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TheIronSheik

Disney World in February (now maybe Universal)

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26 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Where is Star Wars land?

Hollywood Studios

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4 minutes ago, RG623 said:

Hollywood Studios

I feel stupid asking this, but is that all part of Disney?  Like if you go to Disney, that's part of it?  Or is that a separate park?  

This all seems so confusing.

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8 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

I feel stupid asking this, but is that all part of Disney?  Like if you go to Disney, that's part of it?  Or is that a separate park?  

This all seems so confusing.

Disney has 4 separate parks, Magic Kingdom (big castle), Animal Kingdom (Pandora is here), Hollywood studios (Star Wars and Toy Story land) and Epcot (big golf ball looking thing). It is daunting planning for the first time. There are definitely experts here who can help with questions.

You can buy a ticket to just one park or add a “park hopper” which allows you to visit any park you want in one day

Edited by RG623
Added ticket info
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7 minutes ago, RG623 said:

Disney has 4 separate parks, Magic Kingdom (big castle), Animal Kingdom (Pandora is here), Hollywood studios (Star Wars and Toy Story land) and Epcot (big golf ball looking thing). It is daunting planning for the first time. There are definitely experts here who can help with questions.

You can buy a ticket to just one park or add a “park hopper” which allows you to visit any park you want in one day

Ok.  That's a little clearer than what I've been able to glean from the websites.  Appreciate it.  When I think "Disney World", I just imagined that you get all of that for one ticket.  

 

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5 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Ok.  That's a little clearer than what I've been able to glean from the websites.  Appreciate it.  When I think "Disney World", I just imagined that you get all of that for one ticket.  

 

They can’t make :moneybag: hand over fist that way.

Edited by Osaurus
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12 hours ago, fruity pebbles said:

Agree but I’d add Animal Kingdom. 

Fair enough. We've not been to Animal Kingdom, though I have heard good things about it. 

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3 hours ago, Jobber said:

Fair enough. We've not been to Animal Kingdom, though I have heard good things about it. 

Used to be considered a half day park, but wait times increased so it’s a full day now. 

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honestly, if you are only going for 1 day, stay away from hollywood studios and Star Wars (and i'm a huge fan of Disney and SW's).  It is a mess right now b/c EVERYONE is going there and if you want a chance (thats right I said "a chance") to ride the new SW ride, you have to get there at 6am. They are doing "Boarding Groups" and what group number you get into depends on how quickly you can log into the app exactly at opening—and i'm talking about seconds. The higher number "boarding groups" are not guaranteed to ride. So for someone unfamiliar with Disney, their app, the overall craziness AND only having 1 shot at it, it's better to forget about it. 

I would do Universal Studios, and if I had to pick 1 park, I would do the original park—Universal Studios (the theme park).

The Harry potter stuff is what makes it really tough.

Universal Studios have the better of the 2 Harry Potter themed lands from a theming point of view—Diagon Alley. There is the huge fire breathing dragon, lots of cool shops, some good HP themed food, and the ride Escape from Gringots is damn good.

However Islands of Adventure (the other park) HP land "Hogsmead" is slightly less themed but has the 2 best HP rides. So really hard call here. 

What is swinging the needle for me is everything else. 

Uiniv Studios has a more well rounded set of rides
• Men in Black—fun shooter ride where you shoot aliens and compete for score
• Simpsons—big simulator ride and very funny
• Mummy—Indoor coaster thats pretty scary 
• Rip rocket—great outdoor coaster
• Minions—4D movie
• Trasformers—4D Ride
• Monster Make Up Show—very funny show
• ET (although its getting pretty old) 

By comparison, Islands of Adventure has
• Hulk—Dam good coaster
• Spiderman—4D and really good, but basically the same as Transformers
• Jurassic Park—A big drop themed log flume ride. Getting old as well IMO
• The Raptor Encounter—Pretty cool and fun photo op with a Jurassic Park raptor, can scare the poop out of you. 
• Kong—Cool ride where you get in a big cargo truck and go through a cave of screens where Kong defends the truck from badies. 
• Poseidon's Fury: A walk through attraction with some cool effects but kinda hokey IMO and they jam so many people into it its hard to get a good view. 

