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Jen1999
12-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Hi! My family and I just returned from Disney, and we really enjoyed it. However, my husband and I agreed that there were limited "thrill" rides at Disney, and we have decided to take a vacation alone (without kids) that would suit our personal needs better.

I have a few questions, and I would like to thank anyone who helps in advance.

#1
We are thinking about going from Feb 20-Feb 25, which would be the Mardi Gras holiday here in New Orleans.

Is this a busy time for Universal? I'm considering staying onsite, but the price difference is HUGE between onsite and off. The only perk I see is the Express Pass, and I wonder if it is worth it during that time.

#2
Is the food pass really worth it? We did the Dining Plan at Disney, and it seemed like a good deal. However, it was almost more food than we needed, and that was the basic plan.

#3
How is the adult oriented entertainment? Any suggestions? We didn't indulge in any entertainment at Disney since we were there with the kids.

That's it for now :) I'm sure I'll have more to ask as I go ahead with planning! Thanks again.

macraven
12-11-2008, 10:51 PM
Hi! My family and I just returned from Disney, and we really enjoyed it. However, my husband and I agreed that there were limited "thrill" rides at Disney, and we have decided to take a vacation alone (without kids) that would suit our personal needs better.

I have a few questions, and I would like to thank anyone who helps in advance.

#1
We are thinking about going from Feb 20-Feb 25, which would be the Mardi Gras holiday here in New Orleans.

Is this a busy time for Universal? I'm considering staying onsite, but the price difference is HUGE between onsite and off. The only perk I see is the Express Pass, and I wonder if it is worth it during that time.

#2
Is the food pass really worth it? We did the Dining Plan at Disney, and it seemed like a good deal. However, it was almost more food than we needed, and that was the basic plan.

#3
How is the adult oriented entertainment? Any suggestions? We didn't indulge in any entertainment at Disney since we were there with the kids.

That's it for now :) I'm sure I'll have more to ask as I go ahead with planning! Thanks again.


universal has a mardi gras event on saturday evenings in feb
no additional charge for it

here is the link for that event:
http://www.universalorlando.com/mardigras/

if you buy the express pass, it is valid for each ride once.

check the UO website for the cost of the ex pass for the dates you are interested. if the rate is $45, that indicates a high attendance date.
if the ep costs $19.99, low attendance date

you can buy the ex pass in the park at a few places or at guest services.
wait and buy it once you are there. it might not be a necessity if the parks are not crowded.

if you have the AAA membership, you can get up to 35% off the onsite hotel room. it depends on the date and type of room you book.

if you stay 3 nights or more, there might be the supersaver rate you could book. those rates are always the best.

people that stay at one of the on site hotels, receive the fotl perks.
your hotel card is your key to use the express pass unlimited times during your stay. no restrictions on amount of times you do the same ride.
you use the express pass each time.
the perk of front of the line is valid for the day you check into the hotel and the day you check out.

some like the meal deal and some don't.
i really enjoy it for the studios side.
louies and IFFF have a variety of food i like.
check the menus on the allears.net site to see what the places offer.

minniejack
12-12-2008, 09:24 AM
We were at Universal during their Mardi Gras event which lasts for several weeks--you just can't beat getting off a roller coaster and then getting back on it with no line.

We rode hulk 5x in a row in order to get the "Perfect" Souvenir Photo

d4est
12-12-2008, 02:05 PM
Hey Mac, any idea when they'll add this year's info? I'd love to know what might be going on when we're there.

macraven
12-12-2008, 03:11 PM
you mean the performers??

nothing was posted on the site.

http://www.universalorlando.com/mardigras/

i haven't received my ap newsletter yet and i asked a few TM if they knew.
they didn't.

go to the website and sign up for the advanced notification.


i'll post who is there once i get my newsletter or see it on screamscape.

Jen1999
12-12-2008, 04:31 PM
if you buy the express pass, it is valid for each ride once.

check the UO website for the cost of the ex pass for the dates you are interested. if the rate is $45, that indicates a high attendance date.
if the ep costs $19.99, low attendance date

you can buy the ex pass in the park at a few places or at guest services.
wait and buy it once you are there. it might not be a necessity if the parks are not crowded.

if you have the AAA membership, you can get up to 35% off the onsite hotel room. it depends on the date and type of room you book.

if you stay 3 nights or more, there might be the supersaver rate you could book. those rates are always the best.

people that stay at one of the on site hotels, receive the fotl perks.
your hotel card is your key to use the express pass unlimited times during your stay. no restrictions on amount of times you do the same ride.
you use the express pass each time.
the perk of front of the line is valid for the day you check into the hotel and the day you check out.

some like the meal deal and some don't.
i really enjoy it for the studios side.
louies and IFFF have a variety of food i like.
check the menus on the allears.net site to see what the places offer.

