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Very Disappointed
Posted by KBuck on 01/13/2011
We went to Universal on 12/28/2010. We purchased our tickets, at which time the ticket agent told us the park was very full, we understood that we would need to wait in long lines but we were glad to be there, so we purchased our ticket.

We went into the park with the intention of going to see the Harry Potter world. I had seen it before, so I know that it was only three rides so we figured we would simply see how long the lines were and if nothing else just enjoy the Hogsmeade area and purchase some gifts.

What shocked us was that they had closed off the Harry Potter area, as if it were a separate park. No one informed us of this when we purchased our tickets, no one told us that we would need to be designated a time that we could enter that portion of the park, we were simply sold our (very overpriced) tickets and told to enter the park.

We spent a total of 45 minutes in the park and left without seeing a single thing that we wanted to. The cost of the adventure for two people $175.00. When we complained to customer service, the woman told me, "hmmm...I didn't know they had the Harry Potter section closed off, you should just come back later...but I am sure it will just be busy then too."

Where did customer service go? If you are going to close a portion of the park off, you should tell people BEFORE you have them purchase a ticket. From what I can see here, I am not the only one who experienced this bait and switch move by Universal, so needless to say, they made a lot of money and didn't offer much of anything to their customers.

The interesting part is that I love Harry Potter and the stories, so I tolerated the fact that Universal boasts they have a Harry Potter world. I tried to simply take in everything while I was there on my first visit (prior to the Christmas visit) but in reality the park created a very small Hogsmeade section with only a few places that are actual buildings that you can go into, created an interesting castle, but then simply re-purposed two rides that were already a part of the park to begin with. With such little effort into this section on Universal's part, you would think that they would be thankful that people want to go there, want to be part of it, when really there is not much to see.

I still love the area, although small, simply because I try to see the magic in bringing a story to life, but Universal should be ashamed by their performance not only in creating a World that is more of a small neighborhood and by the way their extorted money out of unsuspecting visitors during the Christmas week.

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Posted by MDSasquatch on 2011-01-13:
Good Grief, not again!
We went to Universal on 12/28/2010.......
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-01-13:
Many people don't want crowds & they want the parks to do something about it.

What they DON'T realize is that the best way to keep crowds down is to prevent too many people from going in. Or rather... they realize this, they just don't always understand that THEY themselves might end up being the person who is told "Sorry it's closed cos it's too full".

Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-13:
Just a guess but I'm thinking the OP would have been much happier if they were told, "Sorry it's closed cos it's too full". It's no different than being told a movie, sporting event or rock concert is sold out.

Obviously judging by all the complaints Universal dropped the ball on this one.
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-01-13:
1) They were notified the park was pretty packed - they said it was fine.

2) They never told the ticket agent they specifically wanted the Harry Potter section. Or perhaps they might have been notified.

3) Sometimes people just don't understand that when you start limiting the numbers that it's not always going to be OTHER customers who get pushed out.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-13:
1) I might still attend a movie even though I was 'notified it was packed' but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be pissed if there were no empty seats.

2) When I buy a movie ticket I don't tell them I want a seat.

3) I do believe most people realize that if you start limiting numbers that it might preclude them from entering. No different than a movie theater, playhouse or sports arena.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-13:
Seems to me that by allowing these packed crowds Universal is doing themselves a disservice. On the other hand, if enough people complain perhaps word will spread and people will actually not go during this hectic time.

Viewed from a cynical point of view, Universal may view it something like Dell views its customer base - it is unlimited and there will always be new sucke.., er customers to come along. And they make money in the meantime.
Posted by KBuck on 2011-01-13:
I agree that although I did not tell them I was going to the Harry Potter section - I had visited the park three months earlier and it was not a closed off section - it was something you could freely walk through - whether or not you decided to ride the rides.

If you are going to change the venue (close off an area that is not normally sectioned off) you should tell people prior to a person paying for entry into the venue.

It is not the consumers responsibility in this case - I was never complaining about the crowds - I knew it would be busy. I complained because I paid to enter the entire park, but was only given access to a piece of it. I should have been notified of this.
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-01-13:
as for the movie.... that fails as a comparison because a park has more than one section. while for a movie you specify which movie and time you're buying a ticket for.
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-01-13:
"you should just come back later...but I am sure it will just be busy then too."

sounds a bit like it wasn't closed for the whole day but perhaps they had reached limit.

if that's the case the person selling the ticket won't know whether or not a specific section is temporarily closed due to capacity, or when the other paying people will move out to make room.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-13:
I think you're missing the core point PepperElf.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-13:
You go to any theme park with the fastest, highest, biggest, baddest roller coaster that year you will be standing in lines 2 to 3 hours to ride it. Why do people think it would be different for a ride based on the biggest grossing movie and book for kids of all time? Especially when every kid has off that week? I read complaints on this site about universal not limiting crowds. This one is about universal limiting the crowd. You don't get refunds in the park if a ride is broken, there are hundreds of other things to do beyond that one ride. Your best bet is to educate yourself about what you are going to do before you do it. They have this thing called the Internet that makes this easy to do.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-13:
Yes, the park should limit the number of people allowed in if they can't handle more than a certain number. I don't know why so many people think it's to be expected that a person should spend hundreds of dollars and not really get anything for that money.

