10 days at WDW & Universal

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10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby northern freeze » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:42 pm

Hi everyone! Just back from our annual visit to WDW. This time, we stayed onsite for 2 days at Universal.
First of all, this was our first stay in February. Thanks to all you guys for help with that. The weather was perfect, upper 70s and low 80s, sunny and only rained one night.
At WDW: The parks were not very crowded, at least to our November standards. We had walk on's to most attractions, but we always rope drop and hit the rides heavy in the first 2/3 hours. The only long waits were for 7dmt and frozen, which is no surprise. We had fp's for those, so it worked out.
There was one large group (appx 50-75) of 15's. But they were well behaved, no chanting, no blocking the pathways. It seems they have older women to chaperone this time. The chaperones even lined them up in 3 different orderly lines, before entering BTMRR. Again, they were quiet and no chanting. This was the case in every park that we saw them in, also Universal. I was expecting the worse because of the horror stories I had read, but was surprised at their behavior. There was one smaller group of brazillians who were singing while walking down the path/road in adventureland. But we were heading the other way. I wonder if Disney is finally cracking down on their behavior, because it was a pleasant surprise. :?
POC: We didn't do this ride last year because of all the complaints of getting soaked. I am not a fan of getting wet on rides, but this year we went ahead because we love POC. We rode it 3 times an no one got wet, just a little by the cannons. I found that the CM's aren't loading up the rows like before. They only put 2 people in a row when we road. Maybe that's why no one is getting soaked like before.
AK: one of the CM's on the safari recommended we come back just before dusk, because the animals would be more active. Well, we did, and we didn't see many animals at all. What a disappointment. Hopefully it was just a fluke, but we won't try it again at that time. The new Tree of Life show is fantastic, highly recommend it.
HS: We probably go against the flow but we love this park. We always find a lot to do. This time, we tried trading with the jawas. There were only 2 in a darkened area of the launch bay, and one walked right by me and ignored me. The second one looked at my offering (a small kylo wren figure), took it to her handler, and gave it the thumbs up. The jawa came back and gave me a trinket. It was a lot of fun. Sadly, I have been reading that the jawa's are not trading as much as before.
We always love the attractions here, with TOT as our favorite, Rocking rollercoaster, TSM, SW, too:) Eating at the SciFi is a lot of fun too.
Epcot is our least favorite park. We both rented ECV's as my husband had back surgery 8 months ago with nerve damage, and my plantar fasciitis was acting up. This was great cause we could get around to all areas of WS easily. We saw the balancing act at France, drummers in Japan, and the fantastic Liberty Singers in America.

For the first time, we stayed overnight at Universal at the Royal Pacific Resort. Wow, what a beautiful resort. It was what the Poly should be, IMO. Excellent service and tropical atmosphere - loved it! The free express passes were nice too; but it was not crowded at all. We did use the EP's for Minions, Shrek, Mummy, MIB, but probably didn't need it. Our favorite part was WWOHP, studios side. That place is fantastic and the Gringott's attraction is the best of any park, IMO. The level of immersion into HP's world is amazing. Also the train ride is not to be missed. I guess we spent 75% of our time wandering both HP areas, eating, and doing the attractions. We had a great time, but I missed WDW and the "bubble" that you feel over there. For us, it's a one an done for a while. Maybe we'll return in a few years?

This is just a brief trip report of things that we have done this time that were new to us.
I wanted to mention that the queues were clean this time, and we found no dirty bathrooms. Maybe this is due in some part to the lighter crowds?
Also, only had one minor problem with housekeeping, which was resolved for the remainder of our stay.

For us, February is the new "best time" to visit Florida. I know the weather can be cold, but this time it was perfect. We liked the lower crowds too. Of course, the MK is always more busy than the other parks, but in the AM it was very manageable.
Can't wait til next year:)
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby larryz » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:01 pm

Well done! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Grimley1968 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:19 pm

Thanks for the report!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Laketravis » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:52 pm

Glad you had a great time!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby rucifee » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:06 pm

Awesome! Glad you had fun! February is such a great month here.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby bcrook » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:37 pm

I'm happy you enjoyed Hollywood Studios.
I can't wait to see the Tree ceremony at DAK. And you are adding fuel to the Potter fire. I am even more excited about this. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Toulouse » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:57 am

