Advice to Combat Negative Family Attitude

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by MouseEarsJenny, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. MouseEarsJenny

    MouseEarsJenny DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2006
    Could anyone give me some advice on how to get my family excited about Universal?

    We're going down to Florida this summer for a huge family vacation. We're treating our extended family to a Disney week. (On-property, dining plan - we're the kind of Disney goers who never set foot off WDW property, I blush to say.) My parents are then taking us to the Tampa beach area for a few days, no problems there, my family adores the beach. But then my sister and her family are treating us all to a week at their timeshare during which we're to visit Universal, maybe Seaworld, see some dinner shows, etc.

    Now this is all wonderful, except that my dh, dd12 and ds8 seem to have developed some kind of block about Universal. Granted, I've never been there either, but I'm kind of curious, and interested to check it out. DH and DS are great superhero fans, but even that plus to Universal is leaving them cold. All I hear when I bring up that part of the vacation is whining about how much it's going to suck. (No flames, please! Just explaining their attitude.) And my daughter isn't sure she even likes any of the ride themes.

    The last thing I want to do is upset my sister or her family, or act like their half of the vacation is less enjoyable than our half. But I can't seem to get my family to cooperate! They're just Disney nuts right down to their shoes.

    Any ideas to help them see how much fun Universal can be?
  2. klfrech

    klfrech DIS Veteran

    Apr 1, 2000
    UNIVERSAL IS FABULOUS!!! If your kids like thrill rides, this is the place to be. The rides at Disney are lame compared to US/IOA. Men in Black (US's answer to Buzz Lightyear) is much, much better, the water rides are longer, and you get much wetter, Spiderman is just fabulous and so is The Simpson ride. My family has done both Disney and Universal many, many times (myself, husband, and DD who is now 16) and we always save Universal for the last part of the trip because we enjoy the rides so much more. However (and this is a big part of why I like Universal so much), we always stay onsite which gives you front of the line access to every ride and attraction. Citywalk is wonderful (Universal's version of Downtown Disney) and you can walk to it from either park.

    Feel free to ask any questions you have.
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  4. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    it might be a tall order to fill.....
    4 in your family and 3 of them aren't interested in trying universal.
    no one will bash you for saying that.
    we all understand some people are very hesitant to try UO.
    many posters here do both parks and enjoy them both.

    if you spend a lot of your time trying to keep them happy while in the UO parks, you might feel upset. it is the first time for you to go and you want to experience what universal has to offer.

    if showing them the interactive map of UO so they can check out the rides and shows and shops, and having them read some of the universal trip reports falls short, i don't know what to tell you.

    some people just are not interested in trying universal if they are a rock solid disney fan.
    those things happen.

    maybe just go to universal for one day with everyone and your sister's family and see how it goes. tell them you want the entire family to be together to check the park out. ask them to do this one day for you.
    if your family enjoys it, then add another day to that park during that week.

    hopefully, they will find some things they really like there.
    avoid universal on the weekends in order to have a better time.
    weekends are crowded in the summer.

    there are different type of rides at universal that are not found at disney.
    maybe if they went on those type of rides, they would have a different outlook of the park.

    if i know someone has a tad bit of interest in universal, then i can suggest some rides based on their interest.
    if someone doesn't even want to go and check the place out, i would suggest the rides where you know might spark some fun for them.
    spiderman would be a start.

    i guess i'm not much help.
    if i can think of anything that could help encourage them, i'll be back to comment.

  5. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

    Aug 11, 2000
    I like the idea of telling them that you understand that they aren't that excited but you really want to check it out so you need just the one day. If that doesn't work, I don't know what else to suggest.

    I really think that your DH could maybe be talked into being a little more cooperative. Kids will be kids but grownups maybe should consider being a little more flexible. Can you tell him that without starting a war?