Yes, the person selling the tickets said it was packed. Of course it's going to be packed. But to not be able to see major parts of the park? That's beyond packed. Obviously Universal had a major problem that week and they need to fix it. Sure, I'd be upset if I was turned away at the gate, but I'd rather be upset about missing something than having wasted hundreds of dollars.
Posted by KBuck on 2011-01-13:
I think some people are missing my point. I am not complaining that there were lots of people there. I am not complaining because the park limited the amount of people in a section of the park. I AM complaining that we were not notified of this. If you change the park (and we checked the Internet before we left - there was no mention of sections of the park being closed, they merely said it was crowded) then you need to let people know.

If you have sections of the park that are normally open all the time and you physically block them off for a week - then you need to notify people.

I agree with parks limiting people into them - it gives those who came a better experience. I would have been disappointed if we got there and were turned away, but I would have understood as it was a busy week. I understood all of that. But I wasn't given that opportunity - I was sold a ticket for the entire park and I was not able to see the ENTIRE park. That's my complaint. It wasn't one ride that was broken, it was an ENTIRE section that was closed off to people. Not a ride - a SECTION.
Posted by Slimjim on 2011-01-13:
It's not hard to imagine both Universal parks, as well as, all Disney Properties (including Anaheim's), were packed Christmas week, yet most complaints all seem to be directed specifically with Universal Florida's Harry Potter exhibit. I going to have to conclude this is more than just some people not being realistic with expectations and more like, there really was some bad planning on US part regarding the handling of the crowds in this area.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-13:
The OP knew when driving into the park it was mobbed. The OP knew when buying the tickets it was mobbed. The area the OP wanted to go to was closed off for the time being due to it being full, from those who got there earlier. It is frustrating when you spend that kind of money and it is to crowded to enjoy, but unless the park turns people away (sounds like the OP would have been one to have been turned away) when it hits a certain capacity then I don't see any other options.
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Universal Studios - Broken Rides and Not Able to Get Into Harry Potter
Posted by Rajivjain100 on 01/11/2011
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We went to Universal Studios the week on 12/27 for our family vacation. We experienced several problems and weren't able to enjoy the park. When we complained to guest services, we were offered a one-day return pass after 4pm OR $5 credit per person. We were extremely disappointed. Here are the problems that we experienced:

1. The Harry Potter area was closed on the 29th and 30th. We were unable to enter this attraction at 2pm on the 29th and also on the 30th. We were told to go to Toon Lagoon and wait in line for a later entry time ticket. We went to Toon Lagoon and had a difficult time finding the line for the re-entry tickets (the employees there did not know where the line is for re-entry into Harry Potter and the lines are not well labeled). Once we found the line at around 3pm, the re-entry tickets for a 9pm return time were sold out and we were told to wait in a 180 minute line to enter the attraction. That was our only option which is not an acceptable one. It's not easy waiting in a line for 3 hours with an 11 year old!
2. The Revenge of the Mummy ride was down on 12/29 from 4:45 to 5:45 (or longer). We were in line and heard an audio message to wait for further information. After 45 minutes in line, we were told that the ride would be closed. We spoke with Mary and Bob at the ride and asked for compensation. They offered us express passes, which were of no use to us since we were staying at Portofino and already had paid for Express entry. Mary and Bob told us to speak with Guest Services. We spoke with Alejander and were not satisfied with her response (a return pass after 4pm or $5 voucher per person).
3. The Jimmy Neutron ride was broken at noon on 12/30. We were told to return at a later time. We returned at 1:00 and the ride was still down.

