TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Mark Rosenzwe » Tue, 23 Nov 2004 12:24:54


When life takes control of leisure, things like TRs don't happen as
regularly.  Luckily, my visit to the theme parks of Universal Orlando
Resort is fresh enough on my mind, and I have just enough time that
this thang all came together.

With tear down of the Zamperla booth having gone much faster (and
smoother) than in previous years, I was left with an empty day to
visit a theme park.  What to do?  A multi day trip to the Walt Disney
World Resort is in the cards for Mid December, with park hoppers in
the mail.  I had just endured Sea World during IAAPA's Thursday Night
Social, and while it certainly was warm enough to justify the liquid
stuff, I wasn't quite in water park mode.

So, I opted for Universal.  But then, the question arose- what to do?
A full day at Islands of Adventure, or a full day at Universal Studios
Florida?  While I love IOA, in recent years I have found myself tiring
of the park- losting interest in it after doing one lap through the
Islands.  USF has never held much for me, as Studio Parks have always
seemed to have a limited number of things that caught my attention,
with a bulk of the attractions being shows.  Still, there was this new
"E" (or is it a "U" here) ticket attraction that I had yet to
experience that had been given mixed reviews from day one.

My choice was made easy, when I found out the resort offers a
convenient (but quite pricey) one day two park ticket (which comes to
$78 and change with tax).

With ticket in hand, I entered the gates of USF and made a beeline
towards the old Kongfrontation Building.  Then, Shrek sidetracked me.
Being the only major attraction in USF *without* Universal Express, I
knew that if I wanted to do it that it was now or never.  Shrek 4D is
a pretty amazing production that has no shortage of knocks taken at
Disney.  The entertaining preshow and overall quality of the main
production all combine to make for what is probably the most popular
overall attraction in the park, as all ages seem to really go for it.
I'd give Shrek a very small nod over Mickey's Philharmagic.

Over to Revenge of the Mummy to find out what all the hype (or lack of
hype) has been all about.  My overall opinion of the attraction was a
rather high one, as Universal really succeeded in designing a
thrilling attraction that anyone can ride and enjoy.  Because I never
saw either of the Mummy movies, the storyline meant little to me.  The
attraction was a bit rough around the edges, but in the end combined
to make up a nice entertainment package.  I'll try to break it down:

Queue:  One or two steps below masterful.  Wonderfully themed- not
overdone, but fine.

Loading:  A bit slow, as with only one side of the station being used,
every other train went to Universal Express guests with the other one
for Stand By/Single Rider.

The Ride:

a)Great opening dark ride sequences with a Wedway Peoplemover-esque
LIM system propelling the massive four row four across cars along the
flat track.

b)The coaster sequence was great.  While it probably isn't much more
than 1500 ft of overall coaster, what it does it does well.  Two
notable pops of air no matter where you sit, and a decent finale drop
following the fake ending.  Downfalls:  the backwards portion (all two
seconds of it) was pointless, and the somewhat *** jolt the cars
encounter upon cresting the hill after the forwards launch.

c)Rider reaction was amazingly positive.  

Overall, the ride is a winner, and certainly a motivational factor for
me to visit USF when in Orlando.

Also did Jaws, MIB, and ET while at USF.  

Over at IOA, I did two laps around the pond taking in attractions as I
came to them.  After missing Dudley last year, I was eager to
experience it again.  That drop is just plain wrong (in a good way, of
course).  If only the ride's theme/storyline were a bit more cohesive.
 The drop makes the ride, but for overall package, any Splash Mt blows
it out of the water.

Noted that while Fire Dragon was its usual magnificent self that Ice
Dragon was riding particularly crappy today (not that it's usually
worth more than one ride in the first place).  Two trains ran on both
tracks, but dispatches came at horribly slow intervals- what's the
deal?  The Hulk crew was making interval virtually every cycle with
two trains on a ride with a shorter cycle time (not to mention no
separate load/unload stations too).

Perhaps a question that has already been answered, but
whatever....what is the deal with the elevated monorail/car ride over
in Seuss Landing?  WHY has it never run with guests?  Looks like a
great concept if they could get it open for guests.