Then you have Dr Suess land which is all kid based and Toon Lagoon (popeye, and Bullwinkle type stuff) which just needs to be blown up and rethought at this point, that I don't even bother riding anything there. 

So I base my decision on the amount of entertaining rides and shows including re-ridablity if you have time. So for that Univ Studios wins in my book. 

Edited by glvsav37
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I'll also add that both Universal parks have their shopping/dining/entertainment area right outside the main gates called City Walk. You literally walk there and have dozens of good dining options—Margaritaville, Hard rock, Bubba Gump, Thoothsome Chocolate Factory, Big fire Grille, Cowfish sushi, plus Voodoo Doughnuts—and bars like Fat Tuesdays and rising Star, without having to get in your car. This really extends your day at Universal as opposed to Disney where very little is next to any theme parks. 

Disney Does have Downtown Disney which is awesome, but you are making the decision to really leave where you are to go there.

With UO, you can hope out for a drink or meal and then back in afterward without technically leaving the resort—I mean you can literally still see both main gates from most of the restaurant tables. 

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7 minutes ago, glvsav37 said:

I'll also add that both Universal parks have their shopping/dining/entertainment area right outside the main gates called City Walk. You literally walk there and have dozens of good dining options—Margaritaville, Hard rock, Bubba Gump, Thoothsome Chocolate Factory, Big fire Grille, Cowfish sushi, plus Voodoo Doughnuts—and bars like Fat Tuesdays and rising Star, without having to get in your car. This really extends your day at Universal as opposed to Disney where very little is next to any theme parks. 

Disney Does have Downtown Disney which is awesome, but you are making the decision to really leave where you are to go there.

With UO, you can hope out for a drink or meal and then back in afterward without technically leaving the resort—I mean you can literally still see both main gates from most of the restaurant tables. 

Ahem, excuse me Mr. @glvsav37 sir, but the mouse would like to see you in his office 

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1 hour ago, glvsav37 said:

  It is a mess right now b/c EVERYONE is going there and if you want a chance (thats right I said "a chance") to ride the new SW ride, you have to get there at 6am. They are doing "Boarding Groups" and what group number you get into depends on how quickly you can log into the app exactly at opening—and i'm talking about seconds. The higher number "boarding groups" are not guaranteed to ride. So for someone unfamiliar with Disney, their app, the overall craziness AND only having 1 shot at it, it's better to forget about it. 

 

Its stuff like this that  makes me want to stay away from the whole experience.  My wife wants to go badly, but the kids are all too old to get the most out of it.  The main thread is so daunting, it makes it seem like a Disney vacation is a lot more like work than an actual vacation.

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3 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Its stuff like this that  makes me want to stay away from the whole experience.  My wife wants to go badly, but the kids are all too old to get the most out of it.  The main thread is so daunting, it makes it seem like a Disney vacation is a lot more like work than an actual vacation.

I really am hoping this craziness is not going on at the end of August.  I am going to get on this ride, but I don't want it to ruin a day. 

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15 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Its stuff like this that  makes me want to stay away from the whole experience.  My wife wants to go badly, but the kids are all too old to get the most out of it.  The main thread is so daunting, it makes it seem like a Disney vacation is a lot more like work than an actual vacation.

If you've never been before, or haven't been since you were a kid, it really is a massive undertaking to plan a first time trip.  I have friends that have never been that "just want to go once" and I refer them to a travel agent, telling them "don't even think about trying to do it yourself if you've never done it before".  

Not to scare you away, just being honest.  It's a great fun awesome magical place that no matter what age your family is they'll enjoy, but there's so many things to do and see and experience and ride and taste and try, that can overwhelm a rookie.  

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9 minutes ago, wlwiles said:

If you've never been before, or haven't been since you were a kid, it really is a massive undertaking to plan a first time trip.  I have friends that have never been that "just want to go once" and I refer them to a travel agent, telling them "don't even think about trying to do it yourself if you've never done it before".  

Not to scare you away, just being honest.  It's a great fun awesome magical place that no matter what age your family is they'll enjoy, but there's so many things to do and see and experience and ride and taste and try, that can overwhelm a rookie.  

