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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 602: Universal Holidays & Velocicoaster photo report posted!

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I like how they build a roller coaster in the same time it took them to built new lockers for Harry Potter.   

On Sunday I ventured out to the Universal Orlando Resort for a chance to see the new holiday offerings at the two parks. This year is a little different thanks to COVID-19, but Universal has still man

^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to b

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^Disagree. Q-bots make everything so much easier.

 

Same. QBot is by far my favotie "skip the line" system used at any park. Especially when you can upgrade them for shorter wait times. I'd love to see these rolled out at Universal, as well as every other major park. It just makes it so much easier to spend a day at a park and get on all the attractions you want without stressing about it.

 

dt

 

While I agree that a lot of people on this site are absolutely in love with Q Bots, I do question how this is a good thing for guests at Universal. With the current system, you enter the line whenever you want and only have them scan a paper ticket. A Q Bot would actually give you less rides and you would have to deal with the device. I know that they work well at Six Flags and Dollywood but this would be a downgrade to Universal's current system. A Q Bot can't possibly be easier than a paper ticket that gives you immediate access.

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While I agree that a lot of people on this site are absolutely in love with Q Bots, I do question how this is a good thing for guests at Universal. With the current system, you enter the line whenever you want and only have them scan a paper ticket. A Q Bot would actually give you less rides and you would have to deal with the device. I know that they work well at Six Flags and Dollywood but this would be a downgrade to Universal's current system. A Q Bot can't possibly be easier than a paper ticket that gives you immediate access.

 

And how do you know how Hotel Guests Q-Bots will be programmed. Is it possible that Hotel Guests Q-Bots will not be subject to wait times and hotel guests just scan them at the ride entrance making it as easy to use as a paper ticket.

 

Q-Bots allow the park to monitor Express line usage instantly.

 

The current system is not "perfect" or the park wouldn't be changing. What is the current process if paper Express Passes are lost? Is that a burden on manpower? Do people leave the park early and sell their Express Passes for others to use? Maybe someone knows those answers, I don't.

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I've never been to Universal during the most peak times but, from what I've seen during my travels, the current system works very well.

 

From a hotel guest perspective- I stay at one of the Universal hotels solely for this benefit... This is Universal's trump card.

 

For an upcharge Universal Express pass person- I ride all the rides once that might have lines.

 

From a person who doesn't fall into either category- I don't feel like I'm waiting a longer to ride since the universal express pass queues rarely have lines.

 

 

I love q-bot, but I don't really see what benefit it would provide Universal. The only way I see this helping Universal's bottom line is if there is a huge Harry Potter following that would pay for an express pass/q-bot simply so they could ride Harry Potter over and over again. Oh $hit, there probably is a market for that.

 

Otherwise q-bot is just a complicated, revenue grabbing layer, that Universal doesn't need....

 

-Chris "I still love you q-bot, please return my phonecalls" Con

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Is it possible that Hotel Guests Q-Bots will not be subject to wait times and hotel guests just scan them at the ride entrance making it as easy to use as a paper ticket.

 

But if Universal's qbot is anything like those at other Parks, it means you have to carry around a $250 replacement-value electronic device that isn't waterproof. A paper ticket, even if they had a nominal replacement fee, sounds a lot better to me.

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What Universal needs more than Q-Bots is an educational video at the front gate for people to learn how to use the single rider lines. If you have a group of 8 people, DO NOT USE THE SINGLE RIDER LINE. In fact, they should restrict the single rider line to groups of 2 or fewer. Because it's REALLY obnoxious when I get in the single rider line and come up behind a monstrous group of people all wearing matching t-shirts thinking they're getting a shorter wait because they're in the "short" line, when in reality they are causing the line to bog down and making the wait twice as long as the regular line.

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Is it possible that Hotel Guests Q-Bots will not be subject to wait times and hotel guests just scan them at the ride entrance making it as easy to use as a paper ticket.

