Universal Studios: A review by Dan

Associated parks:

Folks don't pay good money for admission into a theme park just to watch people cut in line in front of them. Sure, parks make more money while 10% of the public gets to have a better time then the rest. Yet, it is capitalism, but it does not make it right. Just don't be surprised if you catch a little heat for your paid for line cutting privileges.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Wow. Then Universal's "Stay 4, Play Free" promotion must really get under your skin, guys.

Stay 4 nights and the park tickets are free.

Heck, rooms at the Hard Rock in Sept are just $186 each.

For $744 my wife and I can go stay on property, get into the parks and have front of line access for those 4 days.

I did some checking on Marriott's site and found that the low rate for a Courtyard in the area during the same time is $119.

Staying at a mid range hotel runs $476 Then you need the park tickets for 2 people for those 4 days. Those run $190 with the current online special. My total is $666 that way. Of course, gas and parking are also an issue off property so parking at $8 a day is $32 and gas to and from the park (we'll say $20 to fill the tank as the drive is relatively short from any of the hotel properties) Now we're up to $718.

Of course this is just my vacation planning situation, but the $26 difference doesn't even make it close.

Then again, someone else may choose a cheaper hotel or to use public transportation or hotel shuttles or cut corners in whatever way you can think of, but if you're going to devalue the experience that much, then why even worry about a few of people skipping in front of you in line?

*** Edited 7/25/2004 12:24:04 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

If every 1 of the thousands of guests walking through Universal's proverbial doors eachday get the same perks a hotel get, then they aren't perks anymore, and there is no reason to offer them.

I went to Universal and I didn't stay On-Site, but I still had a fun time. I just went on days when there wasn't lines to begin with.

Kyle Says: Diamondback was a lot of fun! Made his first time at Kings Island worth it all!

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Some facts about the numbers:

Attendance numbers for 2003:

Universal Studios - 6.8 million
IOA - 6 million

Divide those numbers by 365 and you get an average daily attendance of:

Universal - 18,630
IOA - 16,438

Universal's three resorts have a total of 2400 rooms. I doubt you'd find info on occupancy or average number of guests per room.

Interpret the info however you'd like :)

BERLIN said:
First of all, it´s not only that I don´t WANT to pay for it, but that I just CAN`T because as a student it´s hard enought to get the money for travelling and the admission price.

First things first, being a student and/or affording/not affording has nothing to do with this. When people are spending their cash to do this, they are simply willing to part with more money. They may or may not really be able to afford it, but they do it anyhow. This just sounds to me like you are mad that you can't afford it, and that if you could afford it, you would might think differently about doing it.

There´s nothing wrong with getting some extra treatment and a certein level of luxary if you are willing to pay a hell lot of money for your hotel. What makes this different, though, is the fact that others have to wait longer for that and get a pretty bad feeling about waiting if there are others who just walk by.

Its not different! If I go to see Janet Jackson next year when she goes on tour like I did in 2001, I'll be more than willing to pay for a front row seat. The reason I didn't last time was because I waited too late, but I still had good seats. But with that logic you are saying that people in the nosebleed section @ MCI center were shouldn't have had to look down and see me sitting on the floor near the stage? As with any thing in life, You Get What You Pay for...

Soggy's avatar
Universal offers this deal and people take it. I'll be doing it when I go to Florida and it sounds like many other Buzzers (including our webmaster) are willing to ante up for the priviledge of the express pass. This is not a war between the rich and poor, not bt any means.

It think it boils down to the fact that peeps like me DO stand in LONG lines A LOT of the time, just like everyone else. I have never received ERT (for any reason) and only once did I get SFMM's fastlane. If I am taking my hard-earned vacation to Florida (where you pretty much kiss the contents of your wallet goodbye anyway) you better believe I'm looking to have a better than average time at the park of my choosing. I'm just a working-class stiff like most of us, and I don't have gobs of cash-ola to flaunt around. But I will spend it on something that I think is worthwile. Being a coaster enthusiast, the Universal express pass looks worthwile to me.

BTW, don't be hating on Dan either. I met him last year when he was out here in Southern California. He's a very likeable down-to-earth guy. And unless he hides it well, he's not rolling in the big bucks either. This was finally his chance to be treated like a VIP, and guess what? He took it. Good for you, Dan!

Then again, I'm going back to Hawaii for my vaccation this summer. No coasters for thousands of miles, and I know it's going to be fabulous. Paradise, here I come.

*** Edited 7/25/2004 3:49:50 PM UTC by Soggy***

Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

Jeff's avatar
It doesn't have anything to do with being "fair" or "right." I don't understand where you'd get this feeling of entitlement. You know how many American students would love to just set foot on your continent? I'd say the fact that you crossed the pond alone puts you well within the privileged category. When you're older and employed as a full-fledged adult I'm sure you can afford to stay on-property.

People that can afford it get to do nicer things or enjoy additional perks in life. This is more true in the travel industry than most. If you can't deal with that or find it unfair, you can either work to make more money or toss yourself off a bridge in misery.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Thanks for those kind words Soggy!! Your pretty ok yourself-big guy! Anyway, I had no idea my TR would turn into world war III. I'm a working stiff too, I save money for my vacations every year- I'm not rich by any means (I wish!!!). But I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Orlando and Universal- it was all the more special by my V.I.P. treatment.

There were times I felf as if I literally owned the park! After the first 2 days, the ops started to recognize me as coaster enthusiast. I had worn my SFoT: Titan and SFoG Superman T-shirts alternately on both days. I wasn't long before I was getting all kinds of cool reactions from ops all over the park.

By the 3rd day of my visit, many of the ops stopped asking me to see my express pass because they already knew I had it. They would call me by name and motion me toward the express lane every time. BTW, I had great conversations with most of the ops I encountered- once they realized I was an enthusiast.

In fact, on one occasion I was riding Spider-Man with a British family who had come all the way across the pond for a visit. As we came off the ride, one of the ops recognized me and called by name. He asked if I wanted to go back into the express lane- right in front of the British family. I told him I would come back later on, the British family just looked at me like they thought I was related to the parks owners. A feeling like that is a once-a-lifetime thing, I'm forever grateful to Universal for letting me have that feeling. *** Edited 7/26/2004 2:30:21 AM UTC by Dan1***

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