Will have to consider this, though I have heard of travel agent nightmares as well.  I don't know anyone that uses them anymore with all the websites, but this is where they would be valuable.

I last went when I was 18, and hung out with my 20 year old brother for the week.  We were on our own and just did what we wanted.  If that's all it was, I could do that.  But it is just a whole different world these days it seems.

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1 hour ago, rick6668 said:

I really am hoping this craziness is not going on at the end of August.  I am going to get on this ride, but I don't want it to ruin a day. 

My cousin and his family are there right now. Flew down from Michigan for the week. Got to the park at 5:30 for the resistance ride and are still waiting. It was down for 7 hours too. Not having fun. 

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2 hours ago, wlwiles said:

Ahem, excuse me Mr. @glvsav37 sir, but the mouse would like to see you in his office 

Wow.  Slip of the tongue there. My bad.  I’m not getting a gold star on my next report card.  

Edited by glvsav37

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1 hour ago, Bull Dozier said:

Will have to consider this, though I have heard of travel agent nightmares as well.  I don't know anyone that uses them anymore with all the websites, but this is where they would be valuable.

I last went when I was 18, and hung out with my 20 year old brother for the week.  We were on our own and just did what we wanted.  If that's all it was, I could do that.  But it is just a whole different world these days it seems.

There are still real value in a good Disney travel agent, esp for people not fully aware of what and how to plan stuff there these days.  Sad but details are crucial.  
 

the best part about a Dis TA is that there is no coat to you.  Disney pays them a % of your trip so it’s like having an assistant for free.  They will also keep up with discounts and deals and adjust your reservation if one becomes avail, so they might save you money in the end. 
 

I have a few great TAs I can recommend if interested.  

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2 hours ago, rick6668 said:

I really am hoping this craziness is not going on at the end of August.  I am going to get on this ride, but I don't want it to ruin a day. 

It should.  Right now you have Regular guests, locals and semi locals all trying to get in.  It really has only been open a month and with the holiday crowd, locals were mostly staying away. Plus the west coast version just opened so that will take care if anyone on that side of the country looking to ride.  August will still be somewhat heavy but I don’t expect it to be this insane. 

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14 minutes ago, glvsav37 said:

It should.  Right now you have Regular guests, locals and semi locals all trying to get in.  It really has only been open a month and with the holiday crowd, locals were mostly staying away. Plus the west coast version just opened so that will take care if anyone on that side of the country looking to ride.  August will still be somewhat heavy but I don’t expect it to be this insane. 

It’s still often 2 hours to get on that stupid mine train ride. RoR is going to be hell for years. 

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3 hours ago, Capella said:

It’s still often 2 hours to get on that stupid mine train ride. RoR is going to be hell for years. 

Yes.  But I expect it to be past the need for 6am boarding group cattle call type system they are doing now. 
 

should be a regular (but still hard to get) fast pass by then

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So after much debate (with herself), my daughter has decided (for the time being) that we'll go to Disney World - Magic Kingdom.  She said because she didn't get to experience it as a kid ( :rolleyes: ), she wants to go check it out.  

Can't deny her that.  Although I do fear she might be disappointed when it's over.  Hopefully not.

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So my work has this thing that's supposed to be a free benefit we get.  I get emails every week from them and never used them, but it's supposed to give you discounts for tickets all over the country.  Shows, sports, amusement parks.  Whatever.  

So I get one today and I see it has Disney World on it so I think, "I should check this out."  I put in the day and it calculated the price.  Came back at $112 a person.  I thought, "Damn!  That's the CHEAP price?!?  I wonder how much they go for without a discount?"  So I went on the Disney site and they say $109.  <_<

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7 hours ago, TheIronSheik said:

So after much debate (with herself), my daughter has decided (for the time being) that we'll go to Disney World - Magic Kingdom.  She said because she didn't get to experience it as a kid ( :rolleyes: ), she wants to go check it out.  

Can't deny her that.  Although I do fear she might be disappointed when it's over.  Hopefully not.

You won't be disappointed. If she wants to be a kid again, then let her—everyone gets to be a kid there if they don't mind leaving their grumpy adult at the main gate.  