So glad you had a great trip!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby posterchild » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:46 am

I enjoyed reading this report. I felt the same way about Universal. Many aspects are very well done, particularly the Potter stuff, and the proximity of resorts to parks (and ease of access). However, it was a one and done for us. I won't bash Universal, and I think they're getting a lot "right", but there wasn't enough to love to want to do it again and again.
It's 3 rides and back to the booze.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby northern freeze » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:12 pm

Posterchild, I agree about Universal. We will probably go back one year, but for now we have seen it all. We are Harry Potter fans, and had to visit those 2 areas at least once. It was fun and different, but not enough to make this an annual thing!
For some reason, my computer is dropping most of the "d"'s in my posts, frustrating :?

I wish there was a like button for this site!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Joshua » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:14 pm

posterchild wrote:I enjoyed reading this report. I felt the same way about Universal. Many aspects are very well done, particularly the Potter stuff, and the proximity of resorts to parks (and ease of access). However, it was a one and done for us. I won't bash Universal, and I think they're getting a lot "right", but there wasn't enough to love to want to do it again and again.

Thirded. Nice parks, but nothing I can't live without. Disney must put dopamine in their water or something.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby posterchild » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:32 pm

Joshua wrote:Thirded. Nice parks, but nothing I can't live without. Disney must put dopamine in their water or something.


Must be! I hate to sound like the crazy pixie pounders, but there is just "something" about Disney. Gosh darn it!
It's 3 rides and back to the booze.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Joshua » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:03 pm

posterchild wrote:
Joshua wrote:Thirded. Nice parks, but nothing I can't live without. Disney must put dopamine in their water or something.


Must be! I hate to sound like the crazy pixie pounders, but there is just "something" about Disney. Gosh darn it!

I hated how much I agreed with statements like "I could just sit on a bench and soak up Disney atmosphere" during my week at Universal.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby 3DisneyFanz » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:18 pm

posterchild wrote:
Joshua wrote:Thirded. Nice parks, but nothing I can't live without. Disney must put dopamine in their water or something.


Must be! I hate to sound like the crazy pixie pounders, but there is just "something" about Disney. Gosh darn it!

I'm pretty sure it's subliminal messages during Small World. There has to be a reason you always sit in the end room for 10 min no matter how crowded it is.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby 3DisneyFanz » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:21 pm

Sounds like a great trip. Glad crowds weren't too bad and the pro bowl had minimal impact on your trip.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Laketravis » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:03 pm

northern freeze wrote:For the first time, we stayed overnight at Universal at the Royal Pacific Resort. Wow, what a beautiful resort. It was what the Poly should be, IMO. Excellent service and tropical atmosphere - loved it! :)


Oh, I forgot to ask - which tower did you stay in?
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby surferdave » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:20 pm

As the resident bigger fan of Universal (at least since MDE was implemented) I just wanted to give all you guys a hearty

GOOD! MORE ROOM FOR ME!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I'm glad you had a great time 'Freeze! I agree about Royal Pacific, it's the best resort I've stayed in!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby mellyf » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:03 pm

surferdave wrote:As the resident bigger fan of Universal (at least since MDE was implemented) I just wanted to give all you guys a hearty

GOOD! MORE ROOM FOR ME!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I'm glad you had a great time 'Freeze! I agree about Royal Pacific, it's the best resort I've stayed in!


Lol! I'm with SurferDave on this one! :) We fell in love with Universal on our 4-day stay there back in January of 2015. And we also are RPR lovers. It's such a beautiful, relaxing resort. I love being able to walk to the parks.

Glad you had a great time, and I enjoyed reading your report!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby Momof2n4 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:25 pm

Glad you had such a great trip.
Haven't done UNI since 1999... so no comments there. But I don't think I've had any WDW Kiol-aid in my veins as I was just as happy, if not happier, with our SeaWorld/BGT/Aquatica trip 2014... I just love a good vacation with my family. Sunshine. Rides.
With lowered expectations, we pulled it off!
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby northern freeze » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:47 pm

Laketravis wrote:
northern freeze wrote:For the first time, we stayed overnight at Universal at the Royal Pacific Resort. Wow, what a beautiful resort. It was what the Poly should be, IMO. Excellent service and tropical atmosphere - loved it! :)


Oh, I forgot to ask - which tower did you stay in?


