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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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Welp, that sucks... any further info?

 

The lawsuit looks like it doesn't have much merit and the guy making it apparently has litigated against Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Cheesecake Factory in the past. My guess is that he's hoping to use the suit to obtain a settlement and get some cash. Here's him asking Anon for help a few months back:

 

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:xQwLuhrJckUJ:https://www.facebook.com/ArmyAnonymous/posts/648449135311036+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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Yeah, I'm not sure what to think about the lawsuit, but I've heard the restaurant itself is very good.

 

I'm hoping it does well, not sure how well NBA City did while it was there. I thought NBA city was ok, depending on the atmosphere when you went, we went during the NBA finals one year and the place was amazing, went another time and it was just ok. However, once I seen the announcement for Toothsome Chocolate Factory, it had me way more excited to visit, already planning on making this one of our first stops when we visit in June '17.

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Yesterday I had the chance to visit the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen at CityWalk. This new addition replaced NBA City, a venue that opened with CityWalk in advance of Islands of Adventure's debut. This new restaurant, bar and shop proves that you can infuse a little bit of dessert ingredients into an entree menu to make it unique... And we absolutely loved it. Admittedly, we didn't try as much as we would have liked to in the sweet area, but that is because we filled up so quickly on all that was savory! And based on our experience we'll definitely be back for more!

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If you remember NBA City, you'll remember it looked almost nothing like this.

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There is no shortage of merchandise and sweets available in the shop at the Toothsome Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen!

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An array of cleverly packaged candies can be found throughout the shop...

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Entire steampunk-themed chocolate items can be purchased (and eaten) from here.

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And there are higher end knick knacks and do-dads for those into this scene.

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Not your standard candy bars...

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Those coated marshmallows looked amazing!

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More Toothsome merch.

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Any popcorn fans? I feel like my jealous over CityWalk Hollywood having a Popcornopolis might've just faded away...

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Unique lollipop flavors included Raspberry & Lime and Coconut & Vanilla...

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Indulgent dipping spoons...

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Lots of fresh treats in the display cases are also available for purchase...

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These are eclairs.

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I need these cupcakes. All the cupcakes.

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Ansinthe Candy Floss (also known as Cotton Candy).

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Chocolate rocks, rock candy and chocolate-coated sunflower seeds are all available to take home in this awesome packaging.

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I teared up when I saw this for the first time.

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Candy shot glasses... On sticks.

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This right here is my jam.

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Just writing this trip report is making me regret not buying more sugar...

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This is quite clever.

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The open pastry kitchen allows guests to watch as new sweets are being prepared...

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For fans of truffles, there are plenty to choose from... And we walked out with six.

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This place is incredible... Like the Duncan's Toy Chest of candy.

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Absinthe is an acquired taste I've yet to acquire, but it is neat that they have so many options for those that have.

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For those not interested in dining in, there is a bar opposite the shop where you can get crepes, shakes and ice cream!

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I even had the chance to meet Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome, proprietor of the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen.

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In case you were wondering what the kids menu was like inside, there's nothing with chocolate on it.

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I'm in love with this fiber optic light fixture.

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The menu...

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Doing my best Will Ferrell doing his best Alec Trebek...

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We started out with the Totchos, covered in cheese, tomatillo salsa and pork belly... I'm in love!

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Maddy had the BBQ Chicken Flatbread. This thing was huge but really light and flavorful. A big win for us!

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The Doctor Professor roams the restaurant with her robot friend...

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The other appetizer we couldn't resist triton was the house Chocolate Bread with a salted caramel butter. It was heavenly!

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I had the "there may be bacon" burger... Topped with spicy jack cheese, bacon, pork belly and grilled pineapple it was cooked perfectly and was super flavorful. Right up my alley!

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For those that visited NBA City you may recognize a few architectural elements carried over from the old restaurant into the new...

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We had such a fantastic first meal at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen! We need to come back and try more savory items, many more sweets and lots of drinks (milkshakes included)!

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The second floor also comes with a great view of CityWalk!

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There's a really nice bar set up on the second floor.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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This is the first time I cant wait to try a restaurant at the resort. I saw the pork belly sliders topped with chocolate bacon . . . almost licked the screen!

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I want to take a relative to USO & IOA in Orlando who has a bad back. According to their website only the Harry Potter train is listed as safe to ride. Even the new King Kong attraction has a symbol it's bad for back and says sudden movements. I thought I read it's mild and a jeep ride? Oh, and minions has a non motion seat to watch the film. It don't appear they have much without sudden movements. I think ET is mild enough.

