Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 1423: Holidays at Universal Orlando media preview report!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby BeemerBoy » Fri May 04, 2012 6:22 am

^ *reserving this spot for an opinion* Maybe. :p
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby HighRoller » Fri May 04, 2012 8:10 am

ernierocker wrote:^The Q-bots can be set up like the Gold or Platinum Passes at Six Flags. For HHN, you would just reserve the house you want to do next (from anywhere in the park) and say the line is 1 hour, you wait 15 minutes and then you can enter the Express Line.

With this system, as opposed to the ticket system, the park can easily keep track with who is using the Q-bots and what houses they are reserving. They can then adjust the wait times accordingly. If one of the soundstage houses gets an influx of Express Users, the wait times on your Q-bot will increase for that house. With the ticket system, you wouldn't know this ahead of time, and might end of waiting 30 minutes because everyone is trying to use the Express Line at once.

In addition, once they scan your Q-bot at a particular house, you can now reserve your place in line at another house and by the time you finish the first one, you will have a shorter wait for the next one.

The same concept applies to the rides at the studio park and Islands of Adventure. With the ticket system, you have to physically go to the ride entrance to reserve your spot in the Express Line. With the Q-bots, you can do this from anywhere in the park while also getting a generally idea of what the wait will be for all of the attractions across the park.

This is why I prefer the Q-bot over the ticket system. I don't know how crowded the Express Lines get at Universal, having never used it, but at Six Flags, even the Flash Pass lines can get long depending on how crowded the park is that day. I can view all of the rides on the Q-bot at once and see how long I will have to wait and can choose accordingly. And then when my Qbot is scanned at the ride, I can reserve my place on another ride before I even get on the first ride!



This may be the best/most comprehensive statement that I've read about why Q-bot is better than cardstock-based passes. Caveat: I've not read every page of every discussion on the forum, but I do read fairly thoroughly everything that's current. I appreciate your thoughts, and, based upon that, I can see this switch as being potentially good for all parties, as long as the implementation is done well and the ROI is better than previously.

My chief complaints about any skip-the-line system are in implementation and in managing expectations of all of your guests. This is the reason that I hate "exit passes", because you're ignoring the expectations of your standby customers, who may, in some cases, wind up waiting several trains/cycles when they appear to be "next in line" because someone with an exit pass takes their seat.

This is one of the reasons that I am very much in favor of the new Fastlane at CF and dislike the FlashPass at SF. One effectively manages expectations, one doesn't. It's not about the fact that people are paying more to skip lines, it's about the implementation and how guests' expectations are managed.

Back to the USO question, I tend to agree that the requirement to use a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo for the Q-bot is asinine. That's one of the implementation issues that (hopefully) will get worked out, but makes me [initially] resistant to the change.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby milst1 » Fri May 04, 2012 3:23 pm

Adam, thanks for the great report.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby beyondthepalace » Fri May 04, 2012 3:23 pm

SharkTums wrote:I think my favorite part of this TR is the apathy shown in the majority of your cast member photos!!! Leaning over, resting on queues, a look of utter despair, etc. :lmao:

So happy to have Qbot in Florida!!!! Long live Qbot and the Qbot Minions!!!!!


The pictures make me ::cry::

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

Postby OCJ48 » Fri May 04, 2012 4:51 pm

ernierocker wrote:^The Q-bots can be set up like the Gold or Platinum Passes at Six Flags. For HHN, you would just reserve the house you want to do next (from anywhere in the park) and say the line is 1 hour, you wait 15 minutes and then you can enter the Express Line.

With this system, as opposed to the ticket system, the park can easily keep track with who is using the Q-bots and what houses they are reserving. They can then adjust the wait times accordingly. If one of the soundstage houses gets an influx of Express Users, the wait times on your Q-bot will increase for that house. With the ticket system, you wouldn't know this ahead of time, and might end of waiting 30 minutes because everyone is trying to use the Express Line at once.

In addition, once they scan your Q-bot at a particular house, you can now reserve your place in line at another house and by the time you finish the first one, you will have a shorter wait for the next one.

