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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 611: Full Halloween Horror Nights 2021 lineup revealed!

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Have fun! Just a heads up since you mentioned checking out the other attractions, if you want to go to Fun Spot (and you should) and you want to go to both of them (and you should) they sell a 2 park ticket at the ticket booths that isn't available online.

Good to know. I was planning doing Fun Spot and couldn't find an option for both parks and thought I was going to have to pick one. The I-drive looks better overall (and will be walking distance from my hotel) but the Kissimmee has Mineblower and the 300 ft. Skycoaster. If I can do both on one ticket I'm going for it.

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I've never been to Universal... how are Labor Day weekend crowds? Maybe I can snake a quick trip down to get a ride in before they close

If you really want the credits, I say go for it. You might be able to enjoy it as a quick trip if you get the Universal Express Pass. Otherwise be prepared of longer than usual waits just because it's Labor Day weekend/traditional end of summer/last weekend for Dragon Challenge.


I got too excited about this idea, haha. I think I have to just let this dream float away:

Chicago to Orlando flight 8/31 - 9/4: $250-300

Hotel 8/31 - 9/4: $350-400

Universal Ticket for Fri/Sat/Sun + Express pass $300+


Oh, my sweet summer child, bless your heart...

Sounded fun in my head, but assuming I'd be on this trip solo it's pretty expensive. I could probably work it cheaper and do Fri-Monday to get a cheaper flight/save a night in the hotel, but this shouldn't be the way about visiting Universal for the first time I don't know crap about the Florida parks or the flow of things so I'll formulate a better plan of action.

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I got too excited about this idea, haha. I think I have to just let this dream float away:

Chicago to Orlando flight 8/31 - 9/4: $250-300

Hotel 8/31 - 9/4: $350-400

Universal Ticket for Fri/Sat/Sun + Express pass $300+


You obviously did not look up the price of the ticket. A 3 day ticket without express is $275 + tax. Express starts at $84.99 a day, for those dates it is $89.99 for Friday and Saturday, and $99.99 for Sunday. Total $591 with tax for just the tickets and express if you want it for all 3 days. $389 for a 3 day ticket and express on a single day.

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I got too excited about this idea, haha. I think I have to just let this dream float away:

Chicago to Orlando flight 8/31 - 9/4: $250-300

Hotel 8/31 - 9/4: $350-400

Universal Ticket for Fri/Sat/Sun + Express pass $300+


You obviously did not look up the price of the ticket. A 3 day ticket without express is $275 + tax. Express starts at $84.99 a day, for those dates it is $89.99 for Friday and Saturday, and $99.99 for Sunday. Total $591 with tax for just the tickets and express if you want it for all 3 days. $389 for a 3 day ticket and express on a single day.


I did look up prices for tickets; and as you detailed above I simplified my post with it's going to pretty much start a 300 just for the base tickets and depending on if a EP is needed for just one park, both, both in one day etc it's going to be way over 300 (300+).


Sorry if it looked like I was trying to fool anyone into thinking they can find 3 day tickets + EP for 300 lmao

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I love Harry Potter, but I f**king hate JK Rowling right now.

lol what?

My mind doesn't function when I'm mad. Sorry.


Both HH and CF were two of the best inverts you could find anywhere.

You're from Tampa right?

I know it's quite the unpopular opinion, but I'd take Chinese Fireball over Montu any day. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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The equality unpopular and ironic opinion is that I found Dueling Dragons far more intense than Montu - I greyed out the entire time and, despite how many times I rode both sides each, I still found myself debating if greying out was worth the rerides .


I didn't expirence any greying out or uncomfortablely intense forces (even at peak g-force moments) on Montu anywhere on the train - to which I thought "what the f*ck is this shit??!!"


However, because I don't necessarily enjoy sustained high g-forces, I, like most enthusiasts, prefer Montu to Dueling Dragons - it just happens to be for the exact opposite reason.


But God I love that final corkscrew on Fire Dragon for whatever reason and I will surely miss it dearly.

Edited by RollerManic
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Just saw this news and I agree with pretty much everyone here. I was able to ride them when they still dueled and those were some amazing rides. I was also on them over a year ago and agree that the locker situation is a real pain.


I also absolutely understand the viewpoint of Robb's and others who aren't into Harry Potter. The first time I had went to Island's of adventure after the Potter section opened I knew absolutely nothing about the series and none of it appealed to me and going on forbidden journey none of it made sense to me as well.


My gf is a huge Potter fan so when we made the trip down to check out the new Potter stuff over on the universal side I decided to watch the movies and I really appreciated how much detail and things they put into all of it and going on forbidden journey this time made so much more sense. I'm still a very casual fan though, I only watched each movie once and I'd never watch them again, I'm the same with star wars so I definitely understand people being completely uninterested in these franchises.

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My gf and I were at the parks Sun 7/23 to Mon 7/24. Not the time of year I would have chosen to go but we were in Tampa visiting my parents so figured we'd brave the crowds and heat as she's never been. Needless to say, it was indeed hot and indeed crowded; Monday was ridiculous in part due to what felt like a ludicrous amount of South American tour groups which were filled with the most unspeakably rude people I've ever had the misfortune to share space with.


