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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

p. 623 - New Epic Universe details, including Celestial Park!

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Hey!

 

Can I have any ideas for my little trip? USO and IoA are included (not really interested in VB) but I'm not pretty sure if this is the order that any of you will place:

 

Sun 11 Universal

Mon 12 Universal

Tue 13 Universal

Wed 14 Sea World

Thu 15 Busch Gardens

Fri 16 Disney's Animal K

Sat 17 Disney's Epcot

Sun 18 Disney's Hollywood

 

My concern is: Should I switch Universal (USO and IOA) and Disney parks? About the list before, I'm terrified with the amount of people that can be (weekend) at Animal Kingdom considering the new section of Pandora.

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My concern is: Should I switch Universal (USO and IOA) and Disney parks? About the list before, I'm terrified with the amount of people that can be (weekend) at Animal Kingdom considering the new section of Pandora.

Some things to think about....

 

On the plus side, Disney handles weekend crowds much better than Universal does. Another thing to think about, Universal at least has an unlimited Express pass which if you switched your days to Universal on the weekend I would highly recommend getting.

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My concern is: Should I switch Universal (USO and IOA) and Disney parks? About the list before, I'm terrified with the amount of people that can be (weekend) at Animal Kingdom considering the new section of Pandora.

Some things to think about....

 

On the plus side, Disney handles weekend crowds much better than Universal does. Another thing to think about, Universal at least has an unlimited Express pass which if you switched your days to Universal on the weekend I would highly recommend getting.

 

Thanks for your reply, Robb!

 

I'll be doing single rider lanes most of the time. Are there any cons doing this? I want to see the entire queues with all the theme!

 

I could afford getting the unlimited express pass at Universal at least 1 day, and that would be on Saturday because I only have until 4 pm at any park on Sunday because of my returning flight.

 

Considering this, switching Disney and Universal and getting unlimited express pass at Universal is the best option, right? Also... do you recommend getting the express pass in advance or the same day at the park, depending on crowds?

 

Again, thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I planned on going to Orlando from the 25th of June to the 30th, i see on the forecast it's supposed to rain the entire time. I was going to universal studios and seaworld, what is their rain policy? Should I reschedule my trip?

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I'll be doing single rider lanes most of the time. Are there any cons doing this?

 

 

 

YES!!! Every trip I take I usually do the regular lines of Forbidden Journey, Escape from Gringots and Men in Black once. After that I use the single rider line for rerides.

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It's not going to "rain the entire time", it's going to be mostly fine and then every afternoon there's going to be a thunderstorm that will generally pass within about an hour or so.

 

Normally I'd say it's too far out to look at forecasts, but in this case it doesn't matter because you're going to Florida in the summer so thunderstorms almost every single afternoon are a pretty safe bet.

 

No, you shouldn't cancel your trip. You should simply plan your days around this. At Universal most of the best rides are indoors anyway. At Sea World, head to Wild Arctic, Pets Ahoy (if the show time works out) or the Shark Encounter when the rides close for lightning. Be warned that while Antarctica will stay open a lot of the queue is outside so not only will you get wet, but you'll then go inside where you'll promptly freeze your balls off since it's 32 degrees inside for the penguins and you'll be soaked. You'll be tempted to ride this in a storm, don't do it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Following the rumor that Dragon Challenge may be removed to build a new Harry Potter themed attraction, Screamscape has posted a new rumor that we should expect a new family coaster/dark ride attraction concept themed to the “Forbidden Forest”. If all the rumors hold true, Universal may be working with Mack Rides to adapt their “Inverted Powered Coaster” ride system for this new attraction. To date, there are only 2 Inverted Powered Coasters; Arthur at Europa-Park and Dragon Gliders at MotionGate Dubai. But again, it is just a rumor.

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Following the rumor that Dragon Challenge may be removed to build a new Harry Potter themed attraction, Screamscape has posted a new rumor that we should expect a new family coaster/dark ride attraction concept themed to the “Forbidden Forest”. If all the rumors hold true, Universal may be working with Mack Rides to adapt their “Inverted Powered Coaster” ride system for this new attraction. To date, there are only 2 Inverted Powered Coasters; Arthur at Europa-Park and Dragon Gliders at MotionGate Dubai. But again, it is just a rumor.

