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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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I love Harry Potter and I thoroughly enjoyed the land but I still don't know if it would be enough to get me to leave Disney if I was staying on property without a car (which is my preferred way). I kind of agree with what Robb said, if they had something new or I was with people that had never been, I would go. I think IOA/USF are both cool parks but I have never thought they were that great. I have said this before, but I wouldn't even have gone to the Universal resort again for many years if it wasn't for Harry Potter when I was there In October.

 

Regarding Mythos, I ate there maybe 5-6 years ago and thought it was just ok. I felt the same way about Enchanted Oak. However, a group of us ate at the 3 Broomsticks and we all thought it was excellent. I liked the food and Butterbeer and I was able to walk the 50 feet to the next land and fill my Butterbeer mug up with Diet Coke for 99 cents.

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Tear out Dragons. It takes up a huge amount of space, and even with HP crowds, it almost never gets above a 10 minute wait. Put in a new, more compact single-track coaster, a proper Hogwarts Express train ride, and probably about 10 other things.

 

/When they opened IOA, Dragons was supposed to be the killer ride that people would run to.

//Now it's the middle of super-everyone-loves-it-land, and still no one will ride the thing.

///TAER IT DOWN

 

 

From an enthusiast standpoint I'd have to say, I sort of agree with you.. and whats sad is, it all starts with the queue. From a GP standpoint, do you think its actually seen a decrease of ridership because maybe its a little to extreme or intimidating for some of the GP that would want to visit the park JUST for HP? I know my mom loves HP, but there is NO WAY she'd ever think of getting on the coasters. I might have trouble getting her on the Forbidden Journey when I take her.

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I love Harry Potter and I thoroughly enjoyed the land but I still don't know if it would be enough to get me to leave Disney if I was staying on property without a car (which is my preferred way). I kind of agree with what Robb said, if they had something new or I was with people that had never been, I would go. I think IOA/USF are both cool parks but I have never thought they were that great. I have said this before, but I wouldn't even have gone to the Universal resort again for many years if it wasn't for Harry Potter when I was there In October.

 

Regarding Mythos, I ate there maybe 5-6 years ago and thought it was just ok. I felt the same way about Enchanted Oak. However, a group of us ate at the 3 Broomsticks and we all thought it was excellent. I liked the food and Butterbeer and I was able to walk the 50 feet to the next land and fill my Butterbeer mug up with Diet Coke for 99 cents.

 

It's pretty tough for me to leave WDW as well, but I will have to go once to check it out. I love all sodas, so I will defintely have to try the Butterbeer, but it's good to know that they have Diet Coke (I still cringe when I think of Coke Light) really close to wash it down if it's gross.

 

When I went to Mythos about 9 years ago they had the best Cedar Plank Salmon I have ever had. I went back two years ago and the restaurant was still incredible, but the salmon was gone

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Thats the 'ok' thing about mythos and its food.. They don't really need to attach food to the HP mythology, since there seems to be a revolving door on the menu. If anything, whenever they change something they can give it a new 'HP-esque' name to try to draw more people to eat there.

 

I'm sure we'll probably see they will keep what they're doing food wise in Mythos, alter the facade a little (or a ton, depending), put a new ride in Posideon, a HP themed show in the Theatre, and they'll be good to go... As much as some of us might not like it.

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Thats the 'ok' thing about mythos and its food.. They don't really need to attach food to the HP mythology, since there seems to be a revolving door on the menu. If anything, whenever they change something they can give it a new 'HP-esque' name to try to draw more people to eat there.

 

Fine in theory, but JK Rowling would not approve.

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^Exactly.

 

The issue with Mythos is that is used to have a really varied menu, and had a lot of stuff that you'd never see at an in-park restaurant (outside of Disney, of course). About five years ago or so, they totally "dumbed down" the menu, taking away a lot of really interesting choices (the cedar plank salmon, balsamic chicken, all of their amazing desserts) and made the food a lot more "standard". It's still good, but NOTHING like it used to be. I've admitted this in the past, and will admit it again, that I am a total food snob, and I realize that my food tastes and what I consider "good" usually are not going to match up with a lot of people, especially amusement park patrons. But I personally always like to see a place that's trying something different than the usual park fare.

