Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:42 pm

I actually appreciate that Universal and Disney book acts across all different genres for their concert series. I certainly don'y have interest in seeing a lot of the names on that list, but I do recognize almost all of them as being big within their genre (I only had no idea who Why Don't We is).
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Philrad71 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:39 pm

I remember catching Foreigner there a few years ago. lol
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby bgtlover » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:05 pm

KBrylczyk wrote:Earth, Wind, And Fire - I mean, all of the original members are long dead. This is like going to see The Temptations these days. They're really a cover band.

Incorrect. The only major person that passed was Maurice White. Three of the main original members are still alive and perform in the band, including Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson. They have an excellent selection of supporting band members to continue the legacy once they can no longer continue, including Philip Bailey, Jr. and B. David Whitworth. So no, it's not a cover band, period. They are awesome live. I've seen them twice in the last 5 years and they had a varying playlist for each one.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby coneyislandchris » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:35 am

Jew wrote:I actually appreciate that Universal and Disney book acts across all different genres for their concert series. I certainly don'y have interest in seeing a lot of the names on that list, but I do recognize almost all of them as being big within their genre (I only had no idea who Why Don't We is).

Yeah, it's definitely a nice change of pace compared to the acts we get at Six Flags Great Adventure, where it's pretty much, uh... reggaeton, Christian, reggaeton again, some teen Instagram influencer that's trying to kickstart a recording career, and a random wrestling show. Maybe a country act if we're "lucky". :/

Also, Luis Fonsi is most well known for "Despacito" thanks to it being a crossover radio hit throughout the states (gee, thanks Bieber), but the man is legitimately talented with a 20+ year career and ten full-length albums. If Latin pop isn't your thing then yeah, steer clear, but it's definitely going to draw the folks who love and appreciate the music.

I'm a pretty big fan of EDM, not a big fan of Marshmello, but there's no denying he's a huge name that's going to draw an absolute ton of kids out when he plays. But yeah. From everything I've heard he's an utter jerk IRL.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby PKI Jizzman » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:48 am

Philrad71 wrote:I remember catching Foreigner there a few years ago. lol



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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Satans Hockey » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:06 am

So I have a bit of a long trip report that I don't know if anyone's actually interested in but I was down there to run Running Universal's first 5k and 10k epic character races over this past weekend. Overall the races were a great success even if they have some things to work out which I expected since it was their first time in Orlando doing it at this scale. They have had 2 race weekends in Hollywood so I'm sure they learned some things from that.

The 5k was on Saturday and had more people than the 10k. The weather was rough for this day since it rained a good portion of the early morning while everyone was waiting for the races to start at 6:15am. Which is obviously not something Universal controls but it made the course tough to get through since people were trying to avoid some of the puddles that formed and it made some of the areas very slippery. The nice thing was the rain stopped before our corral got let out so we didn't have to run much in the rain itself at least.

Since this was only a 5k I wasn't running for time and we stopped at a bunch of character stops and they had so many characters out, we didn't do them all but we got a handful. The character lines moved slowly for the more popular characters but I'm not really sure what you could do about that to move it faster.

At the end of the 5k after you received your medal they had two lines with the running universal backdrop that you could take pictures with a minion and Alex the lion from Madagascar.

On Sunday the 10k had no rain but I wasn't expecting it to be so cold while waiting for the race to start lol there was some really strong winds but once the race got going the weather was my ideal weather to run in. We decided to stop for only the short lines for characters for this one because I wanted to get a good run in for this one.

I preferred the 10k course to the 5k because the first mile for both were mainly outside the parks so that made up almost 1/3rd of the 5k but it was only a small portion of the 10k which was almost entirely inside the parks. It was so much fun running through basically empty sections of the parks and seeing the sun rise while running through them. At the end of the finish line for this race after getting your medal they had setup Blue and his trainer to take a picture with which was an unexpected surprise to me and also two minions with the running universal backdrop.

Another awesome aspect that I really enjoyed is that they had some of the rides working while we were running through which is something they absolutely didn't need to do but it was such a cool idea. The hulk, dudley do rights and rip ride rockit were some of the rides that they were cycling for us.