Arthur is a really good dark ride, a real surprise when I went to EP last year. I'd love to see what Universal/Disney with the budgets and creative teams that they have could do with the technology.

 

Maybe not to the expense of Dragons though.

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Following the rumor that Dragon Challenge may be removed to build a new Harry Potter themed attraction, Screamscape has posted a new rumor that we should expect a new family coaster/dark ride attraction concept themed to the “Forbidden Forest”.

 

Obviously I'm not getting too excited about a Screamscape rumor but that would be absolutely awesome.

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It's unfortunate about Dragons... I knew about this about a year ago from "sources" and unfortunately, it won't be getting the Hulk treatment. A bummer, Dragon's is always a highlight of the ride collection at IOA, even when not dueling.

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I'd rather have dragons than ANYTHING with screens.

 

I couldn't agree more with this statement! USO/IOA has more than enough dark/screen rides. The Dragons are two of my favorite inverts and there's rarely long lines for them. I'm headed to the parks in August to check out Volcano Bay and the new stuff (Kong, Fallon), so I will be sure to get plenty of rides on them in case the rumors turn out to be true.

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I'd rather have dragons than ANYTHING with screens.

The reality is going to be that most people in the roller coaster community would rather have dragons than ANYTHING that isn't dragons.

 

Let's be honest here... Dueling Dragons was made at a time when B&M was doing ballsy, forceful rides that were pushing the intensity and creative envelope. And even though Dragons doesn't duel anymore, it's still probably in the top 5 of B&M inverted coasters. Losing that and being replaced with ANYTHING is going to be a blow to the coaster community.

 

BUT... it's no secret that Dragons has not been a success for the Harry Potter lands and even JK herself isn't thrilled by it (pun intended) and as sad as that is, that's the reality of the situation.

 

When was the last time we lost a "top ten" steel coaster? Fire Dragon one once ranked the #9 steel coaster in the world by Mitch Hawker's Poll. It seems absurd to me that a park would want to just throw away one of the world's best ranked roller coasters that STILL to this day runs AWESOME! Seriously, a night ride on Fire Dragon is STILL balls out insane! And they want to tear that down? What??? I can't be the only one who feels this way, right?

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I'd rather have dragons than ANYTHING with screens.

The reality is going to be that most people in the roller coaster community would rather have dragons than ANYTHING that isn't dragons.

 

Let's be honest here... Dueling Dragons was made at a time when B&M was doing ballsy, forceful rides that were pushing the intensity and creative envelope. And even though Dragons doesn't duel anymore, it's still probably in the top 5 of B&M inverted coasters. Losing that and being replaced with ANYTHING is going to be a blow to the coaster community.

 

BUT... it's no secret that Dragons has not been a success for the Harry Potter lands and even JK herself isn't thrilled by it (pun intended) and as sad as that is, that's the reality of the situation.

 

When was the last time we lost a "top ten" steel coaster? Fire Dragon one once ranked the #9 steel coaster in the world by Mitch Hawker's Poll. It seems absurd to me that a park would want to just throw away one of the world's best ranked roller coasters that STILL to this day runs AWESOME! Seriously, a night ride on Fire Dragon is STILL balls out insane! And they want to tear that down? What??? I can't be the only one who feels this way, right?

 

This a great, sobering post... Sad times.

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Following the rumor that Dragon Challenge may be removed to build a new Harry Potter themed attraction, Screamscape has posted a new rumor that we should expect a new family coaster/dark ride attraction concept themed to the “Forbidden Forest”.

 

Obviously I'm not getting too excited about a Screamscape rumor but that would be absolutely awesome.

 

Fifty cents that it's a Mack Powered invert like Arthur at Europa and How to...Dragons at Motiongate. Hopefully Mack pushes the thrill factor up a bit.

