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NEW VIDEO!!! For those of you wanting more "Coaster Expedition" style videos from TPR, here you go! If you want to see more like this, but sure to GO TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND COMMENT ON THE VIDEO THERE!

 

We made a trip over to Universal Orlando! Figured we'd give them a couple of weeks to get everything together after their re-opening, and considering the HORRIFIC visit we had to SeaWorld last week, this was probably a very good idea!

 

For the most part, we actually had a really good day! We both felt that Universal did a great job (really probably the best they could) with enforcing social distancing, wearing masks, etc. We'll get into it a bit in the photos below, but we all know the drill by now! Although I will say that Universal is still the only place where I've seen someone take off their mask, sneeze, and then put their mask back on! Oh, humanity! You just cannot fix stupid no matter how hard you try!

 

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Just in case you forgot where we were heading...

 

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Today we will start at Islands of Adventure, but we did make our way to both parks!

 

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I have to be honest, I had thought they added a few more attractions to their Virtual Queue system, but it's only Hagrid's, Fallon, and Fast & Furious. Yeesh! Is it even a contest at all???

 

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We chose for obvious reasons Hagrid's. Which the entrance was a bit of a cluster but once we go through that, it only took us about 25 minutes to get onto the ride. Elissa had actually never been on it because of how unreliable and difficult it was to get on it before. Strange that it took a pandemic for the ride to actually work better, but whatever, we'll take it at this point!

 

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I am still of the opinion that Hagrid's is the "Most overrated coaster in the history of roller coasters." That doesn't mean I don't like the ride, I do. It is a lot of fun, but not only is it not as OMFG HOLY CRAP AMAZING like some people make it out to be, it is also nowhere near as good as the coaster it replaced. I will still never forgive Universal for taking out Dueling Dragons. Sorry, I just can't. Oh, and the fact that neither of one of us are "Potter" fans probably also factors into our "meh" thinking of the ride.

 

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But we actually had a good time on it, and it IS a good ride! At least until you get to the lockers.... OMG. Lockers at Universal have always been a mess, even though they spent a ton of money re-doing them in the past couple of years. Today we had to wait in a line to get a locker. Wait in a line to get the stuff out of our locker. The staff and both locker stations we used today (Hagrid's & Rip Ride Rockit) were the most unfriendly and confused we encountered. I honestly have stopped riding most of the roller coasters at Universal because of how bad the locker situation always is. And this is not due to the virus, this is been an issue since day one!

 

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When you look around though, not only is the park not "slow" but quite the majority of guests seem to be doing a pretty good job with wearing their mask. Not everyone, mind you, but most certainly the majority!

 

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I would put it on par with what we are seeing at Disney Springs and by far MUCH better than what we saw at SeaWorld last week. (And to be fair, we do plan on going back to SeaWorld next week to see if things got better there.)

 

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When we first heard about the "We're going to pump hand sanitizer into everyone's hand before you board an attraction" we were horrified! Like as though you are about to enter the Windjammer buffet on a cruise ship! (Anyone who has sailed Royal Caribbean knows what I mean) but this actually worked... AMAZING!!! And if anything, SeaWorld needs to stop their crap with wiping down every seat in the coaster and go to spooging everyone's hand IMMEDIATELY!!!

 

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Although, no matter how hard Universal tries, you can't fix stupid and you will always have people who will "make up" their own social distancing rules, like this group here did in the Spider-Man queue! lol

 

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There were some issues with the placement of where to stand though, so it was a little confusing. Like here we are standing RIGHT NEXT to another group on the other side of the switchback. Clearly there was some thought put into where to place the markers, but not taking into your entire surroundings.

 

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Although this one was our favorite where you are backed into a corner next to a door and a trash can!

 

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And of course, there were some places where social distancing just didn't seem to matter! This folks.... THIS IS WHY YOU WEAR A MASK!!!

 

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Oh yeah... they are building a new coaster.

 

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OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!! CONSTRUCTION UPDATE #256,479,201 - THEY ARE WELDING A PIECE OF METAL!!!!

 

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The coaster fan in me goes "That looks kick ass!" The park theming fan in me goes "Wow, they've ruined their lagoon."

 

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It was awesome to see so many of the characters out interacting with guests!

 

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I stayed until Thing 1 & Thing 2 farted on me and then I had to leave!

