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Old 06-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #946
Flossbolna
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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Sounds like a great meal with great service! And good work by your friends...

Happy Un-birthday!
Thanks! I really like Un-birthdays, they come around so regularly!

The meal was all around perfect - definitely one of the best meals that trip.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:07 AM   #947
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Originally Posted by nodnol View Post
I'm not so sure about a report, but we'll definitely have lots of pictures...

I'll take pictures! Love pictures as you well know. I hope you will post some????
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:17 AM   #948
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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Oh, I really am a fish and love being in the water! There is something about a cruise that freaks me out a little - that you can't get off that ship whenever you want etc. But then, on a plane it is even worse and I have survived 12 hour plane trips - so a few days on sea should not be such a problem!!

Three weeks sound great for your plans! I am really looking forward to talking to you about all kind of plans once the trip comes closer. I think Brook is planning her trip to Europe for 2014 as well.
I love swimming too. My parents had a pool growing up so we were the "IT" house of the neighborhood! I swam everyday in summer.... When I think about my hair it must have been a dried out horrible mess from all the chlorine!

Is Brook planning her trip over summer? Maybe a DIS meet is in order...We're shooting for July it's a good time for me to go it's right after fiscal year end at work so things are pretty slow. The problem is DH hoping he can get off that length of time, I don't see it being a problem with how long he's been at his job. But because its summer that's is the cities busiest time... kids out of school getting into mischeif...etc...


I think I would be a little freaked to on a ship.. but not for long I think there are plenty of things do to that would distract you.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:50 AM   #949
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Tchoup Chop looked amazing! I need to go there sometime when it's just Pods & Me.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:30 PM   #950
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Tchoup Chop looked amazing! I need to go there sometime when it's just Pods & Me.
I think you would really love it! It truly was a wonderful place!
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:39 PM   #951
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Part 13: Final Thoughts on Universal

So, what was my general impression with Universal and will I return?

Yes, I definitely plan to return and I hope that I will be able to arrange it so that I get to stay one of the Universal resorts for my time at Universal. And I definitely want to spend more than one day there.

It wasn't a cheap day out of our trip, but I feel that it was definitely worth it. It is possible to get an idea what those parks are about within one day, especially since park hopping is so easy as the parks are so close to each other. We were lucky because it was so uncrowded, but even with more crowds I feel we would have been able to at least see the highlights. Really heavy summer crowds might be more of an issue though. Overall, I feel like the money was very well spent and it was a wonderful special feature for our Disney trip. If you wonder whether it would be worth it, my recommendation would be to try it!

There was a lot that I really enjoyed at Universal. Some fantastic attractions which really surprised me with how much I liked them despite not being interested in the movies they are about – Spiderman, The Mummy, Jaws. The whole of Wizarding Word of Harry Potter is just incredible and I am really looking forward to the expansions they are already planning for it.

The parks had much more detail than I expected and showed a lot of great theming – at least in many areas. There were also areas which looked a bit tacky and cheap.

One thing I did not like at all was how many stands there were with “carnival type games” where you could win prices. It did fit in in Amity which had a “4th of July fair” theme. So they did fit in there – like they fit in in Dinorama at the AK (even though I am not a huge fan of them there either)

Another thing that I did not enjoy was the noise level. There is a lot of music playing everywhere and often it is rather loud. Like around the Hulk.

I did not find any difference between Universal's Team Members and Disney's Cast Members. I didn't have any bad experiences this past trip at either place and most people we encountered at Universal were extremely nice and friendly. It was wonderful to see how excited the Team Members at Honeydukes were about their new products. The short talk with the manager at the Royal Pacific Resort did impress me and the service at dinner was excellent, at lunch not so much. I often have read comments how exemplary Disney's service levels are – on my one day I could not see that Universal was any less good at service than Disney.

One strange thing however was how the Team Members at the end of every ride encouraged you to clap before you got off the ride. The first few rides I thought that this was fun, but after a while it did get a bit tired and felt a bit forced...

