Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Universal Studios/Sea World > Universal Studios Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-20-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

February 2013 trip, first time at HRH

Hi there! I realized yesterday that I hadn't done a Universal TR, though I did one for the cruise portion of our trip and the WDW portion. Poor, neglected Universal.

Alas I've just got the bug to do this report, but I have to run off and do something with my son. I'll be back later, but want to get this started briefly.

I'm Molly, my husband is Robert, and we have a 9 year old son named Eamon (said like Aidan but not quite). Don't tell our DVC contract, but we are pretty close to liking Universal more than we like WDW (though it's equal with our love for Disneyland). We've been heading to Orlando for trips since late 2010, where we experienced the Deep Freeze (which caused me to buy $100 in scarves in Wizarding World), and we've been a few other times since then.

My trip reports are honest, maybe a bit too wordy, and they definitely don't always show me in the best light. Some seem to like that. In keeping with the unflattering view of me I sometimes present, here's my picture from Rip Ride Rockit. I'm the one in the blue shirt that's being blown by the wind. (note to self for future: undershirts are good)





I'm fairly certain they had to take that ride vehicle out of commission after I rode, because SURELY I bent those handhold bars with my death-grip. I ride the "thrill" rides for/with my son, because it doesn't feel right to let him go alone even though he could. But I *hate* them (maybe you can see the slight look of "I am not amused" on the picture above? Maybe not, I hide those feelings well, I've been told. by NO ONE ever....)

DH unfortunately is of a size that doesn't not correspond with the ride restraints on those same "thrill" rides, which makes him sad. But the moment he fits, I'm outta there. The two of them can go give themselves concussions and vertigo and risk Certain Death on them; I'll go have a beer in Wizarding World.
__________________
-molly + robert + eamon (10!!)

DLR '05-'09 found within this link
DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!
bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
macraven
Proud Redhead
Has the longest test on record
I’m a Universal Homie
 
macraven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: between milwaukee and chicago (in Tom Felton's house)
Posts: 56,584

i'm pulling up a chair to wait until you return.
__________________
life is what happens to you on your way to achieving your dreams...........

macraven is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 06-21-2013, 02:22 AM   #3
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

mac, I hope you weren't there this whole time.


Although we adore Universal, for whatever reason the Disney parks get more days worth of attention. Not quite sure why, maybe it's because of perceived expense, maybe it's because we're having a hard time learning, I don't know. This was to be a short stop in between the short cruise and a longer WDW stay.

We took the ship's bus transportation from the port to the airport, then dragged our umpteen bags to National and got a nice car to haul those bags in. Seriously, how did we have so many bags? SO many. And I still had to do lots of laundry.

Got the car, got lunch at POFQ at disney (we needed to pick up 2 bags we'd left at POR AND we needed beignets), headed off to Universal.

This was our first Hard Rock stay. Drove up, got the bags off to Bell Services, gave the car up to Valet (first time for that). Walked in to...not the super-cool lobby I'd remembered from the time DS and I walked from Portofino Bay Hotel to swim, but a bunch of temporary construction as they put big tall curtains up in the sunken (?) lobby area in front of the big windows, thereby blocking those windows and that view, and keeping the lobby from looking cool in ANY way. Hello disappointment!

Checked in, got our express passes (first time with the new procedure!). Took us a few minutes to realize that the camera moves and I didn't need to stand on my tiptoes to get my face. I *think* we actually got our room while we were still there, but I could be making that up.

Jumping forwards to our room, though, I cannot recall what number it was or the floor, but those familiar with it will know where it was. We were nearly in the center, looking out over the pool, with those "turrets" right in front of our windows.
















A look inside the closet.





It was not a bad view at all.




If you ignored the cords and such when looking at a side view out the window.




Of all the memorabilia we saw, this is what tickled me the most.





So...I'm not sure if our room was supposed to be super-nice, or if it was a cruddy room. I'm not sure if it was a typical room or maybe an accessible room. To us it had a lot of open but unusable space, and the beds were just WEIRD. They were basic "hollywood" metal frames with boxspring and normal mattress with a squishy cover, and then they were pushed against the wall where there was some sort of wall-mounted headboard type thing, but there was nothing keeping the bed there. So we found the bed kept moving away. Worse, the eggcrate mattress cushion thing had started to slip down the bed, so we had to take it all apart to get a proper area for our pillows. This just didn't feel deluxe to us. And it was just weird to have such mobile beds. I don't know, it could just be pickiness, but it still didn't impress us.


