? How did we end up in the unload station already?
    All this and more flying through my head. Yeah. Basically when you take a lousy coaster and a lousy dark ride and mix them together...you still get a lousy ride.

    Men In Black Alien Attack
    Now here we have a winner!!! Wow. Cohesive story all the way through. Fun game play. Excellent queue line. I had fun...major fun on that ride. Probably the best ride in the whole resort, the best in USF for sure.



    Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster
    I needed the credit.

    Shrek 4-D
    Not too bad actually. I think the pre-show was funnier due to the CMs accent. The show itself was ok...I think the rocking frolicking seats got old quick however.

    Islands of Adventure

    Now here we go. Entry...real entry. Immersion. Fun. Music. A nice way to start a park.
    I found this park to be a total paradox. You had some parts that were excellent. Amazing. Top notch areas. Then you had other areas that just totally sucked. It was like 3 parts Animal Kingdom three parts Six Flags. Total lack of cohesiveness within the park.

    The Incredible Hulk
    I knew what to expect as far as the coaster...it wasn't impressive but the launch sure was fun. B&M built a good coaster...nothing earth shattering though.
    However queueline? Horrid. Super Hero Island was one of those Six Flags areas...it reminded me of SFNE's DC Super Hero Land...just more famous.



    The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
    So what was all the big fuss about? I had to find out.
    Let me say, yeah, this ride is fun. I enjoyed the 3-D sets, in ride effects, the flying up the building part of the ride was amazing...but I think the ride system wasn't totally used to it's advantage. I don't know how I would have improved it...I just didn't pull away from it that "WOW" that I was expecting.
    Queue line: Horrid. It just said cheap. Maybe they wanted a comic book feel...but I can get that elsewhere. Such a bad line for such a good ride.

    Camp Jurassic
    Fun little play area...but wow. Pteranadon Flyers...over an hour wait. I didn't want that credit that much.
    Jurassic Park however was one of those Animal Kingdom areas. So well done...absolute paradox to its neighbor.

    The Flying Unicorn.
    Here we go again. Theme. Beautiful, immersive theme. Even this little kiddie coaster had a story if you read the signs in the queue. The station was amazing. I loved it! This mythical area of Lost Continent was my favorite place in either park.



    Dueling Dragons
    Oh. My. God.
    Minus the whole lack of a ceiling thing...this was one of the hands down best queue lines ever. Theme. Cohesion. Fantastic. I loved it. The morbid side in me loved it. It was my favorite area of either park.
    I rode Ice Dragon. Let me just say...I've now found an inverted coaster that I like. Even moreso than Montu. I'm not an inverted coaster fan. But Ice ran fast, she ran smooth, and she didn't beat you up in anyway. She ended right where she needed to. FANTASTIC.

    The Cat in the Hat
    Fun dark ride, sure, but I just didn't find any use for the spinning myself...but thats just me.



    Now we did Universal's meal plan. $25 we got a sit down dinner in City Walk and all we could eat in the two parks as far as quick serve. We abused it, wholeheartedly.

    However, we ran into issues making dinner. We bought it, and were told 1 of the 4 restaurants was unavailable. Fine.

    However when booking dinner we were told they were all closed due to a private function, but we could get into the pasta place. This pissed me off. I wouldn't have done it. We argued, called Guest Relations (what angered me was that they sold me this wristband without telling me everything was closed...in an effort to see it still they just left out key info) and on our way up just stopped at the dining window to see what the menu was...and were told the Latin restaurant was open too...ok...more of Universal's great communication.

    So fine, we went there, basically to order food and take it home (we figured we did about $80 in food before the sit down). Yeah once again, not too much fun. Our waitress...SUCKED. One of the most abrasive personalities I've ever met. Basically...she was the most Caustic Wench ever...had she been alive in Salem Mass in the 1600s she would have be drowned and hit with rocks.
    Sadly, I found that to be a big Universal thing...lousy CMs. Just no guest service, lousy posture...just lousy. Visibly wishing to be somewhere else...not good. Not impressed.

    All in all makes me appreciate Disney so much more. I just never hope we get complacent and drop to Universal's level.

  2. #2

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    hmmmm....

    I've found the CM's at Universal (aside from their security guards) to be just as friendly and helpful as those found at Disney.

    And as to the mummy, I agree that it seems weird that we're in new york, then we're in a tomb, then back again. Other than that it makes pretty good sense. We're filming a movie in this tomb, we're warned not to go in because strange things have been happening, then Imhotep is there and trying to kill us. Personally I think it's the best thrill ride in all of Orlando.

