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Old 07-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
MarkMichaels
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Just back with a couple observations

We just got back from a few days at PBH. We walked to the parks instead of the boat using the shortcut thru HRH's parking lot every time except once. They had a truck parked sideways all week at the end of the main lot, really felt like they were not wanting people to go this way anymore.

From the front of the water at PBH to US gate, it was .62 miles, from MIB back to the water at PBH was 1.1 miles. We walked both parks in the morning, then would go back and rest and go back in the evenings and do the same. We measured the last couple of walks out of curiosity and found we were walking right about 5 miles each time, or 10 miles a day. Still trying to figure out how I gained a couple pounds with that much excercise, but thats another thread.

The one time we took the boat, we had a most unusual experience. A family of 4 had 5 or 6 security guards and escorts from the hotel to the boat. As soon as they were off the boat, escorts from US were there to take them thru the parks. Still wondering who they were to have that many guards, I'm guessing some sort of foreign diplomat. This would have been last Sunday if anyone knows who this was I'd love to know!

My absolute favorite breakfast spot has been ruined. I look forward to my breakfast pizza at Pastamore almost as much as I look forward to going to the parks. Upon entering Pastamore last Saturday, the pizza warmer was missing off the counter, and my heart sank a bit. Then, I gazed up to the menu board to see only breakfast sandwiches available, no pizza, no scrambled egg with ham or bacon plate, just breakfast sandwiches. We were told this was done to speed up the process, I know this was slower than when we order pizza.

Surveys in the park - Has anyone else noticed an over abundance of survey taking in the parks? Felt like we were getting hit up every 5 minutes for another survey. Going into the park, they grabbed my daughter, saying they are filling out a survey from every third guest that enters. At first they just wanted a couple things like our zip code and length of stay. But then it went into family income, how many people were you traveling with, what are their ages, etc. After a couple minutes of this, I finally called BS and said enough, the ticket gal tried to explain they needed this from every third guest and I said 25 people have entered since we started, I've paid for my tickets and we are done with this, and she let us go.

Entering the parks - The finger scan thingy has always been a pet peve of mine because it was so slow. Seemed like every time they would have to scan and rescan people 3 and 4 times and then finally just hit a button and let them thru, but this time everything seemed to go very quickly. Not sure if they've lowered the security level on the finger scanners, but they appeared to almost always work on the first try this trip.

Duff beer - yummy. I only tried the Duff light, but it was a really full flavored brew, one that I would drink regularly if it were available in stores.

I'd love to be there in the next week or two to see the completed Springfield, its going to be a very nice addition to the park. The food at the food court was ok, as food court food goes. Nice selection, lots of choices, the chicken and waffle sandwich was tasty.

RRR express line! This was new and a nice addition, although our first time thru the express it took longer than the posted 60 minutes. I think the ride broke down for about 10 minutes and the lines just crawled, not sure what was going on. The next day, express worked like it should, and we loved it!

Since Christmas, we've stayed at all 3 resorts. I like the size of the rooms better at HRH and PBH, HRH still comes out as my favorite. The location, layout, pool, bars, just feels like home to me. We've stayed several times at each resort and normally go for the least expensive option. There is not a bad place to stay on site, everyone just needs to find the theming that fits best.

Early entry was way too early for us this time, we never did make it to the park at 7am for Harry Potter, or even 8am for Transformers. Transformers during the day with express works fine, we never had more than a 10 minute wait, even on Saturday afternoon. On Forbidden Journey, we just took advantage of the single rider line since we don't buy the pictures on that ride. Maybe we were just lucky, but we were hitting the single rider line every time when that line was nearly empty and walked right on, especially when we would go at the end of the day, during the last hour the park was open.

Tour groups - Wow, the number and size of the tour groups has really seemed to grow at Universal over the past year or two. There was even a group staying at PBH, which is the first time I've seen that. Looks like UO has become a better destination for a lot of these 15 and 16 year olds. The groups got a little loud a couple of times, but they were just singing having fun, which is what its all about. We don't have any complaints about the tour groups, just kids having a fantastic time at UO, just taking notice that we used to see 1 or 2 groups during a trip, seemed like there was at least 10 different groups each day this time.

Thats about all I can think of, if anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to help if we can.

Mark
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:51 AM   #2
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Sounds like you had a great time. Nice to hear of the way things are improving at the parks. Comcast is doing a great job.

How was your renovated room at the PBH? Is there still construction going on?
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
MarkMichaels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo View Post
Sounds like you had a great time. Nice to hear of the way things are improving at the parks. Comcast is doing a great job.

How was your renovated room at the PBH? Is there still construction going on?
Room was nice, we joked that it looked like it came out of Fionas castle, with those regal headboards. There was lots of lots of construction areas, but we didn't see a ton of work going on. Trying to paint the building during the summer with all the rain they've been having seems to be a slow process. It didn't really bother us, but all the tarps really detract from the beauty of the resort.

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Old 07-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #4
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Glad you had a great time and thanks for sharing.

I'm going to move this to the Trip Reports board.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:31 AM   #5
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sounds like the vacation was loads of fun!

you are the first to post about the surveys on every third person.
that could be annoying.
i would have no interest in that.
sounds like the surveys they do at the motherland in the parks at the exits.


i usually am looking for the people that do the surveys that are at a different section of the park to participate in.
those surveys give an incentive to do them.
which i always say yes to..........
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #6
Misha5454
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Thank you for the updates. We will be at PBH on 8/9, and can now know what to expect when we arrive. I too am hoping that the Simpsons area is completed before we arrive. Those surveys would annoy me too.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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Thank you for the updates. We will be at PBH on 8/9, and can now know what to expect when we arrive. I too am hoping that the Simpsons area is completed before we arrive. Those surveys would annoy me too.
Rumour is Simpsons will be open by this Friday.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:54 PM   #8
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Rumour is Simpsons will be open by this Friday.
I have my fingers crossed that the rumor is true.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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Thank you for the PBR report as we are staying there in Sept! Yeehaw!
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:34 AM   #10
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Thanks for the update, especially transformers with express! We'll be hitting Universal around lunch time after a morning at IOA on a Saturday, and I was curious about EP wait times at transformers. Sounds like we made the right choice to start our day at IOA!
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMichaels View Post
Tour groups - Wow, the number and size of the tour groups has really seemed to grow at Universal over the past year or two. There was even a group staying at PBH, which is the first time I've seen that.
Glad you had a great time, sounds like a lot of fun



We had a group of Brazillians check in to RPR last year when we were eating breakfast. Not a huge group but we were surprised to see around 40 or so heading for the EP machine.

Had no issues with them in the hotel.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #12
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The Survey ---- they should give you a " Treat of some sort " Hint hint
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