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Old 02-16-2017, 07:52 PM   #21
logan115
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Day 1 impressions - pretty damn good and lots of fun. Kids loved the rides, and got completely drenched as expected on one of the water rides (we let them go alone).

A different feel than WDW, not better or worse just different. Rides are more thrilling and there are more of them, FOTL is great, but feels like there are still a few things they need to figure out to make the experience as smooth as Disney does.

Heading to dinner soon, but having a blast so far.

BTW, resort is beautiful and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Chris
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:37 PM   #22
logan115
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Fun fact, despite it being Florida, it can still get a bit chilly when the sun goes down - then again it is still February.

Sea World is the plan tomorrow, then will be at Universal all day Saturday and most of Sunday before heading to the airport late in the afternoon.

We started at IoA then took the Hogwarts Express to US mid-afternoon and rode the Simpsons and the Mummy before heading back to the room to relax a bit before dinner.

The walk from the hotel to the City Walk is roughly 1500 steps according to my fitbit, and to put it in more familiar terms is somewhere in between the walk to Epcot and DHS from BWV, or about 10 mins tops unless you're going really slow. Beautifully landscaped too as has been reported by others.

If this wasn't Universal but instead WDW's 5th gate, or just a mega expansion to WDW most of this would fit right in. Rides are a lot more intense vs nostalgic, and on that basis WDW will retain the edge for quite some time until people that have childhood memories of this place bring their kids. Went on more rides today than a typical day at WDW thanks to FOTL, and like WDW staying on site does seem worth the premium you pay for the convenience vs off site options.

Chris
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:52 AM   #23
logan115
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Originally Posted by andysol View Post
Perfect description.



Jealous- I've heard mako is incredible.
Totally agree with being on-site and actually having some time to take it in.

Curious-
Lunch where?
Dinner where?

Favorite ride of the day?

What new rides did you do you haven't done previously and any impressions? (Kong, gringotts?)


Let me live vicariously through you a bit here
Well lunch ended up being the place near the entrance connected to the arcade (kids choice] As they had memories of eating there before. Pizza was pretty good and hit the spot. And dinner ended up being the hot dog place tucked back by Margaritaville as all TS options were a 45 minutes or higher wait.

New to me at IoA was Kong which was very good, consensus amongst our crew was pretty good, but could've been great if there was one more "scene" to the ride.

Along the same lines, Dragon Challenge was also good, but seemed short compared to some of the other coasters. But with a 10 mins or less wait thanks to FOTL no complaints.

Hulk is insane, any coaster loving daredevil will love it. Spider-Man is one of our favorites- first time the kids rode it and two big thumbs up.

Over at US, Mummy earned "go do it again immediately after getting off the first time" honors. Felt like the ques for both Kong and Mummy could be just a little brighter so you could see where you're going and appreciate the details they put in.

Simpsons was knew to all of us, and it was pretty cool, some motion rides I'm fine with, others make me feel a bit woozy. This one left me woozy and I immediately had to go get a Duff afterwards to help me recover.

Chris
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:31 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by logan115 View Post
Headed to the parks soon, and unlike Disney I've done almost no planning this trip, turning those duties over to the rest of the crew - my wife, son Logan (13), and daughter Jenna (8).

Here goes nothing....

Chris
Isn't it liberating to go on vacation and NOT have to plan every detail out 180 days in advance?
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:34 AM   #25
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Universal is awesome. But be careful. That stuff they pass off as butterbeer is a fraud.
Go to Hogs Head, and order a shot of rum (or fire whiskey) to pour into your butter beer.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:24 PM   #26
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Antojitos is good Mexican and one of universals own. So is toothsome but it doesn't take reservations.
Those would be my two city walk dinner choices with cowfish as a lunch.

Of course the HP QS is really good also in park
Those would be my recommendations, and just about the only ones, inside the entertainment areas - Toothsome, Antojito's, and the Leaky Cauldron. The food at the Three Broomsticks isn't nearly as good as the LC. Blondie's is an ok in-park option for sandwiches. It's a nice change from typical burgers and fried chicken. I've heard good review's of Confisco's, but have never been there. I'm going to try it next trip. Mythos is good, but I don't think as good as the hype. Other than that, most of the food at Universal is nearly inedible, resorts not withstanding.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:38 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by PecosBill View Post
Isn't it liberating to go on vacation and NOT have to plan every detail out 180 days in advance?
I agree! We don't do it much at all now and I love it (Disney or elsewhere). Much more of a vacation when you can avoid it!

OP I am enjoying your trip report so far. I hope you keep on enjoying your stay there We too enjoyed our food at the Leaky Cauldron. Not a fan of the service, but the food was good and quite plentiful.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:59 PM   #28
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Talking Enjoy Universal

I'd like a Universal trip.

Thanks for the tip on the uber xl.

We're also from chicago.

Goldi
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:20 PM   #29
logan115
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I'd like a Universal trip.

Thanks for the tip on the uber xl.

We're also from chicago.

Goldi
Ubers to and from Universal and Sea World were under $9, can't beat that. We're just Northeast of you in Wheeling.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:03 PM   #30
logan115
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Random thoughts.....

BTGs are here (or at least one or two), and I'm convinced they've hacked into the GPS on my phone as we ran into the same group at IoA yesterday morning, US in the afternoon, and Sea World today.

Now, as I and others have vented in the past about them, it's only fair to compliment them for good behavior. This group in particular has not been loud, obnoxious, nor rude in any way and were infinitely better behaved than the three or four local schools that we've seen the past two days. Props to you BTG.

You know who doesn't mind the BTGs and seems to keep an eye out for them - my 13 yo son Logan who seems a bit smitten with at least 10 or 15 of them Sadly for him the 5 months of junior high Spanish isn't gonna pay many dividends, although I imagine there's some crossover between Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. But the language barrier hasn't stopped him from exchanging some smiles while waiting in line.

Also, this happens every time we hit Orlando, I seem to forget IASM, and very much enjoy the global make up of the crowds and staffs down here.

Finally, if there's one thing that both Sea World and Universal absolutely blow WDW away with it's the DSAs, a decent amount of them and very well placed. If you smoke (or vape as I do) you can do so without bothering those that want to avoid it, and it's not always some place with no relief from the sun next to a dumpster. Disney could definitely take some pointers on this.

More to come....

Chris
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