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Everything posted by PeoplemoverMatt

  1. Bingo. Just to compare the SoCal market... Disneyland 1yr max visits + parking/discounts: $1,649 Universal Studios 1yr max visits + parking/discounts: $629 Knott's Berry Farm 1yr max visits + parking/discounts: $375 Six Flags Magic Mountain 1yr max visits + parking/discounts: $99 There's no way the gate of a flagship park of a proud brand should be sold that cheaply. I'm sure people would be just fine paying a bit more if it meant dick moves like the surcharge aren't considered necessary. They may even be able to maintain their park and start paying people a decent wage too while they're at it.
  2. I'll be there for opening weekend going full tourist and staying at the on property Springhill. It'll technically be my 2nd time but my first was rained out after a couple hours that were mainly spent on Fury. Only made it on Fury and Carolina Cyclone before the rains came. In looking at the weather forecast, I'm not really expecting to ride much on Friday night.
  3. Very strong, solid episode of Picard Season 2.
  4. Thanks! I've not seen it either, but my take was you're a lost stray puppy and the rest of NYC's pets are trying to help you get adopted. It was very cute. My nieces would love it.
  5. (Disclaimer: This is my first photo TR posted from my phone. Apologies if something goes weird or is out of place somehow. ) Last Thursday a friend and I had the chance to visit USH for their first official day back open as a park with rides. Getting a reservation the week prior was a breeze. In minutes I was all set for my visit during the "AP Bonus Days" that USH decided to put on. When I arrived parking, temperature screening and security were all quick and easy. Moved quickly to the park gates where where I was asked for my AP and the reservation code. After that I was through the turnstiles and in a CA park open with rides for the first time since February 2020! Boy was that ever a good feeling. Arriving at about 1pm to a park that would close at 6pm doesn't sound like a long time but it was enough to hit up all that was running. Simpsons and Despicable Me were both closed, presumably because of the CA 15min indoor time limit. Studio Tour, Jurassic World, Mummy, Transformers, and the new Pets dark ride were all open though, as were most all food and merch locations. Of course plenty of covid safety protocols were in place. Temp screening entering CityWalk, social distancing markers in every queue, and hand sanitizer sprayed on every guest's hands before boarding any ride. None of it was any problem at all. Overall it was a great first day back now that CA parks are allowed to operate again. Here are some photos from around the park on its first day back! After a long wait it's finally time to reopen! Yay! I'm 12... New park policies regarding masks, distancing, where to eat/drink were clearly communicated and easy to follow. Anyone who's been to Japan should already be familiar with only eating/drinking in areas designated for that! Distancing markers in queues and signage for foot traffic helped keep things flowing. I could really get used to this limited capacity! Oh, hello kitty! First stop, my first visit to Pottersville in over a year! Limited capacity and it being a Thursday made for a really comfortable time with hardly anyone milling around. No line for Butterbeer! But plenty of markers around for when people do queue up for it. I even had my *very first* Butterbeer to commemorate the occasion! It was frozen and wonderful on a warm spring day. Virtually no wait for Forbidden Journey! Next we headed over to see the new Secret Life of Pets dark ride. The former British street has totally been redone as New York City. It's almost like there was a little Revolutionary War again right here. The entrance is right across from Despicable Me, making this area poised to be kid-central. The queue is one of the best Universal has ever put on. Sooo many AAs to see, such as Buddy pleasuring himself in the kitchen here. Wait, what? Life size AAs of the franchise's main characters chat with each other about all the lost puppies, that's us, they see passing by. The rabbit up above the bed is another working AA. I honestly can't remember the last time I went through a ride queue with this many AAs! The ride is perfect for kids and just a great family dark ride. Of course it also has misters and screens, but it was still very enjoyable whether or not you're familiar with the movies. Even for 12 year old me... Simpsons was down sadly, but how often do you get a chance to take this photo with almost nobody in the way? Bart was very happy to finally be back! Studio Tour time! Couldn't get a photo but the new loading procedures are very well done here. Guests are directed to a car and row directly out of the main queue as though they were boarding a coaster instead of a tram. It's quite efficient and prevents congestion nicely. I loves me some Back to the Future picture cars! Oh no! A flash flood! AAHHHHH!! SHARK! SHARK!! SHARK!!! Overall the Studio Tour looks great for having been closed for a year. Kong/Earthquake/Fast & Furious all move like they just came out of refurb. War of the Worlds here looks as freaky as ever. The Starway to the Lower Lot provides a nice view of Super Nintendo World coming soon. Just so great to finally be back in a CA park with rides open! Splash down after a new encounter with the Indominus Rex. The new additions really help make this ride feel more complete. Transformers was running great also. Maybe I'm just out of practice but it felt like it was bouncing and whipping around with a bit more force. Many lockers were closed to discourage people from bumping up against each other. Heading out after a great day! As a 90s kid who grew up with American Gladiators and Nickelodeon, this view will *always* be recognizable! What better way to close out the day than at my favorite movie-based eatery? OM NOM NOM!!! Awesome first day back at USH. The park looked great. Rides ran great. Employees seemed happy to be back. I'm definitely looking forward to more visits as life here slowly goes back to normal!
  6. That's hardly a reason to violate the state, county, and the park's own rules. Just have a little more patience.
  7. 100% this. "Survive our guests" is right, but even so, it's exciting to think some version of this is someday going to be very close.
