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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
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    Default Finally went to Universal

    So I finally visited Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. After 20 years of saying I was going to go while I was in Orlando, I finally did it. Unfortunately, it took Disney World turning into an aggravating mess to deal with to get me to finally do it.

    We stayed at Portifino Bay and we really, really liked it. The resort was very nice and the rooms were a good size. The restaurants and atmosphere was great. The boat service to the parks and City Walk was quick and efficient. We rarely waited more than 5 or 10 minutes. We enjoyed City Walk and most of the restaurants except NBC Sports Grill & Brew. That restaurant was horrible. Every single thing every one of us ordered was not good including the appetizer. The food was just simply not well prepared. The waiter was great though and the drinks were good.

    Now for the parks. Our resort included the express pass and that system works well and is very efficient. No scheduling, no looking at our phones, no trying to make decisions. Just show up, pick a direction and go. It was very nice to not have to a bunch of scheduling and planning just to go to a theme park. That part of the experience was great and I wish it was that simple elsewhere. So on to the rides. They have quite a few roller coasters and they are good ones so if you are into roller coasters you will have some fun here. The other attractions though is where in our opinion they need to do some work. They are far too heavily dependent on motion simulation and video screens. We got motion sickness on the first one and it continued to the point we started asking the person at the entrance to the attractions if it had any simulation in it at all and if so we moved on. So we worked through the park pretty quickly after we started asking them. We got motion sickness at both parks in the first couple of hours of being there because of all the simulation. That part was very unpleasant.

    So what we took away was we really liked Portifino Bay Resort and City Walk. The parks were just okay but not great due to so many rides having simulation. They need to work on building attractions without simulation since they make so many people have motion sickness. (Disney World is also learning this with Remi's Ratatoullie.....people do not enjoy it).

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1997
    Location
    INTERCOT, SC
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    Default

    I would echo many of your comments and we like the resort as well.

    As far as motion sims, they do rely on it quite a bit and I do wish there was a little more diversity in the type of rides - like some more dark type rides (that don't use sim).

    All of that said - we love going over there and have a great time soaking all of the harry potter stuff in.
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arizona
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    7,988
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    Default

    Hopefully they will figure out how to have more diversity in their rides and in their seats for people of different sizes. I'm guessing they might have a learning curve there.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default

    Some dark rides without simulation would be great and throw in maybe a few more live action shows or just shows where you can sit down and relax for a little break.

    They do seem to have a bit of a learning curve I believe. I do have to say that the theming in the Harry Potter section is excellent. We thought Hagrids Motorbike was a really good ride/attraction as well. So it looks like they are starting to learn what works and what doesn't. The best advice I could give them is think what would a family with kids around ages 5 to 12 enjoy. My children are all adults now but my point for that type of reasoning is that those types of rides are enjoyable to everyone and often become the timeless classics that people return to experience over and over. You can ride roller coasters at who knows how many parks across the country and simulation rides make a significant percentage of people motion sick, so focus on the other for a while.

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