View Full Version : Do you do Universal too?

03-28-2004, 04:12 PM
Who does Disney and Universal? or has ever done Universal? Frankly I'm happy with Disney, but dh would like to go to Universal the next time ( I think it's the comic book thing). Just wondering how the 2 combare? and how busy is Universal? and is there an age group that it is better for? thanks.

03-28-2004, 05:49 PM
We're doing Universal first time this next trip!

hockey mom
03-28-2004, 08:22 PM
We always do both. Disney has that fairy tale magic feeling. Universal is more about thrill rides and a few classics like jaws and E.T. We spend 2 days doing both parks at Universal and the rest of the time at Disney. IMHO spiderman is one of the best rides ever and I like the hotels at Universal better. Transportation to the parks and front of the line access make for a very relaxing vacation. Also the price of Universal tickets at CAA can't be beat- $120 CDN for a 3 day pass.

03-28-2004, 08:24 PM
You will LOVE Universal! If you are a ride person, it is fabulous. We took the youngest two (8 and 11 at the time), 2 years ago, and the 11 (12) year old went with her uncle, older sister and cousin last summer. The rides don't have the musical themes that Disney rides have (and I miss that) but the water rides are the BEST! Just remember to take a change of clothes---or two!:teeth:

03-28-2004, 08:44 PM
We have only gone to Disney never Universal we have no real desire to go there the kids are not big into Dr Suess or any of the other things they offer. We love thrill rides but would rather drive to Sandusky to go to Cedar Point than wast time at Universal when we are on vacation at Disney. We have done Sea World as my ids love to see all the fish and anything to do with the ocean creatures they also love the Living Seas. So for us there is really no reason to go to Universal next trip we may go to Moat(Mote)(sp) Marine Lab in Sarasota I think it is.

03-28-2004, 08:49 PM
Last trip to Disneyworld, I actually only spent one day at the Magic Kingdom and the rest of the trip at both Universal parks (Islands of Adventure and Univeral Studios). Universal had such a GREAT deal on the passes, we saved a ton of money. Also, staying on site Universal (Hard Rock Hotel) the front-of-the-line privledges are addictive. The rides are great, the park is clean and if your kids are 6 and up there are a lot of options. The height restrictions might not work out for younger riders.

Absolutely loved Universal and would do it again.

03-28-2004, 10:00 PM

I think that you really should give Universal Studios a try before you dismiss it so completely.

Universal Studios is really more Disney-like than Cedar Pointish :p You can't really compare the two parks fairly.

I honestly don't think that it would be a waste of your time to go to Universal Studios. In fact I think you might find that you will like Universal Studios more than Sea World.

I like them both but Universal Studios has more to offer in the way of rides etc. than Sea World.

NorthernON_MOM, you will find that for being busy that Universal Studios will be very similar to Disney Parks.

03-28-2004, 10:00 PM
USF and IOA are great parks in their own right

Thrill rides are bigger and more of them
The theme is not as well done and invested as Disney
Parks are not as clean

Terminator II 3-D and Spiderman could be the two best theme park attractions in Orlando and are in many ways almost worthy of the admission costs

In terms of age groups, I would think the kids should be a robust 7 years old at least to enjoy and appreciate the rides and atmosphere

For example at USF - these are some pretty serious rides:

Men in Black
Back to the Future
Terminator 2 3-D

The cost to go to USF/IOA is less than Disney as well - go for it, you will like it unless the kids are young


03-29-2004, 07:48 AM
Darren, I used to think that, too. I was wrong. (Shhhh. I don't admit that very often.) And with the Universal Canadian at Par that never expire passes (CAA) you can't go wrong! I love Disney, but I will return to USF/IOA.

03-29-2004, 09:40 AM
We have asked the ids if they want to go there but they have said no so we do not bother Universal has no real appeal to any of us not saying it isn't a great park just not appealing to our family. We love Sea World not for the rides as we have only been on one of them the rest of it is for the sea life like the shars and dolphins and whales. The kids are animal/nature kids so we take them to places like that it peaks their interest more than Universal and find they also want to learn more about the animals creatures we see so it helps out in alot more ways. When we went to Cocoa Beach in Dec the oldest wanted to go and walk on the beach at night so she could find some ghost crabs and take pictures of them to show her class and also so she could look them up on the computer to learn more about them she is fascinated by things like that. Next trip is going to be great for her we are taking her to shell key island for the day so she can go shelling with her little sister there are also a pod of dolphins there that swim quite close to the island that she wants to see.