Thanks! Lots of info here :)

I checked the dates, and all but one day is 19.99. I'm guessing that they aren't expecting a lot of crowds during that time. I don't have AAA, but I compared the discount to UO's Hot Deals, and there wasn't any huge difference in price.

Regardless, I'd like to stay on site if I can talk hubby into it. It just seems like it would be a blast to jump from ride to ride with minimal wait time. Here's the quote I have.

Loews Royal Pacific- 5 nights total $1154

Included Values: Universal Express Ride Access
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: CityWalk Party Pass
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: Universal Orlando Savings Guide
FEB 20 09 1 Adult
Included Values: Early Park Admission to Universal Studios Florida
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: Complimentary On-Site Theme Park Transportation
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: 2-Park Unlimited Admission Ticket
FEB 20 09 2 Adults

Does this sound like a decent deal?

Also, are the band events for Mardi Gras extra? I know you said the event wasn't, but is the band included, or separate? I saw that Third Eye Blind was playing on the 23rd. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that band :D

Thanks again for the help! I'm really getting excited.

Jen1999
12-12-2008, 04:57 PM
Also, are the band events for Mardi Gras extra? I know you said the event wasn't, but is the band included, or separate? I saw that Third Eye Blind was playing on the 23rd. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that band :D


Never mind :confused: I just saw that was the 08 schedule. I need to learn how to read the little details, like what year it is, duh! :rolleyes:

I was really excited about Third Eye Blind too!

macraven
12-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Thanks! Lots of info here :)

I checked the dates, and all but one day is 19.99. I'm guessing that they aren't expecting a lot of crowds during that time. I don't have AAA, but I compared the discount to UO's Hot Deals, and there wasn't any huge difference in price.

Regardless, I'd like to stay on site if I can talk hubby into it. It just seems like it would be a blast to jump from ride to ride with minimal wait time. Here's the quote I have.

Loews Royal Pacific- 5 nights total $1154

Included Values: Universal Express Ride Access
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: CityWalk Party Pass
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: Universal Orlando Savings Guide
FEB 20 09 1 Adult
Included Values: Early Park Admission to Universal Studios Florida
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: Complimentary On-Site Theme Park Transportation
FEB 20 09 2 Adults
Included Values: 2-Park Unlimited Admission Ticket
FEB 20 09 2 Adults

Does this sound like a decent deal?

Also, are the band events for Mardi Gras extra? I know you said the event wasn't, but is the band included, or separate? I saw that Third Eye Blind was playing on the 23rd. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that band :D

Thanks again for the help! I'm really getting excited.


no, don't buy or book any package deals.
the tickets are at full price.

book room only and tickets for the 7 day promo.
that ticket pass would be $94.99 + tax pp.

everyone that stays in the onsite hotels gets free water taxi or bus transportation from hotel to parks, city walk, fotl/ex pass usage, etc.
universal resorts writes up the package like that to make you think you can only get those things if you book a package.

book the room and tickets separately for the best deal and cheaper costs.


yes, last years schedule is on the site until the new groups and dates are set up and signed for.

i should get something mailed to me once universal has contracted the bands.

Jen1999
12-12-2008, 05:20 PM
no, don't buy or book any package deals.
the tickets are at full price.

book room only and tickets for the 7 day promo.
that ticket pass would be $94.99 + tax pp.

everyone that stays in the onsite hotels gets free water taxi or bus transportation from hotel to parks, city walk, fotl/ex pass usage, etc.
universal resorts writes up the package like that to make you think you can only get those things if you book a package.

book the room and tickets separately for the best deal and cheaper costs.


yes, last years schedule is on the site until the new groups and dates are set up and signed for.

i should get something mailed to me once universal has contracted the bands.

OK, I did it separate, and it was a bit cheaper. Thanks! I'll keep checking for the band schedule.

Thanks a bunch!

macraven
12-12-2008, 05:29 PM
if you want a 3 night stay and a super saver rate comes up, book it.

or if you have already booked a 3 night stay, call and modify your rate.

super saver rates are the lowest that is given.

anyone can book a supersaver rate.
it is a special discount that universal hotels give out to guests but a limited number of rooms qualify for it.

d4est
12-12-2008, 05:40 PM
you mean the performers??

nothing was posted on the site.

http://www.universalorlando.com/mardigras/

i haven't received my ap newsletter yet and i asked a few TM if they knew.
they didn't.

go to the website and sign up for the advanced notification.


i'll post who is there once i get my newsletter or see it on screamscape.

Thanks, Mac. I'm all signed up...

Jen1999
12-12-2008, 05:53 PM
if you want a 3 night stay and a super saver rate comes up, book it.

or if you have already booked a 3 night stay, call and modify your rate.

super saver rates are the lowest that is given.

anyone can book a supersaver rate.
it is a special discount that universal hotels give out to guests but a limited number of rooms qualify for it.