We did go to the parks that day, but just so I can get out all the HARUMPH about the room, I had noticed itsy bitsy teensy weensy buglets in the sink and bathroom area. I thought they would just go away; my mom lived in Miami for a few years, I know bugs are just a part of life in the tropics, and it's not like they were scaring me. But when we got back later at night, then went off to Whole Foods for our traditional "scavenge in their foods-to-go area" first-Universal-night meal (most expensive non-character-meal we eat on our trips, it seems!), there were more of them. In more places.

This would not do. So we called down and they sent a guy up. Said they were sugar ants, no biggie, and he sprayed something on them. Said it was non toxic and I'm choosing to believe him. It took care of the problem. I wish I'd called earlier, though, so it could have been taken care of while we were gone. Much more pleasant than some maintenance dude spraying at 10pm.



Because there was a huge car dealer convention happening while we were there, the lobby never looked right, never looked inviting. We were so busy hitting the parks that we never actually went to the pool. DH, who had been injured going into the trips (an achilles injury that went untreated by a dingbat orthopedist who thought DH could actually rest...DH's commute involves a TON of walking, to the bus, to another bus, to a shuttle, and another mile to work, and that's just one way...and the achilles problem led to a knee problem and then a hip problem) was starting to get better (relatively), but he couldn't do a day that involved parks AND the pool. Especially since to *swim* it would have involved pool hopping, which would be even more walking. (he wouldn't be comfy asking a pedi-cab to take him)

So really we never used the resort. But...we didn't want to. It just felt cold and unwelcoming, since we weren't part of the convention. Bummer! But that's OK, we love PBH and we're going to try RPR again since it was our first Universal resort but we barely remember it.


On a happier note to end tonight's installment, yes please, more, thank you!!!




bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 06:54 AM   #4
Celizd
Earning My Ears
 
Celizd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 56

love it!!!! and THANK you for posting pics!!! no one puts pics on universals trip reports....disneys has a load of pics...nothing here so thank you!!! lol
Celizd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
SoonerGirl
DIS Veteran
 
SoonerGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,849

Joining in to read along! I'm a Disney World vet going to Universal for the first time next month, so I'm trying to soak up everything I can. I too am very glad to see pictures, something I've noticed aren't posted a lot here!

Looking forward to more
__________________
SoonerGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
macraven
Proud Redhead
Has the longest test on record
I’m a Universal Homie
 
macraven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: between milwaukee and chicago (in Tom Felton's house)
Posts: 56,584

i'm still in the chair, molly......
__________________
life is what happens to you on your way to achieving your dreams...........

macraven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
wiigirl
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 15,974

Awesome pics!
__________________
For the love of Disney...
wiigirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celizd View Post
love it!!!! and THANK you for posting pics!!! no one puts pics on universals trip reports....disneys has a load of pics...nothing here so thank you!!! lol
Hi! I didn't realize so few pictures were shown in Uni TRs. I guess I never read them for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerGirl View Post
Joining in to read along! I'm a Disney World vet going to Universal for the first time next month, so I'm trying to soak up everything I can. I too am very glad to see pictures, something I've noticed aren't posted a lot here!

Looking forward to more
Yay! Universal is so much fun, I hope you have a great time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post
i'm still in the chair, molly......
Go get some water, visit the bathroom, you're going to hurt yourself!


Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Awesome pics!
Thanks!
bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

For some reason, I didn't expect new-to-Universal people to read this, so I sort of started off like I was talking to experienced people. Obviously that was silly of me!

Since it's been a few months since our trip, the specifics have scattered away from me. I used to keep track of every ride we did, in what order, and doing that was very fun for me and meant a lot to me. That went by the wayside during this trip; we were just focused on having FUN and doing exactly what we wanted (or, sometimes, what my son wanted even if it made me want to die, LOL). I don't have the exact itinerary.

We got there on a Sunday and only had 3 nights there, if I recall. Maybe only 2. Gosh. Too short.