 

But if Universal's qbot is anything like those at other Parks, it means you have to carry around a $250 replacement-value electronic device that isn't waterproof. A paper ticket, even if they had a nominal replacement fee, sounds a lot better to me.

 

Then they better have Lo-Q provide waterproof ones. I see no reason why a Q-Bot can not be made in a waterproof fashion.

 

What Universal needs more than Q-Bots is an educational video at the front gate for people to learn how to use the single rider lines. If you have a group of 8 people, DO NOT USE THE SINGLE RIDER LINE. In fact, they should restrict the single rider line to groups of 2 or fewer. Because it's REALLY obnoxious when I get in the single rider line and come up behind a monstrous group of people all wearing matching t-shirts thinking they're getting a shorter wait because they're in the "short" line, when in reality they are causing the line to bog down and making the wait twice as long as the regular line.

 

Sorry, I just can't agree with you on this point. As long as the group doesn't hold up the line by asking/demanding to sit together I have no problem.

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But if Universal's qbot is anything like those at other Parks, it means you have to carry around a $250 replacement-value electronic device that isn't waterproof. A paper ticket, even if they had a nominal replacement fee, sounds a lot better to me.

 

Then they better have Lo-Q provide waterproof ones. I see no reason why a Q-Bot can not be made in a waterproof fashion.

 

I hope so. Every park I've used Q-bot at (I haven't used the water park wrist bands) has warned that if I get the device wet that they will charge $250 to my credit card. This includes parks where you can use Q-bot on water rides. I've had to carry a ziplock bag with my to put the Q-bot in.

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We visited IOA Dec 30/31 and Universal Jan 2. I opted ahead of time for the express pass on the 2nd only as price fluctuate depending on the day. It would have been a complete waste of money at IOA, express pass lines were similar wait times to normal lines. IOA was especially weird in that because it lacked a night show we saw Harry potter land go from being a capacity controlled 2.5 hour wait to get inside the land (inside... Let alone even trying to ride forbidden journey), to forbidden journey literally being a walk on by sunset on the 31st. So ya... I would actually recommend IOA for New years if you arrived around 6-7pm.

 

The Q bot would certainly help in keeping those lines capacity controlled, I would have been highly upset forking out an additional $60 for essentially nothing.

 

But the studios wound up being fairly busy the 2nd (Jaws of course... This trip was planned well before the closing was announced) and we found our express pass to be a great boon. Zipped past every line in under ten minutes.

 

Moral of the story, we had a great express pass experience, but I simultaneously saw an awful one at IOA. The capacity and timing control of the Q bot would fix that hopefully.

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What Universal needs more than Q-Bots is an educational video at the front gate for people to learn how to use the single rider lines. If you have a group of 8 people, DO NOT USE THE SINGLE RIDER LINE. In fact, they should restrict the single rider line to groups of 2 or fewer. Because it's REALLY obnoxious when I get in the single rider line and come up behind a monstrous group of people all wearing matching t-shirts thinking they're getting a shorter wait because they're in the "short" line, when in reality they are causing the line to bog down and making the wait twice as long as the regular line.

 

Like the Harry Potter twats we encountered recently. It really is obnoxious but they were just oblivious to the fact that they were bogging down the line. It would be great to see some monitoring of the single rider line, I just will never expect it.

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^Not just their own system, but their own, better system. I would rather have a paper ticket to skip lines without waiting than hassle with a q-bot and wait for reservations all day. This could remove a lot of the advantage of HHN express...

 

I think the Q-Bot makes more sense for guests and for the park--keeps the Express entrance from getting slammed and slowing it and the regular queue down even more.

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What Universal needs more than Q-Bots is an educational video at the front gate for people to learn how to use the single rider lines. If you have a group of 8 people, DO NOT USE THE SINGLE RIDER LINE. In fact, they should restrict the single rider line to groups of 2 or fewer. Because it's REALLY obnoxious when I get in the single rider line and come up behind a monstrous group of people all wearing matching t-shirts thinking they're getting a shorter wait because they're in the "short" line, when in reality they are causing the line to bog down and making the wait twice as long as the regular line.

