***OI Meetup*** November 19-20, 2021

RocketCityMama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Well with the big announcement of 2 more meetups this winter, we opted to join in again on the November 19-20 dates! We were already talking about a trip that weekend since the original Dec date did not work out for us, so now we get both a trip and another meetup! Yay, so excited! We are staying at Royal Pacific this time, yay express pass, and are doing just 4 days, Nov 19-23 and home by Thanksgiving. We figured the express pass would come in handy during the holidays and for the discounted price of RP's hotel, you just couldn't beat that!

So far we know that:

You can enter and enjoy the attractions beginning at 5:00 pm on the date(s) you select.

Nov 19 - Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida will close to the public at 7:00 pm. Our Orlando Informer Meetup will conclude at 12:30 am.

Nov 20 -Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida will close to the public at 8:00 pm. Our Orlando Informer Meetup will conclude at 1:30 am.
 

sandam1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
We'll be there (Friday only) as well! It is our first OI meetup and I am very excited. I did a Disney After Hours event last February and had a blast so I'm hoping the meetup runs similarly well.

Pending flight reservations (Southwest appears to be opening their flights for these dates in June), the plan is to go Wednesday, 11/17 and come home on Sunday, 11/21. I have a huge work event the first week in December which makes traveling hard at this time of year hard, but, after consulting with my boss, I think this time frame is do-able. We wanted to be able to experience as much of the Christmas vibe as we can without getting any of the crowds. I'm crossing my fingers that Grinchmas, the holiday parade, and the Mannheim Steamroller concerts will be back this year.

We are staying at Cabana Bay because that is home for us. I was really tempted by the rates at the EP hotels, but in the end, CB drew us back.

I'm very interested in reports for the June event and to hear how it goes and what tweaks they make - primarily in the food situation.
 

SPAM

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
This is my first meetup ever too and I will be there both Friday and Saturday! I'm planning on flying in Thursday morning and flying home Tuesday. I figure might as well make the trip worth it. I also got Hard Rock which I am super excited about. Being a solo traveler I normally would not stay there, I normally stay at Cabana Bay, but I couldn't turn down $165/night.
 

SPAM

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
We'll be there (Friday only) as well! It is our first OI meetup and I am very excited. I did a Disney After Hours event last February and had a blast so I'm hoping the meetup runs similarly well.

Pending flight reservations (Southwest appears to be opening their flights for these dates in June), the plan is to go Wednesday, 11/17 and come home on Sunday, 11/21. I have a huge work event the first week in December which makes traveling hard at this time of year hard, but, after consulting with my boss, I think this time frame is do-able. We wanted to be able to experience as much of the Christmas vibe as we can without getting any of the crowds. I'm crossing my fingers that Grinchmas, the holiday parade, and the Mannheim Steamroller concerts will be back this year.

We are staying at Cabana Bay because that is home for us. I was really tempted by the rates at the EP hotels, but in the end, CB drew us back.

I'm very interested in reports for the June event and to hear how it goes and what tweaks they make - primarily in the food situation.
Me too, I had heard of very long lines for food so I am hoping there are some tweaks for June.
 

Dmarie

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
We are doing both nights this weekend. This will be out 2nd meet-up. We had planned a Disney trip for October, when I saw the November dates released decided to change the dates for that trip so we could attend the meet-up. Its a big win-win for us!

Staying at our offsite at our timeshare. One of these days though I will plan to stay onsite.
 

RocketCityMama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
We'll be there (Friday only) as well! It is our first OI meetup and I am very excited. I did a Disney After Hours event last February and had a blast so I'm hoping the meetup runs similarly well.

Pending flight reservations (Southwest appears to be opening their flights for these dates in June), the plan is to go Wednesday, 11/17 and come home on Sunday, 11/21. I have a huge work event the first week in December which makes traveling hard at this time of year hard, but, after consulting with my boss, I think this time frame is do-able. We wanted to be able to experience as much of the Christmas vibe as we can without getting any of the crowds. I'm crossing my fingers that Grinchmas, the holiday parade, and the Mannheim Steamroller concerts will be back this year.

We are staying at Cabana Bay because that is home for us. I was really tempted by the rates at the EP hotels, but in the end, CB drew us back.

