Which park at Universal?

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Mar 21st, 2004, 01:48 PM
  #1
Gab
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Which park at Universal?

We are heading to the Royal Pacific resort for 3 days during April school vacation. We are mostly interested in hanging at the pool but are going to spend 1 day in the park. Any suggestions which one? My kids are 14 & 11 but pretty much wimps when it comes to rides. (Splash mountain at Disney is the extreme to them). Also, since we will be there 3 nights any recommendations for dinners at CityWalk? Thanks for any info.
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Mar 21st, 2004, 02:20 PM
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Check out www.disboards.com They have a site totally for Universal. You can ask questions, get information, etc.
Since you are staying on-site (therefore, you will be getting "Front Of The Line Privileges") maybe you can get a 2/park one day ticket. I think you can do both parks in one day with the FOTL Privileges, especially since you won't be going on all the rides...i.e. roller- coasters.
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Mar 21st, 2004, 02:27 PM
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Most of the rides at the Islands of Adventure are wild and fast. Stick to Universal Studios if your kids thought Splash Mountain was extreme. The rides are much calmer. I hate wild rides but I love Universal Studios.
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Mar 21st, 2004, 04:50 PM
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Tess
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Gab,
Thanks for posting this and hope you don't mind me piggybacking on your post. We'll be at Universal in June and have one kinda-daredevil kid and one who's a 'ride wimp' like Mom. We've decided on Universal Studios but Pat, I wonder if you could tell us what rides to stay away from!
 
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Mar 21st, 2004, 04:58 PM
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emd
 
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GAb: There is a pretty good deal at City Walk, it's dinner and a movie for $19.99. You get a choice of 7-8 different dinners at 6-7 of the places at City Walk (Jimmy Buffets, Latin Quarter, etc.) and a movie at City Walk theaters for $19.99. For dinner only, w/kids that age (they are the same age as mine, try Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville- fun, music, upbeat place. But BE SURE to make reservations on the City Wlak line (407-224-walk.) If you want a nicer dinner, even if you opt to go to Universal Studios instead of Islands of Adventure, I think you can still get in to Islands of ADven., to go to dinner at Mythos. I am going for the first time in a few wks, but have heard and read great things about this place recently. The decor (as pictured on their site on some photos posted by people who have eaten there) is pretty cool-- it looks like a cross btwn a cave and a moonscape, but nice and elegant believe it or not, and it is casual of course. And the food gets rave reviews- some people say it is the best food they've had in a long time, not just best in a theme park. Both of those places have websites w/the menus posted. At your hotel is Emeril's new place, Tchoup-chop, but you really need reservations there pretty far in advance. It gets mixed reviews, but I am trying it anyway as those who like it really like it, and the decor is cool too. I've eaten classic good food at the regular Emeril's in City Walk also, but probably too upscale for your kids-it's mostly adults.
GET RESERVATIONS NOW for every sit down meal- or you'll be waiting a long time to eat.
I did not like the food at Latin Quarter much. The other places like BB King and Nascar are too loud for me to even try- after a day at the park I want to relax at dinner.
I agree w/other poster who directed you to Universal Studios. Islands of Adven. is a roller coaster, fast, keep your eyes closed kind of place. (except for Spiderman and Cat in the Hat area.)
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Mar 21st, 2004, 04:59 PM
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P.S. to get the dinner and a movie deal, you go to the info kiosk at City Walk.
Also, the 2 parks are close together, walking distance, so you can dine in one and go to the other if you go to Universal and eat at Mythos.
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Mar 21st, 2004, 05:05 PM
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Let me be clear that you'd have to check on whether you in fact can go to eat at Islands of Adven if you do not spend the day there.
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Mar 21st, 2004, 05:46 PM
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I'd suggest Universal Studios. Since they aren't big on extreme rides, I think they'll enjoy Universal Studios better than Islands of Adventure.
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 04:13 AM
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Hi Gab:
I was in Universal in December. I too am a Proud Ride Wimp (PRW) I throughly enjoyed both parks. I just stayed off the Hulk in IOA. If you are staying at Royal Pacific, you have Front of the Line access so you can do both parks very easily as they are very close together and you can just go on the things that really want.
Citywalk was great for all kinds of casual dining options. We ate at Margaritaville (twice) Hard Rock Cafe, Motown Cafe, and NBA City. We enjoyed them all. We stopped at the dining kiosks each day to check on times to reserve. We did choose to eat a bit earlier (5:00). If you are a AAA member you get ten percent off your bill at all the Universal Restaurants and shops. Have a great time!
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 06:58 AM
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THe best rides are at IOA. This parks is better geared for the daredevil. The HUlk is a great roller coaster as well as dueling dragons. The spiderman 3-D ride is unbelievable and is ok for the person who doesn't like rollercoasters, etc. The Dudley Do-rigfht water.roller coaster ride is a blast as well.
At Universl, there are more sedate rides, like Jaws, adn there is Twister where you stand overlooking a town and are sort of observing a torando. YOu feel the wind rain, ,etc.
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 07:03 AM
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Staying at the Royal Pacific, there is no way your kids will let you skip going to Islands of Adventure. Sitting by the pool, you will have a direct view (and sound!) of Hulk and several other rides. They will want to ride just to see what all of the fuss is about.

You can get a multi day pass for both parks for not too much more than the one day pass. That way you can access the parks at your leisure.

