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Thread: Quick Universal Trip report

  1. #1
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Quick Universal Trip report

    Hi all,
    I know this board is technically for Disney World trip reports, but several months ago someone posted a great Universal report and I was so excited to find it when I was planning a Universal trip. I haven't been able to find any sites/forums that are to Universal what EasyWDW is to Disney World, either. Love the fun and sarcasm on this site, as well as the great helpful forum members.

    Anyway, on to Universal. This trip will be just me (planning obsessed Mom) and my 16yo son, Luke. Our school system had Fall Break Wednesday, October 7th (teacher work day, actually) through Sunday, October 11th. Since we live only 8 hours or so away from Orlando, we typically drive, but we had some credits on Southwest that we needed to use so we flew instead.

    We got three day park to park tickets from Undercover Tourist and used Orbitz with a 15% off code to book Loews Royal Pacific to get the Universal Express perk - worth every penny!!

    We left home around 2:30 on Wednesday, drove to the Parking Spot and were at the airport earlier than the required two hours, which was nice. Poor Luke had his body spray confiscated at security (apparently, I forgot to tell him there were size limits), but other than that all went well. We did manage to not check any bags - such a great plus to taking a short trip with a teenaged boy. :)

    We had a reservation for that night at a Comfort Suites near the airport, so we arrived and I called the hotel to get a pickup while traveling from the concourse to the baggage claim area. We did have to wait a bit longer than expected, but we were at our hotel and settled in by 9:30. This little one night reservation was a great way to save a little money on the trip.

    The next morning I had arranged a private car to take us from our current hotel to the Royal Pacific (RP) and it was great. I read reviews from Tripadvisor and Yelp and picked a company called Taxido and I was very pleased with the service both to RP and back to the airport on Sunday morning.

    We got to RP which was lovely:

    DSC01661.jpg

    Ok, I know it isn't Disney, but we had a seriously magical/pixie dust moment. I was expecting to leave the luggage, get our express passes and have them text me when the room was ready - magically, it was ready for check in at 9:45. She handed us these quaint little things:

    DSC01735.jpg

    Isn't it funny how it seems like eons ago that Disney World used Key to the World cards? Seriously, though, I loved that mine was Betty Boop and Luke was excited about the Simpsons, as well.

    We were in Tower 3, which turned out to be very convenient. We dropped our things off in the room and went down to the lobby to figure out the Express Pass situation. It turns out there are some self serve kiosks in the lobby and you just enter your key card and it takes your picture and prints out a paper card - very easy!

    Our plan for today was to start at Universal Studios, so off we went. We walked this first day because it seemed like a pretty short walk to me and it was really a pretty area, so I'm glad we tried the walk. I had purchased the 3 day "photo pass" deal they have, so once again I was on the look out for photographers. In May, I thought my 12yo niece got annoyed at all the photographers at Disney... Well, she was no where near as annoyed as my 16yo son turned out to be by the constant photos! I figured he could suffer through since I was making memories here.. and I paid for it!

    Our first ride of the day was Rip Ride Rocket. This turned out to be Luke's favorite ride of the entire trip, so we rode it multiple times. A bit of a confession that Luke never heard... this ride was a little too rough for me! Geez - I normally really love roller coasters, but this thing shakes and knocks your head around like crazy. What Luke loved about it was the fact that you could pick your own music - that part was very cool. Here's a photo of my suffering:

    62002_100815_049807.jpg

    I had this step by step plan for what were we going to do, but with the Express Passes, we didn't even really need it - I figured this out after the first couple of rides and it was quite liberating! LOL - I felt like a plan-a-holic starting a 12 step program. So, this first day we did almost everything we wanted to do at Universal Studios:

