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Old 06-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #16
damo
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Originally Posted by canopynut66 View Post
both parks nice and one is theme parks and the other is amusement park so two totally different types of rides for every one to enjoy
They are both theme parks to me! I'm assuming you are saying that IOA is an amusement park. Wizarding World is certainly no amusement park.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:02 AM   #17
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We've gone to US/IOA a few times and we've enjoyed our stay. However, we do have different expectations between WDW and US/IOA. I think they are different and would be difficult to compare. I will say that there are many more thrill rides in US/IOA that my family enjoys more now as the children get older. But again, different feelings and different expectations. We treat US/IOA more like an attraction park, similarly to Busch Gardens and Sea World. I will admit that in a lot of cases, the tms were not as friendly. But we've learned to realize that they are not Disney. Although we spend most vacations at Disney, we do take a bit of a break and spend some time at US/IOA and stay onsite there for the unlimited express pass.

The last time we went to US/IOA, we were at the Forbidden Journey line and the man in front of us tried the ride seats outside, he could barely fit. But he was told to try inside. When we got to the front of the queue, his family went on and they tried several times to push the bar down and finally, they apologized, but they could not hear a certain number of clicks and that meant he couldn't ride it. The whole family felt bad and we felt bad for them, but for safety sake, they couldn't do anything. But I have to say that the team member tried his hardest to help. He even stood up on front and pushed as hard as he could, but he couldn't - and you can tell that he felt horrible that he couldn't help the guest.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #18
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OP, we had a similar experience.

While we did enjoy some of the rides and attractions (personally for me it was great to go on the JAWS ride, only found out when we were there that is was closing down, lucky timing for me!), we found the customer service aspect very poor. I won't get into long details here and not trying to be biased but our questions that we posed we thought were basic. It was so bad that we wrote Universal and when they contacted us by phone they could not believe how poorly the responses we got to our questions (plus the attitude we got) that they sent us 2 passes for each of us to come back and visit BOTH IOA and US. The essence of our complaints started with how disorganized they are at the ticket booth before you enter the park. 10 people in front of us and took 45 minutes to get our tickets.

The funny part of the day was all those staff in the Studios approaching us with clipboards asking us where we were from. Once I said Canada, they went from a nice smile to "oh ok enjoy your day". Not sure what they were selling but we got approached by over 7 different people asking us this (which we had no problem with and was not part of our complaint).

Overall our experience has been much better at the Disney Parks.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:16 PM   #19
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Wow, I am soooo surprised.
I am a huge Disney freak living with 3 men who indulge me my passion. In May, we did our "Disney thing" and then stayed 2 nights at Universal's Royal Pacific and Universal blew Disney away (can't believe those words came out of my mouth) in all categories. My 19 yr. old thought that they had to be smoking something to be that happy. I mean way over the top friendly and helpful from the hotel to the parks to the pool staff and so on.

I agree that you can't compare the two.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:07 PM   #20
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People seem to have a whole different opinion when they stay onsite. I think when you just hop over to any park for a day, you never get the same feel as when you actually stay onsite.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:53 AM   #21
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People seem to have a whole different opinion when they stay onsite. I think when you just hop over to any park for a day, you never get the same feel as when you actually stay onsite.
I agree. Walking or taking the boat to US/IOA from the onsite resorts changes the feeling of the vacations. On our last trip we stayed at Portofino and, although it was a longer walk than we expected, we loved being able to just go back and forth to the resort for a swim break. Portofino is a beautiful resort - it was quiet, the Deluxe queen rooms were spacious, the pool was great for the kids and the grounds were well maintained. Although I would never book Club again - nothing wrong with it, just didn't find it convenient for us to make it worth it.

But that's not why we stay onsite. If they stopped offering the free express pass for the onsite guests, we will not be staying onsite. It's much better for us to stay at the DVC villas and drive over to US/IOA. Although we thought Portofino was a wonderful resort, we would never book it without the free Express Pass.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #22
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We had a very different experience than the OP. IoA ended up being our favourite park of our whole trip! The theming was incredible, and the staff were even friendlier than at WDW (and we had allergies, a wheelchair and other special needs to contend with). We had a group of 10 with widely varying tastes and there was something for everyone. We got one night accommodation at Loew's Royal Pacific, mainly just for the two days of early entry to WWoHP and the express passes, and ended up spending one full day and a morning at IoA, and one afternoon at US, and having an absolutely brilliant time. Can't wait to go back again!
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by dvcdisney View Post
I agree. Walking or taking the boat to US/IOA from the onsite resorts changes the feeling of the vacations. On our last trip we stayed at Portofino and, although it was a longer walk than we expected, we loved being able to just go back and forth to the resort for a swim break. Portofino is a beautiful resort - it was quiet, the Deluxe queen rooms were spacious, the pool was great for the kids and the grounds were well maintained. Although I would never book Club again - nothing wrong with it, just didn't find it convenient for us to make it worth it.

But that's not why we stay onsite. If they stopped offering the free express pass for the onsite guests, we will not be staying onsite. It's much better for us to stay at the DVC villas and drive over to US/IOA. Although we thought Portofino was a wonderful resort, we would never book it without the free Express Pass.
There are so many hotels that are within walking distance to Universal, that without the perks, a lot of people would just stay offsite. I don't think that will be changing.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #24
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So neither my DH or I could fit on the big rides, yet we did a few yrs ago... one kid later for me and I could not get the bars over my chest area.