 

What is really sad is that Uni will not sell Dragon Challenge off, they'll cut it up and scrap it. It would be a great relocation to a park like Wild Adventures, Magic Springs, Silverwood, Frontier City, Alabama Adventures,.ect, ect, ect. Even that new OWA park in Foley Alabama.

Edited by ElvisLuv
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When was the last time we lost a "top ten" steel coaster? Fire Dragon one once ranked the #9 steel coaster in the world by Mitch Hawker's Poll. It seems absurd to me that a park would want to just throw away one of the world's best ranked roller coasters that STILL to this day runs AWESOME! Seriously, a night ride on Fire Dragon is STILL balls out insane! And they want to tear that down? What??? I can't be the only one who feels this way, right?

 

I'm torn. You're right of course, they're amazing rides. I consider Fire Dragon to be a mid-level B&M invert but pretty much every B&M invert is awesome so that's not really a knock. I also think that those coasters are running better and smoother than any other coasters on Universal Orlando property despite the fact that the other ones are all much newer.

 

Still, if you're a Harry Potter fan (and I am), the thought of an expansion area almost the size of Diagon Alley opening up for more Harry Potter stuff is an incredibly exciting prospect. Personally (emphasis on personally), I don't go to Universal for B&M inverts. I can go to Tampa and ride a much better one. I enjoy them while I'm there, but the Potter stuff is why I coughed up 179.00 per person for a single day admission. If they replace this with another awesome Harry Potter attraction I'll be perfectly okay with that.

 

I'm not saying you're wrong of course, I just think your perspective on this is going to be heavily dependent on whether or not you're into the Harry Potter stuff. I completely understand why someone who's not into it would be annoyed at the prospect of them removing 2 awesome B&M inverts for an IP they have little interest in. Selfishly though, I'm fine with it.

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Still, if you're a Harry Potter fan (and I am), the thought of an expansion area almost the size of Diagon Alley opening up for more Harry Potter stuff is an incredibly exciting prospect.

And this is part of the issue I have with it personally. Not only am I not a Harry Potter fan, but I'm also not a fan of the way Universal presents the property. IMO, I feel as though they have a perfect outlet to introduce the property to someone that is not a fan or knows little about it, so that they could then BECOME interested in the stories, but instead they do the opposite. They assume everyone entering the lands has read the books or seen the movies, and anyone who isn't in the know they treat like an idiot. (Don't even get me started on my whole "what is a Muggle" experience.) Universal's presentation of the property has actually made me LESS interested in knowing anything about the property! And this begins my rant for another time where I feel that the Harry Potter lands have been the downfall for Universal to anyone who isn't a fan of the property.

 

Personally (emphasis on personally), I don't go to Universal for B&M inverts.

Not anymore, but pre-2010, people did. Lots of people. Potter killed part of what Universal was, and I will never quite forgive them for that. We used to go to Universal ALL THE TIME and even stay on property almost as much as we did Disney from 1999 - 2009. But ever since 2010, I'm not sure we've actually stayed on Universal property once. The shift in focus of the park just doesn't appeal to us, and instead of complaining about it, because I get that we are in the minority, we just choose to visit other parks instead.

 

I just think your perspective on this is going to be heavily dependent on whether or not you're into the Harry Potter stuff.

I agree 100% - and I fully get why it's going away and really, I'm fine with it. I'm not one of these people who will get sad or defensive over a ride leaving if it makes sense for the park, and this makes a lot of sense. Case in point: you're a coaster nerd and if you are "OK" with arguably one of the world's best roller coasters leaving for more Harry Potter stuff then that shows the weight that property has with it's fans, and you can't argue with that!

Edited by robbalvey
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Not to get off topic but it is interesting to me how differently Disney treated the Pandora property from how Universal presents Potter. I haven't been to Pandora yet but from what I understand there is little to no reference to anything specific to the story line/characters of the film itself but rather focuses on the world the film takes place in, whereas the Potter park sections are heavily driven by the characters and story line of the films/books. It will be interesting to see what Disney eventually does with the Star Wars lands as I kind of imagine it will have to a mixture that meets somewhere in the middle of the two approaches.

