TONS of questions! A Disney geek visiting Universal!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by BeccaDoingDisney, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. BeccaDoingDisney

    BeccaDoingDisney Earning My Ears

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    Hello everyone! :)
    Well, I never thought the day would come but my boyfriend and I have decided to go to Universal Studios instead of Disney.. I usually would be pretty bummed about not going, but I guess we all need a change every once in awhile, right? ;) However, being a former Cast Member for Disney, I believe that I am a professional on almost everything and anything Disney! But, Universal is a completely different story. I haven't been there since I was 8 and my boyfriend hasn't been there since his Make A Wish trip when he was 11 with Kurt Warner.

    Did I forget to mention that this trip is for him? It's been 10 years cancer free!! That means he is now considered CURED!!! :D Not only are we celebrating that he is cancer free, his 21st birthday also falls on one of the days were in Universal!

    Let's get down to the details!
    Justin and I have decided to leave on May 12th and return back home on the 17th. We are driving since were only about an hour or so away. We just put our deposit down last night for a package that includes 2 day base tickets with the 3rd day free and 3 nights at a partner hotel with the 4th night free.. So, here's all my questions! :)

    1) Does Universal offer birthday buttons or I'm celebrating buttons? Where can we get them?

    2) Are we allowed to bring food into the park? Such as sandwichs, chips, etc.

    3) How does transportation work at a partner hotel? Is it similar to the Disney buses?

    4) I've been reading a lot lately on how the lockers are a huge hassle, am I better off just wearing a Fanny pack?

    5) Is it better to head over to WWoHP with early access to the park, or later on the night?

    6) What is on your must-do list when you visit Universal?
     
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  3. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Congrats to your boyfriend on 10 years cancer free!!!!

    Where are you staying?
     
  4. BeccaDoingDisney

    BeccaDoingDisney Earning My Ears

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    Thank you! :) We are staying at the Holiday Inn.
     
  5. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Which one? There are two that are very close. The Holiday Inn Express or the Holiday Inn and Suites closest to Universal?
     
  6. BeccaDoingDisney

    BeccaDoingDisney Earning My Ears

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    Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't realize there were two of them, we are staying at th Holiday Inn and Suites. :)
     
  7. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Then you'll be able to walk to the parks. It is really close. You guys are young. There is a shuttle too but it will just take you near the parking garage and you'll still have to walk from there.
     
  8. BeccaDoingDisney

    BeccaDoingDisney Earning My Ears

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    Alrighty! Thank you for all your help! :)
     
  9. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Go to googlemaps and do the streetview feature. You'll see how short it is.
     
  10. justme88

    justme88 Earning My Ears

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    It's where the bf and I stayed in October..The walk over is gorgeous, in my opinion (after you cross the road, that is..)
     
  11. mjohnson96

    mjohnson96 DIS Veteran

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    I am also a past WDW cast member but we love going to Universal and it is so much less stressful.

    For WWOHP,early entry is great and is the best time to do Olivanders and FJ,but we have also found going right before closing is nice too. That is usually the time we head over, eat something and the place when it is lit up at night is breathtaking :)

    Never had a huge issue with bags, but honestly we have the kids and a stroller so don't use the lockers very much. If I don't have the kids with me I normally just bring a lanyard wallet that I got at Universal several years ago that holds all my money/tickets/room keys and then don't need anything else
     
  12. Rheinhold

    Rheinhold Mouseketeer

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    I NEVER bring a bag just because I really don't want to hassle with those lockers. I've heard horror stories about how people couldn't get them open and how it ate up huge amounts of vacation time finding someone to help. The first few times I did use them, I always had a problem with it recognizing my fingerprint. In addition, if you want to ride The Forbidden Journey when the park opens, who has time to be messing with the lockers? I wear shorts with big pockets and just stuff whatever I need in there. I wear a lanyard for credit cards and park/room ticket.

    MUST DO's (IMHO)

    Spiderman (the best theme park ride I had ever been on (including Disney rides) until...)

    The Forbidden Journey (best theme park ride EVER)

    The Mummy (I'm not a huge roller coaster fan but the visuals on this are amazing and there are a few surprises)

    The Simpsons (Though I really loved Back to the Future more, this is very funny)

    Despicable Me. (Very funny)

    I would also recommend Shrek and Terminator for a great 4D experiences.


