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Universal Orlando Resort (USF, IOA, Epic) Discussion Thread

P. 625: Dark Universe revealed!

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25 minutes ago, Haymaker said:

Does Popeye's still have the covered center ring for shoes and other stuff? 

Dudley Do-Right's is a great flume unless you want to stay dry in my opinion.

Yes they did. I believe there was announcement about keeping your shirt and shoes on but don't quote me 100% on that. Another couple on the same barge as us did take their shoes and put them in there. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few quick thoughts from our visit this weekend:

- Royal Pacific has me spoiled. This was our first time staying on property thanks to a passholder appreciation deal but I'll probably do it again. We didn't take advantage of Early Entry since we had Express and having early admission to two rides with Express in the park that nobody wants to rope drop isn't worth getting up an hour and a half early but I'm glad it's a thing for the early birds.

- I highly recommend staying at a resort where you can take the boat or walk back from HHN. It's worth it just so you don't have to sit in that parking garage, Also, the walking path is really nice. It's amazing how this place is really in a very built-up area and hides it so well.

- HHN was a blast. I have no real "favorite" house. Everyone always explains the backstory and the legend and the storyboards and all that but if you're not familiar with the IPs I mean... you go in, the sets will be awesome, a bunch of shit will jump out at you, Everything blends together a lot. I don't care about the nuance of it but it's a blast. We actually did every house except one without Express despite a rain delay that closed most houses and most rides, even most indoor rides because the gift shops clogged up. At one point I think the only things open in the park were a few mazes up front, Gringotts and Men in Black. I think the only house that we didn't do was Horror in the Heartland. We had 10 minutes left before close and we were next to Mummy. We almost walked all the way back there but we had been in the park for 16 straight hours so we just walked-on Mummy instead. it was the only ride we did during the event but riding Mummy is never a bad life-decision.

- Tooth Fairy is a lot better this year than last year

- Hulk needs air conditioning

- Why can you buy a Coors light in Hogsmeade but not a coke or a water that isn't $6?

- Over the course of two days with Express we rode everything we cared to ride, plus multiple rides on Hagrid's and Velocicoaster. Velocicoaster is amazing. The more I ride it, the more I love it. I'm not great at ranking coasters and while I'm not *sure* if I'd call it my favorite, there's not a ride that I can confidently say is better either.

I think it's best in the front, but the back is also insane. Everyone knows that the roll is sick but that top hat... man. In the back, it's the coolest moment of floater ever. It's stong and weird. It feels like you're in outer space. Then during the drop it abruptly switches from wild, crazy, twisty floater to El Toro in 0.0001 seconds. Also, in the front you get ejector airtime while upsideown in a dive loop. That's normal, right? lol

- The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good. You couldn't pay me to watch those movies. I basically don't care about action movies at all. This doesn't matter. The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good and one of the best things at the entire resort.

Lines were short all weekend for most rides (of course, since we had free express passes) and nothing was generally over an hour, not even Hagrid's. I still believe that the best rope-drop ride is Hagrid's... It seems to be more popular than Velocicoaster though it's close. Note that if you're going soon, this does seem to be their "offseason" during the week. Rides like Gringotts, Hagrid's and Hulk were all running at reduced capacity on Monday and rides like River Adventure and Mummy were only using one platform. Lines still weren't bad, and maybe some of it was mechanical but it might make the waits a little longer than they should be so bring your patience. The Gringotts line moved painfully slow and every pre-show ended with an akward silence for 5 minutes before we were let out because the line ahead of us wouldn't clear. Being new, Velocicoaster is running at full capacity as are many other rides though so it's hit-or-miss.

Overall we had an awesome time. This is a great time to go to the parks.

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2 hours ago, coasterbill said:

- Why can you buy a Coors light in Hogsmeade but not a coke or a water that isn't $6?

- The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good. You couldn't pay me to watch those movies. I basically don't care about action movies at all. This doesn't matter. The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good and one of the best things at the entire resort.

They could and should be selling them for no more than $2 a bottle for water. Even at that price they would still be making a ton of money, most likely even more cause people would be buying it even more. One of my biggest pet peeves in all of theme parks / sporting events. 

I've never seen the Bourne movies either but this show was so awesome. I always enjoyed Terminator but it was definitely showing it's age the last time I saw it. This is a massive upgrade with some really cool stunts and tricks. 

The only slightest knock I have against it doesn't even have anything to do with the show. I selfishly just wish this was a James Bond show cause I've always been a fan of that franchise and I think if this was themed to Bond a lot more people would be talking about it. So many of these stunts and tricks would work for Bond, plus you throw in the classic theme song, catch phrases and cars and it would be literally perfect to me. 

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I mean, they have free courtesy cups... I can't complain that much, we just wanted a bottle since we were heading into a queue and knew we'd want to sip it for awhile. I just picked it up without a posted price and laughed when I realized that Harry Potter water was like twice the price of all of the other water bottles in the park for no reason. It's dumb.

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Unfortunately when I went a few weeks ago I didn't think it would be worth getting a hopper or staying an additional day at Studios just to be able to see the Bourne show (the price difference is ridiculous for one attraction, well, the Harry Potter train but I don't care about that, same with F&F) when I could go on all the other worthwhile things during HHN... but that didn't play out at all because I didn't even get to ride mummy and gringots or do anything else but the houses during HHN (we even did the after 10pm HHN Express for half price -- not a lot of people know about it) and I completely forgot it includes the rides too (not that I think they needed it) but we were REALLY hurting by 12:15 at a 1am close which was only exasperated by running to Velocicoaster at 6:35p from the farthest point at Studios since it just opened for the day.

