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Old 10-12-2017, 07:05 AM   #1
joelsmom
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Back from UO...Quick Thoughts

It was a good trip.

Cabana Bay - We really liked it. The bus service was fabulous, prompt and efficient to and from City Walk. We had a family suite. It was unnecessary for two people, but we loved it, with room to spread out. Plus, we ate breakfast in the room every morning, having a microwave, refrigerator, and disposable utensils. I will say they need to provide a roll of paper towels. We ate one dinner at the food court, and it was very good, although the checkout clerk was pretty bad. I completed their guest survey at home last night, and it isn't inclusive enough. Disney does a much better job there.

The Parks - Joel enjoyed Terminator 2 3D one last time before it closed. The new Jimmy Fallon ride is lots of fun, as is the Kong attraction at IOA. We were able to revisit most of the other park attractions, but we skipped the water rides, except for Jurassic Park. We were very pleasantly surprised that all of the Harry Potter attractions now participate in Express Pass. We bought it separately, due to limited park time, and it was great to have, especially on our last morning. I would've simply stayed deluxe, but there was no availability, short of a $1,700 per night RPR suite.

HHN - This was not much like I imagined. I'll admit I didn't look forward to it, but we did two haunted houses and several scare zones, and I just wasn't scared. Joel thought the Saw house was scary, but it did nothing for me. Due to a major thunderstorm, one of our scheduled houses was flooded, and by the time it was cleaned up, Joel was ready to leave, so we didn't see it. I think my favorite part of the night was the Trick r Treat scare zone. It was really pretty, with hundreds of glowing pumpkins hanging from the trees, but the "scareactors" still didn't scare me. We did get to see Bill and Ted's Halloween Adventure show in its last year. It was really funny. Joel even bought the "Farewell Dudes" t-shirt.

Overall, it was a great experience.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:45 AM   #2
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Thanks for your thoughts! Yay! We love Cabana Bay. DD and I stayed in a suite last time too. I also thought it was more space than we needed but liked trying it (we'd hoped the other two in our family would come with).

Did you try the lazy river pool? We enjoyed our afternoons there during our first stay (which was a bit longer). The pool bar was nice and convenient too.

And the food court really had some nice choices. I wish they looped a longer reel on the tvs in the seating area, we saw it over and over.

And we liked getting Starbucks in the morning. We walked to the parks and enjoyed our drinks on the way.

I agree the buses are very efficient. One after the other....

Interesting about EP at Harry Potter areas being offered now. Wow.

We may be back in December. This time I got a great discount at Sapphire Falls, so we'll be trying it.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:06 AM   #3
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We're not coffee drinkers, so we didn't care about Starbucks.

As for HP, I don't know how long they've been doing Express, but we were surprised, but definitely pleased. I just won't wait an hour for anything.

We did not do the pools, due to limited time, but I thought they looked great. We probably won't ever do them, because I really think UO is a two day trip to do pretty much everything in the parks, so we only stayed 3 nights. I guess if we wanted to stretch to 4 nights, we could take some time for the hotel activities.

I'll tell you one thing I don't like at Universal, and that's the drink mugs. For CB, they are only good for that resort. It doesn't work at the other resorts. Then there's the separate mug for the parks. They are only good for a single day of refills. I know WDW doesn't offer a park mug, but I wish UO offered theirs for either 1 or 2 days and tiered the pricing accordingly.
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My Previous TripsDL off-site June 1979, WDW off-site Sept 1985, All-Star Movies May 2002, All-Star Music June 2007, All-Star Sports May 2009, Pop Century June 2010, Coronado Springs October 2011, All-Star Sports May/June 2012, Pop Century May/June 2013, All-Star Movies October 2013, Tropicana Inn at Disneyland Resort June 2014, All-Star Music May 2015, All-Star Sports June 2016, All-Star Movies October 2016, Pop Century May/June 2017, All-Star Sports March 2018
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:23 PM   #4
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I had to look up the drink pricing, since we don't drink sodas on vacation too often.

I found this for the in-park mugs:
Freestyle cups cost $11.99 ($6 if purchased with a quick service dining plan at participating in-park locations) and can be reactivated for an additional $5.99 per day.

And for Cabana Bay resort:
Sonic Fill Drink Package souvenir cup exclusively sold at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This cup costs $8.99 for one day of use, $11.99 for two days, $14.99 for three days, or $17.99 for the entire length of your stay at Cabana Bay.

I wanted to post this for anyone that might be visiting soon and reading your report and our replies to get info.

Our trip in May was tacked on to the our family time in HHI. DD and I only spent 2 1/2 days there so didn't do pool time, so I totally get not using them. We've stayed longer on other trips and took the afternoons for pool time where we stayed and back to the park at dinner time.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:24 PM   #5
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I did want to mention that I think you're the first person I've heard say it's not all that scary at Haunted nights. I am actually glad to hear that. I don't think I'll ever go but it makes it easier to understand parents that take younger kids.

I hope you felt it was worth the expense and time. ?

Thanks again for your report.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiddenMickey View Post
I had to look up the drink pricing, since we don't drink sodas on vacation too often.

