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Old 05-31-2010, 08:52 PM   #3001
cieslack
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Damo, I could not agree more with your recent posts. I know the usuals will respond as they have repeatedly about the unfair treatment of package holders. I hope you get what you ask for. I hope you get what you think you paid for and have to fight the crowds after one hour of exclusive access because you will leave in frustration when you can't turn around without bumping into someone. The place is small and will be ridiculously packed with people. You signed up for one hour of exclusivity and there was no mention of a full day. You are making a mistake wishing for it to be one hour exclusive and open to the public for the rest of the day. Before you blow up the phones at the BBB, see what you are getting. I would not trade the past two days of acess for a week of what you want.

Please don't bother trying to explain to me that I don't understand how you've been wronged by Universal because I will not be drawn into a debate. I am not angry with anyone and I don't wish to argue, I just think that you don't realize how great this experience has been with four hours of low crowds. That area is going to fill up as soon as gate opens to everyone. Like someone has already said, the people with packages after GO will probably wish they had what we've got now.

Just as an aside, I am 6'3" plus and had no problem and was never told it was an issue. Child swap was flawless.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:53 PM   #3002
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I feel like the only reason Hogsmeade wasn't open to the general public this weekend was crowd control. Can you imagine the larger than usual crowds that would be in the area for their first days of soft openings? It would have been insane. Makes a lot more sense for them to ease into it, first with package holders and on-site guests and then add the general public when they feel that the staff and area is ready to handle crowds of that size.

That being said, come June 18th it won't matter whether they're prepared or not, they'll just have to go, so the more prep time they get the better. I wouldn't be surprised if the smaller crowds of the next two weeks serve as perfect soft opening groups. But who knows.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:54 PM   #3003
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Well I will be anxious to hear if it does open to the gP tomorrow. i booked 6/18 - 6/21 5 months ago....Not realizing opening weekend....Part of it will be cool to be there opening and another part of me wishes it would open NOW to the GP and get some crowds thru there....However, US learned a lot this weekend. Will be interesting to see what they do with it...i am pretty bummed on the Olivanders report though...a group of people and one gets to pick????
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:55 PM   #3004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momw/aplan View Post
Well, if they are going to the one hour early preview system with the gp getting in at 9, they'd dang well better keep that sucker open all day and not just until 11 or 12. I will be contacting Better Business Bureau if that's the case.
I totally agree. What would be really nice is if they keep it the way it is for package/onsite people and then open it for the rest of the day to the GP.

We're down next week and although this is what I am hoping for, I expect to get 1 hour early entry and then the rest fighting the masses.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:56 PM   #3005
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I totally agree. What would be really nice is if they keep it the way it is for package/onsite people and then open it for the rest of the day to the GP.

We're down next week and although this is what I am hoping for, I expect to get 1 hour early entry and then the rest fighting the masses.
I agree. That would be perfection.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #3006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmel View Post
It comes down to this:

1. preview now for 2 hours.
2. preview 6/18 and get 1 hour but then unlimited access. Crowded unlimited access but unlimited.

so you can either have one more hour of relative peace if you go now or wait until later in teh summer, lose that hour but gain the day....

personal preference I guess...
Ok makes sense now, thank you for the clarification. Here is how my situation went. I ordered package in March, later found out I think in April that the grand opening date was now 6/18 however they were letting people book the package for as early as last week. After finding this out (via this board) I frantically called Universal and they very cheerily said, "nope don't worry, you'll still have access to the park before the general public, it will just be a soft opening. Now all we need is to know when you want to book your 3B reservation?!" I thought, awesome still getting in, no crowds, can't go wrong. Then I arrive today at the hotel and see this business of "preview" (2 hours only) in a letter they hand me at the desk.... = not happy
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:00 PM   #3007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo View Post
In your opinion, is having the 4 hour preview with package and onsite guests a better experience than having a full day with the GP? You are a Universal regular, so you would know what kind of crowds to expect.
After today's experience, I would have to go with the preview with hotel guests only being WAAAAY better than a day with the GP, even tho' part of the preview is only 2 hours. It seems to be that FJ runs for two hours (although I wonder if that will be expanded...one TM today thought it was supposed to run till 11 but it did shut down at 10), but the other rides stay open a while longer and the shops run up till about 12. Basically you get to ride FJ with lower crowds than you're ever likely to see again, and then you can do the other rides, shopping and exploring at your leisure. Today I really felt like I'd had a full experience after all the rides on FJ and then just exploring at a relaxing pace. We saw the choirs as well doing our shopping and enjoying sweets while sitting at the Owl Post. The area was not at all crowded like it surely will when the GP is allowed in. Knowing this is the whole reason why we sprung $$ for a hotel room we literally did not use. It may not be perfect, and whole-day access (or evening access) would be nice for those who like to sleep in, but truly you can have a great experience in the currently allotted time. The only exception is when FJ breaks down, but that is a risk at any time with a brand new ride and it proved today that it can be quite reliable.

Oh, and CLPClarinet, think of the cauldron cakes as a cold version of a lava cake, but with a creamier filling. Very rich so it's great to split with someone. The pumpkin tarts are definitely like a little pumpkin pie and sooooo delicious.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #3008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cieslack View Post
Damo, I could not agree more with your recent posts. I know the usuals will respond as they have repeatedly about the unfair treatment of package holders. I hope you get what you ask for. I hope you get what you think you paid for and have to fight the crowds after one hour of exclusive access because you will leave in frustration when you can't turn around without bumping into someone. The place is small and will be ridiculously packed with people. You signed up for one hour of exclusivity and there was no mention of a full day. You are making a mistake wishing for it to be one hour exclusive and open to the public for the rest of the day. Before you blow up the phones at the BBB, see what you are getting. I would not trade the past two days of acess for a week of what you want.