03-29-2004, 09:44 AM
It will be interesting on seeing Darren's take on USF/IoA in a few years with older children. We didn't do USF very much when the kids were younger. Why? We typically stayed at a WDW resort, and the idea of having to bundle everyone up the car (with diaper bag, snacks, etc.) was rather daunting. Same thing with resort hopping from USF to WDW. So we stayed at WDW.

Now that the kids are older, they enjoy a greater percentage of the rides (particularly at IoA) than in any WDW park. Like Robin and jaysue, I would never consider USF/IoA a "waste of our time", as Darren put it. Our 14 year old DS would ride Duelling Dragons all day if we let him. (I, on the other hand, get nauseated just looking at it. :upsidedow ) It's also a lot easier now to get up and head off-site because the kids aren't dependent on us for everything. Just money. :worried: Only problem is we can't get DS up before noon so we lose half the day anyway. :eek:

- Mike

03-29-2004, 11:46 AM
We've never been to Universal either. My DS doesn't really care about thrill rides. Actually he hates them. Last trip I made him go on Splash Mountain and he cried all through the line. (Don't tell me I'm a bad Mommy here because I learned all this stuff at Mean Mommy School) After he went on he declared that it wasn't so bad and then he joyfully went on Kali, where before he would never have ventured on it. Therefore this Mommy was right in forcing him on Splash. He went on it once before when he was 3 and hated it. If I hadn't made him go on it I don't think he would ever go on a water ride again.

My Dh also doesn't like thrill rides so I can't see us going there in the near future. That is unless I can convince someone else to go with me.

So, it all depends on your individual family. Our opinion may change in the next five years.

03-29-2004, 12:06 PM
I'm in the minority again...

We went to Universal Studios on the last day we had friends visit in December when we were at WDW.

They came in on a Tuesday and we did MVMCP that night then MGM the next day and AK the next.

On the last day of their visit they all wanted to go to Universal.

We HATED IT!!! all of us. We liked Terminator, Shreck and Jaws, Thought Men in Black was too jerky and didn't really understand how to kill the creatures and found it confusing, I get sick on gimble rides so Jimmy Newtron and Back to the Future were out for 3 out of the 6 of us...

Bad service, Bad CM's, un-clean parks, SMOKERS everywhere and bad food. Dh was in an electric chair and they made him feel bad because they said he didn't really need it and the rules were not well explained.

We found the the whole day we missed the DISNEY experience and atmosphere.

At the end of the day, my friend looked at me and asked me to describe Universal and all I had to say was BAD!

She said it was "Trailler park trash Disney"...She said it was like Universal was trying to be Disney but failed.

I hope we were just tired and I hope I did not turn anyone off of going...But just my 2 cents...

P.S. We LOVED Sea World though...:D

03-29-2004, 08:41 PM
She said it was like Universal was trying to be Disney but failed.

There is some truth to that - I notice this at IOA but not at USF - I see USF as equal to or better than MGM - IOA to me is a collection of stuff sort of fused together


04-03-2004, 11:16 PM
Having the front-of-the-line privledges for staying on site made it more enjoyable that our time at Disney when staying on-site at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. During our trip last year my daughter was 6 years old. She did not like Spiderman, but loved everything else. Sponge Bob and Shrek were fun and amazing and although I'm not absolutely in love with Universal, I adored Islands of Adventure. My daughter had a blast there and the quick lines made it more fun for her than at Disney. She was able to get a lot of interaction with the characters and great photos with them. The restaurants were great too. My only peeve is the smoking areas being near the cooling off stations, but I did not thing the Universal parks were dirty at all. Islands of Adventure is wonderfully themed and a breath of fresh air.

hockey mom
04-04-2004, 09:20 AM
You know after Photobearsam mentioned un clean parks I dedcided to look through all my pics. of Universal because I could not remember ever seeing evidence of this on our last 8 trips. I even mentioned this to DH and kids and they also have never had that feeling. The one thing we have always loved about Disney was the cleanliness and we get that same feeling at Universal. (now 6 flags in Buffalo:eek: )

I am not saying this did not happen just don't base your decision on this because it is not the norm.

04-04-2004, 10:36 AM
We spent time at Universal and Disney on our trip last month. We stayed at Royal Pacific Resort while at Universal and loved it. We stayed 4 nights and had 2 days left each on Canadian@par tickets we bought in 2000. We had 2 days visiting IOA and Universal and 2 days doing off site stuff and relaxing/lazing around. The staff at RPR were wonderful! Pleasant, helpful and just plain nice. After the less than wonderful stay at P.O. Riverside later in the week, we preferred Universal accommodations hands down. Also front of the line passes ROCK! A 5 minute walk from our hotel to the entrance of IOA and USF was awesome. Disney still has the upper hand at running the parks I think. When we arrived right at opening time at IOA there were plenty of souvenir shops, food stands, etc. that were not open yet. We wanted something to eat and it seemed we had to look around forever to find something open. Unfortunately Ripsaw Falls was closed for renovation.

