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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 624: DreamWorks Land passholder preview report!

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^Busch Gardens Tampa used the "roaming hordes" idea at Howl-o-Scream a few years ago and did a much better job with it, mainly because the scareactors were actually trying to scare people. Universal's hordes last year were more annoying than frightening.

 

I went to both HHN and HOS this year, while I generally go to Orlando parks I wanted to see what they've done to BGT. So basically I had a great time (Cheetah Hunt+Crown Colony+kangaroos+ice skating show=winning) during the day at Busch.

 

But basically I thought the roaming hoards were pretty mediocre at both parks which was my first experience with this concept. I thought the actors got into it as much between both parks. Universal had more detail and staging while Busch had some good skate punk and carnie gags (the fake baby carriage) that freaked me out.

 

While I thought HHN had a lot of dead zones, BGT is a way larger park which made for more dead zones and made me confused over which groups I would see. I guess it was an anniversary year so I might be in the dark being my first year but I didn't see that much fanfare in the park for any returning characters.

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Other random observations:

 

-The Merchandise selection has also been simplified. It's all labeled "Universal parks." Had to settle for an IoA shot glass, since I couldn't find anything else park specific!

 

The Autobots are going to begin stocking this place in very early March.

Well, then hopefully with better merchandise.

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I'm more excited about the Simpson's area than anywhere else! Can't wait for all this stuff to be finished.

 

(With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

You just might be an ACEr if...

You're more excited about a quick-service restaurant and a bar than one of the most technically advanced dark rides in the world and a highly themed roller coaster.

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^^ Has nothing to do with being an ACEr. Simpsons > Potter without a doubt.

 

Hatred of Potter aside, a burger place is better than the Transformers ride?

 

Absolutely. Since I know nothing about Harry Potter, I am sure I will ride the new ride once and think it is cool but not understand it at all. Simpsons on the other hand? I'll think it is awesome to be placed right in the middle of the world of the cartoon I grew up loving!

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I'm in the odd position where I love all the franchises. I think the Simpsons additions are really exciting as well as the Potter expansion and Transformers. What I like most about the Simpsons stuff is that Universal seems to be taking the course of no longer just building stand alone rides, but making them work with the area they are in and creating a whole land around it. Obviously Transformers is an exception to this... But a Simpsons land and HP land I think is great because it gives fans of the franchises more than just a great 3-5 minute ride.

 

With Potter, obviously if you're not into it, you aren't going to care much for it. But like Joey said about growing up with Simpsons, a lot of today's youth and young adults grew/are growing up with HP, so it has a similar attraction.

 

I would love to see the Simpsons land idea come west. I could see USH re-theme some of the food spots like Doc Browns and Cinnebon to Simpsons themed eateries and even potentially add a small flat ride in the middle of that plaza or off to the right of The Simpsons Ride behind Kwik-E-Mart (though an outdoor ride is tough with the noise issues at that park). Maybe it will become a consideration based on the success of USF's land.

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^There's actually a huge amount of land available for the Simpsons to expand in USH. If the Simpsons take over Doc Browns, Cinnebon, and the El Pollo Loco, they might as well continue through the El Pollo Loco outdoor seating area all the way to the Rock Vegas area (I'm sure Simpsons themed games would be more popular than games based on a decade old Steven Baldwin movie). And heck, once you're at Rock Vegas, the wide-open Wild West theater plot is right there.

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I love the rides and new technology, but the Simpsons are definitely something I appreciate more than Harry Potter (and I do like the books and movies). I do have to say, though, the SImpsons ride gets me pretty sick.

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^ The best move they could ever make would be gutting that building and starting from scratch. A trackless Simpsons ride would be perfect. If they could somehow integrate some interactive "Tapped Out" elements, it'd be even better. Alas, the fad would probably be played out by then. I guess I could just imagine it in my mind as I walk by that forgettable ride they have there now.

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I was there a week after Rob and likewise I was surprised as to how busy it was. There was my first ever trip to IOA, so I simply assumed that was the norm. Thankly the single rider lanes kept my visit enjoyable. Overall I thought the park looked really nice. Althought I have to admit, I was a bit surprised at the number of tats on the princess in the Sinbad show. It seemed to take something away from the show, but maybe that's just me.

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They opened the Transformers gift shop today and had the first meet and greet with the Transformers! I left before Bumblebee came out, but Optimus (if I have the wrong one, forgive me!) looks great.

 

On to the pics!!

 

Oh...and I highly recommend the Photo Connect card. I paid one price for the year and get UNLIMITED downloads of all pics taken in the park, including Mummy, Men in Black, Hulk, etc. Totally worth it!

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Gift shop

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Florida specific merchandise!

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see?

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And another

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Awesome photos!

 

Does anyone else find it a *little* sleazy that the store opened so far ahead of the ride? I guess the fact that they have the walk around characters kind of makes up for it? Thanks for braving the cold for the update!

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^ Yeah, it is kind of odd to be open now, but they are really seem to be trying hype up the ride so I guess it's not too bad of an idea.

 

The costume characters are awesome. I have yet to take a picture with one at USH because the lines are also so insanely long, even on super slow days. I think that this ride is going to be a huge hit for the park, even with Spider-Man at the same resort for the guests to compare it too. Though 95% won't even notice they are the same ride system, nor does it matter.

 

I had hear a rumor there might be some Transformer themed food options coming to the park, possibly taking over the monsters food place. Anyone know more about that?

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Something is telling me that a similar thing also happened at another attraction here or at a different Universal park. Was there another shop that was open before the attraction somewhere? This really sounds familiar....

 

ps. John - did you get an extra long meet & greet with Optimus?

Edited by robbalvey
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