First-time Universal people!

EdmondD

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Well, our last trip was 2003 so it was essentially our first time, since it's our first trip post-HP. We go to Disney a lot, so the comparisons are inevitable. We were traveling with an adult child and an 8yo.

What we liked better about Uni, though nothing here is ground breaking or hasn't been said before:
  • Planned virtually nothing ahead of time and did everything we wanted. Granted, we were at Portofino with express and had five-day tix, but no meal reservations, no detailed park itinerary, etc.
  • Portofino was so much cheaper (and with such bigger rooms and bathrooms) than the equivalent Disney property
  • No busses. No busses. No busses.
  • The Camp Jurassic play area might be better than Tom Sawyer Island.

Other observations:
  • FJ and Gringotts are amazing, technologically. Just astounding.
  • Being in Diagon Alley is like being on a movie set.
  • While we loved the Express Pass, I would be upset, frankly, if Disney gave unlimited FP to those at deluxe hotels.
  • I'm not sure how I feel about the extreme reliance on screens. I do know how my ears felt after experiencing King Kong, Transformers, and Fast and the Furious in close succession - they hurt. A lot.
  • The
  • They could do a lot better with their photo system, which seems to be about 12 years behind. They easily could have sold me a $150 photopasss-type package. Walking to a kiosk to stand in line to talk to a staff person who then struggled to find my picture was an annoyance. And the pictures expire daily?? We bought no pictures. Discovery Cove got our $200 photo budget.
  • Pumpkin Juice was so good! But come on....$7+ for that bottle?
  • The system for taking an image scan for Express Pass is annoying. My picture was messed up right off the bat and sometimes they had to try two or three times before the staff person just gave up and waved me through.

What I missed:
  • Two parks < four parks
  • City Walk < DS
  • Magical Express
  • Carrying multiple cards < Magic Bands
  • Not dealing with lockers
  • Universal will never give me that Disney feeling. My wife and I went to the Boardwalk one night for drinks and there was just something about being on WDW property that makes you feel magical.
Random:
  • Saw a woman confidently stride into the men's room and go to a stall, instead of waiting for the long line in the women's room. I'm surprised in 2019 more women don't do this.
  • Had one Uber driver who was a bit of a wacko. Like, to the point where I almost started to wonder if we were in slight danger. I just agreed with everything he said about end times and the apocalypse and stuff.
 

Mysteryincorp

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Well, our last trip was 2003 so it was essentially our first time, since it's our first trip post-HP. We go to Disney a lot, so the comparisons are inevitable. We were traveling with an adult child and an 8yo.

What we liked better about Uni, though nothing here is ground breaking or hasn't been said before:
  • Planned virtually nothing ahead of time and did everything we wanted. Granted, we were at Portofino with express and had five-day tix, but no meal reservations, no detailed park itinerary, etc.
  • Portofino was so much cheaper (and with such bigger rooms and bathrooms) than the equivalent Disney property
  • No busses. No busses. No busses.
  • The Camp Jurassic play area might be better than Tom Sawyer Island.

Other observations:
  • FJ and Gringotts are amazing, technologically. Just astounding.
  • Being in Diagon Alley is like being on a movie set.
  • While we loved the Express Pass, I would be upset, frankly, if Disney gave unlimited FP to those at deluxe hotels.
  • I'm not sure how I feel about the extreme reliance on screens. I do know how my ears felt after experiencing King Kong, Transformers, and Fast and the Furious in close succession - they hurt. A lot.
  • The
  • They could do a lot better with their photo system, which seems to be about 12 years behind. They easily could have sold me a $150 photopasss-type package. Walking to a kiosk to stand in line to talk to a staff person who then struggled to find my picture was an annoyance. And the pictures expire daily?? We bought no pictures. Discovery Cove got our $200 photo budget.
  • Pumpkin Juice was so good! But come on....$7+ for that bottle?
  • The system for taking an image scan for Express Pass is annoying. My picture was messed up right off the bat and sometimes they had to try two or three times before the staff person just gave up and waved me through.

What I missed:
  • Two parks < four parks
  • City Walk < DS
  • Magical Express
  • Carrying multiple cards < Magic Bands
  • Not dealing with lockers
  • Universal will never give me that Disney feeling. My wife and I went to the Boardwalk one night for drinks and there was just something about being on WDW property that makes you feel magical.
Random:
  • Saw a woman confidently stride into the men's room and go to a stall, instead of waiting for the long line in the women's room. I'm surprised in 2019 more women don't do this.
  • Had one Uber driver who was a bit of a wacko. Like, to the point where I almost started to wonder if we were in slight danger. I just agreed with everything he said about end times and the apocalypse and stuff.

Yikes.....we have been lucky with Uber drivers but you just never know!,,
 

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