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Old 09-03-2019, 09:51 AM   #11
erikthewise
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Thanks for the report. I stayed at Portofino a couple years ago, and I need to go back!! Agree totally about the Harry Potter areas. Trouble is I have relatively little interest in the rest of the parks -- not sure if it's because of the comparison with the HP areas, lack of familiarity, or whatever.

Did you go to the Gelateria (sells gelato) at PFB? That was of particular interest to me as at the time Beach Club had just closed their gelato offering.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:35 AM   #12
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Great report.....We are making our first trip to the darkside on the 27th of September. I once told my kids we wont go there until someone read the books. My youngest read them all in a couple months, and as she finished one Her and I would watch the movies. She is pumped for this trip. We are staying at Hard Rock.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:45 AM   #13
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Some Random Photos. Just an Iphone and an old one to boot.












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Old 09-03-2019, 10:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by erikthewise View Post
Thanks for the report. I stayed at Portofino a couple years ago, and I need to go back!! Agree totally about the Harry Potter areas. Trouble is I have relatively little interest in the rest of the parks -- not sure if it's because of the comparison with the HP areas, lack of familiarity, or whatever.

Did you go to the Gelateria (sells gelato) at PFB? That was of particular interest to me as at the time Beach Club had just closed their gelato offering.

Thanks Erik. The rest of the park is great but there is something off and yes lack of familiarity is part of it. My wife and daughter went to the Gelateria. They loved it.

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Great report.....We are making our first trip to the darkside on the 27th of September. I once told my kids we wont go there until someone read the books. My youngest read them all in a couple months, and as she finished one Her and I would watch the movies. She is pumped for this trip. We are staying at Hard Rock.
You guys will love it. The Hard Rock is the closest to Universal and a very short walk or quick boat ride. Upgrade the ticket to the AP before you leave it's basically free.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:26 AM   #15
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Some more Parks thoughts:

We had the 3 park pass so we can basically come and go as we pleased. We started at Univ and City Walk on Wed evening (had about 4 hours) and spent all day at both parks Thursday. With the park to park, it never felt like two parks for us for we rode the Hogswort Express and really made it into one park.

While the Harry Potter areas are amazing there are plenty of other rides and attractions that we loved as well. Jurassic Park, Spiderman and the Mummy were my personal favorites. We did a couple of plunges on Jurassic Park and it really is a nice ride. Spiderman is awesome (for some reason we only did it once) and the Mummy was a big hit...did that one 3x and should have went back for more. They also have some cute rides like Woody Woodpecker (another mini coaster) and the another show stopper is surprisingly ET. It is like Peter Pan on steroids. The themeing, ride and story were all top notch. Men in Black was another winner for us. Really great shooting ride which makes Buzz look like a kiddie ride (and I love Buzz). The shows Minions Simpsons and Sherk were also fun (Simpsons was a little dizzying). We didn't get to do Transformers, Fast and Furious, Dudley Do Right, Jimmy Fallon and Hulk saving those for the last day which never happened. We thought we would knock out the ones we really wanted multiple times, spend a lot of time in Harry Potter and hit of the other rides on the last day and a half to have a new experience. Unfortunately the last day and a half never happened.

As for Volcano Bay, it was also a really nice water park with the highlights for me being the Winding River (faster lazy river that you ride on life jackets) and the 4 person aqua coaster. The offer Tapu Tapu where they give you a free wrist band upon entering the park and you tap a ride which gives you a time to come back so no line. We didn't tap the band once for every ride when we went was ride now. And the wait times were 10 minutes max. Just a fun morning to spend for we did Volcano Bay from 9 to 1. Was more than enough time being we felt like we were the only ones there.

More to follow
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:39 PM   #16
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Thanks Erik. The rest of the park is great but there is something off and yes lack of familiarity is part of it. .
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.
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:44 PM   #17
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Great pictures, Jay! Holy crap, your kids got old.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:38 PM   #18
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Great pictures, Jay! Holy crap, your kids got old.
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. I’m a total US noob. Only been once for one day.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:59 AM   #19
Jedimom3
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Originally Posted by Jay324 View Post
Some more Parks thoughts:

We had the 3 park pass so we can basically come and go as we pleased. We started at Univ and City Walk on Wed evening (had about 4 hours) and spent all day at both parks Thursday. With the park to park, it never felt like two parks for us for we rode the Hogswort Express and really made it into one park.

While the Harry Potter areas are amazing there are plenty of other rides and attractions that we loved as well. Jurassic Park, Spiderman and the Mummy were my personal favorites. We did a couple of plunges on Jurassic Park and it really is a nice ride. Spiderman is awesome (for some reason we only did it once) and the Mummy was a big hit...did that one 3x and should have went back for more. They also have some cute rides like Woody Woodpecker (another mini coaster) and the another show stopper is surprisingly ET. It is like Peter Pan on steroids. The themeing, ride and story were all top notch. Men in Black was another winner for us. Really great shooting ride which makes Buzz look like a kiddie ride (and I love Buzz). The shows Minions Simpsons and Sherk were also fun (Simpsons was a little dizzying). We didn't get to do Transformers, Fast and Furious, Dudley Do Right, Jimmy Fallon and Hulk saving those for the last day which never happened. We thought we would knock out the ones we really wanted multiple times, spend a lot of time in Harry Potter and hit of the other rides on the last day and a half to have a new experience. Unfortunately the last day and a half never happened.

As for Volcano Bay, it was also a really nice water park with the highlights for me being the Winding River (faster lazy river that you ride on life jackets) and the 4 person aqua coaster. The offer Tapu Tapu where they give you a free wrist band upon entering the park and you tap a ride which gives you a time to come back so no line. We didn't tap the band once for every ride when we went was ride now. And the wait times were 10 minutes max. Just a fun morning to spend for we did Volcano Bay from 9 to 1. Was more than enough time being we felt like we were the only ones there.

More to follow
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!!!
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:18 AM   #20
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Overall, Harry Potter World is the best themed area in a theme park that I have every seen and nothing and I mean nothing at Disney comes even close to either Harry Potter Area.
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.
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