Universal needs to limit the capacity into the park. They also need to notify guests that they may not be able to enter certain exhibits due to capacity and technical issues. We were not able to get a refund and wanted this information to be available to others who may visit the park during peak times.
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Posted by Slimjim on 2011-01-11:
This isn't the first complaint written about this issue over the Christmas week there but you did offer valid suggestions I didn't see with the others. While there usually is wait times posted on a board, it generally is inside the park's entrance. Better wait and non-operating attraction disclosures before one buys tickets could be an improvement worth considering, especially during the busiest week of the year.
Posted by MDSasquatch on 2011-01-11:
"We went to Universal Studios the week on 12/27"

nuff said
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-11:
all I saw was 12/27.
Posted by Fufu487 on 2011-01-11:
with everyone else here, I'm sorry to say. You went during peak times, you contributed to the lines aswell. Yes, they could limit park entry, but they can't control who wants to go to what attractions, and they sure as heck arn't going to refund your tickets just because you didnt get to go on the attraction you wanted to. Rides break sometimes, they are running all day, all the time. Even regular maintenance checks won't 100% guarantee they won't have occasional issues. That Harry Potter attraction is hot stuff right now, everyone wants to see it. Of course it's going to be hard to get into it.
Posted by stacey063 on 2011-01-22:
I too experienced the abhorrent situation at Islands of Adventure. I did contact Universal after the fact about it and they have been more than gracious and personal about getting me replacement tix to come another time. I only wish they'd been that personal and customer oriented at the park.
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Left feeling ripped off at Universal Studios
Posted by Any1588 on 01/10/2011
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- My family and I had an experience at Universal Studio that has left us feeling disappointed and very. We entered the park around 11 am at the cost of $566.88 (6 Adult tickets plus parking of $30.) on December 22, 2010. Two hours passed (because of pushing and bumping thru crowds and poor signage) beore we were able to experience anything the park had to offer – and that was lunch at an additional cost of $40. We had to wait until 3 PM to enter Harry Potter Theme Park only to queue up for a line a mile long for the Forbidden Journey.

There was no crowd control and no employees within sight to give direction. It was dangerously overcrowded. If one person panicked we would have been trampled to death. Families were forming chains, holding onto each other so as not to be separated. This was a very dangerous situation. After the ride we found ourselves again fighting our way out of the gift shop. My husband and I are seniors and we were so uncomfortable with the crowds that we had to escape Harry Potter Theme Park to Dr. Seuss land. We rested a few minutes then left the park at 4:30 PM. Our daughter and her family queued up for another line (40 minute wait) to purchase a wand for her two children - another $60 for two wands.
Almost $700 for us to enjoy 2-3 minutes on a ride compared to hours of frustrating, dangerous overcrowding for over a hundred dollars a person is a complete rip off.
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Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2011-01-10:
During peak times or days that are nice these theme parks are very crowded and busy. What you just described is a normal busy day at any major theme park nationwide. My advice would be to avoid them during peak times if you do not like crowds
Posted by unhappy999 on 2011-01-10:
I've been taking my kids (now almost grown) to amusement parts in the NJ/PA area since they were little. Hardly ever, if at all, did we buy souvenirs. I'm not sure why you are complaining about waiting in line 40 minutes to buy 2 wands for $60. This was your daughters choice. I would have saved that $60. I will stick to the smaller amusement parks in the Northeast. Your complaint about crowds seems to be the norm these days. I agree, the Fl and CA parks are not worth the money.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-10:
I disagree that what the OP described is normal or to be expected in any way. Yes, it's a busy time of year to go to those theme parks, but if they will take all that money for tickets, there should be a limit on how many people are allowed in each day.

And she's complaining about the wait and the cost of the wands because it's a valid complaint. Yes, her daughter made the decision to go through with it, but it doesn't mean she's happy with it.

All of these reviews are very helpful to me because I know not to visit Disney or Universal anytime around the holidays.
Posted by Skye on 2011-01-10:
We've been to Disneyland in California, several times, and never had problems, because we've always gone off season, right after Labor Day. Less crowds, because the kids are back in school.

I know it's hard for some to travel off season due to work schedules, and school schedules, but it's something to think about.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-10:
I would have been getting in line and forming a human chain around the management booth, with the expectation of demanding a refund. That's absurd. From what I have read, they let far too many people into this event.

Very helpful to those who might consider a similar trip at the same time of year.
Posted by localgod on 2011-01-11:
I agree both ways. Expect the unexpected in all theme parks, especially Orlando/Tampa parks during tourist season. They are probably oversold and not friendly to families with young children and those with limited accessibility. Learn a lesson from a long time Central Floridian; we love our tourists, but please use the discretion the locals use. Avoid peak times and weekends, especially with new attractions. Don't expect to be alone in your endeavors. Be patient, and wait your given turn. Expect to pay exorbitant prices for food and drink. It is what it is, if it's not your cup of tea to wait 45 minutes to 2 hours standing in line, and you didn't spring for the Fast Pass, your experience will be dissatisfying. Please enjoy our beaches and moderate Winter weather instead, the parks are overcrowded from November to April. BTW - Florida residents get deep discounts in the off-season when there are barely any lines.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-01-11:
The overcrowding issue is a disaster in the making. I agree with this OP and others that better crowd control and supervision are essential. If the park permits overcrowding, the least it should do is have adequate staff and procedures in place to ensure that all patrons are safe, especially the children. One little thing could set these crowds into a frenzy, and the outcome could be very scary.