The same concept applies to the rides at the studio park and Islands of Adventure. With the ticket system, you have to physically go to the ride entrance to reserve your spot in the Express Line. With the Q-bots, you can do this from anywhere in the park while also getting a generally idea of what the wait will be for all of the attractions across the park.

This is why I prefer the Q-bot over the ticket system. I don't know how crowded the Express Lines get at Universal, having never used it, but at Six Flags, even the Flash Pass lines can get long depending on how crowded the park is that day. I can view all of the rides on the Q-bot at once and see how long I will have to wait and can choose accordingly. And then when my Qbot is scanned at the ride, I can reserve my place on another ride before I even get on the first ride!


Thanks for clearing that up. I'll keep an open mind until I see how it actually works. Maybe now they can finally open up the express lines at HRRR and HP...

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

Postby PriestofSyrinx » Sun May 06, 2012 9:04 pm

SharkTums wrote:I think my favorite part of this TR is the apathy shown in the majority of your cast member photos!!! Leaning over, resting on queues, a look of utter despair, etc. :lmao:


Bad show. Thats why they are not Cast Members lol.

But I am excited about Q-Bots in Florida!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu May 10, 2012 5:19 pm

On Tuesday night, Theme Park Review was invited to attend a special media premiere party at Universal Studios Florida to commemorate the launch of the Universal's Superstar Parade along with Universal's Cinematic Spectacular.

Universal's Superstar Parade is a highly dynamic show experience that really spans the entire day and offers something for guests of every age. During the day, individual float sections (grouped by their host franchise) do small shows along the parade route, all leading up to the Universal's Superstar Parade. With four franchises (Despicable Me, Spongebob Squarepants, Hop and Dora & Diego), the show builds upon an energetic set of tunes formed from some recognizable pop songs. The dance routines are high energy and are really fun to watch. The music, while in sync for all four sections, features stylized versions of the music to match the style and mood of the franchise as it would sound were you watching it on its own. The main parade floats are pretty massive (and detailed) and the smaller fillers hold their own with some impressive features such as live drummers or spinning motions. Dora & Diego's float feature some high energy acrobatic monkeys who perform even while the floats are in motion! And while we didn't get to see it during our viewing thanks to the rain, expect the parade to feature even more unique performers including stilt walkers and pogo stick jumpers. Seriously an awesome show, not only worth seeing once, but definitely worth checking out the show by watching each franchise section by its main float--the experience will be different each time!

As for Universal's Cinematic Spectacular, the show is a great departure from the old Cinesphere 360 show that was retired earlier last year. There's some impressive tech behind the show, including the centerpiece water curtains from Aquatik. These projection screens double as water printers which can etch out falling patterns in the most impressive of shapes and designs (see photos below). When used as the projection screens, the curtains are able to display the visuals evenly and from the proper perspective to viewers on either side of the lagoon. If you are watching from one side of the lagoon, the view on the left side will see the same image as you without it being backwards/inverted/mirrored in any way! As for the film itself, it is definitely more interesting than its predecessor and includes a good deal of titles unexpected to be found in a theme park environment (i.e. Scott Pilgrim, Inglorious Basterds, Happy Gilmore, etc...), but that's a plus! Michael Aiello and his team are clearly passionate about Universal Studios' 100 year old film catalog because they pulled together a show that culls movies both well know and sometimes forgotten or under appreciated. Clever editing and a great division of themes between films helped to make transitions between the movies even more seamless. Morgan Freeman's narration is a natural fit for the show, but is not invasive or overlaid above the film clips, rather interjecting throughout the show to offer a small bit of guidance between thematic/genre changes. Universal's Cinematic Spectacular holds its own as a solid addition not only to the Universal Orlando Resort, but to the Orlando theme park (and nighttime show) market with its unique technology (the water curtains really stun when seen in person) and incredibly broad appeal. Everybody's got their favorite Universal movie (at least one, if not, a ton more), and my guess is, at one point or another, it is featured in the show!