I'm very interested in reports for the June event and to hear how it goes and what tweaks they make - primarily in the food situation.
Awesome! I would love to go to one of the Disney ones as well! We love Disney but since we just spent 2 weeks there in May/June 2018 lol we had to switch it up! I really hope the holiday events will be going on, we're big Seuess fans, so Grinchmas would be amazing! We thought about Cabana Bay, hear such good things but figured we may never stay again at a premier, so why not try it for the price! I am sure it'll be great either way, for June we are staying at Dockside in a 2 bedroom suite for el cheapo! lol

I heard the second week of Dec was better in terms of the lines for food, so I am hoping if the bite zones go well in June before the parks close, maybe they will do them in the winter ones too.

This is my first meetup ever too and I will be there both Friday and Saturday! I'm planning on flying in Thursday morning and flying home Tuesday. I figure might as well make the trip worth it. I also got Hard Rock which I am super excited about. Being a solo traveler I normally would not stay there, I normally stay at Cabana Bay, but I couldn't turn down $165/night.
Awesome! This will be our second one, the first coming up in June :D I agree the prices for the premiers were amazing, that is mostly why we chose Royal Pacific this time around!

Me too, I had heard of very long lines for food so I am hoping there are some tweaks for June.
Fingers crossed it's better this time, I hear they are pretty good about listening to their guests and make changes based on that.


We are doing both nights this weekend. This will be out 2nd meet-up. We had planned a Disney trip for October, when I saw the November dates released decided to change the dates for that trip so we could attend the meet-up. Its a big win-win for us!

Staying at our offsite at our timeshare. One of these days though I will plan to stay onsite.
Sounds fun! So you get Disney and Universal?? My dream! hah, we almost did that for June 2018, we were at Disney for 2 weeks, graduation trip and the meetup was at the tail end of our trip and I should have made adjustments and went but didn't. I have been sad since :D We usually stay off site as well, my FIL has a timeshare at Orange Lake but for the discounted prices, we decided to make it work and after the late hours at the meetup, I didn't want to drive 30 mins!
 

goofballs

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
We usually stay off site as well, my FIL has a timeshare at Orange Lake but for the discounted prices, we decided to make it work and after the late hours at the meetup, I didn't want to drive 30 mins!
Can’t wait to hear what you think of the 2BRs at Dockside. We are fellow OLer’s too, but doing this trip strictly for the meetup, and want to stay closer as well. Since the Premier hotels were already sold out of the reduced rate, I booked the Endless Summer Surfside suite. I have been looking religiously for cancellations at the others, but am actually thinking Surfside might even work out better for us. I can get 4 nights at Surf/Dockside for less than the price of 3 at a premier hotel. This lets me book a late Sunday flight home and not worry about being packed and out the door at 11:00 am after 2 late nights. Add that teenagers won’t need to share a bed and there is a Miller’s (kids’ favorite) just down the road - I’m hoping Surfside will be a win.
 
  • RocketCityMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2009
    Can’t wait to hear what you think of the 2BRs at Dockside. We are fellow OLer’s too, but doing this trip strictly for the meetup, and want to stay closer as well. Since the Premier hotels were already sold out of the reduced rate, I booked the Endless Summer Surfside suite. I have been looking religiously for cancellations at the others, but am actually thinking Surfside might even work out better for us. I can get 4 nights at Surf/Dockside for less than the price of 3 at a premier hotel. This lets me book a late Sunday flight home and not worry about being packed and out the door at 11:00 am after 2 late nights. Add that teenagers won’t need to share a bed and there is a Miller’s (kids’ favorite) just down the road - I’m hoping Surfside will be a win.
    I completely understand the separate beds! My 2 girls (16 and 11) really do not do well together but plan to take an air mattress as back up for Royal Pacific if we need it. My oldest might come with us, if she does, then the 2 older ones will share and the younger will take the air mattress lol which makes her mad, but we were like here is the deal, we can get express passes and it's cheap for premier lol they both said SOLD! haha I will post my reviews after June for sure. I am glad we have the suite for that trip, it's 8 days, so we will all be glad to have personal space. I love OL, esp when we get a 3 bedroom at Riverside lol but those are hard to get at times, according to my father in law :p
     

    RocketCityMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2009
    November friends join in the conversation! I know we have some time before the event still - 174 days to be exact lol but it'll fly by I am sure!
     

    JuniperJen

    Planning for WDW/Universal in November 2021
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2004
    I just purchased two tickets for November 20! We were already going to be at Universal November 20-23, and I just found out about the meetup. My husband and teenage daughter will be going to the Orlando Informer meetup. I will be going back to the Hard Rock with our youngest daughter. I don’t think she could make it until 1:30 am.
     