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Not to get off topic but it is interesting to me how differently Disney treated the Pandora property from how Universal presents Potter. I haven't been to Pandora yet but from what I understand there is little to no reference to anything specific to the story line/characters of the film itself but rather focuses on the world the film takes place in, whereas the Potter park sections are heavily driven by the characters and story line of the films/books. It will be interesting to see what Disney eventually does with the Star Wars lands as I kind of imagine it will have to a mixture that meets somewhere in the middle of the two approaches.

I think it's more as a result of the characters in Avatar being far less memorable than the setting itself is. Potter and Star Wars have rich character histories and iconography that are easy to mine from.

Edited by cookiex
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Not to get off topic but it is interesting to me how differently Disney treated the Pandora property from how Universal presents Potter. From what I understand there is little to no reference to anything specific to the story line/characters of the film itself but rather focuses on the world the film takes place in, whereas the Potter park sections are heavily driven by the characters and story line of the films/books.

This is exactly correct. I absolutely *HATE* the way Universal makes non-Potter fans feel like their are morons when they step into their lands and when you try to ask someone "what does this mean" they basically tell you in the Potterest of ways "Oh, wow, you're a fucking idiot for not knowing. Why did you even come into this land you stupid muggle???"

 

Whereas with Pandora, I have still not seen the movie and I knew absolutely NOTHING about any of the characters or the storyline, in fact I actually knew less about Avatar than I did about Harry Potter the first time entering that area. The land is welcoming and their demeanor is to "teach" assuming everyone that enters is stepping into the world of Pandora for the first time. I know now what a Na'vi is and how to say Hello and "Rise to the challenge" in whatever language they speak on Pandora! lol

 

I only know what a "muggle" is because after being called one over and over and couldn't actually get any of the "team members" in Potterland to tell me, I just Googled it. And my first thought on that day was "Wow, maybe if the people in this land could have actually TOLD ME instead of treating me like an idiot and having to go Google it myself, I might actually appreciate this more and want to know more about the property, but instead I'm totally turned off by it." Seriously ever since that day I've had a bad taste towards Potterland because I feel they treat it like a secret club or something. "Leave and go read a book and come back when you're not a Muggle" is the attitude I get from it. And I can't stand that. And I get it, they are supposed to be "in character", but the problem is to someone that doesn't know those characters is that they don't come off in-character, funny, or "mysterious" they honestly just come off as assholes.

 

And from a story-telling aspect don't even get me started on some of the stupid crap in Potterland. I had one of the team members come up to me while I was taking a picture and try to "pretend" that they didn't know what a cell phone was. But then their nametag clearly says "Julie from Davenport Florida" and her favorite movie is "Ghostbusters." Like, "really Julie from Davenport, Florida, you don't know what a cell phone is?" They could have at least given the Potter people Potter nametags that fit within the story of the land if they are going to have people "in character" come up and tell me stuff that you don't believe already, but makes it even harder to believe when their favorite Universal movie is staring at you in the face.

 

Oh, and explain to me again why you can't have Coca-Cola in London but you can have Boddington's beer? Yeah, I think I'll stick to the areas outside of Potter land...

 

It will be interesting to see what Disney eventually does with the Star Wars lands as I kind of imagine it will have to a mixture that meets somewhere in the middle of the two approaches.

While I know Star Wars more than I know Potter, I'm also not the biggest Star Wars fan either. I'm going to hope you are right that it will be a mix of the two. Clearly Avatar, while still being the world's #1 highest grossing movie, didn't stick with people as well as franchises like Potter, Star Wars, and Marvel does. So obviously going into Star Wars land, more people are going to be in the know, but I run into people all the time that are either very casual Star Wars fans, or know little about it. Even myself, I've only seen 4 out of the 6 Star Wars movie and the last one I actually have only seen on an airplane! lol I'd have to think that Disney will do their best to try to capture those people and turn them into fans, instead of insulting them and turning them away like Potter does.

 

Honestly I went into Potter with a completely open mind, and the creative behind the land killed it for me, and ever since I've never been able to be a fan. But, you know...as a non fan there was always at least Dueling Dragons to ride! Oh, wait...

Edited by robbalvey
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