Overall we had either taken a picture with or ran by the... Simpsons, puss and boots, transformers, Shrek & donkey, Betty boop, Popeye and olive oil, hashtag the panda, Scooby-Doo and his gang, the whos from whoville, Mardi gras characters, Woody and Winnie woodpecker, the blues Brothers, earl and the night bus conducter and they even had the talking fountain for the 10k. Some people actually complained that there weren't enough characters but we saw so many out that I don't know how anyone could complain about lack of characters.

Also at the end of the finish lines for both days they had huge amounts of bottled water and bananas for everyone plus snack boxes that had a granola bar, trail mix, pretzels and some sort of apple sauce packet thing. It was all great.

I can't say nice enough things about the Universal staff. We ran behind some of the backstage areas where the staff were and their offices were and so many of them came out to cheer everyone on. All the staff that were working the event were doing the same thing and it was really nice to see. They also had music going throughout the parks and several areas with some djs playing some music and cheering people on and pointing out the cool costumes that some people created to run in.

Parking was also a breeze, you just pulled in and parked and then followed everyone to the volcano bay garage section where they had a security checkpoint all setup and that took seconds to get through as well.

My only major complaint was the start and the corrals. The way they had it setup was the start of the race was basically directly after a set of the parking booths so it was a bit of a squeeze to get through that. For the 5k there were 3 larger corrals and all were quite full, the elites(a small group), A, B and C. Apparently A was the only corral assigned and B and C were based on when you showed up so we were in B. They really just needed to sort the corrals out better by your estimated time or proof of time because they released each corral completely at once instead of waves so it was hard to get around the people who were just walking or slower.

I'm hoping they learn from that and release the corrals in waves next time to give people more separation but it really ended up separating everyone after the first mile anyway. The 10k had a lot less people so it was a lot easier to separate from everyone after that.

Based on the results there were 3,235 people for the 5k and 1,976 for the 10k. I think turnouts were pretty great since I don't think they really promoted these events as much as they could and it also helps them learn how to improve them going forward. Since Hollywood has another race day in April with a Trolls theme I definitely see Orlando doing this again and I would absolutely run in them again. I haven't had a chance to run in a Disney race yet and I saw a lot of people comparing the two but I really throught Universal did a fantastic job for their first go at this on this scale.

Time for some pictures...

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Map of the 5k course

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Map of the 10k course

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They made the signs very easy to follow to pick up the race packets which included the race bibs, drawstring bag and an event t-shirt

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Hard to get a great picture since it was dark lol

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1st mile marker

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2nd mile marker

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Not the best quality but was cool to see Hogsmeade so empty

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I probably should have stopped and taken a better picture but I was trying to multi-task and run and take it at the same time lol

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3rd mile marker

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4th mile marker and the sun was really starting to come up now

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I did stop to take a shot of the dragon, it was cool to run through doors of diagon alley that are normally closed and to see it basically empty.

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5th mile marker, the clock starts when the first runner crosses the starting line so this isn't my time.

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Was awesome seeing that final 6th mile marker knowing the finish line was coming up quick now

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The 5k shirt

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The 10k shirt

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They had staff handing out the medals just a little bit past the finish line and I thought they did a great job on them, the back portion of them spin too. The drawstring bag behind them was very nice as well.


I really can't recommend the races enough if anyone is interested in trying them. There were people running them of all ages. I can't compare them to Disney but I know the large crowds they get so if you are interested in starting to run or just want to run the parks in general these are some great races to try out first since the crowds are much smaller. I do plan on eventually running some Disney races it's just hard to do so because I normally don't plan my trips out that far in advance and some of the Disney races sell out rather quick.

On Sunday we tried to get to Hagrids after the race but the line was insane and down to the lost continent and ranged from 2.5-3 hours so we skipped that and decided to take pictures with the characters we missed and some that we hadn't seen during the race and it was really fun interacting with them since they all saw the medals we were wearing and were acknowledging it. Also caught the Mardi Gras parade which I had never been there during before and it was really cool, the floats and characters looked incredible. I'd love to know how much and many beads Universal buys every year because I ended up catching 29 beads since the people on the floats were just chucking them everywhere lol we sat on the curb and they just basically end up in your lap/face with how many are being thrown lol

I don't know if Universal has had different training lately or what but I know I mentioned this in my last report down there but the staff has been absolutely awesome lately. So very friendly and everyone was wishing us congratulations and asking how the races went and wanted to look at the medals. I really just don't remember the staff being this great in the past.