There is still enough for you to do to satisfy your more adventurous side: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Go nostalgic and do Pirates and Jungle Cruise. Watch the 3pm parade while chowing down on mickey bars or Dole Whips (highly recommended). Get silly with the princess meet and greets (she can, you might get arrested). 

Jump on the monorail and head to the Polly and go to Trader Sams bar to relax and have some fun drinks. And then back to the park for fireworks to put a bow on the day. 

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Just now, glvsav37 said:

You won't be disappointed. If she wants to be a kid again, then let her—everyone gets to be a kid there if they don't mind leaving their grumpy adult at the main gate.  

There is still enough for you to do to satisfy your more adventurous side: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Go nostalgic and do Pirates and Jungle Cruise. Watch the 3pm parade while chowing down on mickey bars or Dole Whips (highly recommended). Get silly with the princess meet and greets (she can, you might get arrested). 

Jump on the monorail and head to the Polly and go to Trader Sams bar to relax and have some fun drinks. And then back to the park for fireworks to put a bow on the day. 

1000% agree.

From the get go, this was completely her choice.  It's all about her and her childhood, so I'm not trying to steer her away by any means.  I went to Disneyland as a kid and it was magical.  I had my turn.

My only fear is that with so many choices, I don't want her regretting her choice.  From what you just wrote, it makes me feel better because I don't think she will.  

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5 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

1000% agree.

From the get go, this was completely her choice.  It's all about her and her childhood, so I'm not trying to steer her away by any means.  I went to Disneyland as a kid and it was magical.  I had my turn.

My only fear is that with so many choices, I don't want her regretting her choice.  From what you just wrote, it makes me feel better because I don't think she will.  

Actually, if you have 1 day, the Magic Kingdom is the place to be. Park to park, they have the most rides there. And it's a good mix of new, slightly thrill and Disney nostalgia (Haunted Mansion). Its hard to NOT get lost in the overall experience. You will not be bored or run out of things to do like you might in the other parks. 

Edited by glvsav37
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On 10/14/2019 at 3:32 PM, 3 hour lunch said:

If you are dead set on Magic Kingdom, I would consider Seven Dwarves, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain railroad to be the other adult rides. Others like Pirates and Haunted Mansion are still fun. Animal kingdom may have the best two adult rides there with Avatar and Everest but hard to pass up Magic Kingdom for one day. There’s a huge thread here with a ton of info. Make sure you get fast passes!  Highly recommend Be Our Guest for a meal

It says they come with every ticket.  Which seems odd.  Does that mean everyone has Fast Pass?  Maybe I'm not understanding what it is.

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2 hours ago, TheIronSheik said:

It says they come with every ticket.  Which seems odd.  Does that mean everyone has Fast Pass?  Maybe I'm not understanding what it is.

Fast passes come free with every ticket.  What they are is basically “ride reservations” where you can pick 3 attractions and lock in a window of time to go back to that ride and get on a shorter, faster line.   
 

you need to download the Disney world app, called mydisneyexperience and make profiles for every person in your party.  
 

once you have your tickets, load them in and that will unlock the ability to make fat passes. 
 

given you are not staying on site, you can make your fast pass selections 30 days from the date of travel.  
 

when you hit 30 days, go in a you can make 3 selections.  Each selection will have an hour window of time (and they can’t overlap) to go back to the ride and use the fast pass line.  
 

onsite guests have a perk of being able to make theirs at 60 days out, so some experiences may not be available to you/sold out.  But there should still be plenty of good FPs available.  
 

the best FPS are for the thrill rides that usually have longer lines.  Don’t worry about theater shows and rides with higher capacity that tend to fit a lot of people in.  

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So I guess I should buy the tickets ahead of time, correct?  Any other last minute tips before we head there this weekend (hopefully)?

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1 hour ago, TheIronSheik said:

So I guess I should buy the tickets ahead of time, correct?  Any other last minute tips before we head there this weekend (hopefully)?

Yes...get the tickets NOW!!! If you want fastpasses (and you want fastpasses) you need to create profiles on the Disney world website for everyone in your party. Once they have those, load in the tickets (there will be a code number associated with each ticket). Everyone should get the Disney app to manage your day. 