Please don't bother trying to explain to me that I don't understand how you've been wronged by Universal because I will not be drawn into a debate. I am not angry with anyone and I don't wish to argue, I just think that you don't realize how great this experience has been with four hours of low crowds. That area is going to fill up as soon as gate opens to everyone. Like someone has already said, the people with packages after GO will probably wish they had what we've got now.
This is what I have been trying to say repeatedly. Regardless of how you feel about the pkg, the access, the hours, it just doesnt get any better than what we got this weekend. I have been trying to make this point because I am so grateful that this board enabled us to have the experience of a lifetime, and I am trying to pay it forward.I think if people read the posts from people who have actually been there, they'd get it.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #3009
Momw/aplan
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Originally Posted by Musashi450 View Post
Ok makes sense now, thank you for the clarification. Here is how my situation went. I ordered package in March, later found out I think in April that the grand opening date was now 6/18 however they were letting people book the package for as early as last week. After finding this out (via this board) I frantically called Universal and they very cheerily said, "nope don't worry, you'll still have access to the park before the general public, it will just be a soft opening. Now all we need is to know when you want to book your 3B reservation?!" I thought, awesome still getting in, no crowds, can't go wrong. Then I arrive today at the hotel and see this business of "preview" (2 hours only) in a letter they hand me at the desk.... = not happy
Okay. So your letter did say "2 hours (8-10)", not 1 hour (8-9)? That's what I'm trying to figure out. Because according to Inkkognito, that's been a pretty good deal.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:05 PM   #3010
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Our preview wasn't for 2 hours, it was at least 4 hours on both days and we did everything we wanted to do. I didn't like having to get up at 6:00 am on vacation but I'm glad I got to enjoy the area with relatively low crowds. Although I only got to ride the FJ once, it was well worth it.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:09 PM   #3011
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Getting out of lurker mode.....


Honestly, I'd MUCH rather have 2-4 hours of access to the area with minimal crowds, than have 1 hour (which includes a meal) access before anyone at the park can enter the land.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:10 PM   #3012
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A great review here:

http://www.orlandounited.com/forums/...725#post115725
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:11 PM   #3013
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Here's a great review of WWoHP from Orlando United user "Harry Fan":

I just came back from the Universal Parks and thought I saw something AMAZING. Whoever is disappointed needs to stop expecting something impossible. Frankly, I am a tough judge. I have a sharp eye and I majored in Architecture and Design. So you can guess that I don't just look at something and quickly make an opinion. When I arrived at the stone arch to Hogsmeade, I expected a Disney experience. Something magical and great. Guess what? I got something different then that. I was given something greater than what I have ever seen Disney do. Something that both resonates a feeling of the movies and the book. The authenticity of the books with the visuals of the movie. This can be summed up as epic. The shop windows resonate an emotion of warmth and enhancement. Main Street can touch Hogsmeade Village. Every detail was exactly as I pictured it. The rust and finish on the buildings was immaculate. The street of hogsmeade was alive unlike Main Street. Nothing felt fake. I could image real wizard living above the Cauldron Shop. So let's say Hogsmeade was a A+ or 100%
The forest area was truly magical. The Frog Choir should have used more opera voice, but they were still entertaining. Everything else was perfect. The Triwizard Tournament show and the trees! They are going to be huge. That place will be a forest within a year. I also thought that FOTH was so much better than the videos. I can honestly say I was touched when Buckbeak bowed to me. Dragon Challenge was great, but not excellent. The line could have been better. They shouldn't added caves that you go through during the ride. So the forest are is a solid 96.5%
So then I saw Hogwarts. The rock color was perfect, the stone color was spot-on, and the details were amazing. I was so taken back that I let people cut in front of me to go on FJ. I am going to be short on this part by saying I have never experienced anything like this and I have gone to DisneySea. Whoever thought it was not that good, obviously thought they were going to build a huge Hogwarts and pay midgets to be house-elfs. So guys, get real. Be happy! So I won't spoil the ride, but I will say that it is ground-breaking. Nothing like it. Whoever didn't like it got drunk on the beer in Hog's Head. So Hogwarts was a 99%. They could of had more trees to hide the showbuilding.. Also, I like the idea of no preshow. It made it feel more open. I loved it. So that was my experience! I truly came into the land with high expectations and was more then satisfied. Universal really did a great job. I would be very proud if I were them!


(same as the link above...oops!)
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:17 PM   #3014
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Yes, Marauders Maps were available in the gift shop exiting FJ. Really nice, frame that opens up and the map unfolds and opens out. My oldest daughter really wanted one, but we had already well exceeded our limit!!!hopefully next time! PS- they were in a rack on top of a merchandise rack.
Thank you so much!! Now I know where to look for them come September. Also, if anyone that's seen a price I'd love to know. Thanks again!
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:18 PM   #3015
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oooooo thanks Inkkognito! I'm going with a friend, so maybe we can each get one of the desserts and then split them! I'm going to try to eat food exclusive to WWOHP the day I go. Sounds like it'll be fun! :D
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