Volcano Bay

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by robl45, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. robl45

    robl45 Mouseketeer

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    Hello,

    Question. If you don't have an express pass for Volcano bay is it worth going? To clarify I read from reviews the waits are 5 hours long. My kids aren't waiting in 5 hour long lines at a regular park let alone a water park and I understand they have virtual waits, but still 5 hours is a long time to hang out in a wave pool. Have they solved any of these problems yet. Excited to go to IOA and Universal with express passes staying at the onsite hotel, but thinking maybe Volcano bay will be a skip.
     
  2. bobbie68

    bobbie68 DIS Veteran

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    Hi I have read reviews where people who don't have the express pass for VB have had a good time. You just need to really plan good. I have heard consistent reports if you are an onsite guest and get in the hour early and stay till about 11:00. you can get quite a few rides. If you go back or just go after 4:00 it seems to be slower. If you add a 3 park ticket instead of a 2 park ticket it is $40.00 per person. It will cost you an extra $40.00 to get in to VB but you will be able to go a couple of days for a few hours depending on the length of your ticket. If you have park to park you could do VB and the other parks on 1 day. It has gotten better in some areas but still needs work. We will be there in 2 weeks so I am hoping we can navigate it good and have fun. We really planned this trip with VB in mind.
     
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  4. Chumpieboy

    Chumpieboy Mouseketeer

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    Are they even selling EP anymore for VB? I thought they discontinued sales of EP to smooth out the ride lines (but are honoring it for folks that purchased it in the early days of sales).
     
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  5. bobbie68

    bobbie68 DIS Veteran

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    Hi as of right now they are not selling them in the park or on line. I believe they were using them as a peace offering to people for awhile. It seems now they have stopped that too. I do have ep for my trip in two weeks. I purchased them in May. I was told they are going to honor the purchase. I am not sure how it will help but I will report back for those who have them. Honestly, I think the only way they will bring back ep for this park is if they got rid of tapu tapu.
     
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  6. robl45

    robl45 Mouseketeer

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    I honestly don't understand why express pass is not included for the resort hotels when its included for the other two parks. All the reviews I've read that have been good about volcano bay are people that had express passes, the rest are all bad. We aren't going for a bit yet, so I"m hoping they iron things out or start offering express passes as my wife ain't getting up to go to a park at 8am. 9am is the earliest I'm getting her somewhere and frankly I don't want to be in the water at 8am anyway. Even in August when we go to Disney and usually swim in the morning, get to the pool at 9am, its usually not all that warm out yet.
     
  7. RalphinSC

    RalphinSC Daft Brotherhood of the Ubiquitous Mugshare

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    I've had wonderful times in Volcano Bay without Express pass. Four separate days of entry and everything ran smooth. The reason they discontinued selling the passes is that they were causing chaos with the virtual queue system (they were a big part of those "five hour wait" horror stories). And that was with only selling a couple hundred passes a day, max. Putting the passes as a benefit for onsite premium hotel guests would add hundreds and hundreds of Express pass users every day. That can be absorbed by the two main parks that have dozens of rides that have high rider throughput, so that the number of Express passes have a smaller effect. Water slides are the lowest ride throughput things out there. Adding hundreds of Express passes per day would make the waits much worse than the worse that was shown at park opening. I can understand why they didn't do it and I understand why they quit with the Express passes for sale as well. It just doesn't work with low-capacity rides and virtual line technology.
     
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  8. robl45

    robl45 Mouseketeer

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    Understand what you are saying, but I read like 10+ reviews that were posted in the past couple of days, one of them the person said they went in July so obviously the last couple of weeks and everyone saying the same thing, the park is crazy crowded, the lazy river is nuts to get a tube and the rides are insanely long. Not to mention, people saying it takes a good amount of time to check in so if morning early hours are 8am, you need to be there at 7am or so.

    Adding fast passes likely would make waits longer for fast passes, but I'm okay waiting a little bit. Not to mention if I do end up going to Volcano bay on the trip, I'll probably stay one night at the cabana bay or something that doesn't give fast passes as its kind of a waste of money to stay at the other hotel if i"m going to Volcano bay. Thats money Universal is throwing away as I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of that. Add to it a capacity constrained park and Universal is potentially throwing out lots of money. I'm hoping its only been open a month and a half or so and hopefully the crowds will die down soon.
     
  9. jdrasin

    jdrasin Mouseketeer

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    I think the big issue is the capacity of water rides are so much smaller that having 3 hotels of guests on EP would really clog it up for everyone else. We were bummed to find out, as we are starting at Portofino for our first visit. But I understand that rational.

    Joseph
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  10. TheMillenniumRider

    TheMillenniumRider Earning My Ears

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    It is a simple throughput issue, as stated above. Express Pass will not functional well at VB regardless of virtual lines or not unless the park is very slow. Taking a look at ProSlide's site, they quote an average throughput of 240PPH for body slides, 720PPH for four person rafts, and 720PPH for bobsled coasters, with intervals of 12-20 seconds. What waterpark have you visited that dispatches at that rate? Everywhere I have gone has been one person/raft on the slide at a time and they do not dispatch until the prior guests have cleared the splashdown. I am assuming VB is the same way with maybe an exception for Krakatau because that ride has the ability to run in blocks.