We had leftover houses on our Express because we didn't want to loop back and repeat the ones we waited in regular lines for, and I could barely, BARELY walk, but I did get in all 10 houses and Beetlejuice twice because my wife is obsessed with Beetlejuice and I skipped it the first time to ride Velocicoaster. All in all a good time but as I stated before I much prefer houses/haunts without conga lines as you get a better chance to soak it all in and get more interaction with the actors.

It's not the lines themselves that bother me at HHN it's the fricken layout of the lines and the ridiculously long walks to GET to the lines. lol

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13 hours ago, anonymouscactus said:

Unfortunately when I went a few weeks ago I didn't think it would be worth getting a hopper or staying an additional day at Studios just to be able to see the Bourne show (the price difference is ridiculous for one attraction, well, the Harry Potter train but I don't care about that, same with F&F) when I could go on all the other worthwhile things during HHN... but that didn't play out at all because I didn't even get to ride mummy and gringots or do anything else but the houses during HHN (we even did the after 10pm HHN Express for half price -- not a lot of people know about it) and I completely forgot it includes the rides too (not that I think they needed it) but we were REALLY hurting by 12:15 at a 1am close which was only exasperated by running to Velocicoaster at 6:35p from the farthest point at Studios since it just opened for the day.

We had leftover houses on our Express because we didn't want to loop back and repeat the ones we waited in regular lines for, and I could barely, BARELY walk, but I did get in all 10 houses and Beetlejuice twice because my wife is obsessed with Beetlejuice and I skipped it the first time to ride Velocicoaster. All in all a good time but as I stated before I much prefer houses/haunts without conga lines as you get a better chance to soak it all in and get more interaction with the actors.

It's not the lines themselves that bother me at HHN it's the fricken layout of the lines and the ridiculously long walks to GET to the lines. lol

 

I always go to the rides right away at HHN, we walked right on Gringotts and Mummy while all the houses had 4 to 6 hour waits. We eventually worked our way through all of the houses strategically. It's best to skip until you find the reasonable waits at these events and circle back later, even when it's jam packed. You are right though, doing a full day/night at Universal can wear you out! It seems fine in theory and 12 hours go by of walking and your feet and legs say otherwise.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/22/2021 at 9:09 AM, coasterbill said:

 

- Royal Pacific has me spoiled. This was our first time staying on property thanks to a passholder appreciation deal but I'll probably do it again. We didn't take advantage of Early Entry since we had Express and having early admission to two rides with Express in the park that nobody wants to rope drop isn't worth getting up an hour and a half early but I'm glad it's a thing for the early birds.

RP is seriously one of my favorite hotels that I have ever stayed at, and I am counting theme park and non theme park venues. I love that place.

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Looks like I'm going to be off unexpectedly this week and next week. Wedding in Tampa next Saturday. Haven't been to Universal since 2012 so I was considering going down to Orlando from Atlanta on Tuesday night, going to HHN on Wed 10/13 then IOA on Thursday. Is it worth it to do the scream early to HHN for $30? Looks like the only things I'd get to do during that time that I couldn't do at HHN are Transformers and F&F (haven't been on either). If not, should I go to Gringotts first then whatever haunts after? Hoping also that a Wednesday will be significantly less crowded. No idea how a thursday in Oct will be though.

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The ride lines on a Wednesday during HHN should be SUPER low, if you're trying to hit all of the houses at HHN then yeah, it may be worth the money for some extra time. But if you don't care about all of the houses/shows you could probably get in a good mix of rides and HHN in just one night. 

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I'm planning to the hit the Bourne show with the Scream Early entry.  I want to catch it and the makeup show if possible then make it over to one of the holding pens.

With the Scream Early tickets seems like folks are able to knock out 2-5 houses by 7pm with minimal lines.

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This is counterintuitive but I just tell everyone to look at the price of the annual pass. The cheapest one is fine for most people. 
 

There aren’t really many discounts on day-tickets and I find them to be very expensive, but in comparison the seasonal pass (while obviously more expensive) is a much easier pill to swallow. They generally pay for themselves in about 2 visits, often less.

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Farewell Shrek!

(Not my tweet, just thought it was better to get it straight from the horse's donkey's mouth)

Not to surprised, but bummed none the less. I saw the version in Hollywood as a kid and thought it was great fun! Not Universal's best I know, but it was just plain fun, at least for me. I always hoped to be able to see it again in Orlando, but I guess I won't get that chance now...😢

Here's to hoping for an even better replacement!

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^I'm tempering my expectations in thinking that it is more likely the Kung Fu Panda/Dreamworks Theatre like in Universal Studios Hollywood or the SING on Tour show in Osaka... But Secret Life of Pets would be an awesome addition, both for that section of the park and for the resort's lineup of family attractions overall!

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That's a long time for Mummy to close. They're really relying on Potter at Studios. Really hoping that new, thrilling, innovative rides will be coming ASAP. It's already the nostalgic classics park, the most exciting things there right now are RRR, Bourne, Gringotts, MiB, and Mummy. So without Mummy.... yikes. 

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Secret Life of Pets looks great. Sort of an old school style ride with a lot of depth of detail and a lot of reridability. Fingers crossed this is the replacement. I didn't mind Shrek, honestly I was in tears of laughter the first time I did it, but it has definitely run its course now.

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^ And Pets' moving "cardboard box" vehicles (omni-mover?) are nicely farther part from each other, than what we ride at (most) Disney parks.

I always wondered, what it'd be like, if every other "Doombuggy" was removed from the omni-mover chain in Haunted Mansion...

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On 10/6/2021 at 2:48 PM, jarmor said:

I really hope they replace it with someone ORIGINAL and relevant.

This is Universal.  They've already blown this decade's budget on new, original attractions in Asia. The best you'll get is a slightly modified import of an existing attraction or Jimmy Fallon 2.  Choose wisely.

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