 

I could see it possibly being re-themed into some sort of Potter restaurant if they expanded into the area, but it would be nothing like it is now. Rowling would not allow it.

 

dt

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Back in July, I rode the Hollywood Rip, Ride & Rockit. The verdict: it was okay. There was one blaring problem, it was bumpy. Sure, the ride had a lot of positive qualities, but they were all overshadowed by the fact that i was in a human blender for the duration of the ride.

6 months and a killer refurb later...

 

I just got back from Universal, as in today. I just could not wait to write about this. My sister and I have year passes (living in FL), and my brother had a three day pass. We had been to Universal twice already and both times the Rockit was closed.

 

My brother was sorely disappointed since he had never ridden before. So when the news got out that the Rockit had opened again, we planned a trip for his last chance to ride the ride.

 

I had not heard a single word about the result of this "seasonal maintenance", but I sure felt it. Six months ago, two rides on the Rockit would have left me with a killer migraine. Today, we rode it FIVE TIMES. Now, it was not as smooth as a baby's bottom, but it was much, much more enjoyable. All trace of unbearable roughness was gone.

 

This showed me the good parts about this amazing ride...a killer soundtrack, sensational drops, and more airtime than anyone could know what to do with. It was enough for the Rockit to finally forge ahead of Mummy for me, and that is saying something.

 

I was curious as to how this was accomplished, so I took a closer look. It seems as if (though I am no coaster pro.) the wheel structure had been rebuilt. Again, I am not sure of this but that is what I think occured during that downtime. I know it seems short for a car revamp, but I don't know what else could have caused it.

 

What do you all think?

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We also experienced vastly improved rides when we visited over Thanksgiving immediately after the rehab. Air was plentiful, particularly in the first and last two rows. Not El Toro ejector, but far better than anything in the air-deprived west.

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I'm really curious to hear about where there is any airtime to speak of on this ride. And I doubt the refurb made the ride any faster than a slow, boring, meandering trudge through an uninteresting layout full of brake runs. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Have to agree here. I found no trace of airtime when I rode it in March this year. I'm not saying that it's not possible, but that must have been one hell of a refurb.

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I rode it yesterday for the first time and it... sucked.

 

Simply put, the first drop and first element is fun, the rest has poor pacing, awkward elements and a poor layout. The ride has a shimmy the entire ride and my music did not work.

 

Very disappointed to say the least, and I generally like most any ride. Very few that I do not like, but this one I really never have to ride again. And I rode this at night, probably the best time to ride.

 

I wish universal chose another manufacturer honestly... I did like the concept and theme though.

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^definitely a major difference of opinion there.. Not to take anything away from your opinions, but I strongly disagree.

 

All my opinion of course, i think LC in its origional form was far superior for one major reason : it was all original. The only section of the park not based on anything marketable. Take that into account, and the heavy original theming of the area and you had an incredible section of IOA. HP has such a huge wow factor because it is based on a huge franchise .. its really incredible how they were able to bring it to life ill give them that! However, that enthusiasm is lost on those that simply give two dumps about HP, or don't know much about it.

 

All I know is, I was floored by the LC the first time I visited. The detail was amazing! It continued to impress me for years as id always find some new detail in the theming.

 

Does my opinion matter? Absolutely not!!

 

As far as mythos is concerned, you guys are right. So who knows what is going to happen, but its safe to say a change will be made

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Five times? Did you get there at opening, stay to closing or was the park just empty? Every time I go it seems to still have a 30-45 minute wait. Well maybe you just don't mind waiting or the annoying queue TVs. I didn't feel any differences or was really looking for any between the original and rehabbed versions. I've always found it pretty smooth and having some airtime.I also haven't found it that painful to ride Gwazi 4 times in a row either. The concept of the ride seems to be capacity=bad pacing and brakes.