04-04-2004, 01:42 PM
I just booked the Hard Rock Hotel for 3 nights after our 9 nights at the Poly and we're really looking forward to it. As Nagle pointed out, FOTL is a big bonus. We've been to US/IOA several times (never staying on-site though) and although it's not Disney, they do have some great rides (Back to the Future is may fav ride of all time). We're really looking forward to spending some time at the pool there as it looks fabulous (hoping to rent a cabana for a day) and heading to the parks for FOTL. It doesn't have that magical feeling and there is less to see/do but we figure it'll be a good way to wind down before the long ride home. Now I guess we'd better buy some of those CAA passes.

PS...we're also doing a day at Sea World while we're at the HRH.

hockey mom
04-04-2004, 01:55 PM
Disneylisa you are going to love it. I can't describe just how relaxing it is to know you don't have to rush to do all the rides. A nice boat ride or walk and then flash that room key when you want to ride something. I actually just bought the 2 years for one AP special for myself and the CAA tickets for the rest of the family.

04-04-2004, 03:13 PM
I can be objective about the Disney/US/IOA experience because we had never been to any of them before our trip in December. Our first day we went to MK, and rode in the front of the monorail. That was pretty hard to beat, and we had a fantastic day. For the most part, we loved the park, (except my daughter thought IASW was really lame!). HOWEVER, when we returned to MK for our second visit later in the week, we had already been to SW, US & IOA, and the kids now found MK kinda boring. We loved the parades and fireworks, but next time I will just get a park hopper, so I don't have to commit to a whole day at MK. We can't even imagine missing US or IOA, we totally loved everything about those parks!

04-04-2004, 03:48 PM
We never go to Disney any more. We go to Universal at least twice a year. We love to stay on-site and get their express ride access for every ride. We never wait in line for more than ten minutes. My kids really don't like Disney at all anymore but love the rides at both IOA and USF. We have never seen a cleanliness problem and have found the staff to be great. We can't wait to go down next month and ride the new Revenge of the Mummy ride.

I have convinced them to give Disneyland a try and this summer we will do a California trip and include Disneyland as well as Universal, Knotts, Six Flag Magic Mountain, Paramount Great America and Six Flags Marine World. Our family loves amusement parks.

04-04-2004, 06:27 PM
I've never been to Universal. I'm not really big on thrill rides, and I guess that's why I've never gone. One of these days I would like to check it out though.

Their hotels do look gorgeous!!! I'd love to stay in one of them, but would have trouble deciding which one! :D

04-04-2004, 07:54 PM
We have a hard enough time getting our kids to ride the barnstormer in Mickey's toon town they are not big thrill ride kids. We have shown them lots of pictures that some friends of ours took last year and the resonse was this. IT doesn't look like Disney and there are no princesses so why would we want to go there hehehe thought that was cute so we have no plans to go there Lisa and I like thrill rides but like I said if we need a thrill ride fix we will drive the short drive to Cedar Point.

04-04-2004, 08:12 PM
IOA definitely has lots of thrill rides but I find US comparable to MGM...most rides/attractions are pretty tame. We took our kids there when they were 6, 5 & 2.5 and they really enjoyed it. Ghost Busters was popular back then and shortly after we entered the park they came down the street, music blaring, car & all...my 2 DSs (6 & 5) were in 7th heaven...what a memory. :) I prefer US to IOA because I'm not a thrill ride/roller coaster person but it's still nice to visit...DD loves the rides.

05-11-2004, 12:17 AM
We always do Universal when we go to WDW but since we travel so far, we have to get the most for our dollar. Went to IOA for the first time in 2000 and our kids - 18,16, 12 at the time, loved the thrill rides. My dh and I aren't too keen on them, so we just people watched and toured around. I find Universal is great for kids a bit older and for adults. We spent a day in each park and went from opening until closing. My husband and youngest also go to SeaWorld and love it.

05-11-2004, 01:16 AM
To tell you the truth, the first time I went to Universal, I was not as awed as I was with Disney. It didn't seem to take the same amount of pride. But, we had gone into the original park and omitted IOA. But now, I am actually more excited to get to Universal than Disney - Ok, so this may be over exagerrating, but I am really excited. I am a speed rollercoaster junkie - and superheroes aren't that bad either. My best friend is coming with me to IOA and I am so excited for her - her favorite movie in the entire world is Spiderman plus, she loves Marvell comics. Cannot wait to see the look on her face.
Anyways, if you can factor it into you budget, I say go for it. If it fits in your timetable, go for it. But, otherwise, if you don't see the need for it, don't. But, I would never miss it.