Not a hell of a lot else to report that any of you probably don't know
already.  I thought I'd throw my two cents in that while pricey, the
one day two park ticket is a decent deal, in that you can easily get
your fill of both parks in one day (even with hours of 9-6 or 9-7).
Of course, this probably isn't true during holiday weeks or peak
summer season, but during periods when crowds are light to moderate
(I'd say USF had 15,000 today and IOA 10-12,000) that getting multiple
rides is easy:

Revenge of the Mummy: 5
Jaws:  1
MIB:  1
E.T. Adventure:  1

Hulk: 2
Dr Doom's Fear Fall:  2
Amazing Adventures of Spider Man:  1
Dudley Doo Right's Ripsaw Falls:  2
Popeye Barges:  1
River Adventure:  2
Flying Unicorn:  1
Fire Dragon:  3
Ice Dragon:  2
1 on each of the Seuss Landing "rides".

Using single rider lines (which the two parks have many of) can really
be a time saver, too.

Anyway, tis about it.  Thanks to all who popped by the booth last
week, it was a great show for Zamperla this year!

-Mark

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Jeffrey Coo » Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:11:40



Quote:
>Then, Shrek sidetracked me.
>Being the only major attraction in USF *without* Universal Express, I
>knew that if I wanted to do it that it was now or never

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Shrek 4D does have Universal Express
also. The machines sit across the street next to Jimmy Neutron's.
--
______________________
Jeff Cook


 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by rdreamin » Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:22:51



Quote:


>>Then, Shrek sidetracked me.
>>Being the only major attraction in USF *without* Universal Express, I
>>knew that if I wanted to do it that it was now or never

>Sorry to burst your bubble, but Shrek 4D does have Universal Express
>also. The machines sit across the street next to Jimmy Neutron's.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but their was no Universal Express for
Shrek 4D during my visit in June.

Feel free to burst my bubble by letting me know they were placed in
after that.  :)

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Justin Kreinde » Tue, 23 Nov 2004 15:37:08


Quote:




> >>Then, Shrek sidetracked me.
> >>Being the only major attraction in USF *without* Universal Express, I
> >>knew that if I wanted to do it that it was now or never

> >Sorry to burst your bubble, but Shrek 4D does have Universal Express
> >also. The machines sit across the street next to Jimmy Neutron's.

> Sorry to burst your bubble, but their was no Universal Express for
> Shrek 4D during my visit in June.

> Feel free to burst my bubble by letting me know they were placed in
> after that.  :)

Your bubble burst was correct.  I believe Universal Express was discontinued
for Shrek quite a while ago.  Those machines are now there for Jimmy Neutron
I believe.

-Justin

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Surf Dance Chr » Tue, 23 Nov 2004 17:09:27

<< Your bubble burst was correct.  I believe Universal Express was discontinued
for Shrek quite a while ago.  Those machines are now there for Jimmy Neutron
I believe. >><BR><BR>

That is correct. Although I do think that hotel guests still have Express
access for Shrek?  
                                                        "Surf Dance" Chris,
                        who will ride the Flip "N" Out before any coaster!
                                        http://members.aol.com/surfdancec
                                #1 Mondial fan- Super Nova, Top Scan, and Shake
                                "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads!"

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Sam Mar » Tue, 23 Nov 2004 20:59:10

Quote:
>Your bubble burst was correct.  I believe Universal Express was discontinued
>for Shrek quite a while ago.  Those machines are now there for Jimmy Neutron
>I believe.

There is NO Universal Express for Shrek, I visited the park on four different
occasions during our 8 days in Orlando  ( 2 days and 2 brief visits for lunch
and a coaster ) I even scanned my annual pass to see if I was reading things
correctly, and the screen that came up was for Jimmy Neutron only!

SAM

Member of
The Coaster Zombies Club
P.O. Box 12
Arlington,VA 22210-0012
www.coasterzombies.org

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Anna Mous » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 00:13:11



Quote:
> With ticket in hand, I entered the gates of USF and made a beeline
> towards the old Kongfrontation Building.  Then, Shrek sidetracked me.
> Being the only major attraction in USF *without* Universal Express, I
> knew that if I wanted to do it that it was now or never.  

Shrek no longer offers express pass.  It still has front of the line
access for those who are staying at one of the onsite hotels though.  A
rumor at Screamscape.com  suggests that a second pre-show room and
theater will be added to the opposite side of the Shrek 4-D building. If
this rumor pans out, then express will be reinstated.  Right now, you
can't get a free express pass from the machine and Shrek isn't included
in the express plus passes you can purchase.