Complaining about the cost is pointless. By choosing to visit these parks, you are agreeing to the prices.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-11:
All I had to read was December 22nd.
Posted by Inat on 2011-01-11:
i'll never, ever,ever, understand how someone can complain about crowds and queue lengths at theme parks during peak season
Posted by stacey063 on 2011-01-11:
I had the same experience as this person - very unsafe situation - this was WAAAAy worse than anything I have ever experience at any park during holiday times - total chaos - a major tragedy in the making due to their lack of crowd control. I have been to Disney many many times for holiday things - they've never come close to this crowd issue!!! Universal will go down when everyone gets trampelled to death soon at Harry Potter.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-11:
Everyone wanted to do the Harry Potter ride for Xmas. I
M sure if Universal had turned people away there would be complaints about that. Your best bet is to do your research and go at a less crowded time. Christmas in Orlando is a bad time to go.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-01-11:
Stacey, that's the point I was trying to make. I think people expect crowds, and that the real complaint is the lack of control. Certainly Universal must have anticipated a larger than usual crowd for the Harry Potter attraction. It sounds like they were completely unprepared. I'm afraid it's going to take a tragedy for them to do something about this.
Posted by stacey063 on 2011-01-22:
I emailed Universal about my similar Christmas week experience and detailed the horrible experience we had - they are giving me new tickets with no blackout/no expiration. I am sending in my receipts for purchase and they are sending me tickets. So let them know!
Posted by stacey063 on 2011-01-22:
I will also add I plan on trying it again during a midweek, non holiday time.
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Too Many People - Too Many Lines
Posted by D_Bondman on 12/28/2010
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We went to Universal 12/27/2010 to see the new Harry Potter Exhibit. The best thing about our day was the guest services representative cheerfully refunded our ticket because the lines were so long we could not see the exhibit. You have to go near the Harry Potter entrance to get timed return tickets. Our tickets were for 5 hours later. The lines at the other rides were 90 minutes. Spiderman was 150 minutes. The line into Harry Potter actually became dangerous with people pushing past mothers with baby strollers and bumping people in wheelchairs. The park staff was extremely poorly trained. They had no idea how to control the line and the crowd.

Inside Harry Potter the crowd was uncomfortable always bumping into me. We waited 30 minutes just to get into a store to look at souvenirs The Gryffendor Scarves were sold out after a week of temps in the 40's. The lines into Hogwarts and the rides were 90 minutes. Even the wand shop had a 30 minute line.

A woman next to me getting her refund said she had 7:50 timed tickets and was not allowed into Harry Potter. The staff shut down admission because the area was filled to capacity.

What Universal can do:
1. Stop letting so many people in. When you sell a product that you cannot deliver because of overcrowding, that is fraud.
2. Let people sign up for timed return tickets at the park entrance, and, make sure people know timed tickets are required.
3. Stop people at least 50 yards from the entrance until the time of timed tickets. The crush in the crowd was because people with later tickets were blocking the entrance,
4. Clearly mark exits to stores as exit only
5. Invest in crowd control technology and staff training.
6. Require staff training and park knowledge. I asked several staffers for directions, they did not even know where guest services is.

What you can do: Stay at Universal hotel and start at the park at 7:00AM, Pay $80 for the express pass and skip line rides, don't go to Universal Christmas week (they way overfill the park), go to guest services and demand a refund when you have a terrible day.

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Posted by werelucky on 2010-12-28:
Christmas time is a bad time to visit Orlando. Big crowds at all the big parks. Disney in California stopped letting people in today. I guess everyone decided to visit theme parks this holiday.
Posted by olie on 2010-12-28:
Your best bit of advice was this: "Don't go to Universal Christmas week".
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-12-29:
I agree, olie. Christmas week and spring break are probably the two worst times to go. We've been down there twice, both times in February, and although it was a bit chilly, the lines were definitely doable.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-29:
WOW. Ill know never to go to Disney the week of Christmas!!!!! Doesnt sound like it would be any fun at all.
Posted by momsey on 2010-12-29:
Yeah, this doesn't sound fun at all! Waiting on line to get into a gift shop? No thanks.

