I honestly don't think it's ruining the parks as much as a lot of people say. Frankly, I think the Potter thing is such a big craze that it's polarizing enthusiast's opinions to "omg excited" to "Universal is dead to me".
Am I the only one that doesn't think that IoA got drastically worse after Potter? Hulk, Poseidon, Dudley Do-Right, Jurassic Park, and Spiderman all got rehabs and now run better than before Potter came in. I mean, sure it's annoying that the GP now think of this as the "Harry Potter theme park".... and yeah I was bummed we lost the Lost Continent and Dueling Dragon's original queue line... but I don't think the loss of one queue line and a couple of huge statues "ruined the park"
And for the record, I'm sad Jaws is going. But if we're going to get an indoor coaster with theming that's on par with Forbidden Journey? We may be getting another one of the best themed thrill rides ever created. Again, I don't really get how that's going to ruin the park.
Honestly, I haven't read any of the HP books, I saw most of the movies and enjoyed them, but am far from fanatic about them. But if this is increases attendance and guest spending to the point that Universal wants to go ahead and add new $100 million+ attractions? Sure, go for it!
If Universal linked the two parks, wouldn't they be shooting themselves in the foot? At the moment, one group of tourists visit the Studios, one visit IoA and some will visit both (Great Income) If they link the two parks, aren't they just going to reduce their income? Either that or the ticket price will double?!
Not sure when next trip is, however May/June 2013 - Canada Baby!!!!!
^Or they'll just get everyone to buy the park-hopper ticket and make even more money. They'll probably just scan your ticket before you are allowed to board.
^^One area I noticed that has changed is the food and retail locations. It felt like it was impossible to find somewhere good to eat at IoA unless you eat before 4pm. This is obviously a business decision to match the crowd flow, but it was annoying for me personally.
They also raped Mythos menu to the point Dan and I chose not to eat there because none of the signature items were on the menu anymore, replaced by more generic items...
My last two visits to the parks presented me with horrible operations and customer service, so much so that I really have no desire to return to these parks any time soon. It's blazing hot in FL, yet it's almost impossible to get something to drink early in the morning. Mythos's menu has been destroyed. Ride operations were pathetic (I was thinking Universal might have outsourced their employee training to Mount Olympus), and in general the parks seemed to be staffed by people that just don't care, especially at food locations.
One would hope that they would take the increased profits from Pottertown and put them into the upkeep of the parks and making sure they're staffed with quality employees instead of lining the vaults of corporate executives, but so far this does not seem like it's the case.
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