Universal Orlando 2012: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure Paperback – Nov 16 2011
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This great little guide sums up pretty much everything and anything that you'll want to know about visiting Universal Orlando. -Joey Inigo, Mouse Info, October, 23, 2011
From the Back Cover
A WHOLE NEW KIND OF MAGIC!< Harry Potter recreates his Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resort Universal Orlando adds powerful sorcery to a collection of cutting-edge attractions that make other theme parks look mousy. This book is your completely unbiased unofficial guide to all the fun, all the thrills, all the secrets, all the best deals. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA "Live the Movies" at the original movie studio theme park. Home of . . . Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit The next generation of Aaargh! The Simpsons Ride It's the Krustiest Place on Earth. Revenge of the Mummy Ancient curse meets indoor coaster. Horror Make-Up Show You'll never see a show like this at Disney! ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE The theme park for the twenty-first century. Home of . . . Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey And you thought your broomstick was cool. The new state-of-the-art in a totally new kind of thrill ride. Mind the Dementors! The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man A dizzying 3-D ride through a comic-book New York. The Incredible Hulk & Dragon Challenge The biggest, brawniest, scariest roller coasters in Orlando. AND MUCH, MUCH MORE! Get the low-down on CityWalk, the hot restaurant and nightclub district that put Disney's Pleasure Island out of business. Learn how to live large in luxury and skip the regular lines in the theme parks when you stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Aside from the excessive Disney hate, this book is not very helpful in terms of park information. The chapters are laid out by "sections" of the park, and within each "section" are listed all the rides/attractions, and a few (though apparently not all?) dining options, shopping opportunities, etc. I don't think anyone who is willing to spend the $100+ on a ticket to Universal is only going to visit ONE "SECTION" of a park, so I felt that the section-by-section division of restaurants/attractions/shopping was really unnecessary and messy.
If you have ever seen or used a Disney PassPorter, you will NOT like this book, because the PassPorter is thoughtfully organized and sensibly laid out, while this book is very scattered and lacking in meaningful info.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm not a big fan of rides, so I really appreciated the author's mention of the "Castle Tour," which is a way to tour Hogwarts without going on the ride. He also describes an observation area at the end of Dragon Challenge which I never would have found on my own. The strategy advice is invaluable, especially if your visit is during a busy time of year. We (ages from 67 to 11) found the ratings on rides and attractions helpful and accurate. His advice and observations are just as accurate and complete for the rest of the park, which is also big fun. I'm not kidding...you'll get way more for your money at Universal Orlando if you read this book before you go...maybe even before you book your trip.
We saw folks standing around with the maps they give out deciding what to do, the THRONGS of people waiting in lines....we did NONE of that.
Follow the instructions in the book....like stay at the hotels in the Park if you can, get there an hour early, go to the rides in the order they suggest....
you'll have an AWESOME time. We did.
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!