I went to Disney with my brother's family the first week of December a few years ago. It was great. The problem is, once your kids are in school, either you go when everyone else will be there or you take your kids out of school to go to Disney.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-29:
I don't understand why people go to gift shops at amusement parks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-29:
I do. Some people like to purchase souvenirs and mementos from places they've been, or find they need more film, sunscreen, etc.
Posted by MRM on 2010-12-29:
Exactly Ript. Its like getting rocks while you are on the moon.
Posted by LizzieT on 2010-12-29:
The BEST week to go is the LAST week in August! All the kids are in school down there and every park is pretty empty! We went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure this summer and did each park twice! The only thing we had to wait for was The 8th Voyage of Sinbad stunt show. No lines for Harry Potter, Spiderman, the Mummy, etc!
Posted by randola on 2010-12-29:
we just got back from orlando and yes the lines were long but we made the best of. if you go there during christmas week you should be aware that everyone else is going to be there too! we did our homework so we weren't surprised and just chatted with others in line and entertained ourselves. the parks open at 8am at both disney and universal so thats when we arrived. our only complaint was the weather....30 degrees in florida was insane but it was better than the foot of snow we got at home.
Posted by momsey on 2010-12-29:
Yeah, except Florida + August = misery.

After our vacation last August to Myrtle Beach and Savannah, we've decided never to go south for a summer vacation again.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-12-29:
Momsey, same here. I would never venture anywhere south of here in August, and certainly not Florida!
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-12-29:
My friends took their honeymoon in New Orleans in August. I'm happy the wedding wasn't there.
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No Safety In Universal Studios
Posted by Moose2000 on 11/29/2010
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Over the Thanksgiving week I had items stolen from my small purse that was checked into a "free locker" at Universal near the MIB ride. We called security and they did not show up for almost an hour and 5 calls later. We went to Customer Relations/Service with the Security person who did show up after explaining that they were in a meeting and it was shift change (thank goodness I wasn't injured). Customer Service did absolutely nothing treated me as if I was a criminal. Security Manager brought a goon with him- guess he was afraid of a woman. I could go on....but in a nutshell- don't use the lockers easy to over ride as attendant did.

Customer Service and Security could care less about you it is all about the money. Will be spending my money at the Mouse!
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-29:
Well what do you really expect them to do? If you were injured, medics would probably come to your aid, not security.
Posted by momsey on 2010-11-29:
In what way did they treat you like a criminal?

It is very upsetting to have items stolen from you. But I don't think an hour is completely unreasonable to wait for security for something like this. There was no emergency, and I'm sure they have plenty of emergencies all day long at these parks. I'd like to know how the Mouse would have handled it. I'm inclined to think you would have had the same experience with Disney.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-29:
I'm with Prince and Momsey on this one. I re-read the post twice to ensure I wasn't missing anything. I cannot find where you felt as though you were treated like a criminal? And in a park of that capacity, with a non-emergency, a 1-hr wait is not too bad.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-29:
What was stolen from your purse? Really, it would have been easier to take your whole purse, go through it in private, and ditch it later.

I only used the free lockers there, once..and, I had no issues.

In my experience, amusement parks and purses don't go together. Just take people with you who have plenty of pockets :)

Posted by Slimjim on 2010-11-29:
While security couldn't really do much, their response time was ridiculous. I agree with the poster, she had a locker robbed and the park didn't come when she reported it for an hour. Either they cared little or were swamped with issues, neither is a good thing. I once had a LOCKED locker robbed clean at Action Park in Jersey. I think reviews like this should pop up whenever anyone has such an occurrence. Maybe it will not only make light on how frequently these lockers get robbed, but maybe high event frequency parks would be exposed, forcing a bit more diligence on their part to protect their guests property and experience.
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Misleading season ticket benefit
Posted by Scolclass on 05/26/2010
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Just a note of warning! Don’t forget to read the fine print on the Universal page that tells you prices of season tickets and benefits. (it doesn’t tell you on the page where you actually buy tickets}. On the main page it says free parking is included in season pass price. There is an asterisk that says except the first day. The way to get around this is to go to drop off area and drop off someone who has bought the season pass on line and let them pick up their pass. Then you can go back around and you can park for free.
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-05-26:
So you actually need to show the season pass to get through for free parking on the first day?! That is pretty sneaky on their part.
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Rip Ride Rock-it Roller coaster
Posted by Ksal622 on 02/26/2010
FLORIDA -- At the end of most rides, you can purchase a photo of you on that specific ride. Well, the new roller coaster at Universal is no exception. The ride itself was AMAZING. However, there is a new feature of buying a video of your ride. This is the complaint: the video you view before you purchase it is not the actual video that they make for you. The video you have has small clips of you on the ride and most of the video has these ridiculous effects of the roller coaster. Not worth the $35!
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Posted by Skye on 2010-02-27:
Did you tell them how you feel? Sounds like it might be fun thing to have, with special effects, but to each his own.