I'd love to book now. Hubby keeps fretting about work because it is slow right now, BUT it's like this every year in December, lol! He does the same thing every year. He'll complain how slow it is, debate getting a new job, and by the time he decides he absolutely MUST get a new job, business picks up. I try to remind him that we've played the same scenario over and over again for the last 8 years, but he's obviously got memory issues.

I'm just so excited about the thought of taking a vacation with just us two! We've never really had that, with the exception of our honeymoon which was only 2 nights (in town)! And I'm not really a "lay on the beach sucking up margaritas" kinda gal! I want fun and excitement. I love thrill rides.

I think that is what disappointed me the most about Disney. Don't get me wrong, it was great for the family. Lot's of things to do for every age, but very limited thrills. Rock n Roller coaster was the best ride, and it was mediocre after the initial launch. Expedition Everest was a complete letdown. I watched this show on the Travel Channel that said Expedition Everest was a must see, and I was totally hyped up. Let me tell you, I had the front seat, and it was NOT what they played it up to be.

I don't want to belittle Disney because I do feel that they offer a lot overall. The vacation worked well for us as a family, but I would like to experience a more thrilling vacation.

Thanks again.

:)

macraven
12-12-2008, 06:11 PM
Thanks, Mac. I'm all signed up...

:goodvibes

macraven
12-12-2008, 06:24 PM
I'd love to book now. Hubby keeps fretting about work because it is slow right now, BUT it's like this every year in December, lol! He does the same thing every year. He'll complain how slow it is, debate getting a new job, and by the time he decides he absolutely MUST get a new job, business picks up. I try to remind him that we've played the same scenario over and over again for the last 8 years, but he's obviously got memory issues.

I'm just so excited about the thought of taking a vacation with just us two! We've never really had that, with the exception of our honeymoon which was only 2 nights (in town)! And I'm not really a "lay on the beach sucking up margaritas" kinda gal! I want fun and excitement. I love thrill rides.

I think that is what disappointed me the most about Disney. Don't get me wrong, it was great for the family. Lot's of things to do for every age, but very limited thrills. Rock n Roller coaster was the best ride, and it was mediocre after the initial launch. Expedition Everest was a complete letdown. I watched this show on the Travel Channel that said Expedition Everest was a must see, and I was totally hyped up. Let me tell you, I had the front seat, and it was NOT what they played it up to be.

I don't want to belittle Disney because I do feel that they offer a lot overall. The vacation worked well for us as a family, but I would like to experience a more thrilling vacation.

Thanks again.

:)

you're welcome.

i do orlando once a year for a long stay.
i start at disney and then transfer to universal.

i have my routine for disney on what i do and i find things that keep me satisfied there. the last 3 years i posted on a dis meet forum and met up with other people for lunches and dinners. did some rides with new dis people also. all good.

once i move over to universal, i do repeat rides a lot! even though i stay on site there, i spend a lot of the time in the parks.
do go on all the rides.
i can't say there are any i avoid each year.
well, maybe jaws but that is because i have been on that ride every year since it was opened.....
now, if i do it, i only do it at night time for a different feel to it.

kind of like the jungle cruise at disney.
you do it over and over and finally you say to yourself, i can take a pass on it.
i over did jaws in the past years and now it's like the jungle cruise to me.
you go around in a circle and on a boat.
the script has always been mostly the same...

i'm not slamming both rides, just saying it's the two rides i avoid on my trips now.

i also spend time in city walk and around more adults then.
that i do enjoy.

i like all the rides and most of the shows at universal.
i like that it is a walkable park completely. no busses to use to get to one place from another.

hoping your better half will see the light and let you plan for a get away to universal.

sending you mummy dust to seal the deal for you two....

tlrotzoll
12-20-2008, 09:50 PM
I am by no means a pro at Universal, as we just got back from our first stay in Nov. However, I'll give you a first timers advice.

Definately go! We had the best time & can't wait to go back. I would definately stay on-site - the FOTL passes were wonderful, as well as being able to walk wherever you wanted to go. Infact, my husband prefers this over WDW because he doesn't like relying on the bus system (I don't mind it, but since we did Universal first, he really felt more freedom with this).

We stayed at RPR & will definately stay there again. It is a beautiful resort.

We did the meal plan 1 day & probably wouldn't do it again. Too many restrictions for our taste & I think we would like to try some of the other restaurants that aren't on it.

Adult things to do - Blue Man Group. Well honestly, this is not just for adults. We took our 2 boys & they loved it too. But in my opinion, it is a must do!

Hope this helps some. We will definately go back with the kids, however, I think it would be fun to do an adult only trip as well.

Good luck on your decisions!:thumbsup2