Quote:

> Perhaps a question that has already been answered, but
> whatever....what is the deal with the elevated monorail/car ride over
> in Seuss Landing?  WHY has it never run with guests?  Looks like a
> great concept if they could get it open for guests.

Looks like you caught a glimpse of "Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very
Unusual Driving Machines."

<http://www.ioacentral.com/islands/seuss_landing/attractions/sylvester_mc
monkey_mcbeans_very_unusual_driving_machines.htm>

"Description: Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines
is probably one of the most popular rides that guests at any theme park
have never ridden.  The ride was originally supposed to open with the
park in 1999.  Obviously, it didn't happen, and the attraction was then
slated for a 2000 debut.  This, however, didn't happen either, and the
opening date was changed to 2001.  Currently, no opening date is
proclaimed on the sign outside the entrance.  Several different reasons
as to why the attraction never opened have surfaced, ranging from
suffering from a very low ride capacity to major design flaws.  For
quite awhile, reliable employees of Universal Orlando have said the ride
will not open in the foreseeable future.  Lately, however, rumors have
been appearing and suggesting things may be happening to give the
attraction a long overdue opening."

Anna

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Anna Mous » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 00:15:57



Quote:
> << Your bubble burst was correct.  I believe Universal Express was
> discontinued
> for Shrek quite a while ago.  Those machines are now there for Jimmy Neutron
> I believe. >><BR><BR>

> That is correct. Although I do think that hotel guests still have Express
> access for Shrek?  

Yes, onsite hotel guests still have 'front of the line' access at Shrek.  
They are the only ones though.  No express is available at Shrek for
anyone else.

Anna

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Robert O'Grosk » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 02:52:19

Quote:



>>With ticket in hand, I entered the gates of USF and made a beeline
>>towards the old Kongfrontation Building.  Then, Shrek sidetracked me.
>>Being the only major attraction in USF *without* Universal Express, I
>>knew that if I wanted to do it that it was now or never.  

>Shrek no longer offers express pass.  It still has front of the line
>access for those who are staying at one of the onsite hotels though.  A
>rumor at Screamscape.com  suggests that a second pre-show room and
>theater will be added to the opposite side of the Shrek 4-D building. If
>this rumor pans out, then express will be reinstated.  Right now, you
>can't get a free express pass from the machine and Shrek isn't included
>in the express plus passes you can purchase.

>>Perhaps a question that has already been answered, but
>>whatever....what is the deal with the elevated monorail/car ride over
>>in Seuss Landing?  WHY has it never run with guests?  Looks like a
>>great concept if they could get it open for guests.

>Looks like you caught a glimpse of "Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very
>Unusual Driving Machines."

><http://www.ioacentral.com/islands/seuss_landing/attractions/sylvester_mc
>monkey_mcbeans_very_unusual_driving_machines.htm>

>"Description: Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines
>is probably one of the most popular rides that guests at any theme park
>have never ridden.  The ride was originally supposed to open with the
>park in 1999.  Obviously, it didn't happen, and the attraction was then
>slated for a 2000 debut.  This, however, didn't happen either, and the
>opening date was changed to 2001.  Currently, no opening date is
>proclaimed on the sign outside the entrance.  Several different reasons
>as to why the attraction never opened have surfaced, ranging from
>suffering from a very low ride capacity to major design flaws.  For
>quite awhile, reliable employees of Universal Orlando have said the ride
>will not open in the foreseeable future.  Lately, however, rumors have
>been appearing and suggesting things may be happening to give the
>attraction a long overdue opening."

>Anna

I dont know how true it is , but a rumor i have heard and was told is
that if the ride malfunctions they have no easy way to get the riders
off the ride without some type of cherrypicker device.
 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by STOPSPA » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 03:24:50



Quote:

>I dont know how true it is , but a rumor i have heard and was told is
>that if the ride malfunctions they have no easy way to get the riders
>off the ride without some type of cherrypicker device.

That's the word that has been going around for quite some time.  I can't
speak to how accurate it is, although I have heard that story from several
employees.  Supposedly, they would only be able to evacuate the ride with
cherry pickers.  And with all of the structures in the area -- the ride
winds its way all around and through Suess Landing, including inside some
buildings -- it would be very difficult, if not impossible to completely
evacuate the ride.