In the end I left being extremely impressed and wanting to return. But somehow it still isn't the resort which makes me want to travel across the Atlantic. Walt Disney World has a stronger appeal to me, maybe because it offers more themes which I can love. As I said, Marvel Super Heroes or films like The Mummy aren't really my cup of tea, so I feel less inclined to travel to a theme park for them, even though they have fantastic attractions. But I think WWoHP has been a fantastic addition and if Universal is continuing to move more into that direction, it will only appeal more to me in the future. I also think that WDW feels more like a destination in itself with more parks and more hotels. But I did really enjoy the very compact layout of Universal (did I mention that you can park hop without having to go through bag check again... Yes, I thought I might have done so before...).

But Universal in combination with WDW definitely makes me want to come back to Orlando more than WDW would on its own at the moment. It was the first time I ventured out of the Disney bubble in Orlando (I have visited other parts of Florida though on previous trips) and I think I will continue to add other adventures to my WDW vacations. Sea World is opening new additions this year and next year, I have never been to the Kennedy Space Center etc. There is lots to do besides Disney and I am really looking forward to explore it!
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Last edited by Flossbolna; 06-17-2012 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #953
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Lovely report!
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:39 PM   #954
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Great wrap-up report on Universal!

We stayed at Royal Pacific for two nights in 2011 and thought it was very nice! We did not have as many nice things to say about the cast members and customer service - the service wasn't bad but there seemed to be a lack of people when you needed help and if you found someone to ask a question they often didn't know the answer. However, the theming in IOA was much better than I expected!
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:07 PM   #955
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
I have tentative plans for my next Disney trip - for late spring 2013. My plans for Disneyland this fall seem not to become reality as a big work projects will need lots of attention in the fall. But, to make up for it, my plans for spring 2013 might include a cruise.
Sounds very exciting!!!

I knew you were in Disneyland right? My brain is MUSH this past month with being so busy between going on our cruise (amazing!) and now moving, I have to write down everything it seems-my brain is on overload! Are you going to share any highlights?

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Originally Posted by nodnol View Post
Well, maybe I can keep them entertained with my travel plans for the summer?

Let me tell you that I am very very excited for my summer vacation!

It will be the first time that I'll be traveling to the US with my DH and the first time for 20 years that he'll meet his host family where he stayed as an exchange student. And that's the reason why we'll fly to Louisville, KY and rent a car and explore Kentucky - but only for 5 days. Then we'll head further West (by plane) to Las Vegas and go on our first road trip outside of Europe: we'll see Valley of Fire, Hoover Damm (don't ask me why, DH picked it), Monument Valley, Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Wendover, Ut (again, DH's pick), Great Basin NP, ghost towns and fly back to Germany from San Francisco after visiting with my aunt who lives in California.

This of course is only a very short version of our plans and there is still a lot of things to do and plan, but I just wanted to share my excitement! I'm counting the days and wish nearly every morning that I could stay at home a prepare for the trip instead of going to work...

Oh, and any tips of who to cope with change from 89% humidity in KY to nearly zero in NV?
Wow! What a trip!!! That will be exhausting, but a ton of fun!

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Is Brook planning her trip over summer? Maybe a DIS meet is in order...We're shooting for July it's a good time for me to go it's right after fiscal year end at work so things are pretty slow. The problem is DH hoping he can get off that length of time, I don't see it being a problem with how long he's been at his job. But because its summer that's is the cities busiest time... kids out of school getting into mischeif...etc...
We haven't figured out ANY details yet, but I would think summer would be likely so we can have a more lengthy trip and I won't be worried about taking Henry out of school for so long. Another option might be over Easter since we get a long break here for that. I suppose I should start figuring this out, shouldn't I?!

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
...and I think I will continue to add other adventures to my WDW vacations. Sea World is opening new additions this year and next year, I have never been to the Kennedy Space Center etc. There is lots to do besides Disney and I am really looking forward to explore it!
I look forward to going along on the journey with you through your TRs! I want to venture out on either our October or February trip as well, but I just don't know if it will happen. Sea World is high on my list because I know Henry would love it. Another thing I need to look into!
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:33 PM   #956
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It's been so long I have no idea where I'm at I guess I will have to start from the beginning,lol. I hope you both are doing great and exploring new places while the weather is nice and sunny I hope your still posting mini reports on your excursions about town! I love those the most I think Anyway just popped into say hi before I start reading again !
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:10 PM   #957
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Wow...A New (for me at least... Flossbolna trip report!