    GreyStr0ke

    Be better than you were yesterday!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2006
    I just canceled my Royal Pacific Room under the OI discount if anyone was wanting to grab it. It was November 19 - 21, 2021@ $165 a night.
     
  • RocketCityMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2009
    Can’t wait to hear what you think of the 2BRs at Dockside. We are fellow OLer’s too, but doing this trip strictly for the meetup, and want to stay closer as well. Since the Premier hotels were already sold out of the reduced rate, I booked the Endless Summer Surfside suite. I have been looking religiously for cancellations at the others, but am actually thinking Surfside might even work out better for us. I can get 4 nights at Surf/Dockside for less than the price of 3 at a premier hotel. This lets me book a late Sunday flight home and not worry about being packed and out the door at 11:00 am after 2 late nights. Add that teenagers won’t need to share a bed and there is a Miller’s (kids’ favorite) just down the road - I’m hoping Surfside will be a win.
    So we had a pretty good time at Dockside there were a few hiccups but overall we had a nice clean room and for the price can't complain too much :) It was great for everyone having their own bed, we enjoyed having our own room as well. The "master bedroom" is small though, you can get around the bed, but it's tightish. The shelves on the bedsides are TINY, my dh cpap barely fit on it. There is 1 luggage rack for a 6 person suite, which can create problems. We used the kitchen table bench for the kids suitcases. I felt the beds were kind of hard, but slept okay. The mini fridge is a decent size, no freezer however. Sink and microwave were okay and a small tiny coffee maker if you need it. However we got starbucks from downstairs, but very limited hours (6am -3pm I think) though their website says til 10 pm. Don't expect a late afternoon pick me up lol

    We didn't have any noisy neighbors, so I can't say if the typical thin walls are an issue overall. However when house keeping was working next door or above us, it was quite loud. The vacuuming vibrated the wall and every time they vacuumed close to the wall they hit it. That was a bit annoying. I could hear doors closing around us, meaning if you just let it close it slammed. However I didn't notice it super early or late, so it didn't bother us.

    Our biggest issues were the texting housekeeping, we texted around 1pm on Friday for more towels/toilet paper so we could all shower after the meetup or super early the next morning before leaving. We left around 4pm assuming they would be at our door when we came back from the meetup. Nope. So I texted at 1:30 am and asked what happened, of course house keeping had left, but someone did bring the items up about 15 mins later. By this point, we had said forget it and would shower in the morning before checking out. So keep an eye on that if you are going to leave before they bring stuff.

    Second, buses ran often during the morning/day time, but once it got closing at the parks, the bus situation went downhill. They cannot handle the amount of people staying on site at park close. They pack the buses tight, standing room only and yes people are standing, but after 3 buses left (even one being a people eater bus- the 2 bus one) there was still a huge line and probably 20 mins or more before the next ones came. Meanwhile we watched cabana bay have about 5 buses come to our 2 at that point. Just be prepared to wait, either go earlier than park close, or wait a while after park closes to go get in line.
     

    RocketCityMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2009
    159 Days til Novembers Meetup!!!

    I know, I know, I am the crazy person who has to count down, I need something to look forward too! One thing I learned at this past June meetup was to NOT go to the parks the morning of the meetup! We only did that on Friday morning, but it was too much, esp after already doing a couple days in the parks prior. This time we head down on Thurs, stop for our overnight and drive the last 4 hours on Friday morning. Then we will check in and rest/nap til time for the meetup. Saturday morning we will sleep in and rest, maybe pool it for a bit depending on temps before the meetup. Sun will be sleeping in and hitting parks later in the day and Monday is a full park day. Then we head home Tuesday so we are home in time for Thanksgiving.

    I wonder how busy it's going to be? You can't base it on last year's holiday because of covid. Has anyone went the weekend before Turkey day and the early part of the week and know how busy it is? We went once to Disney between Christmas and New Years and never ever again will I do that!!! We are excited about seeing decorations though!
     

    RocketCityMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2009
    :bounce:150 days til the Nov Meetup!:bounce:
    I am so excited about the winter trip, can’t wait to see all the decorations and hope things are even closer to “normal” with more characters out etc.
     

    maverik85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2016
    Just got our tickets this weekend and this will be our first meet up. We are so excited for it, all the blog posts and vlogs on Youtube make it look amazing. Love Universal and haven't been for a few years so there is a lot of new stuff to check out now as well. Unfortunately, we missed out on the onsite discounts so booked a room offsite with a discount rate through work, but keeping an eye out for any rooms opening up on property. Figured save the money as we are getting in Thursday and leaving Sunday so not a ton of time to worry about the resort itself. Figure be at Universal most of the afternoon/evening and be sleeping in with the late nights. Hoping to go to Disney Springs and their MK resorts to check out Christmas decorations either Thursday or Sunday and then spend the rest of the time at CityWalk and the area to take it all in.

    Looking forward to seeing all the Christmas decorations and the lights all night. I'm really hoping they do a holiday tribute store again as well as they always look so cool but haven't been able to see them in person.

    Are there any good tips for a trip focused on the meetups, or the meetups itself, or any posts with them?
     

    mfly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2015
    Just got our tickets this weekend and this will be our first meet up. We are so excited for it, all the blog posts and vlogs on Youtube make it look amazing. Love Universal and haven't been for a few years so there is a lot of new stuff to check out now as well. Unfortunately, we missed out on the onsite discounts so booked a room offsite with a discount rate through work, but keeping an eye out for any rooms opening up on property. Figured save the money as we are getting in Thursday and leaving Sunday so not a ton of time to worry about the resort itself. Figure be at Universal most of the afternoon/evening and be sleeping in with the late nights. Hoping to go to Disney Springs and their MK resorts to check out Christmas decorations either Thursday or Sunday and then spend the rest of the time at CityWalk and the area to take it all in.

    Looking forward to seeing all the Christmas decorations and the lights all night. I'm really hoping they do a holiday tribute store again as well as they always look so cool but haven't been able to see them in person.

    Are there any good tips for a trip focused on the meetups, or the meetups itself, or any posts with them?
    I have a room at the Hard Rock Hotel at OI’s discounted rate ($175/night) that I’m not using - I’d be happy to coordinate cancellation with you!

    ETA: for 11/18-11/21
     

    maverik85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2016
    I have a room at the Hard Rock Hotel at OI’s discounted rate ($175/night) that I’m not using - I’d be happy to coordinate cancellation with you!

    ETA: for 11/18-11/21
    I greatly appreciate the offer but we are looking to keep costs lower for the trip. Mostly looking out for Dockside/Surfside as they had $85 rates. Right now we have an offsite 1 bedroom villa for $90 so probably stick with it for now. Thank you though.
     

    mfly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2015
    I greatly appreciate the offer but we are looking to keep costs lower for the trip. Mostly looking out for Dockside/Surfside as they had $85 rates. Right now we have an offsite 1 bedroom villa for $90 so probably stick with it for now. Thank you though.
    Totally understand! I’ve just been too lazy to wait on hold to cancel so I was hoping for an incentive to do so!
     

    sparky68

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2016
    Just got our tickets this weekend and this will be our first meet up. We are so excited for it, all the blog posts and vlogs on Youtube make it look amazing. Love Universal and haven't been for a few years so there is a lot of new stuff to check out now as well. Unfortunately, we missed out on the onsite discounts so booked a room offsite with a discount rate through work, but keeping an eye out for any rooms opening up on property. Figured save the money as we are getting in Thursday and leaving Sunday so not a ton of time to worry about the resort itself. Figure be at Universal most of the afternoon/evening and be sleeping in with the late nights. Hoping to go to Disney Springs and their MK resorts to check out Christmas decorations either Thursday or Sunday and then spend the rest of the time at CityWalk and the area to take it all in.

    Looking forward to seeing all the Christmas decorations and the lights all night. I'm really hoping they do a holiday tribute store again as well as they always look so cool but haven't been able to see them in person.

    Are there any good tips for a trip focused on the meetups, or the meetups itself, or any posts with them?
    Go as soon as you can to get on rides before the food rolls out. I went with my best bud, and we quickly found out you can either eat or ride. Trying to do both was courting disaster. We ate our way around both parks. It was the most glorious pig out of my life, and I don't regret a single bite.
     

    maverik85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2016
    Go as soon as you can to get on rides before the food rolls out. I went with my best bud, and we quickly found out you can either eat or ride. Trying to do both was courting disaster. We ate our way around both parks. It was the most glorious pig out of my life, and I don't regret a single bite.
    Rides will definitely be our main focus the first night. See what all we get around too, might do a little more food on night 2 then.
     


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