The park has, on occasion, run the ride with various stuffed Suess figures
in the cars.  They also use the station and queue as the "Lair of the
Grinch" for taking pictures with the Grinch for Grinchmas, the park's
holiday celebration.

As for Shrek 4D, no they no longer have Universal Express access to it.
They stopped it because the attraction is too popular.  Express tickets
were selling out in around an hour after the park opened, and the standby
queue was often getting to be over 1.5 hours.  I've seen the queue run out
into the midway out of the large queue area on several occasions on SLOW
days!  People who showed up an hour after the park opened -- which is the
vast majority of Universal's guests -- could not see the attraction without
waiting in huge lines.  They still allow Universal hotel guests line
cutting privileges.  I know that they had already ended Universal Express
for Shrek 4D by the time of my last visit in early June.

Of course, that's one of the problems with the Universal Express system in
general.  They don't seem to offer many tickets that way.  And they end
them at least 2 hours before the parks close.  That means you have to get
your express tickets early.  They tend to almost all be sold out by noon
(or much earlier) at both parks, even on non-busy days.


PLEASE remove "STOPSPAM" from my address when replying via e-mail.

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by
 the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree
 in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support
 him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not
 to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he
 fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is
 unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or
 anyone else."
                             -- Theodore Roosevelt

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Jeffrey Coo » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 04:39:10



Quote:
><< Your bubble burst was correct.  I believe Universal Express was discontinued
>for Shrek quite a while ago.  Those machines are now there for Jimmy Neutron
>I believe. >><BR><BR>

>That is correct. Although I do think that hotel guests still have Express
>access for Shrek?  

Ok, I just got back from the park, the machines no longer dispense
express tickets for Shrek. They do let you choose between, Jimmy
Neutron, T2-3D, Horror Make-up Show, or Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue.
But they do still use Universal Express Plus there, as well as the
hotel guests. So we are all partially right.
--
______________________
Jeff Cook

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Jeffrey Coo » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 04:43:38



Quote:
> Right now, you
>can't get a free express pass from the machine and Shrek isn't included
>in the express plus passes you can purchase.

I stood and watched people use their plus passes at the attraction
just an hour ago, although there was no sign. They just showed them to
the loader at the door and he let them into the express line.
--
______________________
Jeff Cook

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Jeffrey Coo » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 04:41:11



Quote:
>>Your bubble burst was correct.  I believe Universal Express was discontinued
>>for Shrek quite a while ago.  Those machines are now there for Jimmy Neutron
>>I believe.

>There is NO Universal Express for Shrek, I visited the park on four different
>occasions during our 8 days in Orlando  ( 2 days and 2 brief visits for lunch
>and a coaster ) I even scanned my annual pass to see if I was reading things
>correctly, and the screen that came up was for Jimmy Neutron only!

See my other post to see where Sam has the wrong info.

Did you enjoy your days at the park Sam? Or were you too busy trying
to hide from certain people?
--
______________________
Jeff Cook

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Sam Mar » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 06:42:14

Quote:
>Did you enjoy your days at the park Sam?

very much

Or were you too busy trying

Quote:
>to hide from certain people?

I don't avoid worthless white trash. I simply hand them my fastpass and
continue on.

LOL

 
 
 

TR: Universal Orlando Resort 11/21/04

Post by Jeffrey Coo » Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:13:15

Quote:





>> > Right now, you
>> >can't get a free express pass from the machine and Shrek isn't included
>> >in the express plus passes you can purchase.

>> I stood and watched people use their plus passes at the attraction
>> just an hour ago, although there was no sign. They just showed them to
>> the loader at the door and he let them into the express line.

>Are you sure they weren't using their hotel keys? Technically the only
>people that should be able to use express on Shrek right now are hotel
>guests, with a few exceptions such as VIP, etc. ( I used a onesie* pass
>to go through express at Shrek yesterday.) Whether the greeters are
>enforcing this right now while crowds are down, I don't know. The
>express machines are gone though for Shrek.

>*onesie:  a one time pass you are sometimes given when you are on
>another ride that breaks down.  The ride Op gives you this pass that is
>good  for one ride on any attraction at Universal or IoA.

>Anna

No, they were definitely printed tickets they were ripping in half
after the guest gave them to them. And they aren't the onesies either,
I have a few of them on my desk, so know what they look like.
And it may have been a slow day, but Shrek was posted as a 45 minute
wait when I was over there.
--
______________________
Jeff Cook