Universal Studios/Island of Adventure Trip Report 6/3-6/7 2018

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by GRETCHEN F OSTERMAN, Jun 10, 2018.



    Jun 10, 2018
    June 3-7

    Just a trip report to help folks planning for a trip to US/IoA. We stayed off site at the Las Palmeras Hilton Grand Vacations. The hotel was part of a Hilton Timeshare deal. The hotel was nice for a two people, some rooms do hold a bed and a pull out so a small family would be fine. The room had refrigerator, microwave and sink with kitchen utensils suitable for a small breakfast. Transportation to from park is limited for a fee.

    We purchased our 3 day 2 park tickets at AAA in Pennsylvania. The discount seemed to be the best option for us as it avoided taxes since these were purchased in store not on-line. The first day we arrived at 12:30 pm at Universal Studios and worked our way from Simpsons, MIB, Gringotts, Transformers, Shrek. At 6:30pm we were pretty tired and had a wonderful dinner at Toothsome.

    Day 2 we began or day in Island of Adventure at The Forbidden Journey, we had no problem riding twice. From there we rode the flight of the Hippogriff and left for Jurassic Park. After the little splash we went to King Kong and waited quite a bit then the rode broke down. We left and went to the Spiderman and then the Hulk. I was pretty shook up so we took a food break. Walked back through Suessville and road the Cat and the Hat. We had our app set for an alert when Kong would start up again. So we decided to do Poseidon adventure. At the time we were cued for the show the rain started. The show was, pretty lame, but dry. We proceeded to Harry Potter and received the alter King Kong was up and running. So we went directly there and enjoyed the mix media experience. We crossed back to the Train and went to Gringotts again, Transformers, Jimmy Fallon, Fast and Furious, The Mummy, and Minions. Our last ride was ET. Honestly, we pushed ourselves pretty hard because the weather was pretty much a washout for our last day. At every opportunity we used single rider lines which made many of the wait times around 10 minutes. We had diner at Margaretville, and several cocktails. For two able body adults we moved very quickly through the parks. I have visited Universal 4 times so I was familiar with layout and was able to manage my friend’s expectations.

    I was disappointed with Fast and Furious. It was poorly designed and reinforced socio-economic stereotypes, and misogyny. I really question who the members of the focus group were. In 2018, this ride and cue line could be much more relevant and respectful to all guests.

    Jimmy Fallon was lame, but I think Universal is trying to provide more all age experiences. I applaud the attempt. The cue line was cute and fun and honestly better than the ride.

    I doubt I will put a lot of effort in returning to Universal Studios or Island of Adventure. The cast members were not very friendly, but I was impressed on the number of employees managing the ride lines and process throughout the park. If you can time your big ride for a shift change, the processing of ride lines is much faster with fresh employees.

    The future of Nintendo World, I worry will be similar to Fast and Furious. Comcast need to put the cash into developing new rides which are fun and memorable for the whole family. I think if they lowered prices at this point they might be able to maintain market share and offset potential losses with food and beverage sales to the 19-30 age group.

    I will be heading back to Disney
  2. Lynne G

    Lynne G DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    Thank you for your report. At least you have given Universal a try. While it may not for you, it is for others, so I appreciate all reviews regardless of their final decision on where to spend vacation.

    I hope you had a good time overall. And know that many of the team members are also cast members, and I personally have found more not so nice cast members than team ones. Anyone can have a bad day. I hope you do not focus on those workers that you did not feel were friendly.
    disneyjr77, pattyw and larissawbb like this.
  3. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

    Feb 7, 2008
    Thank you for sharing your experience here! You gave many details which will help others plan their trips.:thumbsup2 You did a lot of rides which shows that off site stays still result in the ability to accomplish a lot at the parks. And the single rider lines are very effective in minimizing waits.

    We have many Disney visits along with many Universal visits. All of the trips have involved a few bumps in the road and yes- when you encounter staff that are less than at their best it can be a downer to any good day.

    Glad you enjoyed Toothsome! We had lunch there a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed our meal, too and especially the interaction with Professor Doctor Penelope and Robot Jacques! What yummy milkshakes!!

    The next few years will be so exciting as new attractions will be opening at Disney and Universal!
  4. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    I enjoy all trip reports as everyone has a different experience

    If you would do the darkside again, might be different

    Agree that Fallon ride was not worth my time
    Will try FF on my next trip but have read many others say had the same thoughts as you did

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