I had commented on my last report in December that I thought it was silly that the butterbeer stands and individual stands wouldn't honor the annual pass discount but apparently it's a new addition for this year and they are now honoring it so that was very nice to see that universal listens because I had mentioned it in a few surveys I received from them. Just need them to give the discount on booze next! Lol

Regular park wise we finally got on Hagrids on Monday afternoon when we decided that we were just gonna wait no matter at this point. The wait time said 90 mins but we were on in 60 with a 10 min stoppage for whatever issue they had. I always loved Dueling Dragons and was very sad to see it go but at the same time as a casual Potter fan I still very much enjoyed this ride. It's just plain fun. Could aspects have been better? Absolutely, I don't think anyone could deny that but we still very much enjoyed it. I did expect more of it to be inside but I had been avoiding reading any reviews about it.

Tried the hot butterbeer for the first time as well, it was very good but the frozen butterbeer is still the best to me. If I had to rank them I like frozen / ice cream / hot / regular. I just find that the regular is just too sweet for me.

Also finally got on the Hulk for the first time since they re-did it and that ride is just as awesome as I remember it being. I asked very nicely if there was any chance we could wait for the front row and they had a seperate small line past the grouper that she directed me to and then directed us to the front row a cycle after that which was awesome. The updated themeing to the whole ride was awesome. Tried the Fallon ride for the first time as well and I actually enjoyed it more than I ever expected to but maybe that's because my expectations were so low since I really don't care much for Fallon, it's definitely better than fast and the furious which isn't saying much lol

All in all another awesome visit to universal and I really hope I can make it down there for their next race weekend.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Hilltopper39 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:14 am

Satans Hockey wrote:Another awesome aspect that I really enjoyed is that they had some of the rides working while we were running through which is something they absolutely didn't need to do but it was such a cool idea. The hulk, dudley do rights and rip ride rockit were some of the rides that they were cycling for us.


So when you say they were cycling the rides for the race do you just mean that empty cars were cycling while you were running the course or were you actually able to ride? I'm just assuming it was empty cars but the idea of being able to hop of the course and take a quick ride on Hulk is pretty awesome, I'd 100% run one of these races in the future if that was the case.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Satans Hockey » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:36 am

Hilltopper39 wrote:
Satans Hockey wrote:So when you say they were cycling the rides for the race do you just mean that empty cars were cycling while you were running the course or were you actually able to ride? I'm just assuming it was empty cars but the idea of being able to hop of the course and take a quick ride on Hulk is pretty awesome, I'd 100% run one of these races in the future if that was the case.


Just empty cars while everyone was running, just was cool to hear and see them go by especially when they didn't have to do it but it would have been awesome taking a quick ride on anything during the race, I would have totally done that lol I know a lot of people for the Disney full marathon make it a challenge to get to animal kingdom quick enough so they can go on expedition everest during the race lol

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Hilltopper39 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:26 pm

Satans Hockey wrote:
Hilltopper39 wrote:
Satans Hockey wrote:So when you say they were cycling the rides for the race do you just mean that empty cars were cycling while you were running the course or were you actually able to ride? I'm just assuming it was empty cars but the idea of being able to hop of the course and take a quick ride on Hulk is pretty awesome, I'd 100% run one of these races in the future if that was the case.


Just empty cars while everyone was running, just was cool to hear and see them go by especially when they didn't have to do it but it would have been awesome taking a quick ride on anything during the race, I would have totally done that lol I know a lot of people for the Disney full marathon make it a challenge to get to animal kingdom quick enough so they can go on expedition everest during the race lol


Thanks for the clarification, still cool to have the rides cycling. When I worked a few race events at Everest I remember the ride being open after the race during the post race party but don't really remember people riding it during the race but it may be different for the marathon. Then again now that I think about it I guess there was no reason someone couldn't have gotten in line and just hung out instead of finishing the race haha.

To any park running event operators reading this thread, if open a few rides and I promise to do your race in the future :lmao: .

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby SharkTums » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:32 pm

These running events basically print money for the parks, I'm surprised it took Universal Orlando so long to jump on the bandwagon! Thanks for the TR!

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