Glad you enjoyed the roller coaster, which have have always beenone of my favorites.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-02-27:
normally i don't agree with most false advertising complaints but...

well you didn't call it such... but i will.

indeed they should actually specify that the video will be of your own ride. it sounds like the advert is made to look like it's one of those "feel like you're in a coaster" vids instead, if i'm reading your complaint correctly
Posted by localgod on 2010-02-27:
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-27:
Good to know. Thanks!
Posted by Ksal622 on 2010-03-01:
Universal handled the whole thing spectacularly! Super friendly and professional. I am in the process of getting my refund.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-03-01:
o nice. congrats!

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Universal Island of Adventure incredible sadism!
Posted by Antoniom on 12/07/2009
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I wonder what bright head at Orlando Universal Island of Adventure may think that people like and enjoy to get soaked wet during a cold and damp November morning, he/she must be a descendant of Marquis DeSade or other notorious villain!

In the morning of Thanksgiving 2009, my wife and I decided to visit the Universal Studios and Island of Adventure. The first ride we chose was "Jurassic Park: A River Adventure". It consists of a ride on a strange round vessel following a watery course. What was not written anywhere nor explained by any of the attendant was that once on there is no way to escape getting soaking wet from the numerous inescapable water downpours, plus lots of water entering the vessel as it goes though the course. The only thing that these dudes did was to make sure that we were well strapped to the seats by safety belts. Well, as you move down the course there are several, at least ten, water downpours on the vessel and its occupants. Furthermore, in another couple of occasion water pours into the vessel. The tight safety belt made sure that we could not escape any of these treaths! As a result, at the end of the ride we were both soaked wet, no item of our clothing escaped getting wet, including intimates, and had no other choice than driving to the Hotel to change all of our clothing. A perfectly good Thanksgiving ruined! Not only, since then, my wife has developed a nasty cough and also a low grade fever that has not cleared 10 days after the occurrence.

I can't believe that reasonable person would think this is the kind of fun one wants to get after paying the outrageously expensive entrance fee! How can it be fun to soak people in the middle of Fall? How come that nobody warned us? We were new to the attraction and do not know what to expect! How is it that you cannot escape the downpouring water (pours everywhere)? How is it that, having been asked to strap in your seats, you cannot escape having your bottom soaked by the water entering in the vessel?

I can understand that this may be acceptable to some in a bathing suit during a hot Summer day, but how could any reasonable person think that fully dressed people enjoy to get soaked on a cold and damp Fall day? Getting people wet during cold days was/is a form of torture and punishment in the not so old days!

At this point I'll have my wife go to her doctor to get a cure and ascertain if her condition can be related to the soaking we received at Universal Island of Adventure, after which a visit to my lawyer to consider legal action against Universal will follow!

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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-07:
Cold/wet weather cannot make a person sick. Sickness is caused by viruses, not cold weather. Good luck trying to sue. You voluntarily got on the ride
Posted by goduke on 2009-12-07:
So you expect that if you go on a water rider that has an 85' drop on it, that you aren't going to get wet. Really?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-07:
Yeah... uh... good luck with that legal action.
Posted by Sparticus on 2009-12-07:
Thanks for the warning. We are heading there in a few weeks. It will probably be just as cold.

We'll be sure to avoid this one... =)

Getting wet in the cold can help you get sick. When your body has to work harder to stay warm, it can't fight off viruses and such as well as it can when you are nice and warm/dry.

So while it does not get you sick directly, it can definitely contribute to it.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-12-07:
Remember that park map they gave you when you entered the park? This ride is listed as a "water ride". People generally expect to get wet on a water ride.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-12-07:
A fair warning for the unwary. That being said though, if you voluntarily went on a water ride with an 85' drop and actually were to sue and win damages becuase you got wet, I would have to declare our legal system an unrepairable joke.
Posted by goduke on 2009-12-07:
Well, jim, there's probably ample evidence of that already.....
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-07:
That's actually the freakin' lamest ride there.

2 things I always take to an amusement park -- disposable parkas(2 for $1 at the dollar tree) and a dry change of clothes. The lockers are cheap.

Once I had an awesome time at Paramount's Kings Dominion, and it rained all day. No lines at all.

Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-12-07:
Every ad I have ever seen for a River Adventure has always shown people getting wet. Also, almost every ride I have ever seen, the people getting on can see the people getting off. Did you think those people exiting the ride were wet from excitement?
Posted by Buddy01 on 2009-12-07:
I just read that the average temperature in Orlando is 68 degrees. Where I come from, that is warm weather. Once when in Orlando, it was really warm and we were in t-shirts. We passed a family bundled up in winter coats because they were cold.
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-12-07:
Buddy01: Are you kidding? 68 degrees is borderline cold. This weekend it was about 50 some degrees. I thought I was going to freeze. Had to put on my long underwear tops to keep warm.

