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Old 05-17-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
kimmyann
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Universal has ruined us forever!

In a really, really good way. I have never done any kind of trip report so please bear with me. I'll make it short & sweet.
Starting with a rundown, we went as a family of four to Orlando for the first time since our oldest couldn't take off of work to join us. We have gone to Busch Gardens here in Va, Tampa, Seaworld, Disney, Dollywood, & Kings Dominion. I can honestly say, IMO, that Universal blows every park & ride out of the water compared to anything we have experienced. We totally fell in love.

So, we leave bright & early Saturday morning (well not so bright), at 4am from VA. We have an awesome & uneventful ride into Orlando a record breaking 12 hours & 15 minutes later. We check into our cheapo hotel, The Econo Lodge on International Dr, eat some pizza from the nasty Pizza Hut next door, walk around for a bit then crash early, anticipating our early check in at RPR the next morning.

Up & out of the cheapo hotel at 6:45am. Get to RPR within 10 minutes (had to stop for coffee of course). Go to check in & guess what??? Our room is READY! So, of course we have to go check it out & drop our luggage. The room was beautiful just like the rest of the resort. Stunning. I only got one of the three requests though. I requested Tower 1, high floor, facing the parks. I got Tower 2, 7th floor, facing Orlando. Still, a great view & we were very pleased. So then we are off. We must get there on time because our 10 year old DD is just about to burst with excitement over Harry Potter (really, she is a total Harry Potter nerd). We then take a very scenic & beautiful walk to the park.

IOA: After a very short wait to get in (they opened 10 minutes early, so 7:50) we went straight to Ollivander's first. Waited for about 3 minutes, went in & my DD was about to burst. For all of her biting nails excitement, it earned her to be chosen. What an awesome experience for her! Paid for her wand & we were off to Forbidden Journey. We did have a bit of a wait (I think the ride was down for a few since they were making an announcement about it), but it wasn't long at all. Then we rode! WOW! What an awesome, awesome ride! Well done. Then we grabbed a cup of butterbeer. Meh, I was glad we only got one, not a huge fan. Then we went off to ride Spiderman.(not sure of the order after HP) Well done AGAIN! At this point I'm telling my DH that these rides make all of the other rides we have ever been on look like child's play. These two rides were definitely everyone's favorites. The park itself was just such a fun place to be & we loved every minute. We did everything, I think, but probably not & ended up at Citywalk for an early dinner at the Nascar Grill. It wasn't busy, the food & service were great & the portions were huge. Then we went back to RPR for a little R&R & enjoyed the pool (which we had to wait to enter because of an accident) Finally ended a great day.

Monday: We pack our stuff & check out. We then walk again along the beautiful pathway to Universal Studios. Rode Despicable Me, Shrek, then Rip Ride Rocket. We love it sooo much, we got right back in line & rode it again! What an awesome ride! Did some other stuff, had a delicious slice of pizza at Louie's & were done by 3pm.

Overview of Universal. Loved the resort (DH & I are plotting an adult getaway for early spring next year). This resort is great for families & would also be perfect for a romantic getaway. Loved both parks, but really liked IOA the best I think. My favorite rides at IOA were Forbidden Journey & Spiderman. At US, Rip Ride Rocket. Least favorites were Poseidon's (not really a ride, but still), Twister (boring), & Terminator (I was falling asleep). We did miss a few things & that hopefully will be fixed when just DH & I come back alone. I really wish we would have had more time. I think atleast two nights to enjoy the parks & the resort. When we went to Disney we stayed at a moderate so I can't really compare it to the deluxe resorts there, but will say that we are definitely more Universal people over Disney. No contest.

We then left Orlando & stayed two nights in Kissimmee & had a visit to Seaworld. Which only emphasized how much better Universal is when comparing ride technology. We then left for home at 8am. Got stuck in I-4 rush hour traffic, then got stuck in a really bad tractor trailer accident on 95 in South Carolina. (every freakin time it's always SC) Made it to the inlaws in Lake Gaston, NC in 12 hours.Thanks to all here on the boards for all of the information here. It helped so much.
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ME, DH, DD(22), DS(18) DD(11)

2007(June)- HoJo Maingate East. Our first & cheapest trip to Orlando. Platinum Pass holders for Busch parks. Seaworld and BGT.
2009(June)- Disney. Port Orleans French Quarter.
2010(June)- The Palms Hotel & Villas. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Clearwater beach.
2011(June)-Quality Suites LBV. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Wonderworks.
2013(May)- RPR & Comfort Suites Maingate East. Universal, Seaworld & who knows what else.