    Ugh, good luck. DS had to talk me into Universal the first time and I'm very glad that he did!
  6. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

    Apr 12, 2005
    Show the "Picture of the day" thread and go to YouTube and show them some of the ride videos. I'm sure all the attractions have videos posted...that might help!
  7. kirbsam

    kirbsam <marquee><font color=green>Everyone at the nude be

    Nov 23, 2004
    buy the universal orlando book. tell them you will be giving them express passes(no lines), and have them read this forum.
  8. Pink Flamingo

    Pink Flamingo <font color=FF66FF>Think Pink!!!<br><font color=CC

    May 9, 2001
    Oh - this sounds so similar to my family when I planned our first Universal trip. My DS's were 11 & 8 at the time. They had been to WDW several times & really had no interest in UO or IOA. Well, to make a long story a little shorter - this trip to Orlando we're not even going to WDW!!! Our entire family loved Universal.

    I agree with klfrech. If your kids/DH like thrill rides then IOA will be a huge hit - tons of thrill rides. The water rides there are also awesome - the Ripsaw & Popeye rides far exceed Splash Mountain & Kali River Rapids (both of which are favorites of mine @ WDW) ~ just be prepared to get soaked.

    Theming is also great ~ I wasn't really expecting Universal to be anywhere close to WDW on my 1st trip, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. Even my DS's were impressed. When you step into Seussville, you feel like you've stepped right into the middle of a Dr. Seus book. Now I really didn't expect this to be a hit with 2 pre-teen boys, but they absolutely loved it.

    Though not typically huge show fans - the shows at UO & IOA were all a hit with my boys. Fear Factor Live was by far their favorite. DH tried out & was picked to be in the show (got 2nd place :cheer2: ) so that made it even better. Perhaps something to entice your DH with if he's the adventerous type. The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad was also a favorite @ IOA.

    Anyway, though you may not be able to convince them before they go, once you all arrive my guess is that you will all be pleasantly surprised. Hope you have a great trip.
  9. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    i'm hoping that the OP can get the dh and children to go to the park......

    if they start out the day at universal and let it be known they know they are going to hate everything about it, that will be a tough challenge for the others to help them over come it.

    i think you have some great suggestions.

    hopefully, some or all will work in your behalf.

    i was with someone before that loved disney and hated universal.
    for everything we did, she made a comparison. at first i tried to explain the story lines for the rides so she could understand the theme/idea behind the ride, but she still had negative comments about the rides.
    after that, i gave up. it wasn't worth harming a friendship over doing a theme park.

    i would work on your husband and ask him to try it for your sake.
    as him to stay neutral when you are in the park as the kids will pick up on his attitude.

    this trip is supposed to be a really fun on with all your extended family.
    do disney and the beach trips first and keep universal for last.

    if your sister does universal and knows the rides, let her in on your situation.
    she would know your dh and kids better than us.
    she might come up with some ideas that would help put everything to ease.

    i'm still trying to think of a zinger of a way to wow your family to go into the park with an open or neutral mind.

    one of my sons didn't want to leave disney for a day for universal on the first time we went. once we were there, he wanted to go back the next day.

    this is back when only the studios side was open. that was all there was to Universal and he found it fantastic.
    point is, sometimes just being in the park can change a person's mind that it will be fun
  10. pixeegrl

    pixeegrl DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2008
    I second the you tube videos!
  11. MouseEarsJenny

    MouseEarsJenny DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2006
    Thanks for the good ideas about the videos and pictures. Maybe seeing will be believing!

    Just so you know, they ARE planning on going! They're not so very rude that they would directly refuse to do something my sister and brother-in-law are so excited about. I just catch the brunt of their whining and complaining because they're not worried about offending me, lol. (They wouldn't deliberately try to show my sister their attitude, I'm more afraid it will be apparent in their actions, kwim??)