05-12-2004, 11:18 AM
Disney does have a Magic that can't be beat. We found that when we visited other parks we had to keep in mind, it isn't Disney and enjoy them for what they were. Universal has a good deal on their website "get 5 days for the price of 2", which is $94.95 (U.S.).

05-12-2004, 11:58 AM
Cujo, you're right about the magic. Have you been to Canada's Wonderland lately? We went last September. I hadn't been since 1986. I guess I was expecting it to be like Disney. Boy was I disappointed. The place was a mess. I guess it was because all of their summer help had returned to school and they couldn't handle all the people who were there that day. Every garbage can was overflowing and the baby change centre was disgusting. There were no paper towels, (I didn't expect there to be bed liners) or soap or anything. We went because they were offering annual passes that gave you admission for the remainder of last season as well as this year.

Therefore, we will be going back to at least make use of the Splash Works. I now know that it's not Disney so I won't be so disappointed as last time. Besides I am going to Disney in a few months, where the magic really is.:earsgirl: :earsboy: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc

05-12-2004, 02:35 PM
Have an awesome vacation to DW :earsboy:

Sandra (Cujo)

05-14-2004, 10:06 AM
We're currently taking a break from WDW, until the new round of rides is ready, so won't be going back there until at least August 2005 (unless we come into some serious money, that is ;) ). But, I have been wanting to try Spiderman for some time now, and I don't want to turn 40 in the middle of an Ontario winter, so I am trying to negotiate with DH for a short vacation next Feb to try Universal. I got one of those Fan Club cards, so RPR, while not WDW cheap, is fairly inexpensive, and it's a shorter vacation, so I should be able to afford it, providing our house doesn't give us too many more nasty surprises.


hockey mom
05-14-2004, 05:25 PM
Mortlives- I am also turning 40 this November and we are going to celebrate with another trip to both Disney and Universal but it will be a few weeks early in October. The other good thing about Universal are the price of the tickets-so cheap compared to Disney. Go- you will love spiderman.

05-14-2004, 07:44 PM
Hockeymom-when are you dates again? I just booked BWI CL for October too!! I still have two days on my three day universal pass so we will be going to use them up this time.

05-14-2004, 09:24 PM
Thanks, Hockey Mom.

DH said yes, so now I get to start planning in earnest. Does Universal do something for your birthday, like WDW does?


05-15-2004, 01:04 AM
We absolutley LOVED UNIVERSAL! We have been there 2 times
in the last 4 years. This trip we are staying onsite at the PBH for
3 nights then at the BW for the next 3 weeks. My kids are 17 &
14 and they are really excited about returning next month. I can't
understand anyone not enjoying Universal. I think it's got something for everyone. I also felt it was extremley clean and well
laid out. Try it a least once.:p

hockey mom
05-15-2004, 04:30 AM
mom_rules- we are going on the 8th for our Thanksgiving. When are you heading down and are you doing a Mickey Halloween party?

Mortlives- Excellent! I am not sure if anything is done for birthdays.

bcnancy- we loved PBH last year, it was gorgeous. We have stayed at all 3 now and are trying HRH again this visit. I can't believe you are going down for almost a month-that would be so nice.

05-15-2004, 12:10 PM
We are there on the 9th for 9 days! Looks like we will overlap.
Tell me about the Halloween Party-looks like something we might want to do too! When is the Food and Wine Festival?

Already booked my luau and La Nouba tickets.

How did you do on airfare-we are still looking for a direct flight and good rate (both hard to find on a weekend).

Where will you be staying and for how long?

hockey mom
05-15-2004, 11:19 PM
I have 3 nights booked at HRH and then over to WL for 6 more. I have Dsnyfan(darren) looking into renting points for me in the villas section.

The halloween party is great atmosphere for trick and treating, doing the rides with no big line ups, and a few other little things like fortune telling. We loved it last year. It is a seperate ticket though.

No flights- driving.

The food and wine festival will be on and we are looking forward to wandering around Epcot sampling various items.

Where are you planning on staying?

05-16-2004, 08:39 AM
We are at BWI-CL and the kids are at CBR WV. Do you know the dates of the Food and Wine and the cost for 4 adults for MNSSHP?

hockey mom
05-16-2004, 10:05 AM
Food and wine- October 1st to Nov. 15th. wdwig.com has great info on this.

Tickets are $32.95 each if bought in advance for MNSSHP.

BWI cl sounds excellent, you will have to let me know how you liked it when you get back.