Once they are loaded, you can make FastPass selections for 3 rides that day (sorry, but it will be the best of whats available at this point). FP's are free and included with your tickets so there is no reason to NOT get them, even if its not for the optimum experience...its still time you are not standing in line. 

You can get them once in the park, but you will really be at the mercy of what is left over and why spend your time doing that after you paid to get in. Do it now and have your day set. You can always check the app and modify them if needed. 

How to book FPs (you can jump to about 3min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBhL9MaPd7E

One of the biggest things to realize when visiting the MK is that it is that the parking situation/getting to the main gate is unlike any other park. Technically you will be parking at the TTC (transportation and ticket center) which is across the lake from MK's main gate. From there you'll need to go through security screening and bag check. After that you still need to get on a monorail or ferry boat to get to the MK main gate. The whole process could add 45min-1hour to your entry time, so dont show up at 9am and think you are going to be in front of the castle by 9:10. 

You may need to also add some time to stop at guest relations and get your physical ticket media. I'm not 100% certain how this works b/c we buy our tickets way ahead of time and get the magic bands (RFID wristbands that have all of our tickets and resort room info on them) well ahead of time. In order to use your fastpasses, you'll need some sort of physical media to use at the FP touch points to prove that you can enter that attraction. 

I'm sure there is more, i'll think about it a bit

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Don’t just show up and be able to do anything. Try to get organized now like the post above lays out, unfortunately a lot of things are probably booked but still better than trying to walk up and do anything. 

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2 minutes ago, Capella said:

Don’t just show up and be able to do anything. Try to get organized now like the post above lays out, unfortunately a lot of things are probably booked but still better than trying to walk up and do anything. 

Like, I understand all the words you guys wrote, but it's still very confusing.  We were waiting to see if the weather was nice before buying tickets.  Need to make sure it's not only nice in Orlando, but the weather up here is nice enough that we can get down to Florida.  But I guess we'll buy them tonight and try to set up everything.  

Are you guys saying that without "setting things up" a while back that we might not get to do certain things?

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13 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Like, I understand all the words you guys wrote, but it's still very confusing.  We were waiting to see if the weather was nice before buying tickets.  Need to make sure it's not only nice in Orlando, but the weather up here is nice enough that we can get down to Florida.  But I guess we'll buy them tonight and try to set up everything.  

Are you guys saying that without "setting things up" a while back that we might not get to do certain things?

Probably won’t be able to do most things, or at least not without a significant wait. Fast passes essentially allow you to cut the lines but at this point for this weekend the fast passes for the good rides may be gone — they only distribute a limited amount. 

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3 minutes ago, Capella said:

Probably won’t be able to do most things, or at least not without a significant wait. Fast passes essentially allow you to cut the lines but at this point for this weekend the fast passes for the good rides may be gone — they only distribute a limited amount. 

This worries me.

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Just now, TheIronSheik said:

This worries me.

you'll be fine.  You are not going presidents weekend right?

You aren't going to go see princesses, have character meals, or go to one of their fancy dining places.

If you are just rolling into MK for the day you'll still be able to do most stuff, you may have to wait for some of it and not have time for a few things

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3 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

This worries me.

Yes. I just looked for Saturday and the best ‘adult’ rides (space and thunder mountain imo) are already gone or about to be. Probably will be a 90 minute wait to ride either. If you’re ok with waiting it’s cool, but you have to at least factor that in. 

Edited by Capella
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2 minutes ago, belljr said:

you'll be fine.  You are not going presidents weekend right?

You aren't going to go see princesses, have character meals, or go to one of their fancy dining places.

If you are just rolling into MK for the day you'll still be able to do most stuff, you may have to wait for some of it and not have time for a few things

No.  This Saturday.  The Princesses were probably on the list.  I mean, she's a girl who grew up on Disney.  I would suspect she wants that even if she won't admit it from her teenage mouth.  :lol:

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7 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

No.  This Saturday.  The Princesses were probably on the list.  I mean, she's a girl who grew up on Disney.  I would suspect she wants that even if she won't admit it from her teenage mouth.  :lol:

I just looked and they have plenty of princess fast passes left. So that’s good!

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1 minute ago, Capella said:

I just looked and they have plenty of princess fast passes left. So that’s good!