This is my biggest issue at universal! I recently walked out of rockit's single riders line since it was virtually the same wait as the regular line!!!

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Universal Orlando has sent us a press release announcing the official debut date for both the Universal's Superstar Parade and Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories.

 

Universal Orlando has set a joint grand opening date for two new spectacularly entertaining guest experiences. The new Universal’s Superstar Parade and Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories will have their grand opening on May 8.

 

Both experiences follow this year’s re-opening of The Blue Man Group Show, the re-launch of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and the opening of the new Hollywood Drive-In Miniature Golf experience at Universal Citywalk. They will be followed by this summer’s launch of Universal Orlando’s newest blockbuster ride – Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

 

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories will present some of the world’s best and most popular films in an innovative, high-tech symphony of imagery, light, sound and special effects. The show highlights some of the most fun, dramatic, awe-inspiring moments from nearly 200 films – representing approximately 300 Academy Award nominations and 100 Academy Award winners.

 

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor and Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille honoree Morgan Freeman, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular celebrates Universal Pictures’ most iconic films. Their most powerful moments will be shown in crystal-clear clarity on cutting-edge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios lagoon -- surrounded by colorful, dramatically synchronized fountains and pyrotechnics and all against a powerful musical score. The experience will take guests on an emotional journey through epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil and triumph. The new show will run year-round except during annual and special events.

 

Universal’s Superstar Parade will offer an entirely new form of interactive entertainment that will give guests and entire families the opportunity to join in the fun. Some of today’s most beloved characters and stories will bring new adventure to the streets of Universal Studios during the parade, an all-new show experience that features larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and hundreds of energetic street performers. Guests will get to sing and dance along with their favorite characters including the minions from the blockbuster animated feature Despicable Me, E.B. from the hit comedy, Hop, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora & Diego. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy performances and character meet-and-greets prior to the parade at select locations throughout the day.

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What Universal needs more than Q-Bots is an educational video at the front gate for people to learn how to use the single rider lines. If you have a group of 8 people, DO NOT USE THE SINGLE RIDER LINE. In fact, they should restrict the single rider line to groups of 2 or fewer. Because it's REALLY obnoxious when I get in the single rider line and come up behind a monstrous group of people all wearing matching t-shirts thinking they're getting a shorter wait because they're in the "short" line, when in reality they are causing the line to bog down and making the wait twice as long as the regular line.

This is my biggest issue at universal! I recently walked out of rockit's single riders line since it was virtually the same wait as the regular line!!!

 

It can be annoying if say, a Brazilian Tour Group got in front of you, but I see nothing wrong with a group of more than 2 hitting up the single line as long as they understand that they are not going to be seated together. After all, isn't that the purpose of the single line, to fill what would've been otherwise vacant seats had it not been there? Furthermore, some single rider lines are longer regardless by the nature of the seating style. You mention Rip, Ride, Rockit but even Cheetah Hunt suffers from the delays as the two across seating has always been disastrous for me when trying to go Single Rider on them....

 

God forbid that Single Rider line is not your free Universal express pass.

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I hope so. Every park I've used Q-bot at (I haven't used the water park wrist bands) has warned that if I get the device wet that they will charge $250 to my credit card. This includes parks where you can use Q-bot on water rides. I've had to carry a ziplock bag with my to put the Q-bot in.

 

At SFGAmerica they told us this as well, but they mentioned that they do fine on water rides. Apparently the Q-Bots are water-resistant, not water-proof. They did advise us that submerging them would not be light on the wallet though.

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Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories will present some of the world’s best and most popular films in an innovative, high-tech symphony of imagery, light, sound and special effects.

Or I could grab a light bulb, garden hose, and film projector, then head down to the local pool. Sorry, Universal.....yawn.