 

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I thought New Yorker's were banned from Orlando? Can we start with this guy?

 

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ROLLER COASTER PHOTO!!!!

 

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You can literally see Elissa's Surly smirk through the mask!

 

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ROLLER COASTER PORN! We only waited ten minutes for Rip Ride Rockit, and I know this is an UNPOPULAR OPINION, but I far FAR enjoy this coaster more than Hagrid's! ProTip: ASK FOR THE FRONT SEAT! We always do and they are always VERY accommodating! Then Google the "Secret Song List" and choose your favorite! Mine is #901 The Muppets "Moving Right Along"

 

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We literally went into Diagon Alley ONLY to say "Suck it J.K." I hate her so much and I couldn't be happier that the rest of the world does now, too!

 

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Speaking of overrated things, while I "like" Voodoo Donuts and we always bring some home, they are just "okay" and are a GOOD donut, but not as amazing and people make them out to be. OH! And we used their "mobile ordering" system which was HILARIOUS!

 

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The app tells you to "go to the mobile ordering kiosk" to pick up your order. But when you walk in... WHERE IS THAT?!?!?

 

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OH! It's over there in the corner behind a giant pole which you cannot see at all!

 

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Overall, we did have a VERY "Universal Day" and we enjoyed our visit! We will leave you with some Hello Kitty Jaws plush which they clearly stole from Universal Japan!

 

Now please, GO WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE AND POST YOUR COMMENTS!

 

Thank you for reading!

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Edited by robbalvey
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Thanks for the report! Refreshing to see an old style Vlog. I’d kill for there to be vlogs like this for the two times I’ve traveled with you, but I’m grateful to see it return a bit!

 

Glad to hear things are working out a bit better for them there!

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Were other rides switched onto the virtual queue over the course of the day? I've seen Mummy, Kong, and Forbidden Journey as rides that could operate with a virtual queue.

 

I really like Hagrid's and I feel awful for saying this, but I do prefer it to Dueling Dragons. That being said, I wish there was a way Dueling Dragons could have remained at the park and Hagrid's be built elsewhere.

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Posted (edited)
Thanks for the report! Refreshing to see an old style Vlog. I’d kill for there to be vlogs like this for the two times I’ve traveled with you, but I’m grateful to see it return a bit!

You are very welcome! I have to say that we are not "vloggers" and I hate the term "vlog!" IMO, vloggers are boring as fuck people who go around and video EVERY SINGLE GOD DAMN THING they see. I honestly cannot stand them. I personally think the reason why we stopped doing this style of "music video" or "coaster expedition" format was because people just kept lumping us in with "vloggers" and that's not what we are.

 

But I *DO* appreciate the positive comments. I just wish we would have attached a "name" to the style of theme park video we invented many many years ago!

 

Edited by robbalvey
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Posted (edited)
Were other rides switched onto the virtual queue over the course of the day? I've seen Mummy, Kong, and Forbidden Journey as rides that could operate with a virtual queue.

Huh. Not that we saw. There was no signage anywhere or anything on the app that would have suggested this was even a possibility.

 

really like Hagrid's and I feel awful for saying this, but I do prefer it to Dueling Dragons.

You're dead to me. Hagrid's is trash compared to Dragons. Seriously, every time I ride that coaster is makes me wonder how so many people are coming away from it saying it's so damn good. It spends most of its time meandering around a bunch of shrubs at mediocre speeds, you barely see any of the "theming" (if you can call it that) and the BEST part of the ride is the launch after the drop-track where just as it starts to get good... it ends!

 

The the piece of theming you get to stare at the longest is that HORRIBLE "Party City" looking unicorn at the end of the ride! OMG, that animatronic is a joke!

 

Seriously, I don't "get it." That ride is just so "average" in every way that it hurts my brain when people keep saying how amazing it is.

Edited by robbalvey
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It's really great to see an "old school" TPR video again.

Thank you!!! Please be sure to comment on the video itself so it will do better in YouTube's algorithm otherwise you may not see us do that style of video again!

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Done, and I "smashed" the Like button too.

God I fucking hate people that say that shit!

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Glad someone said voodoo was overrated. I didn't think the donut I paid six bucks for there was any better than the donut I pay 50 cents for at my Albertsons

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Glad to see Universal was a much better experience for you guys than SeaWorld, hopefully they get their act together for your next visit there.

