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Universal resorts

#1 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 08:59 AM

We're thinking of heading to the darkside Universal Orlando for 2 nights after our next DCL cruise in April. When do the rates come out for 2012? Why the heck do they come out so late??? Will they still have front of line access, whatever they call it, for their resort guests?
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#2 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 02:48 PM

View PostFigaro, on 25 July 2011 - 08:59 AM, said:

We're thinking of heading to the darkside Universal Orlando for 2 nights after our next DCL cruise in April. When do the rates come out for 2012? Why the heck do they come out so late??? Will they still have front of line access, whatever they call it, for their resort guests?

I'd expect rates for 2012 to come out soon...Maybe mid August. Front of the line access should still be included for next year. There are a couple of attractions that don't utuilize FOTL. One of them is main attraction at WWoHP, The Forbidden Journey and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios. Since you are only staying 2 nights you probably won't be eligable for a Super Saver discount. The Universal resorts do accept AAA. Those discounts vary depending on the season or time of year.

Here are some money savings tips and strategies to consider for your stay at Universal.
http://www.wdwinfo.c...-strategies.cfm
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#3 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:33 PM

Along this line of questioning (Universal) where is a good meet-up spot for groups? We'll be meeting our friends from London, & my cell won't call international #'s (gasp) & I know nothing about Universal. We will be going to WWoHP & meeting up around 1:30-2ish the 1st day. Suggestions???
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#4 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:54 AM

View PostADP, on 25 July 2011 - 02:48 PM, said:

I'd expect rates for 2012 to come out soon...Maybe mid August. Front of the line access should still be included for next year. There are a couple of attractions that don't utuilize FOTL. One of them is main attraction at WWoHP, The Forbidden Journey and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios. Since you are only staying 2 nights you probably won't be eligable for a Super Saver discount. The Universal resorts do accept AAA. Those discounts vary depending on the season or time of year.

Here are some money savings tips and strategies to consider for your stay at Universal.
http://www.wdwinfo.c...-strategies.cfm


Thank you!!! Very helpful! I had forgotten I enrolled in the Loews loyalty program several years ago. I probably would have forgotten about it when booking too if not for reading the article :)
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#5 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:20 AM

View PostMaxiBarns, on 26 July 2011 - 09:33 PM, said:

Along this line of questioning (Universal) where is a good meet-up spot for groups? We'll be meeting our friends from London, & my cell won't call international #'s (gasp) & I know nothing about Universal. We will be going to WWoHP & meeting up around 1:30-2ish the 1st day. Suggestions???

If you are going to be at WWoHP maybe you can meet by the Hogwarts train, it's right at the entrance of WWoHP, now this "land" is all the way in the back of the park, so if you're more to the front you can meet by The Hulk, which is the first attraction from the entrance to the left.
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#6 User is offline   Rinjo 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:15 PM

I would not recommend being at WWoHP at 1:30/2:pm ish. Personal opinion. :)

I would say meeting near Hulk might be a good idea. At that time of day I would reccoment being near Bildge Rat Barges or Jurrasic park personally. WWOHP will be at its most crowded.

Another thing you can do is get a good toruing plan. Find out where it has you at that time and meet there. Then finish the touring plan together. I know the unnoffical guide has touring plans for universal. I prefer the second approach. The park is typically rated as one of the top five parks int he world (usually number 2 these days) and with the addition of WWoHP it can be extremely crowded during the busier times of year. Depending on what time you go in april this can be the case for sure!

Of course if you are staying on property this is less of a concern. So it might not matter where you start. I know when I used front of the line access crowd levels didn't mean much. Their fast pass system is actually very FAST! :)
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#7 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:44 PM

Thanks for all of the information & letting me feed off Figaro's original question. Can you help me with a few more?

My one concern was how crowded WWoHP would be at 1:30 on a Wednesday. The friends we are meeting up with, I believe, did not purchase the front of the line option, so I didn't either. I was hoping to talk them into it. Can you purchase it when you get to the park?

The other question I had, we are staying at a Disney resort & visiting Universal, so there is no early entry for us correct? If we go Thursday AM what is the best time to be there so we deal w/less crowds? We have a 1/2 day Wednesday & can stay late at night. Thursday we can have an AM start & be there until approx 6:30/7:00 we have ADR's back at Disney. Any suggestions on how to tour...our big interest is WWoHP.

(I will check out The Unofficial Guide too.)
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#8 User is offline   Rinjo 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:43 PM

You can buy the passes when the park opens and anytime during the day. That being said they limit the number issued per day for obvious reasons. Once they are out... they are out.

No matter what, like in any Disney Park, the best time to hit WWoHP will be right whent he park opens as far as I know. Universal typically does not have as many people queing up in the morning. During slow times of the year there are actually very few people in my experience. I think wwohp has changed that a bit... but get there at Rope drop and you have your best chance at avoiding long lines. Just be there early enough to be one of the first people throught he tunstiles. :)

If you are interested in a good touring plan, grab touringplans.com universal guide. It is only a few bucks and can give you more info than any of us. I am sure you can go to the bookstore and browse the touring plans... but there is no substitute to buying the book!!!
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#9 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:44 AM

View PostMaxiBarns, on 27 July 2011 - 10:44 PM, said:

Thanks for all of the information & letting me feed off Figaro's original question. Can you help me with a few more?

My one concern was how crowded WWoHP would be at 1:30 on a Wednesday. The friends we are meeting up with, I believe, did not purchase the front of the line option, so I didn't either. I was hoping to talk them into it. Can you purchase it when you get to the park?