I'd play it by ear but I will bet my next trip they'll be on Hulk in no time.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Hi all -- Just got back from Orlando! We were short on time and decided to go to Islands of Adventure (the newer of the two) over Universal Studios. I'm sure the original one is great, too, but if your kids INSIST on going to IOA, don't discount it immediately. I myself am a total wuss when it comes to roller coasters, but after going on the Hulk and Dueling Dragons (at the behest of braver/crazier friends), discovered that they aren't as awful as the constant screams might lead you to believe.

**NOTE: Don't read on if you like the element of surprise on roller coasters! **

The Hulk has one initial quick drop that gives you a moment of weightlessness. If you're like me, this is definitely what is the most terrifying! After you get that over with, though, the rest of the ride is mostly inversions -- and although this will sound counter-intuitive, they aren't that bad. The world spins around you, but oddly enough, no feeling of weightlessness. Dueling Dragons is what I call a "dangly ride" (your feet hang off the bottom) and, again, there is only one brief weightlessness-inducing drop at the beginning. The appeal of this ride is that two coasters are going at the same time, and they're programmed to nearly miss each other at various points in the ride.

These descriptions may or may not have been comforting(!) but I assure you, I am a total roller coaster wimp and emerged from these fine. If your kids enjoy rides, they'll certainly enjoy IOA. (And I agree with SALGAL... the Superman 3-D ride is not to be missed, coaster fan or not!)

Hope that helps a bit -- let me know if you want to know about other rides and park areas (don't want to make this posting any longer than it's already become)! Have a great trip!
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Do you mean Spiderman is not to be missed?

My husband and I accidently got on the ride without our 3-D glasses. Was that ever stooopid.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 12:21 PM
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oooooo nooooooo! I hope you got to do it over again. It is probably the best ride ever concieved. Simply astonishing. I was there on a semi-rainy day and the crowds were way small. We went on it twice in a row. (The Hulk is not fun in the rain -- that rain is like little needles in your face.) There is also a very cool adventure under Mt Olympus (something like that). And the Dr Seuss rides are a blast, too!
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 06:45 PM
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If you are only going to do one park, and thrill rides are not high on your list, I suggest Universal Studios - it has more attractions overall, I think, and some really good ones. We were there a couple of weeks ago, and although I really enjoyed both parks, I think that Universal worked better for me.

I love the theming at IOA - very imaginative and interesting. And the Spiderman ride is really awesome, and not difficult for wimps to deal with. However, each "land" really has only a couple of good attractions, the rest being mostly food stands/restaurants and souvenir shops - and if a major attraction is out of commision for maintenance (like the Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls, when we were there), it really cuts down on your options. One of the major drawbacks is that it is situated all around a good sized lake, with no way to cut across, so to get to the farther parts of the park you have to do a lot of walking. I did go on "The Hulk" with my family - although it wasn't as scary as I feared, and was kind of fun at first, I quickly became queasy - a problem I didn't have when I was younger! - which interfered with my enjoyment for a couple of hours afterwards. I didn't want to be a wimp, but I demurred from going on the Dueling Dragons the two times they went, so as not to repeat that unpleasant sensation. There were a couple of other fairly intense sounding rides, like "Dr. Doom's Fearfall" that we didn't bother with. The "Eighth Voyage of Sinbad" show was kind of fun, if a bit cheesy, some good stunts there - worthwhile if you're in the park and looking for a good opportunity to sit down for awhile and be entertained.

Universal is more easily navigated from one part of the park to another, and has some great attractions. I especially enjoyed "Shrek 4-D" which we did twice, we liked it so much - very funny and well done, and the 3-D effects are awesome - very clever overall. I understand that the new Jimmy Neutron ride is good, too, but my young adult kids weren't interested, so we didn't do that. We also really enjoyed the "Men In Black" Ride, which we did three times over two days - the more you do it, the better you get at racking up points (it has a competitive element to it). The "Back to the Future" Ride has pretty good special effects, and is not particularly scary, but I found it unpleasantly jerky - I went on it again, at my family's behest, although I remembered that I didn't enjoy it for that reason when I went on it 4 years ago in California!

Here is a suggestion - you say you will be there for three days, but plan to spend only one day at a park, and spend the rest of the time at the pool. It would be more expensive, but might make for a more pleasant and relaxed time - right now the Universal web site is running a web special, available only through their web site, of 5 consecutive days at both parks for $94.95 per ticket - as opposed to a one day - one park ticket at $53.95. If you're not trying to budget too closely, this would give you the flexibility of visiting both parks, and spending a much shorter period of time each day over two or three days, then relaxing by the pool the rest of each day, and not try to cram all of your park activities into one exhausting day. The parks are a very short walk ( or water taxi ride) from your hotel, which makes this a very easy option.

We ate at Citywalk's Margaritaville two night in a row - we sat outside on the porch not too much of a wait (as opposed to a long wait to eat inside) - the food was great. The first night we ate on the late side, and so a singer/guitarist started doing a show about halfway through our meal - he was pretty good, but we were kind of looking forward to some conversation, and that became impossible once he started performing.

Our third night we were tired, and decided to just eat at our hotel (The Hard Rock), and ate at The Kitchen on the outdoor patio. We decided that was our most enjoyable dinner, as the food was very good, but we were able to have a nice, relaxed meal with pleasant conversation, and not feel we were being rushed out for other diners (although we did beat a hasty retreat when the sprinklers in the surrounding landscape went off at the end of the evening, encroaching on our space!). If you do decide to eat there, and opt for the outdoors seating, check on the pool activities - the night before we planned to meet a friend who lives locally for a drink at the pool side bar while our kids went for a post-park swim before we went for dinner. It turns out that it was "movie night" at the pool - we were subjected to a loud, obnoxious movie about high school cheerleaders while we tried to enjoy our drinks by the pool - we did not stick around long.
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