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Old 09-08-2019, 02:43 PM   #31
brp
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Originally Posted by Goofygrl View Post
Whew! I was concerned - for a moment.
Not to worry. We're off to see the 20-year reunion of Metallica and the SF Symphony this evening. I'm wearing my t-shirt from the first show in 1999. Mrs. brp will be sporing a Black Sabbath "The Oz Father" t-shirt.

Cheers.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:50 AM   #32
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I think lack of familiarity and history visiting is quite a big part of it. Universal has been a part of visits for us for a long time and there's lots of other things in the park I very much look forward too. Good memories around every corner for me there too just like at Disney.
Yes no nostalgia or childhood Universal memories for me so as a first timer it was great but different. There aren't any memories around every corner like there are at Disney.

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Great pictures, Jay! Holy crap, your kids got old.
Thanks Brian. Unfortunately I am getting old as well.

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Originally Posted by kiapgh23e View Post
Haha, i was thinking the same thing when i saw the photos.

Not to hijack your TR, how is the Royal Pacific? Was looking at that resort as my main pick. Iím a total US noob. Only been once for one day.
Sorry but we didn't make it to Royal Pacific. When leaving the park we went to City Walk, took the boat or turned left to walk through Hard Rock which you have to walk through to get to Portofino. I am sure Royal Pacific is very nice though but its a right turn out of the park that was in the opposite direction.


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Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post
Those are our faves too> I think the Mummy has such great theming. Love MiB and Spider Man too. they are great rides.
We've not yet tried VB, so great to hear all the good things about it. Since we'll probably be visiting during busy times, doubtful we'll have as much luck w no lines, but we still want to try it. Have heard that Rapids/lazy river is super fun!
Great pictures!!!
Yes the Mummy is such a great ride my favorite besides Gringotts. And Volcano Bay is a great water park. On par with both Disney water parks.

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Originally Posted by brp View Post
To me, Harry Potter (both areas) far exceed anything else that Universal has to offer, but I see them as being at the same quality level as Disney theming, not above. They (Universal) have exceeded themselves with this and match Disney.

As to the actual rides, Gringott's is great, but the Hogwarts ride (superb theming aside) is a mediocre shake box ride.

But I'd definitely go back to Uni for HP.

Cheers.
There are plenty of other great Universal rides and shows. But as for Harry Potter it is just such a great area which brings the books to life so well. I really can't think of an area in Disney that is on that level.

Pandora is a joke compared to Harry Potter and doesn't interest me at all FOP is just OK not Gringotts

Toy Story land, new fantasy land, tomorrow land, etc. all fail to compare. Maybe the world showcase or safari in AK (which is a different animal) is something that could compare (can spend 4-5 hours in the World Showcase) like both Harry Potter worlds and would happily do World Showcase and Harry Potter world again and again.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:05 AM   #33
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Being a Simpsonís super fan I was more excited for that ride than Harry Potter land. I donít normally have issues with motion sickness but I did on the simpsons ride. Bummed I couldnít ride it twice.
I really loved the Simpson area. Just a lot of fun with Krusty Burger, Moes Tavern and the themeing is done very well. As for the Simpson ride.....fun but the motion wasn't for me as well.


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DD and I did Universal a few years ago now. It was GREAT for her but if you suffer from motion sickness OR migraines induced by flashing lights there are too many rides that I just canít go on! Fortunately we were traveling with a friend and her daughter so there were a lot of times the 2-3 of them went on a ride while I hung out in a gift shop.

Another complaint about Universal is you really need to be lean and in some cases long to ride some rides! Pooh shaped need not apply!
Yes. Universal needs to tone it down a little with the 3D and constant simulators. More Mummy and less King Kong (which is fun but doesn't need the 3D stuff).

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Thank you for sharing. It was definitely a hit. We need to go back some day. We were there when Harry Potter opened. Definitely awesome!!!! Great pictures.
Thanks Anna. Ready to go back soon for Potter and other aspects. Our trip was too short.

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The Hard Rock has a great Sunday Brunch and fun poolside bar also. Plus the constant vintage videos playing in lobby and memorabilia.
My favorite times to visit Universal are for Mardi Gras Floats! And Macyís Santa with snow and confetti feels more fun. If you happen to visit for the holidays try to schedule when Mannheim Steamroller performs in December. I donít know why Uni doesnít borrow the Holiday Light Spectacular since Disney isnít using it anymore. They certainly have a few random lanes(alleys) that would be perfect to decorate. And I always get a kick out of the Blues Brothers holiday performance!

And if you know who Jack Lalanne is you must visit the bowling alley/ fitness center in upper level of Cabana Bay...
Walked through the Hard Rock and we will stay there next trip. Looked like a great place and thanks for the Sunday Brunch idea.

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Not to worry. We're off to see the 20-year reunion of Metallica and the SF Symphony this evening. I'm wearing my t-shirt from the first show in 1999. Mrs. brp will be sporing a Black Sabbath "The Oz Father" t-shirt.

Cheers.