Last edited by kimmyann; 05-20-2013 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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So glad you had a great time!
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:56 PM   #3
macraven
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i like reading happy trip reports like yours.


hope you get to do a couple vacation soon!
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
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You did have a busy trip

Glad you had such a wonderful trip and loved UOR.....we love Louie`s pizza too

Thanks for reporting back.
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17 Nights At RPR---2013 Trip Report

SEPT 2007 2 WEEKS BUENA VISTA PALACE & HHN
SEPT 2008 2 WEEKS POFQ &HHN
AUG 2009 2 WEEKS RPR
OCT 2010 2 WEEKS RPR & HHN
AUG 2011 2 WEEKS RPR
JULY 2012 17 NIGHTS RPR
APRIL 2013 WEEK IN NEW YORK
SEPT 2013...17 NIGHTS RPR &HHN
MAY 2014.....2 WEEKS IN NEW YORK
SEPTEMBER 2014....18 NIGHTS RPR & HHN
SEPTEMBER/OCT 2015 18 NIGHTS RPR & HHN
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:24 PM   #5
DryCreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmyann View Post
I have never done any kind of trip report so please bare with me.
OK, but at my age (50) it may be a tad unpleasant for all!

Glad to hear you had a great time. Our first trip went very well too, and I need to start collecting my thoughts for a Trip Report. We were so tired when we got back home this past Friday we didn't even unpack until Saturday, and we are still doing some of our vacation laundry as I type.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
kimmyann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryCreek View Post
OK, but at my age (50) it may be a tad unpleasant for all!

Glad to hear you had a great time. Our first trip went very well too, and I need to start collecting my thoughts for a Trip Report. We were so tired when we got back home this past Friday we didn't even unpack until Saturday, and we are still doing some of our vacation laundry as I type.
Well thank you very much for pointing that out, I just don't know how I could have lived with myself over a grammar mistake on a message board. (really though, it's just one of those words I rarely use) At least I hope it made you feel better about yourself. Glad to hear you had a good trip also.
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ME, DH, DD(22), DS(18) DD(11)

2007(June)- HoJo Maingate East. Our first & cheapest trip to Orlando. Platinum Pass holders for Busch parks. Seaworld and BGT.
2009(June)- Disney. Port Orleans French Quarter.
2010(June)- The Palms Hotel & Villas. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Clearwater beach.
2011(June)-Quality Suites LBV. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Wonderworks.
2013(May)- RPR & Comfort Suites Maingate East. Universal, Seaworld & who knows what else.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #7
macraven
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kimmy, tells us more about the fun you had.

you know, out of all the stays i have had onsite, only one time i had a room ready at 7:00 am.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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Did you do the Jurassic Park River ADventure? Not to be missed as well as the Mummy, I did not hear you mention those 2, FYI for your next trip
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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Glad you had fun. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
kimmyann
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I was pretty shocked that our room was ready that early, but I guess since we went at a non peak time it helped. It was nice to be able to have that done before we started our day.
We did ride the Mummy & it was very cool, but my DD did not like it. In fact I think she was just a bit off this trip because when we rode the Dragon Challenge (blue one) it made her feel really sick, which is unlike her. We did not get to ride Jurassic Park River Adventure, it was closed. Thought that was kind of funny since I had even posted about that ride & me being on the fence about riding it. I know we missed some things, but that just gives me a reason to go back. Oh, & Despicable Me was a favorite also.

I also have some amazing pictures from this trip & the park employees were all so awesome. Even offering to take pics for us & one girl photo bombed us. We did not get any of the genuine good vibes when we went to Disney as we did at Universal. I don't think I can even think of one negative about our experience.
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ME, DH, DD(22), DS(18) DD(11)

2007(June)- HoJo Maingate East. Our first & cheapest trip to Orlando. Platinum Pass holders for Busch parks. Seaworld and BGT.
2009(June)- Disney. Port Orleans French Quarter.
2010(June)- The Palms Hotel & Villas. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Clearwater beach.
2011(June)-Quality Suites LBV. Seaworld, Aquatica, BGT & Wonderworks.
2013(May)- RPR & Comfort Suites Maingate East. Universal, Seaworld & who knows what else.

Last edited by kimmyann; 05-20-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:44 PM   #11
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Glad you had a wonderful time! A close friend of mine had a similar reaction after having only been to Disney and never Universal...visited this year for the first time and it blew her whole family away. Doesn't hurt that you're not constantly dodging deadly strollers *cough cough*!
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:43 AM   #12
coastgirl
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Thanks for your TR. Are you going to share any of those pics??

We have an AP for our upcoming trip so if we are flush this year (yeah, right ) maybe we'll make a second trip and try onsite before the 12 months is up. But we are going for two weeks, so with that amount of time (and a flexpass, so we can go every day for 2 weeks if we want), I don't feel the need for the express pass. I must say, so many "happy customers" is trickling away at my resolve, though. What a great greeting to get into your room right away!

So happy to see your dd was picked at Ollivander's. My ds was picked on our first trip in 2011 and it is still a highlight of, well, his whole life! I really hope my dd gets picked this time, she is 10 and ready for "her first wand". I have promised her I will go as often as it takes.

I guess we'll see more Universal TRs from you.
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