I had the same crazy experience with people in Maine. I went hiking up there all bundled up - It was in the 40's. And here come some people hiking in short pants. I thought what is wrong with these people.

I guess it is all in one's perception.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-07:
BTW, this park is awesome fun. I've been there twice, and am planning to go again.

My sister went a couple of years ago and stayed in one of their resorts and loved the whole experience.
Posted by Skye on 2009-12-07:
How cold is Orlando in November??
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-12-07:
Its about 20 degrees below - below what we would like it to be.
Posted by Buddy01 on 2009-12-07:
JR, exactly. It is all in one's perception.
Posted by Flexanimous Fellow on 2009-12-08:
Hmmm...the ride is labeled "River Adventure," the ride vehicles travel on water, and very likely there were obvious indications that water had been inside the vessel even before you sat down and got strapped in. Yet you're appauled you got wet? o.O
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-12-08:
a water ride involves water and the possibility of getting wet?

someone needed to be specifically told this?

better yet, I want to be there when the lawyer actually reviews the case just to see the look on his/her face

it's like suing someone over not putting a warning of "contains nuts" on a jar of nuts that's labeled as nuts.
Posted by Starlord on 2009-12-08:
We went to Sea World once, and kids AND adults were scrambling to get sprayed by Shamu as he swam by. It is all perceptions and what one thinks is fun. Kwitcherbelliakin!
Posted by SassyAnastasia on 2010-06-30:
Um, lady or sir, I've worked at Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Universal Orlando ( not anymore), and I definitely think that you are thinking of the wrong ride. In fact, I am absolutely POSITIVE you are thinking of the wrong ride. Jurassic Park River Adventure gets you wet, but the only place where you get wet is when you go down the 55-foot drop.

Also, othe boats in Jurassic Park River Adventure aren't round, and they don't have safety belts. The boats are BOATS, with ROWS, and lap bars.

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barge. THAT is a round boat, with safety belts, and gets you absolutely soaking wet.

However, there are about eight signs telling you that you get absolutely soaking wet on your way to that ride, as well as on Jurassic Park River Adventure. Don't blame the company because you failed to read the signs. Also, if you looked at the people getting off the ride ( the exit is RIGHT NEXT TO THE ENTRANCE ), you'd see that the people leaving are soaking wet, from head to toe.

People like you and your family are what makes working at theme parks so frustrating. Get a clue. If you're eating, and you choke, you don't blame the cook. IT'S YOUR FAULT. If you get wet on a ride, it's not because Universal strapped you in and made you wet. You did it to yourself.

The Universal Attraction Attendants don't tell people they're going to get wet because the boat and seats that you sit in are soaking wet when you sit in them. Also, they have too much faith in your intelligence and assume you read the signs. Guess it's in vain, huh?

Get a clue. This isn't a complaint, you're just dumb. "Ruined your thanksgiving" - please! Thank goodness you don't have a heart condition and 'forgot' to read the signs, or you'd really have something to complain about.
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No more skipping the lines
Posted by on 08/20/2007
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Those been to Disney World and Universal Studio are aware of the Universal Express Pass and Disney Fast pass service. These services allow you to bypass the standard standby lines for popular rides.

It cut down the wait time for most popular rides down to minutes.

It looks like Universal Studio Orlando is making this an add-on service to their standard theme park tickets.

You will have to pay (per-day/per-ticket) to access the Universal Express Pass service, unless you stay in one of their themed deluxe resorts.

Disney is currently offering golden Disney Fast passes to anyone who endures their one-hour Disney Vacation club (Time-Share) sales pitch. It gives you unlimited access to all Disney Fast pass rides without time restrictions between different rides.

You can also trade up the golden Disney Fast passes for food vouchers, good for $15-20 off all Disney restaurants in the resorts, theme park, and/or downtown Disney.

On the plus side, Universal is building Harry Potter land and replacing the aging Back-To-The-Future ride with the Simpson ride (inspired by the Simpson Movie). Harry Potter land is schedule to be open late 2009. The Simpson ride is schedule to be open next summer 2008.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-20:
I have used this option at Universal's Islands of Adventure. It made for one heck of a pleasant day!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-20:
I have couple of tips for island of adventure.

1. Get there early (9AM). Hit the popular rides before the park get fill-up.

I was able to ride Spiderman on my last day couple of times before the lines get too long.