I have to go back now and read all 64 pages...unless I cheat and use the links...(which I think I may be doing...

Looking forward to reading... Hope it was an awesome trip!
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #958
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
I think it's wonderful you want to maybe have a night or 2 at a US resort, it really does add to the experience. Great summary!!!!
Thanks! I am quite determined that at least one trip in the next two years will include some time at Universal. Part of me thinks it would be nice to mix it up with the Disney Parks, but then I just like it so much to be able to walk to my theme park of choice that I don't think I want to do the parking/driving thing at Universal where you can have the parks in walkable distance.

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Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
Lovely report!
Thanks for sharing!
You're welcome, I am glad that you enjoyed it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenb1023 View Post
Great wrap-up report on Universal!

We stayed at Royal Pacific for two nights in 2011 and thought it was very nice! We did not have as many nice things to say about the cast members and customer service - the service wasn't bad but there seemed to be a lack of people when you needed help and if you found someone to ask a question they often didn't know the answer. However, the theming in IOA was much better than I expected!
I was surprised by the level of theming at IoA as well, I even liked US a lot - and one of the areas that I found rather tacky (around Jaws) is gone now and from what you hear on the rumour mill, will be replaced by something exquisite!
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:24 PM   #959
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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
Sounds very exciting!!!

I knew you were in Disneyland right? My brain is MUSH this past month with being so busy between going on our cruise (amazing!) and now moving, I have to write down everything it seems-my brain is on overload! Are you going to share any highlights?
I am glad that you enjoyed your cruise! And I hope your move went well - moving is always stressful.

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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
Wow! What a trip!!! That will be exhausting, but a ton of fun!
It sounds like Katharina had a truly amazing trip! I still haven't seen the pictures as I am waiting until I visit them to see them on their tv in full quality, but everything they have told me sounds fantastic. Now I have to figure out how to get there - and go to WDW and DL - and DLP and hopefully Japan as well, soon! Why are there so many more travel destinations that are appealing than I have money and time for???

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We haven't figured out ANY details yet, but I would think summer would be likely so we can have a more lengthy trip and I won't be worried about taking Henry out of school for so long. Another option might be over Easter since we get a long break here for that. I suppose I should start figuring this out, shouldn't I?!
I would very much suggest the summer instead of Easter as it still can be very cold around Easter - depending on where you are in Germany, you can still have snow - for example people go on skiing vacations in the Alps over Easter. In the summer you just have to be prepared for much less air conditioning than you are used to in the US. Since we don't need for most of the year, it isn't that common, even though more and more places add it. However, I don't know anyone who has air-conditioning in their private home here in Germany. I always have the impression that summer vacation starts much earlier in the US than in Germany - so if you are looking at the summer, I would suggest early summer as it is generally not so hot then - but you never know. You don't want two weeks of rain either and that can happen during the summer, too. No good weather guarantee here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
I look forward to going along on the journey with you through your TRs! I want to venture out on either our October or February trip as well, but I just don't know if it will happen. Sea World is high on my list because I know Henry would love it. Another thing I need to look into!
Yes, i really got an appetite for seeing more of Central Florida when I am there. I have friends here in Germany who spent a week in Orlando before moving on to Miami a few years ago and what they did actually sounds rather good to me: They did some shopping/pool time/exploring during the day and then returned to WDW for the evening for the fireworks (they fell in love with illuminations).
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:30 PM   #960
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Originally Posted by Kleese View Post
It's been so long I have no idea where I'm at I guess I will have to start from the beginning,lol. I hope you both are doing great and exploring new places while the weather is nice and sunny I hope your still posting mini reports on your excursions about town! I love those the most I think Anyway just popped into say hi before I start reading again !
Well, it takes me ages to get this thing done it seems!!! But I will try to wrap up the lose ends and make into some kind of package now - will be difficult without notes and very few pictures!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Wow...A New (for me at least... Flossbolna trip report!

I have to go back now and read all 64 pages...unless I cheat and use the links...(which I think I may be doing...

Looking forward to reading... Hope it was an awesome trip!
Hope you found something worthwhile reading and I don't mind at all if you take the links - that's what they are for!! As your see, it is a very untraditional TR!
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