  8. Ideal Texas park tour in March European park tour in August Orlando Halloween event tour in September Return to CA parks Realistic US park summer road trip - region TBD Orlando park tour in September Not holding my breath waiting for CA parks to *maybe* reopen
  9. Let me see if I understand this correctly. Not only did you buy FL from an unauthorized reseller, you were so proud of your success that you didn't want to draw attention to it for fear that others might grab them all before you could get more? Wow … that's some pretty flexible ethics there. Just for the record, the park itself does NOT condone selling of tickets or FastLane on the internet. See below:
  10. I would never trust buying FL from anyone other than the park itself (or other authorized seller like a hotel or travel agency). There are waaaaaaaay too many scammers on places like Ebay, assuming it's even legit to sell FL on Ebay or anywhere else which I highly doubt. I'm sure FL+ is a great perk for those who managed to buy it before the pandemic and shutdowns. The less people who have it, the more value it has.
  11. Imagine wondering where POVs of 2020 coasters are in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic.
  12. You're kidding me, right? COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. Kids with asthma should be taking greater measures to guard themselves against catching the virus than the average person. They certainly should not be going to an amusement park until the pandemic is under control, however long that takes. I'm sure you would agree a sad kid stuck at home is better off than a kid in the ICU struggling to breathe.
  13. Closest thing to that in the USA that I've heard is a proposed tax credit for traveling. It's a nice idea, but the benefits would not be realized until when income taxes are filed next year (unless it's retroactively applied). It would not directly reduce the cost of taking a trip like the VAT cut does. I'm sure that will greatly help UK's hospitality industry.
  14. Great look back at a great trip! Thanks for sharing your photos Chuck.
  15. What's now the YOLO Bar was Mooseburger Lodge for many years, and before that it was the Timbermill Restaurant. It's one of the park's oldest buildings.
  16. Crowds won't be your worst enemy then. Heat will most likely be your biggest problem. Expect temp's of 100+.
  17. If a hotel doesn't measure up to the brand, the brand rips its name off the building. I'm no legal scholar about licensing deals, but if they can, Nascar should immediately remove their trademarks and images from a place like this if it's run that poorly.
  18. Thanks! Don't get me wrong, I was disappointed and frustrated that time/effort spent to get through a challenging system in order to ride went up in smoke, but I knew exactly what I was walking into. One big advantage of being relatively local is this didn't impact any once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or possibly devastate kids' one chance of seeing this amazing ride. Had that been the case, I probably would have had a much more negative impression of the whole situation.
  19. So this past Saturday I headed down to Disneyland to take a stab at riding the new Rise of the Resistance. While it wasn't a completely successful outing, just going through the whole process required to even have a chance was an experience itself. Managed to snag a boarding group in the few minutes they were available, was granted entry towards the evening, sat through a 1hr+ delay, and made it almost to the vehicle boarding area before the worklights came on and the ride was busted for good for the rest of the night. By then it was pushing 9:30pm, I was dead tired, and ended up going home a bit disappointed. What I did see though was absolutely incredible. Here are some photos of the morning crowds, Rise queue and pre-shows for anyone interested. Arrived at the gates a tad before 5am. The crowd started gathering shortly thereafter. At about 7am, there is quite the crowd eager to have their tickets scanned in time. Even just a momentary hiccup in the process of obtaining a boarding group kicked us back to Group 99. Fortunately the ride had a pretty good day and we were called in to ride despite being in a backup boarding group. The entrance is hidden in a forest, and so the journey through the queue begins. Then we move into a series of caves carved into the hills of Batuu. The interior should be VERY familiar to Star Wars fans who recognize the usual look of a hidden Rebel/Resistance base. Familiar looking gadgetry helps establish setting. The queue route is mostly dictated by various objects sitting around the base. Here we go around some supply lockers. Rebel/Resistance pilot uniforms. Sharp eyed fans will know what suit is for the pilot of what type of fighter. Various helmets, uniforms and supplies are here. Fans will enjoy being close to what look like the real thing, if there was a real thing. There are several of these cave rooms with stuff sitting around. If the ride happens to breakdown as you're waiting, you could be spending an hour or more in one of these rooms. More stuff... All throughout the rooms there are various conduits and wires hanging about. As the group files into the first pre-show room and our experience begins, an animatronic BB-8 peeks in and out from behind the display screen. We see you BB-8! Rey appears as a holographic communication explaining how our help is needed against the First Order. Next we go OUTSIDE, yes the real great outdoors, to board transport 28. Poe's black X-wing is also here and lifesize for anyone who wants a quick selfie. Our Mon Calamari pilot soon whisks us away from Disneyland/Batuu and out into space. In this transport, your group is freely standing, just like in a Star Wars movie. No seats or seat belts here. After capture by the First Order, the transport is taken onto this Star Destroyer. Everybody exits into this absolutely incredible life size hangar bay. First Order agents are here to shuffle us Resistance scum to where we need to go next. They are NOT AMUSED by your shenanigans! Oh, that transport you were just on? Well it's right here, because, you know, it was captured, by the First Order, along with you, in outer space... Next up, more waiting. This time in a narrow corridor of a Star Destroyer. If spending time with the First Order is a dream come true, you'll have plenty of time to soak that in. Noted! In this chamber is where groups are formed to board the ride vehicles, after we are properly interrogated of course. Keep your eyes on them. You can be sure their eyes are on you. We have located the computer outlet, sir. Sadly here, right before we were to enter another preshow, is where the long odyssey of the day came to an end. The ride broke down. Work lights came on. Suddenly hard nosed First Order agents became apologetic employees directing us through backstage areas we should not have seen back to the outside world. So that was that, but hey, I got this far. I'm sure I'll see the rest later on when everything calms down and it isn't such an ordeal to ride. Rise of the Resistance will certainly be wowing crowds for years to come!
  20. Anyone heard about the paper boarding group assignments that were supposedly available at the Star Tours FP machines, and GR kiosks for those unable or unwilling to use the phone app? Curious how fast those went, or if anyone even had a chance of success through that route.
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