    Transformers - cool ride in a car using 3D glasses to simulate a transformer attack/battle. Luke enjoyed it but would have absolutely LOVED it at about age 9.
    Shrek 3D (fun, very much like Mickey's Philharmagic)
    Minions - another 3D glasses simulator type deal where you are turned into a Minion. After this ride there was a photo op with a Minion and this was my first indication that Luke and I were going to have differences of opinion over the photographers. He absolutely refused to join me for the photo. I did it alone basically to show him that I would! Like he cared...
    61395_100815_000446090.jpg
    Men in Black - Like Buzz or Toy Story Mania. He had no choice about this photo, thank goodness. I think at this point he was beating me so badly that I had given up - hence the bored expression.
    61203_100815_000199008.jpg
    The Simpsons Ride - this used to be Back to the Future, which I remembered fondly.
    Twister - Ride it Out - not really a ride, but it closed last week, so I'm glad we got a chance to experience it one more time before it closed.
    The Mummy - great simulator type coaster. I have photos of it, but I'll have to put it in the next post...
    Last edited by LibraryTink; 11-07-2015 at 08:03 PM. Reason: To take out the HTML codes that are showing for some reason??
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  2. #2
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Continuing Day 1..

    We both really enjoyed Mummy - basically a coaster with some simulator stuff going on:

    61102_100815_000199983.jpg

    We did the Terminator thing - also not a ride, but actually pretty cool if you are a fan of the movies like we both are.

    Luke wanted an airbrush t-shirt of a scary looking marionette and since we had decided that day NOT to purchase the add on tickets for Halloween Horror nights, I felt OK spending the extra $30 for a t-shirt. I really had no idea why he wanted that particular design and didn't even ask, but found out the next day when he wore the shirt. Anyway, while waiting for this shirt we listened to some music and just walked around a bit.

    Finally, it was time to head to the Harry Potter area. This is the only section of Universal that the Express Pass doesn't work for and we were saving it for last, hoping for the crowd to die down and because we wanted to ride the HP train to Islands of Adventure.

    If you are any sort of Potter fan, Diagon Alley is amazing!! I think these pictures are actually from day 2, but I was so in awe on day 1 that I forgot to take pictures.

    DSC01674.jpg

    I am a school librarian, so the photo below is a favorite:

    DSC01675.jpg

    We had to try the butterbeer: Luke got "regular" and I got the frozen one, we loved them! Needless to say, these were the first of several butterbeers to be consumed over the trip.

    Lukewithbutterbeer.jpg

    We got in line for Escape from Gringotts. The wait time was posted as 60 minutes, I think, but before we even got into the bank area it was announced that they were experiencing technical difficulties. We stayed in line and finally got on the ride. The ride photo here is not really a "ride" photo - it is taken before the ride.

    62510_100815_000060183.jpg

    This ride was really amazing. It is sort of a combination of coaster (robotic arm coaster, I think) with screens like Soarin - only better.

    After this, we got in line for the train to Hogsmead Village which is technically in Islands of Adventure. If you haven't heard, the train ride is not your average train ride! There is a screen so that it looks like you are really looking out a window all the way to Hogwarts and there are shadows of Harry, Ron & Hermoine outside your compartment. One thing that struck me as funny is that a teen girl and her Mom were riding the train with us. They both looked at their phones the entire time and didn't even seem to notice the effects that I was so excited about. Maybe they had ridden it several times already or something, but I rode it four times in three days and never got bored enough to scroll FB or Instagram during the ride.

    We did a few things at IOA before leaving. I'll continue with that tomorrow night!
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kmc8826's Avatar
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    So glad you are covering Universall. It is a little intimidating to me. I know we are going to be going one of these days as my girls get bigger, and it is good to hear about. Love the pictures (and I am sure one of these days your son will too). What a great opportunity for you both to get away together!
    Kim


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    Thanks for the trip report and the info on HP stuff. Planning a one day HP-fest on our next Disney trip, and this is so helpful.

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    Love your trip report! That is so awesome you got to go with your son!
    We love Universal. The Harry Potter stuff is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    Loving this trip report. We are going to Naples with family for a week in April. We never do Universal because I haven't been able to bear the thought of leaving Disney property. :) However, my oldest is 13 and I know he would really love Universal. My others probably will as well (11, 8, and 3). Also, the cost of leaving Disney for a couple of days is always crazy to me. So, if we are in Naples, I am considering driving up to Orlando for 2 to 3 days and just doing Universal and coming home from there...

    Do you think 2 or 3 days is enough? I know nothing about Universal... time to start reading! On property? Off? Sigh...