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Yeah, how long as Universal been selling tickets with displays at Publix stores anyway? It wasn't until a month or so ago that I started noticing but it must be working well enough...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just moved down to the area for college and have a few questions about HHN.

 

-What are the ride lines usually like during HHN Friday nights? (October 21 is when I plan to go)

-How much of Diagon Alley will be open?

-How early should I plan to arrive before a Bill & Ted show? What are the odds of getting a selfie with them after the show?

-How willing are the scare zone characters to take selfies?

-I've heard about the conga line nature of the mazes, but how are the scare zone guest crowds?

-Cheap food/booze recommendations?

-How are the IOA crowds at this time?

-I plan to do few mazes (Chance), mainly sticking to the scare zones, Bill & Ted, and rides

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^

-October 21st and a Friday, maybe the busiest night to go out of any. Rip Ride Rockit will hit nearly 2 hours, every other attraction 30-45 at peak

-Diagon Alley is 100 percent open.

-30 minutes before is fine. 15 and you should get in to the first or last show. I've seen them taking pictures afterwards at random.

-Scare zone characters will be very willing to pose for pictures, but won't smile and will give a response in character/not speaking.

-Crowds not a problem in scare zones, except in Central Park area sometimes.

-Food ain't cheap. Simpsons and Leaky Cauldron for best value. Booze definitely not cheap. Beers come in big cans though.

-IOA is pretty dead during September, October and November. Some wait times will hit over an hour but the water rides will be very short and single rider for all the longer waits anyway.

-Get there early, Stay late, and the middle hours are busiest. Diagon is good to hit around 9-10 because every house will have an hour+ wait at that time.

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Halloween Horror Nights 26 - Opening Night Media Event!

 

TPR was at the opening night media event of Halloween Horror Nights 26 and we can't wait to share the photos and video with you! The icon of this years event is Chance, the sexy (and CRAZY) clown girlfriend of Jack. This years event is essentially a "sequel" of the iconic HHN25 from last year. This is the first time that they have attempted this as a theme, and I think it works very well to expand the Horror Nights universe! The events of this years Halloween Horror Nights continue where the last show of Carnival of Carnage last year left off. Jack is "missing" and Chance has been apprehended for the gruesome things she did during the show. Well, you can imagine how well that turns out!

 

Overall, I have to say that this year is AWESOME. I have been attending HHN since the very first one, 26 years ago and this ranks up there in the top 5 in terms of quality of houses. They scored big this year getting American Horror Story, and having The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre,Halloween II and Krampus really bookend the top-notch original houses.

 

Halloween Horror Nights is really the premiere Halloween event in the country. It goes for 31 nights in September and October and features a whopping 9 NEW houses, 4 new scarezones, 2 shows and roaming hoards of chainsaw killers throughout the park. Oh - and you also have most of the rides open in the park with VERY little wait. Before we start off with the pictures, just some friendly tips if you are planning on going to the event!

 

- The event officially begins at 6:30pm,but they almost always will open the gate at 6. If you have tickets for the day, do "stay and scream" and get a head start on the crowds running to the mazes. Oh - and do American Horror Story first. The lines will NOT go down for it throughout the night.

- If you have only one night and want to try and fit it all in, you will need to get an Express Pass or RIP guided tour. Both are *WELL* worth the money and I have done both many times throughout the years.

- If you have multiple nights then you really should get the "Frequent Fear Pass" - this is a great deal and is basically an "annual pass" for the event. There are different levels of this that include various days and some now even include express passes.

 

First our walk through videos of two of the houses:

American Horror Story

Lunatics Playground 3D

OK - on to the photos!

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Chance is waiting to welcome you into her twisted nightmare!

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She really is delightfully creepy and she is surrounded by all of her psychotic minions.

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We are here! These iconic gates hold back all of your worst nightmares!

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Got our credentials and we are good to go!

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As we enter, the gates break and the chaos begins!

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We should rush to our safe media holding area before these guys get us!

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Time for a little food before the fun begins!

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Universal Studios does events right with tons of fun theming.

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Including mice and spiders in the popcorn!

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Finally chance ushers us in to start the event!

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We got to hear from the cast of The Walking Dead and their experiences going through their house.

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The first house was Halloween II - Hell Comes to Haddonfield.

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This was a GREAT house that started right where the last Halloween house in 2014 left off.