    Have fun!
     
  13. LMichelleee

    LMichelleee "Let us step into the night and pursue that flight

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    I got my birthday button at guest services This is what it looked like:

    [​IMG]

    Sorry it's so gigantic.


    We will be there during your dates! We do WWoHP in both the morning and at night. And sneak over for lunch. We just can't get enough! Anyway, we were able to ride Forbidden Journey 3 times in a row before closing. It was awesome.

    We didn't have any locker issues our first trip but we did have some our last trip. It was hard remembering the numbers when we would ride things over and over again. I still bring my bag, a small crossbody, and we take pictures of our locker numbers and stash the camera in fiance's cargo shorts.

    :goodvibes
     
  14. BeccaDoingDisney

    BeccaDoingDisney Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for all your help! :) I will definitely take your advice on the lockers. You're right, who has the time to deal with the hassle of them?
     
  15. BeccaDoingDisney

    BeccaDoingDisney Earning My Ears

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    Thank you SO much for the picture of your buttons! I love pictures, lol! :) That's a very smart idea to take a picture of your locker number. However, I think I'm just going to skip the hassle of the lockers and find a way to carry everything on me. I just feel as though were going to get too overwhelmed with it all if we have to deal with their lockers too. :( Thank you so much for your help though!
     
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    FWIW I haven't found the lockers to be a hassle. (though I will state for the record that I haven't used them at FJ, since DH can't yet ride it and so he holds everything)

    If there are clumps of people at the kiosks in front, squeeze your way towards the back kiosks. Use your knuckle to navigate through the screens. When doing your finger print, try to shield the scanner from the sun. If the finger print scanner doesn't recognize you when you come back find an attendant immediately so you don't waste time. Make sure you have something in the locker and something on you that identifies you.

    I carry sunscreen with me, so automatically I cannot just use a tiny waistpack that will be allowed on FJ. I'm not willing to deal with the bulk of cargo shorts, either. So we use the lockers and it's fine. Only time it wasn't fine was when we let our son do the fingerprint instead of me or DH, and that's when it couldn't be read when we came back, but the problem was solved easypeasy.
     
  17. jjas

    jjas Mouseketeer

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    Congratulations on your BF being cancer-free - that's awesome!!

    Agree with PP about seeing WWOHP both during the day and at night - it's awesome during the day but something about it at night is really cool. The lines also tend to be a lot shorter. If you are big coaster fans you can do Dragon Challenge with almost no wait - I recommend waiting for the front row at least once on each side. It's worth it. Dinner at Three Broomsticks is also good - and they give you a lot of food so you could maybe share. Also, by all means have the butter beer - frozen for sure. It's soooo good it's addictive!!!

    At US, make sure you ride MIB, Mummy, Despicable Me, Simpsons and Rip Ride Rocket. If you can do Rip Ride during the day and I night both I would recommend that too - fun at night with the lights.

    In regard to the lockers - if you feel like you need to use them don't sweat it - we use them ALL the time and have never had an issue.

    Hope you have a GREAT trip!!
     
  18. rajak73

    rajak73 Mouseketeer

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    We were at Universal the end of Feb. No issues at all with the lockers. More of a issue of the finger scan not wanting to recognize DW fingerprint at front gate. We did see someone that couldn't get into their locker, but security and cast member there to help. They opened all the lockers until they found hers but she had to show security picture ID that it was hers. Also one other guy that didn't know which locker group was his. :confused3 Okay, so maybe you should remember which locker group and number you put your stuff in?:thumbsup2 I would not worry about the lockers at all.;)
     
  19. rajak73

    rajak73 Mouseketeer

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    Must do list: Sitting at outside Margaritaville watching the people leave after the park closes. :cool1::thumbsup2;)
     
  20. disneyboy123

    disneyboy123 Mouseketeer

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    Are the lockers before the line or right before getting on the ride? Also are there all day lockers you can go in and out or is it just a one time hold?

    I really want to bring my dslr but think it will be really inconvenient
     
  21. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    The ride lockers are before you get into line.

    There are also all day lockers at the front of the parks.
     

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