Your Best USF or IOA Secrets
About This Page: This is a discussion on Your Best USF or IOA Secrets within the Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; There's one for WDW, so why not for Universal? Feel free to post hints, tips, little unknown facts, ot things ...
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#1 - Stay onsite! FOTL is worth every penny! One night's stay in a Universal resort can get you 2 days of "front of the line" access. You can check in and pick up your room keys the morning of your stay, even though your room won't be ready. And the day you check out, your room key is good until 4 pm I think? It seems like they change that all the time. One time we went it was 3, once it was 4, and I've heard people post that theirs was good all day.
*Utilize single rider lines whenever possible, they save a ton of waiting time. At Men in Black, they often double up single riders because each car holds 6, and the majority of parties are 2 or 4. You may not sit together, but there's a good chance you'll be in the same car if there are 2 of you together in the single rider line.
*Shortcut from US to IOA - as you exit the park, turn right towards Blue Man Group. You'll see the Hard Rock Cafe. There is a turnstile there where you can exit the park. Saves a few minutes of walking time.
*Get to the parks early - shoot for 30 minutes before park opening. Universal crowds don't seem to arrive early. And, I've often seen them open the park a few minutes early.
*Little thing I noticed in IOA: all the trash cans are decorated like steamer trunks, to blend in with the theming of traveling to far away lands filled with adventure.
*If you have AAA, your card will get you 10% off all food and souvenirs. The only places that won't take it are the drink carts that don't have card readers.
1.) If you need to use Guest Services, use the office inside the park. There's usually no line or a few people ahead of you. Only use the booths outside if you have a problem with tickets and can't get into the parks. The booths outside usually have long lines.
2.) Spider-Man ride at IOA: After the Hobgoblin attack and you go through the doors, look to the left. You will see a phone number. Call that phone number with a 407 area code and get a special message.
3.) If you're using the Hard Rock entrance/exit, the bathrooms by the Blue Man Group building and behind the Hard Rock Cafe sign with the big fork are usually the cleanest bathrooms and are generally not very busy. You can use the facilities in peace!
4.) Seuss Landing at IOA -- the pathway that is beside the water is generally not very crowded. Also, use the tables at the Green Eggs and Ham Cafe if you need to sit down in a quiet place for a while.
5.) Walk through IOA's Dueling Dragons queue at least once. Watch the Dueling Dragons video at the entrance of the castle at least once. The video gives a good backstory of the ride. Most people just trample past it.
6.) In front of Dueling Dragons, there's a round circle with a bunch of stars on it. If you stand on this circle and face towards the ride, you can see all 3 near misses.
7.) Eat at Mythos at IOA. Have the bananna gooey cake if it's available.
8.) At IOA's Popeye and Bluto's Bildge Raft Barges, use the path that is by the water. Look at the hole in Me Ship, the Olive and the oddly-shaped rock.
9.) The Incredible Hulk Coaster -- after the brake run, if you look closely, you can see a tank.
10.) Take time to explore the Port of Entry. Look up at lot. You can see a lot of great detail and theming. You can hear conversations all around the area.
11.) Go into the men's bathroom in the Port of Entry by the Stroller Rental area. You will hear a pecuilar conversation.
12.) If you are coming from the parking garages in the morning and need to use the bathroom, go through the hallway by the ATM machines near Citywalk's entrance. The bathrooms down the hallway are generally clean and not too many people use them in the A.M. The bathrooms in the main hub in front of the wheelchair rental are very busy.
13.) If you want to get past the credit card sellers in the parking garage, "hug the walls." Stay as close to the walls as possible and try to blend in with another family if you can. They generally won't bother you.
14.) To avoid the timeshare sellers in the park, try to walk on the opposite side of the sidewalk. In IOA, you can walk through the gift shop that is opposite to their booth. At USF, they're by MIB near the refreshment stand. If you're coming from Jaws and heading to MIB, you can take the alternate path of the bridge to avoid them.
15.) If you're activating your Preferred AP for the first time, you will have to pay for parking on your first visit. Try not to park in self-parking. Use valet parking. Why? Valet parking is normally $16 for over 2 hours, but Preferred AP holders get 1/2 price on valet parking. Leave your car in valet, activate your AP, have fun at the parks, and come back to valet with your AP. Show your AP to valet and pay $8 for parking. Give a few dollars to the person who brings your car and give him a few bucks. You will have parked in valet for the price of what you would have paid for self-parking with your activated AP.
i have been wanting to ride pterandon flyers in jurassic park since it opened,but the sign says adults can only ride if a kid is present, i saw adults only today so i asked, and i was thrilled to find out they have had alot of complaints by people like me with no kids and they were letting adults on, i was thrilled, but the ride lasted asbout 30 seconds, im not kidding, but i did it !!! , the attendant says it depends on the day, i guess crowd levels- if adults only can ride.today was a very light crowd
Even without an AP, valet is the way to go- especially after a long day of touring!
An awesome time of year to go is the first two weeks of December. The parks were almost empty, and we had so much attention from the Christmas Characters in US, that I felt like I was part of a promotional video. There was never a line, and we could re-ride something spectacular in only a few minutes wait. Also, because of the holidays, the parks are HOLIDAY-d out! We really loved Dr Suess land, with special attention to the Grinch.
DH and I: Epcot 12/07
Life is not about the things I accumulate, but the experiences shared with others
Get there before opening. Often the gates open a little early. Being first into the park is a huge step up on the day. You can do many rides with no or little wait right away and encounter few long waits during the morning. We usually started with a couple things close to the entrance and then moved to the back of the park...where it was dead and made our way back forward. We often found that by the time the parks started getting crowded in the afternoon, we'd already accomplished what we'd wanted to.....and were leaving the park for some pool time at the hotel/resort.