    Unfortunately, part of the problem is that they're not really thrill ride fans. So while I realize that many Universal attractions may be more intense, that may not be a recommendation for my family! I like a good thrill ride, and dd is fairly game for anything, but dh and ds are both phobic about heights, which limits their enjoyment of many thrill rides.

    kirbsam, you mentioned a book that I could buy? I tried looking at Borders today, and didn't really see any just Universal books. Does anyone have an exact title to recommend? Also, you said I could get them express passes, but an earlier poster said that you have to stay on property to get front of the line access. Are those different things? (Have a feeling that's a seriously newbie question - I will go try to look up the answer myself shortly!)

    macraven, what you mentioned about your companion who compared everything to Disney seems to be the case with my family. I'll try to tell them about an attraction, say, Men in Black, and they'll make a snarky comment about how it's just like Buzz Lightyear. Or comparing Kali River Rapids to a Popeye ride, etc.

    Pink Flamingo, I'll definitely have to find some pictures of the Seuss area - my family DOES love Dr. Seuss, and Superheroes, and DH is a Rocky and Bullwinkle fan. I'll get them to look forward to SOMETHING!

    Anyway, thanks for your advice! I will certainly have to hang around this forum a bit - I'm such a complete Universal newbie, I need all the help I can get!
  12. kirbsam

    kirbsam <marquee><font color=green>Everyone at the nude be

    Nov 23, 2004
    the book is titled, "universal orlando: the ultimate guide to the ultimate theme park adventure", by kelly monaghan. you can purchase express passes, that will give you front of the line one time per ride. this is different than the fotl staying on-site.
  13. kirbsam

    kirbsam <marquee><font color=green>Everyone at the nude be

    Nov 23, 2004
    as far as thrill rides, only the couple of coasters would be described as that. as much as i hate to compare to disney here goes.
    1. men in black better than buzz.
    2. popeye and blutos better than kali river
    3. mummy and dinosaur are both awesome
    4. shrek is as good as any disney 3d show
    5. cat in the hat is comparable to winnie the pooh
    6. jimmy neutrons and simpsons better than any disney simulator
    7. one fish, two fish better than dumbo
    8. sindbad is just as good as indy, maybe better
    9. spiderman is the best ride in orlando and nothing at disney compares to it.
    10. the walk throughs: twister, poseidons, are great.

    i am sure there are better people to tell you about the rides and attractions than i can. this is from a disney lover, by the way.
  14. scammermom

    scammermom DIS Veteran

    Apr 11, 2006
    Go to The Simpsons ride first. There will be less lines first thing and they'll be hooked! Far exceeds anything Disney.
  15. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

    Jul 6, 2000
    They might be surprised how much they like it once they get there!
  16. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    it took a lot of my energy to kindly reply to my friend that the rides might have a similarity but are different.
    it became a downer for me trying to justify why the ride was fun.
    throughout that day, i did get sad that she had a statement for everything we did "was not like disney."
    i finally shut my mouth as the friendship was more important than her loving universal.
    sly negative comments might be said by your family to you privately.
    if that happens, keep an open mind and just enjoy what you want in the UO parks. They might have fun and enjoy themselves there.

    i have been going to disneyworld since 1974.
    i know what is there and i have been going to universal since the year after it was built.

    my kids were raised on Dr. Seuss books besides other ones.
    if you like those books, then Seuss land will be enjoyable.
    nothing in that island has any straight lines.
    not even the trees.

    since height, meaning coasters, is an issue for any ride for your family, just avoid them.
    you can walk by them and see how the ride is themed and go to another ride.
    Spiderman is nothing like the disney rides.
    hopefully that will be fun for them.
    check the park guide map for the hours of the day that the Fantastic Four make an appearance on their atvs.
    they make a lot of noise when they start coming in and will stop in the area of spiderman ride. all the characters at universal will talk.

    try to catch marilyn monroe and the other actors on the studio side.
    these actors really have the actions of the famous person down pat.
    they stay in character and talk to you.

    animal actor planet is fun for a one time event.
    ET is a smooth gentle ride.
    if you have seen those movies, ET would be a good choice for entertainment.
    Jaws. .... if you saw the movie, this is a great ride.