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What Universal needs more than Q-Bots is an educational video at the front gate for people to learn how to use the single rider lines. If you have a group of 8 people, DO NOT USE THE SINGLE RIDER LINE. In fact, they should restrict the single rider line to groups of 2 or fewer. Because it's REALLY obnoxious when I get in the single rider line and come up behind a monstrous group of people all wearing matching t-shirts thinking they're getting a shorter wait because they're in the "short" line, when in reality they are causing the line to bog down and making the wait twice as long as the regular line.

This is my biggest issue at universal! I recently walked out of rockit's single riders line since it was virtually the same wait as the regular line!!!

 

It can be annoying if say, a Brazilian Tour Group got in front of you, but I see nothing wrong with a group of more than 2 hitting up the single line as long as they understand that they are not going to be seated together. After all, isn't that the purpose of the single line, to fill what would've been otherwise vacant seats had it not been there? Furthermore, some single rider lines are longer regardless by the nature of the seating style. You mention Rip, Ride, Rockit but even Cheetah Hunt suffers from the delays as the two across seating has always been disastrous for me when trying to go Single Rider on them....

 

God forbid that Single Rider line is not your free Universal express pass.

 

Exactly. The single rider line can work to your advantage a lot of time, but if it doesn't then you can't complain. No park guarantees that the single rider line will get you on the ride faster. Guests in groups larger than 2 have just as much a right to stand in that line as someone who is by themselves.

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Yesterday I had the chance to stop by Universal Studios Florida for a class project, but took the opportunity to grab some photos of the latest progress throughout the park.

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It looks like Gru's house is getting lots of new detail...

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The roof now has shingles, and it looks like there's a rocket parked in the garage.

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I'm actually really looking forward to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem!

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Construction walls towards the exit of the attraction have come down as several frames for studio posters have gone up on the facade.

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Another look towards the entrance shows the other side of Gru's house and another studio picture frame.

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Is Universal opening up a day care center?

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Very cute!

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As previously announced, Universal's Cinematic Spectacular will officially debut on May 8th along with the Universal Superstar Parade.

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The water screen barges have gotten a few stylized additions in the last few weeks.

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Good news Jaws fans! Bruce's photo op has been moved from the former Amity this new location next to Chez Alcatraz.

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Looking good!

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This time, is it really, really personal?

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These are some heavy duty barges!

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Chez Alcatraz recently debuted a small food menu...

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They also updated their alcoholic beverage menu to include several themed drinks, including the well received Shark Attack that debuted during Jaws' closing night.

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All that remains of Amity are some lamp posts, a few signs and the old 4th of July banner posts.

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But there is truly nothing left of what was once Amity.

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It's a long, empty walk through here...

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One Amity sign post seems to have been spared, for now.

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Sad to see this relic still standing...

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The skyline has certainly changed in this corner of the park.

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Large mounds of dirt mark the tallest things visible in the area.

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Few references to Amity are left.

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The Spongebob Squarepants retail experience is still being heavily worked on.

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Some clever signs line the construction walls surrounding the store.

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What have we here?

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Could it be???

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Yes! Doc Brown lives!

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Universal has actually added a set of three "streetmosphere" actors to the former Amity area to entertain guests while they pass through.

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The actors portray highly confused and out-of-place tourists roaming around aimlessly.

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She kept asking us where the pool was.

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This one called herself Mandy Moozle and was trying to find a train to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Seriously, she asked us where she could catch the train.

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These actors are definitely... Something.

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And over in CityWalk work is underway to bring a new boardwalk-esque area with new shopping and dining options.

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Nice trip report. Really liked the "streetmosphere" actors, that would be something I'd like to see more of.

 

It would be something I would wish to see much less of.

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That she asked you where the train was is kind of funny, considering that's part of the assumed plans for WWOHP v2. And since they're hanging around the old Amity / new HP area... Granted, the pool lady is kind of weird, but I wouldn't be surprised if she's asking for the train for a reason!

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