    Thanks!
    It's true.... I am most happy when I am planning a Disney family vacation!!

  7. #7
    Enjoying this report as we are thinking about a Universal trip in the next year or so (though with much younger kids, so am trying t figure out how much of universal is appropriate for the 7-8 year old set, and specifically the 7-8 year old scaredy-cat set).

  8. #8
    Senior Member gccmedina's Avatar
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    I love Universal! Being able to walk to the parks is to me a huge benefit. I was there a week in April and then another week in August. Stayed at the Portofino both times and were really spoiled but the time we got to Coronado for 3 nights.
    Karin
    Visiting off and on since the 70's
    And since finding this site in 2013, never go without my ​Easy Guide

  9. #9
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovedisneymagic View Post
    Loving this trip report. We are going to Naples with family for a week in April. We never do Universal because I haven't been able to bear the thought of leaving Disney property. :) However, my oldest is 13 and I know he would really love Universal. My others probably will as well (11, 8, and 3). Also, the cost of leaving Disney for a couple of days is always crazy to me. So, if we are in Naples, I am considering driving up to Orlando for 2 to 3 days and just doing Universal and coming home from there...

    Do you think 2 or 3 days is enough? I know nothing about Universal... time to start reading! On property? Off? Sigh...

    Thanks!
    Thanks for following along! I'm enjoying reliving it again. :) I completely agree about the issue of leaving Disney if you are there for a Disney focused vacation. I recently told a work friend that they should either do Disney OR Universal because they wanted to have 4 park days total. It is just not cost effective to try to do both in a total of 4 days.

    I do really think 2 or 3 days is enough for Universal. We were able to do everything we really wanted to do in 2 park days - and Universal Studios closed at 5pm every day we were there because of Halloween Horror Nights. On day 3 we just did the favorites again. I'm sure staying on property and having the Express Passes were a big help in making it so "doable" in 2 days, but even without the passes, I think you could do it all in 3 days - depending upon the time of year you visit and crowd levels.

    Feel free to message me if you have any more specific questions - I'll help if I can at all. :)
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gccmedina View Post
    I love Universal! Being able to walk to the parks is to me a huge benefit. I was there a week in April and then another week in August. Stayed at the Portofino both times and were really spoiled but the time we got to Coronado for 3 nights.

    We have decided that we love it, too! I normally stay at value resorts when at Disney (once at CBR) so this felt so much nicer and worth the extra $$. The room itself wasn't that much nicer, but the water taxis were so nice and the Express Pass thing is just wonderful! Thanks for reading along! :)
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  11. #11
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waiting for the next trip View Post
    Enjoying this report as we are thinking about a Universal trip in the next year or so (though with much younger kids, so am trying t figure out how much of universal is appropriate for the 7-8 year old set, and specifically the 7-8 year old scaredy-cat set).

    Thanks! Actually, the last time we went to Universal (before this report, that is) Luke was about 7 or 8. We enjoyed it, but it wasn't as exciting to us as Disney always seemed at that point. Since then they have added all of the HP stuff and the Minions & Simpsons rides. I will not even cover in my report the Seussville section, Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone or Toon Lagoon because we basically skipped all the "little kid" stuff this trip - you should do a little research on those sections, as they seem very 7-8 year old friendly. :)
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  12. #12
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmc8826 View Post
    So glad you are covering Universall. It is a little intimidating to me. I know we are going to be going one of these days as my girls get bigger, and it is good to hear about. Love the pictures (and I am sure one of these days your son will too). What a great opportunity for you both to get away together!
    Thanks, Kim! We did have fun & I'm enjoying sharing it.

    I hope you and the family have a great trip in just a few days. Looking forward to another great trip report! :)
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  13. #13
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Islands of Adventure & Finishing Day One

    Continuing my report, we rode the train to IOA and explored Hogsmead village a bit. We decided to ride Dragon Challenge before the Forbidden Journey in hopes of shorter lines.