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I'm really curious to hear about where there is any airtime to speak of on this ride. And I doubt the refurb made the ride any faster than a slow, boring, meandering trudge through an uninteresting layout full of brake runs. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

See, I rode it last year and then again this year. Once in the very front, once in the very back. I found the ride to be very intense in some areas with some really crazy pops of airtime.

 

I don't understand how people can have such a vastly different experience on this coaster. Personally, I absoultely LOVE it. I've never found it rough and really love the pacing on it.

 

I also didn't find any difference between the previous version and the rehabbed version. I thought both of them were GREAT! It greatly exceeded both of our expectations. I don't get how so many people seem to have bad rides on it.

 

--Robb "I ranked it #24 in the world last year, Elissa ranked it #15!" Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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^As an Florida local who has had the opportunity to ride this several times, I have to say the experience can vary a TON. I've had great rides, and I've had really rough rides... it's really hard for me to rank Rockit because of that. However, I have to say that (and I believe this is true of Adam as well), one of the best rides I had on this coaster was when we were there with you guys in October 2009. So it makes sense that you loved it, cause honestly the first time you guys were there to ride it the thing was running AMAZING, which is good cause I still overall really like the ride.

 

Stupid Rockit, it just gets really grumpy sometimes...

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See, I rode it last year and then again this year. Once in the very front, once in the very back. I found the ride to be very intense in some areas with some really crazy pops of airtime.

 

I don't understand how people can have such a vastly different experience on this coaster. Personally, I absoultely LOVE it. I've never found it rough and really love the pacing on it.

 

I also didn't find any difference between the previous version and the rehabbed version. I thought both of them were GREAT! It greatly exceeded both of our expectations. I don't get how so many people seem to have bad rides on it.

 

--Robb "I ranked it #24 in the world last year, Elissa ranked it #15!" Alvey

I will concede that the one ride I had on it was a horrible experience after about an hour wait, so that probably had a lot to do with it. But all I could concentrate on was how much my seat was shimmying the entire time, and then the uncomfortable "crowd surfing" portion that just hung me over the side of my restraint. I'm sure I'll give it another shot whenever I go back, I just hope this time it's better.

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I can understand that, but really, the whole "non marketable" really means little to my experience. I can see what you are saying though.

 

And I can't see really how anybody can dislike the area, regardless of whether they enjoy the movies/books or not. I did not watch a single movie, or read a single book until two weeks before I visited the park. But honestly, the design and theme is just awesome regardless of if you like the HP franchise or not. The castle is incredible visually, and the detail is just amazing throughout the area. I would bet if that area was exactly the same as it is now, just a "custom" design by IOA/Universal (pretending HP never existed) that those people who are such haters would be loving the area. It is only because it is related to such a franchise that I am sure there is a nice little bandwagon following suit of people who are against it.

 

 

And to go as far so say HP has turned you off from even stepping foot in the park?... Really? Wowwwww.

 

I am not trying to change anybody's opinion on the area, or the park for that matter. I can really care less how people feel about it, just like I am sure people can care less about my opinion. I just think so many of the comments here are a bit extreme and immature in many ways. But I guess you always have those who feel the need to be "rebels"...

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How can people have such different rides? Don't know, but so many people report them it has to be true. I think you should consider yourself lucky if you've had nothing but great laps.

 

My first ride in spring this year was awful. We had to stake it out in the hopes the unreliable, broken mess would open. Once we got on, we found a slow, airless, rattletrap - it didn't impress. Six months later, every one of my multiple runs was excellent.

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How can people have such different rides? Don't know, but so many people report them it has to be true. I think you should consider yourself lucky if you've had nothing but great laps.

I honestly do. And it's because of these reports is actually makes me want to ride it LESS! Like I said, I've had two, what I would consider OUTSTANDING rides on it. And when I hear and read all the negative reports, I think to myself "I'll keep my two great rides and I'm done!"

 

Although, I'll be honest, I kind of would like to get one of those "bad rides" just so I can see what other people are talking about. Because in my mind, while it's not in the very top echelon in the world, it's close...

 

--Robb

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