I saw Black Sabbath about 4 years ago. They only played for a little over an hour (about all that Ozzy can do these days) but what an hour it was. Amazing show and great time.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:23 AM   #34
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Back to the report. On vacation dining is a big aspect of my trip and this is where Universal really disappoints. We did both Harry Potter restaurants and while the themeing was amazing, the food wasn't great. I had the Sheppard Pie in one and we did the family feast in the other (chicken and ribs for 4). Both times we were let down with the food. And the butterbeer (frozen or regular) was just OK. The butterbeer ice cream was your typical vanilla which I wasn't a fan of. We also did Krusty Burger.....theme park burgers which were average at best. Themeing...great...food so-so like a lesser version of a Cosmic Rays burger. The Duff beer was much better than expected for I thought it would be a typical bud and it really had much more flavor.

Mythos has a sign best theme park restaurant out front. Another beautifully themed restaurant with below average food. We shared two apps and had an entree each and everything was just OK. Nothing stands out. There's a better spinach dip at Costco, the shrimp sushi was bad, the pad thai was bland and the beef medallions were also just OK. We wouldn't go back if given the choice. The only thing that was to my likening was the check which came to a little over $100 with tip for the 4 of us.

We had pizza and salads (really nice antipasta salad) at Sal's in Loews Portofino and it was the best meal of the trip. And we were supposed to do Bice but it was cancelled due our early departure.


Everyone complains about Disney restaurants which I love. If you want to rekindle your taste for the Disney restaurants visit Universal which is awful in comparison. We didn't eat at City Walk for a lot of the restaurants there we have at home so no real need for a sit down at City Walk for us. But the pricing at Universal is much less than Disney. $50 lunch and $100 dinners are easy for a family of 4. $100 lunches and $200 Dinners are standard at Disney. On vacation I think I prefer to spend more to get more but for those on a budget Universal dining can really be done (not well) on the cheap.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:32 AM   #35
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Some more Photos... Harry Potter World









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Old 09-09-2019, 11:37 AM   #36
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:01 PM   #37
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Back to the report. On vacation dining is a big aspect of my trip and this is where Universal really disappoints. We did both Harry Potter restaurants and while the themeing was amazing, the food wasn't great. I had the Sheppard Pie in one and we did the family feast in the other (chicken and ribs for 4). Both times we were let down with the food. And the butterbeer (frozen or regular) was just OK. The butterbeer ice cream was your typical vanilla which I wasn't a fan of. We also did Krusty Burger.....theme park burgers which were average at best. Themeing...great...food so-so like a lesser version of a Cosmic Rays burger. The Duff beer was much better than expected for I thought it would be a typical bud and it really had much more flavor.

Mythos has a sign best theme park restaurant out front. Another beautifully themed restaurant with below average food. We shared two apps and had an entree each and everything was just OK. Nothing stands out. There's a better spinach dip at Costco, the shrimp sushi was bad, the pad thai was bland and the beef medallions were also just OK. We wouldn't go back if given the choice. The only thing that was to my likening was the check which came to a little over $100 with tip for the 4 of us.

We had pizza and salads (really nice antipasta salad) at Sal's in Loews Portofino and it was the best meal of the trip. And we were supposed to do Bice but it was cancelled due our early departure.


Everyone complains about Disney restaurants which I love. If you want to rekindle your taste for the Disney restaurants visit Universal which is awful in comparison. We didn't eat at City Walk for a lot of the restaurants there we have at home so no real need for a sit down at City Walk for us. But the pricing at Universal is much less than Disney. $50 lunch and $100 dinners are easy for a family of 4. $100 lunches and $200 Dinners are standard at Disney. On vacation I think I prefer to spend more to get more but for those on a budget Universal dining can really be done (not well) on the cheap.
haha, SO true. We don't really like most QS at WDW, but Universal is even worse! I totally recommend leaving the parks and eating on City walk. Have had great meals at Cowfish and Breadbox, and good enough meals at Toothsome's and NBC. Finnegan's in Universal was good, and it's fun to eat at the HP restaurants, but agree on the food quality not being great. The rest are terrible. Even tho it takes some time away from the park, it's worth it to go out to City walk for food. Voodoo Donuts was yummy too!

Great pictures of Diagon Alley and y'all. Love, love the picture at 9 3/4 platform . Isn't that the best! love that they did that.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:11 PM   #38
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There are plenty of other great Universal rides and shows. But as for Harry Potter it is just such a great area which brings the books to life so well. I really can't think of an area in Disney that is on that level.

Pandora is a joke compared to Harry Potter and doesn't interest me at all FOP is just OK not Gringotts

Toy Story land, new fantasy land, tomorrow land, etc. all fail to compare. Maybe the world showcase or safari in AK (which is a different animal) is something that could compare (can spend 4-5 hours in the World Showcase) like both Harry Potter worlds and would happily do World Showcase and Harry Potter world again and again.
To each their own. We'll just have to disagree about the quality of the Potter theming and development (and the lack of quality of everything else at Universal) as compared to Disney.

Cheers.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #39
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Great Pics and TR Jay. My kids have been bugging me to go to Universal which may happen next year so its nice to see a Universal TR.
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