    the different sections in the park change style and music as you enter one and leave the other.
    Amityville makes you feel you are really there with all the carny type of games.

    disaster is kewl.
    do try it. it has a lot of potential for your family.

    the session outside of the Shrek ride with donkey, fiona, etc is a hoot to watch. donkey says the craziest things and gets away with it.
    the familly might not enjoy the ending of the Shrek show itself as it has a zinger at the end of it.
    disney lovers would be critical.........just a heads up on that for you in advance.

    if you like the Simpsons, you will love the ride.
    what you see before the pre boarding is a hoot.

    i love MIB but your family might say it is a take off of Buzz.
    MIB came first though.
    what you see in the regular lines will bring back memories if you say the MIB movies.

    Fear Factor, not my type of show but many love it.
    after i watched it on tv a couple of times, it was enough for me.

    T2 is part live actors and part movie adventure.
    it's good. i only go see this once every 3 years as i did over kill on it when it first came out at the studios.

    the monster revue is a singing production.
    it's cute.
    i do this one about every other year in case the music has changed.

    Horror Make up show is my favorite.
    it changes based on the audience.

    and it does have one line in it that has made many a thread on the disney boards. they all hate it with a passion. it's a great show but one line kills the fun of the show for disney fanatics. my friend still complains about that one line to me....:sad2:

    the express pass plus is a paid ticket for doing each ride and show only one time. check the dates you are going to universal and see what the price is for them for that date. if the epp price is $19.99, that indicates a slow day and not many crowds. if the epp is $45.99, beware, it means crowds are predicted.

    the epp are bought for one park.
    it is additional to make it a 2 park ep.

    if the crowds are large, go early and do everything you can before the crowds hit which generally is around 11ish.
    if the waits in line are greater than 20 minutes and you know your family will not like that, buy the ep then for them.

    try to pick an estimated low crowd day. avoid weekends for sure.

    do what metro suggested and look at the photo of the day and check out the utube on the rides.

    if you have young children in your group, the play area /fieval, is a lot of fun.

    i mentioned some above that you won't find at disney.
    if you can steer clear of some of the rides that can be compared, that might go in your favor.

    do tip your sister off and let her know your plan.
    concentrate on the rides/shows that can't be compared as easily.

    good luck!

  17. MouseEarsJenny

    MouseEarsJenny DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2006


    Wonder of wonders...

    I just showed family a video of Men In Black and dh said...

    "That looks like Buzz Lightyear...Only COOLER!"

    *happy dance*

    This might just work out after all!

    Plus, I totally got dd on my side after showing her Seuss Landing.

    And DS says he'll ride Spiderman!

    The videos really explained it better than the Unofficial Guide descriptions I had been reading them. They're not convinced they'll like it better or as much as the house of mouse, but at least they seem interested! And I realized they don't really know much about the place despite what I've been trying to tell them because when I switched to Studios attractions after showing them Islands of Adventure stuff, dh was like "well, where was that other stuff?" and "there's two parks?" and "Are we doing them on different days?"


    Gotta read all your additional advice now! Thanks bunches!
  18. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    that is great news Jenny!!

  19. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Dec 30, 2004
    i skipped Disney World once (when we only had 1 day in MCO prior to a cruise in TPA), had a great time @ U, yet could barely look as we drove past WDW;) . Im all about a split stay to double ur fun!

    ps fantastic avatar:thumbsup2

    speaking of fantastic:teacher: ur previous reply should be a sticky:

    The Joy of Universal for Disneyphiles:banana:
  20. marcbelt

    marcbelt Mouseketeer

    May 21, 2005
    I just went through the "...we're not going to Disney????" attitude too. Solution: Blue Man Group the very first day. The kids (10 and 7) loved it. Changed their whole attitude the rest of the days....they loved Universal and Islands of Adventure.
  21. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    BMG is great!

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