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Old 03-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
BeccaDoingDisney
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Red face TONS of questions! A Disney geek visiting Universal!

Hello everyone!
Well, I never thought the day would come but my boyfriend and I have decided to go to Universal Studios instead of Disney.. I usually would be pretty bummed about not going, but I guess we all need a change every once in awhile, right? However, being a former Cast Member for Disney, I believe that I am a professional on almost everything and anything Disney! But, Universal is a completely different story. I haven't been there since I was 8 and my boyfriend hasn't been there since his Make A Wish trip when he was 11 with Kurt Warner.

Did I forget to mention that this trip is for him? It's been 10 years cancer free!! That means he is now considered CURED!!! :D Not only are we celebrating that he is cancer free, his 21st birthday also falls on one of the days were in Universal!

Let's get down to the details!
Justin and I have decided to leave on May 12th and return back home on the 17th. We are driving since were only about an hour or so away. We just put our deposit down last night for a package that includes 2 day base tickets with the 3rd day free and 3 nights at a partner hotel with the 4th night free.. So, here's all my questions!

1) Does Universal offer birthday buttons or I'm celebrating buttons? Where can we get them?

2) Are we allowed to bring food into the park? Such as sandwichs, chips, etc.

3) How does transportation work at a partner hotel? Is it similar to the Disney buses?

4) I've been reading a lot lately on how the lockers are a huge hassle, am I better off just wearing a Fanny pack?

5) Is it better to head over to WWoHP with early access to the park, or later on the night?

6) What is on your must-do list when you visit Universal?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaDoingDisney View Post
Hello everyone!
Well, I never thought the day would come but my boyfriend and I have decided to go to Universal Studios instead of Disney.. I usually would be pretty bummed about not going, but I guess we all need a change every once in awhile, right? However, being a former Cast Member for Disney, I believe that I am a professional on almost everything and anything Disney! But, Universal is a completely different story. I haven't been there since I was 8 and my boyfriend hasn't been there since his Make A Wish trip when he was 11 with Kurt Warner.

Did I forget to mention that this trip is for him? It's been 10 years cancer free!! That means he is now considered CURED!!! :D Not only are we celebrating that he is cancer free, his 21st birthday also falls on one of the days were in Universal!

Let's get down to the details!
Justin and I have decided to leave on May 12th and return back home on the 17th. We are driving since were only about an hour or so away. We just put our deposit down last night for a package that includes 2 day base tickets with the 3rd day free and 3 nights at a partner hotel with the 4th night free.. So, here's all my questions!

1) Does Universal offer birthday buttons or I'm celebrating buttons? Where can we get them?Yes. At guest services.

2) Are we allowed to bring food into the park? Such as sandwichs, chips, etc.Same as WDW

3) How does transportation work at a partner hotel? Is it similar to the Disney buses?Partner hotels have their own transportation just like offsite hotels at Disney do.

4) I've been reading a lot lately on how the lockers are a huge hassle, am I better off just wearing a Fanny pack?Yup. But they aren't really a huge hassle.

5) Is it better to head over to WWoHP with early access to the park, or later on the night?Early admission is the best time.

6) What is on your must-do list when you visit Universal? Mummy, MIB, FJ, Spiderman, Dr. Doom, Shrek, Horror Make Up Show, Cat in the Hat. You'll have time to do everything a few times.
Congrats to your boyfriend on 10 years cancer free!!!!

Where are you staying?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
BeccaDoingDisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo

Congrats to your boyfriend on 10 years cancer free!!!!

Where are you staying?
Thank you! We are staying at the Holiday Inn.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Thank you! We are staying at the Holiday Inn.
Which one? There are two that are very close. The Holiday Inn Express or the Holiday Inn and Suites closest to Universal?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo

Which one? There are two that are very close. The Holiday Inn Express or the Holiday Inn and Suites closest to Universal?
Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't realize there were two of them, we are staying at th Holiday Inn and Suites.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't realize there were two of them, we are staying at th Holiday Inn and Suites.
Then you'll be able to walk to the parks. It is really close. You guys are young. There is a shuttle too but it will just take you near the parking garage and you'll still have to walk from there.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo

Then you'll be able to walk to the parks. It is really close. You guys are young. It will probably save you a lot of time.
Alrighty! Thank you for all your help!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #8
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Alrighty! Thank you for all your help!
Go to googlemaps and do the streetview feature. You'll see how short it is.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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<3 Holiday Inn and Suites

It's where the bf and I stayed in October..The walk over is gorgeous, in my opinion (after you cross the road, that is..)
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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I am also a past WDW cast member but we love going to Universal and it is so much less stressful.