    Also, I haven't yet mentioned the locker situation/requirements that are in place at Universal. At pretty much every ride there are lockers that are free for a certain amount of time. While this is very nice, it did turn out to be a little more of a hassle that it seems like it should have been. Most of the rides pretty much require you put every loose article in the lockers. Some even have metal detectors you must go through to ensure you haven't tried to sneak your phone onto the ride! The lockers at Dragon Challenge seemed like the worst to me. It is a very small area without a clear traffic flow and you keep having to go from section to section to find a free locker. The problem comes up when some people are trying to take things out at the same time as others are trying to put things in. To do either thing, you must use a touch screen that uses a fingerprint scanner to open the locker. I had a horrible time trying to remember which locker number I was assigned at each ride - you really have no choice as to the # assigned. At some point, a person told me that if you don't remember the number you can just scan your fingerprint and it will figure it out. Between Luke and I both, we managed to always remember the number, so we didn't test this out.

    On to Dragon Challenge. This coaster is the only thing in HP world that DOES take the Express Pass, but I didn't realize that and didn't take the pass with me the first time. Lukily, Luke still had his in his pocket, and they let us both through since he had his. Also, at most rides, the Express entrance is at the beginning of the line and this is not the case with Dragon Challenge. This ride was actually there before HP world was built around it and I remember it from our long ago Universal trip. Luke said he didn't, but he was very young, so I'm not even sure he rode it. It is an extreme type coaster where you are hanging from the rails instead of sitting in a car on the rail. I actually really enjoy this type of coaster because it seems smoother to me. It reminds me of the Batman coaster at Six Flags if any of you know that type of ride. There is no ride photo at this ride :(

    After exploring Hogsmead a bit, we went to ride The Forbidden Journey. This is the first major HP that was added at Universal and it is very cool. Honestly, part of the thrill for me was the queue inside Hogwart's castle. Here is a shot of the castle:

    hogwarts.jpg

    In the castle, there are many interactive and entertaining effects. The Hogwarts founders' portraits are having a little discussion, then the "fat lady" who guards the Griffindor commons room is there cheering on the quidditch team, you get to go through Dumledore's office and the defense against the dark arts classroom where Harry, Ron & Hermione show up. When you finally get to the loading area, you are riding "benches" in a continuously moving area sort of like SE, Haunted Mansion, etc. Be sure to look up in this area if you ever go because the floating candles from the great hall are there. Again, this is a robot arm type coaster with screens like Soarin. I don't think we ever got a photo that I thought was good, but here is the first one:
    62103_100815_000285237.jpg

    It is an amazing ride, as has been reported elsewhere.

    After this we were both getting a little hungry and decided to leave the park as we were planning to come back early the next morning for early entry into the HP area. (This turned out to be a problem for me... more to come in my next entry.)

    I picked the restaurant tonight and we went to Margaritaville. Honestly, primarily because it was right next to the walkway back to our hotel. I choose the cheeseburger because it seemed appropriate and had a margarita. It was so nice not to be driving! :)

    cheeseburger.jpg

    We walked back to the hotel, tired but happy! :)
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

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    Great report so far! My husband and I are leaving the kids at home with Grandma and going to Universal in early March--my first time! I'm getting excited reading about your trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LibraryTink View Post
    I recently told a work friend that they should either do Disney OR Universal because they wanted to have 4 park days total.
    This is what we do. We typically visit Orlando for a week, and we either do "Disney" or "everything else." We like Flex Tickets for the "everything else" trips.

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    Senior Member disneydaisy's Avatar
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    Enjoying your report. We are adding two days at the Royal Pacific at the end of our Disney trip in early April. Last time we were there in 2011 we stayed offsite and the 2nd HP area wasn't there.

  17. #17
    Senior Member TiggerGirl's Avatar
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    Dragon Challenge used to be Deuling Dragons and it was awesome!
    CR Jan 18-23 2018 YC Jan 23-28

  18. #18
    Enjoying your report! I loved the Butterbeer too�� I'm glad you had the opportunity to spend some one on one time with your son. I still go to Disney with my parents (although I meet them there) and I am almost 40

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    Reading along. We are planning on our first trip to US in July. We will be staying two nights on site at Universal - hopefully RP like you did.

    Then 8 nights at Disney (not sure where yet).