The other question I had, we are staying at a Disney resort & visiting Universal, so there is no early entry for us correct? If we go Thursday AM what is the best time to be there so we deal w/less crowds? We have a 1/2 day Wednesday & can stay late at night. Thursday we can have an AM start & be there until approx 6:30/7:00 we have ADR's back at Disney. Any suggestions on how to tour...our big interest is WWoHP.

(I will check out The Unofficial Guide too.)

Best time for WWOHP is early in the morning and late in the evening, I have been at both times and in my experience it's better late in the evening, people tend to go there first thing so Ollivanders and Forbidden Journey have the longest lines. One word of warning about Ollivanders: it's the longest and hottest line you'll make. The queu is all outside and the show only takes a cople dozen people each time. So plan to do this first thing in the morning or in the evening when the sun has come down.
Best day for IOA is Sunday in my experience, we went there in June and by 6pm all the lines were only 5 min. FJ was about 15m and Ollivanders was about 10min. Dragon Challenge doesn't have a long line thru out the day. Plus the evening gives the Hogwarts castle a certain mystery to it (can you tell I'm a HUGE HP fan?) Make sure to look in all the windows and all the shops, it's truly immersive in the HP world. If you have small kids that don't measure up to FJ or if you just want to take your time walking around the castle and taking pictures, talk to the Team Member at the entrance of FJ and ask them to direct you to the Castle Tour line, it's a separate line and you get to walk around at your own pace taking all the time you want and then it let's you out before the ride.
Also remember that a couple of rides at IO and US requiere you to leave things in a locker, these are free for the time you are in line for any of the attractions, if you can avoid backpack, try to, it'll be much easier. If not there are lockers next to Forbbiden Journey, Dragon Challenge, Hulk.
Sorry for the long post.
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#10 User is offline   sarahzy 

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:37 AM

I'd also HIGHLY recommend the single rider line on Forbidden Journey. I've done it 3 times when crowds were high and didn't wait more than 10 minutes to ride. It's set up so you can't really see or interact with the other people in your car, so it's not really a big deal who you ride with.
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#11 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

once again thanks, all of your expertise really helps... the advice has been taken. We've decided to only go on Thursday & get there 1st thing in the AM take a break mid day come back later until dinner-ish time & then ditch the park for Disney stuff :D

Other questions I have: I've looked at all the rides on youTube, so I have a decent sense of them. The one I could not gauge was FJ. What type of ride vehicles are they? & What type of ride is this? (is/are there one/two at Disney you can compare this with?) I have a neck/head injury where I can go on a ride like Splash Mt, Thund Mt, Everest & Soarin' but I can't go on Space Mt or RockRR.
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#12 User is offline   Rinjo 

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 05:04 PM

Kind of a combination of a dark ride and a kuka arm. Think combination dark ride, and sum of all thrills at epcot. This picture on WIKIPEDIA shows the ride vehicle. It is on a track, but moves about throughout the ride as well. You can see the vehicle on the far left is sitting at a different angle than the rest. A robotic arm can move the cars up, down, side to side and tilt them. It is obviously pre-programed to sync with the scenes as you travel through.

It is not as intense as Sum of all Thrills, but it is the same type of movements. If you can handle that on the lower thrill settings I would imagine you would be fine on this.


Posted Image

Hope that helps
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#13 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:33 PM

This more than helps...Thanks.
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#14 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:29 PM

Just an update on crowds. We went yesterday (08/15) to IOA. Arrived at 10am and went straight to WWOHP, Forbbiden Journey was 90min. Olivanders was 60min. Dragon Challenge was 25m. Did FJ single rider line was around 30min. I've been hearing more and more reports about how it's way better in the evening hours, maybe about 2 hours before park closes.
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#15 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 05:52 PM

Totally agree Yulilin. We were there 8/11 FJ was 90 min, sing rider was about 10min, but then the ride broke down & it became 60min wait & then was backed up for the rest of the day. DC was 5 min walk on, which was nice, but it was so hot, my kids didn't want to keep riding it. Olivander's was 60min+, mailing a letter at the Owlery 45min+. Completely agree showing up around 8pm then shutting down pk would be ideal. (Plus parking is $3)

The biggest prob, the area is really small for the crowds. Many people are stopping to take pics (which they should,) while others are trying to walk through. Then it seems as if a lg group wait while some in their group explore the area, which is fine, but they're just standing around in these already tight spaces. The AC capabilities in the area are almost useless. Honey Dukes & Zonkos, are too small to offer any relief & when we got off FJ, they have these live action TV monitors, that confuse people whom think they are pictures from the ride, thus a huge back log of people gather in this part of the store. The whole "locker" situation is another issue.

I know it doesn't sound like it, I'm glad we tried it. I am always up for new experiences. I think this is something I would do again w/just my husband on a slow day & if our tickets were severely discounted.
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#16 User is offline   yulilin 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:13 AM

I know that there are plans to expand the line for FJ. I totally agree with the stores being way to small and the lockers at FJ are a mess. We went with a small backpack the first day and decided not to do it again. This past weekend experience was a surprise to me since I didn't encounter that sort of mess in June. I can't wait for October, Nove,ber and firt part of December, when the temps go done as well as the crowds...
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#17 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:36 AM

OK, rates are out. Holy Cannoli! Now when do they go down??? Sheesh! Almost $400 a night for the cheapest room with AAA etc. Ugh.
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#18 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:48 AM

View PostFigaro, on 07 September 2011 - 07:36 AM, said:

OK, rates are ok. Holy Cannoli! Now when do they go down??? Sheesh! Almost $400 a night for the cheapest room with AAA etc. Ugh.

From my experience when rates come out they are typically rack rate. Discounts come later. Super Saver rates are based on the number of nights you plan to stay. Resort occupancy is also a factor.
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