2. Use the single rider’s line (if available).

I was able to bypass standard lines (45min) or Express Plus (10min) and got on the Hulk ride in minutes.
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Universal Studios Florida; just another corporate greed
Posted by Jright on 11/28/2006
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I took my family to Universal Studios in Orlando Florida, and once I was at the Park we realized that if you pay more for admission for the park (About $25) you can purchase what is called Express Plus tickets. These Express tickets holders have separate lines on every ride and will simply allow them to get to the ride much faster than those who are with a regular admission ticket. So basically those who can afford to pay more money can cut through the lines on any ride legally, while those who can’t afford to pay more for the express tickets simply have to wait. The wait on most rides can be very long (about an hour or more) depending on how many express ticket holder chose to go on the same ride (cut through) at the same. The problem with that is most families with children can not afford to pay the extra money for the express tickets since regular admission is already at $77 plus tax. I just think this is just another unfair corporate greed tactics just to make an extra buck.

Note: If you are a company stock holder, an employee of the company or simply a person (sellout) who is paid few bucks to undermine complaints such as this about the corporation, keep your feedback to yourself.
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Posted by Demonoid Phenomenon on 2006-11-28:
I kind of get the impression that if you could afford it, you'd be in that Express line in a heartbeat. So, other than being envious, what's your point?
Posted by *Brenda* on 2006-11-28:
We bought it when my family went!
Posted by Bababooey on 2006-11-28:
Expect entrance fees to go higher and service to get even worse at Universal's theme parks now that they are owned by NBC (a subsidiary of the General Electric Corporation)!
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-28:
Express tickets are like first class airline tickets. The more you pay the better the service.
Posted by jright on 2006-11-28:
Not exactly like first class Airlines Passengers. First class Passengers don't make you wait longer in line just because they paid more money.
Posted by Sparticus on 2006-11-28:
I was at Disney World in Orlando last year. They had a similar "express line" system, but it was free! All you had to do was pick up your express ticket about an hour or two ahead of time. Then when your time came, you went and got to go through the express line. It was a great technique for helping control the traffic/lines that might normally build up all at the same time since they sold only so many express tickets for each time frame. I wonder if this new pay program is the replacement for the free program? Isn't Universal one of the Disney parks? I may be confused...
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-28:
We used the express plus tickets, and, we loved it!
Posted by Slimjim on 2006-11-28:
This surprises me. Last time I was at Universal, it was just like Disney where you sign up for the express line in advance, like a schedule, and it was free. To answer your question Spartcus, I'd say yes, it does look like they option to make express pass a premium on admission. On the second part, no Universal is not a Disney park.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-28:
jright, I forgot to ask - Did you have a good time? I'd like to mention that I've been to both Universal parks twice. The first time I didn't even know about the express plus, and still had a great time!
Posted by rnick821 on 2006-11-28:
I don't necessarily agree with this poster, but I will admit that there is a valid point made here. I looked it up on the web page, and the Express Pass ticket is an additional $40.00 on top of the $77.00 ticket. Having been to Universal Orlando and knowing how busy it can get, I probably would spend the $40.00 myself and get the Express, but I definately can sympathize with the frustration this poster must feel.

When I took a large group of high school students there back in 2003, the Express thing was free. You simply put your ticket into a machine and received a little slip of paper saying when to come back...when you came back at that time, you got to the front of the line. Oh well.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-28:
In regards to Iright's comment, have you never stood in line at the gate waiting to board, while the first class passengers were seated and served their cocktails?
Posted by bill on 2006-11-28:
Express pass is a premium service for which you pay a premium price. I don't see anything wrong with that. If you went to a resturaunt would you expect filet mignon at the same price as ground beef? I also object to your note at the end of the complaint. I am not a stock holder or employee, but I don't see why they shouldn't have the same right to respond to your complaint as anybody else.
Posted by David on 2006-11-28:
I used to be a Universal Studios annual pass holder. I would take my family to the park and you could put your ticket into express pass machines and get a pass to bypass the line during a certain time period an hour or two later. You could not get another express pass until the time period for your current express pass had passed. This gave you the opportunity to plan ahead for your favorite attractions.

Then, last year, they mysteriously closed the express pass machines. We now had to pay extra if we wanted express passes. I also found that all guests that stay in one of the Universal Studios resort properties get express passes as part of the package.

The old way worked well in that a fixed amount of express passes were issued for each attraction for a given time period. When all of the express passes had been issued for a ride, they were no longer issued. Guests waiting in the regular lines were only delayed slightly due to the limited number of express passes. Now, if you are in line for a popular attraction, you may see guests with express passes ride the attraction several times while you are still in line as there is no limit on the express pass use. You can pretty much give up on riding the most popular attraction without waiting in line for several hours. My annual passes became practically worthless. I did not renew them.
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