And with the technology behind the show allowing for the possibility of future uses (this is speculation, but hopeful speculation at that), I wouldn't be surprised if the park continued to update the show featuring new footage from new movies (the show we saw definitely put an emphasis on upcoming films such as Snow White & the Huntsman and Battleship), or decided to use the show system in some capacity for Halloween Horror Nights and other seasonal events at the park.

Overall, the event itself was truly a ton of fun with some great food, drinks and company! Entertainment in the evening (including an awesome little dance party seen in the last video) made for a memorable night for us all. It wasn't just about business (and networking) at this event, rather they wanted to make sure that everyone had a great time. Serious props and thanks to Universal Studios Florida for putting on an incredible premiere party, one which I think none of us will ever forget!






Universal has delivered two outstanding additions to its already stellar lineup of shows, attractions and experiences at the Universal Orlando Resort. And with Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, additions to CityWalk and Halloween Horror Nights 22 all on the horizon, it really does look like 2012 is the Year to Be Here!
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They rolled out a special red carpet for us!
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We've got credentials! Time for some serious networking!
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The Pantages Theater hosted the opening reception.
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And already at the entrance, we were greeted by Gru and his Minions!
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The opening reception turned out to be an opportunity to meet the stars of the new Universal Superstar Parade!
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We don't know what Tyler said to Diego but the race was definitely fast and furious.
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One of these things is not like the other... One of these things does not belong.
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Robb and I were playing the role of Twins tonight. E.B. was just there for show!
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The creative minds behind the two new experiences had a chance to talk about their work and answer some questions from the media.
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You can definitely tell how much our friend Michael Aiello is passionate about the Universal Cinematic Spectacular!

He let us know that the Universal Cinematic Spectacular was meant to be the successor to the old Cinesphere 360, originally intended to merely replace the footage and domed screens with a new film and projection medium. As the project fleshed out, it added the fountains, mist screens and the Aquatik water curtains, taking on a 100th anniversary theme along the way.
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Then it was back to food, networking and pre-show shenanigans.
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Once the rain let up, we were led to a reserved viewing area for the Universal Cinematic Spectacular. The show's water curtains perform a neat pre show with stylized patterns and some noticeable icons made out of light and water. Pictures don't do full justice.

This is the Psycho pattern.
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Shark! Shark! Shark!
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The show really does start with a bang, paying tribute to the opening logo sequences of the last 100 years of Universal Studios films.
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Still mourning the loss of Jaws? You'll be pleased to know the lovable shark appears several times in the new show!
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It wouldn't be Universal if they didn't show some love for E.T.
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The show is divided into themed segments, all subtly narrated by Morgan Freeman in between well-edited montages.
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One great aspect of the show? It pulls films that you might not expect in the theme park environment for the montages. Inglorious Basterds was one surprise that made its way into the Heroes segment.
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The horror segment features some of Universal's most well known horror classics including Chucky from Child's Play 2 & 3 (both Universal films)...
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Alfred Hitchcock also gets some great throwbacks with The Birds and several of his other horror classics.
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On to the laughing...
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40 Year Old Virgin!
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Glad to see the most iconic scene of Happy Gilmore included!
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"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

Yes, they included all of this awesome speech!
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Scott Pilgrim is immortalized in the new Universal Studios Orlando nighttime show!
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The pyro is timed pretty well to match the action on screen!
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And as Morgan Freeman prepares to bring the show to a close...
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He walks on water to prove who he really is!
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Time for the big finale!
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It should be noted that not only are there mist screens in the show, but the water curtains and the building surfaces all serve as content screens as well!