When we made our first Orlando trip, I wasn't really excited about Universal. We were going because of Wizarding World, and although I did give it a good amount of time (we ended up with 2 partial days and 2 full days, all onsite there), I didn't think we'd NEED it. Oh gracious we were so wrong! It was just amazing. It's smaller like Disneyland Resort, but to us just chock full of goodness.

I've read people saying that they felt Universal isn't themed like WDW. I don't know what they are looking at. I would love to visit Universal with someone who feels that way, to see where, exactly, they are looking. Because I'm looking in different spots.

When I walk into Islands of Adventure...even before I get to the gates of it, I'm immersed. The really neat and interesting and weird music (I can hear it in my head. right now), the fabric covering the area, the colors, the feel...it's SO perfect for me.





He's tall enough for EVERYTHING now.





Flashback: here's a picture of the kidlet in December 2010 at the same height marker.







Walking into the Port of Entry is like entering a magical place.



Whoopsie: that's walking into Port of Entry when you've already been inside of the park. That's LEAVING IOA.


And it's funny! Look up, see the signs. Little jokes and puns everywhere. I don't have pictures of that right now, but when you're there, check it out.


This is just an ice cream place. (they might have cinnabon, too, but I don't eat those)




The whole place is filled with lovely things, to my eyes at least. The Studios park is a bit starker, but that works for me, too.

Of course, staying onsite helps me have the time to see the niceness of the place instead of just the lines. I cannot even imagine staying offsite for Universal. Whereas I can totally imagine it for WDW. I'm doing the Half marathon at WDW in January and I'm probably going to make it a super-long trip to really have fun in Florida, not just themeparks. I've been looking at Windsor Hills for a townhouse, or an offsite place, before I move onsite at WDW for the races, and then back offsite until DH can get there. (like I said, long stay in FL) But wait (and here is where macraven breathes a sigh of relief), what if I stay at Universal for several days before I move over to WDW? Hmm.... Wouldn't have to kill my feet to see what I want to see, I know I'd be eating food I like, it would be great fun! I'll have to think about that.

Anyway, we were very pleasantly surprised by Universal, and are now keeping our renewals for APs. We only got (will only get, as our year isn't up yet but I think I know our plans) 1 visit on them this AP year, but the renewal price was so good it hardly matters. We'll renew them in September and then we've got Oct and Jan at least, so it'll make up for this AP year.


That's probably enough of an overview. I should figure out how I want to do this report. If any of the newbies have questions, feel free to ask. I'm not an expert like others here are, but I think I'm decent at helping out.

Last edited by bumbershoot; 06-21-2013 at 05:00 PM.
bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #10
macraven
Proud Redhead
Has the longest test on record
I’m a Universal Homie
 
macraven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: between milwaukee and chicago (in Tom Felton's house)
Posts: 56,584

macraven would say, go for it.......


do a few days at the darkside and totally relax.



then move to the motherland day before your marathon.


being so relaxed and all, you'll probably do super on your first marathon!
__________________
life is what happens to you on your way to achieving your dreams...........

macraven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

This is from 2010 again, but I think it's still the same. The bathroom floor in the women's restroom next to Men In Black.


bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 05:07 PM   #12
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post
macraven would say, go for it.......


do a few days at the darkside and totally relax.



then move to the motherland day before your marathon.


being so relaxed and all, you'll probably do super on your first marathon!
There you go, trying to earn your commission again.

I really want to get on the right timezone before the race. It's going to be hard enough to get up that early anyway, but if my body still thinks it's 11 or 12 at night it will be that much harder.

In October the timezone works to my advantage, because the TOT race is at night.
bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 05:54 PM   #13
Celizd
Earning My Ears
 
Celizd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 56

yay!!! my son always measures himself, and he is a hair to short for the hulk and dragon challenge ......he even makes me pack his sneakers (he is a flip flop kid) so he can get the extra height! still no go
Celizd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #14
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 46,201

He'll get there!
bumbershoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2013, 09:05 PM   #15
coastgirl
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,245

...subbing... Happy to read TRs especially now that we are getting so much closer to our trip!
__________________
JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 12, and dd 10

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
coastgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:44 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.