This book is an absolute must to plan for your trip to Universal Orlando. Study it well before you leave home, and you'll have a much better time at the parks. The book is packed with invaluable information that will, 1) save you money, 2) save you time, and 3) allow you to see much more during your visit than you normally could. Actually, I would recommend that you read the book a couple of times, skim through it again on the flight to Orlando, and carry it with you inside the park. Excellent, excellent job, Seth. Thank you!
I just returned from a trip (March 2012) and have a few comments about things I'd like to see in future editions:
Page 9: It would be nice if this map (or another map) showed the canals and walking paths which connect the three hotels to City Walk. Don't miss walking along these paths and/or taking the water taxis - spectacular landscaping. (By the way, it's possible to walk from the lobby of the Royal Pacific Hotel all the way to City Walk without crossing a street. This is not evident from the map.)
Page 40: The "Accuracy and Other Impossible Dreams" is well hidden inside the book. Be sure to check the blog before you leave home to see the last-minute changes. For example, the Jaws ride and Amity Island are now gone.
Page 59: I'm not sure why, but "Lucy: A Tribute" and Kwik-E-Mart consistently opened their doors one hour after the official park opening.
Page 115: The map of Islands of Adventure needs to show the **bridges** connecting the islands.
Page 136: I disagree about the outdoor seating at Mythos Restaurant. To me, it was like eating in a subway station with trains roaring through every minute or so - impossible to have a conversation. (The noise comes from the roller coaster across the lake.) The author also mentions "repeat visitors may notice some falling off" relative to the food. I think he hit the nail on the head on that one. Disappointing food quality.
Page 154: If you have your mail stamped with the "Hogsmeade postmark" at The Owl Post, be aware that it's not really a postmark. The problem arises when your letter goes to the USPS mail-processing facility, where it will receive a real postmark - probably on top of the Hogsmeade postmark. Suggestion: get the attendant to rubber stamp your letter just under the return-address area. That should avoid an overcancel.
Page 187: There are two miniature golf courses: The Haunted Course and the Sci-Fi Course. The first course you play (18 holes) runs almost $15 per person. If you play both courses, you "save" 25% off the second course. To me, the Haunted Course was very basic and uninspired. I'm told the Sci-Fi course is more challenging. I hope so.
Chapter 6: Staying Near the Parks: Please include daily parking charges, daily Internet-access fees, and whether breakfast is included.
Thanks again for a fantastic guide book!