I did get on Harry Potter, I lucked out and the girl gave the bar a good shove, the sad thing is it was all because I am larger on top.. No problems fitting on any Disney ride. I enjoy IOA but I find its not as fun as Disney, the employees are not into like they could be, even just a smile or 2 would have made things a lot more enjoyable especially since you pay so much. In the end we stayed for about 4 hours.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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We didn't like it much either and have no plans to go back. We had planned for 2 days there but by 6pm on the first day we were done. Long lines, bad attitudes from some employees. I almost laughed in the lady's face when she told me they wanted 59.99 each for express passes.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:59 AM   #26
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We didn't like it much either and have no plans to go back. We had planned for 2 days there but by 6pm on the first day we were done. Long lines, bad attitudes from some employees. I almost laughed in the lady's face when she told me they wanted 59.99 each for express passes.
Long lines and the occassional bad attitude can be found at any park.....even Disney.

Why would you "laugh in the lady's face" when she conveyed the express pass price? Its a voluntary purchase....you are not bound to buy them. If crowds were bad and time was of the essence, then many folks would have seen value in that $59.99. I adored the fact that both the Universal parks and Seaworld offered an express pass or quick queue for sale, particularly when we were there over the busy New Years holiday period.....I loved having that option.

I must say, it seems ironic that you bring up the negative attitude of "some" employees, then you mention almost "laughing in an employee's face" at the cost of an item that employee has no control over .
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
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Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
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**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818


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Old 06-29-2012, 06:40 AM   #27
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Long lines and the occassional bad attitude can be found at any park.....even Disney.

Why would you "laugh in the lady's face" when she conveyed the express pass price? Its a voluntary purchase....you are not bound to buy them. If crowds were bad and time was of the essence, then many folks would have seen value in that $59.99. I adored the fact that both the Universal parks and Seaworld offered an express pass or quick queue for sale, particularly when we were there over the busy New Years holiday period.....I loved having that option.

I must say, it seems ironic that you bring up the negative attitude of "some" employees, then you mention almost "laughing in an employee's face" at the cost of an item that employee has no control over .
Yes, "almost". As in, "I just paid this much for tickets and now you want me to pay extra for this? You have to be kidding me." Charging that much per person (which would have been an extra $240 plus tax on top of our 2 day tickets) is just ridiculous after I'd just bought 2 day tickets. Had it been 30 bucks (like it is sometimes) I may have considered it, although by the end of my trip this time I was pretty tired of being nickel and dimed by the parks in general.

Sure I've encountered long lines at Disney as well. I just don't bother with those rides. No ride is worth waiting an hr+ in line for imo.

There's no irony in being shocked by the cost vs obviously not liking your job and being curt to customers.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #28
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The best advice I can give to Disney lovers going to universal for the first time is "don't expect Disney"
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #29
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Yes, "almost". As in, "I just paid this much for tickets and now you want me to pay extra for this? You have to be kidding me." Charging that much per person (which would have been an extra $240 plus tax on top of our 2 day tickets) is just ridiculous after I'd just bought 2 day tickets. Had it been 30 bucks (like it is sometimes) I may have considered it, although by the end of my trip this time I was pretty tired of being nickel and dimed by the parks in general.
You do understand that it is your CHOICE whether or not to purchase, right? At that no one is forcing you to do so? Its offered as an OPTION, much like Disney Dining is offered as an option. While the Express Pass may seem "ridiculously" priced for YOU, others might find it well worth it for the cost. Similarly, take the Disney character breakfasts.....you can get breakfast buffets WAY cheaper in Orlando, but for some families, its worth the hugely inflated meal cost to see the characters with no wait and have that personal time for autographs and photos. For others, it is an unnecessary expense when the characters are widely available at the parks and they can eat comparable food for 1/5th of the price at an offsit buffet. Its a CHOICE. Universal should be no more ashamed to offer Express Passes at a cost (which fluctuates with attendance and in peak seasons) than Disney should be mortified for charging excessively high prices for character meals (which also have a surcharge if travelling during holiday periods).

And for the record......I LOVE the Disney character meals and think they are well worth the extra cost too!!

Perhaps some of the bad attitudes you encountered was a result of the attitude you were putting out towards the workers at the park? Its human nature that if a guest is "sick and tired of being nickle and dimed" and "almost laughs in the face" of a staff member who is simply offering a product for sale that the guest finds overpriced and has to take any flack for that, they tend not to be as sunny and welcoming than if the guest is friendly as well. Perhaps the staff who you found unfriendly were reacting to your frustration?

I do think everyone in a customer service capacity should be friendly.....that's their job. But that's terribly hard if someone is bent and bound to give you grief about something over which they, personally, have no control. Read the theme parks board for all sorts of reports of unfriendly staff in the Disney parks. They, too, are staffed by humble humans. People, by nature, simply don't measure up to expectations sometimes. At Universal, at Disney, and everywhere.

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The best advice I can give to Disney lovers going to universal for the first time is "don't expect Disney"
I agree. But I am not sure why anyone would expect Disney at Universal (or at Seaworld or wherever). Different parks. Different corporations. Why should expectations be the same? And why would Universal WANT to be Disney? Each are special in their own way and offer some unique differences.....and they should. Disney is not for everyone, nor is Universal. As a consumer (and a tourist) I love the fact that there are choices!
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818


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Old 06-29-2012, 09:35 AM   #30
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Yea, that's why I'm not a fan. I also dislike the fact that every ride isn't completely themed. Yes it's a step up from Six Flags but the Hulk is just a green roller coaster. Rock n Roller Coaster and Everest are both completely decorated, have stories behind them, and (in the case of Everest) had a large mountain built solely for that ride.
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