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Old 10-10-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
cbsnyber1
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Just Returned - Some Observations

Just got back from five great days at Uni, Oct. 4 - 8. I don't have it in me to do a trip report but wanted to give my opinion on some things:

1. Harry Potter is the real deal. Enough has been said on these boards about HP, but want to confirm - everyone is right. FJ is spectacular.

2. Whatever is going up in the Jaws area, it is massive. The steel work is rising fast and is really, really large. I've seen pics of the construction but they don't do it justice.

3. The Hard Rock Hotel still has a great vibe.

4. HHN - my second but first in ten or so years - seems less frightening in the Studios than it did in Islands, but I can understand why it's in the Studios: Islands would never hold the massive crowds now showing up. I also believe that Islands doesn't have the right facilities to host the houses nor the giant crowd queue areas now necessary.

5. 20 Penny Circus is worth a look. I enjoyed it.

6. Get an Express Pass if going only one night to HHN. We went Sunday night, our only night, used Stay & Scream, were released at 5:50, got the three sound stage houses (Silent Hill, Gothic, and Dead End) done by 7:15, and that was it. Crowds built so fast, even for a Sunday, that wait times soon were past an hour, and we had young teens who did not want to wait.

7. Speaking of HHN crowds: Saturday night I was on my way to Cigarz in CW, about 8:30, and I estimate about 300 - 400 people were still in line to get into HHN. That's two hours after the gates opened. Insane.

8. Hard Rock Club level is OK, nothing great. Breakfast was basic continental, no hot foods, the evening was better (beef satay, pot stickers, and that fake sushi stuff one night, for example, plus cheeses, crackers, etc.). But it was nice coming in around 3 in the afternoon for the snacks (Doritos, Pretzels, Cheetos), water, coffee, and soda. Never did the evening desserts but I heard it was cookies and stuff like that - nothing fancy.

9. Get a lanyard, especially if staying onsite. It was so handy to hold the room key, park ticket, and the front of line card you now have to carry (really easy to create at the hotel), plus a good place to stash some cash. Made using the express lines so easy since you didn't have to dig around for that card.

10. The best tip I read on these boards? Buy your Butterbeer in the Hog's Head. As many posters have stated, the lines at the carts outside are long; I walked into the HH and had two people in front of me. So I got a Butterbeer and a regular beer - plus it was cool in there.

11. If staying onsite, do the early entry for HP. Small crowd, rode FJ twice with little wait, and shops are manageable and not packed full as they were later on. That hour makes a big difference, based on the crowds we saw there later that same morning.

12. Less-drowsy Bonine works pretty well to combat motion sickness but be careful about the dosage. Start with half a pill, work your way up until you get relief. Last trip I could not finish Simpson's, the - then Jimmy Neutron, and Spiderman - this time no problem. But I took 1-1/2 pills the first day, crashed that night. Half a pill I found worked for me.

It was hot and humid, hit 90 almost every day, and the crowds were larger than I expected. FOTL was great at times like this - cannot recommend it enough. Overall, another excellent experience (hey, ate at the Monster's Cafe first time ever!) and I think I created some new fans - five of the eight in our party were first timers, already talking about their next trip.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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Thanks for the update! I'm going next week(we leave in 2 days) and I hope its less crowded and hot.

Can't wait to see HP, I'm glad to see you think it lives up to the hype.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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Fantastic tips very helpful thanks so much cant wait leave in 1 day
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the great report! Leave next Thursday -
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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it was good to see you at finnegans!
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
ttree
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbsnyber1
just got back from five great days at uni, oct. 4 - 8. I don't have it in me to do a trip report but wanted to give my opinion on some things:

1. Harry potter is the real deal. Enough has been said on these boards about hp, but want to confirm - everyone is right. Fj is spectacular.

2. Whatever is going up in the jaws area, it is massive. The steel work is rising fast and is really, really large. I've seen pics of the construction but they don't do it justice.

3. The hard rock hotel still has a great vibe.

4. Hhn - my second but first in ten or so years - seems less frightening in the studios than it did in islands, but i can understand why it's in the studios: Islands would never hold the massive crowds now showing up. I also believe that islands doesn't have the right facilities to host the houses nor the giant crowd queue areas now necessary.

5. 20 penny circus is worth a look. I enjoyed it.

6. Get an express pass if going only one night to hhn. We went sunday night, our only night, used stay & scream, were released at 5:50, got the three sound stage houses (silent hill, gothic, and dead end) done by 7:15, and that was it. Crowds built so fast, even for a sunday, that wait times soon were past an hour, and we had young teens who did not want to wait.

7. Speaking of hhn crowds: Saturday night i was on my way to cigarz in cw, about 8:30, and i estimate about 300 - 400 people were still in line to get into hhn. That's two hours after the gates opened. Insane.

8. Hard rock club level is ok, nothing great. Breakfast was basic continental, no hot foods, the evening was better (beef satay, pot stickers, and that fake sushi stuff one night, for example, plus cheeses, crackers, etc.). But it was nice coming in around 3 in the afternoon for the snacks (doritos, pretzels, cheetos), water, coffee, and soda. Never did the evening desserts but i heard it was cookies and stuff like that - nothing fancy.

9. Get a lanyard, especially if staying onsite. It was so handy to hold the room key, park ticket, and the front of line card you now have to carry (really easy to create at the hotel), plus a good place to stash some cash. Made using the express lines so easy since you didn't have to dig around for that card.

10. The best tip i read on these boards? Buy your butterbeer in the hog's head. As many posters have stated, the lines at the carts outside are long; i walked into the hh and had two people in front of me. So i got a butterbeer and a regular beer - plus it was cool in there.

11. If staying onsite, do the early entry for hp. Small crowd, rode fj twice with little wait, and shops are manageable and not packed full as they were later on. That hour makes a big difference, based on the crowds we saw there later that same morning.

12. Less-drowsy bonine works pretty well to combat motion sickness but be careful about the dosage. Start with half a pill, work your way up until you get relief. Last trip i could not finish simpson's, the - then jimmy neutron, and spiderman - this time no problem. But i took 1-1/2 pills the first day, crashed that night. Half a pill i found worked for me.

It was hot and humid, hit 90 almost every day, and the crowds were larger than i expected. Fotl was great at times like this - cannot recommend it enough. Overall, another excellent experience (hey, ate at the monster's cafe first time ever!) and i think i created some new fans - five of the eight in our party were first timers, already talking about their next trip.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:15 PM   #7
ttree
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Thanks for the info. I know club level eve food is not suppose to substitute for dinner but I was hoping. What is your opinion?
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
cbsnyber1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post
it was good to see you at finnegans!
Ditto . . .a good story, that meeting. For everyone else - sitting in Finnegans, packed to the gills, thinking it will be impossible to find Mac in that huge space, when I see a woman twenty feet away stand up, turn around, and see "Macraven" on the back of her jersey. That really helped!
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