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Even the oldest Coaster Expedition style videos had a higher production value and editing effort than a typical "vlog". You told a story! That's why they were always better!

 

For some reason the one that sticks out in my head is the one from Beech Bend, of all places.

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Even the oldest Coaster Expedition style videos had a higher production value and editing effort than a typical "vlog". You told a story! That's why they were always better!

Thank you! That has always been our goal!

 

For some reason the one that sticks out in my head is the one from Beech Bend, of all places.

I'll have to go back and watch that one, I honestly don't even remember it!

Edited by robbalvey
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^ I agree, a condensed and edited video showing the highlights is better than having an hour long vlog with a ton of filler.

 

Were other rides switched onto the virtual queue over the course of the day? I've seen Mummy, Kong, and Forbidden Journey as rides that could operate with a virtual queue.

Huh. Not that we saw. There was no signage anywhere or anything on the app that would have suggested this was even a possibility.

 

Those rides say XX minute wait or virtual line on the wait time page on the app. Maybe the virtual queue only happens if the queue hits a certain length? The only three that appear active today are the ones you mentioned.

 

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Those rides say XX minute wait or virtual line on the wait time page on the app. Maybe the virtual queue only happens if the queue hits a certain length? The only three that appear active today are the ones you mentioned.

 

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I have no idea. We didn't see any mention of any virtual queue anywhere else in the park and we saw it at the three attractions listed during our visit. That being said we didn't go anywhere near Forbidden Journey because we really are not fans of Harry Potter at all and I actually cannot stand that ride. But we did walk by Fallon and Fast & Furious and both of them had it set up. There was no mention of it anywhere at Mummy or Kong, so I have no idea...

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Absolutely loved the video! Absolutely loved the snarky commentary. Absolutely loved Elissa's faux enthusiasm. All hail the rise expedition vids! Going to go watch it now on Youtube and gently massage the like button as I would my nipples.

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Glad someone said voodoo was overrated. I didn't think the donut I paid six bucks for there was any better than the donut I pay 50 cents for at my Albertsons

 

What donut did you get? Most donuts I've gotten from VooDoo were around $3 which is a reasonable price for being on theme park property. I also think VooDoo is a little bit overrated but it's definitely better than an Albertsons (or any other grocery store) donut which is more like $1 now. I think comparing it to a donut shop donut which runs $1.50-$2 is more fair.

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How does Voodoo compare with Duck Donuts? I had Duck Donuts when I went to BGW and they were amazing

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Glad someone said voodoo was overrated. I didn't think the donut I paid six bucks for there was any better than the donut I pay 50 cents for at my Albertsons

 

What donut did you get? Most donuts I've gotten from VooDoo were around $3 which is a reasonable price for being on theme park property. I also think VooDoo is a little bit overrated but it's definitely better than an Albertsons (or any other grocery store) donut which is more like $1 now. I think comparing it to a donut shop donut which runs $1.50-$2 is more fair.

I think I got a maple bar. Maybe I accidentally got some weird special donut they had that day but it was nothing all that great. Maybe it was just bad luck of the draw.
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Posted (edited)
How does Voodoo compare with Duck Donuts? I had Duck Donuts when I went to BGW and they were amazing

I'm honestly just not a big "donut" person. I've been to Duck Donuts and Voodoo and I thought both were just "fine" but then again, I think Dunkin and Krispy Kreme are just "fine" also. I would take any of them and not care either way.

 

Also, this report is more about Universal Studios and the video we posted. Can we please not turn it into a donut discussion? Thank you.

Edited by robbalvey
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I'll have to go back and watch that one, I honestly don't even remember it!

I think it might of been... 2006 or 2007? It had Kentucky Rumbler and that crazy sketchy Scat ride.

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We chose for obvious reasons Hagrid's. Which the entrance was a bit of a cluster but once we go through that, it only took us about 25 minutes to get onto the ride. Elissa had actually never been on it because of how unreliable and difficult it was to get on it before. Strange that it took a pandemic for the ride to actually work better, but whatever, we'll take it at this point!

 

I just laugh at this because it is soooo true! I love the system they have setup for Hagrid's for the virtual queue and I can't imagine riding it any other way. I actually hope to see a system like this used for Rise of the Resistance. Instead of opening up all of the spots at park opening, they just randomly add them throughout the day so you don't have to show up all at once.

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