    Looking forward to hearing more.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiggerGirl View Post
    Dragon Challenge used to be Deuling Dragons and it was awesome!
    It's also the reason why metal detectors are now installed on several rides---well, more accurately, a handful of idiots riding this are the reason.

    These used to be timed so that they "crossed" each other several times over the course of the ride. Someone thought it might be a neat idea to throw coins at the other train at some of these crossing points, and one guest lost an eye due to injuries in such an incident. That's why the dragons no longer duel, and it led in part to the very strict loose articles policy in place now at UNI.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...ld-theme-parks

  21. #21
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnoble View Post
    It's also the reason why metal detectors are now installed on several rides---well, more accurately, a handful of idiots riding this are the reason.

    These used to be timed so that they "crossed" each other several times over the course of the ride. Someone thought it might be a neat idea to throw coins at the other train at some of these crossing points, and one guest lost an eye due to injuries in such an incident. That's why the dragons no longer duel, and it led in part to the very strict loose articles policy in place now at UNI.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...ld-theme-parks

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this - I had no idea what happened to add the metal detectors. Now, I don't mind them at all.
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  22. #22
    Senior Member LibraryTink's Avatar
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    Day 2: AKA Not so Early Entry into the Wizarding World

    After a very successful first day of touring, I was excited to try out the Early Entry perk. So, we got up, ate a snack in the room and walked over to IOA arriving at about 7:45. IOA was posted as opening at 9am that day. There were a few other people waiting around, but I got suspicious because no workers seemed to be getting ready for us at the gate. I finally saw someone to ask and she told me that they didn't open until 9:00. I explained to her that we were staying onsite and should be able to enter an hour earlier for the Harry Potter area. "Who hired her??" I was thinking. She looked confused and went to get backup from another worker. A couple had joined me and we were discussing how surely, she just didn't know because they understood that we should be getting in an hour early, too. Finally, another person came over and explained to us that IOA wasn't opening an hour early, only Universal Studios was opening early. My oh so intelligent response was, "But they are already opening at 8am today because they are closing early!" But they opened at 7am for onsite guests she explained. Collective "Oh No!" from the group of about 10-12 people now gathered hoping for early entry. It was now about 7:55 and we all trudged over to USF complaining about how this wasn't very well explained to any of us.

    So, we might have gotten in one whole minute earlier than everyone else and all followed the path back to Diagon Alley because the only thing that opens early is the HP areas - nothing else open at all. :( Lesson learned: Ask at the ticket or concierge's desk to find out which park opens early and at what time!

    We did get to ride Escape from Gringrotts with a much shorter wait and I was able to snap a few pictures in the bank area. The first time I left my phone in the locker because I was expecting the metal detectors.

    stacibank.jpg
    Yes, my son took the above picture and purposefully made sure the goblin appeared to be growing out of my head!

    Today's "ride" picture showcasing his scary shirt:
    62599_100915_114565.jpg

    Oh - also after this ride I had a little issue with the lockers and wanted to warn you in case this comes up. When I went to open it after the ride, it told me the time limit was exceeded and that I needed to pay. Panic stricken at the thought of having to pay an extra $3, I started looking around for help. The locker attendant was having to go around to every terminal and change the settings for the time limits because it was trying to charge everyone. So, after a few minutes of waiting, she got to our section and I got our stuff no big deal. But I kept thinking of that silly expression, "You had ONE job!!" Why didn't she take care of that sometime between 7am - 8am? So, if the lockers every try to hold your stuff hostage go find a locker attendant and they will probably help you out without much questioning.

    We took a bit more time to explore Diagon Alley after the ride. The details are really amazing throughout the entire area. There are many magical things that wands can make happen and it is generally just so well done. I could have stayed for hours and we probably did stay for at least an hour.

    Luke didn't want to go but I drug him into Ollivanders and he seemed impressed and told me it was cool when we were done. There is a "cast member" playing the role of wand "master" and she (or he I suppose) selects one child to pick a wand. She picked a girl who looked to be about 10 or 11 who was wearing a HP robe/costume (key point to remember if you want to be picked.) She asked her name and replied, "Oh, I wondered when I would be seeing you!" She helped her choose a wand and let the child try a few spells with different wands. The first two messed up and then when the child received the 3rd wand, a spotlight appeared on her and cool sound effects happened. So, the wand selected the wizard. I looked at the girl's mom and she was in tears - heck, I didn't know them and I teared up after seeing that mom! Find a video online of this if you have any young HP fans because it is very, very cool.