I found this for the in-park mugs:
Freestyle cups cost $11.99 ($6 if purchased with a quick service dining plan at participating in-park locations) and can be reactivated for an additional $5.99 per day.

And for Cabana Bay resort:
Sonic Fill Drink Package souvenir cup exclusively sold at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This cup costs $8.99 for one day of use, $11.99 for two days, $14.99 for three days, or $17.99 for the entire length of your stay at Cabana Bay.

I wanted to post this for anyone that might be visiting soon and reading your report and our replies to get info.

Our trip in May was tacked on to the our family time in HHI. DD and I only spent 2 1/2 days there so didn't do pool time, so I totally get not using them. We've stayed longer on other trips and took the afternoons for pool time where we stayed and back to the park at dinner time.
A little update...

At Cabana Bay, they don't at all advertise anything but a length of stay mug, and it's $18.99. I suppose you have to ask for less time to get that offer.

At US/IOA, the mugs are only $11.99 if you purchase 3 or more. For one, it's $13.99, and two are $12.99 each. The signs posted at all locations indicate a single day refills only, so again I guess you'd have to ask. We just thought the cost was more than we should spend, because we only got one or two drinks a day.

I saw all of this info earlier this week.
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My Previous TripsDL off-site June 1979, WDW off-site Sept 1985, All-Star Movies May 2002, All-Star Music June 2007, All-Star Sports May 2009, Pop Century June 2010, Coronado Springs October 2011, All-Star Sports May/June 2012, Pop Century May/June 2013, All-Star Movies October 2013, Tropicana Inn at Disneyland Resort June 2014, All-Star Music May 2015, All-Star Sports June 2016, All-Star Movies October 2016, Pop Century May/June 2017, All-Star Sports March 2018
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:15 PM   #7
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Thanks, Susan. That will be helpful to other travelers.
I guess Universal needs to update their website.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:56 PM   #8
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Did the mugs work at the WWoHP areas? I'm thinking not but worth asking lol.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:36 PM   #9
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I don't think there are drink machines in the HP areas because they don't fit in the theming. Also, no sodas in the eateries either.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:14 PM   #10
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Glad you enjoyed USF. I had a great time there on my trip and enjoyed HHN quite a bit.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:56 PM   #11
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Let’s just pick this one up again.

We just took another quick trip to UO/IOA, again at Cabana Bay. This time we had a 9th floor standard room in the Bayside Tower. We could not have been more pleased. It had a dead on view of the volcano at Volcano Bay...just beautiful. We loved everything about the room...size, cleanliness, view...all just great. We ate in the Bayliner Diner for 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts, all really good. This food court is a cut above the WDW value resort food courts, no doubt. Safe to say we have now cemented our positive feeling about Cabana Bay.

The new Fast and Furious ride is the same ride vehicle as the Kong attraction at IOA. Personally, I think it works better for the story of Kong, but Joel loved F&F Supercharged.

On our first night, we ate at the newish Toothsome’s Chocolate Emporium. The service was good, but we were a bit disappointed in the food. Joel’s flatbread was much too fru fru for his liking. My shrimp and crab mac and cheese was pretty light on the crab and had precisely 4 shrimp. I also thought the sauce was just not right. It didn’t really taste cheesy to me. It was more of a cream sauce. This is a fun place, but if I go back, I will order differently.

We also did the new Marvel character dinner at Cafe 4. The food, a buffet, was pretty good but nothing remarkable, and the character interaction was very good, indeed. We would do this meal again, even at $50 per person.

All in all, it was another fun experience for us. That’s good, since we don’t currently have plans to return to Orlando until a hoped for WDW trip December 2019. Until then, we have our memories of this trip.
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My Previous TripsDL off-site June 1979, WDW off-site Sept 1985, All-Star Movies May 2002, All-Star Music June 2007, All-Star Sports May 2009, Pop Century June 2010, Coronado Springs October 2011, All-Star Sports May/June 2012, Pop Century May/June 2013, All-Star Movies October 2013, Tropicana Inn at Disneyland Resort June 2014, All-Star Music May 2015, All-Star Sports June 2016, All-Star Movies October 2016, Pop Century May/June 2017, All-Star Sports March 2018
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:17 AM   #12
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Glad to hear you had a good trip at Universal. Interesting about the F&F attraction as same type of car as Kong. I think they have too many simulator rides there, although some of them are quite good. The menu at Toothsome never interested me much and didn't go there on my recent trip as better eateries in the area.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:53 AM   #13
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Another refillable cup question I’m afraid

Can you use the park refillable cups for Icees (I think that’s what they were called, we call them slushies).

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:14 PM   #14
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Yes, you can get Icees, but only if you have the Coca Cola Freestyle cups. There is a standard cup that gets discounted refills, not free, but the Freestyle cups offer free refills for the entire day of purchase. So, get it early in the day to maximize your purchase.

These cups are only refillable in the parks. Here’s a link to an article that has good info about the Freestyle cups.

http://orlandopassholder.com/univers...freestyle-cup/
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