Fast passes to meet princesses?  This is on all whole nother level than what I anticipated. :lol:

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Looks like rain so that will be fun

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3 minutes ago, Osaurus said:

Looks like rain so that will be fun

Does rain (or the forecast of rain) keep the crowds down, like most normal parks?  Or does it not matter for DW since it's a destination trip?

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Ok, just so I can have a Plan B in my back pocket:  Is Universal the same as DW when it comes to this fast pass stuff and wait times?  

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1 minute ago, TheIronSheik said:

Does rain (or the forecast of rain) keep the crowds down, like most normal parks?  Or does it not matter for DW since it's a destination trip?

Depends if there’s lightning or not from my  experience. You’ll be fine. Just expect lots of people 

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1 hour ago, TheIronSheik said:

Ok, just so I can have a Plan B in my back pocket:  Is Universal the same as DW when it comes to this fast pass stuff and wait times?  

no on fast pass  - you can buy one for the day and use it for every ride that has a express line

yes on wait times

We waited 2 hours for the Hagrid ride -  no fast pass for that one

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1 hour ago, Osaurus said:

Looks like rain so that will be fun

yeah if you're flying Thursday afternoon , they're already warning about line of severe TStorm for Thursday afternoon/evening

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48 minutes ago, JaxBill said:

yeah if you're flying Thursday afternoon , they're already warning about line of severe TStorm for Thursday afternoon/evening

Yup.  You don't have to tell me about that. :lol:

Possible ice up here.  Then maybe snow when we return on Sunday. :(

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We took our kids when they were middle school age-ish and had a wonderful time.  I was in my 30s so still loved to ride with them on any coaster/ride.  We did Disney parks and Universal/Isle of Adventure.  Awesome time.  Hulk coaster and dueling dragons were my favs.  

We've been on Thanksgiving week twice.  The first time was good.  Second time was ridiculously crowded. Then we went in February the last time.  Fantastic!  Most kids in school, lots of foreign visitors.  I've been 4 times and that was the best time frame that I can remember.  

Now my kids are in their early 30s and my daughter has two boys, 4 and 2 (acts like he's 5), so we're going to take the lot down there maybe this year.  I did most of the planning back then and we were able to visit all of the parks available over a 3 day period.  

This time my wife and I (grandparents now) are just along for the ride (and probably most of the money source) so no planning on my part.  But I can't wait to see my grandboys have fun.  I don't do roller coasters any more.  Last time I rode a few at a park it shook lose a kidney stone and I had to cut my day short.  Too old for it now.  

Enjoy your trip!  I look forward to ours as well.   

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Ended up getting sick Monday so I’ve been in slumber for the past 48 hours. 

But I was able to buy the tickets for Saturday. When I got to the fast passes, I looked and Space Mountain was all gone. So that sucked. We did a princess at 1. Then Haunted Mansion at 4. And after that, like a reward for all my worry, Space Mountain popped up at 6. So I grabbed that too. I feel like we got everything we wanted. So that’s good. 

We’ll get there at open and head to the back left? Hit those rides as said in here earlier. I’m sure we’ll try to see another princess if possible. 

Any advice on things like the electric parade (is that still a thing?) or the fireworks? Times?

Daughter is really excited for this so that makes us happy. I’m excited, too. It’s been almost 40 years since my last visit. Was bummed to hear Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is no longer a thing :( :lol:

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5 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Ended up getting sick Monday so I’ve been in slumber for the past 48 hours. 

But I was able to buy the tickets for Saturday. When I got to the fast passes, I looked and Space Mountain was all gone. So that sucked. We did a princess at 1. Then Haunted Mansion at 4. And after that, like a reward for all my worry, Space Mountain popped up at 6. So I grabbed that too. I feel like we got everything we wanted. So that’s good. 

We’ll get there at open and head to the back left? Hit those rides as said in here earlier. I’m sure we’ll try to see another princess if possible. 

Any advice on things like the electric parade (is that still a thing?) or the fireworks? Times?

Daughter is really excited for this so that makes us happy. I’m excited, too. It’s been almost 40 years since my last visit. Was bummed to hear Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is no longer a thing :( :lol:

The track still lives on as the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh iirc. Wtf did they take out the smoke rings?

Edited by Osaurus

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