Dig A Little Deeper: Dopey 2019

lhermiston

Beer-powered running machine
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Sorry you didn't have the best day at Universal- I can totally see where you're coming from though! I think Universal at the end of a WDW trip would be a bit of a let down- no one does vacations like Disney!


So my husband and I are huge Harry Potter fans- Like waited in line when the books cam out to get them at midnight type of people. HP is what makes Universal for us and we spend literally 98% all of our time between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. The only other Universal rides we've been on are Spiderman, Transformers and FF, which I thought all were a bust. #Disney4Life
I doubt I’ll go again, but if someone gave me free tickets, I would stick to the HP stuff almost exclusively. It was the only area on par with Disney and Diagon Alley probably surpasses WDW in terms of being a totally immersive experience.

I call Universal "ghetto Disney"!:rotfl2:

Truly - the HP stuff is amazing. My kids love HP, so that is why we went, and even my Disney-loving self had to admit the HP areas were phenomenal. I can't handle the motion simulators at Universal at all - Gringotts was OK but Forbidden Journey was a no way Jose. I forgot how they make you pay for a locker for your stuff on all of those rides too - such a pain!

But outside of HP, Universal is very underwhelming. I do love the Hulk coaster, but the rest of it I can do without.
Underwhelming is an excellent description. I agree wholeheartedly.

I kind of felt the same about Universal. I absolutely loved the Harry Potter areas and would go for those alone but the rest was pretty underwhelming. It's been a couple years since we were there but I remember feeling motion sick with so many scree-based rides.
So much motion sickness. Blerg.

In hindsight I'm glad we did Universal, but it was an interesting experiment in seeing how different our experiences were between the two resorts. If anything it proved to me that Disney is absolutely at the top of their game... and despite a full-court press from Universal in the past few years, to me they are really in no danger of losing their crown anytime soon.
My thoughts exactly.

There’s also just something very “homey” about WDW for me, especially MK. Main Street, USA; music, balloons, smiling cast members, the hub, the castle ... it just feels so welcoming. Universal did nothing to evoke an emotional response from me.
 

JAMIESMITH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
You're the first person I've seen who hasn't bashed F&F. We are planning an exclusively Universal Trip this year (our first time to try the dark side). I hope we have a better experience than yours!
 

b5sgqueen

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Harry Potter in Universal is absolutely amazing, but the rest of the parks leave a little to be desired, especially as they are more expensive then Disney. I was there about 2 years ago and they didn't charge for lockers. Have they started? That would be awful. I like that aspect more than Disney(though Disney has less thrill rides) because then you don't need to hold onto your stuff for those jerky rides and you know it will be safe, but to charge for it is awful because you have to put it in.

I love your description of the end of your vacation! It makes me feel so much better because I read trip reports where everyone says how sad they are to leave and how much longer they want to stay and with me it is exactly as you described. By the end, I am just done(regardless of where I have been to) and just want to sit in the room or by the pool. I don't want to pay for anything else and I want to go home. I may have really enjoyed the trip, but it's time to go home.
 
  • lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    You're the first person I've seen who hasn't bashed F&F. We are planning an exclusively Universal Trip this year (our first time to try the dark side). I hope we have a better experience than yours!
    F&F is a good representation of the movies: just complete over the top nonsense. It’s a popcorn ride for a popcorn movie.

    Harry Potter in Universal is absolutely amazing, but the rest of the parks leave a little to be desired, especially as they are more expensive then Disney. I was there about 2 years ago and they didn't charge for lockers. Have they started? That would be awful. I like that aspect more than Disney(though Disney has less thrill rides) because then you don't need to hold onto your stuff for those jerky rides and you know it will be safe, but to charge for it is awful because you have to put it in.

    I love your description of the end of your vacation! It makes me feel so much better because I read trip reports where everyone says how sad they are to leave and how much longer they want to stay and with me it is exactly as you described. By the end, I am just done(regardless of where I have been to) and just want to sit in the room or by the pool. I don't want to pay for anything else and I want to go home. I may have really enjoyed the trip, but it's time to go home.
    They had some very slim lockers that were free. The larger ones were $2 for an hour (I think). It’s not a lot, but it was annoying. Really seemed to discourage backpacks (snacks) and camera bags.

    And yes, no matter how fun my trips are (and this one was an absolute blast), I always get to the point where I want to stop spending money and sleep in my own bed.
     

    SarahDisney

    So ... Yeah
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2014
    I totally get what you're saying about Universal. I didn't dislike it, and if someone invited me to join them on a trip there, I actually might go, but given the choice, I'd choose Disney every time. I can only tolerate so many variations of the motion simulator, and I just think that for the most part, the immersion and experience are better at Disney.
    If they had a cheaper "Harry Potter only" ticket, though ... I'd be there in a heartbeat. But I'm also the 32-year-old dork who bought a wand, so ... there's that.
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    I totally get what you're saying about Universal. I didn't dislike it, and if someone invited me to join them on a trip there, I actually might go, but given the choice, I'd choose Disney every time. I can only tolerate so many variations of the motion simulator, and I just think that for the most part, the immersion and experience are better at Disney.
    If they had a cheaper "Harry Potter only" ticket, though ... I'd be there in a heartbeat. But I'm also the 32-year-old dork who bought a wand, so ... there's that.
    Nothing wrong with loving Harry Potter! I’m not sure if even a HP-only ticket would do it for me. Then it’s a half day park at best, in my opinion.
     

    baxter24

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2008
    Universal is very anti-bag!!! While I understand why they do it, it gets very annoying having to do it for a lot of the rides. We haven’t taken our three kids yet because I don’t think they would enjoy the rides just because of their ages.
     
  • lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Universal is very anti-bag!!! While I understand why they do it, it gets very annoying having to do it for a lot of the rides. We haven’t taken our three kids yet because I don’t think they would enjoy the rides just because of their ages.
    Seems like they want to discourage people bringing in food and drinks, but my wife usually carries a backpack into the park with sunscreen and other items we might need during the day. So, the locker thing discourages that. Discourages diaper bags (not that I’d ever take a toddler or younger to universal). Discourages camera bags.

    I know it’s only a couple of bucks each time, but it gets old.
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Wrapping up...

    So, no one wants to hear about my travel day home. It was long and by the end, my back was killing me. I ended up going to the doctor about it that weekend. Instead, I love ranking stuff, so I'll list some top fives from the trip. Feel free to criticize my choices or add yours!

    Top 5 attractions:
    1. Splash Mountain
    2. Tower of Terror
    3. Haunted Mansion
    4. Toy Story Midway Mania
    5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Honorable Mentions: Flight of Passage (not my cup of tea, but it really is incredible); Philharmagic (I'll never not love this); 7DMT (glad I finally rode it a couple of times, but not worth 60-75 minute wait, IMO)

    Top 5 meals:
    1. Boma
    2. 50s Prime Time Cafe
    3. Flame Tree BBQ
    4. Ohana
    5. Columbia Harbour House

    Top 5 race moments:
    1. Running down Main Street, USA (x2)
    2. Entering World Showcase during the 5K
    3. The Monsters, Inc. character stop during the full
    4. Sunrise during the half
    5. Finishing the full/Goofy/Dopey

    Top 5 runDisney all-star moments:
    1. Shots before the 5K with @jennamfeo and @rteetz
    2. Shots before the 10K
    3. Hurricane Hanna's meet-up
    4. Chatting with folks during DATW
    5. @cavepig shouting at me during the full

    Top 5 non-racing moments:
    1. Staying out late with Josie and Robyn on Saturday night
    2. Losing my hat on Splash Mountain right after Maya warned me to hold onto my hat
    3. Getting good spots for Happily Ever After, IllumiNations and Star Wars fireworks
    4. Watching the girls do character meet-and-greets
    5. Too many others to list

    Thanks for following along on this trip report. Special shout out to the runDisney all-stars I met during the trip and new friends that I made.
     

    cavepig

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2001
    Seeing you on course was a highlight for me too! I love Columbia Harbor House and eating upstairs and we actually for the like the first time ever didn't make it there. Flight of Passage isn't my cup of tea either, it is amazing, but it makes me a little queasy & I want it to be over sooner.

    I've only done Islands of Adventure once years ago now and loved the Harry Potter area, but was kind of meh on the rest. Spiderman was cool, but some of the areas were disappointing. I haven't been able to justify going again and to include Universal since I have a Disney AP lately. I wish there was a Harry only ticket, but then I'm like I do want to see the Simpson's area and some of the other stuff.
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Seeing you on course was a highlight for me too! I love Columbia Harbor House and eating upstairs and we actually for the like the first time ever didn't make it there. Flight of Passage isn't my cup of tea either, it is amazing, but it makes me a little queasy & I want it to be over sooner.

    I've only done Islands of Adventure once years ago now and loved the Harry Potter area, but was kind of meh on the rest. Spiderman was cool, but some of the areas were disappointing. I haven't been able to justify going again and to include Universal since I have a Disney AP lately. I wish there was a Harry only ticket, but then I'm like I do want to see the Simpson's area and some of the other stuff.
    Sorry you missed out on CHH! I don’t know what it is, but I just love that restaurant. I certainly enjoy the food, but it helps that the upstairs area is one of the quietest places in MK. It’s a good spot to just chill out and nosh on some fried shrimp.

    And yeah...Universal. It almost has to be graded on a curve because the HP stuff is so, so good and everything else was pretty average in my opinion.
     
  • ZellyB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2010
    Loved reading about the trip!

    I actually love Universal, but I understand why it's not great for everyone. They have a huge dependence on motion simulators and those are definitely not everyone's cup of tea - I just happen to enjoy them. My husband is really not a big fan either as he struggles with motion sickness and with your kids ages, maybe some of their better rides - Hulk and Mummy - may not have been an option. I obviously love Disney but Universal is great for me too, but I find it impossible to compare the parks. They are just completely different experiences.
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Loved reading about the trip!

    I actually love Universal, but I understand why it's not great for everyone. They have a huge dependence on motion simulators and those are definitely not everyone's cup of tea - I just happen to enjoy them. My husband is really not a big fan either as he struggles with motion sickness and with your kids ages, maybe some of their better rides - Hulk and Mummy - may not have been an option. I obviously love Disney but Universal is great for me too, but I find it impossible to compare the parks. They are just completely different experiences.
    I can certainly appreciate what Universal is trying to do and I think they do it well. I wish I liked motion rides more because I think we would’ve felt very different about it. Oh well.
     



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