There was a lot of buzz in the Dragons area about their closing but the wait times remained low, in fact they were frequently the lowest wait of the park, so glad I got a few rides in. The lockers for them continue to be a site of horror, just the stench alone good grief. And then you add in the previously mentioned tour groups who thought nothing of plopping themselves down on the ground in the locker area, until it backed up enough for a park employee to clear them out. I suggested a cowcatcher, this got a grateful nod of appreciation from the clearly overwhelmed teenager trying to manage it singlehandedly.


We skipped Fallon as I couldn't care less and I am not a fan of scheduling my time in a park. Having said that, the park app was a life saver as wait times were fluctuating all over the place, especially on Monday when they shut down what felt like half the park due to clouds. Kong had consistently high waits but we went on once it dipped below 45; I think we had more fun in the line with the guys popping out of the walls scaring people than on the ride itself.


Had a mid afternoon lunch at the Toothsome Emporium, which was a great time to go as it wasn't busy AT ALL, we walked right in and were seated no wait. One of the best meals I've ever had in a park and the prices were very fair considering the generous amount of food they served. I'm a big steampunk fan and the environment was pretty good, and the gift shop had my name all over it, ended up spending more there than anywhere else in the park.


Not a show fan but we were flagging in the heat so stepped into the Hollywood Horror Make-Up Show. Some pretty cool movie items in the waiting area. The show itself was a little disappointing to be honest, it was more of a comedy show than anything else and had hardly anything to do with makeup. One of the guys did belt out the best thing I heard in the park though, he was teasing a child volunteer and as an aside to the crowd "This isn't Disney, we don't have to be nice to the kids"


There was a lot to dislike on this visit but we made the best of it and ended up having a pretty good time regardless. My gf is a bigger Potter fan than I am and she was basically in tears seeing how great Diagon Alley is. Looking forward to next visit in 2019, we've established a tradition where I bring our children there for their first visit to the park when they turn 11 since you start Hogwarts at 11, and 19 will be my daughter's turn.


*I didn't really take many pictures due to crowd fatigue and plus have been many times, I do have a few if interested though, mostly of the chocolate factory lol

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I was lucky to ride them when they were still dueling, and that was an experience in itself for sure, but the last ride I had on Dragons was on Fire in September 2014 during a downpour, and it was probably the most (unexpected) insane ride I've ever had on any coaster. The Dragons will be missed for sure, I'm sad to see them go.

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Wow, it looks like Volcano Bay removed 28 food choices! For me, that was the best thing the park had going for them! Some of those dishes looked amazing. That's too bad, but the way things have been going, and with their clientele, not shocking. Add that to the long lines and terrible reviews and I don't think I'll be visiting there for quite a while.


Universal’s Volcano Bay has removed roughly 28 menu items from the restaurants across the park, Orlando Informer has learned. Four new items have been introduced to replace the removed items.

When it opened in May, Volcano Bay featured far superior food offerings when compared to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. This change begins to make the offerings more comparable to the other parks.

Items that were removed include a variety of tacos, Poke Poke Bowls, a large amount of specialty burgers, most barbecue options, glazed chicken, ribs, mahi sandwiches, and more. Hot dogs, corn dogs, loaded nachos, and a bacon cheeseburger have been added to fill the void of these 28 removals.



Edited by disneyfan1313
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^ I remember, that's how Disneyland Paris went, when it first opened. It originally had most of their restaurants and even a few counter service places, loaded with (probably excellent) French cuisine for the public. But no alcohol. And was totally rejected for doing that. The visiting locals wanted "the theme park food experience," i.e. hot dogs, burgers, pizza, blah blah blah. AND they wanted their wines and beers, too. So DLP relented and became, from what I remember, the first Disney MK to serve alcohol of any kind, in the park. But the food choices became the same as "any U.S. theme park's offerings."


Also, facial hair (old Disney taboo, broken) for the men and makeup for the women started to be allowed, but that's another story.


Sad that they're having to drop so many interesting menu items for the sake of inserting "4 basic" theme park foods.

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This is a shame, 28 items is a lot to remove (basically half?), and the four new items seem pretty boring. Maybe there just wasn't the appetite (excuse the pun) for this food in a water park? I was hoping this would be a turning point where Universal start to put more value on in-park food.

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Hmmm...Dragon's Challenge removal and now the interesting sounding food at the water park. Not a fan of either decision, but if hardly anyone was riding the coaster and people weren't ordering the food, then I guess it makes sense to go with something more popular.

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A few pics from our trip 7/23-7/24, probably not of interest to ride enthusiasts but I didn't take any pictures you haven't seen a million times before so left those out:


The full name is "The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen" but we just referred to it as the Chocolate Factory


Man, this trend of Russian influence is really getting out of hand


Finally got to see the live performance of the Three Brothers story, it was great!. A little too much 'pre-show' perhaps


We found a nice secluded spot in an alley next to the pet shop in Diagon Alley. There's a bench down there and it's a great place to get out of the sun yet not be crammed into the crowded shops.