    And as to this statement:

    This park just sorta starts...no entry...no immersion.
    Sounds like MGM to me. I will say that the immersion used to be much better in this park than it is now. Production Central worked a lot better before all the good things got ripped out.

  3. #3

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    Interesting report, I must admit that I agree with many of you observations. Funny comparison about your waitress and Salem witches

    But I have one question for you how did you get to ride the Flying Unicorn? Everytime we try riding it we are told that we can only get in line if we have a child with us. Though as I watch the cars go by I always see adults riding without children.

  4. #4

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    I've always enjoyed myself at Universal's parks. My Orlando and Anaheim trips usually require a visit to Universal.

    Personally, I was really blown away with how cool The Mummy Ride was in Orlando so it's interesting to see a completely different view of the experience. I will say that the version of it in Hollywood is a disappointing experience in comparision.

    I don't usually try to compare Disney with Universal when I'm visiting, but the one stark difference that is always apparent to me is the difference in quality/personality of the CM's (or what ever they are called @ Universal). I wish Universal management would focus more on having more friendly/helpful employees in their parks. IMO, it really would make a big difference in improving guests' overall experience.

  5. #5

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    We spent a day at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure on the MiceChat Invasion last October. We had a great time. Our lunch at Mythos was the dining highlight of the trip for us. The best food, the best value, and the best service, hands down. We also thought that Spiderman and Men in Black were among the best attractions in Orlando.

    I totally agree about the day and night theming problem at Islands. Some areas are total immersion, others just lack that complete feel. I hate seeing rides like the Fearfall in an otherwise pretty park. If you have limited time, see Spiderman first, then ride Hulk, then go back to the pretty side of the park (Suess Landing, The Lost Continent, Jurassic Park).

    We found Universal to be a great value. Lots to do and a nice diversion from WDW. If you are staying for a week, you can easily carve out a day for Universal (the same could be said for Sea World).

    I wish that I had paid attention to the AP price of $99. Had I been thinking, I would have done that instead of buying a one day pass.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    But I have one question for you how did you get to ride the Flying Unicorn? Everytime we try riding it we are told that we can only get in line if we have a child with us. Though as I watch the cars go by I always see adults riding without children.
    The only ride I've ever been told that on is Pteranadon Fliers and that's only because the throughput on that ride is like 200/hour. Flying Unicorn never has much of a line so I've never seen them turn anyone away.

  7. #7

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    You are right kcnole, I just realized I had to two attractions mixed up. Oops

  8. #8

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Magic View Post
    You are right kcnole, I just realized I had to two attractions mixed up. Oops
    hit the attraction first thing in the morning... they ignore the rules then

    wait, you missed the greatest coaster ever.. High in the sky seuess trolley train ride! (I count it as a coaster due to it's trains and track )

  9. #9

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    /\ We were in line when it broke down. We left and did Cat & the Hat.

  10. #10

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    I need to get my butt over to IOA sometime this year. Sadly my connection for comp passes moved out of state though.

  11. #11

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb View Post
    I just never hope we get complacent and drop to Universal's level.
    Well, truth is... WDW is almost at that level IMHO... still better, but management is clueless. And cheap. Honestly I see WDW hitting rock bottom below Universal in the future at the rate they are going.

  12. #12

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Magic View Post
    Interesting report, I must admit that I agree with many of you observations. Funny comparison about your waitress and Salem witches

    But I have one question for you how did you get to ride the Flying Unicorn? Everytime we try riding it we are told that we can only get in line if we have a child with us. Though as I watch the cars go by I always see adults riding without children.
    Are you perhaps thinking of the Pteranadon (SP?) Flyers? The Unicorn is a standard coaster train, and have never heard of restrictions on it, but it does exist for the PF.

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  13. #13

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    i have gone to universal IOA many times and have always found their staff to be very helpful and polite even after they have to deal with crazy crowds. the last time we were there was just before christmas and had a nice chat with several of the employees as we waited for the macy's parade. not only were they very entertaining but full of information.

  14. #14

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    /\ I just hit them worng I guess. Bored looks, no talking, no personality. Smiles seemed to kill them. But I'm sure they have good staff too.
    I just didn't see it as a whole.

  15. #15

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    Re: Universal Orlando Resort visit.

    I don't get all the hatred for USO. We spent 2 days there last year and absolutely loved it. All of the staff, everywhere we went were GREAT.

    Maybe we are just so used to the uninspiring USH that we were blown away.

    Again, sure there are some areas that aren't highly themed, but for the most part they have the best theming I have seen outside of Disney. Definately more themed than DCA.


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