Even more neat, the water curtain projections do not bleed through from one side to the other meaning, that guests on either side of the screens see the exact same image in the right perspective (not with one side inverted/mirrored).
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Time for the dessert reception!
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Dessert included photo ops.
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There were also these awesome cupcakes!
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Swiper, no swiping!
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The Pantages once again hosted the bulk of the dessert reception, although it stretched across the entire length of Hollywood Blvd. with additional bars and food booths.
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The event even had its own Country of Cheese!
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And with the cheese, came lots of accompaniments including...
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Candied Bacon!!!
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It's like candied pecans, but with bacon instead of pecans!
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It was on this night that we officially became citizens of the Country of Cheese!
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Kristen Stewart likes to be in our photos... Doesn't she look excited to be here?
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We're all Minions now!
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Tyler was the first to break.
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They've really turned to the dark side.
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Alright, back to the whole focus of the party!
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It was time for the Universal Superstar Parade!
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The floats are definitely "Disney quality" and all of them feature nighttime lighting to make the show able to run at any time of the day. It is currently slated to run daily at 5:00 pm, but it could run later in the evenings at some point in the future.
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Don't be fooled by their human proportions. These things are Minions! They sound like Minions, shake like Minions and certainly dance like Minions!
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They may just be the most energetic parade dancers ever!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu May 10, 2012 5:19 pm

(Continued)
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With four main floats, each one has its own set of dancers and characters, along with its own music to match the theme of the franchise it represents. Our show stop placed the Despicable Me float right in front of us!
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I spy synergy!
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Vector, the villain of Despicable Me has his own mini cruiser, and dances quite a lot in the parade during the show stops.
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Something really great? The characters' choreography matches up with that of the rest of the parade dancers!
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Man, can these Minions move!
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Margo, Edith and Agnes are also in the show!
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And there is confetti!
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Tyler and Renee had no problem dancing along to the show!
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As the show began the final rollout we were able to see the other floats.
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The Spongebob Squarepants float had a lot of awesome stuff going on!
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There's actually two character actors on this float. Can you spot both?
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Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward! Hey Squidward!
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Moving on to the characters from Hop.
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Despite being added to the show fairly late in the creative process, the Hop segment doesn't fail to impress.
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The film's main character E.B. even plays the drums live in the show!
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Probably the best example of the show's built in lighting. Glad to have seen this show at night so we could see these!
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More live drums!
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The Dora & Diego float has one of the most unique features...
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Yep. Acrobatic monkeys!
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And they even perform while the float is in motion!
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Renee and I couldn't help but dance along.
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The older cars were replaced by new sports cars at the end of the evening... It was like they knew TPR was here!
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After the parade ended, the night continued with an awesome DJ-driven dance party on Hollywood Blvd! From Gaga to Nikki Minaj and even Rihanna, this club was awesome!
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Flashback to A Night at the Roxbury.
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While Robb, Renee and Tyler danced, I went to go check out the Universal Superstars!
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Not quite sure what I got myself into, but it was awesome.
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Vector seriously did not stop dancing the entire night!
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Getting very excited about Despicable Me Minion Mayhem which opens later this Summer!
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Back at the Roxbury, Tyler found love! Thanks Rihanna!
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This DJ was doing an amazing job! He read our minds for song requests before we could even make them!
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Tyler Party-Rocked so hard not even the professional dancers could keep up!
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Even Michael Aiello got in on the clubbing fun!
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Seriously Universal! Thank you guys for such an awesome event! From the insanely great food and drinks to the amazing new entertainment options, this party was fantastic! Thank you for inviting us--we really had an amazing time!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!

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

Postby ms13 » Thu May 10, 2012 8:10 pm

I was there as well on Tuesday, and was going to watch the parade, but then I remembered I wasn't a fan of parades, and felt my time was better spent at Del Taco.
Looks like a pretty good parade, though, if your into that type of thing.
I have seen the lagoon show, and really enjoyed it.
Great combination of several different technologies, without them overpowering each other, though the multicolored spotlights were my personal favorite aspect of the show.
Certainly a great way to end your day at Universal.
Oh, and gosh darn those bariers and security keeping me away from all that cheese...

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

Postby Meteornotes » Thu May 10, 2012 8:32 pm

WE FOUND LOVE IN A HOMELESS PLACE

Amazing that they could hire DJ Ram away from Carnival for the night...

Nice report. I'm not a show/parade person at all, but it's obvious they put a lot of work into these new attractions.

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