Aliens pulse rifle signed by the cast!!! It took great resolve not to purchase


Ridic milkshakes. We ended up passing on them, they're rather pricey and we were stuffed from the very generous lunch portions as it was.


The gift shop has some really great steampunk pieces. Pricey but they were doing a pretty good trade nonetheless, this one sold a few minutes after photo.


We gave up counting how much it would cost to buy everything we loved in this shop at a thousand or so.


Cephalopodian apples, yes please!


Hello Kitty character candy apples!


In the Hollywood Horror Make-Up Show pre-show area. I think the pre-show area was more interesting than the show itself, it has some actual screen-used prosthetic pieces. You can view the pre-show area and then leave if you want.


This was the first time I was able to visit the park at night and it was just magnificent. Previously I've gone off-season and they've closed before it got really dark. This was the only real benefit to me for going during such a busy time.


I loved how Hogsmeade almost seemed to glow in the dark.


Farewell! See you again in 2019!

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A trip report from this weekend including quite of few pictures of the Dragons.





First stop, the Studios!


Advertising for DM3 is still up


Easily overlooked but this mural over the store is pretty cool


These folks were brave enough to Rip Ride Rockit but I'm not. Let's move on.


Ahhh... a nice family attraction. Fun for all ages! How long is the wait?


Ah. Not even posted because they've long since run out of return times. We can't ride at all.


The Mummy still rocks, though. Do you think they are still planning on a re-theme to the recent box office flop Mummy film?


Work continues on their next ride. Looks like the entrance will be here at the old Monster show area.


duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn


A quick stop in London for some supplies...


Sporting goods... check.


Jokes and gags... check.


One of... whatever this is. Check.


No thanks, don't need one of those. I've already got two others to visit later.


Stop by the bank.


Pickup some groceries.


Intermission for a show.


Finally I just need to swing by the post office for some owl stamps.


Time to head home. Figures the bus driver is taking a break. I can never keep track of this bus schedule anyway


Let's take the good old reliable train.


There it is!


It's an express too! Perfect.


Now for the reason we came... DRAGON!




Or as I prefer to call it...





Ok well those last two were edited just a little bit. But It's nice to imagine how they used to be as we have only a few weeks until they are gone forever.


When I first heard about Islands of Adventure, the Dueling Dragons were the coasters I wanted to ride most, even more than Hulk.


On my first visit (way back in 2001) I got there early and ran right to them. I must have rode 10 or 12 times that morning before trying out anything else in this brand new theme park.


The loss of the amazing queue was bad but the loss of the dueling was even worse.


Even so they both still hold a special place in my heart.



This view will be gone soon too.


I wonder if they will move this?




It was still quite busy until the final hour of the day. The posted wait was 30 minutes but they were also only running 2 trains on each side.


By the end I rode each side twice (once in front and once in back) but I don't think this is the end. I'm already planning another visit to get my final rides.


A quick ride on Forbidden Journey before heading home.


Goodnight Universal!

See a full size version of that last one on my Flickr: The Incredible Hulk

Edited by Zero One
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Great TR! Great way to present it, too. I got everything you were captioning,

without having to go through all the "usual photos" of these things.

Which you didn't post. Which was fine by me.


Very nicely done.

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I've only ridden Dueling Dragons when it was actually dueling once, and I took it for granted. The ride isn't the same without the dueling aspect. I took my last ride on both about two weeks ago in the front row, and I'm sad to see it go. The thing is though is that I'm excited for whatever is replacing it. DD is a huge space that a good indoor roller coaster could take, but I also don't want another Gringotts. I would like something a bit more like a "roller-coaster" than Gringotts, and I just don't feel like DD had to go. It's whatever though.

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DD is a huge space that a good indoor roller coaster could take


I imagine that the entire area won't be taken up by the ride, looking at the size of the space, you could pretty much fit both Forbidden Journey and Gringotts in it, so I think they will have the new ride plus an extension to the Hogsmeade area, to bring in more food & retail outlets into the area and alleviate the crowding in the area. I guess they could also add in things like the Shrieking Shack to add further landmarks to the area.

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Cracking photos! Love the photoshopped ones of Dragon Challenge! But I also have to give a little shout-out to the picture of Rip Ride Rockit, I love pictures where you can see such a wide range of facial expressions!

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I completely forgot to add the part that prompted me to write a report in the first place! The Gringotts Money Exchange vouchers. I must have gotten the wrong idea as to what these were, I had gotten it in my head that you 'buy' a voucher as a souvenir and could cash them back in for real money at the exchange if you wanted to. So I had brought the $10 note I had purchased years ago with the intent to exchange it. The lady at the counter gave me a weird look and ultimately just gave me a new $10 voucher. What the?!? It turns out they are basically like gift certificates and you can spend them at any HP store (possibly the greater park as well). The nice touch of doing this is the cashiers will generally make some remark about 'drawing it from your Gringotts account' instead of the 'muggle plastic' nonsense.

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