    I wanted to ride Gringotts again using the single rider line, but Luke really wasn't interested at that moment, so I let him hang out with another butterbeer and my phone while I rode. Another great advantage to traveling with a big kid. :)

    The single rider line takes a very different path, no ride photo and you even go up a separate set of stairs into the ride loading area, so keep that in mind if you are ever thinking of trying it. As luck would have it, when I was the next person in line the ride broke down. I'm jinxed that way - I once walked out of Toy Story Mania with the lights on - very cool, really. Anyway, I wasn't about to leave, so I waited for about 20 minutes while they unloaded everyone and reset the ride. The funny thing was that a worker (I keep wanting to call them CMs) came out and used a big stick to press a button on the front of one of the cars - such a technical fix. They unloaded people from the cars and cycled them back through the exit to let them ride again - I was impressed with that, especially after being kicked out of TSM that time with only a paper fastpass to show for it! When I did get to ride, the people who were with me were some who got stuck on the ride the first time so I got to ask them a million questions about what happened and how everything looked. Bottom line is that this ride is not very impressive without the visual effects!

    I don't think Luke even noticed I was gone longer than expected and we headed out to do a few more things. I think it was at this point that a teenaged girl complimented his shirt. Now that I was curious enough to ask he told me that the creepy marionette is from Five Nights at Freddy's - An equally creepy video game. This was not the only compliment he got on the shirt and someone even asked where he got it.

    We watched the "shrunken head show" at the Knight Bus for a while and I made Luke take my picture in the phone booth that is suppose to transport you to the Ministry of Magic:
    phone.jpg

    In the picture below you can see the Knight Bus on the left and in the far right is King's Cross where you catch the train to IOA. The entrance into Diagon Alley is the red brick area across from the bus and to the right of King's Cross. I'm telling you this because there is no sign on the outside that explains that this is the entrance to Diagon Alley. I'm sure normally you can just follow the crowd, though. :)

    DSC01681.jpg

    I think we rode Mummy & Rip Ride Rocket (yes, my favorite) before heading out to walk to IOA. I wanted to walk back and take the train again but we ended up very close to the front entrance and he didn't want to walk all the way back.

    As punishment I made him pose for a photo:
    61390_100915_000240781.jpg

    More to come of the rest of day two at IOA. Thanks for following along!
    Staci
    May 2015 TR
    - CBR with my teen niece - big kid focused trip.
    Universal October 2015 TR - Royal Pacific with my 16yo son.
    April 2016 TR Staying Offsite & using rider swaps: a young children focused trip.

  23. #23
    I love your trip report! Thank you so much for sharing!

    So, we never buy park hoppers at WDW because I am a planner. ;) However, it sounds like we need park to park at US, right? And, what about purchasing one time or unlimited express (I have no idea if that is the right terms)?

    Thanks again for your time and your trip report!
    It's true.... I am most happy when I am planning a Disney family vacation!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member IHearAllThingsDisney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    761
    I went to US/IOA twice this year, and unlike Disney, the gates for both parks are right next to each other. Everything is walkable from onsite resorts. aND if you want to ride the Hogwarts express, you HAVE to have park hopper. :). I highly recommend it! It's very different from Disney. It kinda makes us disney fanatics a little crazy actually with the lack of planning necessary. ;)

    What at a fun trip trip report. Thanks for sharing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovedisneymagic View Post
    I love your trip report! Thank you so much for sharing!

    So, we never buy park hoppers at WDW because I am a planner. ;) However, it sounds like we need park to park at US, right? And, what about purchasing one time or unlimited express (I have no idea if that is the right terms)?

    Thanks again for your time and your trip report!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Kasha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    688
    I take it that your son is a Five Nights at Freddy's fan?

    Interesting to see the differences with touring at Universal compared to WDW. Thanks for sharing!

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