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Michael Myers is going to get you!

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And this time he is PISSED!

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Tomb of the Ancients was next! This dark and claustrophobic house was FILLED with creatures you would expect to find in an ancient tomb. A top notch original house.

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Part 2 of our Halloween Horror Nights 26 Media Night TR!

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre was next and it didn't disappoint!

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Leatherface was around every corner ready to get you!

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TONS of scares and you can't even let your guard down when you leave the house!

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The Walking Dead house this year had all of your favorite scenes and is my favorite of the TWD houses so far.

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TONS of walkers... everywhere! I mean this house has just a ton of scareactors.

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Bicycle Girl is even in it!

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Ghost Town was next and this was a wild west house on a HUGE scale! Loved the feel of this house and how "big" the sets seemed. It really felt like a movie.

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The Exorcist is next and it really captures the spirit of the original movie. You see Regan doing (almost) everything from the movie! CRAZY!

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THE POWER OF CHRIST.... you know the rest...

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The creative team said how challenging this house was to create since the movie takes place in one room, but they pulled it off!

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As we walk to American Horror Story, we get a peak at the line... THIS is why you need an express pass! :)

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I'm going to say it right now, American Horror Story is the winner... bar none.

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It is just almost perfect. Theatrical, scary, beautiful - it is the perfect package.

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It covers Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel. I've only watched Murder House and I loved the whole thing.

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The music, the audio cues... man - it just works.

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Oh - and this guy will haunt your dreams.

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Lunatics Playground 3D was next - your chance to meet Chance and her minions up close and personal.

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I recommend doing this with and without the 3D glasses so you notice all the details in the house!

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Krampus was the last of the houses we did and this Christmas nightmare was really brought to life!

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I haven't seen the movie yet, but it is now on my must watch list. SO many cool details throughout the house.

Edited by disneyfan1313
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Part 3 of our Halloween Horror Nights 26 Media Event!

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The scarezones were top notch as well this year. "A Chance in Hell" features chance and her minions up close.

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Vamp 55 features a homecoming parade gone wrong... with Vampires! Kitchy, interactive and fun!

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The chainsaw guys are AWESOME this year. So many cool costumes!

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If you ask nicely, the characters are even open to taking selfies this year!

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Dead Man's Warf is foggy, creepy and cool!

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Survive or Die does a great job of creating atmosphere on the streets of New York with fire and show scenes.

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You never know who is waiting to pounce!

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An important part of the HHN experience is grabbing the speciality drink of the year in a blinky cup! This year they have two new ones themed around chance.. or you can mix them for extra chaos!

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We even got a selfie with Chance! OMG! Fanboy time!

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Of course, no night is complete without seeing the sign for Mel's DIE-IN. Thanks for reading along with us and see you at Halloween Horror Nights 26!

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I know she's insane and all that, but Chance is hot.

 

Also I'm sad I won't get to make it to HHN again this year. It's been so long since I've been to Orlando's version. Instead I'll be doing the Philly area events which, while still fun and have tons of scares, aren't nearly as detailed and immersive.

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Anyone interested in join a small group for a private RIP tour of HHN on Thursday, September 29 at 6:30 pm?

 

My wife and I have the tour booked, and we have two people that are joining us. We're looking for 2-6 more people to share the costs and the expertise of a private tour guide. This means you will get front of the line access to each house, as many times as we can do it!!

 

This will be our fifth HHN. Two years ago, we did a public RIP tour, and had such a great experience, that we decided to up the ante with a private tour.

 

The private tour starts about 6:30 and ends when the park closes. The private tour is limited to 10 people and gets front of the line to all houses all night.

 

The details:

 

* Private RIP tour booked for Thursday, September 29, 6:15 PM.

* Tour guide will be with us until the park closes (1:00 AM) except for a 30-minute break.

* We will create the touring plan with the tour guide.

* Our plan is to tour each house at least twice. There are 2 casts for each house, and we'd like to see each one. We do not plan to use the tour guide for any rides (we can do that during the day...)

* We will have VIP seating for Bill & Ted.

* We will see the Scare Zones as time permits

 

We are looking for a minimum of 2 more people to join us to make it worthwhile. With 6 people, the cost will be $355 per person. If we get the full 10 people, the costs drops to $213 per person. If we don't get at least 6 people, we will cancel the private tour.

 

Please PM me with any questions. Look forward to meeting you.

 

Steve in Philly

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