Universal Orlando 10/13-14/05

Associated parks:

This was pure good times! I lost the brochures from UF, so I will not have accurate names of the attractions, but we get the story.

I arrived in Orlando Thursday afternoon, and picked up my 'Thrifty' Neon, and was off to the Wydham in the Disney Village. Had a great view of the I-4 traffic. One of those damn geckos hit me up for $3 in the parking lot, then proceeded to tell me about switching car insurance. I stepped on him.

Arrived at IOA at 6pm after diner at Margaritaville. 7/10. The crowds were tremendous. It was like surplus cheese distribution sites in the early 80's. We sprung for the Express Plus pass. It was worth every penny.

The Port of Entry had live shows going on, with lots of scantily clad women on stilts, or they were very tall, like 7"5'.

If you wandered through Seuss Landing, you were directed to the movie buildings, were there were 3 walk throughs set up. All were great. 10/10. The special effects were movie quality, which is what I expect from Universal. Nothing in SF or Cedar Fair competes with this. One scene had actors 'floating' above your heads. They were dangling with ropes around their waists, wearing white sheets. Quite ghostly. Not huge lines yet, as I was able to hit all 3 by 730.

Went back to the Cat in the Hat. Stopped with 2 scenes to go. A fatty was stuck in the car. Go figure. 8/20.

We went back through the movie lot, as USF was re-opened to relieve crowds. That wins my customer service gold star. Sorry Disney, you lose again. They roped off a section for Horror Night guests and opened Monster Cafe, Twister, and the Mummy. I jumped at the chance. It was a great ride, more agressive than I thought. 9/10. That is also when I found out the Express Plus was good for the regular rides also. I only thought they were good for the haunted houses.

Headed to the Lost Continent. Did the walk through where Poseidon's Fury is located. 9/10. This house was able to move large groups quickly. Dueling Dragons. 8/10. Lots of 'Charlie Murphy Darkness' in this area, plenty of glow lights and toys being sold.

Did the walk through in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center below. That is where the big 1 hr. waits were forming. This was their weakest of the attractions, but still better than other parks. 8/10. While walking through Jurassic Park, they had a fright zone, with tree stumps, giant logs, and caves set up, and of course people have to look in them, or try to walk trough them. Too bad there was always an actor hiding inside. 9/10.

At the exit to Jurassic Park, they had another walk through, a school house theme. They got 'little people', like 5" tall maybe at best, to play school children. Rather disturbing with the big knives. Kind of 'Children of the Corn'like. 9/10.

Did Spiderman, 9/10., and Hulk, 7/10. I was able to video Spiderman for my personal collection, and Hulk is one rough B&M. I know coasters, and it is rough. Time for new wheels. Lots of scantily clad women dancing in cages in this area.

Back to the Port of Entry, they had a show with the 'Queen of Darkness' or something. Lots of chicks riding motorcycles, and thug-guys with chain saws in the middle of the crowd, moving people when the bikers rolled through. No easy task being dark and foggy. The scantily clad women on stilts were now in larger numbers.

I think Universal did a great job turning the park over in just 90 minutes. The clear focus was on line capacity, theming, retail, and saftey. Lots of heavily armed Orlando PD at every entrance, and IOA security every 50 feet in each attraction. Since I guess this is a local event, people eat at home, or us tourists eat at City Walk, so not much food open, except lots of carts with drinks and grab food. A handful of games were open, but people are there for Halloween.

I was able to get my tickets with the online confirmation number at a self service kiosk. Everything was extremely efficient. Music was at the perfect level, and there were an abundance of fright zones throughout the park.
They did a great job, and I would go back. Overall, 10/10.

Good TR, but I do have a bone to pick with your behavior.

Agent Johnson said:

I was able to video Spiderman for my personal collection.


What's the point in taking a video of a 3D attraction with a camera that can't reproduce the 3D effects? Doesn't it just look bizarre with shadows everywhere?

And were you considerate to other riders?

I nearly ripped apart some dudes camera riding Shrek 4D because he used his LCD display rather than the eye-piece -- it was blindingly bright and very distracting. The "no video" instructions were pretty clear, IMO.

If anyone tries that BS around me, I do not hesitate to attempt to damage their equipment. This includes camera cell phones on coasters. Go fetch! *** Edited 11/29/2005 3:25:08 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***

Actually, I am not an enthusiast, I work in the industry for a living. I rarely record a ride for safety reasons, but my digital recorder fits in the palm of my hand and is smaller than my cell phone. fyi.
When you say "they opened USF to relieve the crowds", I'd have to mention last year both IOA and USF were used for Halloween Horror Nights, with houses, scenery, etc. on both sides. That was all night, not just peak nights where without an express pass, you'd do 2 houses and 1 ride. I'd call that a cutdown, not a customer service effort.

Beside that... its typical HHN. Best haunted houses!

I learned quick that you do one or the other. Do the IOA rides, or get there at 6pm, and hot each house, and hope you have enough time. The Express Pass is the only way to go.

Its like going to Six Flags, the lines for the houses are too longs, as were Busch Gardens VA. I bought a front of the line pass too. They had 90 minutes waits. And what about Kennywoods? 2 hours plus at some points. The next phase will be capacity issues in te houses. They will have to be designed on capacity and safety.

The worst line for a haunted house I've seen is the one at La Ronde in Montreal. 5 HOURS LINES. It went up to 6-7 on the worst day this year. Litteraly, they opened the line at 1 pm, let those waiting in that pre line into the main line and then closed the line since those at the end of the line saw the haunted house at 8 pm and the park closed at 8 pm...
eightdotthree's avatar
Haven't heard from you in awhile. Nice TR, my lady and I are going to Universal FL this Friday. I can't freaking wait.

rollergator's avatar
^ "I can't freaking wait"

...and going this time of year, you won't have to! ;)

eightdotthree's avatar
So true. We went last year in October and the longest waits were for Mummy's revenge and Spiderman, but those were both skipped with the hotel key!

Thanks 8-tee. I was out west for a month. TR coming soon.

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