We stayed in 3, and were on the main floor level. It was great! I believe you recommended it? I told the desk CM that my husband had back surgery, and we would like a room closest to the water transport and without much walking to get there, if possible. I didn't demand anything, just asked. They went above board and gave us that room where we didn't have to use the elevator to get to it. It was right next to the elevator to go to the boat docks. I can't say enough about the customer service we got at RPR; no comparison with Disney, sadly. We will definitely stay there again.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby posterchild » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:27 pm

It's funny. We just had a throwaway room there (crazy, I know), so I didn't experience much in the way of resort employees. But the ones we did encounter? I can't tell you how nice and hospitable and helpful they were. It really made an impression on me. I can't remember the last time anyone at Disney made that big of an impression on me. Sure, we've encountered nice CMs, but nothing that sticks out like the people at Royal Pacific.

Actually, now that I think about it, there were a few park employees that bent over backwards to be helpful to me too. I had concerns about going on the HP train because I have a tendency to get claustrophobic. They reassured the crap out of me. They told me they would watch me via camera and if I was freaking out, I should just wave to the camera (they showed me where it was), and then told me that in the unlikely event there was a stoppage, they would open up the car doors for me. Just above and beyond.
It's 3 rides and back to the booze.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby northern freeze » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:27 pm

posterchild wrote:It's funny. We just had a throwaway room there (crazy, I know), so I didn't experience much in the way of resort employees. But the ones we did encounter? I can't tell you how nice and hospitable and helpful they were. It really made an impression on me. I can't remember the last time anyone at Disney made that big of an impression on me. Sure, we've encountered nice CMs, but nothing that sticks out like the people at Royal Pacific.

Actually, now that I think about it, there were a few park employees that bent over backwards to be helpful to me too. I had concerns about going on the HP train because I have a tendency to get claustrophobic. They reassured the crap out of me. They told me they would watch me via camera and if I was freaking out, I should just wave to the camera (they showed me where it was), and then told me that in the unlikely event there was a stoppage, they would open up the car doors for me. Just above and beyond.


Wow! I didnt' know they had cameras in each compartment! But it makes sense, I guess. We loved that part of the train ride, and it is only about 4 minutes. You look out on the scenery out the window, just like a real train or car ride. There are special effects on the doors (don't want to spoil it for you). I can't take Mission Space because it's too close for me, but this was fantastic, and we rode it 4 times:)
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby posterchild » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:41 pm

northern freeze wrote:
posterchild wrote:It's funny. We just had a throwaway room there (crazy, I know), so I didn't experience much in the way of resort employees. But the ones we did encounter? I can't tell you how nice and hospitable and helpful they were. It really made an impression on me. I can't remember the last time anyone at Disney made that big of an impression on me. Sure, we've encountered nice CMs, but nothing that sticks out like the people at Royal Pacific.

Actually, now that I think about it, there were a few park employees that bent over backwards to be helpful to me too. I had concerns about going on the HP train because I have a tendency to get claustrophobic. They reassured the crap out of me. They told me they would watch me via camera and if I was freaking out, I should just wave to the camera (they showed me where it was), and then told me that in the unlikely event there was a stoppage, they would open up the car doors for me. Just above and beyond.


Wow! I didnt' know they had cameras in each compartment! But it makes sense, I guess. We loved that part of the train ride, and it is only about 4 minutes. You look out on the scenery out the window, just like a real train or car ride. There are special effects on the doors (don't want to spoil it for you). I can't take Mission Space because it's too close for me, but this was fantastic, and we rode it 4 times:)


I rode it twice. I didn't enjoy it (thanks, anxiety :roll:) , but I get the appeal. It was certainly an efficient way to get from park to park, and the theming was terrific.
It's 3 rides and back to the booze.
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Re: 10 days at WDW & Universal

Postby northern freeze » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:53 pm

Sorry you couldn't ride the train, posterchild! I can't ride Soarin because I'm too afraid of heights! I know, I know, it's only a screen. But I still feel like I'm falling out of that narrow seat. I rode it for 2 years, then this year I told my husband he had to go alone because it caused too much anxiety and I didn't enjoy it. It was great to pass it by, but I am sure I am missing a great ride, though.
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