    So what are real capacities? Assuming maximum throughput without doubling up on the slide, and lets say 10 hours in an operating day.

    Taniwha Tubes - Average Ride Time 35s, gives 102 possible dispatches per hour, giving a capacity of 204PPH. 2040PPD.
    OhNo Drop Slide - Average Ride Time 20s (with minimum swimming time), gives 180 possible dispatches per hour, capacity 180PPH. 1800PPD.
    Kala Serpentine Slide - Average Ride Time 27s, 133 Dispatches per hour, 133PPH Capacity. 1330PPD.
    Ko'Okiri Drop Slide - Average Ride Time 16s, 225 Dispatches Per Hour, 225PPH Capacity. 2250PPD.

    This is assuming that the next guest is ready to go instantly when able to, the trapdoor slides likely take longer, so reduce those numbers.

    Universal simply does not have the throughput to allow for express pass. Unless the park is very slow, and then I don't need express anyway. I am very surprised they even sold them at all.
     
  11. robl45

    robl45 Mouseketeer

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    And yet, the only people that have posted good reviews have used express passes. Therefore what all of that capacity stuff says is they built a park with way inadequate capacity and that is a problem that can't easily be fixed.
     
  12. TheMillenniumRider

    TheMillenniumRider Earning My Ears

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    When a park is brand new it will always have capacity issues. Take Wizarding World for the first year. Until all the kinks are worked out, and the crowd levels balance out, the place will be packed.

    The virtual lines also add to the illusion of being packed, since I do not physically have to stand in line, why not book a place in line, regardless of whether or not I plan to actually ride. Also, a wait of 1 hour plus would likely deter more people from getting in line when required to stand there, not the case when I can go eat lunch, or sit on the beach, wave pool, etc. Everyone in the place is booked in one of the lines, and they may or may not actually show up to ride. Again, this is something that will take time to figure it all out.

    The problem is not capacity, the problem is that everyone and their brother is showing up to see the place.
     
  13. jdrasin

    jdrasin Mouseketeer

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    I don't think that is the case. I've read/seen plenty of positive reviews from people without express pass. There weren't that many sold before they cut off the program.

    Joseph
     
  14. robl45

    robl45 Mouseketeer

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    I read trip advisor and I read reviews on here, and almost everyone is negative except the reviews from people with fastpasses and a few others, but those reviewers would likely review anything and say it was great.

    As for the capacity issue, I agree the virtual lines will bring more people to just tap into line, but IMHO the park still has a serious capacity issue for the amount of people coming.
     
  15. greigallen

    greigallen Earning My Ears

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    We were planning to go in September but after reading so many negative reviews, we are planning an extra day at Blizzard Beach instead.

    I think we are going to wait until our next trip to Orlando until we visit so they have a chance to iron out all the problems.
     
  16. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 DIS Veteran

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    Actually, ralphnc & a few other posters here have given detailed reviews of VB that were quite positive & useful. Very helpful in having a solid game plan to maximize the day. I don't recall these people utilizing EP.

    If you go to YouTube you can watch TheTimTracker's VB videos. He does not use EP. His videos show him having a great time, managing time & rides, etc.

    Places like Trip Advisor, while a very useful tool, also have a way of getting skewed reports. Someone who had a happy day with no complaints are going about their lives. People who had bad experiences will seek out a platform to broadcast their complaints. Does that make sense?

    I've never been to Universal outside of a random dinner at NASCAR Cafe at City Walk back in '99. I will be staying at CB & spending a day at VB in later September. As with everywhere I plan to travel, I've been studying everything I can about it. VB is pretty much inline with what ALL theme parks are like for crowd/line management. If riding lots of rides and dodging the masses is a priority you have to plan for it and do what it takes. Trust me, I'm fully onboard with your wife with the not getting up early. I am soooooo not a morning person. But, if there's something I want to do I will do it. Get a little caffeine in me and I won't bite. LOL! I always end up glad I got out of bed early. The big plus to getting up early for a water park is how fast I can be ready to go because I'm not doing my hair or makeup. Don't have to give myself as much ready-time. ;) I can 100% guarantee that mid-day I will catch a solid nap, too. Whether that's on my lounger or back in my room....nap. It's my reward for early mornings.

    EP simply hasn't worked for VB. It's not offered now. I can honestly say that Universal trying to make adjustments and corrections is a very good thing. Imagine if you read all those horror stories and knew Universal was doing ZERO to manage the issues. Yikes! Props to them for effort. Peeling back the EP has been one measure towards improvement. Perhaps after they try other things a reduction in total park capacity will happen. But they ARE trying.

    Every water park in the world is crazy in the summer. Here in Texas we have the famous Schlitterbahn parks. Midday in the summertime the popular rides easily have 2-3 hr long lines. If you want to avoid that you get there early or stay late. It's how it works.

    Here's what I wonder..... Who sees a 5 hr posted wait time, says "Seems reasonable", and gets in that line???? LOL! I would never. Neeeeeever. LOL!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 5:10 PM

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