For WWOHP,early entry is great and is the best time to do Olivanders and FJ,but we have also found going right before closing is nice too. That is usually the time we head over, eat something and the place when it is lit up at night is breathtaking

Never had a huge issue with bags, but honestly we have the kids and a stroller so don't use the lockers very much. If I don't have the kids with me I normally just bring a lanyard wallet that I got at Universal several years ago that holds all my money/tickets/room keys and then don't need anything else
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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I NEVER bring a bag just because I really don't want to hassle with those lockers. I've heard horror stories about how people couldn't get them open and how it ate up huge amounts of vacation time finding someone to help. The first few times I did use them, I always had a problem with it recognizing my fingerprint. In addition, if you want to ride The Forbidden Journey when the park opens, who has time to be messing with the lockers? I wear shorts with big pockets and just stuff whatever I need in there. I wear a lanyard for credit cards and park/room ticket.

MUST DO's (IMHO)

Spiderman (the best theme park ride I had ever been on (including Disney rides) until...)

The Forbidden Journey (best theme park ride EVER)

The Mummy (I'm not a huge roller coaster fan but the visuals on this are amazing and there are a few surprises)

The Simpsons (Though I really loved Back to the Future more, this is very funny)

Despicable Me. (Very funny)

I would also recommend Shrek and Terminator for a great 4D experiences.


Have fun!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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I got my birthday button at guest services This is what it looked like:



Sorry it's so gigantic.


We will be there during your dates! We do WWoHP in both the morning and at night. And sneak over for lunch. We just can't get enough! Anyway, we were able to ride Forbidden Journey 3 times in a row before closing. It was awesome.

We didn't have any locker issues our first trip but we did have some our last trip. It was hard remembering the numbers when we would ride things over and over again. I still bring my bag, a small crossbody, and we take pictures of our locker numbers and stash the camera in fiance's cargo shorts.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:41 PM   #13
BeccaDoingDisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rheinhold
I NEVER bring a bag just because I really don't want to hassle with those lockers. I've heard horror stories about how people couldn't get them open and how it ate up huge amounts of vacation time finding someone to help. The first few times I did use them, I always had a problem with it recognizing my fingerprint. In addition, if you want to ride The Forbidden Journey when the park opens, who has time to be messing with the lockers? I wear shorts with big pockets and just stuff whatever I need in there. I wear a lanyard for credit cards and park/room ticket.

MUST DO's (IMHO)

Spiderman (the best theme park ride I had ever been on (including Disney rides) until...)

The Forbidden Journey (best theme park ride EVER)

The Mummy (I'm not a huge roller coaster fan but the visuals on this are amazing and there are a few surprises)

The Simpsons (Though I really loved Back to the Future more, this is very funny)

Despicable Me. (Very funny)

I would also recommend Shrek and Terminator for a great 4D experiences.

Have fun!
Thank you for all your help! I will definitely take your advice on the lockers. You're right, who has the time to deal with the hassle of them?
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMichelleee
I got my birthday button at guest services This is what it looked like:

Sorry it's so gigantic.

We will be there during your dates! We do WWoHP in both the morning and at night. And sneak over for lunch. We just can't get enough! Anyway, we were able to ride Forbidden Journey 3 times in a row before closing. It was awesome.

We didn't have any locker issues our first trip but we did have some our last trip. It was hard remembering the numbers when we would ride things over and over again. I still bring my bag, a small crossbody, and we take pictures of our locker numbers and stash the camera in fiance's cargo shorts.

Thank you SO much for the picture of your buttons! I love pictures, lol! That's a very smart idea to take a picture of your locker number. However, I think I'm just going to skip the hassle of the lockers and find a way to carry everything on me. I just feel as though were going to get too overwhelmed with it all if we have to deal with their lockers too. Thank you so much for your help though!
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:07 PM   #15
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FWIW I haven't found the lockers to be a hassle. (though I will state for the record that I haven't used them at FJ, since DH can't yet ride it and so he holds everything)

If there are clumps of people at the kiosks in front, squeeze your way towards the back kiosks. Use your knuckle to navigate through the screens. When doing your finger print, try to shield the scanner from the sun. If the finger print scanner doesn't recognize you when you come back find an attendant immediately so you don't waste time. Make sure you have something in the locker and something on you that identifies you.

I carry sunscreen with me, so automatically I cannot just use a tiny waistpack that will be allowed on FJ. I'm not willing to deal with the bulk of cargo shorts, either. So we use the lockers and it's fine. Only time it wasn't fine was when we let our son do the fingerprint instead of me or DH, and that's when it couldn't be read when we came back, but the problem was solved easypeasy.
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