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View Full Version : a little bit of disney and then some universal (day one)


erica_mutterer
04-19-2001, 09:34 AM
cast: me & hubby (our children ages 2 and 4 stayed home this trip with their aunts and great grandma as they would be returning with us in november for a disney only trip)

dates: 4/11 - 4/15/01

Anniversary trip

hotel:

Wellsley Inn: Nice hotel near universal with complementary shuttle service and continental breakfast. Our room # was 319 and we could see the fireworks from universal from our room. We had a king bed, blow dryer and coffie in our room. There was a small heated pool that overlooked a small fishing lake. Our room was $62.00 a night through lodging.com. Since we are going back to disney in november and staying on sight then we could not splurdge on this trip

1st part of trip report is on the disney trip reports board (not sure how to post link, sorry)

Thursday 4/12/01 (Islands of Adventure)

alarm goes off @ 6:30. up and dressed and down for breakfast by 7:00am. shuttle leaves at 7:25am and it is right on time. a very pleasent driver who gives all of us 2 for 1 drink coupons for citywalk.

At the gates of by 7:45am.... awaiting opening.......8:00am sharp the gates open. people working here did not seem to smile as much or be as friendly as at disney but oh well were were going to have fun today.....

got a park map with showtimes and we were off...
spider man was our first stop. 0 minute wait time!! This is an excellent ride. The special effectes are great and it was fund to feel like you were in a classic super hero cartoon. took a few pictures and moved on.

Dr. Doom had no wait time so I went solo on this (hubby doesn't do drops). This fun but short. Actually i think the cue area was the best part about this attraction.

Then it was time for the Hulk. hubby doesn't do roller coasters so i had to go solo. wait time for front row was only 10min so i waited. the rest had a 0 min wait time. Another great ride but it is hard after always going to disney not to start comparing the 2 parks so here is the 1st.... i really like rock n roller coaster at MGM a lot better. i thing being in the dark makes it more intense and the "blast off" was better, however the hulk seemed longer and the view was great.

Next on our list was to go to the Lost Continent and start with Dueling Dragons. Hubby actually went with me!!!! 0 min wait time. ice first, front row, then fire in the 2nd row. This was one of my favorits rides here as well as coasters in general. The cue area was in my opinion one of the best around. the timing was off some so we didn't really get to experience the "near miss" but it was still fun and very smooth..

our next stop was the unicorn kiddy coaster. Figured my hubby could handle this especially since he survived the dragons. Cute ride.

Now it was time for Posidens Furry. We enjoyed this show but not a favorite. walking through the water tunnel was my favorite part of the show and enjoyed the classic story line of Zues and Posiden.

Our next stop was Jurasic Park. It was about 11:00 and we were starting to get hungry so we got an express pass for JP River Ride and looked in a few of the stores. Got our kids a Dino Flashlight and a pair of shorts. They like dino's. Not a big selection of kids stuff, as a matter of fact none of the stores in the park had much to choose from for childrens clothes, especially todlers. Our daughter wanted a jurasic park dress but no luck!!!

Time for Lunch. We ate in the Tree in the Lost Continent (forget the name) Nice and cool and quiet in here. had a nice private table tucked in a corner of the tree. I had the turkey leg dinner and hubby had the chicken dinner. They came with corn, corn bread and fries. Both were very good and for a $16.00 lunch in a theme park they were very, very good.

Express pass time for JP so that was next. Theming was just like in the movie which I enjoyed but the ride was very short and not a lot of dino's in my opinion. Hubby liked the dino ride at the animal kingdom better. snapped a couple pictures before plundging down and getting a little wet (we were in the front). finished up in jurasic park with the a visit to the lifelike dino and the discovery center.

it was hot and crowded now so we decided to take a break. We took toe boat to the Hard Rock Hotel and sat in the bar and had a refreshing pina colada and strawberry drink. wandered around the hotel and people watched for awhile. A nice hotel but i still like the disney hotels better. Although the FOTL access would have been a must if we were not early birds and missed the lines and crowds. The pool area looked very inviting and did make us wish we were staying there.

After a nice relaxing break we decided to head over to Universal for a little while. We ran into a nice gentlman who was on his way out and gave us his express passes for King Kong and Jaws so off we went. Ahh... the good old classics that we remember from so many years ago. Enjoyed both of these rides. Tried to win our daughter a tweetie (which she requested since we could not find a jurasic park desk) but no luck.

Off to beatle juice...
We both love this show it was always a favorite.
A couple here had just won a tweetie and overheard us talking about where we were going to find a big tweetie on vacation before we went home for kayla. we could not go home without one. The gentleman with the tweetie tapped my husband on the shoulder and said "we heard you talking and we would like you to have our tweetie" How nice!! We tried to pay him something for it but he would not accept anything. He just wanted to give it to us for our daughter. We saw him latter and he won a pokeman stuffed animal. He was good at those games. We were the happieset at that moment!!! It was so nice to run into such a kind person and we were so excited about returning home to see our daughter's face light up when she saw her "big Tweetie"

With no more express passes and a couple things we wanted to see at Islands of adventure we headed back there....

We went to toon Lagoon and caught the toon trolly. cute little show that the kids get involved in. Then the show with the roller bladers. ok but does not compare to any of the disney shows...especially Tarzan Rocks!!!

Sues Landing was next.... it was getting dark now and the crowds were clearing some, prob. for dinner. Wen on the Caro-Sues-El (sp?) and Cat in the Hat. Sues Landing is something we both thought Universal did better than Disney. Cat in the Hat was the best child-like dark ride I have every been on!!! Took lots of pictures around here and walked around enjoying the sights.

It was now getting late. We were going to stay till closing but were too tired so we headed to the Port of entry, got a few gifts and picked up the ones we purchased earlier in the day at the Christmas store (they will deliver any gift from any part of the park here so you won't have to carry it around (they even held our tweetie).

Back to the hotel and watched the fireworks from our room.... off to bed dreaming of our next fun filled day.....

erica_mutterer
04-19-2001, 09:54 AM
forgot to mention that we also saw the sinbad show. Had a neat story line but if i had to pick between Indy at MGM and this one I would bick Indy. Still a good show though.

PattiHW
04-20-2001, 05:58 AM
Hi Erica,
Very nice trip report. You guys did a ton in one day!!
BTW, I'm almost afraid to chime in about this but, here goes.
My husband and I often commented about the young people employed at Universal & IOA. They are definitely not the caliber of employees at Disney. Some seemed to be downright miserable. One girl at an ice cream stand next to Dueling Dragons never smiled --we went to that stand 3 nights in a row. She waited on us every time and I made it a point to be very pleasant. The younger ride attendants were just blase; just there for the paycheck I guess. I think you can really see a difference in employees of Disney & Universal. It must be in the training. Univeral should work on this!

jtopicz1
04-20-2001, 09:09 AM
Remember with the employment thing that unemployment, while not as low as it was, is still extremely low! Neither Disney or Universal can find enough help to staff the parks. Because of this ANYONE with a pulse is hired. Disney is somewhat better because they have been opened much longer and have been able to slowly get rid of the bad apples. Universal hasn't had this benefit. Even Disney isn't as good as it once was when it comes to employees. While I don't agree with the unpleasant employees, it's a hard problem for Universal (and Disney) to solve.

Jim